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BLOOMINGTON - The big guy in the red suit is busy with Mapquest today, charting his trip tomorrow to deliver presents to boys and girls who have been good all year long as they await his annual visit. He took a few minutes to answer some questions for The Pantagraph:

How long have you been doing this Dec. 24 present-delivering gig?

It's hard for even me to believe, but it goes back nearly 1,700 years to the fourth century. At the time, I was known as Bishop Nicholas in Eastern Europe (you know it now as the country of Turkey). I have always loved children, and used to give the downtrodden ones toys. Would leave them on their step, or even toss them in windows. Well, things just 'took off' from there, so to speak. When I started delivering toys in America, things really picked up. Those kids sure love their toys!! Keeps me extremely busy.

What is your favorite holiday movie?

"Miracle on 34th Street," of course.

How's Rudolph doing these days?

Pretty well. Although sometimes on New Year's Eve his nose is even a little redder than normal, if you know what I mean. No, I'm just joshing. Rudolph does not imbibe in anything stronger than hot chocolate.

Where do you like to vacation?

Well, Santa Claus, Ind., is nice, and so are North Pole, Alaska, and Snowflake, Ariz.. I also like the Bahamas; even Santa likes to go to the beach once in a while.

If there's something you could change about the life youÂ1ve lived, what would it be?

Probably wouldn't change a thing, except my wardrobe is in a rut. I would like to wear some blue every once in a while.

Got an idea for Take 5? Send an email to newsroomyayaypantagraph .


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