Sunday, December 23, 2012


Ask Santa

Santa, why do you sometimes use the same wrapping paper as my mom?
–Erin G., Jerusalem, PA

Christmas is an exciting day for everybody. Kids, North Pole Staff, and even parents. And we can hardly blame anybody if they come down and see all the presents we've left under the tree. And if they maybe want to take a little peek. I don't want to point any fingers. But the Spirit of the Holiday sometimes gets the best of us all. And having to re-wrap presents is something Moms and Dads sometimes have to do. Say hello to your brother Jason for me. He almost catches me every year. Almost! 

Have you avoided using social media? Why not make it easier for children to be in touch with you via email, Facebook, and Twitter?
–Steve Y., South Bend, IN

We still like getting letters very much!  

Santa, my dog Harry is so sick! I don’t think he’s going to make it to Christmas! Can you help?
–Bryant E., Tate, NM

I’m really sorry to hear about Harry. He is a great dog. Losing a pet is terrible, our cat Celery recently died. She was such a great friend to us and we felt so lucky to know her. I cried. She had gotten older and was sick, too, at the end. Patrice, one of our Master Woodworker elves, made this wonderful ornament of Celery, her paws holding up the star on the top of the Christmas tree here in the center of the village. She has these wonderful angel wings, and I can’t help but smile when I see it. It helps me remember the good times we had with Celery, when she would sit in my lap by the fire or wake us up at 4 AM to be fed. I am sending you some dog food for Harry that we used for Celery at the end of her life. It is quite tasty and really boosted her spirits toward the end of her life. I hope Harry makes it to Christmas. I would like to see him Christmas Eve and scratch behind his ear a little, like he likes it.  

My mom had wanted this really pretty bracelet last year, and I had said I’d get it for her, and it felt good, since I’m doing a little bit better financially than I had been before, and she’s given me so much, but then she said she didn’t want it after all, because it was too expensive, but that she was grateful I’d considered it. So I didn’t get it. But if I got it this year, do you think it would make her happy, or will it make her sad again to think that I’m spending so much money on a present? We were not particularly well off when I was growing up.
–Margo P., Concord, NH

I think that bracelet sounds like a very nice gift. But keep the receipt. Maybe just getting the bracelet for her will be a wonderful gift, even if she can’t accept it because it's too expensive. It’s nice of you to try to buy nice things for your mom, Margo. But it will be up to her whether she wants to keep them. Your mom is so proud of you. 

Christmas used to be my favorite holiday — I really love the music, especially when choirs sing it. It is like as close to the sound of magic as I think I’ve ever heard, sometimes. When I was little the holiday was so fun, with all the food and people and presents and excitement, and that magic, sort of like sprinkled over everything, because of the music in the background. But my family situation changed a few years ago, and I don't have a spouse or kids, so when I hear that music it makes me sad. What are some good ways of making new Christmas traditions?
–E., Trenton, NJ

Perhaps do what I do, give strangers gifts. They don’t have to be complete strangers. But you’ll find that doing nice things for people with no expectation to be thanked can be quite magical. And when you do nice things for people you end up feeling better. If you can’t enjoy the holidays, try to make someone else’s holiday a little more enjoyable. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. Go into a diner, order a hot chocolate and leave a $20 bill for the wait staff. If you make Christmas mean something less fraught for yourself, maybe you will enjoy the music again.

Santa, I don’t really have a question. I just wanted to say thanks. You made so many of my Christmases very special.
–Polly, Carson City, NV

I should be thanking you, Polly. Christmas, for me, is saying thanks to kids all over the world for being so inspiring. It’s difficult to be a child in the world, and when kids play by all the rules and thrive I’m happy to give them a little something. Thank you for being so nice, this year.

What is the deal with all the grapefruits in my stocking? I like grapefruit as much as the next guy, but you aren’t fooling anyone!!
–Tim F., Saskatchewan

Tim, I think your big sister Samantha is playing a trick on you. Ask her where those candy canes I brought are. I’m a huge fan of grapefruit, they’re quite a treat when we can get them in the North Pole. But they’re just a complete pain in the sleigh, rolling around just below my feet. 

We stopped giving them out as gifts in the 1980s. 

My Christmas wish is that someone I really care about didn’t have cancer anymore. Ha, I know. But maybe there’s something about putting it down in words as many times as I can that will do something, somehow!
–Rachel T., Minneapolis

That is an important Christmas wish, Rachel. I hope the person you care about doesn’t have cancer anymore, either. Last summer, Mrs. Claus found a lump in her breast. We were lucky, she caught it so early. And she is better this year, after some really scary moments. But there were many nights I was sad, angry and fearful that this disease would take Mrs. Claus away from me and our family. When people we love get sick it’s terrible. And it’s especially hard at the holidays. Sometimes all we can do is pray. And hope. Hope can be very powerful!

Was there ever a Christmas present that you couldn’t carry in your sleigh, or that fell out or something? Or like when people leave coffee cups on the roofs of their cars — anything like that?
–Miguel R., Eureka, KS

Well, Miguel, we have had our share of mishaps. Some we can’t talk about because litigation is still pending, as in the case of Grandma v. Reindeer, which will be argued in front of the Supreme Court this Spring. A puppy fell from the sleigh one year but thankfully fell into a large pine and was scared but mostly unhurt. That took our breath away. One Christmas a kid in Texas wanted “a real Optimus Prime” and her parents were pretty mad that we’d left a big rig in their backyard. The toughest Christmas ever was the one in which we couldn’t get the Culture Club cassette out of the sleigh’s cassette player. We had to deliver for 20 hours in almost complete silence until we could switch to Sleigh B over Oregon. I get my coat stuck in the door of the sleigh about 50% percent of the time. 

HOLD UP, do you and Mrs. Claus have kids???
–Patty L., Marshfield, MA

We adopted a daughter many years ago who is now a senior at Indiana University. She and her girlfriend are planning to get married next year at the North Pole during the summer. Grace has been a tremendous blessing to our family and we’re so grateful that she has found someone she cares about so deeply. We’re hoping for grandchildren after they’ve finished with their Master’s degrees. 

Have you ever seen or heard about a party where they actually had all the 12 groupings from the 12 Days of Christmas song? Like a crazy party where there actually were 12 lords a-leaping, eight maids a-milking, and lots of birds doing all that other stuff? That would be amazing. Kind of horrible, too, I guess, but if it had ever happened I’d love to hear about it.
–George J., Casper, WY

It’s a great Christmas song, George. But it makes for a terrible Christmas party. The milking is much less festive in real life. Swans and geese don’t get along. And partridges are not particularly fond of the smell of rotten, fallen pears. 

What do you want for Christmas this year, Santa Claus?
–Dylan P., San Mateo, CA

If I had one big wish this Holiday it would be that everybody would perceive just how truly loved they are. For like a minute would just get a sense of that. Mrs. Claus and the Elves always get me nice gifts, but we don’t get to open our presents until the day after Christmas. This year I am hoping they’ve found an old book I enjoyed when I was younger. I can be very sentimental, and they are very thoughtful. And sneaky! Last year they gave me a new pair of boots. They were right where I’d left my old pair. And it took me a while of walking in the snow with them to realize they were brand new. I guess the red ribbon should have given that away.

Santa Claus lives in the North Pole, and wishes you all Happy Holidays.

109 Comments / Post A Comment


This is so delightfully uncynical and really funny and now I have the warm fuzzies. :) Happy Holidays, one and all!


oh my god...ITS SO AWESOME@j


How LOVELY. Santa rocks.


This is such a wonderful unexpected post! :D

Happy Holidays. <3


Santa!! You are the best, even if your answers sometimes make me a little teary. Thank you for giving me so many great gifts- I still have the bike I got when I was 12. It works great.


I clapped with glee. I love you guys. <3 <3 <3

Also, this: Perhaps do what I do, give strangers gifts. They don’t have to be complete strangers. But you’ll find that doing nice things for people with no expectation to be thanked can be quite magical. And when you do nice things for people you end up feeling better. If you can’t enjoy the holidays, try to make someone else’s holiday a little more enjoyable. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. Go into a diner, order a hot chocolate and leave a $20 bill for the wait staff. If you make Christmas mean something less fraught for yourself, maybe you will enjoy the music again.
Santa, there seems to be something in my eye.



<3 u Santa, and Hairpin. Thanks for making me tear up. Letters from Santa are the best.

Sella Turcica

Hi Santa! Thank you for the present you got me last year. I love it. It still fits.I use it every day and I plan to keep it for the rest of my life.


Thanks for making me cry, SANTA.

saul "the bear" berenson

YAY for this. Thank you. And double yay to Santa having an adopted lesbian daughter who he is just happy for. Love all parts of this.


I am home for the holidays with a relatively healthy family dog, yet the story of Celery the cat has caused me to sob uncontrollably into my champagne.


@thisisunclear My healthy cat is right next to me, and I am giving her perfect kitty forehead lots of kisses, because, tears for Celery.


@catsuperhero We lost two of our dogs in as many years, and not having their stockings hanging by the fireplace makes me unspeakably sad. I actually dreamed about one of them last night, that he was alive and his illness and death had actually just been a nightmare. Thanks, jerkbrain, for that.


@thisisunclear Sobbing quietly in my apartment, can't wait to go home and pet my pups.

The Lady of Shalott

Oh my god, Santa just made me cry.

Princess Slayer

@The Lady of Shalott Me too, me too. /sniff


But Santa, in your infinite wisdom why did you bring me a Furby that one Christmas of 1998? I know you know I wanted it, but didn't you know it would just scare me half to death when one night it started talking from where I had hidden it in the back of my closet out of fear?


@descie Life lesson?


@descie You didn't feed it after midnight, did you?!

Inspector Tiger

those hairpin allergies are coming up again.

I'm not even from a country where Santa brings the gifts (for us it's baby jesus. i know...) but now I do believe in you!


@Inspector Tiger Hold up, baby jesus brings you Christmas presents? DUDE.

Elise Marie

@Inspector Tiger Wait a minute, are you in the Czech Republic? Or another country that has a baby jesus that brings gifts?

Deanna Destroi

@Inspector Tiger I'm from Brno! Hello! I get all kinds of surprised reactions every year when I tell people that Baby Jesus brings the presents. I don't see the problem. :)

Inspector Tiger

@Elise Marie I'm in Austria. Baby Jesus get's around at christmas :)
@ Deanna Destroi Hi there! me neither :)


@Deanna Destroi After a year of shamefully lurking in the comments, I had to make an account, only to note that my mom is from Prague! But my dad is American. So when we were kids, we got gifts from Jesisek (Baby Jesus) on Christmas Eve and gifts from Santa on Christmas morning. !

Deanna Destroi

@alejoalene Ahhh I love it! That's totally my plan if I have kids.


Santa?! I KNOW HIM!!!

This is the loveliest Christmas thing I have come across all season, possibly because I haven't gotten to see the Muppet Christmas Carol yet. Why is it raining in here?


Well, in Whoville they say - that Hobbes' small heart grew three sizes that day.

Corielle Hayley@facebook

wow just make me cry why don't you. merry christmas everyone!


For Christmas this year I wished that everybody would get along and I was rewarded with (? i.e. I won, in a contest) a giant Lindt truffle the size of my head. Okay, it's not a giant Lindt truffle, it's a giant Lindt truffle shaped and wrapped container filled with lots of little Lindor chocolates (I think, I haven't opened it yet, one day to go!) but it's still pretty awesome.


This is honestly the best. Merry Christmas everyone!


E in Trenton-go to the New Ewing Diner for hot chocolate! You might even run into some pinners.


This is so, so wonderful. I keep coming back to it and reading it throughout the day, and it's still so touching. Thanks for posting something so genuine and sweet.

The Attic Wife

This is so lovely, Santa is the best!


Oh, Santa, I love these letters so.

fondue with cheddar

This was wonderful.

I think my parents made a deal with Santa to alleviate wrapping paper confusion, because all the gifts he gave us had pictures of him all over the paper.

Better to Eat You With

@fondue with cheddar My sister went to great pains each year to make sure her wrapping paper and Santa's never matched, even when her kids were way too old to believe.


Wrapping paper question: did anyone get presents from Santa that weren't wrapped? Presents from parents and family were wrapped, but Santa's just magically appeared assembled and glorious. This year I asked a bunch of people about it and I've only found a few others that got unwrapped gifts. I also wonder why this was never something my friends and I talked about when we were kids.


@Katheringasaga Our Santa presents have never been wrapped, with the occasional exception of a stocking gift or two.


@Katheringasaga Mr TARDIStime's niece got an unwrapped and fully assembled bed for Christmas from Santa this year.
They had to leave a very big coffee out for Santa, so he'd be able to stay awake all night putting it together.


Haha, but the real reason that Santa is not web-friendly is because they only have dial up at the North Pole.


Oh man, Santa. You made me cry!


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