Over the centuries there has been a lot of talk about me. Whether I exist... whether my Reindeer really can fly... and how can somebody live at the Northpole? Well, I figure that it is time to put some of the stories to rest... you know, set the story straight for you.

First, lets talk about whether Santa Claus really exists. Of course I do... at least for those who believe in me. If I didn't exist, how could I be talking to you right now? Now, I know that some of your friends are going to say that I'm not real, that I'm really someone else pretending to be Santa... but don't listen to them, they haven't learned the magic yet. Magic? Yes, magic... even as time passes by and you get older... and time clouds your memories, all you will have to do is think of me. That warm feeling you get in your heart... the joy and anticipation you feel when you go into the store at the Holiday Season... the smells and tastes of your Christmas dinner with the family... even the happiness you feel sharing gifts with family and friends... all of these will tell you that Santa Claus is real, even when you're 90 years old!

But how did I get my name? How old am I? These are questions that all of my little friends, like you, ask me all the time. Well, my age is... let's just say that I'm as old as my tongue and a bit older than my teeth. I'm older than the hills, and almost older than the clouds. I grew up playing with the fairies and wood nymphs that later became my first elves. Over the years, many stories were told about my life... and what my name is. I really don't mind what folks say about me... as long as they think kindly about me, and honestly remember what Mrs. Claus and I really stand for. Hope, Happiness, and Peace on Earth between all people... that is what we stand for... and that is all we can ask for.

SINTERKLAAS (SANTA CLAUS)

The most common story about me began in Europe where I was called Saint Nicholas, or Saint Nick. Saint Nicholas was a symbol for gift giving at Christmas time. The Dutch were especially fond of Saint Nicholas. But then the Dutch were always special folk... tulips, windmills... and those delightful wooden clogs. Anyway, when the Dutch settlers came to North America, the children called me Sinterklaas. To English-speaking children, this sounded like "Santa Klaus". Soon, pictures began appearing of me. They showed me as a tall, thin man riding a white horse. Well, I was thin... once... but it was so long ago that I can't even remember it!!

Reindeer visiting the White House