Confessions of a Department Store Santa

Sweat. Dripping into your eye and splashing onto your specs because the red & white suit was designed for a cold New York
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(First off, let me make it very clear – any views in this item, which are so vehemently expressed, are mine and not the entities that may rent my services at Christmastime, so relax! Now…)

Sweat.

Dripping into your eye and splashing onto your specs, because the red & white suit was designed for a cold New York or a semi-frigid Toronto – not an air-conditioned tropical Bridgetown, and yet you still maintain eye-contact with the little child as you have no wish to shatter its dream, as the parent screams, “Wait, so you is Ian Bourne?”

Or?

“All you givin’ away is candy? Nuh cell-phone nor a 100-dollar bill? Santa you is a cheap bitch!”

Or?

“Doan tek one candy, tek all – wait, so all you giving my child is just three piece of candy, what kind of Santa you is at all, d’oh?”

What I really want to do is say, “How about tell me thank you, and take little and live long, you greedy f***ers!” But then my gig would stop before it starts, and I need the money – car, mortgage, medical… Something usually finds a way to pop up at this time so I just can’t refuse being the proverbially Jolly Old St Nick for one last time.I seethe when I see how innocent children are TAUGHT to be craven and expect a handout rather than try to make their own way.

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What is even sadder is when a child themselves is no longer enchanted by Santa or Christmas and they holler at you how you are “mock.”

I have seen myself in the mirror, and I must say for once my chubbiness has a purpose to make folks think I am really Santa, the beard and wig I use now are very form-fitting.By the way, it’s rather ironic how I get concerned that children’s view of Christmas is not destroyed, as mine was vandalised years ago by my own father…

I was nine years old, and earlier that year he told me all about the old US newspaper item which had the famous quote – “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.”

He made me to understand that even if Santa Claus was not THERE at that moment, then parents or any grown up had the right to be Santa on his behalf, like when a teacher got sick and another came over to class!

The same Christmas that year, I had lots of toys from overseas which I knew had to be expensive even by Santa’s standards of the North Pole – so I was quite naturally gloating, then the same dear man who read this article snarled at me – “You think I don’t where you got this stuff from? You ever asked yourself how I will pay for it?”

Man, I won’t lie, I ran into my room bawling, and I overheard my father snarling again, this time at my mother, if I have to get on like a girl. Well, wrong thing to say to she, she lashed his arse with words – why tell me about Virginia if he is going to be so mean, can’t you see Ian loves the gifts?

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Nice try, Momma, but way too late my love for Christmas got its first serious crack – as more Christmasses went by I’d learn to hate how I must pause and pose for my father to snap a picture (a kid wants LOOT then and is not interested in photo-opportunities), by the time I was 12, Christmas and birthday were virtually the same – a time for free gear and just thank everybody.Years later, I am approached for my portly yet jovial attitude to be the very representative in a franchise I was rather disenchanted with! H’mmm, maybe if I can’t love Xmas than I can help kids appreciate what was taken away from me?

Yeah, right!

Now, most kids are shocked to learn that not only you are supposed to tell Santa what you want for Christmas but even amazed that you can write him in the North Pole, I wonder if they know the real reason behind it – a decreed birthday of a Man who tried to bring Order for the human Soul?

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