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By: Carol Scibelli

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santaI assumed it would be impossible to interview Santa Claus a few weeks before Christmas. Why would he agree to talk to poor widow me? He had nothing to plug. He wasn’t starring in a movie; he hadn’t written a book and he was too lovable to run for President. 

Since Santa’s toys are basic, wooden and old fashioned (similar to Melissa & Doug puzzles) I communicated the old fashioned way. I called him...from my landline. I didn’t text him because how could he text me back with those chubby fingers?

Santa, THEE Santa did call me back and not from the North Pole. He was in Macy’s Department store, THEE Macy’s on 34th Street – from THEE movie, Miracle on 34th Street.

Santa suggested we meet in the men’s room during his bathroom break. Really Santa? That’s just creepy. He clarified. He meant the Men’s Department. He needed a new black belt. His was 150 years old. It was time. I guess elves only make toys.

Santa looked sad. I thought it was because Macy’s didn’t have a belt in his size. There was more, much more to this Christmas story.

CS (Carol Scibelli): Santa, there are plenty of stores in the city. One is bound to have a size 92 waist with a gold buckle. Can you do silver?
SC (Santa Claus): It’s not that, Sugar.
CS: You remember that my nickname was Sugar when I was a kid?
SC: I remember everything. Is your mother still whacky?
CS: No.
SC: That’s good.
CS: She’s dead.
SC: (Santa starts to cry)
CS: It’s okay Santa. She’s at peace now and not annoying everyone.
SC: No. I’m crying because Mrs. Claus is very sick. I’m afraid I may lose her.
CS: Is that possible? Aren’t you guys immortal?
SC: I thought so too. Apparently, a loophole in our contract. Who reads the fine print?
CS: You should give coal to lawyers and the little kids who will grow up to be lawyers!
SC: Carol, I’m Santa Claus, not Cruella Deville. Anyway, Doc from the seven dwarfs warned Mrs. Claus not to eat so many of the cookies she bakes, but the smell...she can’t resist. Now she’s at risk.
CS: At risk for what?
SC: Cookieitis – Deadly. She’s beginning to have symptoms.
CS: Tell me what you’re most afraid of.
SC: What if she dies? I’ll be all alone.
CS: You have the elves and Rudolph.
SC: Your husband died and you had friends and family around you. Did it help?
CS: Not really, but maybe if I had elves. (laughs) Sorry. You’re right. I was lonely and it was scary for a long time.
SC: I’m terrified I won’t be jolly anymore. Kids all over the world are counting on me to be freakin’ jolly!
CS: You won’t be jolly for a while, but little by little parts of your old self will peek out.
SC: You mean first I’ll shout out “Ho!” and then the next week the other “Ho!” and then two days later the third “Ho?”
CS: And, eventually you’ll put it together again with a “Ho Ho Ho!” And your ho-ing will be genuine. You’ll be happy!
SC: I could never be happy again without Mrs. Claus. Anyway, the pickings are slim up at the North Pole.
CS: You’re a catch, Santa. You work from home at a seasonal business, you’re a natural with kids, and you drive at night!
SC: I’m depressed. I should throw myself into my work. Maybe I’ll make Christmas twice a year!
CS: Running away from life isn’t healthy, Santa...wait, twice a year means more presents for me!
SC: Or, I’ll close up shop.
CS: A hasty decision. Think of the elves on Unemployment. Hallmark will plummet and I own stock!
SC: I’d hate to disappoint the children, though. Don’t you have grandchildren?
CS: Yes, umm, of course, the children. It’s all about the ummm, children. Screw Hallmark. What kind of heartless person worries about stock prices at a time like this? I was just kidding.
SC: My cheeks will never be rosy again. She pinches them...sometimes a little too hard, but I like it, if you know what I mean...
CS: I do. So it’s Mrs. Claus who puts that twinkle in your eye.
SC: You betcha!...Ohh...Mrs. Claus is Facetiming me! See?
CS: (looking into the iPad and waving) Hi Mrs. Claus. Long time fan, here!
SC: (to Mrs. Claus) You look wonderful, honey...And, healthy, like the old you! You seem full of energy like Rudolph did right after we got his nose to stop blinking! You are healthy? You’re cured? Doc said so?

Santa spun me around and kissed me on both cheeks. The store’s piped in music played White Christmas and he began to sing along.

He winked at me as only Santa could and then he skipped away towards the shoe department, holding his iPad close to his beard. I think he was kissing the screen.

Outside of Macy’s, the beauty of the season was unfolding. The first winter’s snow was starting to stick right there on 34th Street. Even the grownups were giddy; They were gliding and stomping and loving the sound of the crunch under their boots.

Did Santa singing White Christmas make it snow? That would make it even more magical. Although, he could have warned me. I was wearing four inch heels. But, hold on, I had met Santa Claus, thee Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus was going to be okay and there would be a jolly Santa and Christmas this year!

Still my shoes were ruined and my hair was wet and frizzy.

Merry Christmas!

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