VIDEO: Santa Claus urges Irish children to go to bed early and to leave out carrots for reindeer
Santa Claus has urged Irish children to go to bed early tonight - so they won't be too tired to enjoy Christmas Day.
Speaking exclusively to independent.ie from Arnotts in Dublin's City Centre, Santa issued this special message to the children of Ireland.
"Happy Christmas. Now what I would like to say to all the children in Ireland tonight is to go to bed early.
"Now I know it's an exciting time and children find it hard to go asleep but really the sooner you get to sleep, the quicker the morning comes.
"And let's face it; the morning time is the best time.
"Many children think they should stay up if they can catch me - but in all the years I've been doing this, I've never been caught."
He's advising children to conserve their energy, get a good night's rest and enjoy Christmas day fully refreshed.
Ireland is Santa's last stop in Europe before he crosses the Atlantic to visit the homes of children in the US, Greenland, Canada and South America.
It's believed Santa will enjoy a fuel stop at Shannon before making the arduous journey across the Atlantic.
To help him prepare for his journey, he made a special appeal for children to leave out some carrots for his reindeer to give them energy before making the big journey.
Speaking about himself, Santa told Independent.ie Mrs Claus has put him on a strict diet which has led to him losing some weight.
However, he is still partial to some chocolate chip cookies, so asked Irish children to leave out a small number that he can tuck into and take with a glass of milk.
Santa left his Lapland home last night for the first leg of his journey.
His 24 hour journey started in New Zealand before crossing up to Japan, Asia and back down to Australia.
Santa was expected to hit Eastern Europe at 5pm Irish time.
It's anticipated he will be in Irish skies by 9pm.
However, thanks to favourable weather conditions in Ireland, he could be in our skies before 8pm.
It is thought he will hit Waterford and Wexford first and will work his way up through the midlands, the east coast and Northern Ireland before travelling across to Donegal.
From there he will travel down the north west coast before finishing up in Cork. It's believed he will travel to Shannon Airport for a refuelling stop before crossing the Atlantic.
Santa told independent.ie he was hoping to take the Wild Atlantic Coast route if his busy schedule allows.
His journey is being tracked by NASA's NORAD Santa tracker. Check it out here: http://www.noradsanta.org/