Sixteen-month-old Jaden Surritt, held by dad Jeb Surritt gets a chance to meet Santa Claus Friday evening at the Oak Park Mall. It was Surritt's first meeting with Santa. Eric Johnson/
Sixteen-month-old Jaden Surritt, held by dad Jeb Surritt gets a chance to meet Santa Claus Friday evening at the Oak Park Mall. It was Surritt's first meeting with Santa. Eric Johnson/

Archived Story

Christmas Special: An interview with Santa

Published 10:27am Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Mr. Claus discusses his favorite treats and delivering presents to Mower County

As Mower County children sleep snug in their beds tonight, A jolly old saint will make his way around the world, ready to deliver Christmas cheer to boys and girls everywhere. Santa Claus, the famous man in charge of a toyshop full of elves and a crew of lovable reindeer, has traveled the world for years giving gifts to children and spreading goodwill toward others. He took time out of his busy schedule — including visiting with children at Oak Park Mall — to discuss this year’s Christmas Eve trip with the Daily Herald.

Herald: You’re pretty busy this time of year, with a lot of presents to make. Have you had any issues with production this year?

Santa: No, none. Not yet anyway.

Herald: What are you doing to prepare for Christmas Eve?

Santa: I’m going with the flow right now. I’m making sure to take care of whatever comes my way.

Herald: Does the suit still fit? Is it fitting OK?

Santa: Oh, yeah. (laughs) It’s fitting just fine.

Herald: When do you think you will be coming to Austin and Mower County to deliver presents to all the boys and girls here?

Santa: Hopefully Christmas Eve! As long as they’re all in bed sleeping. It could probably be anytime after midnight. That way, I know they’re asleep.

Herald: When you’re traveling all over the world, what sticks out to you about Mower County and Austin?

Santa: The different children here. That’s what Christmas is about, is the kids, anyway. It’s fun to see what wild ideas they have for Christmas.

Herald: What are some of your favorite places to stop by in Austin and Mower County when you’re traveling on Christmas Eve?

Santa: Oh, some of the restaurants that are in town. I like to check out the varieties of food. I’ve got to stop and take a break sometimes. Of course, there’s also cookies and fudge, and chocolate milk at different homes that the kids put out. And I’ve got to consider the reindeer too! They’ve got to have something to keep going.

Herald: The reindeer are doing well this year?

Santa: Very well, very well.

Herald: A lot of children wonder how you get down the chimney. What can you tell us about that?

Santa: I’ve had children ask me that before. I had a child ask me that last week. He told me, “We don’t have a chimney.” I have a master key that can get into any house and unlock it, and that’s what I told him.

Herald: There’s a lot of different portrayals of you over the years, in books, in movies and other things. What are some of your favorite stories of Santa?

Santa: Oh boy, there’s so many of them that it’s really hard to say. They’re all good ones, they’re all good.

Herald: What kind of milk do you prefer? Does it matter?

Santa: I like chocolate milk, but I’ll drink any kind of milk. It doesn’t matter.

Herald: Do you have a favorite type of cookie?

Santa: Santa will eat anything, as long as it’s good.

Herald: How are the children of Austin and Mower County doing this year? Do you have their names on the naughty or nice list?

Santa: They’ve been real good. Their mom and dads will tell me otherwise if they’ve been bad, though. I asked some children last week, “Have you been good?” They told me, “Oh yes!” So I said, “Should I ask mom and dad for sure?” And they told me, “Well, maybe half the time.” (laughs) But they’ve all been pretty good this year.

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