Q&A With "Santa" Konrad Kayne

A bit of reindeer inside information from the Man in Red himself



Santa (AKA Kondrad Kayne)
Photo by John Hession

Did you know there were real reindeer in the state?

Not domesticated ones, but straight from the wild. They live at Charmingfare Farm in Candia. Go there and you can see them do their reindeer thing. And for nearly 20 years, Santa (also known as Konrad Kayne) has appeared at Charmingfare to check on the reindeer and perhaps enlist one to join his Christmas Eve herd. He’s been there for holiday events and private parties too. When he’s not tending to his Santa duties, Kayne can be heard on the radio. We talked to him about what reindeer were like and how they perform their Christmastime visits. He tells us that reindeer are a species of deer native to Arctic and Subarctic regions, where they pull pulks, a small toboggan — perhaps auditioning for the big event?

Are reindeer really more rapid than eagles?
North Pole PR — as rapid would be more accurate. They don’t have the agility of eagles. You don’t want to try a sudden dip with flying reindeer in flight.

I understand they’re fast on the ground too.
If they have to be. We stay with accepted ground speed limits as a rule.

Is it true that reindeer are quiet?
Yes. Rule Number One — no talking during the pull. Gotta be able to hear my commands.

That’s good for rooftop visits, right?
And keeping with local community noise ordinances.

But why was there “such a clatter” if reindeer are quiet? 
One time, flying onto this guy’s house, we had a hard landing and the big bag of toys fell out. I’ll never hear the end of that!

How do they stay warm in the chilly night sky?
They adore the winter night air.

Since only female reindeer have antlers at Christmastime, your team must be all female.
Not all. The males are fitted with prosthetics only during my flight on Christmas Eve. For potential photo ops and potential roles in films. Never at Charmingfare Farm.

How do they fly without wings? 
Sorry, trade secret.

Is it like children, you love them all, or do you have a favorite?
Santa doesn’t play favorites.

Do they have any annoying habits?
Their unapproved eating habits. They love Mrs. Claus’ homemade chili. I say no more.

What did you do for light before Rudolph came along?
Little man in pointy shoes dangling from the lead reindeer with a buck light. It was always hard to keep help that way.

You must have to be lively and quick to handle the team.
I like Mrs. Claus’ chili too.

Do you practice your “ho, ho, ho”s in front of the mirror?
Yes. Often

Are you still smoking a pipe while you work?
Well, not the same these days. It’s an E-Pipe. Vapors, not smoke.

 

More holiday festivities and local gift ideas

In Their Own Words: Skip Gorman

Skip Gorman has 20 recordings to his credit, his own label and the music camp, "Camp Backup," that he founded in Hancock.

Running Strong

In June 95-year-old George Etzweiler became the oldest person to finish the 7.6-mile Mount Washington Road Race.

In Their Own Words: David Preston

David Preston owns OSG Paintball in Center Barnstead, the largest park in New England.

Capturing the Market Basket Boycott on Film

Nick Buzzell grew up in Hampton, then lived in New York for 14 years, making waves in the media world. When the Market Basket boycott unfolded last summer, he knew he had to come home to capture the story.
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Popular Articles

  1. The Soothing Power of Reiki
    Reiki and other complementary approaches to wellness, such as art therapy, aromatherapy and...
  2. When Is it Too Late for Plastic Surgery?
    More and more seniors are saying it's never too late and are signing up for various procedures....
  3. Tamworth Distillery's Local Spirits
    This farm-to-bottle distillery brings creative alchemy to a small town in New Hampshire.
  4. Find Your Own Food - Foraging in New Hampshire
    It doesn’t get much more local than stepping outside and finding things to eat. Learn about how...
  5. Guide to Antiquing in New Hampshire
    It’s August, which means it’s almost time for the 58th annual NH Antiques Week. To mark this...
  6. Running Strong
    In June 95-year-old George Etzweiler became the oldest person to finish the 7.6-mile Mount...
  7. New Hampshire’s Northern Tip
    A trio of towns — Pittsburg, Clarksville and Stewartstown — fill the narrow triangle at the...
Edit ModuleShow Tags