Santa takes time out for interview
Despite this being his busiest week of the year, the jolly ole’ elf known as Santa Claus took a few minutes out of his hectic schedule to sit down with Tribune staff writer Andy Bourelle. Here’s what he had to say:
Andy: What’s your favorite kind of cookie?
Santa: My favorite kinds of cookies are any cookie the little children leave out for me. My very favorite ones are oatmeal chocolate chip with walnuts.
Andy: Don’t you get cold riding around in the sleigh on Christmas?
Santa: No, I don’t. What happened a few years ago is all the polar bears in the North Pole got together all the fur they shed, and Mrs. Claus knitted a blanket for me. That keeps me warm.
Andy: Have you ever had any close calls with airplanes running into you or anything like that?
Santa: Never had any close calls. That’s why my suit is red, my sleigh is candy-apple red and, most importantly, Rudolph’s nose is red. That’s why no one ever runs into me.
Andy: Do your elves ever get tired of making toys? Is there ever any need for elf contract negotiations?
Santa: They never get tired of making toys. Elves love making toys. That’s all they love to do. We never have to have elf contract negotiations because they are making them for the little children, and they’re happy doing that.
Andy: Have any children ever caught you as you’re delivering presents?
Santa: I know some small little children have caught me putting presents out, but what they usually do is run back in bed. They don’t want to scare Santa away and not get their presents.
Andy: You’ve been doing this a long time. Do you ever get tired of Christmas?
Santa: I never get tired of Christmas. Christmas is the day I look forward to all year long. Even though it’s a lot of work, it’s still a lot of fun.
Andy: Are you ever going to retire?
Santa: I’m never going to retire. Being Santa Claus keeps me young, so I’m going to do it for as long as I can, which will hopefully be forever.
Andy: Do you hang out with the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny?
Santa: It’s really way too cold for the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny at the North Pole. But once a year we all go to the Caribbean.
Andy: How naughty do children have to be to not get presents?
Santa: I’m going to answer that with another question: How many children do you know who have never gotten a present from Santa Claus?
Andy: Where do you and Mrs. Claus go for vacation?
Santa: Sometimes we just hop in the sleigh and go for a ride. We’ve gone to Europe; we’ve gone as far as the moon. We’ve gone all over the place. Sometimes, a nice sleigh ride around the world can be a lot of fun.
Andy: How do you fit down all those chimneys?
Santa: You see, it’s Santa magic. It used to be a lot easier because everyone had chimneys in their homes. Now, it’s Santa magic. I can go through air vents and pipes. I just touch my nose, and I’m down there. I touch it again and I’m gone.
Andy: Do your elves build all those toys or do they shop over the Internet?
Santa: This is really the first year we’ve participated in the Internet, and it’s worked out well. They get their toys from everywhere: make them, buy them, get them over the Internet.
Andy: Do you always wear red or do you kick back with jeans and a sweatshirt in the off-season?
Santa: I have some red sweat pants and some red high-top Converse shoes I wear. I’ve pretty much become partial to red. I have a red St. Louis Cardinals baseball cap which is autographed by Mark McGuire.
Andy: Are you Y2K compliant?
Santa: This isn’t my first millennium. I’ve been through this before. We won’t have any problems up there at the North Pole. We got all the bugs worked out during year 1000.
Andy: Has new technology helped you deliver the presents? Have headlights replaced Rudolph, turbo boosters replaced your reindeer?
Santa: Nope, we’re sticking with the old sleigh. We’re never getting rid of the reindeer. This group has worked out for me for many, many years. Besides, my reindeer are pretty technologically advanced. They’ve been flying for years – before airplanes. In fact, I think I gave the Wright brothers a kite one year. I think it was Orville.
Andy: What am I going to get for Christmas?
Santa: Well, that would kind of be a surprise, Andy, but (as Santa notices Andy quickly scribbling down notes) maybe we’ll try to get you a tape recorder.
Andy: What do you get for Christmas?
Santa: When I get home from delivering the presents, I get a nice breakfast from Mrs. Claus. Also, she usually stuffs a few things in my stocking, hanging by the fireplace. She puts little joke presents in there sometimes. One year she gave me a razor; one year she gave me a weight watchers meal. I get a few presents but my real present is making children happy at Christmas – and hoping they’ll be good for me for the rest of the year.
Andy: How much do you weigh?
Santa: About 315 pounds. It fluctuates a little bit. In the summer, I try to get down to about 285 so I look good in a bathing suit.
Andy: Final question: Boxers or briefs?
Santa: Boxers. Rudolph boxers.
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