I met Santa for the first time when I was four years old. It was 1956 and my Aunt took me on the Connecticut Company Bus to G. Fox & Comapny in Hartford. When I got to the 10th floor my eye almost popped out. Toys of every description filled an entire floor. Over the years I had thought about many questions that I wanted to ask Santa directly, and I was excited when I was granted an interview shortly before the workshop at Wickham Park opened for the day last Tuesday.
Timothy Becker: Santa, what brings you to the Manchester branch of the North Pole?
Santa: We come here every year for 10 short days. We come to give the local children a chance to visit with me and to tell me about the last minute things that they want.
Timothy Becker: What are the most popular gift requests this year?
Santa: This year the iPad and the iPod Touch are very popular as well as “Skylanders.”
Timothy Becker: What are “Skylanders”?
Santa: I have no idea. I'll have to check with my Head Elf and find out.
Timothy Becker: I have always wanted to ask, how do reindeer fly?
Santa: Well...it is by the magic of the love of the children. It is the only way that we could do it it in one night. It is through the power of love of the children that reindeer are able to fly.
Timothy Becker: I have also wondered for many years how you are able to get into homes with your big sack of toys that don't have a chimney. How do you do it?
Santa: I have a magic key. That is why I tell the children that it is very important that they go to bed early on Christmas eve so that I can get in, leave the toys and scoot along.
Timothy Becker: Will you be looking for cookies to be left out or do you prefer a low calorie snack instead?
Santa: Well... Mrs Claus has had me on a calorie free diet since early August. I make up for it on Christmas, so if the children can leave out whatever is their favorite cookie, I'd appreciate it.
Timothy Becker: In what country do you start your rounds and where do you finish up?
Santa: Thank goodness for time zones. I start on the far side of Asia and work my way around the world. That is why we are here only until December 23rd!
Timothy Becker: Do you have any plans for December 26th? Is it a work day for you?
Santa: Well it is a day of calming down. We do paperwork that day. There isn't time for any rest. After all we are just a Mom and Pop shop!
Timothy Becker: Do you have a message for boys and girls of all ages this year?
Santa: I always get the request for world peace. I let the children know that it begins with each and every one of them. The only way that we can achieve it is for each and every one of them to be kind and to love each other.