As a feature writer for the Cut Bank Pioneer Press, I have the privilege of interviewing and then writing about some amazing people. It is wonderful to learn about these people and then share their stories with our little corner of the world.
While every interview and every person has been special in their own right, I have to admit, the recent interview I was fortunate to do with good ole St. Nick himself, was an over-the-top, unexpected surprise.
Santa Claus is a busy man this time of year, but never too busy for the kids of the world. That is why he took a few minutes out of his day of checking the toys made by his elves, preparing his sleigh, readying his reindeer, to answer some questions from the kids who love him.
What is your favorite cookie that Mrs. Claus bakes?
“I like all cookies, but Mrs. Claus makes a special cookie with ‘schnazzel’ berries, which is a very special berry that only grows in the North Pole. They are delicious!”
Why do you live at the North Pole?
“The only neighbors for us at the North Pole are seals and polar bears and the occasional wild reindeer. That makes for less of a distraction for the elves who are making all the toys. Plus, we like the cold and the snow.”
Do you and Mrs. Claus share the reindeer?
“Mrs. Claus has her own sleigh which she uses for running errands. She is welcome to use my sleigh any time she wants, but she really likes her own sleigh with her own reindeer. She gets more miles to the bale of hay with her sleigh because it is smaller and easier for the reindeer to pull.”
What is your favorite meal?
“Any meal where Mrs. Claus and I and the elves, get to sit down and share a meal, is my favorite. I like having all of them at the table and eating together.”
Why do you fly in a sleigh and not an airplane?
“Airplanes make too much noise and since I fly around the world at midnight on Christmas Eve, I want something that is quiet to make my trip. I don’t like making noise on that wonderful and best night of the year. Not only that, but the sleigh I use, which is quiet, was made by the elves great-great-great grandfather and was to be used for this special night. And I like the sleigh, a lot.”
Do you ever shave your beard?
“I don’t shave my beard, but I do trim it so it doesn’t get too long. I let it grow real long one time and later found a family of rabbits in it. I don’t want that to happen again, so I keep it nicely trimmed.”
Do you always wear your suit?
“No, I have one special Christmas suit and then I have other red suits I wear on other days. I like red. But sometimes, if I want to be comfortable, I won’t put on my jacket when I am inside and instead of wearing boots, I will put on my slippers.”
How did you become magic?
“I don’t really know how I became magic. When I was very young, I discovered I had magic. I know that everyone has a little bit of magic of some kind in them, you just have to find what it is and how to use it.”
How do you tell the elves apart?
“The elves are all different, just like you and your friends are all different. They all have different names, different hair colors and different looking little faces. They might look the same to others, but Mrs. Claus and I can tell them all apart and call each of them by name. We all are the best of friends and get along really well.”
Do you live in a mansion with the elves?
“It is not a mansion, it is a wonderful, warm, cozy cottage in a village where we all live together, but in separate homes. Each elf family has their own cottage too. My house is near the workshop where the toys are made and near the stables where the reindeer live. The elves are always welcome in my house and I often visit each of them in their houses.”
Do you help the elves?
“The elves know how to do their jobs and they do them very well. All I have to do is make sure the right kinds of toys and the right number of toys are being made for all the good girls and boys I will be delivering toys to on Christmas Eve.”
Why do you come down the chimney instead of the door?
“A lot of the house doors have hinges that squeak and if I were to use the door, I would wake everyone up if the door started squeaking. Also, if I come through the door, I would probably have to walk through a big portion of the house and again, that might wake everyone up. Usually the Christmas tree and stockings are close to the fireplace, so if I come down the chimney, I am nice and close to where I will leave the presents.”
Does Mrs. Claus bake cupcakes?
“Oh yes, Mrs. Claus is a very, very good baker. She bakes cupcakes, pies and cakes. We give a lot of her wonderful treats to the elves, but we eat a lot of her yummy baked goodies too. She is a good cook.”
What is your favorite kind of pizza?
“I like pizza and so does Mrs. Claus. My favorite pizza is one with extra cheese, sausage, onions and anchovies. That is a wonderful pizza!”
Why do you come on Christmas?
“The spirit of giving surrounds Christmas, because it was Christmas when God gave us His son, the greatest gift of all. The gifts I bring to all the good boys and girls, are in honor of Him.”
Why do you have a wife?
“Because Mrs. Claus and I fell in love and she wanted to help me in my work. She also doesn’t mind the cold, so we can live together in the North Pole. I love Mrs. Claus.”
How does Santa fit down the chimneys?
“That is part of the magic. I don’t know how I fit down all the chimneys, but I always do. It is just magic.”
How do you fit all the toys in one bag?
“It is a very big bag, so I can fit a lot of toys in it, but when the bag starts to get empty, it just fills back up again all by itself and inside it goes the toys for the houses of the good girls and boys that I am going to visit. It is like the reindeer that fly and me fitting down the chimney, the bag too is magic.”
How do your reindeer fly?
“The reindeer are a special breed of reindeer. They also have magic in them. The elves found them originally and trained them to fly and to pull my sleigh. Our reindeer are very special, every one of them.”
Do your elves fly?
“No, but they can jump really high. Part of what makes them magic is how they can make any kind of toy very well and very quickly.”
Do you ever wash your suit?
“We have our own cleaner up here at the North Pole that I use to have my suit cleaned. It is a very special suit and needs someone who is also very special to clean it just right.”
Do you put up a Christmas tree?
“Oh yes and it is a very big Christmas tree. On Christmas Day we all, Mrs. Claus and the elves, gather around the Christmas tree singing Christmas carols and then exchanging gifts. I get to sleep in on Christmas Day because I was out so late the night before delivering presents. But once I get up and we all enjoy a meal Mrs. Claus made and the reindeer are enjoying some extra hay for their Christmas treat, then we enjoy sitting around the beautifully decorated Christmas tree that stands by our warm and wonderful fireplace. It is a beautiful Christmas tree.”
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So, there you have it, answers to a lot of questions the kids had and maybe answers to ones you might have had as well. Thank you, Santa! I will always cherish and remember our visit.
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May the magic that Santa and the birth of Baby Jesus bring to us at Christmas be returned to you in a million wonderful ways. And may we all remember that magical feeling and hold it close to our hearts the whole year through.