Santa takes time out for interview
BY BRAVETTA HASSELL World Scene Writer
Saturday, November 24, 2012
Ahead of Santa’s big debut at Tulsa Promenade recently, he sat down with the Tulsa World to answer some questions about, well, being Santa. About the moments he looks forward to every holiday season, what makes him smile, what surprises him and even what has broken his heart.
A little girl called out “Mr. Christmas” to him during what he said was his most tear-jerking experience.
“I heard this ‘Hello Mr. Christmas!’ way off,” said Santa – called “Santa Pete” by Promenade staff. “And I started looking and I couldn’t see anything and it got closer and closer and pretty soon I went ‘Ho, Ho, Hello!’ and she got closer and got up to the line and we were talking while she was out there, and she kept calling me Mr. Christmas, and her dad took her by the arm and drug her off.”
The scene broke Santa’s heart.
“She was so excited to see me and he wouldn’t let her see me.”
Question: Well, what about the good days? What is the sweetest thing a child has ever told you?
Probably “I love you.” Just give you a hug around the neck.
Question: What is the most unusual gift you’ve been asked for?
I had a little 8-year-old girl ask for a 20-gauge shotgun to go hunting and she came back the next year and gave me a big hug and thanked me. And she wanted a four-wheeler, so I’m looking forward to seeing if she got a four-wheeler this year.
Others, I don’t know if you can call them unusual but you can call them tear-jerking.
The kids asking for their parents to quit fighting, their mommy to quit having so many men come over, for mom and dad to get back together, and then probably the biggest one is for their dad or mom to come back home from Iraq or Afghanistan. Kids that have parents that are overseas like that usually ask for a safe return.
And some kids just ask for a good year.
Question: Come Christmas Eve, Christmas morning, is there a certain type of cookie you love to see there waiting for you with a glass of milk?
Question: What are you getting Mrs. Claus this Christmas?
Probably one of her favorite books she wants to read. And for me to take her on a fishing trip. She likes to fish more than I do. She actually catches ’em. I just fish, I don’t care if I catch them or not.
Question: What do you do during the spring and summer?
I’ve had several hobbies. I made rocking horses for awhile and am still in the process of making them, but just haven’t made any lately. I inherited a pontoon boat so I’m fishing a lot now.
Question: Is there a naughty and nice list?
Santa doesn’t answer this. Instead he cuts his eyes and purses his lips some.
That’s my secret, he says. No. Most kids never get on the naughty list. That’s just scare tactics. Parents. With Santa Claus, there’s no naughty or nice.
Find more of this story in Sunday's Scene section or online at tulsaworld.com/scene.