By Jennifer K. Bauer
Few children will be sitting on Santa’s lap this year because of the pandemic. Instead, Santa and Mrs. Claus are busy answering letters and meeting with kids online from their home at the North Pole.
Several area groups have arranged online or distanced visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus, including the Lewiston Civic Theatre. Santa and Mrs. Claus will meet with kids individually via Zoom from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. People can reserve a time in advance, and proceeds will benefit the theater (see sidebar for details).
There are many unanswered questions about Santa. Before they talk to kids on Sunday, Santa and Mrs. Claus agreed to a quick interview.
How has this year been for you two? Is it business as usual at the North Pole or is this year different?
Santa: We’ve faced challenges this year. Just like anyone with common sense, we’re social distancing and wearing masks. And making Playstations just as fast as we can!
Pressing question: If you’re on the naughty list, what’s a sure-fire way to get back on the nice list?
Santa: Perform an act of kindness. Helping out someone in need can make up for a lot of naughty behavior. And doing your chores the very first time you’re asked really racks up the bonus points.
Mrs. Claus, what is something magical about Santa that people don’t know?
Mrs. Claus: He’s really, really good with spreadsheets. Back in the 1990’s we went digital with the Naughty and Nice lists, really streamlined our whole operation.
Mrs. Claus, we hear a lot about Santa but what about you? What’s your job behind the scenes?
Mrs. Claus: Chief Technology Officer. I keep the workshop up and running, the sleigh flying, and I’m working on a plan to deliver gifts by drone. Still working out the details on that last one.
Santa, have you ever thought of shaving your beard?
Santa: Shave off the money maker? Not a chance! You know we live at the North Pole, right? Chin frostbite is no joke. And if I did shave it off, I’d have to get a new driver’s license photo.
Mrs. Claus: Besides, I like the beard!
What’s your most memorable Christmas Eve?
Mrs. Claus: The night we fell in love.
Santa: But that’s another story for another time.
What do you say to people who claim you do not exist?
Santa: First, I’d say, “I’m rubber and you’re glue!” No, no, that’s not in the Christmas Spirit. I’d say, “Not only is Santa real, he’s with you every day of the year. Every time you do a good deed, or anyone performs an unselfish act, that’s proof that the Clauses are alive and well!”
Opportunities to visit Santa
FRIDAY, Dec. 11 — The Moscow Public Library will host a drive-thru Santa Stop from 10:30 a.m. to noon Friday. Santa and his helpers will remain on the sidewalk in front of the library and deliver treats. Participants must remain in their vehicles; no foot traffic is allowed.
SUNDAY, Dec. 13 — Santa and Mrs. Claus will be available for individual meetings from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday in an online event organized by the Lewiston Civic Theatre. People can reserve a 10-minute time slot for $10 online at www.lctheatre.org under Buy Tickets. A Zoom link and password will be sent via email after purchase. Proceeds will benefit the theater.
Dec. 17 — Santa and Mrs. Claus will read stories online at 7 p.m. next Thursday, Dec. 17, in a program organized by the Colfax Library. People can register for a link by emailing Sherri Miller, associate director and youth services manager, at email@example.com or by calling (509) 397-4366 with participating children’s names and an email address for Zoom login information.