NORTH POLE Despite his busy schedule, Santa Claus recently took time to sit down with a Valley News reporter to discuss the coming holiday. Claus said life at the North Pole has been extremely busy as he made his holiday preparations. Besides seeing the kids, Santa's got his hands full with the Elves-in-training and the reindeer - it's busy but it's fun, said Claus. Claus is an expert at selecting the right gift for children, saying that when he meets a child, he often reads their wishes in their eyes. Some of the littler ones will look at Santa's eyes and will be almost mesmerized. Santa enjoys elderly people too - sometimes he can make them happy. I think we all turn into kids when we get older, said Claus. Claus said during his visits with children, some frequent requests were for the Nintendo Wii, Hanna Montana Dolls and Sponge Bob Squarepants merchandise along with drumsets. This year a lot of kids want drums and guitars - and Santa likes to deliver drums, but he gets earmuffs for the parents, said Claus. He added that his most unusual request this season was for a gecko. For those children who want to earn their place of the good list, Claus had a bit of advice. Listen to the adults, and try to listen to mom and dad and do their schoolwork. Santa kind of keeps an eye on them, and hopefully they'll be good, said Claus. Claus said he welcomes efforts to leave him cookies, although he usually is in such a hurry to eat them that he leaves a mess behind. He asked youth to clean up the mess for him. Claus remained cagey about how his reindeer flew, stating it was a secret he only shared with Rudolph. He also declined to state how he enters houses that dont have chimneys. Claus said he enjoyed the mood of Christmas so much that it served as his motivation. It's a time of year when everyone's happy. The people are in a cheerful mood with the kids and family, said Claus. I believe the happiness of the kids makes Santa happy and the adults happy, too. Claus said he hopes that the holiday cheer continues year-round. The meaning of Christmas, I believe, all revolves around a certain child's birth. With Santa Claus included, that's what it's about, said Claus. Claus resides at Santas Workshop, located at the North Pole in Wilmington. The workshop opened during the five weekends prior to Christmas, hosting close to 600 families.