Every year, as we string Christmas lights up, bring trees into our houses, start playing our favorite Holiday songs on repeat, and cuddle up with the best of the best holiday movies, there’s one person that we’re all waiting for. That’s right, I’m talking about the jolliest man to ever slip into a red suit — Santa Claus! I sat down with the man himself and asked him some fun questions. These are his answers …
SANTA ON BEING SANTA:
Atascadero News Magazine: How does it feel to be Santa Claus?
SANTA: It really truly warms up my heart. Especially when the kids come up to me, it’ll vary from year to year; sometimes, kids’ll see me and won’t come anywhere near me, and the next year they’ll come at me full-throttle and launch themselves at me.
SANTA ON HIS GLORIOUS WHITE BEARD:
ANM: Can you tell me the process about your beard? Is the beard an all-year thing … or?
SANTA: No, my beard comes off on December 27, and I grow a new one every year.
ANM: Do you ever get any kids tugging on that beard?
SANTA: Oh, all the time. And a lot of times when the kids will say, ‘You’re not real,’ I’ll say, ‘pull on the beard.’
SANTA ON KEEPING HIS IDENTITY A SECRET:
ANM: Have there been any run-ins with children?
SANTA: Oh yeah, there’s a few every now and then, you know, but you just give them a little of the magic dust, and most of the time, they go back to sleep, and you’re done.
ANM: Throughout the years, has anyone recognized you when it’s not Christmas?
SANTA: Yeah, that happens, and most of the time, I play it off as a joke, that it’s not really me. I’ll tell them how much nicer Santa is and how he’s a lot jollier person than I am. For some reason, they seem to believe me on that.
SANTA ON SMELLING LIKE CANDY CANES:
ANM: You smell like candy canes. How does that happen?
SANTA: Well, that’s the nice thing about being me. The elves make candy canes, and any of them that get broken, I get to eat. So that’s kind of why I look the way I do. You know, yes, between all the cookies and the broken candy canes, I get to score.
SANTA ON COOKIES:
ANM: So obviously, Santa, you’re a big cookie fan.
SANTA: Oh, favorite food.
ANM: Do you enjoy all types of cookies?
SANTA: Yes. There’s no such thing as a bad cookie.
SANTA ON HIS OTHER FAVORITE EATS:
ANM: Aside from all of the sweets that you get to eat and the hot chocolate and all that stuff, is there anything that you enjoy that isn’t a typical Santa food?
SANTA: Mrs. Claus does make a good lasagna, but that’s not a typical Christmas dinner.
SANTA ON HIS FAVORITE CHRISTMAS ENTERTAINMENT:
ANM: So, does Santa Claus have a favorite Christmas movie?
SANTA: Oh, that’s a good one. I do like “White Christmas.” Old Bing Crosby and the gang. The traditional [film].
ANM: What about a favorite Christmas song?
SANTA: I know this is going to sound funny, but I do like Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas [is You].”
SANTA ON MAKING YOUR CHRISTMAS LIST:
ANM: Are there any tips you have for kids making their Christmas lists?
SANTA: It’s always good if you can send it off. Mrs. Claus always gets to read it first. But if you don’t get it sent off, bring it to me that night that you come to see me, and I’ll make sure like I said, it always goes to Mrs. Claus first. She always gets to read them before I do. And then she puts me in line on them.
SANTA ON MRS. CLAUS:
SANTA: Of course, I can’t go without mentioning Mrs. Claus. She’s the woman behind the man. Between her taking care of me and the reindeer and the elves, I wouldn’t be where I’m at.
ANM: We love her. She’s great. What is that like, having Mrs. Claus behind you all year and then in that final push?
SANTA: I think she is so relieved to get me out of the house all night long. And by that time, the elves are just tuckered out. Most of them are down for the count, so it’s pretty much a quiet night for her.
SANTA ON GETTING READY FOR DECEMBER 24:
ANM: What is your favorite thing to do on December 24 before you get in your sleigh?
SANTA: It’s all about power-relaxing. Because I have that one night ahead of me, and you know, when you’ve got to see over 5,000 houses a minute, it takes a little out of you. You’ve got to be prepared for that.
ANM: How exhilarating is it to be able to go around the whole world every single December 24/25?
SANTA: I always joke that that’s the one day a year I have to work. It’s pretty phenomenal because you watch the sunrise around the world.
SANTA ON HIS REINDEER:
ANM: The reindeer, do they work as well together as we would like to hope?
SANTA: Oh yes, very much so. They’re a great team. It makes me proud to be behind them.
SANTA ON GETTING INTO HOUSES:
ANM: “Are there ever any decorations or anything that you accidentally get all caught up in?”
SANTA: “Oh yes, that happens a lot. And then there’s the soot from the fireplace.”
SANTA ON INTERACTING WITH THE KIDDOS IN THE COMMUNITY:
ANM: What is it like to interact with the kids from Atascadero?
SANTA: The Atascadero kids are good. I like the Atascadero kids. There’s one thing: I wish they would get their hot chocolate after they see me. Because sometimes I end up with a little hot chocolate on me. But no, they’re all good.
Where can you meet Santa?
- Light up the Downtown in the Sunken Gardens on December 1 from 5:30 to 8 p.m.
- Winter Wonderland in the Sunken Gardens on December 8 from 5 to 9 p.m.
- Holiday Magic at the Charles Paddock Zoo on December 16 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
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