I looked out of my window over the weekend and saw a big red sled pulled by eight tiny reindeer flying over historic Route 66 toward Kingman.
A jolly fat fellow with long, white whiskers and dressed in a fire engine red suit was hardly visible over the stacks of scooters, electronic toys and dolls piled in the sled.
I wondered how those eight tiny reindeer could fly through the morning sky with such a load of toys!
Santa had the reindeer land the loaded sleigh in a secret place near Kingman so the elves could hide the contents of the sleigh until it was time to deliver the scooters, toys and dolls and other brightly wrapped gifts on Christmas Eve.
He gave the reindeer the day off while he climbed into the cold back seat of an open1911 Cadillac and rode to the Powerhouse Visitor Center to visit with boys and girls in Kingman.
Santa was on a fact-finding mission to see what else he might need to bring on Christmas Eve.
I talked with Santa after his day in Kingman.
He was tired but smiling and still full of "HO-HO-HOs."
"All those smiling boys and girls bring so much joy to Christmas and that keeps me full of joy and optimism year after year," Santa said.
"Can you guess how many children have their pictures taken with me? I get the credit for bringing joy to the world each December, but it is really the children that being the smiles to faces."
Santa stopped talking to me for a minute to answer his cell phone.
It was the head elf calling from the North Pole toy factory.
He asked Santa about any last minute changes in toy orders for this Christmas.
I heard him tell the chief elf to order more wheels so all the scooters, skateboards, inline skates and bicycles could be finished.
The chief elf told Santa that a problem with computer chips had not been solved and some of the electronic games would have to wait until Christmas in 2001.
Santa finished his phone call to the North Pole and turned to talk with me again.
"Just look at all these pretty holiday clothes the boys and girls wear when they come to see me," he said.
"The pictures they take will bring smiles to grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and friends for years to come.
You should see the antics of the parents and grandparents trying to get the children to smile for the camera! Each little boy and girl is the center of attention for a moment and some take advantage.
But, each one deserves his or her time in the spotlight."
Santa said he has no plans to retire any time soon.
The hectic pace at Christmas time wears on the old fellow and he talks about giving the job to a younger person.
That is just January talk.
Once he sees the smile on faces everywhere in the world, planning begins for the next holiday season.
"This is the greatest job in the world," Santa said.
"I think the best part is coming to see the boys and girls before Christmas and listen to them tell me what they want me to bring.
When it is their turn to come sit on my knee, they come with wide eyes full of wonder.
Some are so serious as they hand me a written list or tell me what is on that list.
"Telling Santa what you want for Christmas is an important task that takes much thought.
After all, there are a lot of wonderful things to choose from and the list cannot be too long."
Santa said some little ones bring pictures of the right gifts so he will get it right.
Some bring pictures they drew or colored.
Some want to know what kind of cookies Santa prefers.
He said visiting with boys and girls of all ages during the holiday season gives him the energy and enthusiasm to make the thousands of deliveries through the long night hours of Christmas Eve.
I finished the interview with Santa and thought that my job isn't so bad either.
Santa's job is great because he has an opportunity to give joy and happiness to so many.
He shares warm memories and precious moments with so many people.
He makes children happy and parents and grandparents smile.
I get to interview Santa.
I also share in people's lives and memories all year.
We can all share the holiday joy with Santa.
It is the spirit of giving to others that makes his job great and brings smiles to the faces of so many boys and girls of all ages.
That spirit of giving and sharing is something each of us can enjoy.
The more you try it, the larger the smile on your face and the more smiles you will see on the faces of others.
More like this story
- Column | The Elf on the Edge: A Christmas Irritation
- Get A Grip: Looking forward each year to letters to Santa from kids
- Marvin's Window: Taking stock in Santa Claus
- Harber Lights: Us lowly elves might be a little happier, a little less stressed on Dec. 26
- Get A Grip: Shelter has its own take on Christmas song