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?
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!