HIGHGATE — When the Messenger visited Santa Claus’s secret workshop here ahead of Christmas Eve, Claus’s mouth was agape.

One might assume Old St. Nick was simply preparing for a puff of his pipe, but Claus quit smoking several decades ago.

“I just can’t believe it,” Claus said. In his hand, he held a vast scroll: the fabled Naughty or Nice list.

“Never before,” he said, “have all the world’s children been so good.”

Indeed, in examining Claus’s trademark list, the Messenger discovered a record low four children designated “Naughty.” That’s largely due to a progressive new behavioral grading system, including not just “Nice” and “Naughty” designations, but a third as well: “Okay.”

“It’s not easy being a child,” Claus said, leaning back in his oakwood rocking chair by the fire. “Even I remember that — and I haven’t been a child for three-thousand years!”

Here Claus issued his famous “Ho, ho, ho,” the great rollicking belly laugh, before continuing.


To read what else Santa Claus had to say ahead of Christmas grab a copy of the Messenger’s Christmas Eve edition or subscribe to our digital edition.