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Scarsdale Toy Store Fills Wish Lists for Santa

SCARSDALE, N.Y. – Santa Claus may live at the North Pole, but his fulfillment house is in Scarsdale.

Monday, with holiday procrastinators of all persuasions fanning out across Westchester County in search of last-minute Hanukkah and Christmas gifts, it was standing room only at Scarsdale Child's Play at 6 Spencer Place in the village. It may always be SRO at Child's Play, though, because the old-fashioned toy store is filled to the brim with toys of every stripe, from dolls to trucks to magic kits and pretend foods. It's all there, lining every available inch of wall space, stacked on shelves from floor to ceilings about 15 feet high – all in an orderly fashion.

With barely enough room for two people to pass, a steady throng headed in an out of the store about 2 p.m. Monday.

"We are crazy busy," said owner Bonnie Ernst, who stole a few seconds here and there while helping fill a child's wish list. "Everything in the store is what's hot. We do personal service here. People drop off their lists and we fill them. They tell us whether it's a boy or girl, their ages, what they like, and we find the gifts."

People also come in with their lists and a general idea of what they are looking for and Ernst and her helpers do the rest.

"Do we have a doctor’s kit downstairs?" she called out to Giovanni Leo, 18, of Eastchester, who was grabbing bites of a sandwich between excursions into the storage area. The tall, lanky teen hurried off, returning a minute later with the kit.

"We know what kids get what," he said. "The toys fit the age, personality. We want everything for the kids to be special."

Scarsdale Child's Play carries an assortment of toys and brands that are hard to find in big box story stores that cater to larger items and licensed characters. And it’s all about service.

"We sell, wrap – we do everything," Ernst said.

Ernst said the store is in its 30th year.

"We're seeing the second generation of our original customers," she said.

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