V3: Mr. Claus, how hard has it been to prepare for this year’s Christmas?

SC: Well, it’s been a little hot up in the North Pole this year so the elves are trying to tell me I’m running a sweat shop. We’re working hard. The kids want a lot of fancy things. We’ve had to get caught up on all the technology changes over the last few years. It’s been hard working with Apple on all of their patented tech that the kids are asking for but we’re working around the clock and getting it done.

V3: So tell me – since we’re talking about gifts– what’s been the most popular gifts that little boys and girls have asked for this year?

SC: Well….something called a “Wii?”

V3: What’s the deal with the Wii?

SC: Apparently, you take a stick and you wiggle it around a little bit. It’s like an interactive video game.

V3: Ok, so you’re making a lot of those?

SC: Well, the Disney Infinity characters have been really hard. We have had to learn how to manufacture all of these chips to meet the specs. Those have been the most popular gifts. Those, and a lot of baby dolls. The baby dolls are consistent every year.

V3: I bet the elves have plenty of practice making those.

SC: Yeah, we have no problem making the baby dolls. Keep those orders coming! We’ve had to update things at the North Pole. It’s hard to keep up. We’re having to re-educate all of our elves, which is tough. They’re used to doing things their way.

V3: They’re pretty nimble though, so they can get it done, I’m pretty sure. Especially working with circuit boards and things like that.

SC: Absolutely. That’s been the wave of the future. We try to stay ahead of the curve.

V3: Have you seen a decrease in the “naughty list” this year? And what can we do to stay off that list?

SC: Ohhhhh, the naughty list has actually grown exponentially over the years. As tech has advanced, so has the naughty list. We try to be very objective when we review a child’s deeds over the course of the year. You have to remember this is Dec. 26th, all the way up to Christmas Eve, until the 24th of next year. So, when looking at an overall record it’s about the body of work. So I’m not saying its okay to go out there and wreak havoc and try to make up for it. As long as you can keep yourself balanced, you can keep yourself off the naughty list.

V3: So, more of the good side than the bad is what we’re shooting for, right?

SC: That’s right, as long as the effort is there and the kids are learning from the mistakes they make, they can stay off the naughty list.

V3: So tell me this, how do you happen to visit every single house in the world on Christmas Eve and get it done?

SC: Well that’s Christmas magic, it’s all about the reindeer. Let’s just say Santa Claus has his own personal DeLorean. Let’s just say that I’m a fan of the Back to the Future movies and maybe Spielberg stole a little something from us because-while we don’t call them “jiggawatts”- our reindeer can get up to a certain speed. We don’t call it a flux capacitor, but it kicks in and we’re able to manipulate time and that’s how we’re able to get around the globe to the boys and girls not on the naughty list.

V3: It’s funny you should say that about the speed because that was my very next question to you Santa. What’s the average speed of a full, 9-reindeer pulled sled.

SC: Let’s see if I can answer that accurately. The average speed is the speed of light. And that is how we pull it off.

V3: Wow! That’s the secret, huh?

SC: Yes, that’s the secret, and that allows us to bend time.

V3: So, when you come down that chimney, the old tradition that we have in the United States is to leave a little something to keep you moving throughout the night. Tell me, what’s your most memorable and the strangest snack that’s ever been left for you.

SC: Seaweed chips! And let me tell you…Santa does not enjoy that part of the contract. While there are many sweet and delectable treats left for Santa, the nation is becoming more health conscience and this means more weird, vegan treats are being left on a plate at night. I try to just feed those to the reindeer so I can fulfill my obligation but even the reindeer don’t like the seaweed.

V3: So that’s the one that you remember most? And you don’t want seaweed chips, ever?

SC: Right, they stick to your tongue and while I’m flying around at the speed of light, I can’t shake the taste of the seaweed chips. They get stuck. The note that came with the chips was, “I thought this would help you fit down the chimney”. Wasn’t the greatest note that I’ve ever gotten. I’m glad that the children are concerned about Santa, but the belly goes along with the job.

V3: What do Mrs. Claus and the elves give you for Christmas every year?

SC: Well…other than seaweed chips? When I get home and all the work is done, the gift that I get from them is, silence. Just time to sit back and reflect and feel the joy from all around the world from the work that we’ve done.

V3: What do the elves get for Christmas?

SC: Well, you can imagine, from creating this tech, there’s a lot of leftover inventory and the elves…the elves get their pick of the litter. From everything we make for the boys and girls, there is always extra. And sometimes they will make modifications to those and what they have is a completely unique piece of technology, or toy, or doll and the elves get to tinker and enjoy the fruits of their labor.

V3: Cool, you better be careful or you may lose some of these elves to Apple.

SC: I have a very strict contract with my elves. It’s kind of a lifetime agreement. They get to hang out at the North Pole, drink as much hot chocolate as they want, eat as much candy as they want, and all the free tech in the world. Nobody treats their employees quite like Santa treats his elves.

V3: That’s a pretty sweet deal. So how are we doing with the levels of Christmas spirit nowadays? Are we maintaining or do we need to do better?

SC: The Christmas spirit – this is a tricky spot for Santa to give you an answer. I believe that no matter who or what you believe in, the Christmas spirit can be maintained through loving one another and appreciating what you have. It’s not about the presents that Santa brings. So as long as we, as a whole, maintain that position, then the Christmas spirit will be alive and well. But if you want presents from Santa, you do have to believe.

V3: I have a question about one of the most famous of your reindeer. Are the other reindeers still jealous of Rudolph? And is he still leading your sleigh with his bright red nose on Christmas Eve?

SC: Rudolph is an old man, just like Santa Claus. But yes, he still leads the sleigh and don’t believe there is any animosity amongst the other reindeer. Now since he has gotten a lot of fame and fortune, he can’t stay away from the paparazzi. I think the other reindeer see that as a burden. With fame comes a great cost. Rudolph can’t go anywhere in the North Pole without others wondering what he’s doing or wondering who he’s dating, and so on and so forth. I think the other reindeer feel sorry for him and appreciate him.

V3: So that gives them a time to enjoy themselves, do their job on Christmas Eve and live it up the rest of the year?

SC: Exactly. While Rudolph shoulders all of the burden. Rudolph does a good job with this. He really does.

V3: So where are you planning to go for vacation after this Christmas season?

SC: Ahhh, well, I like to go to the Bermuda Triangle. You’ve always wondered why people disappear out there…there’s some magic out there and Santa can go there without being recognized.

V3: Enjoy your vacation Santa. We will look forward to many, many more Christmas seasons to come. You bring us a lot of joy on Christmas day.

SC: Ho Ho Ho and a Merrrryyyy Christmas!

I worked in the criminal justice field for 12 years as a probation officer and decided that a change of pace was necessary. I came to work for V3 Magazine In 2013 and they offered me a chance to do something I've always loved and lower my blood pressure simultaneously. When I'm not telling stories, folks can usually find me fishing or trying out new recipes with my family.