NORTH POLE — Well, it’s the night before the night before Christmas and we all know the routine by now: Shopping is done, decorations are hung, the tree is up and cookies are baked.
All across the world kids are eagerly awaiting Santa’s arrival and being extra good to make sure they don’t end up on the “naughty” list.
But what’s going on up there? Well, for the second year in a row we were lucky enough to be granted a phone interview with Santa Claus and a few of his helpers to get the inside scoop into all the North Pole happenings. The following is a transcription of that interview:
S.P.: Santa! It’s wonderful to speak with you again, thank you so much for taking the time — we know how busy you are.
Santa: “Oh, it’s no trouble. Actually, I received a lot of very nice letters after our last interview so I made it a point to set aside some time this year. But I’m afraid there must have been some confusion, I see in your interview request you had asked if I might be joined this year by Rudolph …”
S.P.: Yes … Is that not OK?
Santa: “Well, I guess you didn’t realize, but Rudolph can’t talk — after all, he’s a reindeer.”
S.P.: Oh! We just thought … because in the movie … Now we feel silly.
Santa: “It’s perfectly fine, a very understandable mistake. I did however take the liberty of asking if Tinsel McSnowball would join us — he’s our head groom over in the reindeer barn.”
Tinsel: “Hi there!”
S.P.: Oh! Hello! Well, this is great, we’ll just dive right in then, shall we? First of all, speaking of reindeer, how do they fly?
Tinsel: “Easy. Magic.”
S.P.: Care to expand on that at all?
Santa: “Well, it is magic, but maybe just not the way you’re thinking about it. People think that magic doesn’t exist but it does. Magic is made up of all the wonderful things and happy wishes and children’s smiles and good deeds that happen every day. Ever see something truly beautiful and describe it as ‘magical?’ That’s because it is. The reindeer are just that — they’re reindeer — but everything about Christmas is magical. And anything can happen.”
S.P.: Wow, we never though of it that way.
Santa: “Most people don’t. You don’t have to travel to the North Pole to see magic. You create it yourselves all the time.”
S.P.: Tinsel, do you have a favorite reindeer?
Tinsel: “I love them all — and I know Rudolph is the crowd favorite — but I have a pretty special bond with Dasher. He’s the oldest of the herd and I’ve been with him the longest.”
S.P.: People like to leave out milk and cookies on Christmas Eve, should they leave something for the reindeer too?
Santa: “If they wanted to. I know Prancer likes m&m’s — the green ones — and Dancer has a weakness for goldfish crackers. The others prefer the usual apple slices and carrots.”
S.P.: That’s good to know. Now that your big night is almost here, do you do anything to prepare yourself for the journey?
Santa: “Cardio. Lots and lots of cardio.”
S.P.: (laughing) What?
Santa: “No, I’m kidding. To be honest, I get all the credit but there’s a massive amount of work that goes on behind the scenes. The elves that live and work here do an amazing job of making sure everything runs smoothly and they never get enough credit for it. I’m just one person — without them, none of this would be possible.”
S.P.: So, you’re saying it’s a team effort.
Santa: “Of course. I may be the face of the operation but this is a huge collaborative work.”
S.P.: Santa, do you remember the first gift you ever gave?
Santa: “Yes. I remember all the gifts — and every little boy or girl who ever received one. Back then, when all this was still new, kids asked for very different toys than they do nowadays. Now it’s all video games or tablets but the first gift I ever gave was a little toy dog. It was wooden and I carved it myself.”
S.P.: Do you think the gifts are more impersonal now?
Santa: “Not impersonal, that’s not the right word. But they’re definitely more technology based. Remember, giving a gift should bring as much pleasure as receiving one. Taking the time to figure out what is meaningful and special to a person may be time consuming, but it’s worth it. The most expensive gift under the tree isn’t necessarily the most meaningful one.”