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Resident Advisor - Father Christmas

Everything you always wanted to know about Father Christmas. From your letter to Santa, getting back on the ‘nice’ list, how reindeer fly and more…

Father Christmas answers some festive questions
Father Christmas answers your questions
Visit Father Christmas at Anya’s Grotto at the Anya Hindmarch Village

Anya Hindmarch must have been a very good girl this year indeed. She has persuaded Father Christmas to make daily appearances at Anya’s Grotto at the Anya Hindmarch Village on Pont Street in the run up to Christmas, Santa’s busiest time of the year.

While enjoying a mince pie and a restorative cup of tea at the Anya Cafe, we put our most burning questions to the man himself and discovered how reindeer fly, the truth about unicorns and how to get back on the ‘nice’ list if you’ve been naughty. Plus, a few bonus questions from some curious children…

Do children have to write you a letter or do you just know?

A letter is always welcome! Mrs Christmas, the elves and I love receiving letters from children and hearing their news. We love to read about what they’d like to receive for Christmas and, yes, it’s helpful to our toy-making teams, too.

If your elves are making all the toys for Christmas at your workshops in the North Pole, how come I see the same toys for sale in the shops?

Well, that’s a good question. As you can imagine, there’s a lot more children in the world now compared to when I first started out with my reindeer, sack and sleigh. 

Getting toys to all the children in the world in one night requires quite a bit of logistical and supply chain support and so some toys might be made in other workshops. But you can rest assured that every single toy that I deliver on Christmas Eve comes with a special dusting of my magic – and you won’t find that in the shops!

How do the reindeer fly? Do they have invisible wings?

Long ago, Mrs Christmas, the elves and I created a top-secret reindeer food recipe that makes them fly.

We feed it to them all year round in preparation for our long journey on Christmas Eve. All the treats that you all leave out for us all while we are delivering presents help too.

What do the reindeer feel like to touch?

My reindeer are super soft and snuggly; in fact, they give very good hugs. We have a special reindeer shampoo and brush for their coats when it is bath night.

How do you shrink down the chimney? Do you get nervous if there’s a fire?

You want to know a secret? You really must not tell anyone, but I carry a very special potion in my thermos on the sleigh. A couple of drops before each chimney means I can slide up and down really easily – it is the most fun but quite exhausting!

“The most important thing is saying sorry and really, really meaning it. That will always get you back on the nice list.”

How do you know who has been naughty or nice? Do you really see everything?

I have a very long list at my home in the North Pole – I love hearing about all the good things you have all been doing throughout the year and have special gold stars for those that are really good at sharing, being kind and doing things to help look after each other and our planet.

I don’t see everything but I am kept very up to date by all of my elves and your mummies and daddies.

In the song Santa Claus Is Coming to Town, it says, “You better watch out; You better not cry”… Will crying really put someone on the ‘naughty’ list?

No – it is just a song with a good tune and the words had to fit right. Or at least that is what the songwriter told me.

Sometimes crying is a good thing to do, it helps us feel better. So don’t worry about crying but if you do want to cry, make sure someone is there to give you a cuddle and help you feel better.

If someone does something naughty, can they get back on the ‘nice’ list?

Absolutely! To me, the most important thing is saying sorry and really, really meaning it. That will always get you back on the nice list.

How do you know where to deliver the presents when people go away for Christmas?

The elves work really, really hard to make sure we know where you are all planning to be for Christmas.

My sleigh has recently been updated with sat nav, which I love (thank you, Mrs Chrirstmas)! It is a big, and very important job, to input all the correct addresses and make sure that we have all the latest information on where you will be. A sprinkle of magic dust always helps make sure we get it right, too!

Does Mrs Christmas come with you to deliver the toys sometimes?

Mrs Christmas usually stays at home while I deliver all of the toys – she helps to make sure that all of the toys have been loaded onto the sleigh with the right addresses and then waves me and the reindeer off.

She always prepares a delicious meal for us all when we get home with lots of her home-baked cookies.

Why do you use the same wrapping paper as some parents?

Sometimes we choose the same designs! It really is a coincidence but I think it is also a little bit of magic that we all think that you would like the same paper for your special presents.

When my tooth fell out on Christmas Eve, did you run into the Tooth Fairy in my bedroom? – Francesca, age 10

What a special day for your tooth to fall out, Francesca!

I am good friends with the Tooth Fairy but if I do see her dusting her magic on Christmas Eve I never really have time to stop as we are both so busy. We do like to catch up when things are a bit less busy for me though, usually in the summer.

“Long ago, Mrs Christmas, the elves and I created a top-secret reindeer food recipe that makes them fly.”

Do you live in a castle at the North Pole? Is it always snowy there? – Kerenza, age 5

Mrs Christmas and I live in a really cosy cottage next to the toy workshop at the North Pole. It really is my favourite place in the whole world but, yes, it is always snowy and cold so I need to make sure I have a big warm coat and nice big thick socks all year round.

Are unicorns real? – Isabella, age 4

You know, unicorns are the most wonderfully proud and independent creatures. I happen to have met a few on my travels. They’re famously difficult to capture and utterly untamable, so it’s no wonder that people wonder if they exist at all.

But when people try to tell you unicorns aren’t real, try reminding them of this: unicorns have been around for a very long time. A nice Greek doctor named Ctesias first wrote about them in the 4th century B.C. for the Persian king.

And let’s not forget that unicorns are the national animal of Scotland, plus National Unicorn Day is celebrated every year on 9 April, not long before National Asparagus Day and asparagus is real, isn’t it?

What would you like for Christmas?

Ho, ho, ho, thank you for asking! I love what I do, it really is the best feeling to hear how happy you all are on Christmas morning when you open your presents. That gives me the happiest, warmest feeling and that is really all I could ever want.

Unfortunately, all of the spots to see Father Christmas in person have been filled for this year but The Village is still full of chances to have some festive fun.

At the Christmas Store you’ll find a treasure trove of limited-edition Anya Hindmarch gifts and decorations, including ceramic tree baubles, crackers, puzzles, mugs, crayons and teddy bears.

Apparently Father Christmas’s elves have been going mad for Anya’s stickers.

At the Anya Cafe, there’s Christmas cakes, gingerbread men and mince pies that Father Christmas says are just as good as those made by Mrs Christmas.

Anya Village, 11 Pont Street, SW1X 9EH

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