An interview with Santa: He reveals the season’s hottest gift!

The big man himself visited The Daily Gazette!
Santa Claus was in Saratoga Springs earlier this month.
PHOTOGRAPHER:
Santa Claus was in Saratoga Springs earlier this month.

Landing an interview with Santa Claus is no mean feat, especially in December. But the big man himself agreed to visit The Daily Gazette earlier this month while on a reconnaissance tour of North America.

It was an enthralling, joyous interview that touched on everything from Christmas Eve to El Nino to Adele. That’s right, Adele.

Daily Gazette: Hello, Santa. It’s a pleasure to meet you. Are you ready for Christmas Eve?

Santa Claus: Not by a long shot. Our in-house production lines are right on time but several of the gifts that we outsource are on back order. But we’ll make it. We always do.

Q: What’s hot this year?

A: That’s easy—Adele. I’ve been swamped with requests for her new CD, “25.”

 

Q: Was that a surprise?

A: It was. Over the past few years, CD requests have gone way down. I guess everyone’s streaming music or buying digital downloads. My overall tonnage has been way off—something we attributed largely to the shift over to the download model. But Adele seems to be making some noise. We’ll see where it goes.

Q: So do you have all the Adele CDs that you’ll need on Christmas Eve?

A: No, no, no. They’re on back order with all of our suppliers. I spoke with one of our regional coordinators in the U.K. today and he’s reporting a severe shortage. We’ll be lucky to fill all of the requests. She’s red hot.

Q: What else is popular this year? Anything like a Cabbage Patch doll or Tickle Me Elmo?

A: In the U.S., it’s the Stephen Curry doll. It’s a two-foot-high, wind-up action figure that can shoot a real basketball 100 feet. It never misses the hoop. It’s quite remarkable.

Q: Talk about “naughty” or “nice.” Does it still apply?

A: Of course it does. That’s been the standard for countless generations and it will remain the standard for countless generations to come. In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m pretty big on tradition.

Q: You’ve been depicted in many movies over the years. Do you have a favorite?

A: I don’t watch them. Years ago, I decided not to. I don’t read my press clippings either. Mrs. Claus thought that the adulation was going to my head, so I stopped.

Q: Social media has become a worldwide phenomenon. We noticed that you have your own official Twitter handle now. Do you do your own tweets?

A: No. I have a few assistants who handle that for me, but I monitor it. I tried doing some of my own tweets last Christmas but it was too much. I had to pull over the sleigh to type out tweets. It put me way behind. I leave it to the others now.

Q: So do you have any favorite Twitter handles that you pay attention to?

A: I like the BBC. They’ve got a vast network of reporters and I find that they have the most extensive worldwide reach.

Q: Any other favorite Twitter accounts?

A: I guess the NORAD Santa tracker. I follow that handle for the laughs. They claim to provide up-to-the-minute information on my journey. Really? They’re off by 400 to 500 miles at times. Where do they get their information?

Q: What does the long-term weather forecast look like for Christmas Eve?

A: For you here in the Northeast United States, it doesn’t look good. Thanks to a strong El Nino, you guys in the Northeast are probably going to stay warm and dry through the new year. Of course, that’s probably a relief for some after last year’s winter.

Q: What does a snowless Christmas mean in terms of your sleigh?

A: There’s no big impact, but it does slow us down a little. About 25 years ago, we switched over to carbon-fiber skis that glide on all surfaces, not just snow. We have to slow down a little in the dry weather, but it’s fine. We make it up with efficiencies in other areas.

Q: What’s it like flying over the Adirondacks or the Catkills? Do you have to be especially careful?

A: It mainly depends on the weather. If it’s a snowy night, the mountains can be treacherous because of the limited visibility. But if it’s clear, it’s easy sailing.

Q: Do you ever fly commercial flights?

A: I do. After the Christmas rush, Mrs. Claus and I like to get away to somewhere warm. St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands is one of our favorite get-away spots. We like Florida, too.

Q: Which airline do you use?

A: We usually take my sleigh down to Canada or the U.S. Then we’ll fly whatever’s cheapest—Southwest, JetBlue, whatever.

Q: What about your hat? Is it warm? Does it blow off when you’re flying in the sleigh?

A: It’s super warm. Mrs. Claus makes me new ones all the time and they’re always triple-layer fleece with a wind-resistant outer layer. They do fly off from time to time, but that’s why I have extras. At last count, I have something like 50 hats.

Q: What about the snacks that the kids leave for you? Any favorites?

A: I still like cookies, especially the gluten-free ones. [Bursts out laughing.] I’m only kidding! I’m not gluten-intolerant so I can pretty much eat anything. And don’t forget the milk. I still love my milk.

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