Name: (The Real) Santa Claus
Hometown: The Hearts of Children
Age: 742 years old (original St. Nicholas)
Family: Mrs. Claus, no biological children, but lots of elves
Profession: Toymaker and Hope-amplifier
PAM: When did Santa first fall in love?
SANTA: There have been moments of puppy love or infatuation, but that was before I met my present Mrs. Claus. I believe in love at first sight, at least with Mrs. Claus.
PAM: How did Santa meet Mrs. Claus? How did you know that she was the one?
SANTA: I met Mrs. Claus in Barnes & Noble in the children’s section. We were both looking for the same children’s book, “The Nutcracker.” She saw it first, and there was only one copy, so I said she could have it. That struck up our conversation, and I knew then and there that we had chemistry. She is the lady whom I choose not to live without.
PAM: Does Mrs. Claus ever get jealous of the reindeer?
SANTA: Mrs. Claus doesn’t get jealous of the reindeer. The issue is when the reindeer sneak into the kitchen to get a fresh cookie or two and then dash out. But Mrs. Claus knows who they are by the hoof prints. Plus, it’s really hard to train a reindeer to run a mop or a Swiffer.
PAM: Do you take her on sleigh rides?
SANTA: I do take her on sleigh rides in the off season. We plan rides together. Sometimes we take the 11th reindeer out for a ride—our warm-weather reindeer. His name is Thunder, as in Harley Thunder.
PAM: You’re a very busy man. How do you balance your work in the workshop and your marriage?
SANTA: Santa is just as busy as the elves at the North Pole. We all work 26 hours a day, and since the workshop is at the top of the world, we can take advantage of the polar rotation, time shift, date line, longitude and telepresence. This helps me work longer hours and still have the energy to do a good job. But I have to remember that being really busy, as in too busy, puts one into the situation of being what the letters b-u-s-y stand for: being under Satan’s yoke.
PAM: When you and Mrs. Claus have issues or miscommunication, how do you resolve them?
SANTA: Miscommunication usually means that Santa was only listening with his ears and not with my eyes. I need to listen with both ears and with both eyes. I do the same thing when there is a child on my lap. I’m within a few inches of the child’s face. All my attention and my hearing is for the child, and I think the child knows they’re at the center of the universe. I’m here to provide the most magical experience I can.
PAM: What’s one thing you’ve learned from being in relationships?
SANTA: You never take the relationship for granted. You must always keep focused on what is best for the relationship for both individuals. With Mrs. Claus, if I put her as number one in my life, then any problems and issues I have myself will be greatly diminished. It’s the same when I’m dealing with the elves. I try to be heart-centered and treat everyone with sincerity and respect.
Santa has a lot of opportunities to be the best he can be, not only for Mrs. Claus, but for all the elves as well. E-l-f stands for extra lovable friend. When you get a present from Santa, it usually says “Love, Santa.” That meaning of l-o-v-e? Labor of various elves.
Pam Whitfield is a teacher, writer, horse show judge and spoken word artist. In 2011, she won the Minnesota professor of the year award from Carnegie Foundation.