Santa's helper busy with wish lists

By Tanya Cronin
December 16, 2015 - 4:19pm Updated: December 16, 2015 - 5:46pm

KAMLOOPS — When it comes to Christmas, he does his best to get it right. In just over a weeks time, Santa Claus and his nine reindeer will travel around the world delivering presents. But how does Jolly Old St. Nick know exactly what every child wants? He uses his magical ways of course, with a little help.

For the past 30-years, Izzy McQueen has worked side by side with Santa. She's become one of his most valuable helpers, receiving thousands of wish lists from children all over.

"2700, we've done 2700, we've responded to every one of them, they write and we respond if they ask a question, we answer them," says McQueen.

The letters started streaming in the end of November and piling up on top of Izzy's dining room table, where she spends countless hours every week, carefully responding to each and every one.

"You work a little while, then you have a coffee, then I started colouring and it kind of relax's you. Then I'll have a cup of tea and then I'll go back to them, we were just deluged with letters this year," says McQueen.

Izzy ensures Santa gets all the lists. It's no easy task, but this great grandmother loves every minute and she becomes an expert in the most popular toys kids wants, each holiday season.

"The kids are asking for the zoomer kitten, and lots of lego and some of this stuff I don't even know what it is, and there's this Star Wars here, this guy," says McQueen.

The letters come from Kamloops and around BC. This year, she's even received some from as far away as Thailand and Japan. While some are funny, not all letters are about the latest toys on the shelves, this year especially.

"They're worried about the terrorists in Paris and they want peace and they want the homeless to have a place to sleep and food. It just boggles my mind, I was practically in tears." says McQueen.

With just 8 days to go until Christmas Eve, Santa is getting ready to leave the North Pole for his big trip around the world. Izzy says Christmas is about believing, being Santa's helper gives her the chance to keep making wishes come true, something she says she'll continue to do for as long as she can.

"When they ask about how the reindeer fly, I said you have to believe in magic don't you? You have to believe in magic. This makes Christmas for me, it really does." says McQueen.

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