Santa Claus: The Annual
Having seen the magic and wonder spread by ‘The Book of Secrets’, Santa Claus has now decided to chronicle a year in his life at the North Pole. Through this spellbinding account, he explores the immense depth of effort required to deliver magic to the world upon that one, special night each year.
What is Mrs Claus like? Which other magical creatures assist in the delivery of Christmas? What are the Northern Lights? Where do Santa and Mrs Claus travel to in the summer? What secrets lie hidden in the Hall of Records? How does the Dream Tree at the North Pole work? What are the magical pathways? What happens at the Reindeer Training School?
Once more, Santa Claus himself answers these questions and many more, as he delves deeper into his remarkable, magical world and continues to unlock the startling truth behind the mysteries of Christmas.
Look Inside The Book
Read A Chapter – March
On numerous occasions during March, I met up with Oskari, the head Reindeer Keeper, as this is the month we traditionally hold the annual reindeer trials. Once selected, new members of the Reindeer Training School begin to develop and learn the skills required to conduct their Christmas duties.
Whilst I’m sure that most of you will be familiar with the fact that a team of special reindeer help me on my travels each Christmas Eve, this is just one of many important duties that the reindeer have at the North Pole.
We do not have cars or snowmobiles here; instead, reindeer and huskies are our forms of transport. These splendid animals help us to move goods, as well as ourselves, around our extensive site. The reindeer fulfil many other important roles too. This includes flying the Elves and sleighs to secret meeting points on Christmas Eve, allowing me to reload with presents as I make my way around the globe. As you can see, Reindeer are extremely important in everything we do, and this is why we place such great importance on their training and care.
Even though the reindeer are quite comfortable in the harsh environment at the North Pole, we provide them with pleasant accommodation in our stables. Here, they are able to shelter from the storms and recover from their training. Reindeer in the wild roam hundreds of miles each year, foraging for food as they go, so they are very tough animals. However, with such an important role to play, we always make sure that there is a constant supply of their favourite dishes, moss and carrots, especially after a hard day’s training.
Growing food at the icy North Pole is all but impossible. This is why we employ helpers from further South to help keep the reindeer well fed. You too can help us to feed the reindeer, with your generosity each Christmas Eve. My team of reindeer are not able to eat all of the carrots and snacks that are left out by the millions of kind children around the world, but any food leftover is brought back to the North Pole and stored in one of our huge ice cave fridges.
The Reindeer Training School has many obstacle courses, with practice rooftops, gardens and streets. Each year, we also hold a range of jumping and steering tests. All of these are designed to prepare the reindeer for anything they may encounter in the world beyond the North Pole.
The vast majority of reindeer prefer to live a simple life, roaming carefree across the snowy plains of the north. There are on occasion, however, those who are just a little different to the rest of their herd. Oskari has a team of special Elves called ‘Reindeer Scouts’, whose job it is to go out “wandering” in search of suitable new reindeer recruits. This is a deeply spiritual journey, when the chosen Elves travel out into the barren landscape of the North all alone for weeks at a time.
March always seems to be the prime month for teaching and learning. At this time of year, I enjoy visiting the Elf School, where I teach some classes and give talks to the young Elves. Elf School is where Elves go to learn to read, write and work with numbers – much the same as human children do. Elves, however, also begin to learn and master the ancient secrets of Elven magic.
As the Elves progress through school, the teachers begin to identify each of their individual “Callings”. A “Calling” is like what you might see as the job you are most suited to doing when you grow up. The Elves train and learn the basic skills required for lots of different roles – toy making and engineering, present wrapping and reindeer training. They believe that by learning a little bit about each job, they will have a better understanding of how each department works in the future. This will ensure that, once they are focused on their own role, they still have an appreciation of what all the other Elves do too. By learning about so many different vocations, they also have a better chance of discovering their own “Calling”. They have to uncover what it is in their heart, what they have talent for and what they want to spend their very long lives doing.