My sincere apologies for anyone distressed by my recent advice to an aspiring shopping centre Santa Claus. If you missed it, you can read about it here.
I think my cynicism stems from my own family’s wretched experiences with donning the big red suit.
In fact it was my own Great, Great Grandfather on my mother’s side, the first of a long line of Noels, who’s dreadful failure attending Santa University in the U.K. that led him to pass on tales of woe to us through the generations.
A simple man and always open to interpretation, Great Grandad was kicked out of Santa school for smuggling one too many “hos” into the program, and combined with his general ineptitude for anything Santa like, he was eventually expelled. Branded an outcast and without the formal qualifications he needed, he lurched through a series of dead end Christmas jobs but never really found his mark.
Too tall to be a shopping centre elf, too scrawny to chop Christmas trees and bereft of any useful talent, sadly he ended up like so many others of this mould, first as CEO of one of the world’s largest banks then as an elected politician.
But reflecting on all this got me thinking. Sure we all love the faded snapshot of our kids sitting on Santa’s knee. But in this disruptive age, isn’t it too much to ask the young Mums and Dads to traipse into the shopping centre, drive around in circles finding a car park, drag their exhausted kids through the streams of walking dead shoppers, all just to line up for a forced experience at a time that suits shopping centre management?
You pay good money for the chance to snap an image of your kids on Santa’s knee, but I wonder how much of the cash you hand over for your precious Christmas snap ends up in Santa’s pockets and how much goes to the house. I’ll bet it’s barely enough to buy them a meal in their lunch break (although I do know of some Santas who actually request they be paid in bacon).
I think parents fork out enough of their hard earned at Christmas so I say it’s time to disrupt the shopping centre Santa.
I can hear the whining from the corporate shopping centres now, but sorry boys, join the queue, just behind the Taxi and Hotel industries.
So here’s my idea that’ll give parents more freedom and the shopping centre Santa a new lease of life – don’t come to Santa, let Santa bring his (or her) fat old knee to your place.
A Santa Clause UBER, or S.C.UBER is surely the way to go.
Never again will you need to drag your half asleep toddler out of their bed to fit in with the miserly 10.00am to 10.15am time slot you’ve been allocated.
All you’ll need to do is download the SCUBER App. Simply pick your preferred Santa out of a line up, book a date and time and watch your phone as little sleighs jockey for position around your suburb, waiting to be activated. What could be better than the big guy turning up at your joint to surprise your little ones?
Happy snaps guaranteed.
You’ll pay for the privilege of course but at least your money will go to the real guy and not some other fat bastard in a suit counting beans on the top floor of your local corporate office tower.
Of course, SCUBER would need it’s own screening process, and whilst we’re at it, why not broaden the domain of the Santa to include more than just white, middle-aged men. As a SCUBER Santa, as long as you’re willing to travel, have a lot of belly, a bit of cheek and a little love in your heart, you’ll be welcome.
Gotta go, I’m off to build the SCUBER app!