Dear Noel, I’m out of work and thinking of applying for a job as Santa at my local shopping centre. Do you see any issues with this?
Signed, Saint NickorNot
Life must be throwing you a few challenges at the moment to consider this one pal, but don’t sweat it buddy. My Uncle once took a job shaving the Reindeer’s balls at his local Christmas Eve parade so there are lower places you can stoop to than merely imitating the old fat guy.
In consideration of this job Nick you need to be aware of some of the pros and cons before you commit. And you should consider some relevant background so you can get yourself in character.
Legend has it there was a real St. Nicholas who lived in Turkey in the 4th century. Credited with performing miracles for sailors and children (not necessarily at the same time) he was also renowned for being able to consume more kebabs and Raki (Turkey’s favourite alcoholic drink) in one sitting than anyone else in the land.
His fine deeds and spirited good-nature led him to being anointed as a Saint. Around the same time and in an effort to try and solve Italy’s mounting crisis of Panettone oversupply, sitting Bishop Pope Julius I had the idea to create a special day of celebration. Thus, the holiday gorge-a-thon and tribute to Saint Nick’s ability to go on a bender like no one else was born. The date set was 25 December.
The legend of Santa Claus grew in various forms over time, but it wasn’t until the marketing geniuses at the Coca-Cola company commissioned illustrator Haddon Sundblom to feature the big guy in a series of Christmas Coke ads that the appearance of Santa Claus reflected the one you’ll be trying to emulate Nick.
An enormous, big bellied, red-cheeked man who seems to be struggling to get off the couch.
Too much Coke will do that to you.
Pros and cons of the job? There’s only one major issue and it’s the very essence of being Santa. The kids. Christmas with your own kids can be a challenge but having to put up with one after another wiping their snot on your fake beard will test your patience.
The biggest complaint you’ll get from the kids is “you’re not real.” Don’t try and pretend your way through this. Kids aren’t stupid. If you get accused of being fake, just say something that’ll throw them off, like, “well neither is that sham of a marriage your parents have” or “neither is your daddy’s hair/mummy’s lips.” You get the picture.
Plus, being a Santa is not all bad.
There are some benefits of getting into character. You can eat as much of and anything you like. You don’t need to shower. Or clean your teeth.
You can start drinking in the morning. Not too much so you can’t speak but just enough so the kids can get that waft of whiskey, sweat and cheese-breath stained on your beard and steaming through your pores that will haunt them for the rest of their lives.
And if any kid complains, just blame it on one of the other Santas. How the hell are they going to pick you out of a line up, when you all look, smell, dribble and slur the same?