Santa Claus is coming to town

Santa Claus is coming to town

By Mary Dennehy

DESPITE a very busy schedule, Santa Claus took his annual call from The Echo newspaper ahead of his round the world trip on December 24.

Speaking to The Echo from his Lapland home, Santa sounded jolly and relaxed as he polished his boots and belt buckle in preparation for his global present drop.

In the exclusive interview, Santa said that he is really looking forward to visiting all of the children living in South Dublin County, who have been so good all year – and that his reindeers love flying over the Dublin Mountains and waving to all of their deer friends who live there.

During a rare tea break at this time of the year, Santa took a few minutes to talk with The Echo.

Santa on laptop

How were the last 12 months?

Very busy. Even though Christmas comes just once a year, my workshop is busy from February until December, we have millions of toys to make.

Ms Claus and myself, the elves and the reindeers all take the month of January off to relax and catch up on our sleep.

Some of the elves head off on their holidays somewhere sunny, usually Gran Canaria or Lanzarote, but I like to stay in Lapland and sit in front of the fire, warming my toes and watching television. 

What is Christmas all about? 

The most important thing at Christmas is that people, young and old, are happy and peaceful and enjoy spending time with family and friends.

Getting presents is just one part of the Christmas celebration, and at Christmas people should be grateful for all of the things they have year round like family, friends and school.

How are you preparing for your big trip on Christmas Eve?

Well the most important job is making sure that all of my reindeers are happy and healthy. I checked on them just before The Echo called and Prancer, Dancer, Donner, Blitzen, Dasher, Vixen, Comment, Cupid and of course Rudolph are all fit and excited to go.

Dancer is particularly excited and has had the hiccups for the last week! We were watching the coverage of Storm Desmond on the news last week and are happy to see the weather has gotten calmer over Dublin. However, my sleigh is very strong and can keep me and the reindeers safe in any type of weather. 

Do you ever get lost? 

No, when you’ve been delivering presents as long as I have you learn the route off by heart. It is a long journey but because lots of countries have different time zones it makes my job a lot easier.

We will be flying around doing trial runs before the big day and also checking right up until Christmas Eve that children are not pouting and are being good and nice.

There have been some sightings of Santa around the area lately, is this you doing your trial runs?

Ho, ho, ho it sure is and even though I am very good at moving around without anybody seeing me there are always a few eagle-eyed kids who spot me in their gardens or hear my reindeers on their roof or my sleighs bells jingling in the night sky.

Some children are wondering how Santa gets into apartments, since there is no chimney? 

Children should remember that Santa and his reindeers are magic so they can get into any home. I have a magic key which allows me to go through any door so children living in apartments should not worry, I’ll be able to get in.

Have you ever got stuck up a chimney? 

I got stuck in a chimney once in Tallaght and I was very lucky that the fire wasn’t lighting. I had eaten a lot of Christmas pudding in a lot of houses and I couldn’t fit my full belly down the chimney!

The reindeers had to hold Rudolf’s back legs and lower him down the chimney so that he could try and push me through. It was a very funny sight and eventually Rudolf managed to push me through and I was able to continue delivering all of my presents. 

What treat do you like being left out by children? 

Definitely Christmas pudding or a mince pie, and the reindeers love a carrot. I used to like a glass of Guinness but I have to be very careful these days or else the gardai could catch me for drink driving.

If kids want to leave me out a drink, a glass of milk would be lovely. I have to watch what I eat or I’ll get stuck in a chimney again.

Last Christmas, I ate too many goodies and all the buttons on my red suit jacket popped off. I actually lost one of my buttons in a house in Clondalkin and I couldn’t find it. Maybe it’s still there? 

How do you relax after Christmas Day? 

I relax in the knowing that there are so many happy people in the world and so many good children who are helping their parents every day and saying “thank you” for everything that they have. 

Any final message for kids in South County Dublin? 

I wish them and their families a very happy Christmas and good luck for 2016 – and remember to go to bed early on Christmas Eve. Ho, Ho, Ho!

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