It’s a pretty closely held secret, since without the red suit he looks like just another guy with a beard, but Santa Claus loves Cabo. Just adores it. So much so he spends his most important vacation time here, and let us tell you he earns it.
Between reading through letters from children all over the planet, making a length list of whose been naughty or nice, overseeing the toy building his elves do in the North Pole workshop, keeping his reindeer in shape, then sleighing to and shimmying down about a gazillion chimneys on Christmas Eve, this guy really puts in the hours.
He needs a bit of downtime after this marathon schedule and Cabo San Lucas is his favorite place to go to relax and unwind. He makes sure he visits Cabo last on Christmas Eve so he can immediately check into a local resort (we won’t say which one, but it’s posh!) where Mrs. Claus is already in residence, waiting for him and working on her tan.
For security reasons, the toy drop route is varied a little each year, but one thing always stays the same. The night ends in Cabo.
Hey, the guy knows what he likes!
We were lucky enough last year to sit down with Santa at one of his favorite breakfast spots (Wicked Pizza, across from El Tesoro) and dish on what almost anyone would agree is the world’s hardest job, and the five reasons he chooses Cabo to relax after the longest night of the year. You won’t see any quotation marks below (Santa doesn’t like to go on the record), but be assured these sentiments are straight from the big fellow’s mouth.
Naughty or Nice Isn’t a Question That Matters
I love my job, but it can be a little stressful trying to decide who is naughty and who is nice. There aren’t really any bad children. Not really. I mean, I can’t tell you how many galletas dulces and vasos de leche I had just finishing up here in Cabo (Editor’s note: Santa Claus is multilingual and fluent in over 200 languages and dialects, including English, Spanish, Spanglish and Nahuatl). I nearly split my coat in two and it actually would have been a relief considering how much I was starting to sweat!
But most kids are great, and the ones that aren’t generally just need a little guidance. Not a lump of coal, just a nudge in the right direction with a less than perfect gift. But I don’t like having to make these moral distinctions so when the Christmas work is over I like a place where there are no judgments. A judgment free zone, if you will.
And nobody judges me here in Cabo. I’m just Kris Kringle, the plump fellow with the big white beard. They take me for who I am and I do the same. It’s a wonderful thing.
There are No Chimneys Stacks to Diet For
Don’t tell anybody this, but I really hate chimneys. Trying to shimmy down those things at my age and my weight is not easy. I’m always afraid I’m going to get stuck and somebody is going to find me there in the morning, trapped like a kitten up a tree. I don’t want the local fire department to have to crowbar me out of there, not least because I still have so many more deliveries to do. But it sure would be nice if these people who leave out the milk and cookies could maybe leave me a key somewhere. Just saying.
I mean, I have to start dieting in July just to manage the chimneys.
The diet stops once I get to Cabo. I eat all the foods I like, and a lot of them are Mexican specialties. Tacos al pastor. Pozole verde. Barbacoa. Cochinita pibil. Man, they sure know how to cook here. I’m a big fan of rompope too. I’ve never had an eggnog anywhere that compares.
But what I love most is fresh local seafood, and let me tell you that Cabo has the best I’ve ever tried. Up at the North Pole it’s a lot of herring. Way too much herring. To be honest, I’m done with herring…and haddock too.
Here in Cabo, me and the missus can nosh on tuna and dorado all day, every day. God bless all ceviches!
You can eat pretty much anything here, though, and come away happy. I love the American scrambled here at Wicked, for instance. The bacon is absolutely amazing. Thick-sliced and cooked just the way I like it.
Under no circumstances ask me my weight, by the way. Trust me, the reindeer are barely going to be able to get airborne when it comes time to go home (Ed. note: the reindeer stay at a ranch near Pescadero when Santa and Mrs. Claus are in Cabo San Lucas).
There’s Something Special Under Every Tree
Christmas trees are my business. I love leaving presents underneath them. People seem to like it and it keeps a lot of elves employed. Last year alone we turned out over four billion toys at the workshop.
For vacation, though, I’d rather be in a place with palm trees. Preferably in a pool or even a hammock, if we can find one that’ll hold me, ho ho ho!
I need the sun, to be honest. Vitamin D deficiency at the North Pole is a real issue. We have to rotate the elves out all the time for vacation and Cabo is a place where the sun shines year-round. The elves prefer San José del Cabo to Cabo San Lucas. They like the Art District. Art recognizes art, craft recognizes craft, you know.
But I only get here about two weeks a year and I love being in the sun as much as possible. I ditch the red suit and just wander around in my board shorts.
SPF is essential with my pale Nordic complexion. But I still get a good glow going. And the missus comes here a little earlier when we’re in a frenzy loading everything up, so she really goes bronze.
As Nice as it Is to Give Gifts, It’s Even Better to Receive Them
You could definitely call me a giver. We’re a non-profit organization, tax exempt in just about every country in the world. There are a few we can’t visit, but that’s mostly for security and airspace reasons, and we work with locals there off-the-books to get gifts to all the kids.
It’s a passion project. I love Christmas. So much so I’ve dedicated my life to it.
But yes, it is nice to have people give me things occasionally. Like this extra order of bacon and the margarita I’m having as soon as I get back to the resort.
The missus is getting a massage even as we speak, and at least once while we’re here we like to do a couples’ treatment on the beach with Champagne and scented candles and a soft breeze blowing in off the Pacific.
Things can get a little strained when I’m working all the time, you understand, so this is our time to rekindle the romance.
It’s a Whale of a Good Time
It’s so cool that we get here right at the start of whale watching season. We occasionally see humpbacks breach from our resort suite but it’s definitely better to go out on a zodiac boat and see them up close.
Unreal. Majestic as an adjective doesn’t even begin to do them justice.
Last time we were here we saw a couple of orcas and got photos. We’re going out again tomorrow. Today, though, I’ve got a tee time at Quivira, so I’m going to have to cut this short.
Sorry for any inconvenience, but I’m still an eight handicap and I want to get down to scratch sometime this century.
Oh, you want me to say my famous line?
¡A todos Feliz Navidad y que pasen un buen día!
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!
Saludos from Co-Founders…
Chris Sands – Writer and Michael Mattos