Over the past few years, one interview has eluded me: a chat with Santa Claus about wish lists and Giftster. So you could imagine my surprise and excitement when I received a call from Stephanie, the wonderful Executive Assistant Elf to the big guy himself, saying that he had a cancelation in his schedule and had time to chat with me. I quickly rearranged everything I had for the day, gathered all the questions for the interview, and made a cup of cocoa to sip during our video chat (because it was short notice, I couldn’t work out a flight to the North Pole for an in person interview).
Good afternoon, Santa! May I call you Santa or do you prefer Mr. Claus?
Ho ho! Santa is just fine. Mr. Claus is my dad.
I appreciate you taking the time to talk with me today. I’m sure things are getting busy in the North Pole.
Oh my yes. Things really start moving right around the time children go back to school. All of our department leads have worked for months creating their reports on what is new since last year, what classic toys are still a big draw (Lincoln Logs, Legos, and Play-Doh never seem to go out of style) and where we need extra hands on deck (it’s usually with our electronics department). I could never do what I do on Christmas Eve without the support of everyone at the North Pole. Everyone has a job and works tirelessly to make each Christmas delivery the best ever.
It’s been our position for years that children should share their wish lists with you directly, but their full wish list should be shared with their family on Giftster. Do you agree with this?
Ho ho ho yes! I have a system that has worked very well for some time now, and I find it’s best to hear directly from the children. They can visit with me if they would like or send a letter to the North Pole. This also helps me compile my naughty and nice lists (my nice list is always far longer than my naughty list).
But parents can help me with the children’s Giftster lists. If they know their child has a wish they’ve shared with me and they’ve also put it on their Giftster wish list, do me a favor and mark it reserved so grandparents and aunts and uncles don’t bring them the same gift. My elves work night and day getting everything just right and I don’t want them to have to return duplicate gifts from others.
So you don’t use Giftster for bringing children gifts, but do you use Giftster for your personal gift giving?
I certainly do! Mrs. Claus is very particular about her cookie cutters and Giftster has helped me give her some that she doesn’t already have. I have to be very sneaky around the workshop when I ask the elves to make her gifts. Last year, I gave her a special wooden rolling pin carved with Christmas trees and snowflakes that our chief woodworker, Devon, made. Mrs. Claus was very pleased and has already begun her baking for the holidays. The rolling pin has been her go-to tool.
Oh! Mrs. Claus also loves to read about history and traditions from all around the world. Sometimes, I’ll reserve books on her Giftster list and pick them up while I travel so I’m ahead of the game for her birthday.
What are some of the things you list on your own wish list?
One of my favorite gifts to receive are socks! I go through quite a few over the course of the year because of my heavy boots, and Mrs. Claus always makes such lovely knit socks. One year, she made me a few sets with rainbow stripes! I just love colorful socks. I also love crossword puzzles, word searches, and Sudoku, and I often find new puzzle books in my stocking.
Speaking of stocking stuffers, how do you decide what to slip into Mrs. Claus’ stocking?
I love looking over her gift preferences on Giftster so I have an idea of what little items to surprise her with. Usually, I include different candies. Mrs. Claus enjoys a good peppermint and our elves who focus on food gifts work to make little tins of peppermint candies for her. I can never remember if she also likes butterscotch or licorice candies, so I make sure to check her preferences.
We have a feature on Giftster called Secret Santa. Does anyone at the North Pole use Secret Santa for gift exchanges?
Ho ho ho! Yes! Ho Ho HO! It brings us lots of laughs! I joke around that it’s a “secret me” exchange. Ho! Ho! HO! We include all the elves throughout the North Pole who are in the workshops, the stables with the reindeer, all the office staff, and of course the reindeer (although they need a little help with the wrapping). Some of the best gift givers are Donner, our operations elf, Stephen, Esme over in textiles…come to think of it, Giftster is such a great help that there isn’t a bad gift giver in the group! Well, except maybe me. Everyone is always so happy that I have their Giftster wish list to guide me to the best gift ideas for our gift exchange presents. I never knew how much I relied on the elves and Mrs. Claus until I had to work on a gift to give all on my own. The year before we started using Giftster, I had given Cupid peanut butter oatmeal snacks and I had completely forgotten about her nut allergy. Oh – and then there was the year that I gave Oscar in tools a sweater that was three sizes too big. Giftster has definitely helped me give better gifts.
Do you prefer to use Giftster on your mobile device or through your computer?
I’m not the most savvy smartphone user, so I like to update my wish list through my computer. But Andrew, my lead navigator, along with Rudolph are aces with their devices. They help me update my list when we’re out and even take pictures of items to add to my list. And sometimes we find ideas to suggest on Mrs. Claus’ list, too.
One last question while I have you: what kind of
milk and cookies do you prefer when you visit houses on Christmas Eve?
Oh I get this question all the time, ho ho ho! I love to snack on whatever cookies and milk are enjoyed in the home I’m visiting. There’s so much variety! Each home is always a little different than the next and it’s like I’m getting millions of little presents all night long.
Thank you so much for your time, Santa! I hope you have a giftsterific holiday!
Ho ho ho! Why, thank you, Aimée. Keep up the good work. I’ll see you on my nice list.
Santa and his team diligently work to get gifts right every time, and, at Giftster, we work to help you do the same. Create your free Giftster account today.