- BC Games
Coffee with: Santa Claus
The familiar face of the jolly old elf in his red suit and white fur trim evokes a twinge of childhood memories and magic. Santa Claus breaks this trance by moving a white glove to his face to brush away the cookie crumbs from his beard.
"Sorry about that," he says sheepishly. "I got hooked on these things back in the twenties."
Nevertheless, Santa says he's conscious of changing attitudes about the iconic snack and it's potential health effects.
"These days children are leaving out low fat soy milk and organic gluten-free biscuits. Keeps me trim and proper," he says, slapping a hand against his belly in a way that's reminiscent of his 1823 biography, 'Twas The Night Before Christmas.
Of course, Santa gets plenty of exercise during this, his busiest time of the year. Not only does he get ready for the physical strain of visiting countless children on Christmas Eve, there's the mental preparation of psyching himself up to make the whirlwind tour de globe in one night.
But after hundreds of Christmases—Santa says he's a little fuzzy on the exact number—it's gotten to be old hat.
"Oh sure, each Christmas there's a bump or two in the road," he says. "Like that time we had to get Rudolph to lead the way through… oh, you've heard that story?"
Santa, who also goes by the names Sinterklaas or St. Nicholas depending on who's interviewing him, credits Mrs. Claus for modernizing his sleigh and outfitting it with the latest communications gizmos.
"Sandra likes me to check in after I've delivered the presents so she can start cooking the celebratory feast, bless her heart," he says. "She knows how hungry I get after working all night."
The elves also like to throw a little party on Christmas day, after the big man has had a nap of course, and de-stress after the big production push to finish toys for all the good little girls and boys around the world.
"The egg nog is flowing pretty freely by then, let me tell you," says Santa, breaking into a wide grin.
So, what keeps him going after all these years? Why does Santa Claus continue this tremendous effort, year in and year out with no sign of slowing down?
"I love this job. I love knowing that on Christmas morning a little one is going to wake up, rub the sleep out of their eyes, wander downstairs to the tree shimmering in the darkness, and see that one present with their name on it. It makes it all worthwhile."
• Santa will be appearing at the Tsawwassen Town Centre Mall Dec. 21 to 23, from noon to 6 p.m., where all the good boys and girls are invited to have their picture taken with him. For more information, visit www.TsawwassenTownCentreMall.com