As parents we try our best to protect our children from adult worries about jobs, money and mortgages, but it seems it doesn't always work – children are asking Santa this year for socks.
In this recession-hit time, it seems the message about money being tight has seeped down to our children.
Other requests have included library cards, eyeglasses and shoes according to the Wall Street Journal.No one likes a spoiled kid who "wants, wants, wants" but equally we'd all like to think of our children being cocooned from the harsher realities of life.
Rod Riemersma, who works in a Chicago mall, used to joke that if children were naughty he would bring them socks for Christmas.
But it seems as if the joke's not that funny any more as this year some children are actually asking for socks as well as other more mundane items.
One enterprising five-year-old girl asked Mike Smith, a Santa from Columbus, Ohio, if he could turn her Daddy into an elf "because my daddy's out of work, and we're about to lose our house."
Not surprisingly, Smith didn't know how to reply and he's not alone. Tim Connaghan, who runs a Santa training school in Los Angeles has been advising his red-coated students to tell children "things will get better" if they express worries about money or the recession.
"The job of a Santa 'is to make the child feel better'," he said.
It is sad to see children worried during what should be an exciting time, but equally if money is tight they need to be prepared to find Father Christmas is not so generous this year.
Have you had to cut back on what you've spent on your child this year? Or are you going without to ensure they don't?