Our celestial being of the month is the one and only Santa Claus, who’s been ladling out the presents and occasionally getting drunk on a Santa pub crawl since the days when you still believed in him! Word is here to confirm that he’s real — and here he (or she) is, getting real. Photo by Kyle Phanroy


Christmas this year... is special — my 85th Christmas since the Coca-Cola Company invented me!


I decided to rest the reindeer and sleigh on this trip because... Chinese medicine is not on my shopping list.


My flying motorbike... is under 50cc, so I don’t need a license.


The Christmas lights in Saigon... are all North Pole-approved, elf-strung and catgut-crafted— err, they’re fine.


Chimneys in Vietnam... have been out of style since The Great Saigon Freeze of 1947 (it went down to 15 degrees!). Nowadays, we use air-con ducts.


The most popular presents... are dolls. But let me tell you, those roadside sellers are really biting into the business.


The visa issues... are a breeze! The North Pole gets lumped in with the rest of Northern Europe.


My favourite Santa present requests... are Wu Tang Clan CDs. The late, great Ol’ Dirty Bastard wasn’t lying when he said, “Wu Tang is for the children.”


The best Christmas visit this year... was actually pre-Christmas. You might have noticed me marching along with 150 of our largest elves through Ho Chi Minh City on Dec. 13, ice-cold Christmas cheer in hand.


I prefer Christmas to Tet because... it comes sooner!


But I love Tet because... it’s a way to leave up your Christmas decorations for three months without anyone calling you lazy.


Global warming... will be a good thing for the Hanoi leg of the trip. But overall, it’s a bad, bad thing. There’s a reason that we’re loading the sleigh up with bicycles these days.


If I could change one thing about Christmas, I would... change its over-commercialistic, capitocracy-dominated nature. But heck, it’s a living!


If my mother could see me now... she’d probably chuckle at the irony of me judging which children are naughty and which are nice — I got quite a few stockings full of coal way back when!


The Word

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