Santa will be making his annual trip around the world this Saturday night. Most of us dream about such a journey, but Santa is working under time constraints with a fully loaded sleigh and just nine reindeer (now that Rudolph has joined his ranks). He sat down with the Covington News recently to answer questions about himself and his tricks of the trade.
CovNews: Thank you so much, Mr. Claus, for taking time out of your busy schedule for this interview.
Santa: Ho! Ho! Ho! It's my pleasure. I love visiting Newton County and talking to the people here.
CovNews: It's an honor, Mr. Claus. We're really big fans of yours here at the Covington News.
Santa: Call me Santa, please!
CovNews: Alright, Santa. Let's get started. We know you have a busy weekend ahead of you. That pocket watch you have there looks like it tells more than the time.
Santa: My pocket watch is very, very special. If you look closely past the numbers and the hands, you can see all of gears and cogs moving. Keep looking and you'll see my elves working as fast as they can to make toys for all the good boys and girls.
CovNews: (leaning in for a closer look at the watch) Oh, my goodness! You really can see the elves!
Santa: Yes, it's filled with the magic of the holiday season.
CovNews: It sure is, Santa! Now, the question on everyone's mind is...
Santa: How do I get into houses without chimneys?
CovNews: How did you know?
Santa: I've been delivering presents for many years now and it's a real worry for some children.
CovNews: So, how do you do it? More magic?
Santa: Why, yes, indeed! I have a key here that's as magical as my pocket watch. Its magic works just one night each year and only for me. This key will get me inside any home, anywhere in the world.
CovNews: That's pretty impressive, Santa. Now, that brings us to another burning question. What's your favorite kind of cookie?
Santa: The round kind! Ho!Ho!Ho! But I wouldn't turn down a square cookie either.
CovNews: I bet the families in our area will have good treats out for you this Christmas Eve.
Santa: I know that's true from experience and I need those cookies to keep me going Christmas Eve.
CovNews: What's your favorite holiday movie?
Santa: I'm partial to "A Christmas Story." That Ralphie makes me laugh. I've been telling children "You'll shoot your eye out, kid!" ever since I first saw that movie in the 1980s.
CovNews: So no Red Rider BB gun with a compass in the stock for the kids out there?
Santa: Not unless mom and dad say so.
CovNews: You're a wise man, Santa. What's your favorite holiday story?
Santa: Well, it's a poem, not a story, but I love it just the same - Clement Clark Moore's "An Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas." 189 years and not much has changed about how I do things.
CovNews: Really? Do you use the internet at all now? Or social media, like Facebook or Twitter?
Santa: Well, I never needed any of those frills to see who was naughty or nice. My elves really enjoy their laptops though. Helps them work faster when they're not playing Words with Friends and Angry Birds, that is.
CovNews: How can families follow you on Christmas Eve?
Santa: I recommend using NORAD. They have a website just for following me. It's www.noradsanta.org. They've been tracking my Christmas Eve flight since 1955. Millions of families and media outlets use this website to get up to the minute news on my whereabouts, but children should be in bed on time Christmas Eve. I don't show up until everyone is sleeping. That's a rule.
Visit covnews.com for a link to NORAD's website.
CovNews: It's hard to get to sleep when you know Santa is coming!
Santa: I know it is, but rules are rules.
CovNews: How do you make it around the world in just one night?
Santa: It's more like two nights when you consider time zones and the earth's rotation, but that's technical talk. I like to credit my efficiency to much practice, hard work and, of course, a little magic.
CovNews: Do you ever worry you won't make all your deliveries?
Santa: I always make my deliveries. Always.
CovNews: Is there anything you'd like to say to the children of Newton County and surrounding areas?
Santa: Why, yes. I'd like to remind them that being good is always an option. Even when it's July and Christmas is the farthest thing from their minds.
CovNews: How do your reindeer fly? Magic again?
Santa: Don't be silly! They fly because they eat specially grown oats developed by elf scientists.
CovNews: Oh, well, that makes sense. One more question, Santa. Where do you park your reindeer and sleigh when you visit Covington before Christmas like at the Lighting of the Courthouse, the Christmas parade and to take pictures with children?
Santa: I was wondering when that would come up. I leave my sleigh and reindeer in a warehouse outside of town. The warehouse is temperature controlled and has a snow machine so my reindeer feel nice and comfy while they wait for me to take care of business here. It's in a secret location and guarded by commando elves.
CovNews: Wow, Santa. You are even cooler than we ever imagined.
Santa: I get that a lot.