Coffee with….Santa’s prodigal son

Colton Claus - the little known prodigal son of Santa - sits down for a chat with the Alberni Valley News.

It’s just not easy being the son of a legend. Just ask Colton Claus.

Colton Carter Claus is the little known – some say prodigal – son of Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus.

Santa may only be popular during one season of the year, but the legend he casts has lasted a lifetime — and then some.

“There’s no sense in grooming a successor when you’re a living legend,” Colton says. “That sounds like something ‘The World’s Most Interesting Man’ would say but it’s true.”

Colton Carter Claus was born “back in the days of a phonograph” he says. Although he doesn’t give his age he doesn’t look a day over 30.

Colton is medium height, has a small paunch, but the hair, ruddy cheeks and deep laugh are unmistakeable.

“It’s a great ice breaker in night clubs and casinos across the world,” Colton says. “That, and telling ladies I can get them off the naughty list.”

Colton was born and grew up in the North Pole. An only son he also has two “Goodie two shoes” sisters. “I grew up with two sisters so nobody knows drama like I do,” Colton said.

His only neighbours were from Nunavut, whom he only saw periodically in the off-season. “Shout out to my boys there: Al, Jimmy — what’s up.”

Colton grew up playing with elves and reindeer, and he had “more toys that you could shake a stick at,” he says.

“Not always, I made the bad list a couple of times — well, more than a couple of times, especially in my 20s.”

Homeschooled, he graduated with his Grade 12, and enjoyed English and social studies the best.

“I got to see and experience different parts of the world through my atlas first,” Colton said. “That was before I travelled with the old man.”

His least favourite subject: art. “When you’ve only got wrapping paper and bows to work with then it gets kind of boring after awhile,” Colton said.

His favourite teachers were, well, the only two he had. “Mom and dad, what can I say?”

With elves as his only peers he only ever wanted to become a toymaker, reindeer stable boy, or sleigh maintenance man.

He dabbled in all three after graduation, “But none of them fit; they really weren’t me.”

He took a few years off to travel the world and get in touch with himself. But in doing so, he rebelled against his father’s legend by trying to create his own.

He attended swanky world events, dated divas, partied with rock stars, lunched with world figures and became a man with whom to be seen.

“I freed bears from traps, cliff dived in Acapulco, swam with sharks — not dolphins  — and I surfed big waves in Hawaii,” he said.

“I even partied with ‘The World’s Most Interesting Man’ — he said that he dated mom once before she was married and that he knew dad from the old neighbourhood.”

A man can only party so long though. Temperance set in with middle age and Colton moved home to help with the family business.

“The ride had to end sometime, but what ride it was,” Colton said.

These days, he can be found helping out in Santa’s workshop, labelling presents with his mother, and sprucing up the sled in advance of the big event.

“I’m really at peace with it now,” Colton said.

“It’s the career that chooses the man.”

His relationship with his sisters, once strained, is mended now and he’s an uncle to three nieces and a nephew.

He’s considered settling down, saying that he even met that special someone, but is coy about when.  “I don’t know if I’m ready for a relationship right now,” Colton said. “It’s not her, it’s me.”

Colton finishes sweeping the shop floor, cracks a joke with an elf, fist pounds another before making his way out the door.

“All things considered it’s really not all that bad being Santa’s son.”

reporter@albernivalleynews.com