What Santa Really Wants For Christmas – From A Week Away In The Sun To A New Government

"Or, a huge mirror, because my vanity knows no bounds..."

On Christmas Eve, millions of kids around the world leave their stockings out in the hope Santa will fill them with everything on their lists. But what about the big man himself? When does he get a break?

We asked some Santas what they’d most like for Christmas this year – and their answers ranged from a foot massage from Mrs Claus to some bigger asks...

‘Children warm and well-fed... and a Labour government.’

Mike Facherty, aka Henley Santa, is 30 years into his Santa-ing career and by now is so into character, he makes a joke about being “snowed under” as soon as he picks up the phone.

He also describes himself on his very jolly bungeblog as an “Olympic Chimnast”.


Facherty starts by telling us a possibly-apocryphal story. When the Archbishop of Canterbury was asked what he wanted for Christmas, he said: “Well, I’d love a new pair of slippers, and I need to break in a new pipe.” Then, when he looked at the paper, it read: “Head rabbi calls for peace on Earth, Pope calls for an end to hunger, Archbishop of Canterbury wants a new pipe and slippers.” Ahhh.

Proceeding with caution, Santa says: “Obviously more than any present, I’d like all children to be warm, well-fed and not living on the streets this Christmas – and I’d like to see a Labour government!” And this from a Henley man!

“Also I do a bit of puppetry and I haven’t got a good Punch,” he adds. “I’m hoping my wife might get me a good one – there are some lovely handmade ones available, but they get quite expensive, so I’d be perfectly happy with something cheaper.”

‘The perfect giant Santa selfie’

For the last 11 Christmases, a ginormous Santa bearing a passing resemblance to Zippy from Rainbow has become part of the festive scenery in Manchester, perched happily in front of the town hall. Thanks to the miracle of communication and his excellent Twitter account (@MCRSanta), we were able to get in touch.

“All I’ve ever wanted – and something I’m continually searching for – is the perfect giant Santa selfie,” he tells HuffPost UK.

Thousands of visitors to Manchester’s Christmas Markets take selfies with him every year. “I try and score as many people as I can, but I’m yet to find the perfect 11/10 (I, of course, use the Spinal Tap scoring system),” he says. “I’m looking for perfect subject matter (i.e. me), great light, focus, framing. It’s not a lot to ask, yet the quality of selfies today have a lot to answer for.”

Being the purveyor of Christmas dreams, MCR Santa says he seldom receives gifts anyway. “My joy is in the giving,” he says. “However, given I spend six cold weeks perched atop a 10-metre-high plinth outside Manchester Town Hall, a mild winter would be well received. Or, a huge mirror, because my vanity knows no bounds…”

‘A week in the sun on a Caribbean beach’

“There’s a number of things I’d really like to have,” says Mark Theobald, a retired teacher, actor and musician who, among a host of festive gigs, is Dubai Airport’s resident Santa. Toasty gig!


A nice pair of furry slippers, so I can rest my tired feet after a busy Christmas Eve, and sit by the fire,” he begins his Christmas list. “And I would love it if someone could get me a week’s holiday in the Caribbean. If anyone particularly generous is reading this, that would be lovely – a week on a beach where I forget about the reindeer and just relax.”

That’s not all for Santa Theobald – he’d also really like a voucher for afternoon tea at the Ritz (“because I get an awful lot of mince pies and it would be lovely to have a bit of variety”) and for Mrs Claus to to give him a foot massage – “Climbing up and down hundreds of thousands of chimneys takes a toll on your feet, this would be a special Christmas treat.”

‘Boys and girls of all ages to stop squabbling over this planet’s finite resources.’

Ric Erwin, aka “Singin’ Santa”, is chairman of the Fraternal Order of Real Bearded Santas, a brotherhood of Santas in the US who pride themselves on their real facial hair.

His wish is less materialistic than most. “Santa wants boys and girls of all ages to stop squabbling over this planet’s finite resources,” he tells us. “I believe that if we stop letting the greedy and the grabby herd us into ever-smaller and more easily manageable tribes, we can learn to act together, as a species.”

So far, so hippy Christmas – and we’re fully on board. “I believe that, when we do, we will finally be ready to take our next halting steps away from this planet,” he says of his wish. “After all, no matter how precious the resource might be at the bottom of this gravity well, it’s available in infinite quantity out there.”

Ultimately, he says, it’s all about perspective – “Santa wants the ‘me’ generations to make way for the rise of a ‘we’ generation.”