Snow floated down from the domed ceiling of the Ice Palace, the staging area where children waited among videos and other diversions for their turn to whisper wishes to Santa, at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg.

Santa himself said the lines were shorter this year as he sat on his purple chair and took requests. The lists included traditional items like dolls and trains, but they reflected the times, too.

Some children asked for drones with cameras, while others wanted the latest video games. And once in a while, a unique request would catch Santa's attention, like the one 5-year-old Joshua Lanners of Carol Stream brought to the almighty elf.

With his sister Lila, 2, standing with him, he said he wanted "a golden rock with diamonds mounted on it, with a circle under it."

Was he describing a ring? That's for Santa to figure out.