Sugar Plum Mary Q&A
A kids-only Q&A with one of Santa’s most trusted elves, Sugar Plum Mary!
Bryce: Hello there, I’m Bryce Corbett. And welcome to the very last Squiz Kids Q+A for 2020 … a very special, festive Q+A for which, drum roll please – we’ve managed to secure none other than Sugar Plum Mary – one of Santa’s trusted elves.
Now – it’s taken lots and lots of letters back and forth to the North Pole to get Sugar Plum Mary. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that she is extremely busy at this time of the year – frantically working around the clock to have Santa’s sleigh packed and ready for Christmas Eve.
It’s the biggest month of the year for Santa and his elves – so we’re really lucky to have gotten Sugar Plum to join us – and answer your questions.
And what a lot of questions you all sent in! So many questions! Thank you to each and every Squiz Kid who wrote in.
(PHONE RINGS) Oh – that will be her now. Right on time … Hello?
Sugar Plum Mary: Hello, is this Squiz Kids?
Bryce: Yes! It is! Is that Sugar Plum Mary from the North Pole?
Sugar Plum Mary:Yes, it is!
Bryce: Thank you so much for joining us .. how’s the weather up there?
Sugar Plum Mary: It’s freezing! But last night, we saw the most glorious collection of shooting stars cross the sky. Oh! And a polar bear stuck his nose into the workshop yesterday – which threw us all into a panic and stopped work for about 15 minutes – but we’re back on schedule now.
Bryce: Good to hear. Because we cannot wait for Christmas down here in Australia.
Sugar Plum Mary: Ahhh, that’s lovely. And we can’t wait to get there and spread a little bit of Christmas cheer. I feel like the world could with a bit of cheering up after the year we’ve had.
Bryce: Indeed it could, Sugar Plum Mary … now I know how busy you are. We had so many questions sent to us from kids all over Australia – and a few from around the world – shall we jump straight in?
Sugar Plum Mary: Yes, let’s!
Bryce: Our first question comes from Amelia, in class 3/4D at Shoal Bay Public School ..
Amelia: Hi Sugar Plum Mary. My name is Amelia and I’m 10 years old from Shoal Bay Public School. My question is: How does Santa get around the world in one night?
Sugar Plum Mary: Ah, yes. I get that question a lot. And because I’ve heard such good things about Squiz Kids and what a great bunch of kids you all are – I’m going to let you in on a little secret. It’s called the Stardust Anti-Matter Propulsion Engine.
Now, I know most people think that all elves here in the North Pole make toys all day, every day. And lots of them do. But there are also a bunch of elves, like me, who also work as mechanics on the sleigh. As indeed there are elves who work in a special Santa Science Lab – and it’s their job to come up with inventions that make it possible for Santa to do his job every year.
And one of those inventions is the Stardust Anti-Matter Propulsion Engine. Now, I’m not going to bore you with the details – suffice it to say, it’s a little bit of engineering genius mixed with a little bit of elf magic – and it makes the sleigh move so fast, it will sometimes look like a shooting star across the night sky above all of your homes.
Bryce: Wow! Can’t wait for that! Next question from Olive, Francis, Archie and Iggy from Wamboin …
Olive, Francis, Archie and Iggy: Hi Sugar Plum Mary! Which country does Santa visit first and last?
Sugar Plum Mary: Santa usually starts at the International Date Line in the Pacific Ocean – where all new days begin – and then travels west. So, historically, Santa visits the South Pacific islands first, then New Zealand and Australia. After that, he shoots up to Japan, over to Asia, across to Africa, then onto Western Europe, Canada, the United States, and Central and South America. But keep in mind, Santa’s route can be affected by weather, so it’s really unpredictable
Bryce: Good to know! Here’s a question now from Anton, who’s 7 years old from Jindera in country NSW ..
Anton: Who’s your favourite reindeer and why?
Sugar Plum Mary: Well Anton, I don’t like to have favourites. But! If I was really pushed to it, it would have to be Comet because he’s so very charming and he’s the most excellent reindeer with kids. So he’s always great to have around to make things easy going, lots of fun and relaxing.
Bryce: We’ll have to leave out an extra carrot for Comet. Our next question comes from Clare on Kangaroo Island, in South Australia.
Clare: Have you noticed different sorts of wishes from different countries?
Sugar Plum Mary: What an excellent question Clare … you’ve put a lot of thought into that question. And the answer is: yes. We do see a big difference in the Christmas wishes that come in from kids in different countries. And you know the interesting thing? Those kids who live in countries which are maybe not as rich, or kids who live in families who maybe don’t have as much money – tend to be more modest about their Christmas wishes. Instead of asking for ten toys or the latest Playstation, they might be content to get just one. And this is what Santa does his best to do each year: make sure that kids from all countries – no matter how rich or poor – receive a little sprinkling of Christmas joy.
Bryce: We could do with a little bit of Christmas joy around here! Now, Grace, Rose and Eve in Ballarat, in Victoria, have a question:
Grace, Rose and Eve: “Has Christmas ever gone wrong?”
Sugar Plum Mary: Oh yes, Grace, Rose and Eve! Has it ever! Well, actually, no – Christmas has never gone wrong – but there have been many occasions where it’s almost gone wrong.
One year we had mechanical problems with the sleigh. Another year, there was a dreadful case of the flu that passed through the reindeer just before Christmas. All the reindeer had red noses that year – not just Rudolph. We have a team of Elf Vets who look after the reindeer, who managed to nurse them back to health just in time. And then there was the year that Santa had enjoyed Mrs Claus’ cooking throughout the year just a little bit too much and was too heavy for the sleigh. We had to bring in the personal trainer and nutrition elves in the weeks before Christmas to help Santa shed a few kilos. He was a bit grumpy in the lead up to that Christmas!
Bryce: I bet he was! .. Now a question from Shekklyah from Gilgandra in Central West NSW ..
Shekkylah: How does Santa keep track of all the elves’ names?
Sugar Plum Mary: Well, you know, the honest answer is that he doesn’t! I mean, he knows the names of the twenty or so elves who he meets with almost every day throughout the year – the ones who keep the workshop running, or the Naughy or Nice department going, or the ones responsible for developing the new toy line every year. But there are literally thousands of elves – and as jolly as Santa Claus is – there’s no way he could remember all of their names.
Bryce: Fair enough too. Here’s a question now from Fletcher, from North Ainslie in Canberra ..
Fletcher: When do the elves get a holiday?
Sugar Plum Mary: What a lovely boy you are Fletcher, to ask about elf holidays. We do get a holiday every year. We have a four week break from Boxing Day – when most of us travel to our homes in different countries around the world to visit our families and other members of the elf tribes that we all come from.
The lead up to Christmas is always so frantic – that most of us sleep for a week when we get home to our families. I’m craving a bit of sunshine this year – so I’m thinking I might try to hitch a ride with a few of my colleagues who are planning a beach holiday in Australia. I can’t say which beach: but if your listeners are planning a beach holiday of their own this Christmas – tell them to keep an eye out for a group of unusually small people making sandcastles nearby…
Bryce: How exciting! Ok, second last question – and it comes from Aditi – who is 8 years old and listens to Squiz Kids from her home in Hong Kong.
Aditi: How does Santa’s sleigh land in the Southern Hemisphere, where it’s summer and there is no snow at Christmas?
Sugar Plum Mary: What an excellent question, Aditi. Santa’s sleigh is such a clever piece of machinery. Not only does it get him around the world in a single night – but it manages to land – super quietly – on pretty much any surface. It can land on snow-covered roofs or the hard-baked earth of a sunburnt Australian backyard. The bigger challenge comes from cockies, galahs, corellas and especially fruit-bats when he is in Australia – they’re really hard to see when you’re flying at night and there have been more than a few near misses.
Bryce: And finally, because I know you’ve got to get back to the workshop, one last question – and it comes from Cailin who’s 10 yrs old from Canberra…
Cailin: What’s the best part about being one of Santa’s elves?
Sugar Plum Mary: Well you know Cailin… I think the most important thing in life is magic. And being part of something magic every single year just makes my life so wonderful and joyful I can’t imagine doing anything else with my life.
Bryce: Sugar Plum Mary – that’s been just amazing. Thank you so much for taking the time to chat to us.
Sugar Plum Mary: You’re very welcome. It’s been an absolute pleasure. And what a smart bunch of kids you have there!
Bryce: They are indeed a smart bunch of kids! Thank you to everyone who sent in a question for SugarPlum Mary – they were all excellent. I wish we could have had time to ask every single one of them, but unfortunately – we just ran out of time.
And remember folks – the Squiz Kids podcast – a daily fix of kid-appropriate news – is out at 7am every morning, via the Squiz Kids website – www.squizkids.com.au – or wherever you find your podcasts.
And if you haven’t subscribed to Squiz Kids in your favourite podcast app – can I just suggest you do it? We’ll be releasing a bunch of summer programming over the school holidays – and subscribing means you won’t miss out.
This is Bryce Corbett, signing off – and SugarPlum Mary, would you please do the honours…
Sugar Plum Mary: Now get out there and have a most excellent Christmas!Bryce: Over and out.