Eastlondonlines headed over to Canary Wharf this week to check out the Museum of the Docklands’ Victorian Christmas grotto and visit that chubby, jolly man in red. The one who knows if you have been naughty or nice – Santa Claus himself – took a moment out of his busy schedule this week to sit down and chat about quality mince pies and how exactly one works their way off the naughty list.
Thank you for taking the time to speak to us only a few days before Christmas. The elves must be very busy in the workshop putting the finishing touches on all those toys for the good boys and girls. Have you had any particularly strange requests this year?
“The strangest request I have had is for a swimming pool and a flat. It is a rather difficult request but I have got my elves to look into it…”
Just how many children come to sit on your lap every day? It must be very tiring work…
“During the week, I get about 50 boys and girls visiting me each day. This goes up to 350 at the weekend so it can be very busy and I have to give away lots of presents.”
Your beard is looking quite long, have you had many visitors to the grotto tempted to give it a tug?
“Only good boys and girls come to see me in my grotto and they never tug beards. You won’t get any presents at Christmas if you tug my beard!”
Now, it goes without saying that all of us here at ELL are on the nice list. But how does Santa know who is naughty or nice?
“I know immediately if you are on the naughty list. My assistant elf asks the boys and girls before they come into see me and I have a mark out of 10 of how good you have been this year.”
What can you do to get put back on the nice list?
“You can always improve your mark out of ten by working hard to be a good boy or girl.”
Finally, what treat should we all have waiting for you when you come down the chimney this Christmas Eve?
“My favourite treat to have is one mince pie. I love mince pies but they have to be very good quality. It is always quality over quantity for me.”
I will go out right now and stock up on the finest mince pies I can find. Santa, it’s been a pleasure. Good luck to you and the reindeer this Christmas Eve, and I look forward to seeing you again next year.
“Ho Ho Ho, Merry Christmas!”
Santa will be seeing visitors in his grotto every day (10 AM – 6 PM) until December 23 at the Museum of the Docklands, E14 4AL. For more information click here or call 020 7001 9844.