Magic of Santa: I can do wonderful things
Santa, you've lost weight! So exclaimed the children when the jolly old elf popped in at the Frog & Onion Pub and Restaurant.
He's been visiting the Dockyard venue every Sunday in the run-up to Christmas for the last 18 years. He attributed the weight loss mostly to nagging from Mrs Claus.
“She's always on me about the cookies,” he said. “She's worried I might get stuck down a chimney one day. So I have lost a few pounds. I'm not doing anything special, just trying to cut back a bit on the holiday treats.”
He said he planned to properly enjoy any treats left for him as journeyed from house to house on Christmas Eve — when Mrs Claus won't be around.
“The children get so disappointed if I don't try their cookies,” he said with a wink.
Here's the rest of our exclusive interview with Santa Claus.
Being Santa sounds like a thankless job, and the work is unrelenting. Why do you do it?
The children are beautiful. They are absolutely the reason I do it.
Do you get unusual requests from the children?
Sometimes. Last week there was a young lady who wanted a horse and a dog — a very tall order. We said we'd have to see about that. Hay is very expensive. Most of the children are wonderful. Sometimes they come in and say they don't want anything, just the world to be happy or their families to be happy. That's nice. At the Frog & Onion, we've seen them grow up over the years. Some of them came in as babies and are now bringing their own children.
Santa, I've always wanted to ask this. How does Santa manage to get to all the houses in the world in one night?
When you are a spirit you can do spiritual things. That's what I am, a spirit, and I can do wonderful things.
What is the best gift Santa has ever got?
The best gift is for Mrs Claus to be nice to me.
How many hundreds of years have you and Mrs Claus been married?
The actual number of years, I can't remember, but it has been a LONG time.
How did you first meet?
She was a toymaker in my workshop and I saw her.
What are the elves like?
Most of them are OK. There are a couple I need to yell at now and then.
Do you ever get to take a vacation?
The vacation is Christmas Eve when I get to travel all over the world. Otherwise, you are just making sure that things are going well in the workshop. That is work.
Ever have any problems with the sled breaking down?
No, the elves in Santa's workshop take care of it pretty well and make sure it is in operational form.
What is your favourite stop?
Bermuda, of course. I like its people. They are friendly and pleasant and of course, the ocean is beautiful and so is the Island.
Any Christmas mishaps over the years?
Not really. The biggest concern is germs. When you have a kid that is sick with a runny nose and they want to sit on your lap, Santa has to say, now hold on there ... Santa can't afford to get sick. I have millions of children depending on me.
What is your favourite Christmas treat?
A: I like pies, but the cookies and milk are my favourite. I am preferable to oatmeal cookies.
Do you give a better gift if the child leaves oatmeal cookies out?
That wouldn't be nice, so I try not to do that.
What about the reindeer? They look like such sweet creatures. Are they really ornery to work with?
They are very easy-going creatures. They all know what they have to do. They know they have to behave for Santa Claus. Rudolph is the favourite. He controls the rest of them so he is our leader.
What do you do after Christmas?
After Christmas is a busy time because now you are preparing for the next Christmas. You have to make sure you know what is going on and what children are going to want a year from now.
What have you learnt in your long career as Santa Claus?
I have learnt that people are basically good. Given an opportunity to show their goodness, they will.