White Lake Patch scored an exclusive interview with Santa at his family's cabin in White Lake. Taking a small break before gearing up for tonight's deliveries, Santa sat down with Local Editor Brooke Meier to answer some of the most asked questions by kids.
White Lake Patch: What do you do if there is a fire in the fireplace?
Santa: That's pretty easy. I've been given a magic key. There are a lot of boys and girls who don't have a fireplace. This magic key allows me to go in the front door of those home on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day only.
White Lake Patch: Have you even been bitten by a dog?
Santa: No, because Christmas Magic takes over. When I get there the dogs are very friendly. As a matter of fact, most dogs help me. They come right up and help me with the presents. They are my very good friends.
White Lake Patch: What do the reindeer eat?
Santa: They eat carrots, mostly. We don't have a lot of hay in the North Pole so we have to import what little hay they get. They really enjoy carrots. Every once and a while some of the young people will give the reindeer apples – they are really appreciative of that.
White Lake Patch: How do you track who has been naughty or nice?
Santa: Well, I have elves that watch all the children. Several years ago there was a person that came up with the Elf on a Shelf. An Elf on a Shelf is sent to a family. That elf is placed on somewhere in the home, let's say a shelf in the kitchen, at night that elf comes to me and tells me what the boys and girls have done – if they've been naughty or nice – and then he returns. The kids aren't allowed to touch the elf, if they touch him he could lose his magic and not be able to come back to me – probably placing them on the naughty list.
White Lake Patch: What is your favorite cookie?
Santa: Well there is a misnomer out there that I like chocolate chip, which I do, but I am a connoisseur of all types of cookies. I like Oreos, I like snickerdoodles, I happen to like oatmeal and oatmeal-raisin cookies. One of my favorites is sugar cookies, of all different shapes and sizes. I like the Christmas trees, Santas, candy canes – I like them all.
White Lake Patch: How do you know to find me if I am not at home?
Santa: That is where the elves and the Elf on the Shelf are helpful. Sometimes parents write me letters and say, "Santa, we're going to be a Grandma's in Florida." Well then I know. I have a lot of elves that let me know so I know where to find you.
White Lake Patch: Is Rudolph your favorite?
Santa: Well, I am not going to answer that in the affirmative, that's like asking a mother to choose which of her kids is her favorite. All of my reindeer are very special to me.
White Lake Patch: So if one reindeer gets sick, are there back-ups?
Santa: Oh yes! We have elves-in-training and reindeer-in-training. It takes years to train a reindeer how to pull a sleigh.
White Lake Patch: Why is your belly so big?
Santa: Well, it has gotten a lot smaller because Mrs. Claus is really worried about my cholesterol level and my carbohydrate intake. I have lost a few pounds. It is really, probably, very round and like a bowl full of jelly because I eat a lot of cookies.
White Lake Patch: When do you get to spend Christmas with your family?
Santa: Right after Christmas. The kids, have been asking me this year "Santa what are you going to be doing after Christmas?" I tell them, I am going to take 72 hours of uninterrupted sleep and then I am going for a massage. Then, I am probably going to find somewhere in a warmer climate to take Mrs. Claus and the elves. That happens every year. One year, I was in Hawaii with some of my elves and a little boy walked by. He said, "Dad that's Santa." His dad said, "I don't know." The boy said, "No, that's Santa, I am going to go ask him." So he came up and asked if I was Santa. I said, "Yea, but don't tell anyone. I am on vacation."
Santa and Mrs. Claus stay at a cabin in White Lake throughout the year. The cabin, built in 1942, has been in the Claus family since 1952 and is currently taken care of by Mike and Lorraine Simonson. For more information on the Simonson's and the cabin visit Santa's Cabin here.