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Santa sits down with the Bulletin for a little 'Q&A'

"Santa Ronald" and two of his reindeer, Comet and Cupid, visited Woodbury on Saturday at the Valley Creek Mall.1 / 2
"Santa Ronald" stopped by the Valley Creek Mall Saturday to visit with local children to hear about their wish lists. Staff photo by Amber Kispert.2 / 2

You better watch out, you better not cry, better not pout I'm telling you why - "Santa Ronald" is coming to town.

Even amidst a busy schedule, the Jolly Old Elf himself has made his way in recent weeks to the Valley Creek Mall in Woodbury to visit his favorite children, where he made another appearance Saturday, Dec. 18 along with two of his famous reindeer.

In between local appearances, "Santa Ronald" sat down last week with the Woodbury Bulletin at Central Park for a short chat about life as Father Christmas.

While sitting at Central Park, Santa is a bit incognito, since he's not wearing is bright red suit. But he can't go completely unnoticed. Several little boys' and girls' faces lit up as they passed by the jolly man with the white beard (who actually hails from Stillwater.)

Woodbury Bulletin: What's the most popular gift request Santa gets?

Santa Ronald: It would have to be (anything) Toy Story. In general that's the most popular. That and Elmo. Then you get the older children who go into electronics - iPods and Kindles.

WB: Does Santa ever receive difficult gift requests?

SR: What I do is tell them that we have to discuss this with Mom and Dad to get an understanding of who's going to take care of it.... Most of the time it works out. I usually tell the children that Santa will do the best he can. Santa will see what he can do for you....

WB: How many gifts to the children ask Santa for?

SR: Children these days are pretty frugal, if that's the right word. They pretty much understand that it's one or two, maybe three at the most. I would say that has changed in recent years because some children used to be a little more demanding.

WB: How does Santa determine who's naughty or nice?

SR: If they're nice enough to come and see Santa, they're pretty much on Santa's good list. There's pretty much an unconditional love there with Santa. This is what makes it all worthwhile. I would say it is as close to heaven as I'll ever get on this Earth.

WB: What's Santa's favorite thing about Christmas?

SR: Oh my goodness, Mrs. Claus' famous chocolate chip cookies. Yes, but it has to be the children of course. It's my sunshine on a cloudy day.

WB: What does Santa want for Christmas?

SR: Peace on Earth of course.

WB: What was Santa's favorite Christmas present?

SR: It would have to be the Yo-Yo. Santa loves the Yo-Yo. Ho Ho Ho.

WB: Do you ever see children who are afraid of Santa?

SR: Oh sure, that doesn't happen too much but occasionally. But to make them feel better we'll take a different setting like standing for example.

WB: What does Santa do the rest of the year?

SR: Coming and going. I take a little vacation to Palm Springs. And then it's back to work.

WB: In your visit to Valley Creek Mall, you bring two of your reindeer to show the kids. Why not bring all 8?

SR: When Santa is visiting, he usually comes in with a two-seat sleigh. That only calls for one or two reindeer. There is no point in traveling with the whole herd. The whole team would be kind of foolish. They have to rest up for the big ride. I usually always have Dasher, Dancer or Prancer with. Rudolf needs to rest up his nose. The rest of the reindeer are in training.

WB: Why don't the reindeer fly during their visit?

SR: I either have an elf, or if they're acclimated, I'll have a human helper that holds them down because they tend to want to fly. As long as somebody is hanging onto them, it's not a problem.

WB: Does Santa ever get tired sitting at the mall all day?

SR: Not at all, it's a lot of fun. That's what Santa is all about - visiting with the children. I refer to them as the extraordinary. It just doesn't get any better than the unconditional love of a child.