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Local Flavour: Sandra Claus
Santa Claus may get all the credit for making children's Christmas wishes come true, but without the support of his long-suffering wife, Sandra, he'd never make it out the door.
"He's a hard working man, but I swear, sometimes I think he'd forget his beard if wasn't attached to his face," she tells the South Delta Leader, in an exclusive interview.
While her husband spends most of the year tending to his herd of flying reindeer, it's Mrs. Claus who makes sure things run smoothly around the North Pole.
"It really is a year-round job," she says with a sigh.
It's Mrs. Claus who maintains Santa's naughty-or-nice list and it's up to her to make sure Santa has everything he needs for his big night.
But most of her time is spent overseeing the North Pole's gift manufacturing operations at the North Pole, where she manages a staff of thousands of elves.
The vast industrial complex has undergone a massive overhaul in recent years to bring it up to modern standards.
"Thanks to advances in robotics and automation, we've been able to greatly improve our productivity," she says.
Mrs. Claus has also outfitted Santa's sleigh with the latest in GPS technology this year.
"Coordinating the delivery of millions of presents can be a logistical nightmare, and Santa doesn't have the best sense of direction," she says. "We've had to rely on Rudolph's red nose in the past, but this year we'll have global positioning satellites to guide us."
When Mrs. Claus does have a spare moment, she says she likes to spend it in the kitchen.
"I love to bake and Santa loves to eat," she says. "It's a good arrangement."
To prepare her husband for his big trip on Christmas Eve, Mrs. Claus says she makes sure to send him out with ample supply of her cranberry white chocolate chip cookies.
Of course, those don't last very long, as Santa works up a big hunger delivering Christmas gifts to boys and girls around the world.
"He really appreciates it when the children leave him milk and cookies," says Mrs. Claus.
But while her husband gets the glory, Mrs. Claus says she is happy to stay at home and enjoy a well-earned night off on Christmas Eve.
"It's nice to have the place to myself, for once."
Dried cranberry white chocolate chip cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
Mix butter, sugar, vanilla and eggs together in a large bowl with an electric mixer. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Stir the dry mixture into the wet ingredients, half at a time, until evenly mixed. Stir in the cranberries, white chocolate chips, and nuts. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours (or overnight). Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly butter two large baking sheets. Shape the dough into 1.5-inch-diameter balls and place on baking sheet, leaving about 2.5 inches in between. Bake on centre oven rack for about 17 minutes.