He’s making his list, checking it twice, trying to figure out who’s naughty or nice. That’s right Santa Claus is coming to town very soon.
The reindeers are doing intense training for their annual flight around the world. The elves are busy making toys in the workshop. And Mrs Claus is cooking up festive delights such as mince pies and Christmas cookies, training her husband’s tummy for all the treats he’ll be consuming on December 24th.
This year, One4all sat down with the man himself, Santa, to ask him all about the most important night in his calendar, Christmas Eve.
How do you decide who’s on the naughty and nice lists?
‘The scout elves oversee my naughty and nice lists. During the year, they visit every house to check if children are behaving and report back to me. They do house checks several times throughout the year so it’s important that children are on their best behaviour all-year round if they want to keep their name on my nice list. Things like being good in school, going to bed on time, helping others, and doing their chores are some things children can do to increase their chances of staying on the nice list.’
How do you find everyone’s house?
‘I have to give the credit to my reindeer for this, they have an incredible sense of direction. Led by Rudolph with his bright red nose, Prancer, Dancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen map out our path. We visit each town and every city, one at a time and deliver presents to every house that has children celebrating Christmas. ‘They never let me down!’
How do you get down the chimney?
‘Ho, ho, ho, this is where a bit of Christmas magic comes in! My Christmas Eve operation wouldn’t run so smoothly if I didn’t have any magic to help. With a sprinkle of fairy dust, I’m able to transport myself safely and quietly inside the house.’
How do you deliver all the toys in one night?
‘More Christmas magic here! The elves and I have mastered a way of moving against time. We created a special gadget called a Stopopeller that I attach to my sleigh on Christmas night. This gadget slows time down, allowing us to get around in one night.’
How are you so quiet?
‘It’s all about practice. The reindeer train very hard during the year to make sure they land on each roof without making a sound. As I’m a big man, being quiet on my feet doesn’t come naturally, so to avoid waking everyone up, I also need to train to make sure I move around each house carefully.’
How do you get the toys you can’t make from the shop?
‘The elves make most of the toys I deliver on Christmas, but if wish lists have some branded toys they can’t make, I need to give my suppliers a call. I’ve agreements with a few companies and because I tend to buy in bulk – meaning lots & lots of toys – they usually give me a good discount.’
How do you fit the big toys into your Santa sack?
‘Short answer, Christmas magic plays an important role here. With a sprinkle of some pixie dust, the toys magically shrink. This is also useful for getting them down the chimney. When I get inside the house and take the toys out, they expand to their proper size.’
How do you get in a house with no chimney?
‘The elves created a universal key that allows me to enter any house. As much as I love going down the chimney, it’s important to deliver presents to houses and apartments that don’t have chimneys, so I have this key on me every Christmas Eve night.’
What toys do the elves like to make?
‘Each elf trains to become a master in a specific type of toy production. The head elf, Elf Bernard, first tests the elves on their skills before assigning them to a type of toy production. Bushy Evergreen is very skilled in woodcarving, by the time he was a boy of 103, he had carved millions of wooden trains, cars, dinosaurs, and other toys. Sugarplum Mary is head of our sweet treats and makes wonderful chocolates for me to leave for children. Ginger Forest loves making bikes and Holly Diamond is highly skilled in doll making.’
Do the elves get paid?
‘As Christmas is such a huge production, we don’t have enough money to pay the elves, but they live in the North Pole with me, so their houses, food, clothes and anything else they need is taken care of. Also, each elf gets a festive bonus and a huge party is thrown after Christmas to thank them for all their hard work.’
Why don’t you deliver presents to grown-ups?
‘The elves in the Magic Workshop specialise in toy making for children. I’d love to be able to make gifts for adults, but we simply don’t have the resources or facilities to do that.’
What’s your favourite snack and drink that children leave out for you?
‘Ho, ho, ho, oh, it’s very hard to say because I love every snack that’s left out for me. In Ireland, children often leave me a mince pie and a pint of Guinness. When I land in America, I’m treated to milk and cookies. In Spain, I enjoy delicious hot chocolate and churros, and children in Brazil leave out big plates of Brigadeiro.’
What about the reindeer?
‘The reindeer enjoy a crunchy carrot and a refreshing drink of water. But sometimes children leave apples for them and they love a sweet treat.’
Do you train the reindeer?
‘Cookie Snowball is the head reindeer trainer and she has the reindeers trained like their professional athletes. Their training schedule involves stretches and lots of flying to ensure their fully fit for December 24th.’
Do the reindeer get tired on Christmas Eve night?
‘Oh, of course! Even the fittest reindeer is exhausted after their trip around the world. They take a few days off to relax and rejuvenate and then they’re full of energy again.’
When all the work is done, what do you do to relax?
‘When I arrive home Christmas morning, I go straight to bed for a long nap. In the afternoon, we all sit down to a delicious meal. Mrs Claus makes the best roast with creamy mashed potatoes, and dessert is always her tasty Christmas pudding with sweet cream. In the evening, we watch movies, play games, and eat lots of Sugarplum Mary’s chocolates and cupcakes.’