Once a year — and only once a year — Santa sits down for an interview with the media. Under normal circumstances Santa will select a member of the media who usually does not get big story opportunities. But this year he took that a step further and is being interviewed by one of his own, an elf. And that elf is Crash Murphy, Kringle Radio’s own eye-in-the-sky reporter who follows Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve.
Crash: Thanks for talking with me, Santa. Sorry it has to be with an amateur this year.
Santa: Don’t apologize for anything, Crash. You’re a legitimate journalist in my eyes.
Crash: I am? Good golly, thank you Santa!
Santa: You are a leading voice on a worldwide radio broadcast. Not a lot of people can say that.
Crash: But I’ve never interviewed anyone before, Santa. You know why I got the job following you?
Santa: Oh, I heard some stories.
Crash: I bet you did. I was the only one who didn’t fall out of the sleigh and didn’t mind throwing up.
Santa: Well, sleigh flight isn’t for everyone, Crash. Besides, the kids like you and you do a good job.
Crash: Well if you don’t mind all my questions for you actually come from the kids.
Santa: I love that!
Crash: Elf Ernest had me answering questions from kids last year and it was really hard.
Santa: Oh, I understand that, Crash. But those are the most important questions to answer.
Crash: Ok, then I’m going to throw all the hard ones at you.
Santa: Fire away. How hard can they be?
Crash: Well, try this one from a child named Billy in North Carolina. He asks, are you real?
Santa: Well….what kind of question is that? Of course I’m real!
Crash: Ok, Santa – I know that. You’re sitting right here in front of me.
Santa: Well, how can Billy ask that? It was just a couple of years ago I got him a PS4 for Christmas!
Crash: You know how it is, Santa. A boy gets older, he goes to school, he maybe gets teased by other boys. They tell him it is his parents giving him stuff and the next thing you know he thinks you’re not real.
Santa: Hmm. I see what you’re saying.
Crash: Santa – we get this question a lot.
Santa: Well, I almost don’t know what to say. I mean, I come every year.
Crash: Yes, I know.
Santa: And I go everywhere, I see a lot of people.
Crash: Yes, of course.
Santa: And a lot of people see me, Crash.
Crash: Yes, that’s true. And I tell people all the time you’re real. People like Billy really have a hard time though.
Santa: Well, that’s okay. It really is. He’s just going to have to go through what a lot of people go through when they grow up.
Crash: What’s that, Santa?
Santa: Well, they start out believing in me. Then someone says something or teases them and they don’t believe in me anymore. And they go a long time not believing and Christmas just isn’t as good for them after that. Some take years but eventually they come around and they realize that believing in Santa is just a better part of enjoying Christmas. Then they believe again.
Crash: Are you going to do something special to get Billy to believe again?
Santa: Yes, I’m going to visit his house. Talk to his dog, Ruby. She believes in me. And I’m going to wish him and his family a Merry Christmas.
Crash: Personally? You’re going wake them up when you visit?
Santa: No, no. I couldn’t do that. I’ll just do what I do and let Christmas happen and be on my way.
Crash: Will that do the trick with Billy?
Santa: I don’t know. That’s up to Billy. Belief is a form of work. It is not a gift. You gotta work at it. It’s like faith. You have to pray, and that’s work too. You gotta ask. Belief is hard work. Sometimes it takes a while to learn that. Perhaps it is Billy’s time.
Crash: Wow, Santa. This stuff is over my head. I’m almost afraid to ask this next question.
Santa: Nah, ask anything you want, Crash.
Crash: How do you get around the world in just one night?
Santa: You know the answer to that better than anyone Crash, you do it too.
Crash: I know, Santa. But I’m not asking for me, I’m asking for the kids.
Santa: Oh yeah, I forgot. Um, good question.
Crash: So what’s the answer?
Santa: The answer is that I just do. I fly south and west, against the established time zones and I have a very special, trained team of reindeer who move at incredible speed against impossible odds and they do it in the worst possible weather for the best possible reason. Is that a good answer?
Crash: Um, sounds good to me, Santa. Will you give any child a ride on your sleigh?
Santa: No, no. I’m sorry, that’s just not possible.
Crash: Well, why not? A lot of kids want that and only that for Christmas, Santa. Millions ask for it.
Santa: It comes from watching too many movies, Crash.
Crash: Well, yeah, but it is a child’s wish. You should see the mail we get about it.
Santa: Ok, I will tell you. A sleigh is not very safe. I fly in one because they are light and fast and I can get in and out of them quickly. They are highly maneuverable and I can land it in places where a plane or a helicopter could never go. But it just isn’t a passenger vehicle, unless it is on the ground, Crash. I’m a trained professional and I need the sleigh to do my job. It isn’t something for an amateur, you know.
Crash: Oh, I know. Sleigh riding is the hardest part of my job, Santa.
Santa: I’m afraid if I put a child in my sleigh he or she might fall out.
Crash: I understand, Santa. I nearly fell out last year over Ecuador. Scared me to death.
Santa: That just can never happen, Crash. I can never fly a child in my sleigh.
Crash: Well, the movies show it sometimes and I don’t think children understand, Santa.
Santa: The movies show a lot of things they shouldn’t. Kids shouldn’t believe everything they see in movies.
Crash: That’s kind of a funny thing to say, isn’t Santa?
Santa: Well, movies tell stories, they don’t always tell truth. And I’m telling you the truth about the sleigh thing. It is very dangerous.
Crash: Well, kids ask for other things, Santa. Most want to come to the North Pole and work for you as an elf.
Santa: Yes, I hear that a lot too. I understand just how they feel.
Crash: Well, how can they do that, Santa?
Santa: I know many of them sign up as secret spies for me at ElfHQ.com. That’s a very good start.
Crash: How did you get to the North Pole?
Santa: That’s a very long story, Crash.
Crash: Yes, but I think the kids want to know.
Santa: I came to the North Pole because there wasn’t another place in the world that works so well for me.
Crash: I understand the logistics.
Santa: Well it’s more than that. Nobody else wanted that place at the time. I didn’t get in anyone’s way there.
Crash: A lot of regular people who have been there say it is a terrible place.
Santa: Oh it can be rough, that’s for sure. But I have room to work there and nobody bothers me.
Crash: That’s another question, Santa. Kids want to know what you do all year.
Santa: I work. I play. I live. Like everyone else.
Crash: Some kids think you should be around more when it is not Christmas.
Santa: Oh, I’m around. They just don’t see me because I look like them.
Crash: Like a child?
Santa: Hohoho. No, I mean I don’t dress like Santa when it is Christmas time.
Crash: Why not?
Santa: Well, my red suit means something special. It is a Christmas thing and I only wear it at Christmas.
Crash: So you’re saying the kids just wouldn’t recognize you the rest of the year?
Santa: Oh some do. But most of the time I can walk right now the street in June and nobody knows I’m Santa.
Crash: How’s that possible. You always look like Santa to me.
Santa: That’s because you’re an elf and a trained observer.
Crash: So to a kid who would you look like in June?
Santa: Just some big old guy out for a stroll. Elves have a talent of blending in. And I’m an elf too.
Crash: Kids really like the idea of becoming elves, Santa. They ask for that more than anything.
Santa: Good. We have plans to try and make more of them elves this year.
Crash: You do?
Santa: Yes. Times are changing a little bit. I need more elves to do what I do. I need help. I think the kids can help me.
Crash: How are they going to do that?
Santa: We’re still working out the details. But the website will publish that soon.
Crash: Will it cost money?
Santa: Hohoho. No. Of course. We don’t do money, Crash.
Crash: Santa, one last question. How about them Cubbies, eh?
Santa: Shhh! Quiet, Crash, I don’t want to jinx it. It’s early October still.
Crash: Ok, ok. Santa, are we leaving earlier this year on Christmas Eve?
Santa: Hard to say right now, Crash. It depends on the weather.
Crash: I can’t wait to hit the skies, Santa.
Santa: Me either. Merry Christmas.