Coming to town
He's ready for his toughest assignment - Hong Kong, Santa tells Sara Yin
Greetings from the North Pole! I'm just about to set off on my journey to Hong Kong tonight. Santa loves Hong Kong, especially the food, but logistically it is one of the most difficult cities to sort out.
I usually have to lose about 10kg just to squeeze through your tiny windows. This year I hired Spiderman (the real one, not Tobey Maguire) to train me to crawl up drainpipes. Mrs Claus likes my new biceps.
Apart from that, it's been a crazy few months at the North Pole. Delivering presents is my favourite part of the job, but getting ready for the trip is always hard work - and this year more than most.
First, Donner and Vixen, two of my most reliable reindeer, fell ill with the flu, and Mrs Claus was worried they caught the bird flu. I told her not to be silly - we don't have any birds up on the North Pole, and the virus (so far) cannot be spread between different animals. Besides, reindeer are allergic to chickens.
Then the elves staged a two-day strike last week, which created total havoc. We think it's because Mrs Claus - who helps oversee logistics and day-to-day operations - raised the wages of red-shirt elves before the green-shirt ones, leading to a huge quarrel and a mass walk-out by the green shirts - and a very un-jolly headache for the entire North Pole. Fortunately, we came up with a plan that has pleased everyone - a minimum wage, set at five mince pies and 30 candy canes per hour.
Just in time, too, because I have literally millions of wish lists to fulfil tonight in Hong Kong. I received many unusual requests this year, such as a new job for daddy or a dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts for the Young Post team.
However, I must apologise in advance. Santa can't give you everything you asked for, having lost several million dollars in Lehman Brothers stocks. Silly Santa.
But the recession wasn't the worst news for my team this year - global warming was. We've long based ourselves here in the North Pole, but now our base is melting - we recently lost a whole warehouse, after the ice under it disappeared. Nobody was hurt, but if you want to keep getting presents I suggest you start wasting less electricity.
Well I best be off. My reindeer are faster than Cathay Pacific, but it still takes some time to get to Hong Kong!
By the way, people often ask me what my favourite sweet snack is. Personally I love egg tarts, but I appreciate anything as long as it doesn't contain melamine.