In past years the Millstone has interviewed Santa before his long journey across the world, but this year, we thought that we should like to know a little more about Mrs. Claus. She kindly agreed to an interview after Santa had taken off with his reindeer to start his trip in Asia and Australia. The Millstone visited her in the gingerbread workshop at the North Pole.

Mrs. ClausMillstone: Mrs. Claus, Could you give us a rundown of your activities in the past few days? We understand that you have been incredibly busy.

Mrs.C.: Well, that is true. Getting Santa off is a major undertaking. Basically, I try to keep things calm and I supervise the elves in the final preparations while Santa dresses. We feed the reindeer, make sure that Rudolph’s nose is the proper bright red to light the way, wash and press Santa’s outfits (you know he is Father Christmas in many parts of Europe and wears a long robe when he arrives there), pack the sleigh and make sure that Santa has protein shakes with him to counter the effect of all those cookies and milk.

Millstone: And when he gets home?

M.C. : We just make sure the feather bed is well fluffed and he goes straight to bed fo 24 hours. He is always exhausted, but happy.

Millstone: Anything special for this year?

Mrs.C.: Well we are certainly glad that we don’t give gifts to adults. The sleigh would be weighted down with coal. Russia’s President Putin, Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi, Canadian Senators, the mayor of Toronto, they have all been extremely bad and would deserve large lumps of the stuff. That said, there are others that are great examples to our children – Nelson Mandela, of course and Naheed Nenshi, the mayor of Calgary, who show what caring about others is all about.

Millstone: And the rest of the year? How do you spend it.

Mrs.C.: You know, Christmas is a full time job, even in the off season. Of course I enjoy taking care of Santa and the elves and making sure they are healthy and happy but I also have major managerial responsibilities at the North Pole. I oversee all the baking workshops and care  for the reindeer. Did you know I am taking an MBA by correspondence from the Rotman School of Business at the University of Toronto and an animal husbandry course from the University of Guelph in Canada? They are both very useful. We are running a cottage industry here and we need modern skills to cope.

Millstone: Have you heard about Canada’s new claim to the North Pole. We are not the only ones I gather.

Mrs.C.: HAVE WE HEARD! People here are talking of little else. Of course we love Canada, but we also love the Russian children, and the Finnish, Swedish, Icelandic and all the other children of the world. We prefer to be a magic kingdom, above politics. In fact, no matter what they do at the North Pole, even if there is no ice or they start drilling (Heaven forbid) for oil, we will survive as we inhabit a land just at the edge of the Northern Lights – unreachable by any government.

Millstone: Well Mrs. Claus, we thank you so much for the interview and please give our best to Santa and the elves, not forgetting the reindeer of course.

Mrs. C.: And our best to the children of Mississippi Mills. We will find you, don’t worry, even if you have moved, are living in a shelter, or don’t have a chimney. Santa has a nose for these things. Don’t feed him too much though. I have enough trouble letting out his suit and we are running out of red cloth.