He won't hand a kid back to his parents unless he feels the parents are being a bit overzealous in their quest for a Christmas card photo, and that's rare.
In general, his tone is kind, but Santa's no pushover.
If a kid asks for a violent video game, he tells the child it won't come from Santa Claus. If they get such a gift on Christmas morning, he assures them it must have come from the parents.
Same goes for "anything with an I in front of it, the iStuff." That's iPhones, iPads, iPods. Santa John doesn't think they're appropriate for children.
"I want to see the kids with toys," he said. "Kids need to just be kids."
In general, he tries to be vague. He doesn't like lying to kids and says the thought of promising kids toys that won't arrive is enough to nudge any Santa toward retirement.
So he won't promise a kid a puppy or a board game. Instead, he just tells them that they need to behave.
"And if you do," he says. "I'll come Christmas Eve and put presents under your tree."
What does Santa want for Christmas?
"December 26," he said. "It's all over then. And all that about rushing back to the North Pole to start for next year? No, I take some time off."
Just like in the cartoon, Santa John goes to Florida in January. He said we should feel free to picture him on the beach in red swim trunks with reindeer printed on them.
Contact writer Shay Maunz at shay.ma...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4886.