Santa Claus: In his own words
by Gary Huerta
A couple of days ago, as I was waiting in line at Starbucks, I heard a little boy proclaim with great authority: “There’s no such thing as Santa Claus!”
Instead of acting upon my first inclination, which was to accidentally spill my beverage on his head, I decided the best way to shut all kids like him up would be to use my journalistic superpowers and get an interview with the fat man himself. That’s right. Santa Claus and I sat down for a little one-on-one chat.
You parents with a child teetering on the verge of non-belief might want share this column.
For starters, it’s not often that jolly old St. Nick grants the press access to his secret hideout up in the North Pole. In fact, in order to get there, I had to submit to being blindfolded through the five-minute trip. Evidently, Santa and his merry little band of elves have the ability to get anywhere in the world at near light speed, which would seem to explain how he manages to get from store to store before Christmas and house to house on the big night.
I sat down with Santa in his office overlooking the toy factory assembly line. Outside his window, I saw hundreds of thousands of elves busily filling out orders from children all over the world.
GH: Santa, I’m wondering how you are able to get everything delivered to all those kids in one night?
SC: A lot goes into it. Beyond the elves and the toys, I’ve got a legal team like you can’t believe. I need licensing agreements from all the toy manufacturers. And God forbid if one of the reindeer decides to leave a little gift of his own on someone’s property. To be honest, with a world gone overboard with litigation, it’s a headache. But when I see the looks on all those little faces, I say screw the lawyers – it’s worth it.
GH: I’ve always been curious why you use reindeer as you method of transportation?
SC: This isn’t going to turn into an animal rights editorial, is it? Because the reindeer are paid handsomely. They have medical and a nice retirement plan. I tried using other animals for a while. Horses felt too “Wild, Wild, West.” Zebras? Way too flashy. Ostriches were amusing but had no sense of direction. Personally, I think reindeer make a nice statement.
GH: And the suit?
SC: What can I say? I’d like something a little more slimming, but I need to be completely recognizable, especially in the Midwest where every other yahoo has an assault rifle. The last thing I need is to be mistaken for a common thief. The red suit helps although it’s not very stylish. And the hat gets in the way once in a while. But that’s the price one pays to avoid having an assault rifle pointed at your head by a drunken tea bagger.
GH: What’s you favorite part about Christmas?
SC: The cookies. The wife has me on the South Beach diet 364 days of the year. By the time Christmas rolls around, I hit those cookies harder than Lindsay Lohan hits an open bar.
GH: Do you have a favorite type?
SC: Do I look like I’m picky? My waist size is Hula Hoop for God’s sake! I like everything. Except fruitcake. I swear the only thing that stuff is good for is re-gifting.
GH: What’s been the biggest challenge through the years?
SC: Hard to say. I’ve got all those public appearances to make during the busiest time of the year. There’s the unpleasant duty of deciding who is naughty. I have to manage a staff of high-strung elves – their union representative is a real pain in my Play Doh Fun Factory, if you know what I mean. But on the upside, technology has made my job a lot easier, too. The iPods and Flip cameras are a heck of a lot easier to haul around than the gifts of old. Back in the 50’s, things were a lot more cumbersome. Do you have any idea how hard it is to shove a Shetland Pony down a chimney? I really earned my money back in the day.
GH: So what’s Santa’s favorite holiday?
SC: New Years. The wife and I head down to Barbados. We’ve got a timeshare down there. We relax for a couple of weeks, do some scuba diving and then it’s back to the coal mine.
GH: Is there anything you’d like to say to the kids of America?
SC: Christmas isn’t about what you get under the tree. It’s about how you feel inside. And look both ways when you cross the street. There are a lot of douche bags texting and driving these days.
GH: Any words of wisdom for those of us who want to stay young at heart?
SC: Yeah. Exfoliate.