A chat with Santa himself
Santa Claus is coming to town! Oops, scratch that, he’s already here taking up temporary residence at Macy’s Santaland in Herald Square. We were elated to spend some time with the most famous citizen of the North Pole, even though it seemed like he really wanted to talk more about his new digs.
Santa, it’s so nice to speak with you today.
I send my warmest regards to you and your readers. This is the season to believe! One of the most wonderful things about New York is that everyone knows if you want to see Santa, where do you go? To Macy’s!
We’re all very excited. So: What type of cookies should we leave out for you on Christmas Eve?
I like two types of cookies: chocolate chip and Christmas cookies. Just leave me one or two because I can’t eat too many. … And I really love whole milk. I’m traditional.
You’re so busy on Christmas Eve, but what do you like to do when you’re not working?
Oh, well, I love to keep in touch with all the children, as many as I can, because I think that children need to know that Santa doesn’t disappear. I’m always available. I’m always visiting. I come to New York and the city to check on the toys, because I like to know what the children are thinking.
But don’t people recognize you?
I’m naturally not wearing my red suit, but I’m in the subway. And I always know how many days it is until Christmas.
A lot of people don’t believe in you. What do you say to them?
Oh, well, that’s a very delicate issue. I visit many families here at Macy’s, and sometimes when the children come, you can tell that there’s a little child who believes and the older brother and sister is there, kind of like, “Oh well, I gotta be here.” You know what I always do? I always take a special moment and I call that older child over to me, and look them straight in the eye and say, from my heart, that it’s all right if you don’t believe in Santa, but Santa will always believe in you.
When do you start preparing for Christmas?
It never stops, because we know it takes so much effort. … When you’re doing something like that, it’s not work, it’s a labor of love.
What’s one present kids are always asking for?
Many children want a reindeer for a present. … But I always tell the children they can’t have a reindeer because the reindeer have to stay with Santa at the North Pole because that’s the only place where the magic oats grow that get them to fly.
What do you like to do the day after Christmas?
I relax, and I always feel it’s very important to show gratitude. I always spend a lot of time with the reindeer.
What is your favorite Christmas song and movie?
Santa loves to sing, we sing all the time, but I must be honest with you that my favorite Christmas film is “Miracle on 34th Street.” I met Maureen O’Hara here at Macy’s and it was so lovely. … And I think my favorite Christmas song must be “Jingle Bells.” You’re excited and those bells are ringing — how can you not smile? Those types of moments you never forget.
Santa wants your letters
“For every letter deposited at all the stores across the country, Macy’s will give $1 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, up to a million dollars, and that’s a million reasons to believe!”