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Santa Claus is Coming to Town(s)

Santa Found Time For A Quick Interview With Us

Wayne Lifestyle: Santa, thanks for giving me a couple of minutes today. I know that this is a crazy time of year for you. How’s this year looking?

Santa Claus: It’s sooo much better than this time last year. We’re pretty much back to normal. Like everybody, we’re struggling a little bit with supply lines. But our team is on that and we’re predicting we’re going to put out the best Christmas ever. Yeah, we say that every year, but other than one really bad one back in the 1920’s, we’re always right. Don’t bet against Santa’s team.

WL: How does the rest of your year go? Are the toy factories running 365 days a year?

SC: Well, a lot of that is outsourced now. In a way, it was far easier before when all we were building were toy boats and dolls on a production line. You can’t exactly make an Oculus 2 out of wood, you know? So most of my time is spent making distribution deals with vendors. It’s vastly more efficient. Better upward mobility for the elves. They still do a bulk of the work, but other than custom orders that we have to produce ourselves, most of them have switched to marketing.

WL: How hands-on are you leading up to the holidays?

SC: I’m really lucky that I have such a great team. A few of my elves have been with me for a long time — like, millennia. We just celebrated one for one of the “newbies” in HR. He’s only been with us for 165 years. He just got his own parking space and was overjoyed. Reindeer make lousy Ubers.

Of course, I’m still involved heavily in the day-to-day, but it’s mainly in meetings. Those Amazon guys always insist that I’m in the weekly status calls, even if it’s just on Zoom. They’ve been a godsend though. It’s really lightened the load on the sleigh when we can pre-ship things to houses before Christmas Eve. I hope parents know what to do with all of those Amazon boxes that show up daily. Bezos was a tough elf to lose when he decided to go to the private sector, but he never really left the North Pole, so to speak.

WL: Do you get to come to our area often?

SC: I do. I really love it here. I don’t get to be that “public” as much as I’d like, but I do have my favorite spots to go without drawing attention to myself. Maybe one day I’ll give you a list of “Santa’s Favorite Local Spots”...

I’m still making some personal appearances around here whenever I can. It really helps with morale, and it’s great for PR and brand awareness. I stopped by Accentuate with LoVe a couple of times this year and did our big holiday helicopter landing show at Packanack already. I have to do that one every year. The elves never let me hear the end of it that one year that I forgot to stop by Packanack Bakery to bring them back crumb cake. And I've ridden in my fair share of fire trucks in Fairfield and Montville. Far more than the Easter Bunny, no matter what he tells you.

And yes, I usually send most of my relief Santas to the local malls when I can’t get there myself. 

I always stop by Pandora’s Box whenever I have some time in the area. Those guys really saved my bacon one Christmas Eve when Cupid got spooked while we were going over Ohio during some sort of holiday fireworks show. Dumped a bunch of stuff over Canton, including a vintage Boba Fett figure that it took me forever to find. I called Erik from the sleigh and naturally, he had one. Those guys are the best. Of course, it turned out that “little Timmy” was a 45-year-old medical admin from Towaco, Ho-Ho-Ho! 

That reminds me, I owe them a call. I have a bunch of things from the old workshop that might have some magic left in them. I’ll bet they would be interested.

WL: What do you do when the holidays are over? I think we all have that mental picture of you in a Christmassy Hawaiian shirt on the beach somewhere.

SC: Ho-Ho-Ho! Yeah, Mrs. Claus posts one vacation picture from our week at Point Pleasant that goes viral — she’s all over Instagram — and it’s “Beach Santa” forever. Usually, we just take a long weekend afterward to decompress then hold a big debrief sometime in January with the crew. Then it’s right back to it. Christmas is a 24/7/365 business for us. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.