Also known as Kris Kringle, Father Christmas and Saint Nick, among others, Claus has been a Christmastime fixture for generations.
He and his elves work all year in the North Pole to build toys that are delivered on a single night. His signature red suit, white beard and jolly laugh – “Ho ho ho” – have become synonymous with the Christmas season.
Claus, who refused to give his age, recently took a short break from preparing for his latest Christmas ride to answer questions from the Daily Journal’s M. Scott Morris.
Q: What’s the best present you ever received?
A: Ho. Ho. Ho. That’s a good question. Mrs. Claus makes the red suits that keep me nice and warm on my rounds. Maybe you could say it’s her job to make them, and she’s very professional about her work, but I have to say it sure feels like a gift whenever I replace an old, well-used suit with a new one that she handmade for me.
When I wear it, it’s like she’s out there with me on my busiest night of the year. Everything has to move very, very fast, as you might expect, but every now and then I’ll feel the comfortable embrace of my suit and realize I’m really out there, doing what I love, thanks to the warm-hearted Mrs. Claus and the elves and the reindeer and the children and all the others who make this amazing life of mine possible.
Q: Does it bother you that you don’t get to see kids react to the presents you bring them?
A: See, there, I can’t answer your question because you worded it incorrectly. You presuppose I don’t see them, but I certainly do.
My travels are done by the time children wake up and rush to their trees – and they almost always rush, don’t they?
The same Christmas magic I use to know who’s been naughty and nice allows me to see millions of smiles on Christmas morning. It’s something I wish everyone could see, all that happiness flashing across the world, like an effervescent wave of joy and light. Even if it’s only for that one day, it’s glorious to behold. It’s the best balm for tired muscles I’ve ever found, and I’ve been around for a long time, you know.
Q: How can you eat all the cookies and drink all the milk that children leave for you?
A: How can I not? Of course, I know about the Cookie Monster on “Sesame Street,” but, really, that Muppet has nothing on me.
Sugar cookies. Chocolate chip. Oatmeal raisin. Whatever you’ve got, I’ve never met a cookie that couldn’t fit into this jelly-like belly of mine, and what’s better than a nice, cold glass of milk to wash it down? I can think of few greater pleasures.
Keep the cookies coming, kids, and Santa thanks you. Boy, do I thank you. Ho. Ho. Ho. Merry Christmas.