Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few questions that children often ask me. There are many things about me that you may not know. That even your parents may not know.

If you don’t find your question, just click the button below.

It would be so wonderful if every child who believes in me could come visit me at the North Pole. We could really have some fun! But there are a couple of very good reasons why that just doesn’t work. 

First, it is very cold at the North Pole and most children would be very uncomfortable. BRRRRRRRR!

Second, elves are quite short, so even the youngest of children who can walk would hit their heads on the doorposts and ceilings. Ouch!

But the main reason is that we would never get any work done. One thing you should know about elves, they love to play. And if even one child visited, they would spend hours and even days playing. So you can imagine if we had thousands of children visiting each day. I will just come visit you instead.

Rudolph does enjoy visiting children, but he couldn’t come to live with you. It would not be fair to Rudolph’s family. Rudolph is now in his 80’s. He and his wife, Olive, have a family of their own to care for and watch over. I’m afraid you will just have to be satisfied with Rudolph visiting you at the same time that I do every year.

That is a good question. Many, many years ago, when I first started giving children gifts, I decided to do it so that no one knew who had left the gift. So sometimes I would leave a gift at an open window or at the doorway of a house when folks weren’t looking. I got caught. People didn’t always understand that I didn’t give gifts so people would thank me. I gave gifts to make people happy! I wanted it to be a surprise. I had to come up with another plan. I figured out that the only way to surprise you was to come while you are asleep. And that has worked for hundreds of years.

When you think about it, that is a question you could ask any older person. No one looks exactly the same over the years. Even you looked different two years ago than you do now. Well I am over 1750 years old! I have gone through a lot of changes over the years.

But the main reason some many pictures are different in so many ways is something called “Artistic License.” That simply means that every artist who paints a picture or writes a story can have their own ideas about what they think I should look like. There are so many different ideas. Fat and thin. I wear red or I wear green. I have white hair or gray hair. Over the years, each of those ideas have been true at one time or another. If you want to have some fun, ask someone you know who is old to show you pictures of themselves over the years. But please try not to laugh. That’s rude.

Just like the people in your family, they are all different ages. Understand that we measure time differently at the North Pole. We measure it in Christmases. Blitzen is the oldest at over 250 Christmases. Rudolph is the youngest at over 80 Christmases! Check out the bios of my reindeer under the “Meet Santa’s Reindeer” page here.

My favorite answer to that question is “I’m as old as my tongue and a little older than my teeth.” But I was born on March 15th in the year 270 AD. Have some fun and ask an adult to help you figure it out.

Oh, it would be wonderful if every child in the world believed in me so that I could. But I do not get to visit every child in the world because not every child in the world believes in me and many do not celebrate Christmas at all. But let me tell you about the visits I do make.

Not many people know this. So Fun Fact: In different parts of the world and in different cultures, I visit on different nights. Three different nights to be exact. In places like Greece and Russia, children who are in the Orthodox Church look for me to bring them gifts on the night of December 5th, the evening before The Feast Day of St Nicholas. They polish their shoes and leave them outside the door, just inside the door or sometimes by the fireplace. In the morning, they find that I have left them gifts and candy in their shoes.

The night that most children in the world look for me is Christmas Eve, December 24th. They wake up on Christmas morning to find all kinds of gifts that I have left for them.

Finally, many children in the world look for me to bring them gifts on January 6th, a day called Epiphany. This is the day that has been chosen to remember and celebrate the visit the Wise Men made to baby Jesus in Bethlehem. What better way to celebrate than giving gifts to one another! Many children in Central and South American honor this day as the time I am expected to visit.

Santa or Santa Claus is what most children who speak English call me. But there are 6,500 other languages and cultures and each one has their own name for me. Other children who speak English, like in England for example, call me Father Chrstmas. But children in many other countries call me the same thing, but in their own language. In France Pere Noel, in Brazil Papai Noel, and in Turkey, where I was born, Noel Baba. But each of those simply mean Father Christmas. In Russia I am called Dedt Moroz or Grandfather Ice while in Sweden Jultomten or Christmas Brownie. I am St Nicholas in Poland and Kris Kringle in Germany. Many names. One person.

Most children think that they are supposed to leave me milk and cookies. I love milk and cookies. But in many parts of the world children leave me other things, everything from rice pudding to beer. But milk and cookies are still my favorite. As far as cookies are concerned, I love chocolate chip cookies, but the reindeer get upset because I cannot share those cookies with them. Chocolate makes reindeer sick. Not good at all! So please either leave me oatmeal raisin cookies, so I can share them with the reindeer, or leave some carrots or reindeer food so I can enjoy my chocolate chip cookies in peace. Thank you.

Generally, there are about 5,000 elves with me at the North Pole, it varies during the year. Not all the elves live at the North Pole. Some stay with children in their homes, seen and unseen, to help me know how things are going. 

At the North Pole, there are many different kinds of elves just like where you live, there are many kinds of people. There are, of course, lots of elves who make toys. But there are other elves who take care of and provide for the toy making elves. Teachers, bakers, doctors, cobblers, chefs, carpenters, and, of course, the elves who take care of the reindeer.

I can answer in one word. Silliness! Elves are the most silly creatures on earth. So silly, in fact, that once the silliness breaks out, very little work gets done. One morning I woke up and the elves had put marshmallows in my boots. It took three days for Mrs Claus and I to get every elf to stop laughing. Well, really only two days. It took one day for Mrs. Claus to stop laughing.

There is a silly way to answer that question. “How do my reindeer fly? Very well indeed, thank you!” But there is a better answer than that. It is really a matter of natural talent and practice. 

You can ask, “How do you do that?” of any athletic ability. As a very old human being, there are many things I cannot do athletically. I cannot dunk. I cannot hit a receiver 50 yards down the field. I cannot dribble a soccer ball. I cannot hit home runs. Yet there are many human athletes who excel at each of these. 

The same is true of my reindeer. Thousands of reindeer have lived with me at the North Pole. All of those reindeer have known how to jump. Some short distances while others jumped long distances. Still, 99% of them cannot fly. But all I needed to find was eight that excelled at jumping very high and very far (which looks like flying) and one with a very shiny nose! 

Pets are so much fun and I am happy that you would wish to take care of one if I was able to bring one to you. But there are several, very important things you need to think about first. I hope you can understand and maybe your parents can help.

First of all, pets are just like you. That means they have to be cared for, fed, kept clean AND cleaned up after! Most of all, they need a whole lot of love. Think. Who does all that for you? A parent or grandparent or some other adult? It is a great responsibility. So first, you must think about that responsibility very seriously.

Secondly, it takes a family to care for family members. A new pet will be a new part of your family. Even if you do most of the work, everyone who lives with you will end up sharing the responsibility of caring for a pet. The decision to bring a new pet into your home is something a family has to think about together. 

The last thing to think about is all on me. It is a very simple thing. Have you ever noticed that God doesn’t make toys? Think about this:  God makes puppies. I make toys. You are very smart. So think about these three things with your whole family and you will find the answer. 

(P.S. If you and your family decide that it is OK to bring a new pet into your home, please consider finding one that is waiting to be loved in a local shelter.)

I get that question a lot. Please understand that I have many helpers all over the world. There are so many children who would like to see me and visit with me. But I cannot be everywhere at the same time, especially as we get closer to Christmas Eve.

I have many of my friends who are full of the Christmas Spirit. At Christmas, they dress up to look like me so children will have someone to visit. These are nice and caring people who love children as much as I do. Very few children actually get to see me. But visiting with one of my dear friends comes pretty close. I appreciate that they are able to do this for you and for me. 

Of course you can! Christmas is a happy time of sharing with those you love. That is the heart of Christmas. If you love other people, you have a Christmas Heart. And anyone with a Christmas Heart is welcomed to celebrate Christmas!  

Hopefully, you may even be able to share the love in your Christmas Heart with those in need. Wherever you live, there are many children  who struggle with poverty and hunger. I would consider it a very large favor if your Christmas Heart was big enough to share your love with them as well.

It is very sad when someone we love dies. I can understand why you would wish for them to be with you again. A lot of children ask me this question. 

I would want nothing more than to be able to grant you that wish. Many children believe that I have magical powers that would make that possible. But I cannot.

The only real magic in our world is Love. You miss the one you have lost because they loved you so much and you loved them too. Please know and remember that there are many people in your life right now who love you and whom you love. Together you can all work through the sadness you now feel. 

Tell each other about your feelings and the wonderful memories you share of the one you have lost. For as long as you remember, your loved one is with you once again. God bless.

What an intelligent question! It used to be that everyone had a chimney. But in many places now, chimneys are not part of your house. Not to worry. I have something called a “Skeleton Key.” I know that may sound scary, but it has nothing to do with Halloween. It’s just a very special key that can open any lock on any door. I promise I will lock the door behind me when I leave. 

There is a popular song at Christmas time that says that I “see you when you’re sleeping” and I “know when you’re awake.” That sounds a little scary and creepy to me. But here is the truth.

I am not spying on you. I cannot see you when you are sleeping or awake. I don’t have to. I can feel your heart and the feelings you are feeling. I can feel when you are sad or happy. When you are scared or when you are feeling brave. 

There are so many wonderful things about you. You know when you have been nice. You know when you have been naughty. So when you have those feelings, I can feel them too. I know when you have the nice feelings of love, kindness and generosity. And I know when you have the naughty feelings of anger, selfishness and jealousy. But whether you have been naughty or nice, I still love you very much.

That is a puzzlement. But it is not something you need to worry about. It is really quite easy for me to find you.

Even if you are a twin, there are things about you that no one else has. It may be the color of your eyes or the shape of your ears or the sound of your voice. That is how you recognize your family and your friends. Each of you has a unique look.

The same thing is true of the glowing of your heart. No one else anywhere in the world has a heart that glows with love exactly the same way yours does. So if you are not at home, I will find you. I know the glow!

I am so proud of you for thinking of my reindeer. Not all children do. So there are a few, simple “Do’s & Don’ts” when it comes to snacks for my reindeer.

Please feel free to leave carrots or any other vegetables for the reindeer. Peppers are OK as long as they are not too spicy. No jalapenos please! Grains are good as well, but they can be messy. Check with your family on that.

Please do not leave sweets! No candy. No chocolate! Oatmeal cookies are fine, just no cookies with chocolate in them. I know you like sweets and chocolates, but they make the reindeer sick. 

Yes. Aren’t you real?

I am guessing you may ask that question because there are people who say that I am not real. Unfortunately, there are many people, children and adults, who do not believe in me. And I understand why some would doubt me.

It is difficult to believe in someone you have never seen. Seeing, it is said, is believing. But there are many things you cannot see that are real. But many times you can feel them. You cannot see cold in the winter or heat in the summer, but you can feel them when Jack Frost lets loose the winter winds or the sun shines bright on a summer day. 

You cannot see love, but it is real. I am real in the same way. I am real and alive in every act of kindness and generosity in the world. I am real and alive in every gift given, even when it’s not Christmas! 

I am so grateful for all the children who believe in me all over the world. Belief is one of the greatest gifts you can give.


a Respectful Reindeer

Born in 1820, Dasher is the youngest of my main reindeer.

Almost immediately after being born, Dasher was poking her nose into every corner of her stall. She learned all about the weather…how the wind blows and how storms grow. So it wasn’t long before I had Dasher as one of my lead pair. I can trust her to keep a sharp eye out so we stay away from troubling weather. 

Dasher loves to deliver presents to children who like to learn new things. I hope you want to be a learning child.