He’s making his list

Santa Claus

Photo By Katie Booth

Santa Claus has taken a leave of absence from the North Pole and is awaiting his big day right here in Chico, spreading Christmas joy in the meantime. His bright red sleigh is visible from The Esplanade, parked in front of Touch of Class in between Eighth and Ninth avenues. Little girls and boys dressed in their holiday best, and with bright, shiny and clean faces, approach the jolly figure, and occasionally surprise him with the things they ask for.

So, Santa, why are you out here today?

To bring joy. To help lift the spirit. This is what I do all day. I just don’t sit there and ask kids what they want for Christmas—I do that, it’s routine stuff—but I bring hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of smiles a day. That’s what makes it worthwhile. And there’s more people ask of me than just presents.

Are you out here every day until Christmas?

Yes, unless it rains.

Does it get cold sometimes?

Not for me. I’m used to the cold!

How is the North Pole this time of year?

Just right. It’s just right.

What are people asking for most this season?

As far as materialistic stuff? Most of it’s Legos, believe it or not, Legos! Barbie doll…the princess one. Ahhh…Wiis. You know, Playstations, iPods, little kids from 9 years old asking for cell phones. Which is a good thing; they can keep in contact with their parents, and their parents can keep ahold of them.

What are people asking for that is non-material?

This one little kid came up and sat here and I asked him what he wanted for Christmas and he said he wanted his family. And his grandmother was dying of cancer. You know, and it was really very touching. It’s not as easy a job as people think.

How do you feel talking to people and discussing their problems?

I love it. This is my Christmas present to myself.

What do you do the other 11 months of the year?

I get fat. I collect a lot of cookies during Christmas.

How many people stop by and take pictures with you?

I can’t count ’em. Too many of them. I’ve probably had 75 kids today already.

So what do you do with your sleigh when it’s time to go home?

How do you think I get home? Santa 101. You need to go back to college. Claus-o-nomics (ho ho ho!).

If you had one message to give to people this holiday, with all the bad things going on in this world, what would it be?

The greatest is love. It’s as simple as that.