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  • Writer's pictureL. Delaney

Santa Watch 2023

This Christmas, Santa offered unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to his North Pole operations & its team, as they prepared for his journey across the world.


Press Briefing from North Pole Press Secretary Kandy Jingle-Pierre:

"As the world tosses and turns, worrying over last minute to-do lists, Santa readies his sleigh and reindeer for the long journey ahead. In a few short hours, he will set out. There is a quiet sense of expectation in the North Pole stables, as elves double and triple check the sleigh, performing last-minute maintenance, but also making sure it is well-stocked with blankets and maps. Santa has performed this route for centuries. But lines on maps change; houses go up and come down. Santa must find his way by intuition, and by the stars. The reindeer shift restlessly in their stables, as Santa brushes their coats, fitting harnesses and bells.


As you fall asleep, their day begins.



When the sleigh is ready, Santa puts on his coat. This coat was a gift from the Ghost of Christmas Past, woven from pieces of old tree skirts and ship sails, stitched together with Arctic spider silk. As Santa walks, its velvet murmurs with the singing of ancient yuletide halls, billowing with the winds that once pushed men to the edges of maps. Centuries of chimney wriggling have worn it away in spots and, try as she might, Mrs. Claus cannot shake out all of the ash. So instead, she fusses over Santa’s mustache and beard. She is pleased with her work, and thinks he is looking quite handsome.


But Santa needs to get going. Kissing the Mrs., and receiving his final notes from the chief engineer, Santa makes his way outside to the sleigh and to the waiting, breathless elves who have gathered to see him off.



A year’s preparation is coming to fruition. How have the elves fit all the world’s presents into Santa's sleigh? That part is a secret! But we can tell you that there is just enough room left for Santa, his navigational tools, and snacks for the long journey. The reindeer are impatient. You can see their breath steaming the air. The sky above is so big, it makes the sea look small, glittering like a veil of diamonds. Santa feels almost as if he could reach out and pluck one. And probably he could, because he is Santa.


With a grateful nod to the elves & to Mrs. Claus, Santa boards the sleigh. The reindeer know what to do. Before Santa has taken the reins, their hooves kick away the snow-dusted earth and kiss the morning air. This photo was taken at the very moment Santa’s sleigh leapt into the sky to begin its journey to Christmas. You were still sleeping then, but as the reindeer scattered snow and diamonds, laughing in face of gravity, you stirred with a dream whose edges were tickled by aurora dust.




As the reindeer pick up speed, a word on Santa's costume. 


Among nations and traditions, there is no consensus on Santa’s costume. In a way, everyone is correct, because Santa’s wardrobe covers the width and breadth of man’s imagination rendered in fabric, across centuries, myriad nations, districts, and tribes, presented to the Clauses in token of friendship. Santa cherishes the wooden clogs from his friends in the Netherlands, and his beloved Bhutanese gho, tied at the waist with a wide cloth belt. The dashiki from Nigeria is another favorite, its bright colors and geometric print cheering Santa in the darker days of winter. In his wardrobe also hangs a silk Sherwani, once worn by Santa to a wedding in an Indian palace. Beside the Sherwani, a tartan plaid kilt, whose hem could still make you sneeze with Highland dust. 



But I’ll let you in on a little secret: even dressed in his grandest frock, Santa prefers the bright, handknit socks of Mrs. Claus. And he thinks that Mrs. Claus looks particularly fetching in her dirndl, gifted by friends of the Mozelle region, embroidered with the light of a summer day, catching the wave of lavender on a mountainside.

He smiles to think of it as his sleigh speeds across the vast and shivery landscape, closing the gap between his world and yours.


Imagine the vast world stretching between you and Santa, populated by elves and polar bears and fir trees heavy with snow, but also palm trees and oceans, and people speaking many languages. The secret places you have yet to walk, the favorite books waiting to be pulled from shelves, the friends still to be met, whose laughter you will come to love, and whose delight will mingle with your own, in the true magic that stirs a gaze from suffering and solitude, to joy. Untold, uncounted joys. As many, and many more even, than the night sky can hold up.


Santa knows. He has counted it many times.

 

A startled nightwatchman waves from his tangle of ropes and sails, as Santa leaves the dominion of North Pole, leaping into Christmas, that realm between dreaming and waking.



Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”


❄️ ❄️ ❄️






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