10 Questions: Santa Claus
- How early do you wake up on weekdays and what is the first thing you do?
The winter season is a busy time for Santa and his elves, so we don’t get to sleep in very late. I’m usually up at 5, and the first thing I do is my morning stretches. The quietest time of the year here on Korvatunturi is from January to June, and then I usually sleep in until 7. I don’t really differentiate between weekdays and the weekend – this is, after all, rather a lifestyle profession.
- What do you have for breakfast?
Mrs. Claus’s rice porridge, of course – all year round!
- What are the most challenging and the best aspects of your job?
The most challenging is the rush from June to Christmas, when we make gifts for storage and have to be sure the elves can cope, as they travel around the world trying to find out who has been naughty and who has been nice. That demands quite some project management skills!
For the most part, however, my job is wonderful. The best things about my job are the happy children and adults at Christmas, and naturally the joy of giving and spreading holiday cheer!
- What makes a successful meeting?
Our meetings here on Korvatunturi are quite brief. That is partly due to how busy we are, and partly because we have been doing this for hundreds of years, so we basically have a pretty good handle on things without the need for meetings. But yes, I would say that a successful meeting always includes some good refreshments – like gingerbread cookies, for example!
- How many elves and reindeer do you have?
I can’t unfortunately tell the exact number, but they are in the hundreds. I always use the same reindeers to pull the sleigh at Christmas, though.
- What is your response to claims of you having other residences and about possibly other Santa Clauses?
Of course it’s nice to hear that so many others would like to consider their country the home of Santa Claus! I don’t take offence to that in the least.
- What, in your opinion, is the best Christmas tale?
Well, there are so many! The nice thing about Christmas stories is that they are almost always very positive. Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol wonderfully captures the spirit of Christmas. Mauri Kunnas’s Santa Claus and the Magic Drum describes our life here on Korvatunturi quite accurately – although we haven’t had encounters with shamans quite like that described in the book.
- Which reindeer is your favourite?
Santa Claus, you know, doesn’t have favourites when it comes to anything. Rudolph is, however, my oldest and most experienced reindeer, so in that sense he is kind of like my trusted old reindeer.
- How do you relax?
I have a sauna and swim in a hole cut into the ice. After that, I drink a hot cup of mulled wine.
- What is the significance of Santa Claus today?
Santa Claus’s significance has not diminished at all over the years, at least I hope it hasn’t! Santa Claus with his elves and all the people of Korvatunturi symbolise joy, cheer and the spirit of giving. I believe these are needed as much as they ever were, if not more today. I hope that every Christmas we bring a good ending to the current year and a joyous start to the next one!