Dec 022007
Authors: Laurel Berch

This week the big, yellow hat visited Santa’s Workshop in Old Town Square to get into the spirit of the holidays.

This may be Santa Claus’ busiest time of year, but he still had time to share with the Collegian how he squeezes down chimneys, his real opinion of Rudolf and how to get off the naughty list.

Q: How would you describe your profession?

A: Well, golly, it’s got a lot of variety to it.

I still love to be involved in designing and making prototypes for toys but the elves do a lot of that work.

And then I get to do things with the reindeer so there are outdoor, farm things going on. They love to have nice hay. Training them. Of course I have elves that train them too.

The Christmas season is real busy. I get to see all the children and hear what all they’re excited about. Some of them have great ideas.

And I have a busy day coming up the 24th and 25th. It’s one long day because the world turns and turns for 38 hours or something like that – I lose track.

But then I get a vacation, take a little break. Sometimes I go to the southlands, but I like to go skiing.

Then some people think I work only one day a year, but that’s not true at all. I have to see if kids are being good. So sometimes I’m out wondering about incognito. I don’t put the red outfit on. Sometimes I look like a hobo, but that’s alright. I get to see how people are when I’m not when in my costume.

Q: Do your elves get benefits?

A: Now you’re trying to get into politics and see if I have union elves. They’ve got their elf-y union, and they make sure they’re taken care of. They get lots of benefits. They work hard, though, so they deserve it. They get time off, too. They get a long, extended vacation after Christmas holidays.

But I have elves and I have helpers, you know?

Q: What is the difference between an elf and a helper?

A: Well, elves are short and they have little pointy ears, and helpers look just like you and me. . There are a lot of helpers – a lot of people willing to help Santa Claus.

Q: What is your favorite color?

A: Red.

Q: What is the best snack that has ever been left out for you to eat on Christmas Eve?

A: Lef Kuken with hickory nuts. . You’ll find it in many, many cookbooks. It’s a German Cookie and it’s really distinct and not overly sweet and it’s absolutely delicious. It’s wonderful to dunk in cocoa or coffee.

Q: Is Rudolf really all he’s cracked up to be?

A: Nope, not at all. I mean is anything all it’s cracked up to be? By golly, there’s spin on everything I suppose.

Rudolf is a wonderful reindeer. He’s a bit of a lightweight not like Donder and Blitzen – they’re the powerhouses. (They are like) iron and steel. They can haul a sleigh.

Rudolf is a little fluffy actually. He’s smart, he’s fast, and he only helps out when we need him like on foggy nights. He’s a nice reindeer but not very big.

Q: With new technology have your lists and Christmas letters gone on-line?

A: Oh I use E-mail all the time. E-mail is great.

Q: What is your goal in life?

A: Oh, I’ve got so many. Probably my number one goal is to make sure during the winter season, the holiday time and Christmas time that all have some happy moments. Life is worth living.

Fun. Fun is not to be played down. Fun is extremely important. Everybody should have a high quotient of fun in their lives.

Q: How do you fit down chimneys?

A: Magic. Did you see the movie The Santa Clause with Tim Allen? The first one was the good one. But like that – magic. And I have keys because not all houses have chimneys.

Q: Do you get any feedback?

A: Everybody’s satisfied.

Q: What is the craziest thing someone has asked for?

A: I’ve had a lot of crazy requests. A lot of times the crazy requests come from kids who admire their dads.

It’s kind of funny when a 3-year-old boy and you ask him what he wants for Christmas and he says “chainsaw.” That’s kind of funny, or a (girl asked for a) “vacuum cleaner” because her mom uses one.

Q: Is there any surefire way to get off the naughty list once you’re on it?

A: Be good! Have fun! Have fun and be good, but true fun. Smile a lot. Smiling helps.

Q; Is there anything we could do that would keep us on the naught list for life?

A: I guess be sad.

Q: What is your favorite place to visit?

A: North Pole.

Q: How long have you and Mrs. Clause been together?

A: A long, long time.

Q: How old are you?

A: Very old.

Q: What do you think the meaning of the holidays is?

A: It doesn’t matter what your persuasion. When the nights get long, I mean really long, and it’s so cold out. It kind of gets dark and dreary and sad.

People figured out a long, long time ago almost everywhere in the world that it was good to get together and have some sort of hot cocoa or hot chocolate or hot toddy and sing songs and smile and light lights and cheer one another up. And be generous and good and kind to one another.

If there is someone you’d like to see in the big, yellow hat contact Laurel Berch at

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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