In this case, "Santa Claus" was developer George Filopoulos (who decided to put on an elf's hat instead), and the North Pole was in one of the new buildings that make up the Beacon, the $350 million, 1,200-condomium project that Filopoulos is currently developing on the site of the old Jersey City Medical Center.
Playing Santa was the chief financial officer of his company.
Students from public schools No. 9 (The Kennedy School on Mercer Street) and 22 (Rev. Dr. Ercel F. Webb School on Van Horne Street), received toys, games and other goodies that they asked for in "letters to Santa."
Those letters were answered by Filopoulos and his merry band of employees who stopped by at Toys R Us in Jersey City at 6 a.m. one recent morning.
One soft-spoken fifth-grade student from Public School No. 9 got a new Bratz Remote Control Car. "I didn't expect to get this. I'm happy," she said.
Others got everything from a Huffy Tundra dirt bike to a "Burp Me Baby."
On hand to welcome the kids were Jersey City Schools Superintendent Charles Epps, Mayor Jerramiah Healy, and Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini, as well as a choir from the Jersey City schools. Comments on this story can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org