Santa Claus.Photo: Lynda Hinton

Santa Claus, CEO of Claus’ Toys

Name and position: Santa Claus, CEO of Claus’ Toys

Age: N/A

Lives: The North Pole, although I spend most summers in my holiday home in west Cork.

Family: My darling wife Sandra Claus, originally from Montenotte. We have been married for centuries. We have no children but we consider all of the elves and the residents of the North Pole to be our family.

Pets: If you can call them pets, I’ve got Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and, of course, Rudolph. Oh, and a parrot called Micheál.

Favourite thing about Cork: My word, it’s difficult to pick just one thing about such an amazing place, although on all of my travels, I’ve never tasted chips quite as good as in Jackie Lennox’s. Yes, that would have to be my favourite thing about Cork, that and the lovely, friendly people.

Least favourite thing about Cork: There aren’t enough traditional chimneys these days in Cork. Sure, I have magical workarounds which are fine, but a good wide chimney is just so much easier, especially after a Jacki Double Deluxe! Also, I feel not enough people are shopping local in Cork’s fabulous shops.

One thing you’d change about Cork: If I could get away with it, I’d use my magic to make Cork the capital of Ireland. From my worldly perspective, Cork is clearly head and shoulders above Dublin in every way. The boys and girls in Cork are so much better behaved too.

When you were small, what did you want to be as a grown-up? Well, career options in the North Pole are fairly limited as you can imagine, but at one point I had my heart set on becoming a postman. I can’t imagine why.

Tell us about your career progression to your role today: I dropped out of postman school early and kind of fell into the Santa line of work and that was that. I’ve had the market well and truly cornered ever since.

What is the most enjoyable aspect of what you do? That’s a tough one for me. It’s a toss up between the 300 odd days of holidays I get every year and getting to be a part of the lives of so many wonderful children.

What motivates you? The idea that every child in the world deserves to be happy.

What advice would you give your 15 year old self? I’d tell him to take his time, enjoy his youth and to lay off the cookies and milk. There will be plenty of time for that later.

If you weren’t in the job you have, what would you be doing? I’d be a proud member of the North Pole Mail Service I’d imagine. I couldn’t handle a call centre.

What is your greatest life or career achievement to-date? As the world’s population grows, every successful Christmas becomes my biggest achievement to date. Outside of my career, I think being a good husband for so many centuries deserves recognition.

Who has had the biggest influence on you in your life? My wife Sandra. She’s my North(side) Star.

What is the life dream now? Onwards and upwards. As I mentioned before, my job gets a little tougher every year so that is what I’m focused on. Retirement is not an option for a man like me.

How do you switch off? Over 300 days of holidays a year makes switching off not a problem for me. I like to fish and read, and when I’m in west Cork, I do enjoy a few pints of an evening. I’m also an avid model builder and I love a good Lego set!

What is your favourite Cork memory? When Cork won the double in 1990. I attended both matches in my full Santa gear and nobody even noticed. I’m red and white to the bone!

What is your favourite place in Cork? When I’m there on Christmas night, I like to park the sleigh up on Bell’s Field and just take in the sleeping city. It’s a special spot. Outside of that, the holiday home in west Cork is very dear to me. I can’t say where it is exactly or I’ll be mobbed.

Do you have a favourite quote or motto? Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas!

When are you at your happiest? I think it’s at the very moment my sleigh lifts off the snow at the North Pole on Christmas night and I know I’m about to visit with all the wonderful children once more.

What is your hidden talent? Freestyle wrapping!

What might we be surprised to know about you? My reindeer driver’s license expired in 1743 and I’ve been avoiding checkpoints ever since.

Anything else you’d like to share with us? Could I ask that some of you might leave me out the odd cup of tea with the cookies, just to warm me up a bit. Barry’s, please. I can’t stand Lyons I’m afraid.