Neighbor: Santa Claus

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 22, 2000

prepares for deliveries


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Dec. 21, 2000 10 PM

The arctic blast that has sent temperatures plummeting into the teens in South Alabama has keep boilers blasting in Santa’s Workshop in the North Pole.

According to weather reports from the Polar region, temperatures have dropped to 30 and 40 below zero with the wind chill factor at 80 and 90 below, hampering Santa Claus’ efforts to visit good little boys and girls all around the world on Christmas Eve.

However, word form the North Pole yesterday was encouraging.

Santa said several shipments of coal and wood had made its way to the North Pole by dog sleigh and provided enough heat to keep the workshop warm and the ovens hot.

In a telephone conversation with the Jolly Ol’ St. Nick yesterday, he said all systems are on go for Christmas Eve.

"My elves have worked night and day checking the lists and checking them twice before beginning work on the toys," he said. "Boys and girls are asking for the usual things and we did have toys left from last year, when we had to leave coal and switches in some stockings because some of the boys and girls just had not been as good as they should."

However, Santa said this year has been a banner year for good little boys and girls.

"Most children have been nice instead of naughty and my elves have worked especially hard to make sure they have a very good Christmas."

The weather has slowed the work of the elves and the icy weather will make it more difficult for the reindeer to reach the around-the-world speeds that are necessary to make it to every home.

"I talked with Rudolph this morning and he is ready to guide the sleigh through some snowy weather," Santa said. "With his nose so shiny and bright, we should be able to travel the globe and be back at the North Pole just about the time the boys and girls are waking on Christmas morning."

Dasher and Comet have colds and are not feeling as spry as they usually do around Christmas time.

"They been taking their medicine like good little deer and I’m sure when I pull out the harnesses and jingle bells on Christmas Eve, they’ll be a part of the team."

Santa himself has had the sniffles and he’ll be wearing a extra pair of longjohns and a nose cap to keep him cozy and warm.

"When you’re flying across the sky at reindeer speed, it gets mighty chilly and I do appreciate the warm cookies and milk that the children leave for me," he said. "After I put the presents under the tree, I enjoy their treats before I fill the stockings. The stockings are my favorite part of being Santa Claus because I can fill them with little surprises that are just from me, Mrs. Claus and the elves."

Santa did send a word of caution to boys and girls.

"On Friday, I’ll be sending down elves to do some last minute checking. They’ll find a place behind an ear or in a pocket where they can check just one more time to make sure what the children have said in their letters is true. They all say they’ve been good all year long, but we’ll do a last minute check – just to make sure."

So, boys and girls, if you feel an itch behind your ear or something warm and fuzzy in your pocket, it just might be Santa’s elf checking up on you. What he learns can make your Christmas merry and bright or it could mean coal and switches in your stocking.

So, you better watch you0rself and you better be good, because Santa’s elves are all around and he’s coming to town Sunday night.

"And I hope to be coming down your chimney and putting presents under your tree and wishing you a Happy Christmas and a Good Night to All!"