Naughty or nice?

Santa Claus

Photo By David Robert

How does he do it? He’s weathered an exhausting season of gift assembly, sleigh maintenance and reindeer obedience training. His lap rivals Grand Central Station as a traffic zone, and he has to wear that really warm suit all the time.

Under this kind of occupational stress, most of us would be ready to do nothing but track down the nearest double bourbon, but not Santa. Santa never tires.

Santa’s set up shop in Reno this year, spending his free time ensconced on a throne at Circus Circus. A constant tide of children proceeds through, listing their desires while the effervescent Mrs. Claus seems to hover on air as she kisses babies, manages her hubby’s unfathomably complex schedule, and never stops smiling.

Santa took a break from Christmas preparations at the Nevada Museum of Art for First Thursday last week. He roamed the crowd, upholding his confident, cheery demeanor even as he had to squeeze through wall-to-wall people to meet and greet. He kept smiling as he visited kids in the craft room, fearless in the face of glue and glitter. He stayed positive as he posed for photos with children and belly dancers. Who knows, maybe the belly dancers gave him a second wind.

After all this, did he complain? Did he tire? Did he rest? Hell no, he’s Santa. He has time for everybody. Even a reporter.

Santa, it must be a challenging job being Santa.It’s a wonderful job being Santa.

Tell me about some of the more fabulous parts of the job.

The fabulous parts are seeing the smiles of the children, the happiness of the parents. It’s just a wonderful thing to be Santa.

How does one train to be Santa? Were you just born to be Santa?

It’s a born thing to do.

Have you always been Santa?

I have always been Santa.

I see you’ve made it all the way from the North Pole down here to Reno to be Santa at Circus Circus. How is it different working at Circus Circus than at the North Pole?

It’s no different at all. People are people. It’s just wonderful. The kids are great. The staff is great. Mrs. Claus is just having a great time down here with me. We brought some wonderful elves over to Circus Circus, and we’re having just a wonderful time.

Have you received any particularly tall orders this year for Christmas gifts?

PT Cruiser was one of ’em. And a Corvette.

Who asked you for a Corvette?

Well, it was one of the managers at Circus Circus.

Are you going to be able to fulfill this order?

No, he’s on the bad list, so we couldn’t help him.

What percentage of people are you finding this year are on the bad list?

Well, unfortunately, we’ve had a little increase, but overall things are very good.

Does that tend to change much?

No, it’s just, people are people. You know, sometimes they make bad decisions, and they hit the bad list. But most of the time, everybody is on the good list.