Next to him sat his wife, Mrs. Claus, who looked a lot like Jojo LaRiccia, host of the PBS TV series "Jojo's Dreamcart." In front of Mr. and Mrs. Claus sat several small children with their parents.
The program began with Mrs. Claus asking her husband to explain many of the mysteries inherent in Santa's yearly tasks.
"How do you get all the presents into your bag?" she asked.
Santa explained that it is accomplished through magic that is best not explained. "Just a word to the wise - it works," he said.
When asked by Mrs. Claus how his reindeer fly, Santa responded "At this time of the year, they start carbo-loading" but he was quick to add the real secret is to feed them a little helium.
Mrs. Claus also asked the question on every child's mind - how good do you have to be to ensure your presents at Christmas time?
"If you're going to be good, be good near and around your parents." Santa replied. "And you have to be really, really awful to get no presents."
After the interview, Tarsha Stacke, host of Somerville Community Access Channel program "Tell Me A Story," read the Children's classic "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." Her singsong reading voice kept the children captivated.
Mrs. Claus led everyone in a sing along of favorite Christmas songs such as "Frosty the Snowman," "Jingle Bells," and "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer." Some of the cameramen helped with the tunes by jingling bells off screen to keep the rhythm.
After some singing, Santa decided to ask the children what they'd like for Christmas. He took children in the audience on his lap, read letters and took phone calls, to ensure everyone could have their say.
One child who called in got some laughs when he asked for a Blackberry phone. Santa asked the caller, "How old are you?"
"I'm three and a half. I just celebrated my half birthday today" responded the child. When Santa asked what the caller's little sister would like, it was relayed to Santa that she too would like a Blackberry phone.
One letter to Santa read aloud asked Santa a challenging current question. The child wrote, "Is it cold in the North Pole even with Global Warming?"
"Yes, its still cold" answered Santa. "But I worry about the polar bears. The North Pole is getting thinner all around the edges."
In another letter, a writer asked Santa for a video game so his parents would buy his family a TV. He explained how his parents do not allow TV in their house because everyone in the family is supposed to read and talk with each other.
Santa replied by suggesting that watching a little TV is not a bad pastime, but reading is probably even better.
A child from the audience, while sitting on Santa's lap could only bring himself to say, "Robots rock!" Many of the other kids present at the broadcast were hesitant to approach the giant gift giver, exhibiting the reticence typical of children in the presence of Saint Nicholas.
"The Santa Hour" concluded with Tarsha Stacke reading "Twas the Night Before Christmas." Mrs. Claus then lead the group in one last sing along with "We Wish You a Merry Christmas."
"The Santa Hour" will be airing regularly throughout the holiday season on the Somerville Community Access Channel.