Santa shares fes­tive se­crets

With Christ­mas only days away re­porter Emma Whit­taker got a han­dle on what it takes to bring cheer to mil­lions in an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view with Santa Claus.

Central Leader - - NEWS -

HE’S fac­ing one of his tough­est Christ­mases yet but the big day is still on track to come off with­out a hitch, says the man with the reigns to the fes­tive sea­son.

The lead-up to the night when Santa Claus will de­liver mil­lions of gifts to chil­dren and adults across the world has been shaky with the elves de­mand­ing a last minute pay rise and Mrs Claus fail­ing to get into a jolly holly yule­tide mood.

‘‘She keeps say­ing I haven’t got my lis­ten­ing ears on – what­ever they are,’’ Santa says.

‘‘But it will be sorted by Christ­mas. As long as you’ve got your Christ­mas trees up it will all be al­right.’’

Lego is one of the most pop­u­lar gifts be­ing asked for by boys this year, while Pil­low Pets and Bar­bies are favourites for girls.

A newly up­graded fac­tory means Santa can de­liver most of things he finds on wish lists but there are some items that might not end up un­der your tree. ‘‘I can’t bring a new brother or sis­ter, and live­stock are hard. When an­i­mals hop in the sleigh there is a chance they will jump out, it is one of those things you can’t al­ways do.’’

As well as mak­ing gifts, and train­ing the rein­deer in how to by­pass bur­glar alarms, Santa has been busy mak­ing his usual ap­pear­ances at the shop­ping malls.

An in­crease in de­mand for time with the big guy in the last decade has seen him en­list an army of dou­bles to stand in for him at events he can’t at­tend.

The re­cruits spend about half of the year at Santa School in the North Pole.

‘‘They get to meet the elves and Mrs Claus. They sit ex­ams and if they pass they get to rep­re­sent me. That’s why you see dif­fer­ent San­tas in dif­fer­ent malls. You’ll never know which is the real one though.’’

Dur­ing the in­ter­view Santa was able to re­veal his favourite snack.

Two choco­late bis­cuits, one glass of milk, one bowl of water for the rein­deer and one car­rot is ex­pected, but he’ll take what he can get.

‘‘Ru­dolph is the only one that re­quires a car­rot, see­ing as he is the lead rein­deer he needs a car­rot so he can see in the dark,’’ he says.

When asked how he man­ages to pull off so many de­liv­er­ies in one night Santa’s re­sponse is sim­ple. ‘‘It’s magic,’’ he says. Magic dust also comes in handy for get­ting into homes with­out chim­neys, he says.

Get­ting ready for Christ­mas takes all year and Santa says there will only just be time for a quick hol­i­day in Hawaii.

Photo: EMMA WHIT­TAKER

Check­ing twice: Sa­man­tha West-Walker, 4, goes over her Christ­mas wish list with Santa Claus at one of his shop­ping mall vis­its.

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