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Who else could be the Legend of the Month in HeadStuff’s first December? Of course it’s big ol’ jolly Santa Claus, this guy basically is December. His jolly spirit and no nonsense attitude is what December is all about. He’s also the first HeadStuff Legend of the Month to be alive and well, so that’s some achievement on his part (although he is crazy old, as far as we can tell).
I was lucky enough to be able to meet with the Legend. Here’s the interview, if you have any questions you’d like Santa Claus to answer, ask them in the comments and I’ll send them on to him and he’ll answer them when he has a chance.
The Santa Claus Interview:
What do you prefer to be called? Santa Claus, Santy, Kris Kringle, Nick?
Oh my, I hope I don’t have as much ego as I have names. Santa or Santy will do me fine. Maybe Santa Claus on formal letters and correspondence, just to be sure to be sure you get the right man… I won’t tell you what Mrs. Claus calls me.
Are you still going with the sleigh? Have you considered a car?
Let me tell you, a car is no way to get around the North Pole. That would be counter-productive, and really, they’re not at all environmentally friendly. Having said that I have been tempted by that Tesla car. I might ask the boy Elon Musk if he could work on a Tesla Sleigh for me.
Why do you love to wear red and white so much? Is it because they’re flattering colours on you, or is it, as I’ve heard, because you were sponsored by a large company?
Ho, ho, ho! By the sounds of things, dear boy, I’ll never be able to shake off that little fabrication. No, no, no, the reason I wear red is because if I get lost in the North Pole, where there is no natural red, remember, I stick out like a sore thumb and the elves can easily find me. I think this is where the sore thumb thing comes from, because if you bang your thumb it goes red and you can see it for miles and miles.
And I’d be lying if I didn’t say the colour was flattering on me. Matches my nose! Ho, ho, ho!
Are you magic?
Ho, ho, ho! Kids these days! Am I magic? … what do you think?
Ho, ho, ho, you make my belly wobble like a bowlful of jelly, I love that poem. Magic… I would say that I’m talented.
What is talent to you?
Same as it is to everyone else, 90% hard work.
How do you do it all in one night?
Ah come on, I can’t be giving away all my secrets. Let’s just say there’s nothing wrong with asking for a little help.
(He winked and I looked confused.)
I’ll give you a hint, just look up my name and Derry City 2007.
What’s the deal with the chimney thing?
I learned when I was a young man that the quickest way between two points was a straight line. I had to increase efficiency a few hundred years ago and I realised that the quickest way to the stockings was straight down.
So you gave up on front doors?
Yes, indeed, my boy, too much hassle. And also I found that people were leaving their doors unlocked to make it easier for me, but really I think people should lock their doors.
Again, I can’t be giving away all my secrets. I have competitors too, you know. Let me see. I used to go around on an old goat, it was great, but just not as quick as I needed to be so I upgraded to a horse, then I upgraded to a few reindeer, and then I added more and more reindeer until I found the right balance. Rudolph was my latest recruit, and so he is the poster boy. He’s a good-looking reindeer in fairness to him, the same nose as myself ho, ho, ho!
But it’s so many houses, all in one night! I just can’t get my head around it.
I know, I know, I’ve heard it all before, dear boy. But most people just sit there and be skeptical, it’s important to try things. Don’t believe anything just because you were told to believe it, it’s always good to learn and figure things out for yourself. Remember, I’ve been doing this for a long time, and I work very, very hard – anything is possible with ambition, hard work and a little help from your friends.
I have to admit, I’m still skeptical…
I know. But as I say, there’s no point in just sitting there with a skeptical hat on, you have to go and research, work things out and then reach an informed opinion. Having said that, there are a few things to take into account… people talk about how there are six billion people in the world, right? Well, in most circumstances I only visit children (with exceptions, I accept), so already you have to divide that number right down. Now, not all children are nice, that is the unfortunate truth, so again you’re dividing that number and already we only have a small fraction of that first huge number. Also, while I’m at it, let me just dispel the rumour that I give naughty children soot or coal – that’s just not true, there’s no need to add insult to injury, that would just be spite. And it would needlessly slow me down. So I don’t visit them at all, and to be honest, more often than not, the naughty children are much better the next year and then I visit them. Now, the number of houses I visit is still large, but take into account that a lot of the houses that have children have more than one child, so that makes it easier, divide the number of house visits down again. Then some countries like Hungary and a lot of Scandinavia among others like to receive presents on the 5th/6th of December, so I get a lot of the work out of the way before Christmas Eve. Then you add in all the help I get and really how wonderful the reindeer are and I can get through the work easily in one night. It’s really quite a pleasant night’s work, if I’m honest.
For any children writing a letter to you this year, do you have a specific address you like to receive letters at? Or are you the only person living in the North Pole called Santa Claus?
Anything addressed Santa Claus will generally find its way to me. People know me. But if you want to be absolutely certain, my postal code is H0H 0H0.
That makes sense.
What’s your favourite time of year?
Ho, ho, ho! You split my sides young man. Is that a serious question?
I suppose not… what is your least favourite thing about Christmas?
Now there’s a worthwhile question, good man. I think it’s a great time of year and in a general sense it brings out the best in everyone, there is a lot of sharing, caring, working together and enjoying each other’s company. These are great and should not be knocked. It’s also a very philanthropic time and people are generous, but, and this is the worst thing, some people get greedy. Greed is the worst aspect of it. Where some people want to give and give and they take joy out of nothing other than that selfless act of giving, others just take and take and want more and more. This is the height of naughty, and these are the people who will get nothing from me. Only when they learn to appreciate what they’ve got and be very happy if they’re given anything extra, only then will they be lucky. Christmas is not about “getting a load of cool stuff”, it’s about sharing and having a good time together. It’s about celebrating the end of the year and being halfway through winter. Giving gifts is one nice way to show you care about someone, but it’s not the only way and it’s important to keep that in mind. So, don’t ask for too much, and try to give as well as receive. It’s an old cliché at this point, but sharing really is caring.
Where is your favourite place in the world to visit on Christmas Eve?
Being kind, thoughtful and generous is the same everywhere in the world. It’s always a good thing and it always makes me feel good no matter where I am. When you think in terms of being kind to everyone regardless of their background or race or anything, the world is just one place, and I love to visit it.
Sometimes you hear about people not believing in you. That must be a weird feeling for you? What do you say to people who don’t believe in you?
Ho, ho, ho, this is a heavily considered question for me. At the end of the day, those people might be onto something, or maybe they’re not. I like their thinking; they haven’t met me, so they shouldn’t be certain. I keep myself fairly low key for most of the year and then there’s all this hoopla, so you know, it’s a difficult one. But, I think even the most hardline skeptics can agree, that if they’re talking about me, there’s at least some bit of truth to me. The way I see it, for as long as I have a job to do, spread the joy and positive characteristics that I am associated with then leave me to it. But once critical thinking comes into play it should not be stymied.
People like to leave out all sorts of food items for you all over the world, different things like a glass of milk, some cookies, maybe mince pies… what is your favourite food to find when you go down a chimney?
To be honest, I’m becoming almost as jelly as I am jolly these days! I need to lose some weight, ho, ho, ho! So, the less I eat on Christmas Eve is probably the better. If you really want to leave something out for me, I’d say just go with a small glass of water or milk, depending on which is cheaper in your country, ho, ho, ho!
One last thing before we go. What would you say to any children out there who are reading this?
Oh I’d tell them that it’s nearly Christmas time now, not long to go, so it’s good to be as nice as you can. Help your parents with anything they ask, be nice and kind to everyone, and remember, Christmas is a time for everyone, you should be very happy if you get a present, and you should share and play with everyone who wants to play with you. I hope I can go to your house on the night of the 24th, but you have to deserve it, Merry Christmas, ho, ho, ho!
Remember, if you have any questions for Santa Claus, ask below in the comments and he’ll answer.