Big red sleigh cleared for takeoff

by Callum McDonald

It’s a flurry of activity here in the arctic circle as the countdown to Christmas begins. Trying to catch up with the big man himself — Saint Nick, Santa Claus, the Fella in Red — is tougher than booking an interview with the entire cast from Marvel’s MCU at once. Nevertheless, your intrepid elf reporter managed to speak with the jolly old commander-in-chief as he was overseeing trials of a brand new sleigh — the Yuletide Mk 7.

“We need a bigger, faster sleigh this year because more kids have made the nice list than ever before. It’s possible that it has something to do with operation ‘elf on the shelf’, but in general, I think that there’s just a lot of Christmas spirit sloshing around,” said Santa, blocking his ears as the twin candy cane powered turbojets were fired up. “The extra boost on this model will give the reindeer a bit of a helping hand, which is nice. It means we can go faster, which means more time in each house to really enjoy those plates of biscuits.”

As usual, Santa has been busy popping out from his North Pole workshop and command centre in recent weeks to check out what’s cool in New Zealand. He’s joined his helpers at parades and in shopping malls, taking the pulse of what kids want this December 25 and relaying the info back to his teams of elves. “It’s a big year for unicorns, slime and robots, apparently,” smiles Saint Nick.

“These things always come around again. I’m betting dinosaurs, and race cars are back for next year, but as for now — it’s important to remind the elves to only stick one horn on each unicorn. Otherwise, you just end up with antelope.” A little-known fact — Santa’s elves can make brand-name toys because the original inventions are often come up with by elf labs in any case! Toy companies make them for the rest of the year and pay for the designs. All of this money funds Santa’s yearly pudding and trifle bill, which is, according to Mrs Claus, ‘gigantic’.

Santa’s weather elves report a clear run this December 25, with optimum conditions to deliver close to a billion presents using the power of Christmas magic — and a little extra boost from those big turbine jets. So, as the old song says, ‘be good for goodness sake’ — Santa Claus is definitely coming to your town soon!