Santa Claus is coming to town

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG) - In between Santa talking with kids and taking pictures, NewsChannel 7 got the chance to ask the jolly old elf himself some questions.

He opened up about his life at the North Pole, his bag of toys, his favorite and most unusual requests, and how he can keep up with every single child in the world.

We also asked about the naughty and nice list... unfortunately he wouldn't divulge any information.

"Nobody's on the naughty list right now. Don't be the first one, please. There's a couple at a T.V. station that I know are close," he said.

When asked his favorite request from a child he said, "I had a young lady here a couple of days ago that actually wanted to dance with Santa. So, I waltzed with her for about five minutes. You have never seen a smile as big as that. Mom had tears and it was great. "

The most interesting request he's gotten?

"I had a request for a steamroller and a cement truck a couple of days ago," Santa said.

And what does he plan to do after Christmas?

"I Go fishing. Deep sea out in the Gulf of Mexico," he told us.

We also asked him how many elves he has.

He said, "I have about 4,000 depending on who is in trouble and who is on vacation. Just need to make sure I have enough available to make the toys."

And how does Santa Claus make it all the way around the world in one night?

"Say it's 12 o'clock here and you go to the next time zone it's still 12 o'clock. Then you go to the next time zone, it's still 12 o'clock. So by the time I'm already around the world, it's still 12 o'clock," he explained.

So does the big guy really drink a lot of cocoa?

"Do I really need to answer that?" he laughed while patting his belly. "Ho, ho ho, yes I do."

He also told us he always has to be on his toes.

"A little girl came up to me, sat on my lap, I asked her what she wanted and she looked at me and said, 'I wrote a letter to you.' I said I think I got it yesterday. She zinged me. She said, 'You couldn't have it's sitting on my dresser at home," he recalled.

We wanted to know what Mrs. Claus is like.

"Sometimes she's nervous, trying to take care of 4,000 elves is a handful. She's up in the North Pole taking care of the packages, the wrapping, and the reindeer," he told us.

So when does he start getting ready for next Christmas?

"November. 'Cause you've got to get the books out and check them and make sure we have an updated list. We have to get all the elves on the shelves ready to go," Santa explained.

We asked if elves on a shelf are really fashioned after Santa's elves...

"No, they're a little skinnier. We won't go into that," he said.

So, Santa, do you have a lot of help?

He replied, "I do have a lot of people involved. Some I can see, some are in the background. There's a lot of people involved. So I'm happy, they're happy, the hot chocolate is happy, the cookies are happy."

And finally, we asked the secret to his red bag of toys.

"I can't tell you everything. We don't divulge everything," he said.

If you haven't gotten to talk to Santa in person he will be available up until 5 o'clock Christmas Eve at the Panama City Mall.