My Holiday Gift to You - A Piece Of My Mind
About two years ago I wrote this holiday piece, it was well received and many enjoyed it.
Cut to early October 2013, Jason, a reader from Jamestown, NY sent me an e-mail
A few years ago, my wife and I read and enjoyed your interview with Santa Claus. I have a six year old daughter who still believes in Santa. I wanted to read this interview to her. I searched the internet and could not find it. (Bennet Note-I also checked the net and did not find it either). Could you possible send me a copy or reprint this cute holiday, so I can share this with my child?
A few days later, my friend and fellow writer Dan Conrad yahoo messaged me.
“Pomerantz, wondered if you had a copy of that interview with Santa Claus you did a few years ago in Night Owl. My Nephew is four and I told him that my friend Bennet interviewed the big red one. Can you get me copy?”
A day later, I was eating lunch in a Chinese restaurant. I opened my fortune cookie to see the message HAPPENESS IS KNOWING A MAN IN A RED SUIT . Fate did not have to hit me with a thunderbolt. I figured if I got another Santa reference and if I did not reprint this column, it would be a sign of the apocalypse.
So I added a few things and have given all of you my holiday gift to you.
Season Greetings - Bennet
A Piece of My Mind a Special Interview by Bennet Pomerantz
I received a special invitation in my mail box a few weeks ago. It was in a red envelope with a North Pole postmark and a Santa Claus hat stamp. I wondered who I knew at the North Pole.
I enjoy your To Be or What Columns in the North Pole Gazette. I also enjoy your Piece of My Mind Columns in the Night Owl Magazine. I will be in the Washington, DC area soon. I would enjoy sitting down with you for a special interview, if you have the time. Please reply to my email address email@example.com and let’s discuss the interview.
I e-mailed this gentleman back, thinking it was a large hoax. I mean me interviewing Santa Claus... It must be a hoax or some PR stunt
He replied back to my email and invited me to a special luncheon interview at this private club in Georgetown, the Jack Frost club. I was told in the e-mail to just bring a notebook, a tape recorder if I needed it, and any research I needed for notes, but no photographic equipment or cell phones that take pictures. I agreed reluctantly in my e-mail back to him.
A few days later, I arrived by cab at 333 Happiness Lane., It was on a dead end street. This large Brownstone building had all the windows frosted white, more than other building nearby.
I entered the Frost club to be greeted by a dwarfish butler dressed in green elf suit. The lobby decor was a wintergreen color and the smell of sweet and fresh baked gingerbread. Fir trees lined the lobby. The air was warm and inviting. The elf took my winter coat from me. He said. "Mr. Kringle is in the red room library."
He led me down a hall. Pictures of deer and winter scenes aligned the walls. I entered a room filled with books. A fireplace was roaring next to a fully decorated six foot Christmas tree.
A jolly older man with a solid white beard sat comfortable in an easy chair. He wore a red Redskins track suit and red velvet slippers. "You must be Bennet!" I agreed with a simple nod of my head. "And you wondered why I contacted you?" I nodded again, not knowing what to say. "Well, my boy, I have watched your work for years. I know you research your subjects very well before you interview them . . . So I selected you."
“Selected me?” I questioned
“Yes, let’s eat lunch and then we can talk.” He held out a tin of small cookies. “Gingerbread cookie?” I nodded and took one
We both sat a wooden table, it was like a large elf bench. The same dwarf who took my coat placed two large salad plates in a peppermint design. . Then he placed a large salad bowl in front of the two of us. We ate a large chef salad with wild duck meat and dried cranberries over a bed of fresh micro greens. Together in semi silence. It was served with a honey mead drink in silver goblets.
I set my tape recorder up and started the interview:
Bennet Pomerantz: Shall we start now? (I’ve spoken more into my tape recorder than to this gentleman) So what do I call you? You have so many names, so many aliases . . . Saint Basil, Pere Noel, Saint Nicolas, Kris Kringle, Saint Nick, Korvatunturi, Haglos Nikolaos, the man in red, Father Christmas, Babbo Natale, Sinterklaas, Shengdan Laoren, and Santa Claus. So which one of these names do you use on a daily basis?
Santa Claus: I see you have done your homework, Bennet (He smiled). I have used all of those name at one time or another. However, most call me either Kris or Santa now.
BP: Okay, Kris . . . why do you think you deserve an interview now?
SC: Well, over the years I have been written about many times, and over the years I have also written a few books. So I thought I would give you a special interview for your readers . . . .
BP: Written? I didn't know you were a writer.
SC: I was discussing this point once with Doctor John H. Watson who used his literary agent Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle to get his memoir work published.
BP: John H. Watson?
SC: You have read the Sherlock Holmes stories, haven't you? (I nodded.)
BP: Who is your literary agent?
SC: I have had a number of them over the years. Washington Irving, Clement Clarke Moore, Francis P. Church and L. Frank Baum have handled my works to name a few.
BP: L. Frank Baum? He wrote The Wizard of OZ. He was your literary agent?
SC: He co-wrote The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus with me in early 1900. If you note on the book's cover, the author is me, as told to L. Frank Baum. However before that Washington Irving and I shared the pen name of Diedrich Knickerbocker for History of New York in 1773. In that text, we addressed the story of Sinterklaas to the Dutch settlers to make them feel at home in the United States. In 1822, Clement Clarke Moore and I collaborated on a poem "An Account of a Visit from St. Nicolas." Many nowadays may know the poem from its first line, "Twas the Night before Christmas" and dear Francis who wrote the editorial, “Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus” We discuss his piece before he published his famous editorial with my help.
BP: How old are you?
SC: Let’s say I have been around a few years.
BP: Do you have a new book or a special project you are doing this year? You know causes are in this year. SC (Chuckled) NO, I don't, dear boy. Consider this interview my special gift of the season to you and your readers, Bennet.
BP: You know Santa I always wanted a pony…
SC: I know, ever since you were six.
BP: (my mouth gaped open in surprise) Yes, how did you know? ...well, never mind! So what happened to my pony?
SC: Well Bennet, you were always good…but not THAT good!
BP: Let’s continue...Do you really live at the North Pole?
SC: Yes, I do . . . that is my main residence and toy shop for most of the year. However, I have a small home in Miami, where Mrs. Claus and I repose after the Christmas holidays. Even I need a vacation after Christmas!
BP: Do you really have elves living with you at the North Pole?
SC: Yes, many of the elves' families live at my North Pole compound. Many generations of elven families live and work together in peace. Most assume my job happens in one night, it takes all year long.
BP: Can you give me a best guess of how many presents you give out a year to all the good boys and girls?
SC: Well it was estimated about 667 million in a Time Magazine article a few years ago...but I have lost count.
BP: You cover about an estimate of 111 million miles in one night, which is a lot of traveling for one man in one night, is that right?
SC: Sounds correct to me . . . and you wonder how I can do it in one night, right? (I nodded and he laughed). That would be telling my trade secrets.
BP: Pixie Dust as in the movies?
SC: That is more Peter Pan's style and not mine.
BP: Let’s change the subject. Some people, per my research notes, state you are also the Norse god Thor.
SC: I have heard that rumor a few times over the centuries. Both of us have long flowing white beards and traditionally wear red clothes. We both are Norse Yule time specters who reside in the North land of the Pole.
We both are kind to mortals, but you may say mankind. And no, I do not swing a hammer like a Marvel comic book character. Nevertheless, I am not him. I think the Easter Bunny started that rumor.
BP: How do you like the way you are portrayed in movies and television?
SC: Imitation is the best form of flattery. I enjoy the inventive ways they try to tell my story.
BP: So you do have a favorite version of the cinematic you?
SC: I did like Tim Allen in the Santa Clause. And Ed Asner in Elf.
BP: What do you think of Miracle on 34th Street?
SC: I love that old classic version the best, Mrs. Claus and I try to watch it every holiday season.
BP: How do you like being a legend of holiday joy?
SC: It is a great feeling, especially since this world has so much unrest currently. To be a symbol of happiness during the holiday season gives me great comfort and joy.
BP: What about the people who don't believe in you?
SC: As long as they have love in their heart, I will always be there for them in spirit.
BP: What do you think about all the Santa’s in the department stores at Christmas time?
SC: As long as they care about the children and treat them with love and respect, I am happy to enjoy the imitators. Sometime I slip into a mall and watch a good Santa work with the children.
BP: Have you ever given the department story Santa pointers to be more like you?
SC: (Laughed) NO, most do a fine job representing me.
BP: I have a really silly question...Do you see them when they're sleeping...Know when they're awake...Know if you been bad or good?
SC: Yes I do.
BP: Want to tell the readers how?
SC: Again top secret Trade Secrets. The good children already know.
BP: Santa, I been good this year. Think I can have that pony this year?
SC: You want a lump of coal in your stocking again this year, Bennet?
BP: No, Sir.
SC: So don't ask for the pony again!
BP: Sorry. (Santa laughed, YES his belly did roll like a bowl full of jelly). So does Rudolph really have a shiny red nose to guide your sleigh?
SC: Yes he does. His son also has a shiny red nose and will take over when he retires.
BP: Are you ever going to retire?
SC: Never, it keeps me young Bennet. I know you have so many more questions for me, but my time is growing short today. I need to head back to the pole soon. Let me leave this thought with you and your readers. As hard as the world has become this year with all its difficulties, I will be around and in the hearts of all the honorable people during the holiday season. Tell all, I desire them to rejoice in happiness in their lives this year and in many years to come.
Santa got up and shook my hand as he left the room. I gathered my stuff and put it in my canvas bag.
The greenish dressed dwarf gave me my coat and led me to the door of the Frost club. I put on my coat and picked up by bag. I stepped away from the building. There was a large gust of wind. I turned around quickly and the club vanished. Now before me was a blank alley way. All I could hear was the December wind howling what I thought was a Ho-Ho-Ho, as I saw a streak across the sky.
Season Greetings to all from me and keep reaching for the stars
Columnist: Bennet Pomerantz has covered the Audio medium for the last 20 years. He has syndicated newspaper columns, AUDIOWORLD and "Movies of Your Mind", in Affaire De Coeur Magazine. In which he showcase his vast and diverse knowledge of the spoken word medium.
He is also known as a media review critic (books, music, graphic novels, DVDs, CDs) in his weekly syndicated newspaper column "A Piece of the Page". He also is a ranked media reviewer for Amazon.com. http://www.facebook.com/bennet.pomerantz1 / E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org