It has been a busy season for Santa and his elves, as they prepare for Christmas next week. However, he hasn't been too busy to make several early visits to Fort Leonard Wood.

Santa, and even Mrs. Claus, have made appearances at the Bruce C. Clarke Library, Winter Wonderland event and the St. Nick's Benefit Ceremony this month. Prior to the big delivery, he and Mrs. Claus are even scheduled to make another stop in the Family housing areas beginning at 2 p.m. Friday. The Fort Leonard Wood Fire Department will serve as Santa's sleigh to transport him around the housing areas on a fire truck to throw candy canes to children.

"When I found out the fire fighters were willing to escort me around to pass out candy canes, I knew I had to take a little break and make another quick trip to Fort Leonard Wood," Santa said.

"The wonderful children at Fort Leonard Wood sacrifice so much, while their parents are serving their country. I want to make sure they know they are loved and appreciated. Most of the kids on the fort are on my good list," Santa added.

It's a mystery as to how Santa is able to make so many trips around the world, prior to Christmas and still have everything ready to go for his sleigh next week. When asked how he does it, he just smiled and said he has a great team.

"My elves are very capable of getting things ready to go. We have been doing this so many years, it's a breeze. Now, when people ask me how I make it to so many locations in such a short amount of time, the answer is simple. Some things are better off remaining a mystery," Santa said.

It is indeed a mystery as to how Santa can do it all in such a short amount of time, although he did say the milk and cookies make a difference.

"I sure do appreciate all the cookies the good little girls and boys leave out for me. All those treats help keep me fueled and on schedule. My reindeer also appreciate the treats -- all that sugary goodness keeps Rudolph's nose glowing bright!"

On Christmas Eve, Santa will start stopping by homes all around the world. When asked what Families at Fort Leonard Wood could expect Christmas Eve night, this is what he said:

"Kids, I will be back next week. Be good, so I don't have to skip over your house. Listen to mom and dad, and get to bed early -- I think you are going to be excited over what I have to bring you this year! Also, track me! NORAD will be following my team, and me, to provide you with updates on our location around the world! See you soon and merry Christmas!"