Inside the mind of a compulsive list checker

Photo: Shawn McAvinue
Photo: Shawn McAvinue
He’s making a list and checking it twice. Reporter Shawn McAvinue talks to Santa as he decides who has been naughty or nice in the region.

Do more Southern people feature on the naughty list or the nice list?

The people of the South are primarily on the nice list. There are very few on the naughty list and they know who they are.

What are the consequences for making the naughty list?

It once meant I would bring you coal. However, these days it means the gift I bring you is not as good as it could be — it might be a gift you have to put together
or it might include flat batteries.

You are in the vulnerable age group for Covid-19. How is your health?
When you called me I was doing yoga — I try to take care of myself. It takes a lot of strength to control the reindeer as they fly through the sky.

How old are you?
That’s a personal question. Are you trying to make the naughty list?

Did you, Mrs Claus and the elves have to go into lockdown this year?
No, I’m the only person allowed in and out of the North Pole so we didn’t have to go into lockdown.

Is Rudolph’s red nose a sign he has Covid?
No, Rudolph’s red nose is a medical condition which predates Covid by many, many years.

Are there any presents children have asked you for which you’ve told them you can’t give them?

When a child asks me for a kitten or a puppy, I tell them I think it’s a good idea for their parents to buy it for them, so everybody in the family takes responsibility for it. If Santa gives it to them then they may not take the responsibility as seriously, and a pet needs love.

As the pandemic unfolded did you consider shaving off your beard so a face mask would be more effective?
No, the last time I shaved was in November 1892 and I left a moustache — we nicknamed the month Ho-Ho-Ho-vember. I waxed and twirled my moustache — you
should have seen it, it was debonair —  but Mrs Claus didn’t like it much and I haven’t shaved since.

What type of snacks do you like to have left out for you on Christmas Eve?
In New Zealand, a lot of people leave me a meat pie and a beer — which is wonderful — but I am trying to watch my weight. That said, a plate of cookies and a glass of milk is my favourite.

How was the Dunedin’s Santa Parade?

Did you find the temperature chilly at the parade?
No, Dunedin is warm compared to the North Pole.

Safe travels Santa.

Meri Kirihimete. Merry Christmas to all and all a good night. 




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