January 27, 2006


To whom it may concern,

I am writing this letter of recommendation on behalf of Gary Kunkle, otherwise known as Santa.

Words cannot describe the experience that our customers received when visiting Westfield Plaza Camino Real this holiday season. I have worked with 5 other Santa’s at Westfield properties and no one comes close to the customer experience that Santa Gary can provide. He truly sets the bar for all other Santa’s and I do not feel that there is anyone quite like him in the shopping center industry. Santa Gary provided our customers with an unparalleled Santa experience that adults and kids alike will never forget.

It is not often that we receive positive comment cards from our customers regarding something in the shopping center. Whether it be an in-center event, store complaint, etc., customers always find the time to write something negative rather than something they experienced that was positive. I am proud to say that Santa Gary received over 25 positive written comment cards, 2 mailed in typed letters and over 15 phone calls in the 45 days that he was at our shopping center regarding their experience. There were many letters that referenced the fact that their child had never seen Santa before because they had always been scared. When they brought that same, scared child to Westfield Plaza Camino Real, the parents were amazed at the fact that when their child approached Santa Gary, they were calm and excited.

Gary Kunkle is what being a Santa is all about. His charm, patience and demeanor put even the most frightened children at ease.  He has the ability to capture a child’s attention and keep it in order to get the most memorable picture for the parents. Santa Gary really takes the time to spend with each child in order to make sure they have a great holiday and find out what they want for Christmas.

As representatives of Westfield Plaza Camino Real, we continually strive to extend quality customer service and meet the needs of our friends and loyal patrons. We were pleased to find that Santa Gary also has these same customer service and quality standards and we thank him for a wonderful 2005 holiday season.

If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to call.

Best regards,

Korie Norton

Marketing Director, Westfield Plaza Camino Real




For the past twelve years Gary Kunkle has been our Santa.  It is always a wondrous happening when he arrives on Christmas Eve.  He comes in beautiful garb and with the warmest and most joyful expression as he calls out the traditional Christmas greeting -- "Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas to you all!"

We are so excited to see him as Christmas would never be as special if it did not begin with our Santa.  No one else could start the evening so magically.  As you may know he is very authentic.  His hair is wonderfully real and truly white.  His costume is a professional one that he wears for the largest employer who hires him for Carlsbad’s Macy’s Mall.

We all feel so delighted each year as he continues to delight.  Our family has had this tradition for sixty years and our familiarity with the custom is likely seldom matched and so is our special Santa Gary.

Roger and Elizabeth Burke

Carlsbad, CA




It’s Sunday morning about a week before Christmas…in our family it is known as “Santa Breakfast” day!  If you peek in our windows and listen at the door you’ll hear the shout, “He’s here”! and all 9 of our youngest grandchildren run to the front door to greet Santa Gary as he arrives fresh from the North Pole via his bright red Santa mobile.  They (and their parents!) are bright eyed with excitement because they’ve had the joy of this morning for the past 7 years and they know what’s coming!  The love and joy shines on his face and he knows them all by name.  We all look on as they sit at his feet while he reads them a special story that will point them to the Christ child as the One being celebrated!  Santa calls them each up one by one to sit on his lap to receive their special gifts and the wrapping paper flies!  After a sweet celebration of Jesus’ birthday around the nativity, they all run excitedly to the dining room table to enjoy their own special breakfast with Santa!  Of course, they take turns each year being the ones who get to sit next to him J Sharing this meal with him is such fun!  As they have done every year, the children get an instrument from Grandma’s special music chest and serenade Santa Gary with “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” as he drives away after leaving us glowing with the joy of it all and another year of heartwarming memories!

Jake & Jeannie Miller

Bonsall, CA




I have four children and seven grandchildren.  We have had Santa Gary visit our home now for the past four years.  Santa Gary has been such a wonderful and memorable part of our family.  His visit is my gift to my children, grandchildren, family and friends.  Every year a different family joins our celebration with Santa’s visit.  The private time with the grandchildren, are the best memories that I will cherish forever.  The children are so excited while awaiting his visit, and every year they are just as excited as the first visit.  The older the children get, the more precious the moment is for me.  Santa Gary always visits with a warm smile, a nice Christmas story, and spends time with each child and their parents also.  The memories that my children and grandchildren already have with Santa Gary are priceless. 

Although Santa only visits us once a year, he remembers the children’s names and makes them each feel very special.  The children talk about Santa’s visit for months after.  I catch them talking to their friends about Santa’s visit.  Their friends can’t believe that Santa visits their house while they are awake.  And my grandchildren talk about how special his visit is to them.   Santa Gary always takes his time and makes sure that all of the children talk to him and all of them have plenty to say every year.  It’s such great experience to share with my family and friends.  We look forward to his visit every year.  

Annie Chavez

Oceanside, CA