A chat with the jolly man in red

Santa knows if the boys and girls from Ripley have been good or bad.
Santa knows if the boys and girls from Ripley have been good or bad. HASLOO

SANTA has arrived at Ripley Town Centre, eager to meet all the good boys and girls from across the region.

Knowing editor Ashleigh Howarth is a good girl, he agreed to take time out of his busy schedule to chat to her exclusively about the behaviour of Ripley boys and girls, what cookies he would like to see when he stops by on Christmas Eve and about how he gets organised for the busy Christmas season.

Q: Christmas is only a few short weeks away. How are things going in your workshop at the North Pole?

A: The elves have been very busy making all of the toys which have been on the wish lists for good boys and girls from all over the world.

As we had more children appear on the good list rather than the naughty list this year, we have made more toys than ever.

Q: How do you and your reindeer prepare for Christmas Eve?

A: We have a strict training schedule where we make sure we go over the map of all the houses that we need to visit and even put in a few practice flights around the North Pole.

We also do a look over the sled during those practice flights to make sure everything is in order, because we don't want anything to go wrong while we are delivering all the gifts.

It has never happened before, so my elf mechanics certainly know what they are doing.

In the weeks leading up to Christmas we also go on a strict dieting plan because we know that everyone likes to leave us yummy treats when we visit.

That can sometimes be hard, especially when Mrs Claus bakes.

Q: What are some of your other favourite treats?

A: I really love a yummy biscuit. Chocolate biscuits are my favourite.

I also really like a glass of milk to wash the biscuit down with.

As for Rudolph and the rest of my reindeer, they absolutely love carrots.

They are good reindeer and love to eat their fruits and vegetables.

Q: You mentioned earlier that you have had more names appear on the good list rather than the naughty list. On a smaller scale, how would you rate the behaviour of all the boys and girls from Ripley?

A: I was so pleased to see that Ripley has a high number of good children.

I knew you would, because they were all so good last year.

I love visiting Ipswich and all the surrounding areas. Australia is one of my favourite countries.

Q: What advice would you give to children to make sure they are on their best behaviour from now until Christmas?

A: Many parents tell me that sometimes their children's rooms can be a little messy.

It's good to play with your toys with your siblings or your friends, but it is equally important to remember to put them away when you are done.

It's also important to make your bed every morning.

So my advice would be for kids to make sure they are doing these two simple chores.

Just remember, I'll know if you don't.

Q: I know you are extremely busy with meeting lots of children, and ensuring your workshop is running like clockwork, but while you are visiting, do you take a little time out to enjoy the beautiful Queensland weather?

A: Oh yes, I try to. I can't help but bring out my swimmers and put some sun tan lotion and visit the beach.

You might also see me catching some waves.

Ripley Today