Getting an interview with Santa is harder than trying to rip open a bag of school snacks.
There were emails and phone calls and letters arriving filled with snow flakes and smelling faintly of cinnamon. However the day arrived and a courier sent a list of instructions; ‘He must be addressed as Santa or St Nick and there should be a bowl of cookies and a glass of milk on hand for refreshment (best keep extra cookies on hand just in case).’
Conditions met, I arrange to meet the man himself.
The first thing I notice about Santa is his size. He’s big. All over. From his shoulders to his meaty arms and his magnificent beard that almost sparkles white.
“Hullo!” he booms. Santa nods, winks and smiles before sitting down. “Sorry for all the subterfuge,” he says with a voice only slightly lower than before. “You wouldn’t believe the amount of people who come up to me and ask if I want to play Santa at their Christmas Party!” He laughs and the sound rings across the room. Heads turn, people start to murmur. Santa coughs and takes a sip of his chilled milk.
“Whoops. I’m a bit of a noisy bugger.”
When asked how his trip was, he smiles and leans in.
“Everyone thinks I travel by reindeer everywhere I go, but the truth is,” he looks side to side and back at me again. “I have my own plane.”
As it turns out, Santa is a skilled pilot. When he’s not busy with Christmas season, Santa spends time fixing up his beloved 1930 de Havilland DH.82 Tiger Moth plane. “The elves hate going up with me!” He smiles. “I do this terrific trick whereby I fly upside down through the Himalyas. It’s fantastically fun but one or two of the elves have been known to lose a few candy canes...and I don’t mean out of their pockets!” His booming Ho Ho Ho rings out again and this time more heads turn and the murmurs become louder.
“Oh, I’ve done it again.” Santa says. “Quick, you better ask me your questions before I get into any more strife.”
I ask him the question everyone wants to know. Does he really know and visit all the children in the world?
Santa pauses before he answers. “Of course I do. Those who believe in me know that in spite of everything happening around them, there is someone who believes in them and knows they have the power within themselves to be good and kind. I see adults and even older children these days stop believing in me. I wonder if they know that I still think about them and care for them and that I know that even as they grow older, they have the ability to stay on the Good List by being the good and kind people they were as children.”
His loud laugh booms out; “Whoops, I’ve spilled the milk!” I hear loud whispers around me. “Santa?” But by the time I turn back, he’s gone and from above, the roar of the engine of a 1930 Tiger Moth plane.