anne_mikolay_120We all know him! He has a beard as white as snow and a little, round belly that shakes when he laughs like a bowl full of jelly. You can call him Father Christmas, jolly old Saint Nick, or just plain Santa Claus. He's the holiday season's most popular fellow, but what do we really know about him? Children and grown-ups alike have so many questions about the man in the red suit! What does Santa eat for breakfast? Does he have any hobbies? What is his favorite cookie or color? Does Santa Claus take a vacation?

Several years ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing Santa Claus, and he answered a few of these questions for me. Here, then, are his answers!

Author: “What does Santa Claus eat for breakfast?”

Santa: “Pizza!”

Author: “You eat pizza for breakfast, Santa? What about eggs? Cereal?”

Santa: “Of course, I eat eggs and cereal! Mrs. Claus makes me a hot breakfast every morning. Sometimes, she makes me soft-boiled eggs. When it is very, very, very cold at the North Pole, Mrs. Claus makes me pancakes. She calls them North Pole griddle cakes because she cooks them in a big griddle her mother gave her. I smear my pancakes with maple syrup! I love maple syrup! Every spring after the hard freeze, Mrs. Claus and I travel to New England, land the sleigh in the Vermont woods, and tap the maple trees for the sweet syrup. I love griddle cakes with a hot cup of lemon tea. On Saturday mornings when Mrs. Claus sleeps late, I cook breakfast for the elves. That's when I make pizza, a big, cheese pizza with lots of tomato sauce. Delicious and nutritious! I can spin the pizza dough, toss it into the air and catch it! I never miss! Making pizza is almost as much fun as eating pizza for breakfast!”

Author: “Do you have any hobbies, Santa?”

Santa: “I like to paint and draw. When I was a little boy, I learned to mix blue and red to make purple. If a child can draw or paint, he or she can add color to the world. I'm afraid I am not a very neat painter though. I spill my paints and forget to clean the brushes, but I do my best, and that's all that counts. I also like to garden. It's very gold at the North Pole, so we really can't grow outdoor flowers or vegetables, but we have an indoor greenhouse where I plant and watch my flowers grow. Last year, I grew a tremendous pumpkin. It was huge! I was going to enter it in the North Pole's largest pumpkin contest, but the elves dropped it when they tried to help me move it, and it shattered into pieces. Mrs. Claus made pumpkin pies for everybody!”

Author: “What is your favorite cookie, Santa?”

Santa: “My favorite cookie is chocolate chip. Mrs. Claus makes two kinds of chocolate chip cookies. She makes super chips, giant chocolate chip cookies that she slices like a cake, and smidgens, teeny, tiny chocolate chip cookies I can pop into my mouth or fill my pockets with. Ms. Claus scolds me all the time because she finds smidgen crumbs in my pockets. I love all the cookies the children leave for me on Christmas Eve!”

Author: “Santa, is red your favorite color?”

Santa: “The children will be surprised to know that my favorite color is green. Green is the color of the earth, Christmas trees, and spring grass. Green makes me smile. I love green pine trees. Did you ever look closely at the branches of a pine tree after a snowfall? The snowflakes cling to the pine needles like tiny, little jewels. It's beautiful!”

Author: “Do you ever take a vacation, Santa?

Santa: “Mrs. Claus and I go to the beach every summer. We have a lovely, little cottage with blue shutters at the shore. I like to nap or sip lemonade in the hammock in the backyard. In the early mornings, long before the sun is bright and hot in the sky, Mrs. Claus and I walk together on the beach. There are all sorts of things to look at on the sand, like seashells, jelly fish, and horseshoe crabs. I pick up the horseshoe crabs and toss them back into the ocean.”

Author: “Is there anything special you would like to say to the children?”

Santa: “Be happy! Be kind! Smile! Make everyday a bit like Christmas!”

*The above is an excerpt from Santa Eats Pizza for Breakfast by Anne M. Mikolay, available on Amazon.com