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An interview with Santa Claus
An interview with Santa Claus
santa pic
Santa gets the lowdown on a youngster’s Christmas wish list while paying a visit to the Santas Around the World Exhibit in downtown Great Bend recently. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

Editor’s note: Brian Knapp is a Canadian gentleman who has portrayed Santa Claus. He was questioned by the youngsters, grilled really, about being St. Nick.

Below is the account he provided to the Great Bend Tribune of his being interviewed:

Sometimes I have to pinch myself, because I am literally living the dream, and I say that without a hint of sarcasm. Today Christmas came early for me. I received a wonderful gift that all came about because of a friend in the village thinking of me.

He had been asked if he knew anybody who might be Santa for the children in the Blockley Junior school. 

He thought of me, and for that I will be forever grateful. After all, Santa lives in the North Pole and doesn’t speak like any of the other adults in the village. He is Canadian! and I went to great lengths to emphasize this point when questioned, and boy oh boy were there questions…

Q. 1. How old are you?

A. Really really old. So old I stopped counting over 300 years ago because I thought it was pointless.

Q. 2. Are you immortal?

A. Boy I sure hope so, but at times I get pretty tired and a bit run down. 

Q. 3. What’s your favorite football team?

A. I don’t watch “football,” I only watch hockey, as I am Canadian….

Q. 4. What’s the biggest gift you ever gave somebody?

A. Have you ever heard of the Queen Mary? Well it wasn’t that but it was just as big. But I can also tell you bigger isn’t better. There are much better gifts that are more meaningful and smaller.

Q. 5. How big are elves? 

A. Generally some where between 30 and 65 cm (12-26 inches). But we only use the bigger elves to work on the big presents like the Queen Mary, or we would never get the presents done in time.

Q. 6. How many elves do you have working for you?

A. I stopped keeping track as many retire and others are hired to support the cause. Otherwise we could not do what we need to do?

Q. 7. Do you live on a mountain?

A. No because the reindeer need some space to get rolling, like a runway at an airport. A mountain would not give us enough space to get the sled up in the air.

Q. 8. Is that a fake beard?

A. Yes, however if you don’t believe, you don’t receive… 

Q. 9. What’s that funny smell?

A. I do not know what you are referring to…? (My friend had sprayed a lavender disinfectant on the beard the night before when we were trying the suit on.)

One of their teachers said, “I think it’s probably Santa’s cologne!” Priceless.

Q. 10. What’s your favorite reindeer ?

A. Blitzen, but please do not tell Rudolph as he is the most famous. (But who can resist a name like Blitzen, I mean isn’t it just the best!?)

Q. 11. How do you get your reindeer?

A. That is a great question. Well there used to be a lot more to choose from, and in Canada we call them Caribou, where as in Lapland they are called reindeer. They live a long time and so far the team have been doing well, but sooner or later they will probably want to retire as well, don’t you think? You search for a David Attenborough documentary on Caribou and reindeer. I bet it exists.

Q. 12. Do you drink the whisky my dad leaves out for you Christmas eve?

A. I have a special flask I pour the gifts of alcohol into, and enjoy it long after I get back to the North Pole. I have a huge job to do on Christmas Eve and it would be irresponsible for me to partake in the middle of the most important work day of the year. Drinking and driving just does not happen. 

Q. 13. In the song I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus, were you kissing somebody’s mother?

A. No that was their father dressed up like me.

Q. 14. How cold does it get at the North Pole?

A. Not as cold as it used to get. I think -50 degrees C (-58 Fahrenheit) is as cold as I can remember.

Q. 15. What’s the hottest it has been there?

A. This summer was pretty warm, just like I understand it was here where you live. It’s becoming a real problem, but we are working on it. 

Q. 16. Does Mrs. Claus ever come with you?

A. No but she sure is happy when I pull in after a long night out making deliveries. She pours be a glass of the whisky in my special magic flask and then I go to bed and sleep for a few days to get caught up.

Q. 17. How long do you work? 

A. I put in a full day of 24 hours which starts was on as the sun goes down and travel in the dark around the globe.

Q. 18. How do you get into my house? 

A. Every house is different, sometimes I have to use the magic key, other times I go down the chimney. Some people don’t have chimneys. In those cases it’s always the door. 

Q. 19. How do you know if somebody has been naughty?

Sometimes the parents or the children tell me in letters.

Back up question: But what it they are lying?!

A. I have to trust that they are honest and telling me the truth. You will be happy to know all of the children in this room and in fact the entire school have made my job easy this year because you have all been good. Thankfully I will not need to load any coal in the sled this year.

Q. 20. Can I touch your tummy?

A. Yes of course.

“It feels like a pillow”!


Q. 21. How did you get here?

A. Have you ever watched Star Trek? It’s kind of like that. The transporter. I close my eyes and visualize where I need to be and then I appear there. Dorothy also does it in the Wizard of Oz, when she closes her eyes, clicks her heels and says “ there’s no place like home.”

Q. 22. Is your toy sack like the Tardis in Dr. Who? (Teacher explains that it is a portal that opens up into a gigantic cavernous space.) 

A. I have never watched Dr. Who, but it sure sounds like the same thing. It really is a matter of magic. 

Q. 23. What is your real name? Santa Claus, Kris Kringle, Father Christmas, Saint Nick?

A. That depends on who you ask and what country is asking, like where you are from… The answers vary, but in the end it’s always me. 

Q. 24. Which do you prefer, the cookies or the minced tarts?

A. That really depends on the calibre of the cookies. Some people leave me incredible cookies where as others are simply not very good bakers. Because I know their hearts are in the right place and have good intentions, it is the thought that counts. The same applies to minced tarts. Some are better than others.

Q. 25. What’s the worst cookie you ever ate?

A. There have been a lot of bad ones, just to many to single out just one. In spite of this as a courtesy I always take a nibble as a gesture of appreciation and thanks. People are kind and I appreciate and respect that. It’s the least I can do. Besides if I ate every cookie and tart left out for me, I would have a bigger problem than I already have. ( I point to and pat my bulging belly )

Q. 26. Do you get presents at Christmas?

A. I get the very best present of all, I get the joy of making people happy. Have you ever heard the expression, ‘it is better to give than to receive?’ Well it’s true, and the older you get, the more you will come to appreciate just how true it is. When you can give somebody something that helps them or makes them feel loved appreciated and understood, your heart is full of joy and there is nothing better. Trust me on this one. You all make me very happy and that is the greatest gift of all.

There were many more questions that I answered on the fly, and according to the responses from a few of those in the community that gave some feedback, the candid direct Canadian Santa just said it like it is and the children were very happy!

God bless us everyone…

Happy Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Seasons Greetings!

Happy Holidays!