thebiginterview

Mr K reporting from the North Pole…

Some interviews are considered career defining. Some even stand the test of time and become legendary. Call it intuition or a struggling writer’s hunch but today’s interview may just be the most magical and awe inspiring interview of all time for me. The fact that I am sat here somewhere just outside the North Pole getting ready for this interview is surreal enough. Then considering the fact I am surrounded by ice and snow yet feel perfectly comfortable is crazy. But preparing to interview Santa, well that just blows my mind.

3389058334_1ac9d4dc08_zNorth Pole by walkadog

The room is beautifully simple. Every fixture and fitting is carved from ice or sculpted from snow, a perfect blend providing both structure and comfort. My ice chair is softened by a snow cushion and decorated by what look like Midget Iced Gems. My senses are overloaded and confused as a heat emanates throughout my body.

I place my notepad and pencil on the table. A steaming cup of hot chocolate and a small plate of mince pies invite me to indulge. Opposite there is a small glass of brandy. I have to chuckle to myself. This is exactly what we used to leave for Santa on Christmas Eve when I was a child.

After rearranging the notepad and pencil and adjusting my seating position for what seems like the hundredth time I become aware just how nervous I am. Then it happens. The lights flicker on and off, the ice walls become a translucent blue and it begins snowing… inside! Two huge red velvet curtains part from the other side of the room and in enters a truly unmistakable sound …

SantaSanta via Portable North Pole

Santa – Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas Mr. K. Welcome! Welcome to my humble home, the North Pole.

It really is him. Dressed in huge red dungarees, a long sleeved white thermal top and black boots. He bounds across the room, his eyes sparkling and his cheeks rosy red, framed perfectly by his beard that looks like it is made from the whitest of clouds. He is quite easily the most jolly and friendly person I have ever seen. I can’t quite believe it, it really is him!

I am now shaking the hand of Father Christmas himself!

Mr. KPlease, the honour is certainly all mine. Thank you very much for this amazing opportunity and for taking a few moments of your very precious time to speak with me.

SantaOf course. Please be seated. Would you care for any more hot chocolate or would another tipple be more to your fancy?

There is a glint in his eye that belies his iconic standing, as though he is sat across the table from me as just another man in the pub rather than the legendary Father Christmas.

Mr. K – Another hot chocolate would be perfect.

At that moment a rather unusual snowflake catches my attention. It is larger than the others and moving sideways. It floats gently and hovers just centimetres above the palm of his hand. He raises his hand to his mouth and then blows it towards me. The snowflake spins, twinkles and bounces until it is directly over my cup. It changes before my eyes into a small cloud and then begins raining chocolate. As the last drop falls the cloud splits into several smaller snowflakes and disappears.

Santa – There we go. Just one last thing – a little memento for you before we begin.

A small robin darts in through the window carrying… wait for it… a ‘Father Christmas’ hat. It drops the hat on my head and, of course, it fits perfectly.

3195113510_dd44da21da_zRobin via davehamster

Santa – Thank you Dillon.

The robin seemed to curtsy before disappearing out of the same window.

Now Mr. K whenever you are ready.

I cleared my throat and dived in…

Mr. K – How are you leading a life ‘doing what you love’?

Santa – Great question. Well, my team and I strive for one purpose – to remind the children (and occasionally the adults) of this wonderful world that magic does indeed exist. To help awaken their imagination and see their eyes come alive is a delight which I will never tire of experiencing. To bring a smile to a single child’s face is reward enough. To do so to millions? Well that is just a treasure of a job. Wouldn’t you agree?

Mr. K – What did you do before this?

Santa – Before this… wow that was a long time ago. Let me cast my mind back. Ho ho ho… oh yes I remember. I was a doctor of sorts. I had studied children’s medicine with local doctor Jens Brandels in Tromso. I went with him everywhere we were required. It was a wonderful and at times heartbreaking experience but I knew I was on the right path helping children.

Mr. K – Why do you do what you do?

SantaReally now Mr. K. I’m sure that question answers itself.

Mr. K – Yes sorry that was stupid of me. You are instantly recognised all over the world. You must have a powerful marketing machine behind you. What is your secret?

Santa – Mrs. Klaus! And she is very much looking forward to meeting you later.

Mr. K – Amazing, I can’t wait to meet her either.

Mr. K – How do you handle the logistical challenges of having such a seasonal peak of international deliveries in December?

Santa – It is all in the detail – planning, a little more planning and of course just a hint of magic. The way I look at it is I have to be at my best for one night only. Not a bad job, hey? Ho Ho Ho!

Mr. K – What kind of team do you have around you? What are the key roles in your team and who plays them?

Santa – My team? Where do I start? There is of course Mrs. Klaus without whom nothing would be possible.

My head Toy Innovator is Atarashi Present, a wonderful man who was invited here from Kyoto, Japan back in 1784. He creates the most wonderful toys and never ceases to amaze me. He works very closely with children all over the world to develop the toys they dream of, but does it is in disguise so they never know. How else could we ensure our toys are just perfect?

Our Senior Packer and Wrapper is Holly Primrose. Holly is an elf and has a team of elves who I believe are closely related to her. They scour this and other mystical worlds to make sure only the most fantastical of paper is used.

Last but not least is Arthur Swift. Arthur is a lovely Irish man who moved to Lapland because of his love of reindeer. He is now working with his tenth generation of reindeer. However none of his work would be possible without some very generous ideas given to us by Mr. Charles Pillow of Cloud City. But he is a completely different story for another time.

And last but not least the real team players are all the parents that let me and my team take a few plaudits for all their hard work. I take my Santa hat off to them all. Ho ho ho.

Mr. K – How do you keep your employees motivated?

Santa – Music, mince pies, milk, brandy, plenty games and of course giving them Dec 26 – March 1st off!

Mr. K – What impact has the internet had on Christmas?

Santa – The World Wide Web, what a marvellous creation. The idea was born over a few too many Eskimo ales at the Red Reindeer Pub during a discussion I had with Atarashi and Arthur. We decided that the idea had to be harnessed and developed properly so we dropped it into the stocking of a young boy called Tim Berners-Lee. Just look what he has done with it. Wonderful stuff.

The internet has helped connect so many people and families worldwide with loved ones. That is a true gift. It even allows people to teach on-line, doesn’t it (wink wink)? And did you know you can arrange for me to send a special personalised message to your children using the internet? Have a look at this clever site here.

Mr. K – Yes it is an extremely powerful tool. What do you do to relax?

Santa – I love a few cheeky Eskimo ales with the boys, and travelling of course. But of late, cosying up with Mrs. Klaus with a special mug of hot chocolate to watch Downton Abbey is a definite must! I am looking forward to their Christmas Special…

Mr. K – What aspect of your service are you most proud of?

Santa – The longevity of it. We live in a very cynical world but my business and everyone concerned ensures it has never lost any of its magic. The hope that exists in everyone fuels us all here at the North Pole. It is obviously stronger in children whilst they are protected from the world but I can sense magic and the belief in possibility returning among adults too. If you can believe in a rotund jolly man delivering presents from his magic sleigh then you can believe in anything!!

Mr. K – Absolutely. Thank you so much Santa. It has been an honour.

Santa – It was an absolute pleasure. I only ask that you and your wife continue your work at Do What You Love. The world has never been more exciting and I just wish more people were doing what they love every day. I look forward to seeing how everyone prospers. I must go now as the reindeer need a run out.

Just one last thing, I would like to wish everyone in the Do What You Love family all over the world a very Merry Christmas!…

3192039702_0a35e1c265_zReindeer via peupleloup

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