The World According to Rico – An interview with Santa

This was my first Christmas and I have to say this whole thing is just amazing.

I was treated to hours at home with both my folks, which was incredible in itself. No one left to go to work; they ate a lot of fun food which of course was shared with me; and I got more toys even though I probably didn’t need any. I even got a glow-in-the-dark collar from PetSmart, which helps keep me visible in the middle of the night and I’m disco ready.

An incredible thing happened outside – it’s called snow – and I got to run through drifts for the very first time. The snow clung to my fur as I bounded and rolled through the white stuff. I have to say I needed naps after all those excursions. I was born for this moment, I just didn’t know it until Christmas morning.

But the most amazing thing was a visit from someone I guess is called Santa.

I’d heard rumors about him, I’ve seen pictures of him and the folks even bought a weird Santa figurine that’s supposed to be strapped to my back because it’s funny. I let them sit it on my back for a photo and then I was completely over it.

However, when you actually meet the guy, in the flesh, well it just takes your breath away.

Me and the folks were just enjoying a nice quiet Christmas Eve when there was a knock at the door. In walked old St. Nick, bringing me a giant stuffed reindeer.

There aren’t any little kids in our house, so I thought it was extraordinary he’d take the time to say hi. That’s when I realized the real reason he had stopped – he reads this column of mine online and thought he’d do a quick interview while he was in the neighborhood. Plus, he said he was tired and wanted to lounge on the couch with me for just a spell, while we talked.

And I think I saw him drink a beer, but he insisted he was fine to fly because the reindeer do all the navigating anyway.

How does Santa see today’s world? Well, he acknowledges there are a lot of really big problems, “but there always have been. In the history of the world, there has always been horrible violence, terrible conflicts and a struggle between good and evil. I believe there is more good than evil, we just have to do our part to spread it around. We have to believe God is in control and we have to believe we will be saved because Jesus  was born for us, died for us and rose for us. It’s really pretty simple. But so many worldly things get in the way. That’s why it’s important for us to have Christmas – to stop the spinning craziness for just a little bit to remember what God has given us, wants for us. And we need to stop and appreciate what it is we have in our families and our faith.”

That was all pretty profound for a little puppy, so I let my mama take notes. Plus, I was really into my stuffed reindeer. But we pushed forward.

How does the world look from the sleigh? “It’s big and blue and beautiful,” Santa said. “There are beautiful mountains and oceans and plains and cities and small towns and fields and deserts. And from up there, in the sleigh, everything and everyone looks the same – all of it is God’s creation and it all looks peaceful. It’s when you get down to the surface you start to see the imperfections. I just have to remember how still it is, how peaceful the world is, flying high above, knowing God’s going to take care of it all in the end. We just have to do our part, make sure other people know and care for one another. Love our families, care for our communities and our world.”

“That’s pretty heavy,” I told Santa.

“I know, but so is the meaning of Christmas, when you get right down to it,” he said.

We decided to do a lightning round, to wrap up the interview and maybe lighten things up. I’d ask quick questions and Santa would give me immediate answers, so I could really get to know the real man inside the red suit. Here’s our Q and A:


Q: Best food to eat on Christmas Eve?

A: Pepperoni pizza.


Q: How much snow is optimal for having the best white Christmas?

A: Just an inch with a light breeze to blow it around. Any more than that is just a pain in the neck after the ambience of being snowed in wears off.


Q: Best cookies he finds under the tree?

A: The round ones with the chocolate stars in the middle made by my Aunt Leenie.


Q: Best Christmas movie?

A: “Santa Claus is Coming To Town,” in Claymation, done back in the 1960s.


Q: Best Christmas song?

A: “Oh Holy Night.” It’s the one that makes me cry. And it makes others cry around me as I try to hit the high notes.


Q: Best Christmas present?

A: Heavy socks. Works every time. And at some point, everyone needs them, everyone appreciates them.


Q: Egg nog or tequila?

A: Tequila. No one really likes egg nog.


Q: Republican or Democrat?

A: Non-partisan. Everyone’s got a lot of soul searching to do.


Q: Neutered or not neutered?

A: Right to choose.


Q: Vaccinated or not vaccinated?

A: Well, your collar says you are already and the reindeer just got their shots.


Q: Beef or chicken?

A: Both, all the time, constantly. The more meat the merrier.


Q: When it comes to the best Christmas song, is it by Brenda Lee or Moriah Carey?

A: I knew Brenda Lee way before the diva in tights. I’ve been rocking around a lot of Christmas trees.


Q: Gym membership or no membership?

A: Look at me. Enough said.


Q: Grandma or the reindeer?

A: That was a bad deal.


And then off he went, with a “Ho, Ho, Ho” and a lighted display of reindeer hooves and Christmas cheer as he flew away.

Wow, what an interview.

Merry Christmas everyone!

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