A family surrounds Santa Claus during an event in 2018 at Socorro’s historic Plaza. File photo | El Defensor Chieftain

Over the weekend, an exclusive interview with Santa Claus was mailed to El Defensor Chieftain. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic, Santa was unable to stop in Socorro to visit all of the children.

Scoop the Elf: For the first time in history, you aren’t able to travel town-to-town to visit the kids. How many more letters are you receiving?

Santa Claus: Ho ho ho! So many letters. The mail service is overwhelmed this year. All the good boys and girls want to make sure that Santa knows what they want for Christmas. I’ve never had a Christmas where I can’t visit all of the towns before Christmas Eve. The pandemic is creating all sorts of mischief for the North Pole.

Scoop: Oh no! What happened?

Santa: Parents are sending in letters wondering how they can be sure that all the toys are clean and safe. The North Pole is the only place that doesn’t have any cases! Of course the toys are safe! Parents are also asking for lots of face masks and cleaning supplies. I hardly ever get wish lists from adults.

Scoop: Face masks? Cleaning supplies?

Santa: The elves have never made face masks before. The whole Christmas present department was confused because they didn’t know what to do and how to make them. Thank goddess for the Internet. I also had to figure out what to do about the cleaning supplies and toilet paper shortage…

Scoop: Has Santa had any free time since he can’t travel outside of the North Pole until Christmas Eve this year?

Santa: Free time at this time of the year?! No way! There’s cookies to be made. The list has to be checked twice. Letters to be read. Presents to be made and wrapped. Reindeer to feed and train. Flying lessons. So much to do! So little time!

Scoop: Sounds like you’ve been quite busy.

Santa: The elves pretty much know what to do. It’s the reindeer that take up most of my time. I take them flying at least once a week to keep them active and in shape. And unlike the elves, the reindeer can’t feed themselves.

Scoop: Now for some questions from the children in Socorro. How do the reindeer fly?

Santa: Besides them having magical powers, that is a secret that I will never tell.

Scoop: Do you and your reindeer get tired when delivering presents and traveling the whole world in one night?

Santa: Never! All the milk and cookies keeps me going all night.

Scoop: How many cookies do you eat on Christmas Eve? What happens to the ones you don’t eat?

Santa: I eat thousands upon thousands that night. Every child leaves me a plate full of cookies and a full glass of milk. I have a secret compartment in my sleigh for any uneaten cookies. Those come back to the North Pole. I freeze them and then eat all the cookies throughout the year, along with the ones Mrs. Claus makes.

Scoop: How is Mrs. Claus doing?

Santa: She is doing great! It’s always merry and bright at the North Pole. There’s a group of elves who help her make and decorate cookies. All of the elves get a daily cookie break. Sometimes they request multiple cookie breaks.

Scoop: So many cookies.

Santa: Mrs. Claus and the elves make and decorate at least 500 cookies a day. There are elves to make the dough. Elves to cut the cookies and others to make the frosting. Elves to decorate the cookies. Elves to deliver the cookies. Each step of the cookie process has a group of Elves assigned to it.

Scoop: How do you fit all of the presents into your sack? All of the presents can’t fit in your sleigh at once.

Santa: Remember, everything about the North Pole is magical. When I reach into the bag, the only presents in there are the ones for the house I’m delivering to. The more the children at that house believe in Santa Claus, the easier it is for their presents to appear in my bag.

Scoop: What do you want the children in Socorro to know?

Santa: The children knowing how sorry I am that I was unable to come to Socorro and visit them this year. Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas to all!

Scoop the Elf, El Defensor Chieftain Correspondent