Today, as Christmas is approaching, I caught up with the man responsible for meeting the expectations of millions of children this weekend and had a friendly chat.  He didn’t have long, as it is a very busy time of year, but did take about 5 minutes out of his day to talk with the Times.

Times: Hi, Mr. Claus, thank you for taking this time out of your busy day to answer some of our questions.

Claus: Ho Ho Ho, No problem!  Please, call me Nick!

T: Uh, no that’s ok.

C: Suit yourself.  But hurry up.

T: Ok.  So how many Christmas presents do you typically make?

C: We make a toy for every good boy and girl under the age of 6.  Currently there are over 250 million children in countries I’m allowed to travel, and about 13% of them meet my criteria.

T: 13%!  That sounds like there’s a lot of bad kids out there!

C: My standards are very high.  For example, kids who don’t eat all their veggies are being naughty!

T: Wow.  Ok, so that’s still about 30 million presents, how do you fit them on your sleigh?

C: People often ask me this question.  It’s not the typical hula-hoop or baseball glove those Hollywood movies portray, the actual toys are much smaller.  Each child gets a marble.

T: A marble?  That sounds like it’d be unbelievably heavy.

C: Actually, as I’m flying, I’m closer to outer space.  Everything’s weightless up there!

T: I see.  So you just throw the marbles out of your sleigh at 80,000 feet?

C: You got it.  It’s a good thing my aim is so good, I used to drop them on people’s heads by mistake, and my insurance costs are through the roof!

T: Did people die?

C: Yeah, that was a darker time, I’d really rather not talk about it.

T: O….kay.  So, after your big day, what do you like to do in your off time?

C: After a typical season, I take about 3 months to hibernate.  Then in mid-April, Mrs. Claus and I usually have a two month long session of–

T: Oh, my!

C: Yes, she’s my little Ho Ho Ho.  Really into some freaky stuff, too.  Usually there’s a few elves that are involved, and of course there’s the–

T: I think we get the picture.  Anywho, so uhh…

C: You’re turning red!

T: Yeah.  So, uh, have you ever missed a deadline?

C: We’ve never missed a child’s toy.  One year in the 70’s, we accidentally made twice as many marbles as we needed, and the sleigh was running a bit slower than usual due to all the weight.  I was doing everything I could to lighten the load, and by the time I got halfway through Australia I was buck naked and threw 8 of my best elves out into the Indian Ocean.  That sure was embarrassing!

T: So who was responsible for the overproduction?

C: My Head Elf, Loopy.  Which kind of worked out, because I threw him off first.

T: Well, this has certainly been an eye-opening interview!

C: Yeah, don’t judge, pal.  Look, I gotta get back to work soon, so…

T: Yes sir, may I ask just one more question?

C: Sure.

T: Okay.  This is a little tough to ask, but I’m going to ask anyway.  How are you dealing with the fact that you aren’t real?

C: Not real?  What do you mean?

T: You’re a fictional character, made up for children’s stories and you don’t exist.

C: I…I don’t?  Why would you… I don’t…??

T: No.  Well, Mr. Claus, thanks again for taking time from your busy schedule to talk with us today.  Merry Christmas!

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