Oh my goodness, it’s that time again. Santa was so busy doing other things that he almost forgot to write you his annual letter. It is a good thing I have Mrs. Claus around to remind me. Otherwise I would be lost.
Every year around this time Santa almost forgets lots of the things he has to do as his list of good children grows (yes, Santa does have a list and does check it – more than twice). Children realize that being good is important, but while being good just before Christmas is a wonderful idea, being good all year is even better and remember, Santa knows.
We really didn’t have much of a summer up here at the North Pole and I hear it was the same where you live. When it was warm Santa ran around in his Santa Shorts, even though Mrs. Claus says Santa’s legs are too hairy and knees too knobby to do that. The elves laugh when she says that to me and even laugh more when I tell her that the hair is what keeps my legs warm. We all have a good time here at the North Pole.
Every year children, and even some adults, ask me a lot of questions about my sleigh, like how I can get all the toys into it, how it can fly when loaded and what it looks like.
Well, Santa can easily clear up a couple of the questions. It flies the same way Santa and the reindeer fly, with a little bit of magic, and it is that same magic that allows Santa to get all the presents into it and get up and down chimneys.
Santa has had his sleigh for many, many years and it has served him well. It was custom made for him by some very talented sleigh makers out of the best hardwoods and the skis (often called runners) are shod with the best steel the builders could find.
Some might call it a freighting sleigh since it was specially made for Santa with a large box behind the driver’s seat to hold the huge bag of toys. Of course it is larger than the normal sleigh and takes eight (and often nine, with Rudolph) reindeer to pull it.
It is painted green and has beautiful decorations in gold leaf all over it. All the fittings that hold the reins are made from the best brass, which the elves keep brightly shined. And they polish all the wonderful bells on it and the reindeer even brighter.
Every year the elves and I check everything on it and make sure that it is in really good shape for its annual trip, since it gets a lot of bumps and scratches every Christmas Eve. It would be terrible if something on it broke.
Santa has a second identical sleigh in case that happens, but valuable time would be lost getting the backup sleigh to Santa, hooking up to the reindeer and getting all the toys moved from one sleigh to another. Getting all the toys delivered in one day is hard enough without a delay, so we are very careful when we check it.
Last year we gave both of the sleighs a real going-over. Santa and the elves scraped off all the old paint to look for cracks in the wood and fixed any that we found. Then we checked the skis for wear and rust and made sure they were still in good shape. After all the repair work was done, we repainted them with the best paint we could get, but instead of painting them both red, we painted one red and one green. Then Mrs. Claus, our family artist, redid all the gold leaf decorations.
Some of the elves wanted her to put things like “My other sleigh is also a sleigh,” and “Honk if you believe in Santa” on the back of the sleigh. She laughed and told them they were silly.
The elves like to do fun things, often without asking, so both she and Santa have to watch out all the time. Several times they have hid a squeaky toy under the seat for Santa to sit on and wonder where the noise was coming from, and once Santa found that they had attached red and green paper streamers to the back of the sleigh. They were pretty, but Santa was afraid they might break off and during the trip and Santa didn’t want to litter the earth with pieces of colored streamer.
We all know littering is bad, don’t we? That is one of the things Santa checks for when he makes up his good and bad lists.
Mrs. Claus also sewed some new covers for the sleigh’s seat. They get really dirty each year because of all the chimney soot Santa gets on his suits. She says if we keep the seats covered the original leather will last forever. Santa agrees, but sometimes she uses fabric with hearts or little ducks on it and Santa doesn’t discover it until Christmas Eve. She too has a great sense of humor, which is one more of the reasons Santa loves her so much.
Well, Santa better end this letter. I asked the elves to take the reindeer out for some walking exercise, but they like to trick the elves and fly. Santa just looked out the window and saw Prancer fly by with a couple of elves holding on to her antlers as tightly as they can, so Santa better go out and get them down before something bad happens.
Keep sending all those letters to Santa and, most of all, mind your manners, listen to your parents and teachers, be kind and, especially, take good care of each other.
Love, your good friend, Santa Claus
P.S. Remember, soft chocolate chip cookies and a glass of cold milk are Santa’s favorite treat and the reindeer especially like carrots.