This year, Henny Cameron from Northampton Advanced Motorists was able to bag an interview with the man who on one night every December drives around the world bringing gifts and joy to millions, without ever being seen. By whichever name you know him - Father Christmas, St Nick, Santa - read on to find out more.
When did you pass your IAM RoadSmart advanced driving course and what made you take it?
Although I only drive one night a year, I have always wanted to take an IAM RoadSmart advanced sleigh test. I took my sleigh driving test in Lapland many many years ago. There wasn't much traffic about then, come to think about it, there isn't much about nowadays either. My driving is made all the more difficult as each house I visit tends to leave a glass of something out for me. But with the current sleigh drink drive levels, I now take all the drink home with me - it lasts all year around!
Rudolph spends the autumn getting Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen into shape to make sure they are fit and are flying well. We would never live it down if we crashed into a chimney!
What is your occupation?
I run my own business making and delivering toys. Theoretically I am a seasonal worker, however my work never really stops as the toys required are so technical nowadays. Gone are the days where we could knock out thousands of small wooden toys in one evening as these new-fangled technical ones are all the rage now.
What do you currently drive?
I have a 1773 open top sleigh designed by the same maker as the State Coach. It holds dual classification as a ground and air-based transport vehicle, with a top speed of 1,800 miles per second.
What would be your dream car?
A couple of years ago the major manufacturers all designed new sleighs for me. I must admit my favourite is the Bentley sleigh although there is a disadvantage which means Blitzen and the team would be redundant, and it is open topped which means I will still get cold. The Rolls Royce sleigh looked good and it kept my reindeer and as the bonnet is so long, I would no longer need to worry about reindeer emissions!
Why doesn't Rudolph accompany you on your Christmas journey?
It’s all to do with regulations! I am not allowed to display a red light at the front of my sleigh, and Rudolph refuses to wear a nose patch.
Where do you like to go on holiday and why?
Mrs Claus likes to go somewhere hot, and I like my luxuries in life so we always stay at a ho-ho-tel. I sometimes have a motorcycling holiday in Idaho-ho-ho, touring on a Holly Davidson.
What is your favourite food?
Definitely a pizza, one that is deep-pan crisp and even.
If you won the lottery, what would you spend it on?
That’s easy, a red suit that keeps me cool when I begin over Australia, and warm by the time I get to the UK!
If you could only offer one tip to an associate, want would it be?
Never give up! It may seem daunting to begin with but it is achievable, in the same way I never think I will deliver all the presents within 24 hours but always do!
We would like to thank Saint Nicholas for taking the time out of his busy schedule to do this interview.
And finally, from all of us at IAM RoadSmart, we would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
By Henny Cameron, IAM RoadSmart member at Northampton Advanced Motorists