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Did you know Santa lives right here, in the Whiteface region at The North Pole? The North Pole is a magical place you can visit and meet Santa. We decided to ask him some important questions. He got right back to us with great answers. Enjoy! 

Dear Santa,

Please help us answer a few questions the children have. They understand you work hard all year round getting toys ready for Christmas Day. They understand that your reindeer are magic and can fly from rooftop to rooftop, but they feel there are some things the storybooks just don't cover. Please answer the questions the children have asked here, so we can share them with the world!

1. What do you eat for dinner on Christmas Eve?

Ho-ho-ho! I get so hungry on Christmas Eve that I sit down at about 4 in the afternoon to make sure I fill up before I take my long journey around the world from the North Pole. Mrs. Claus usually prepares a special dinner for me. My Christmas Eve dinner is very much like a Thanksgiving dinner. Turkey, with mashed potatoes and gravy, buttery dinner rolls, a lot of stuffing, and cranberry sauce. I love this meal. I usually eat at least two rounds so I don't get hungry on my journey. For dessert, I eat pudding. Chocolate pudding with warm milk and sugar on top, served in one of my great-great-grandma's special bowls. It is delicious! 

While in Wilmington and the Whiteface region, you should eat too; try one of the great restaurants in the area.  

2. Are your reindeer tired the day after Christmas?

Some of my reindeer get very tired. But not Dasher — he is excited from seeing all of the sights, he cannot rest. He paces and paces for a day or two before he really crashes. Dancer, well, his name says it all. He gets home and plays his favorite song, "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and dances his little tail off until he passes right out. He loves the part that says "You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen." He seems to know when any child anywhere in the world is listening to that song; he gets a little spunk and nods his head with the beat. HO-HO-HO! The rest of the reindeer are really very tired. They are so happy to snuggle in, have their harnesses removed, and lay down. A little secret, some of them don't even listen to their bedtime story from the elves. They cannot make it that long, as they are exhausted. 

Are you exhausted too? Stay in the area. The inns, hotels, motels, and bed and breakfasts are decked out in the holiday spirit. 

3. If a home doesn't have a chimney, where do you go?

There are many homes in the world without a chimney. I don't mind that at all. Christmas is all about magic, so I can get anywhere I need to. There are a lot of old tales about me getting stuck on tiny chimneys and those are tall tales. If I lay my finger aside of my nose, I can get into a home by a front door, a chimney, a window, a wall, an igloo, a teepee, a tree house, an underground home, the tallest skyscraper, or the smallest cabin way out in the woods. There is no need to worry about my entry. I will find a way.

4. Do you really read all of the letters to you or do you have some help? 

Some evenings when I am tired, an elf or Mrs. Claus will read them out loud to me, but I hear them or read them all. We do not miss a beat. Some are really funny. I had a little boy from Maine tell me to say hello to Mrs. Claus once, but she was the one reading it. We got a big kick out of that. He wanted to be polite when he was asking for a dirt bike, it is very important to be polite. That little boy got his wish that year. Mrs. Claus made sure of it. 

5. Do you get cold? 

Oh no. Mrs. Claus always makes sure I have a warm bowl of chili in the sled. Hot chocolate is a must on the journey through some of the colder areas. Have you ever been to Alaska? It can be cold there in the winter months! On clear nights I make sure to bring a blanket or two. The ride across the oceans is a great time to warm up with cocoa or chili.  

7. Do your elves ever argue? 

Oh yes, I have one little elf and I won't give you his name, because he would not like that, but he is very grumpy and full of mischief. In some of the stories about Christmas you can see him, and he's always up to no good. Sometimes he is hiding under a table, or eating the cookie dough. One autumn night, his favorite band was playing at Pourman's Tap House at the bottom of our hill, and he snuck out to dance the night away. We caught him on his way in the door. He had to stay home painting trains the whole next day.

The other elves are always busy working hard, and they get upset with him sometimes. There is a famous pillow fight they had once, and I was not happy about that. They cleaned it all up and went straight to bed. Elves are funny, so they play jokes on each other sometimes. I enjoy it!  

8. Do you eat the cookies that are left out for you at the children's homes on Christmas Eve? 

Of course I do. I love all the cookies! Chocolate chip, crinkle, sprinkle, Christmas, and so on. Mrs. Claus will tell me to be careful, so sometimes I only take a bite or two. Sometimes I eat the whole cookie. It depends on how I am feeling. HO-HO-HO!

9. Does Mrs. Claus come with you? 

Mrs. Claus does not come with us on the trip. She loves it when the house is quiet on this one night. No reindeer to take care of, no boots to clean, and the elves are resting in their beds. She lights some candles, then warms up with a blanket and her favorite book. She really loves the homemade Adirondack chocolates, so she makes sure to get a box of her favorite kind from the Candy Man before snuggling in. She know that soon everyone will be back, so she relaxes and collects her thoughts. 

10. When you return home on Christmas morning, do you eat a big breakfast?  

The biggest breakfast! The elves all get together, put on some Christmas movies, and cook! Bacon, eggs, biscuits, juice, fruit, French toast, and chocolate chip pancakes. We eat and eat. 

Breakfast in town is delicious as well. Make sure you try the French toast at The Country Bear!

11. What is your favorite Christmas carol? 

My favorite Christmas song is "Silent Night." I love this song so much because when the children sing it, it is so beautiful. I saw a little girl sing it all by herself one year. She didn't know I was watching, but I was and it was amazing. She was on a stage at her school's Christmas program. Since then, it has been my favorite.

12. What do you want to say to the children? What does it mean when you say be good?  

Be good means many things. It mostly means be helpful. To everyone. Open doors for friends and strangers, help your parents around the house. Be kind to your siblings and animals. Help in your community and school. Be a good friend, a good student, and be good kids every day. But most importantly, enjoy your childhood. It is a magical time in life, and always believe in magic.  

This week in other ADK related news:

Sit, coast, ride

Grinch be gone

Back to nature

Cold-weather options

Old genes

Duck, duck, goose

Artful evening


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