First Posted: 12/18/2009
Editors Note: Although not a resident of Mount Airy, this weeks personality profile is a frequent visitor to the community, particularly at this time of year. This week, were doing a special question and answer profile with that jolly old elf himself, St. Nick.
Mount Airy News: Wow, its hard to believe we managed to get an interview with you, Mr. Claus, especially at this time of year.
Santa Claus: Ho ho ho, please, call me Santa. And Its my pleasure to do this interview. Mount Airy is one of my favorite places to visit in the whole world.
SC: Oh yes. I love the area. Pilot Mountain is one of the most notable landmarks anywhere I go. Even from my sleigh, way up in the air, I can see it from miles away. I always get a little tinge of excitement when I see it.
MAN: Whats this past year been like for you, Santa? I suppose way up there in the North Pole, with the workshop and the elves, most world events dont really affect you, right?
SC: Well, you would be surprised. We tend to use a lot of solar power and some wind power for electricity and heat. Thats not a problem in the summer because the sun shines 24 hours a day. But in the fall and winter, ho ho ho, you would not believe our utility bills!
MAN: You have to pay utility bills?
SC: Oh yes. We have oil and natural gas piped in from Russia, and that costs a pretty penny. This year has been even harder to keep up, just like everyone else.
MAN: Does this affect your ability to produce and deliver presents?
SC: Well, we work really hard to make as many of the toys in the spring and summer, when we use the electricity produced by solar and wind power. But we do end up having to do work during the rest of the year making toys for all the worlds children takes a lot of time! So, the answer to your question is yes, that sort of thing does affect what we can do.
MAN: What does that mean for the children of Mount Airy and Surry County?
SC: Well, all of my elves are back at home working just as hard as they can, building toys, finishing up xbox and ps2 games and putting together MP3 players and the like, but this year we might not be able to get all the toys the children wanted to them.
SC: Dont worry, were still getting presents out, and we hope most all children will be able to get just what they wanted. But I want all the children of Mount Airy to know if they dont get exactly what they wanted, or if they dont get as many presents as they wanted, Santa still loves them and well see if we can do better next year! They should also know theyre not alone a lot of other children are in the same boat, so I hope they dont feel like they didnt have a good Christmas.
MAN: Ever since I was a kid, Ive been dying to know does Rudolphs nose really glow?
SC: Ho ho ho, oh yes, its as bright as the headlight beam on a train!
MAN: Is that old story true, that Rudolph really saved Christmas one year?
SC: Hmmmm …the song and movie are slight exaggerations, because we had faced fog before. But that particular year we had a problem when there was a power failure in the fall, and we were really behind on toy production. When its foggy I have to ride across the sky a little slower, making sure I dont miss any homes. That year I think it was 1889 … no, it was 1890, there was an incredible fog over much of Europe. I started late that night because we just did finish up the toys on Christmas Eve, and there was no way I was going to get everywhere going through the fog at my slower speed. Then one of the elves I believe it was Philpott he mentioned Rudolph, so we hitched him up to the front of the sleigh and it was full speed ahead! Rudolph really came through that night, and every year after that the other reindeer voted to let him take the lead spot again.
MAN: Twice now youve mentioned using electricity. I thought everything at the North Pole was done with Christmas magic.
SC: Ho ho ho! We can do a lot with Christmas magic we can make the toys all fit into the special enchanted toy bag, and we can fly at hyper supersonic speed around the world, and I can even slip down chimneys or slip by locked doors, but we cant run an entire elfin city on Christmas magic! Were just like anyone else. We have to have heat and power, running water which takes a lot of energy to make from all that ice up there.
MAN: Wow, I never knew. You have any favorite Christmas memories?
SC: Ho ho ho, I have thousands of them. And I make new ones every year! I suppose one of the things that brings me great enjoyment is to see children the world over so happy to get their Christmas toys. Its even more special to me when some of those children keep their toys for years and year. Just like those GI Joes and the GI Joe Headquarters and Jeep set you still have boxed up in your attic.
SC: Ho ho ho.
MAN: How do you know that?
SC: Oh, now, Im Santa. I keep track of all the worlds little girls and boys … even when they grow up!
MAN: Wow. I had no idea.
SC: Oh, theres so much the world doesnt know about Christmas magic. But, I cant talk about that now. I have to get back to overseeing the elves and visiting stores so children can come and talk to me.
MAN: Of course. Thank you so much for your time, Santa. Any last words for our readers?
SC: Well, of course. A Merry Christmas to all!!!!!!!!