HE has spent much of the last few months replying to emails, letters and notes posted up chimneys across the globe but this week Santa took time out from his busy schedule to answer 20 questions put by young visitors to the North Yorkshire Moors railway.
The railway is a picturesque 18-mile line between Pickering and Grosmont through the heart of the national park and Father Christmas has been a regular passenger down the years on the steam and heritage diesel trains that are hugely popular with visitors.
Santa’s responses to the questions put by Yorkshire children provide an intriguing insight into the life of one of the world’s most famous, yet largely mysterious characters who faces the busiest night of his year tomorrow.
Whilst he has been played by many famous actors down the years, including Sir Richard Attenborough, Tom Hanks and Tim Allen, Santa explains that he feels a more handsome Hollywood A-lister is better suited to taking on the role.
He confesses to having secret regrets about his controversial decision to omit his best known and most reliable reindeer from sleigh-pulling duties some years ago.
And he reveals that if he had the choice of doing any other job, then he’d like to work right here in God’s own country on the North Yorkshire Moors railway!
Here are Santa’s answers to the 20 questions posed by Yorkshire children:
1. Describe yourself in three words.
Jolly, generous and jovial.
2. What is your greatest achievement?
Making Christmas such a wonderful time for people all over the world.
3. What is your biggest regret?
Not asking Rudolph to guide my sleigh on Christmas Eve.
4. What are your ambitions and aims?
To make sure that everyone who is on my nice list has a wonderful Christmas.
5. Write your own epitaph.
Ho! Ho! Ho! I won’t need one of those!
6. What is your first childhood memory?
Oh dear, that is such a long time ago. But some of my favourite memories are making so many children happy.
7. What is your top tip for a happy life?
Loads of presents and family hugs. I love a kiss from Mrs Claus!
8. Describe your perfect day?
Feet up with a warming mug of hot chocolate after a long evening delivering gifts around the world.
9. Which three people, dead or alive, would you invite to a dinner party?
Thomas the Tank Engine, Harry Potter and the Easter Bunny as we would have such magical fun. Ho! Ho! Ho!
10. Who would you like to play you in a film of your life?
I have always thought George Clooney had a little bit of my looks and charm.
11. Where is your favourite place in the world and why?
My cosy log cabin in the heart of the North Pole, because my lovely wife, Mrs Claus and my elves are there.
12. What is your favourite book, record and film and why?
My favourite book is ‘The Snowman’, because everyone loves a festive story.
My favourite song is ‘Last Christmas’ by Wham! – It always make me want to dance.
Finally my favourite film is ‘Elf’, as it is a true story about my human elf, Buddy.
13. Who has been the biggest influence in your life and why?
That has to be all the wonderfully well behaved children I visit on Christmas Eve.
14. What would be your specialist subject for Mastermind and why?
Geography and capital cities! I have in-built Santanav to help me navigate my way around the world in one evening!
15. If you won a million pounds, what would you spend it on?
I have always thought about upgrading my sleigh to something with a little more power, such as a magical flying steam train.
16. If you could introduce one new law tomorrow what would it be?
That we could celebrate Christmas every day!
17. What three things would you take with you to a desert island?
Some Bermuda shorts, mince pies and sun glasses… Maybe I should include Mrs Claus.
18. If you could be any animal, what would it be and why?
I would love to be a reindeer as I know how much fun and mischief Rudolph and the others can get up to.
19. If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
I have always thought about becoming a steam engine driver on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.
20. What was your favourite year and why?
2015 has been my most enjoyable year so far, there are so many children on my nice list.
For more information on the North Yorkshire Moors railway please click here