Santa says: An interview with Father Christmas

Santa Claus (Photo courtesy)

Whether you are naughty or nice, you can eat breakfast with Santa at Thanksgiving Point this season. (Photo courtesy Thanksgiving Point)

Ever wonder what Santa eats for breakfast? Or what to do if you land on the naughty list? We asked Santa these questions, and a few more, as he was preparing to visit Thanksgiving Point for its annual Breakfast with Santa. The event will begin at 9 a.m. Dec. 7, 14 and 21 and will feature special guest stars Mrs. Claus, the Gingerbread Man and Buddy the Elf. Santa, who can be reached by mail at the North Pole or online at, shared the following thoughts about cookies, coal and his favorite kind of Christmas present.

How do we make sure we are on the nice list?

Santa: Ho, ho, ho! Well, most kids wonder this very thing. We do have ways to keep up with these things and most children do pass the test, some better than others. But to make sure you stay on the nice list I would suggest:

A. Help keep your toys picked up.

B. Try to help keep your room tidy by picking up your clothes and making your bed.

C. Be nice to your brothers and sisters if you have some.

D. Do your homework for school.

E. Most importantly, mind your mom!

What if we’ve done something naughty?

Santa: It happens even to the best of kids. You can always apologize and try harder next time. But if we continue to get reports, your gifts may be smaller and fewer, mostly socks and underwear. Don’t worry so much about getting coal. I do not do that anymore as it can make even teenagers cry.

How do you get into houses that don’t have chimneys?

On Christmas Eve I carry on my belt a set of very special chimney keys. When I approach the roof of each and every home, these keys know what to do, allowing me entrance to every needed home.

What’s your favorite type of present to give?

As you may imagine, I visit homes all over the world. Early on, children were happy with just candy, fruit or nuts in a wooden shoe or stocking. But as the years went along, gifts became much more complicated. Kids are now asking for electronic toys of all types, as well as items much bigger than my poor bag can handle. Have you ever seen what puppies or kitties can do to a bag? But the gift that means the most to me is something I often cannot give. Selfless requests from the mouth of a small child: “A new baby brother or sister.” “Bring Daddy home for Christmas.” “Make my mom better.” My heart goes out to these children, as these things are out of Santa’s ability. I can only leave them a blessing or prayer from my heart.

Are you a Brigham Young University fan, even though you always wear red?

Santa: Red is, indeed, my favorite color, but I really root for every team in the cities that I visit. We are able to follow these teams in the sports section of our very own newspaper, the North Pole Gazette (which is also going digital next year). I have a difficult time keeping up with these things. However, the elves, indeed, do follow world sports much more than I do. They often play elf football and pair off in their team colors of scarlet-red, emerald-green or, my favorite, tinsel-silver uniforms.

What types of cookies do you like best?

Santa: This is an easy one. I like “round” cookies, of course!

What’s one thing we can do this year to make you happy?

Santa: Well, let me think. There are many that come to mind:

A. Stay on my good list.

B. On Christmas Eve, please remember to pick up things around the tree, so I don’t trip this year. And leave milk with those cookies!

What do you like to eat for breakfast?

Santa: That is a good question. Mrs. C. is a great cook, but she is getting very concerned about my ever-growing “cookie zone.” So lately I have been getting skim reindeer milk on my fruit and cold cereal, with unsweetened hot cider to drink. Don’t tell Mrs. C.: The elves do sneak me a rich hot cocoa drink, with plenty of whipped cream, each day before work. They know how grumpy I can get.

What’s your favorite Christmas carol?

Santa: Most Christmas Carols help me to keep the spirit of Christmas. I especially like “Grandma Got run over by a Reindeer.” I laugh and laugh when I hear that one. But the song about “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” is also a favorite, as you could imagine.

H-e-e-e-r-e’s Santa!

You can eat breakfast with Santa, visit him at the mall, or even ride with him on a train. Here are a just a few of the places to see St. Nick locally:

Breakfast with Santa

Enjoy much more than skim reindeer milk with Santa, Mrs. Claus, Buddy the Elf and the Gingerbread Man at Thanksgiving Point’s annual holiday event. It takes place Saturday, Dec. 7, 14 and 21, from 9 to 11 a.m. in the venue’s Show Barn. When purchased in advance, tickets are $22 adults, $18 children ages 12 months to 12 years. Thanksgiving Point is located at 3003 N. Thanksgiving Way in Lehi.

Storytime with Santa

This event takes place Monday, Dec. 9 and 16, at 6 p.m. at the food court of University Mall in Orem. Tickets must be pre-purchased at the mall’s customer service and are $6 for children ages 3 and older. The price includes a child’s meal at one of select food court restaurants and a commemorative book. Children can wear their pajamas and hear stories read by Santa and Mrs. Claus. University Mall is located at 575 E. University Pkwy. in Orem.

North Pole Express

Take your family on a trip to Santa’s headquarters with the Heber Valley Railroad’s North Pole Express. The 90-minute ride features games, Christmas carols, cookies and a visit from Jolly Old St. Nick himself. The train runs select days through Dec. 24. Coach seats are $20 children ages 3-12, $30 general admission, with various discount days and first-class seating available. The railroad is located at 450 S. 600 West in Heber City, Utah.



Elyssa Andrus has worked as a journalist for 14 years, most recently as the lifestyle editor at the Daily Herald newspaper in Provo. She is a contributor to the KSL-TV show "Studio 5" and is co-author of the book "Happy Homemaking" (Cedar Fort, 2012) with Natalie Hollingshead. She lives with her husband and four young children in Utah Valley.

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