By Bernie Schmitt
At this special time of year, the most famous man in the world is busy preparing for his biggest night of the year: Christmas Eve.
Santa Claus continues to bring smiles to children of all ages. The joy of Christmas morning is matched only by the smile on his face and the twinkle in his eye. He exists, as Francis P. Church wrote to Virginia O’Hanlon in 1897, “as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist.” He continues to bring joy to the faces of millions of children on Christmas morning.
While checking on children in Knox County recently, we caught up with Mr. Claus and were fortunate to get this exclusive interview.
BOOMER MAGAZINE: Mr. Claus, what kinds of requests are you getting from children in 2018?
SANTA: That is a tough question. There are so many toys for people of all ages. You do not have enough room in that notebook to list all the different requests I get. A lot of children want smartphones these days, along with iPads and laptop computers. We can sometimes fulfill such requests, sometimes not. Barbie dolls are still popular with girls. Some boys still like Tonka trucks, footballs, or train sets. Some children ask for clothes. We still deliver a lot of teddy bears and other stuffed animals. We have a huge inventory of things, so it just depends.
BOOMER MAGAZINE: A lot of children write to you every year, but some do not. How do you know what to bring children and adults if you don’t get any requests?
SANTA: Because there are so many who believe in me, there is a certain aura of magic that surrounds the North Pole and all of us who live there. That magic allows my helpers, the elves, to visit all children and to find out what they might want. We also listen to parents to see what they think is good for their children. I have a lot of spies, so we try to be prepared every year.
BOOMER MAGAZINE: I suppose you would need quite a few elves to help manage all this. How can they be finding out what kids want and making toys at the same time?
SANTA: There are thousands of elves who work at the North Pole and we get new ones coming in all the time. With all that help and a little bit of magic, we’re able to get the job done. We make our rounds in Vincennes, Bicknell, Monroe City, Decker, Bruceville, Freelandville, and all those places in between.
BOOMER MAGAZINE: Why do you live at the North Pole, where it’s cold all the time? Are you worried about global warming and that one day the North Pole ice will be gone?
SANTA: Ho, ho, ho! We live at the North Pole so I can get a lot of work done. It’s private up there and I don’t get interrupted by a bunch of newspaper or magazine writers wanting to do interviews. We have so much work to do. I’m not too worried about global warming. I have faith that humanity will find a solution to that problem and keep the world safe for future children.
BOOMER MAGAZINE: A lot of us wonder, how do you get down all those chimneys?
SANTA: I am round and I am plump, and they keep making chimneys smaller and smaller these days, so it is sometimes a problem. If I can’t get down a chimney I have to resort to our special magic which, according to the rules of physics, allows me to fit in places many people cannot. It gets kind of technical, but people must remember to have faith. If people continue to believe, my magic will continue to be strong.
BOOMER MAGAZINE: What about houses that have no chimneys? Do you break in?
SANTA: Heavens no! Again, we’re getting into the realm of physics here and I don’t want to give away our trade secrets. But, our magic allows us to create a holographic chimney by which I can deliver toys. We have it mapped out to know which houses have chimneys and which ones doe not, so we’re ready come Christmas Eve.
BOOMER MAGAZINE: What makes your reindeer fly? Haven’t you gotten into the jet age yet?
SANTA: You must not be so skeptical. Why, Rudolph and I have been flying for generations and generations, without the need for jet airplanes or supersonic flights of fancy. To get reindeer to fly one must return to dear old Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity. We have to mix science with the overwhelming power of the universe to make this happen each year. The earth’s magnetic force, from which we get our Northern Lights, helps provide the fuel we need to make our journey around the world on Dec. 24.
BOOMER MAGAZINE: How should boys and girls behave so that they are blessed with a visit from Santa Claus?
SANTA: Boys and girls of all ages must try to be good people throughout the year, not just at Christmastime. Children should get good grades in school. They should obey their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and their teachers, too. Boys and girls should be nice to one another. They must never lie, cheat, or tell untrue stories about others. They must never become angry over things they cannot change, not should they be happy about someone else’s troubles.
BOOMER MAGAZINE: What if a child is disappointed that they didn’t get what they asked for?
SANTA: Well, that’s a tough one. We try to make enough things at the North Pole for everyone, but it seems like sometimes we run short. Sometimes, though, it’s because they just weren’t meant to have that particular toy or that particular item that year. Children must have faith, though. There’s always next year.
BOOMER MAGAZINE: What kind of food do you like?
SANTA: I like all kinds of food. Can’t you tell? But my favorite is cookies and milk. Chocolate chip cookies are my favorite, but sometimes I get burned out on them. If that happens I turn to Snickerdoodles or something else. I’m the original Cookie Monster. After my long night I like to enjoy fresh vegetables and fresh fish. There are a lot of Eskimos where I come from so they sometimes bring me salmon. Mrs. Claus always likes me to eat fresh salad, and I do, but I have to have cheese and croutons.
BOOMER MAGAZINE: How old are you?
SANTA: I am older than the ages. I’m kind of like women in that they don’t like to tell their age. I’ll just say that I’m older than most everyone on Earth, and considerably more wise.
BOOMER MAGAZINE: You travel all around the world. What is your most favorite place?
SANTA: My favorite place is Knox County, Indiana. Everyone is friendly there.
BOOMER MAGAZINE: Do you ever get a vacation?
SANTA: I like to spend Christmas Day at home with Mrs. Claus. Sometimes we like to vacation at a secluded beach and sometimes we like to visit the beauty of the mountains. During the summers I like to play golf – if I have time. Much of the time I’m working and sleeping at the North Pole.
BOOMER MAGAZINE: Do you ever get tired of delivering gifts to boys and girls?
SANTA: Never. I enjoy sharing the warmth and love of Christmas with everyone. There is peace and joy in all people, and this is the time of year we can feel it most. I’ll never get tired of spreading happiness throughout the world.
BOOMER MAGAZINE: Is there anything you would like to say to the people of the world this Christmas of 2018?
SANTA: I wish everyone a very merry Christmas. I would ask that everyone smile, and that all of us see the good in each other. Try to make every day like Christmas. Open your hearts, trust one another, be kind to one another, and try to find peace, joy, and happiness in your daily lives.