Spreading his Santa magic

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Ho, ho, ho . . . Father Christmas greets the crowds at the Timaru Christmas Parade

He’s a man who needs no introduction, and despite it being his busiest time of the year, Santa spared the time this week to answer five questions from The Courier

Aren’t you hot in that red suit and black boots?
I know the outfit looks like it would be more suited to a northern hemisphere Christmas, but honestly, with today’s modern moisture-wicking, tummy-tucking, breathable fabrics I’m really quite cool and comfortable. Otherwise, I suppose “Ho Ho Ho” would be more like “Hot Hot Hot”, and no-one wants to see that on their Christmas cards.

What impact has has the air pollution/logburner issue in Timaru had on your job?
Honestly, it seems like every year there are fewer and fewer chimneys, and so many of them now are those skinny metal flues rather than a generously-sized brick chimney. I know that worries children – when they’re chatting to me at shopping malls and stores they ask how I’m going to get into their home. I can’t give too much away, but there’s a certain Santa magic created by sleeping children that means I can deliver their presents, regardless of whether there’s a chimney.

Do you eat the cookies and milk that children leave out for you?
Well, clearly you don’t get to my size without the occasional biscuit or six. Christmas Eve is a big night, and I need to keep my strength up. I’m in and out of the sleigh, up and down chimneys, carrying parcels. So yes, a few snacks are always welcome. And don’t forget some carrots for the reindeer. Otherwise they’re into my biscuits the second I’ve shot down a chimney for a delivery.

Have you ever been caught delivering presents?
I’ve had a few close calls, but Santa magic means that if a child does wake up, they don’t see me, they see their mum or dad. So they don’t realise they’ve actually seen the real Santa.

What’s the best part of the job?
It’s knowing that as long as there are still children who believe in Santa, the magic of Christmas will never disappear. Mrs Claus embroidered me a cushion which says “If you don’t believe, you don’t receive”, and that pretty much sums it up.

Merry Christmas, everyone.