Santa Claus – or St. Nicholas, as he is sometimes called – doesn’t talk much about how he started his career, but it’s clear he now dominates the holiday-toy delivery industry. His signature innovations include the “naughty/nice list” gift delineation process and the trademark “Rudolph, Guide My Sleigh Tonight” GPS-free navigation system. With headquarters at the North Pole (low real estate prices and lack of regulations), Santa supposedly works with legions of elves to make toys and deliver them on one ridiculously efficient night (that’s his story, anyway). He declined to provide financials on his operation, claiming he doesn’t have any. We caught up with Santa at the Maine Mall, where he has been chatting with local children for the past several weeks.

Q: Santa, how are you?

A: I’m jolly, as always.

Q: I know that this is your busy time of year. What are you up to?

A: I’m trying to meet with the boys and girls and collect all their Christmas lists to make sure they get what they want. There are lots and lots of lists, but I’ve got the elves and Mrs. Claus to help out.

Q: Do you still keep lists on paper, or have you switched to an electronic system?


A: Santa’s pretty old-fashioned; I still use a pencil and paper. I’m sure Mrs. Claus and the elves have an updated system. Just like everyone else in the world, we surround ourselves with good people.

Q: As long as we’re talking about lists, is it still a straight naughty-or-nice system? Isn’t there some gray area?

A: I believe that all boys and girls are basically nice. Everyone has a bad day. We all have a little misfit in us. It’s the idea we all want to be better if we can.

Q: With shifts to new heating systems such as gas conversions or heat pumps, how do you handle the no-chimney home?

A: Santa is based on belief in the magical and I have a magical key to open up a door to get into the room where I need to leave the presents. Also, the elves are pretty small and can help out if we need them need to.

Q: People have done calculations and determined it’s physically impossible for you to get presents to all the children in the world in one night. They say it doesn’t add up.


A: The belief in a lot of things doesn’t add up. I believe I can do it, and every year I accomplish it. It’s a team effort, and there’s a lot of magic and love in the world that helps me do it.

Q: Are global warming and melting polar ice caps limiting your ability to make all those toys? Does it impact your logistics operation?

A: Not at all. Santa’s right there at the top of the world, working on toys, and the elves are working on new things. We don’t let anything get in the way.

Q: What are the criteria for deciding whether Rudolph’s on the team each year?

A: There’s bad weather all over the world so Rudolph is always hitched up just in case he’s needed.

Q: Now that you’re done for another year, what’s next for you?

A: Santa takes a long, well-deserved nap, but shortly afterward, it’s time to begin again for next year.

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