Jolly Old Elf offers insight into the season

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By Carolyn Ten Broeck

Editor’s Note: It was a quiet Monday morning at the Williston Pioneer  when we heard a clamor at our back door. To our surprise, we found Santa Claus checking our recycling bin to see if we recycle. After a greeting, we asked if he could visit for a few minutes and perhaps answer some questions. Although he was on a tight schedule, he agreed.


Williston Pioneer: What brought you to Williston so early in December?


Santa Claus: I was doing my check-it twice rounds.


WP: What were your findings here?


SC: The majority of  Willistonians were very good this year. According to what I read in the Williston Pioneer, crime rates are down this year. That means the chief of police will get something special in his stocking.


WP: Were there any surprises?


SC: Oh, there’s always a few people who pretend to be good, but I know the truth. You can’t pull the wool over Santa’s eyes.


WP: Which of your many names do you prefer?


SC: Kris Kringle, but I am known by many: Papa Noel, Father Christmas, Sinterclaus


WP: Why Kris Kringle?


SC: It sounds happy to me, cheerful. It sounds crisp and clean like new fallen snow.


WP: What was your childhood like?


SC: I was always tinkering, taking things apart, making things for friends and family.


WP: What was the first thing you made?

SC: A train.


WP: Who received it?

SC: My grandfather.


WP: What kind of child were you?

SC: Quiet, but friendly.


WP: Did you ever get into trouble?


SC: Never. I was always a good child. I obeyed my parents. I did my chores. I ate my vegetables. I carry those traits today and believe all children should respect their parents and obey. When deciding if children are naughty or nice, I look back to my own childhood and weigh everyone against it.


WP: How did you decide to start taking presents around the world?


SC: It started in my own community. I had a talent for tinkering and saw the joy it brought to children in my community. As I made these children smile, I knew I could do more. I wanted to do more. It grew from there.


WP: Why is the North Pole your home?

SC: It’s easier for travel because everything is south of me.


WP: How did you get the elves to come work for you?

SC: They sought me out because they had a gift for tinkering. They were unhappy in cookie production.


WP: Tell us about the reindeer.


SC: There are eight-nine counting Rudolph. They are strong, magnificent animals. They’re loyal.


WP: How do they fly?

SC: Trade secret. (Santa winks)


WP: Do you and your elves make all the toys or are some bought?

SC: All the toys are assembled but sometimes we have to outsource the material.


WP: Does that include electronics?

SC: Sometimes.


WP: What’s favorite toy to make?

SC: Traditional Christmas toys.


WP: Such as?

SC: Simple ones. Cars, trains,  dolls. Things that don’t require batteries.  I have found it it is the simple things that bring the most joy.


WP; Do you have a favorite game?

SC: Chess. Mrs. Claus has become quite the opponent. She challenges every day, in every way.


WP: Speaking of Mrs. Claus, how did you meet here?

SC: I saw her ice skating.  I had to meet her so I skated in front of her and fell. She laughed and then reached me her hand.  I’ve been holding it ever since.


WP: Any children?

SC: No. We adopted the elves and consider them our children.


WP: You get lots of cookies and milk

SC: Yes, of course. The children take time to make them, it would be rude not to. I enjoy every bite and sip.


WP: Favorite cookie?

SC: Chocolate chip. But they’re all good. Sometimes I get fruit, like bananas. Mrs. Claus likes that since she’s always nag . . . . reminding me to eat healthier.


WP; Do you lose weight after Christmas?

SC: Yes, but not much because Mrs. Claus is a good cook.


WP: How do you get around the world in 24 hours?

SC: Magic.


WP: What kind?

SC: The kind that makes you believe and keeps you a child  at heart. We fly on the wings of childlike wonder.


WP: Is there anyone in Williston that you especially remember from his or her childhood?

SC: One man I watched over as a lad was named Gerald. I’ve read in your paper that he grew up to be the mayor of Williston.

I have to admit I started having doubts about him when he was younger–especially when he stole watermelons from his uncle’s patch. And then there was the time he put a live chicken in an outhouse….we don’t have enough time to talk about Gerald. I’m just happy he redeemed himself later.


WP: What’s the most unusual request?

SC: A young girl asked me to find a husband for her mom.


WP: Did you?

SC: Santa’s not a matchmaker.


WP: What’s this about someone catching Mommy kissing you under the mistletoe?

SC: No comment. (Santa immediately got up and headed for the front door at this point. But he turned around and waved.”

SC: Happy Christmas to all!


The letter that Santa read while at the newspaper office was from   Carey Legler, a second grader at Joyce Bullock Elementary.

It read:

Dear Santa,

What I want for Christmas is a robot puppy named Zoomer.  I want Zoomer because you can say something and he’ll do it.  He also looks so Adorable.  Zoomer does nto need any food!  I want some horse coloring books.  I love to draw and color horses!  Horses are my favoret animal.  I want some dog & raining books. So I can read about dogs.  I can train my wild dog Cama.  When I become a vet I can get the dogs tame.