Santa Claus has - quite literally - come to town, taking up residence at Auckland's Wynyard Christmas Quarter throughout December. But what does the chubby red gifter listen to, given the barrage of Yuletide songs that assails us every holiday season?
"I know it's been covered many a time, but there's something that makes me blush whenever I hear Santa Claus is Coming to Town. It's one of the first ever Christmas hits - it sold more than 100,000 copies of sheet music after its radio debut in 1934, and 400,000 by Christmas. The Jackson 5 did an incredible cover, and I also enjoy the ‘rockier' version that Bruce Springsteen has played on many an occasion live.
"It's going to be a very new experience for me, coming to New Zealand to stay for a while before I make my big trip on Christmas Eve. I'm more accustomed to the cold weather on the North Pole than sub-tropical Auckland, which is why I've always loved Winter Wonderland by Doris Day. It's a very heart-warming song during those crisp, cold periods when I'm doing my pre-delivery planning, sparking off fond memories of gliding across Europe during my adventures, seeing snow-capped trees and mountains, and it's an easy listen that puts me at ease.
"When I do need that bit of frantic energy in my life, however, I turn to Split Enz's I See Red. The joke about me being donned head to toe in red is part of it, of course, but also listening to Tim Finn spit those lyrics out does, er, I believe the word I am looking for here is ‘psyche', me up.
"The Final Countdown by Europe is another one that gets me ready to head out on my travels come Christmas Eve. Sounds an awfully cliched choice, but it does indeed do the job - as the elves ready the sleigh and the reindeer are given one final airworthiness check.
"When it's all said and done, though, when I can finally unwind a little as I head back to my base of operations, I listen to Happy Xmas (War is Over) by John Lennon. It serves as a reminder that there's more to Christmas than presents, and that we should all be thankful for what we have and all get along with one another as a wide community. That, everyone, is one of the true meanings of the season!"
- Sunday Star Times