WLSK: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me. I know that this is your busiest time of the year.
Mrs. Claus: It’s my pleasure. I can always make a little time for the women of Kalamazoo. What a neat town you have!
WLSK: Thank you! We’re pretty proud of it. Have you ever visited?
Mrs. Claus (coyly): Oh, a time or two. It’s amazing the number of people who don’t give me a second glance when I’m not wearing that red dress with white fur trim.
WLSK: Wow. I’ll be sure to keep my eyes peeled in the future. Can you tell us how you and Santa met?
Mrs. Claus: You know, I’ve heard so many interesting theories on this one. Katharine Lee Bates (she wrote ‘America the Beautiful” you know) suggested we met and wed in fairyland before fleeing on our wedding day. Then there’s the adorable story in “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” about me as a schoolteacher named Jessica who fell in love with Nicholas as he was being pursued by the Burgermeister…
WLSK: Isn’t that the clay animation movie that came out in the 70’s? I loved that movie growing up. Did they get the story right?
Mrs. Claus: Oh, heavens no. I love that movie, too, but the truth is far less dramatic. I met Mr. Claus in the village in which we grew up and we fell in love while we were still youngsters. I was taken in by his charm, optimism and the overwhelming sense of joy he brings to everyone who meets him.
WLSK: Sounds really romantic! How long have you two lovebirds been married?
Mrs. Claus: A girl has got to have some secrets. I would hate to give away my age…but suffice it to say, we’ve got the longest and happiest marriage on record.
WLSK: Fair enough. Tell us a little about yourself. What do you like to do in your free time?
Mrs. Claus: Oh, I’m a sucker for puzzles. The bigger, the better. Give me a pot of hot tea, some cheery music and a challenging puzzle and I can sit there for hours. Sometimes Santa has to come and drag me away so I can get some sleep.
WLSK: Are you a good cook? What do you like to make?
Mrs. Claus: I hate to brag, but I must say I am an excellent cook. After all, I’ve had hundreds of years of practice. I make a Spaghetti Bolognese that Santa just loves. It might be part of the reason behind that jolly belly of his!
WLSK: What’s your favorite guilty pleasure? Let me, guess…cookies and milk?
Mrs. Claus (with a slight frown): No, that’s Santa. I will never understand why people think that we’re exactly alike. I may spend my days helping him with our mission to bring joy to the children of this planet, but I am my own woman. I’m partial to toffee, myself. I also love a good bowl of Cheetos.
WLSK: My mistake. I was wrong for assuming. What else don’t we know about you?
Mrs. Claus: I love a good mystery novel, I am just as obsessed with “This is Us” as most people and I play a mean game of racquetball.
WLSK: Fascinating. I had no idea you were so up to date on the current culture. I like it. Care to tell us what your favorite Christmas Carol is?
Mrs. Claus (laughing): I know this is my cue to say ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town” or “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”, but if I’m being truthful, I love the more traditional carols. My all-time favorite is probably “Gloria in Excelsis Deo”. I just feel Christmas isn’t complete until I’ve heard it at least once.
WLSK: Do you prefer Coffee or Hot Cocoa on a cold evening?
Mrs. Claus: I love them both. Right now I’m actually on a bit of a Chai Tea kick. Have you had it?
WLSK: I have. I like it, too. What’s on your Christmas list this year, Mrs. Claus?
Mrs. Claus: An Instant Pot, of course. Isn’t that what everyone wants this year? Oh, and a trip to somewhere tropical. By the time Christmas is done, I’ll need a little sun.
WLSK: I can only imagine! I wanted to talk about something a little more serious, if you don’t mind. It’s been a rough year in many ways. There have been terrorist attacks and mass shootings, devastating natural disasters and, in the United States at least, people seems more divided than ever. Do you have any advice or words of wisdom for those who feel overwhelmed and discouraged by the current state of our world?
Mrs. Claus (smiling gently): You know, I really like the words of your Mr. Rogers. He said, ‘When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me…Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ I love this. I really think it’s often a matter of what you choose to focus on. Mourn the tragedies, absolutely, but then look for the good that’s being done and find a way to join in. Make a difference one small act of kindness and love at a time.
WLSK: I like that. Thanks for your time, Mrs. Claus. It’s been such a pleasure.
Mrs. Claus: You’re very welcome. And Merry Christmas!