Well, what a delight it is to be a guest blogger for the sleep experts, Bensons for Beds. As Mrs. Claus would tell you, sleep is a subject very close to my heart and I love nothing more than a good snooze in my sleigh bed. I need all the sleep I can get as I prepare for the Christmas Eve delivery (and during many of the days and nights following!).
I’m often writing letters to children who send me their Christmas lists from all cross the world, but I rarely get the chance to speak to so many people on this wonderful thing called the World Wide Web.
Each year I receive millions of letters from boys and girls from all over the globe letting me know what they’d like for Christmas. What you may not know is that I receive letters from adults too and it’s wonderful to know that so many grown-ups like you are keeping the magic of Christmas alive.
With so many children and adults writing to me, it can be a bit tricky to fit in everything I want to say, so I thought this would be the ideal opportunity to answer some questions I’m often asked and to let you in on some of my Santa Secrets ahead of the Big Day.
Who is Santa Claus?
Some of you may know me as St. Nicholas, or Santa Claus, and others may call me Father Christmas, Kris Kingle, Papa Noel, Sinterklass or Święty Mikołaj. These are just a few of the names I have, and I consider myself very lucky to be known by so many different wonderful titles across the globe. There are also many stories about how I came to give gifts to children all over the world and I’m often asked which one is true. Half the fun is keeping schtum about which stories are true and which are not, so I’m not going to reveal everything...
Ho Ho However, I can say is that I am proud to be the CEO of Christmas Gifts Inc. (CGI) – sorry, joint CEO (Mrs Claus has been reading over my shoulder and has not-so-subtly reminded me to be a bit more accurate). For those who don't know who I am and what I do, one day every year on Christmas Eve I visit homes all over the world to deliver gifts in celebration of the festive season.
How old is Father Christmas?
The fact I’ve been in this business almost 2000 years (1) may give you some inkling as to how old I am. Although I won’t put an exact number on it, I will tell you is that I’m a lot older than I look. In fact, it’s surprising how those mince pies and carrots you very kind people put out for me on Christmas Eve keep me looking young. What? You didn’t think the carrots were just for the Reindeer did you? Rudolph’s not the only one that appreciates a tasty root vegetable.
Presents of Christmas Past
When children write to me with their Christmas lists, it’s always so interesting to see what they would like to receive. Things have changed so much through the decades, and the elves and I have had to “get with the times” as the youngsters say (Mrs Claus has just informed me that they don’t actually say that anymore. In fact, if I’m correctly interpreting the look on Mrs Claus’ face, they may never have used that phrase at all).
Toys and tech have changed a lot over the years - I remember when we first upgraded the sleigh with Sat Nav. It took some getting used to I can tell you, but it did put a stop to all those wrong turns Rudolph used to take (oh the tales I could tell!).
From train sets to Etch a Sketches
I must admit, the talented elves in the Innovation and Design Department have had their work cut out for them throughout the years.
For example, in the early 1900’s children would write to me asking for nuts, and wooden musical instruments(2). By the 1940’s a lot of you appreciated receiving books and gardening tools and seeds(3). Train sets and sweets were very popular during the 1950’s and I can still remember how much I enjoyed being chief tester of the sugar mice and liquorice sweets that were the stocking-filers of the time. Around the 1970’s and 80’s things started to get more, “fiddly”, shall I say, when Christmas lists would include things like Barbie dolls, Action Man figures, and Etch a Sketches.
The year I lost the Naughty and Nice List
Oh! That reminds me of the year I thought it would be fun to write the entire Naughty and Nice List on Etch a Sketches. You can probably guess what happened…Let’s just say that it involved one very mischievous elf being a bit naughty as I was taking a well-earned nap during a list-making break – I did say I like my sleep! The result was a pile of completely cleared Etch a Sketches, no list, and everyone having to be put on the Nice List that year (besides that naughty elf of course!)
What presents do children want this year?
So, what have children been asking me for this year? Well, I couldn’t possibly breach their confidence by telling you what's in their letters. No really, since the Data Protection Act came in, I’ve had to be a lot more careful about spilling the beans.
Luckily, Bensons conducted their own bit of research on Instagram, so I can in fact reveal what’s on children’s (and adults’) Christmas lists this year without ending up on the Naughty List myself (phew!).
65% of you said that the best thing about Christmas was spending time with family and friends, which is truly a wonderful thing to hear.
As expected, parents and carers say that over half of children are hoping I’ll leave the latest gadget or toy under the Christmas tree this year. 54% of the adults who took part in the poll say they'll be spending much less on Christmas this year, and 65% don’t expect any gifts for themselves this Christmas.
We too have been tightening our belts here at the North Pole.
Although there may not be as many gifts under the tree this year, I will make sure I leave plenty of Christmas magic and good cheer so you can feel the wonder of this special day with whomever you spend it with and whatever gifts you get.
Well, it’s almost time for me to go. I have a lot to do before Christmas Eve and need to make sure the sleigh is ship shape and ready to go.
Before I leave, I will answer a final question - one I am asked quite often - “Can I track Santa”?
I'm happy to tell you that the answer is, yes you can!
If you want to see my journey as I drop off presents all around the world on Christmas Eve, you can visit Google's Santatracker.
Make sure you're sound asleep before I get to your house though, and no peeking!
- How Old Is Santa Claus? Father Christmas' Age Revealed (newsweek.com)
Instagram Poll Conducted December 2022What’s your favourite thing about Christmas? Gifts (10, 6%), food (41, 25%), decorations (6, 4%), spending time with family and friends (107, 65%)
What gift do you hope is under the tree for you this year? Nothing (87, 65%), clothes/shoes (10, 8%), jewellery (13, 10%), something for the home (23, 17%)
What gift are you most excited about giving this year? Homemade – knitted jumpers are the best! (8, 5%), an expensive gift they never thought they’d receive (8, 5%), something thoughtful you know they will love (138, 90%)
What's on your kids' Christmas list this year? Latest toy or gadget (65, 55%), a games console (18, 15%), sweets/chocolate (11, 9%), an experience/holiday (25, 21%)?
Will you be spending less on Christmas this year? Yes much less (81, 54%), about the same as last year (60, 40%), no – the sky’s the limit (10, 7%)