Tell us a bit about your job.

I AM head of a large organisation which makes and distributes Christmas presents for every child in the world. We do everything, from receiving present requests by letter, email and Twitter to keeping a database of addresses and of which children have been good or naughty, to making the toys and delivering them on Christmas Eve so they are there for the children when they wake up on Christmas Day.

Naughty children do not get any presents. That is quite a serious penalty, so we have to be satisfied they have not been good for the majority of the year to enforce it. I oversee the whole operation – I delegate quite a lot to my senior elves – but there’s some jobs which can only really be completed by me, like driving the sleigh.

It’s a pretty big job, with lots of responsibility, but someone’s got to do it.

How did you get into this job?

I AM Santa Claus. There was never any question I was going to do anything else, my dear.

It’s just what I do.

What’s the best bit about your job?

FINISHING the round in the early hours of Christmas morning, with the satisfaction of knowing every little deserving boy and girl around the world will wake up with a smile on his or her face. That’s the magic of Christmas.

The other brilliant aspect is the people I get to work with.

The elves really are the unsung heroes of Christmas – they are extremely quick, hard-working, skilful and cheerful, basically your perfect workforce.

Of course, the mince pies and brandy, which the very good children leave out for me, are also very much appreciated.

Any bad bits?

The reindeer can sometimes be a little bit mischievous if they don’t get enough sustenance along the round, which is why it’s very important that boys and girls leave out something for them to eat, like carrots or an apple and water.

The Northern Echo: One of Santa's Reindeer

But they are a decent bunch, and considering what they go through on Christmas Eve, they hold up pretty well.

Rudolf is pretty good at keeping them in line these days, every since the unfortunate incident where he was forced to stand up for himself after the others teased him about his red nose. It gave him a real sense of authority and was the making of him as a leader.

Some might say you do a pretty impossible job, Santa. How do you manage it physically, and what keeps you going?

WELL, Mrs Claus is always very good at taking care of me and getting me in shape for the Christmas season with the endless tasks and chores she gives me around the house.

Getting up and down those chimneys is a piece of cake compared to my wife when she needs some flat-pack furniture assembling, let me tell you.

Fortunately, it’s not as bad as it was in the old days – we have some very technologically advanced ways of getting presents into homes as many people either do not have chimneys or have blocked them up. In that sense, like a lot of jobs, it’s become a less physically demanding over the years as the technology has become better.

Obviously, getting around all the homes in just one night is a challenge – we use a combination of different times zones and few tricks of the trade. I’m unfortunately unable to tell you any more than that, as how we do it is one of our most closely-guarded secrets.

As I said before, it’s the magic of Christmas, and part of the magic is the mystery.

People have to just believe in it.

As for what keeps me going, it is just knowing you’re giving children a good Christmas.

Without us, that just would not happen. I have the best job in the world and I’m very happy and proud to do it.

You have been doing this a really long time, Santa. How has the job changed over the years?

I LOSE track of how long I’ve been here – it feels like forever, but I guess I am Father Christmas.

The basic elements of the job have not changed, but we have better technology to help us make and distribute everything – which is a really good job, as we’ve had some huge population rises in the past 50 years.

We have discovered advanced techniques for present distribution, the sleigh is a lot faster than it used to be, and we now have powerful software which runs our databases, so we can tell right away who has been good and naughty and get the right presents to the right children.

The other main change is the presents children ask for.

At one time, we used to make mainly wooden toys and dolls but now they’re as likely to ask for something like an iPad, which we have had to source from other suppliers.

We have had to modernise to keep up with demand and that’s a rolling process. It can be expensive, but there really is no alternative as we have to give the children what they ask for. That’s Christmas.

Have you ever got stuck up the chimney?

THERE was one extremely embarrassing incident a few years ago when I was a bit heavier than I am now and underestimated the width of a particularly narrow chimney.

The reindeer had to pull me out, much to their amusement.

They’ve never let me live that one down. They even made up a song about it Since then, we introduced strict chimney width criteria to ensure the same thing doesn’t happen again – it was very stressful and I wasted a lot of time on our busiest evening of the year.

What am I getting for Christmas, Santa?

WELL, my dear, you are not on my naughty list so you should get exactly what you asked for.