In the “Spirit” of Christmas: Santa and other Miracles
Interview by Wilson B Dedman
GC LIVING: Santa – so nice that you could join us in Arizona’s sunny, beautiful “Golden Corridor” here today for this visit!
SANTA CLAUS: Ho ho ho! Yes, thank you, good to be here, eh?
GC LIVING: “Eh?” That sounds suspiciously Canadian, eh?!
SANTA CLAUS: Ho ho ho! Well, Canadians are my neighbors at the North Pole, you know … very, very fine people! Ho ho ho!
GC LIVING: OK, well thanks for coming down. Speaking of our friends from the Great White North, some of us were wondering if you and Mrs. Claus – or is it Mrs. Santa? – sneak in a little visit to sunny climes once your annual labors are finished. You know, like the so-called snowbirds who flock to Arizona in the winter?
SANTA CLAUS: Well, Mrs. Claus and I have been known to seek some sun, so to speak, from time to time, but we certainly cannot publicize our proclivities, for reasons we are sure you are well aware of, being somewhat in the public relations business yourselves, eh?
GC LIVING: Of course. So – your agent said you agreed to a wide-ranging interview covering a host of domestic as well as international social and political issues, is that right? Now is your chance to back out if you feel that exploring these themes could hurt your image.
SANTA CLAUS: Ho ho ho! No problem! The missus and I feel that since the world has gone astray from the wisdom of the ancient prophets and their time-tested tenets of peace, love, brotherhood and so on, maybe it is time to add our voices to the noise.
GC LIVING: OK, but before we get to all that really heavy stuff, let’s clear up a few small logistical details, for example, like how, actually, do you get around to ALL the children of the world, in the course of one evening? I think our readers would be very interested in answers to little things like that.
SANTA CLAUS: Ho ho ho! Well, my presence all over the world seemingly in an instant is an instance of the narrow, twisting paths between reality and imagination and certainty and whimsy … you certainly would be within your personal thought boundaries if you considered the situation kinda like what Einstein referred to as “spooky action at a distance”. In an experimentally unverifiable macroscopic sense, of course. [Santa winks]
GC LIVING: Well, Santa, of course [sarcastically]; we here at LIVING Magazine deal with spooky action at a distance every day, but I don’t think Einstein was referring to writers not meeting their deadlines – LOL. For the benefit of our perhaps less quantum-mechanically-inclined readers, could you elaborate a bit more?
SANTA CLAUS: Ho ho ho … no. You want the Truth? You can’t handle the Truth! [speaking emphatically] HO HO HO!
GC LIVING: Umm, OK … wow … this is a side of Santa we don’t believe anyone has ever seen before … can we just move on?
SANTA CLAUS: People these days think they know everything. Well, Google – Schmoogle! Even with all your knowledge, you actually know very little. Let’s just leave it at that.
GC LIVING: OK, so let’s also just leave your superposition as a supposition for now, and instead talk about the toys you bring all the “good” children. Surely if we really are talking about ALL the “good” children, it is nonsensical to believe all those toys would fit in your sleigh, right? Please tell us you rely extensively on UPS, FedEx, DHL, Amazon and its drones? Or are you the ultimate magician?! [chuckles]
SANTA CLAUS: [sighs] Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, I suppose.
GC LIVING: Regardless, you must have a mobile GPS app with an algorithmic plug-in that tells the good children from the bad?!
SANTA CLAUS: ALGORITHMS?! Doesn’t anyone notice and recognize miracles anymore? They are all around you, and you don’t even know it.
GC LIVING: Santa, maybe we should take a break. We’re getting nowhere …
MRS CLAUS: Now, now there … my husband is trying his best to help you understand the true nature of Truth and Nature, but words can’t explain magic. This is why we don’t give many interviews.
SANTA CLAUS: Yes. It would appear that humans know less and less, despite more and more information. So sad, so sad … ho ho.
GC LIVING: Let’s go in a different direction; frankly, many children no longer believe in you.
SANTA CLAUS: Good thing I’ve not yet heard about it – ho ho ho! [laughing]
GC LIVING: Mrs. Claus – is he ever serious? Even for a single question?
MRS CLAUS: Well, the truth of the matter is, Truth is just another miracle, and if one no longer speaks the language of Miracles, it is not possible to agree on any truth – large or small, capital “t” or not!
GC LIVING: Ummmm … hmmm … uh, moving right along… tell me this, Santa Claus: would an Indian child of a Hindu family who has never heard of Santa, and does not have a Christmas tree, get a present under it on Christmas morning?
SANTA CLAUS: Boy, now you are really not making any sense! If there is no Christmas tree, how could there possibly be anything under it!! [Mr. & Mrs. Claus laugh heartily]
GC LIVING: I suppose not, no. Still, if that child stayed up late and actually caught sight of you, would he “see” Santa?
SANTA CLAUS: What would a child see if she was looking at a loving feeling or an angel’s reflection in a mirror or a good idea?
GC LIVING: Then you admit that you are imaginary!!!!
SANTA CLAUS: In the flesh! Approximately 400lbs, large and in charge, a figment of your imagination sitting in an uncomfortable chair in your very real conference room answering your interminably inane questions. In the final analysis, though, whatever you decide I am, I am not so very much different than you. Or an angel’s reflection in a mirror.
GC LIVING: Hmm, well … moving right along: do you favor Clinton or Trump?
SANTA CLAUS: What are those? [Mrs. Claus whispers into Santa’s ear] Ah, yes – those comedic actors on the telly on Saturday night? They’re funny!
GC LIVING: Brexit?
SANTA CLAUS: Yes! I just love cracked wheat cereal! Not easy to get at the North Pole, though.
GC LIVING: [sigh] What about the starving children in Somalia?
SANTA CLAUS: I don’t know … Santa’s never been to Somalia.
GC LIVING: AHA!!!!!! Caught you!!
SANTA CLAUS: Huh?!
GC LIVING: How can you claim to bring toys to ALL of the world’s good children, but have not been to Somalia?!!!!
SANTA CLAUS: Two plus two does not always equal five; only sometimes – like when spiders sing folk songs two-by-two in polka-dotted flannel underwear in an octopus’s garden in the rain.
GC LIVING: Excuse me, Santa, but you are starting to talk in circles.
SANTA CLAUS: Some of my favorite arguments are circular! Bounded, one-dimensional infinity! Not to mention that circles are composed of arcs, which, in systems of certain dimensions, can function as geodesics, and I just LOVE geodesics. But all hyperbole aside, some of my favorite functions are hyperbolic! Ho ho ho ho ho ho … [hearty laughter]
GC LIVING: ARRRRRGGGHHH!
MRS CLAUS: Santa, perhaps our poor boy needs some cookies and milk!
SANTA CLAUS: Grok!!!
GC LIVING: I do NOT need milk and cookies. Maybe a sensical conversation though?
SANTA CLAUS: Which came first: the cookies or the milk?
GC LIVING: Oh, I don’t know … seventeen and a half? [sarcastically]
SANTA CLAUS: Oh dear, sounds like you are making progress on the road to Sense! Perhaps we could arrive there sooner if I did the asking. Okay?
GC LIVING: Whatever.
SANTA CLAUS: What do you think of Clinton and Trump?
GC LIVING: I think, like most Americans, that one is a crook and the other a cad and not much has really changed.
SANTA CLAUS: What do you think those hungry Somali children think of them?
GC LIVING: A child’s vision is keener than an adult’s; children see things adults can’t and don’t and wouldn’t even if they could.
SANTA CLAUS: Exactly – stop making sense!! Ho ho ho!
GC LIVING: When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse, out of the corner of my eye. I turned to look, but it was gone, I cannot put my finger on it now, the child is grown, the dream is gone.
SANTA CLAUS: Right again! We are really getting somewhere, as you would say, now!
GC LIVING: With three cats in the yard, life used to be so hard …
SANTA CLAUS: By Jove, I think he’s got it!
GC LIVING: Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer, do … I’m so crazy, all for the love of you …
SANTA CLAUS: Yes, of course!
GC LIVING: Number nine, number nine, number nine, number nine, number nine …
MRS CLAUS: Santa – do something – we’re losing him!
SANTA CLAUS: [shaking interviewer violently] Get a hold of yourself, man!
GC LIVING: [vacantly, with a glazed-over stare and a vaguely Australian accent] G’day!
SANTA CLAUS: Get a grip, man! We were having a brilliant conversation about life, the universe and Santa when you went off on some kind of lyrical lap through the past or something.
GC LIVING: Huh?!
SANTA CLAUS: Mrs. Claus – do something!
MRS CLAUS: How about some cookies and milk?
— five minute break with cookies and milk during which interviewer regains his composure; interview restarts —
GC LIVING: So, Santa, our time is almost up, so let’s try to get some honest, factual answers to some simple, straightforward questions, OK?
SANTA CLAUS: Quite right.
GC LIVING: I think our readers, not to mention our children, want to know some really basic facts about you, like, how old are you?
SANTA CLAUS: I doubt that anybody wants to know that! [snorts]
GC LIVING: Well, you might be right about everybody else, but I want to know the singular, truthful answer to this one simple question; how old are you?
SANTA CLAUS: If there is no single truthful answer, then the question is not a simple one.
GC LIVING: Why must you always, and only, speak in riddles?
SANTA CLAUS: Because that is the nature of Truth. The Truth of the matter is that my presence here, in your interrogation room, in this very scintilla of a NOW that we are sharing, is a very complicated affair of energy that you can only dream about dreaming about. HO HO HO!
The happenstance that a magical being, like myself, should manifest out of thin air in front of you, should be experienced by you as a very unlikely yet fortuitous and sublime event that you are privileged to witness just this once, and perhaps never again. And yet, you gainsay your own good fortune by constructing queries designed to kill the cat, so to speak – Schrodinger’s cat, that is – never knowing, or even imagining, that the rare bird of enlightenment never alights twice in the same place. In all four dimensions of space-time, that is, of course.
Your time with Santa is drawing to a close, and yet when you should suspend your own disbelief and simply marvel at the spirit that I am, that Spirit created right in front of you – a beneficent act of largesse unprecedented in your lifetime – all you can do is think of more and more inane questions to satisfy your own ignorant craving for flat, dead words masquerading as facts, as if those ever would or could aid you in your ignorant thus interminable quest for what you and your species refer to as “truth”.
GC LIVING: HUH?
SANTA CLAUS: The worst of it is that you don’t have any inkling that the drama of Santa is playing out around you, for you and YOU alone, in this exact NOW.
GC LIVING: Sorry. I think. But what about all of the questions?
SANTA CLAUS: What questions?
GC LIVING: All of the questions the World wants answers to, like: How did you get here today? China’s role as an emerging hegemon? The commercialization of Christmas? Other yuletide traditions? How do you get down the chimney of an igloo? What about the children who happen to be on boats on Christmas eve? Or airplanes? What about the bad boys and girls? Do they really not get anything? In our society today, seems to me that there are rewards for any and every behavior? Is a perfect illusion still an illusion?
What about Jesus? Do you and He speak often? Mohammed? Buddha? Did you know them? Do you still? Do they live at Santa’s Village? Or do they just visit? Does Santa’s Village have guest quarters? Do the Elves know them? Who does the dishes? Do our modern flights over the North Pole disrupt your solitude? What about submarines under the North Pole? Do you hibernate? Your reindeer? Obviously you have stand-ins for your appearances at malls and such, right? What question(s) do you get asked the most? Do all dogs go to Heaven? Where is Heaven, exactly? Did you know Methusaleh? Ibn Batutta? Do Gandhi and Lord Mountbatten get along yet?
How many acres are there in Santa’s Village? Is there really such a thing as the Polar Express? Are the Elves unionized? Does the North Pole have a Mayor? Do you believe in God? Are there children on other planets? Other Santa’s? Do you have any brothers or sisters? How many languages do you speak? Did you graduate from high school? Are there cars at the North Pole? Are your parents still alive? Was Mrs. Claus your high school sweetheart? Have you ever told a lie? What is your favorite color? Do you prefer McDonalds or Burger King?
Why are the French so … well, you know, fruity? Why don’t the Germans control the entire universe? How many universes are there, really? Does your portfolio include T-bills? Are there ATMs at the North Pole? Why are there so many species of insects? Do you pray? When you pray, do you get on your knees? Have you had replacements? Do you ever get sick? Do you have diabetes? Obamacare? NHS? Why are progressives so obstinately regressive? Have you ever seen a UFO? Why are there no spaceports in Africa?
Why do some children die in infancy? Why do religions make war against each other? What is your favorite Holiday? Do you go to church? Do you have Mondays at the North Pole? Have you ever taken an IQ test? Does FedEx deliver to the North Pole? What does God think of us humans at the moment? How did you deliver toys before sleighs were invented? How long does it take to train a reindeer to fly? What do they eat? Are quantum mechanics and relativity unified at the North Pole? Are dolphins really that smart? Did the mafia have Kennedy killed? Is the Bermuda Triangle really a secret Tibetan undersea Naval base? Will Craig McFarland make a good Mayor? What happened to MH370? What happened to Amelia Earhart? Did Moses really part the Red Sea?
SANTA CLAUS: Excuse me!! Hey – excuse me, please, hang on a sec here. What is the point of all these questions?
GC LIVING: Well, Santa, this is an interview. An interview is an arrangement whereby the interviewer (me) asks the interviewee (you) questions, answers to which you give, for the benefit of an audience, in this case our readers.
SANTA CLAUS: I know what an interview is. What I want to know is how you and your readers can possibly hope to benefit from my simple yet deeply and starkly truthful answers to your silly questions.
GC LIVING: … well … er, uh …
SANTA CLAUS: Yes, I thought so. Now I have a few final questions for you. #1: How many fish does eleventy-nine purple quake? #2: Are any of your many questions more important than mine?
GC LIVING: But …
SANTA CLAUS: Thank you for this exceptional opportunity to clear things up. Mrs. Claus – shall we be leaving?
GC LIVING: Wait, wait! You can’t leave like this!
SANTA CLAUS: Ho ho ho!
GC LIVING: We have some questions actually asked by kids – would you mind spending a few more minutes, answering their questions?
SANTA CLAUS: Ho ho… OK.
GC LIVING: What is your middle name?
SANTA CLAUS: Nick
GC LIVING: What is your last name?
SANTA CLAUS: Claus
GC LIVING: How did you get your beard?
SANTA CLAUS: It grew, I never shaved it.
GC LIVING: Can you teach me magic?
SANTA CLAUS: No
GC LIVING: Where did you grow up?
SANTA CLAUS: The North Pole
GC LIVING: What is your mother’s name?
SANTA CLAUS: Mother
GC LIVING: What is your chief elf’s name?
SANTA CLAUS: Bernard
GC LIVING: How old are you?
SANTA CLAUS: I never tell!
GC LIVING: What is your favorite type of cookie?
SANTA CLAUS: Chocolate Chip
GC LIVING: Did you ever ice-skate?
SANTA CLAUS: I tried but wasn’t very good at it
GC LIVING: Do you overheat at night?
SANTA CLAUS: YES! It’s hard work.
GC LIVING: So how do you stay cool?
SANTA CLAUS: I live at the North Pole.
GC LIVING: Thank you, Santa. This session has got me thinking about the true meaning of Christmas, and the spirit of Santa.
SANTA CLAUS: Oh, stop it. There you go again: thinking! Just turn off your brain and live from your heart. Don’t analyze Santa – feel me! Be silent for a change; let the real joy of existence – magic and miracles – settle into your own spirit. And now we must be going … wink, wink, poof!