Unlike many of us, Santa Claus won't be too concerned about rising gasoline prices on Christmas Eve.
"Gas prices do not impact Santa," the jolly old elf wrote during an online chat Thursday afternoon at the News Center.
"We have a bigger problem with the price of carrots and other reindeer food. Rudolph and the other reindeer power Santa's sleigh," Santa said.
The Journal-World's online staff sponsored the chat, along with Carl Kurt, a Kansas University professor of civil engineering.
The New York Times recently reported that many young children prefer talking to Santa over the telephone as opposed to meeting him in person.
Santa answered about 40 questions during the chat, including many obviously from children.
Santa received several questions about his reindeer, about his Christmas Eve list and his "naughty-and-nice" list.
For example, Baillie, of Lawrence, wanted to know what the reindeer eat.
"They like to eat carrots and other reindeer food. Their favorite food is reindeer moss and for dessert they like to munch on small trees. They are found at the North Pole," Santa said.
Ethan, 6, of Shawnee, wondered how reindeer fly and how Santa gets them to speed up and slow down.
"The reindeer know how to fly when they are born. We have secret signals that we use so the reindeer know when to speed up and slow down," Santa said. "The reindeer always want to go fast and never want to slow down."
Chloe asked Santa if he enjoyed the cookies her family left out and what he liked best about Christmas.
"I wonder why I get so fat, but Santa really likes cookies," he wrote. "I always enjoy visiting your house. The best part of being Santa is finding all of the good children in the world."
Max, 3, wondered if Santa would come if there was no snow on the ground.
"Absolutely," Santa said. "We are independent of the weather."
And Matt, from Lawrence, wondered how fast Santa's sleigh traveled and if he had ever been pulled over by the police for speeding.
Santa told Matt he got a "sledometer" a couple of years ago.
"My sleigh goes 575 mph on a good night. Since I am in the sky, the police do not bother me," he wrote.
Santa also received a few requests from sports fans.
Mary Lou, of Lawrence, said she would like him to get the Kansas City Royals "a power-hitting outfielder, speedy, with great fielding skills" in time for spring training.
"I am more into gifts - not miracles," Santa said.
For the entire transcript of the chat, go to www.ljworld.com.