By Ken DeLaat
Ever since that Christmas Eve long ago (circa 1957) when I was almost certain to have caught a glimpse of him in action there has been a personal desire to shed a little light on the enigmatic world of…you guessed it…Santa Claus.
In many ways it led to pursuing an interest in journalism with one goal always in the back of my mind. An interview with The Big Guy.
After countless requests for a sit down over the years, each denied via form letter, N3 got notice recently that old SC himself would be able to squeeze in a few minutes from his mind-boggling busy seasonal schedule.
We found him relaxing in his chair having just knocked down a bit of cocoa after prepping for yet another appearance.
It seems we see you almost everywhere these days.With the reindeer resting for the Big Day how do you travel?
With the main 9 reindeer always in training for Christmas Eve, I use my other reindeer. This also keeps those reindeer in shape if they are needed to replace another reindeer.
Although your main job involves a once a year endeavor you obviously need to be in good shape to perform a delivery day that would make Amazon blush. What kind of physical regimen keeps you ready for the task?
Mrs. Claus helps me stay slim and trim with a healthy diet; especially after eating all those cookies on Christmas Eve. I also help out the elves making toys and mucking out the reindeer stables
Is it true like in the movie Miracle on 34th street you’re fluent in all languages? If so,which was hardest to learn?
There are over 7,000 languages spoken on Earth today. Through Christmas magic I am able to understand and speak the language of the country I am in at the time. The Christmas magic is a big help as in Papua New Guinea, a country on the border between Asia and Australia with historically numerous trade relations in large parts of Asia, Australia and Oceania there are over 800 individual languages there.
Are the elves you employ specialists in certain areas or generalists? Are they unionized? How are they recruited for the job?
Most of our elves are specialists as they enjoy making and creating certain things, or other specialties. We also have some generalist elves with massive skill sets who can pitch in when an elf gets ill or is on vacation. They are not unionized and have never asked to be unionized. Almost all of the elves are recruited through other elves at the North Pole. We have numerous large families of elves here.
Living in an isolated area with an army of elves, how do you and Mrs Claus handle any of the inevitable arguments that can arise in long term relationships?
Well, mainly we never go to bed mad at each other. We have been together for over 400 years and that has enabled us to work as a great team.
Any truth to the rumor that Superman’s fortress is a North Pole neighbor? And speaking of life at the NP do you and Mrs. Claus ever vacation in warmer climes during the offseason? If so, where do you go?
Superman's Fortress of Solitude is very well hidden. We respect his need for peace and quiet away from the world's troubles and leave him alone most of the time. Mrs C and I do like to vacation in warmer climates. Since we get recognized even when not wearing red and white, we select out of the way places so we can relax and rejuvenate. So, I'm going to keep where we go a secret if you don't mind.
When it comes to cookies do you have a favorite? How about milk. Prefer whole, skim or lactose free?
My two favorite cookies are store bought and homemade ones. With all the cookies I eat on Christmas Eve I stick with skim milk.
Referencing the Rudolph animated story…is there still an island of misfit toys or has quality control improved?
There are always times when a toy may get put together wrong and we have kept up with modern quality control methods. We fix the toys on the spot and they go to deserving children's homes. Thankfully, we no longer need the Island of Misfit Toys.
Speaking of Rudy, does he participate each year or is he held back for more challenging weather?
Since we are travelling the world Ruudolph always travels with us. As a Michigan resident, you know how quickly the weather can change, don't you?
We understand music is important to you.What song that features you is your favorite?
Mrs Claus and I love all Christmas music from many countries; and one of my favorite English songs would be "Santa Claus is Coming to Town".
Has there been any major shift in the Naughty/Nice list? Any significant increases on either side?
A little known secret is that I only keep a Nice List. Half the work of keeping two separate lists. The percentage on the nice lists stays mostly the same.
Speaking of the List, can you give a hint which side Lil and I might fall?
Hmmmmm; right now Lil is definitely on the nice list. As for you, you know what you need to improve on, don't you?
Anything you’d care to add?
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to one and all.
KD Post script: Well, what can I say? He was kind, he was jolly, he was everything one might expect and the twinkle in his eye never wavered.
But after all...
He was Santa.
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