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This week’s Pacific Spotlight shines on Santa Claus, who is spending the last few days before Christmas at Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan:

We know you like and remember all the kids you talk to every year. But are there any that you particularly remember?

Every year I visit kids in need, in orphanages and special-needs schools. It does the heart good to see how happy they are for the little time and effort we give. It reminds me that if we all gave a little of ourselves, how much happier the world would be.

What’s your favorite cookie?

Sugar ... best kind ever, especially if they are still warm from the oven!

Is that beard real?

Oh, yes. Just pull it and hear me squeal!

On average, how many times do kids pull it every year?


When you’re not working at your real job (being Santa Claus), what other job do you do and where do you do it?

I have been seen working at the Defense Distribution Center Yokosuka in Japan during the down time after Christmas rush.

And at that job, what name would be on your ID card?

Peter Rose.

Have you finally convinced Virginia that, yes, you do exist?

She’s onboard and is now a great advocate, spreading the word.

Rumor has it you’ve developed a special way to relax before Christmas.

True ... I hang out some days before Christmas on a busy shopping street. You can get your picture taken with me for 300 yen (about $2.60). The money goes to three orphanages and a home for the blind.

Any tips for keeping frisky reindeer in line?

I remind them that I am keeping track of who is naughty and who is nice.

When kids ask you why you like being Santa Claus, what do you tell them?

I love to see all the happy smiles. Nobody can resist smiling at Santa!

True or false: To parents on the evening of Dec. 24, the scariest phrase in any language is “Some assembly required.”


What would you like to tell adults who think they’re too old to believe in Santa Claus?

We all have a choice: We can be happy! Believing in Santa Claus is one of the best ways to be happy and let that little smile sneak onto your face.

What’s the best thing you ever found under YOUR Christmas tree?

Warm socks.

Santa Claus aka Kris Kringle aka St. Nicholas

Age: Ageless.

Title: CEO, Global Toy and Good Cheer Distributors Inc.

Avocations: Reindeer trainer, cookie connoisseur.

Pacific readers: Know someone whose accomplishments, talents, job, hobby, volunteer work, awards or good deeds qualify them for 15 minutes of fame? How about someone whose claim to glory is a bit out of the ordinary — even, dare we say, oddball? Call Sharen Johnson at Stars and Stripes with the person’s name and contact information at DSN 229-3305 or e-mail her at


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