Notes From the Pole

two bottlesFrom the diary of Hildegard Claus, wife of Santa Claus

November 25

We had a good Thanksgiving, as always we ate too much, especially Ludwig, but who’s surprised by that? I think he could show a little more self restraint, but that’s not “Santa’s way” he tells me. I ask him “Is it Santa’s way to lie moaning on the couch for three hours after dinner?” but then he doesn’t say anything. Still, it was a good day, and Ludwig’s friend Karl came for a visit. He surprised us, though, said he had been in Thailand back in the summer, and he’s practicing Buddhism now. “You should try it,” he said to Ludwig and was trying to get him to meditate. Buddhism? Ludwig? I mean seriously, maybe I shouldn’t have opened that second bottle of brandy after Thanksgiving dinner. Anyway, I think Ludwig was just falling asleep.

December 2

This morning I was in the kitchen talking to the cook. Since she only stands three feet tall, I always sit down in a chair when I’m talking to her. I try to be polite, but she wanted to complain, and I was thinking, “This isn’t my issue.” This time of year when the workshops are going nonstop, the elves need a lot of snacks, and they can’t seem to get enough cheese toast. I don’t especially like cheese toast myself, as it makes me feet bloated, but it sure seems to be elf food. Anyway, Tixiria, the cook, was saying, “Any dwarf could make cheese toast! I didn’t attend the Cordon Blue school just to melt cheese on toast. I want to cook real food, but these country elves wouldn’t know the difference!” There’s always some kind of issue, especially this time of year.

December 11

Do you know how long it’s been that Ludwig has been wearing that red outfit with the white trim? I know everyone thinks that’s what Santa Claus looks like, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they think he looks good that way. He started wearing that outfit before he ever met me, that’s for sure. Last night we got cuddly on the couch and I said, “Ludwig, you like blue, don’t you?” Isn’t that an innocent question? But right away he was defensive and said, “What are getting at, Hildegard?” “Nothing,” I said, “but I was thinking what if we had a designer, from New York or Italy, draw up a few possible costumes? We could see if we like them.” “I already don’t like them,” he said. Ludwig can be such a child sometimes. And he looks like a child in that red thing.

December 13

Just like every year, the music issue comes up, what to play in the workshop. The elves want music, and I understand that. I like to have music playing all day myself, although I really lean toward Dean Martin or Tony Bennett. But what music should they play in there? For the record, there are 437 elves employed in the workshop, which, as far as I can see, makes about 4,370 different ideas on the right music. At least everyone here at the Pole is agreed on one thing. We will have absolutely no Christmas songs, ever.

December 21

Today is the winter solstice, and I always insist that Ludwig and I have a quiet dinner alone on the solstice, that this close to the Big Night we have a quiet break. I took the chance to suggest to Ludwig that when he’s in France this year, he doesn’t have to eat all the cheese that’s been put out as snacks. “Bring some home,” I said. “The elves would like it.” But I know he’s going to just eat it.

December 24

Well, they’re off. It’s always kind of exciting, as many years as we’ve done this. When I see that sleigh rise up and hear those bells jingling as they go off into the distance, it still gives me goose bumps. Roman holidaySo I’ll putter around a bit, then take a nap so that I can be awake when Ludwig gets home. Whenever he gets back he always likes to have a few dark beers and watch the movie Roman Holiday. It relaxes him after working so hard, and I like to sit with him then. I love that time, the two of us together when it’s all over. Merry Christmas.

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