Kris Kringle took a break from the workshop to tour the Riverina this week. While Saint Nick was in Griffith, journalist Jack Morphet had a chance to chat to him about good food, young love and Archer Daniels Midland.
1) Santa, what are your thoughts on Joe Hockey’s rejection of the Graincorp takeover bid?
I have heard about this in the news while I have been travelling around Australia in the lead up to Christmas. I think the decision made local farmers very happy and Christmas is all about being happy, so I would have to congratulate Mr Hockey for making the right decision on that one.
2) Do you have a regular income and if not, are you on the dole?
No, I’m not on the dole. I don’t have a regular income but I don’t need one as I get by on a combination of subsistence farming and the delicious food and drink people leave me on Christmas Eve. Fortunately I don’t have to pay fuel costs either, because I get around by reindeer and sleigh. It helps that my day-to-day costs are generally quite low.
3) How’s your social life outside of work?
It’s brilliant, Mrs Claus and I host a lot of dinner parties at our home as Mrs Claus is a tremendous cook and loves to entertain. She used to cook a delicious venison dish, but these days I prefer one of her hearty soups on a cold North Pole night.
4) Given you enter people’s homes through their chimneys, how have you dealt with the sharp rise in apartment living?
I have a key that gets me into any building in the world, so even if someone doesn’t have a chimney, I’ll be able to get them their presents. Some kids go away for holidays over Christmas and they worry they’ll miss out, but I know where everyone is all around the world, so they needn’t worry.
5) Exactly how do you know who has been naughty and who has been nice?
Every kid is nice. A fallacy has been spread by a popular carol which suggests that I am constantly scrutinising the behaviour of children, which is just not true. It makes my job very difficult because children are terrified to see me, mistakenly thinking I’m going to give them a lecture. I have a very good strike rate at getting them to stop screaming, but it’s a hassle.
6) Have you ever been mistaken for a burglar?
Absolutely not, I’ve never even been seen. I ask all the children to get to bed early on Christmas Eve and I don’t deliver any presents until everyone is fast asleep. I think every now and then some children might hear my sleigh bells, but I can guarantee you I’ve never been seen.
7) How many gifts do you give yourself? It must be an amazing perk of the job…
No I don’t actually give myself any presents because the gift of giving is the best gift of all. It’s amazingly satisfying giving everyone presents. Although I don’t expect it, sometimes people leave me little presents on Christmas Eve, which is very kind of them.
8) Where did you meet Mrs Clause?
Before Mrs Claus and I got married, she lived with her family on a reindeer farm. I was in the market for a new reindeer and I met her while I was having a look at their stock. As you might imagine, it was love at first sight. She is a very beautiful woman inside and out.
9) Did you two ever consider having children?
No we haven’t considered having children because we have millions of children who give us immense joy and satisfaction all the time and never disappoint us.
10) If you weren’t busy delivering presents, what career would you have chosen?
I would have been a reindeer trainer. I deal with reindeers a lot in my current job and I have a pretty good knack for it. They’re brilliant animals to work with and I get a lot of satisfaction out of it.