Skip to content

O.Henry Ending

The Man, the Myth, the Legendary Santa

A Q&A with the real Kris Kringle

This fall, as Santa prepped his office space for another busy holiday season, he decided it was time for a new-to-him desk, something with an old-world vibe to suit his classic style. Turns out, Santa shops Facebook Marketplace and, as mutual luck would have it, scored the perfect leather-inlaid vintage desk here in Greensboro at the home of our founding editor, Jim Dodson, who put us in touch with the big guy. Since he wasn’t yet in a holly-jolly holi-craze, Santa took a moment to chat with us. We’re going to jump right into the burning questions that everyone wants to know:

OH: Honestly, what holiday treat should we be leaving you on the hearth?

S: I can’t pick out one! Chocolate chip cookies are an all-time favorite. Snickerdoodles are always good, too.

OH: You need to stay in shape to be able to make it around the world so fast, up and down chimneys. What is your own workout regimen like?

S: Ho, ho, ho, ho, besides milk and cookies? Well, I’m not your typical Santa Claus. Nowadays St. Nick is looking out for his health and well-being. I do vigorous training — cardiovascular, weight lifting — along with milk and cookies.

OH: Favorite non-sweet meal?

S: I’d have to say, going back to my German lineage, it would probably be Jaegerschnitzel.

OH: Off season, what do you and Mrs. Claus like to do?

S: We go to the beach. We were in Florida not too long ago. We try to go incognito.

OH: What does your bathing suit look like?

S: I just wear my regular red and white, suspenders every once in a while and my Hawaiian shirt.

OH: When you drop coal in a stocking, do you feel sad or are you secretly snickering?

S: See, there’s a bad rap about being given coal. Being given coal is an opportunity to improve yourself. If you use coal and compress it, what does it become?

OH: A diamond?

S: Very good. So when we give an individual coal, we’re showing them, “You have potential to become better. Accept this coal in the spirit it was given because I see something better inside your heart.”

OH: We’re going to move on to questions submitted by kids: “Does the Polar Express still exist and can I ride it? I lost my ticket.”

S: Yes, the Polar Express does exist and you can ride on it. [Santa’s no slouch. He whipped out his snow-white iPhone 15-plus and shared this URL:]

OH: How did you get famous?

S: Wow, I guess I can thank Coca-Cola for that back in the 1930s.

OH: How do you make Christmas nightgowns?

S: I leave that up to Mrs. Claus and all the lady elves.

OH: How do the reindeer fly?

S: Magic reindeer corn.

OH: How is it that you never die?

S: I have a son and I’m getting him ready. When I take my final sleigh ride then the Santa Claus job will be passed onto him.

OH: Where do you store all the presents?

S: We have them stored in different locations in different places. Just like Amazon, we have our hubs and locations.

OH: Who are all the Santas at the stores?

S: We have a brotherhood. There’s a worldwide Santa Claus network. There’s anywhere between 6,000 and 10,000 Santa Clauses worldwide that portray me and help me do my job. And we have conference calls and Zoom.

There you have it. Santa’s a modern guy who uses social media, technology, distribution centers, works out, but still enjoys a classic chocolate chip cookie. Hitting the beach after the holidays? Keep your eyes peeled for a svelte, white-bearded man in red-and-white swimming trunks.  OH

Got more questions? Visit or find him on instagram @mj_santaclaus to set up your own Zoom session or in-person meeting.