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Ho! Ho! Ho! Who’s on the Christmas ‘Presby Podcast’?

Before getting to work on Christmas Eve, Santa Claus spent a few minutes with ‘A Matter of Faith’

by Rich Copley | Presbyterian News Service

Jolly Old St. Nicholas took time recently to speak with “A Matter of Faith” co-host Simon Doong. Their conversation will drop Dec. 23. (Photo illustration by Rich Copley)

LEXINGTON, Kentucky — “A Matter of Faith: A Presby Podcast” is less than a year old, but co-host Simon Doong managed to score a huge interview for the show’s Christmas episode.

“HO! HO! HO!” Doong’s guest bellowed as he was being introduced, adding, “I guess I gave myself away.”

“I think you did, Santa,” Doong said. “We’re so grateful to have you.”

Doong and Santa Claus conducted their interview in an undisclosed location under undisclosed circumstances because, well, Jolly Old St. Nicholas has to keep his secrets. But in a nearly 15-minute interview, they did have a warm conversation about the circumstances we find ourselves in this Christmas 2021, the second Christmas under the cloud of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“People often ask me about the toys,” Santa said. “And yes, the toys do change, but not the boys and girls. They are just as precious and beautiful. And I’m so happy that this year, we’re able to see each other again, often in a limited way. Santa always wears my mask. But can I tell you what I say to the boys and girls? … Remember, children: The most important things in the world aren’t things, but the people who love us and who we love.

“When you grow up, you won’t remember all the toys that you received at Christmas. But you will always, always know how special Christmas is. Why? Why, because of your family. Your family is the most important gift we will ever have. I always tell the boys and girls, you don’t find the meaning of Christmas under the tree. You find the real meaning of Christmas in your heart.”

That’s quite a statement coming from the uber gift giver. But Santa revealed he doesn’t see giving presents as his main job.

“My one job is reminding the children how special they are,” Santa said. “Someone told me this saying once. … ‘Power is the ability to achieve purpose.’ Power is the ability to achieve purpose, so that when I’m with the children or the grownups, and I make them happy, then I feel powerful, because there’s nothing more important than making children happy. And at this time of the year, we’re all kids at heart, right?”

Santa took a few moments to recommend a favorite Christmas story, Taylor Caldwell’s “My Christmas Miracle,”  and another Christmas standard that will surprise no one. The conversation was frequently punctuated with Santa’s hearty laughs as he dispensed a few more thoughts on the meaning of the season and more before he had to dash away.

But Doong recorded it all, and you can listen to the interview and more Christmas conversation with Doong and co-host the Rev. Lee Catoe when the episode drops Dec. 23.

“A Matter of Faith: A Presby Podcast” is produced by the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program and Unbound: An Interactive Journal on Christian Social Justice.

New episodes of “A Matter of Faith: A Presby Podcast” are released on Thursdays and can be found here or wherever you get your podcasts.

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