Monday, December 9, 2013

A nod of the christmas cap to you hard working Santas

After the weekend I've added another job to the 'list of careers' that I would be miserable at.

Being a hardworking department store Santa.
Buggered if I know how you gents do it but I tip my Chrstmas cap to you all (and you helper elves)..

Yep, my wife suggested over the weekend that she'd love to get some more photos of our son with Santa if we could find some time in amongst stocking our cuppboards with biscuits and cheese and battling xmas hordes for the last carpark space. And so we found ourselves first in line at the Santa camera stand...a good 50 minutes early.

'Nah not til 11 guys' was the chirpy call from the passing store staff.

So we piled back in the car and proceeded to bludgeon my weekly pay packet into oblivion in every aisle. Once that was done (two hours later) we figured it shouldn't take long, walked back into the store and found our guesstimation to be horrible inaccurate. We joined a line that moved slowler than a fully blazed snail with a flat tyre.

Here to see Santa..

To make things worse, it was a line of christmas stressed parents (likes us) and easily distracted toddlers (like ours). And when you don't move very far in a vast stretch of time, well toddlers will be toddlers and mine will take off at before you even have a chance to blink. As soon as we joined the line, BAM he was off. At first he raced around the couches. BAM the second time he figured he'd lose me amongst the tables near the line. The third time, much to the amusement of everyone else behind me, he raced into the crowd giggling at the thought of outmanuerving his old man - while the crowd really seemed to enjoy his antics, me not so much.  

Once I finally had convinced him to stay somewhere near us for five minutes at least, I proceeded to watch Santa (with the patience of a saint) endure kids that would burst into tears at the drop of the tinsel. As soon as they came near him, tears flowed. When they sat next to him, the blubbering got louder. And of course no parent wants to buy photos of their children mid tantrum so there was some quick counsiling involved and much bribing with confectionary. Like the rest of the line, I completely understood how the parents must feel in this situation - Jackson did pretty much the same thing last year.

This year however curiosity had well and truly nutilized the cat as I thought we'd be safe scribbling on things at the distraction/coloring table the staff had provided near the entrance to the photo studio. Great idea in theory but BOOM, as soon as I reached for a pencil sharpener he bolted once more, racing around the xmas tree to stand next to a stunned santa - about 5 positions in front of where he should be in the queue. He then proceeded to talk amused Santa's ear off while I threaded myself through the crowd with apologies to everyone to collect him.
Finally though we made it to our proper place in line and Jackson raced towards the jolly fellow again like they were old friends...and then refused to even look at the camera as he was fasr too busy making idle chit chat with Santa about this that and everything else much to the amusement of the photo team. It was a pretty deep one-sided discussion on his part but it kept the crowd amused while we tried every trick in the book to get him to look somewhere in the vicinity of the lens. 

I pick up the photos tomorrow. God only knows how they're going to turn out.

So department store Santas and Elves, helpers, camera crews and developers - I bow to you. For keeping those smiles well and truly stuck there without the aid of superglue, dealing with the tears and tantrums (and not just the ones from the toddlers), the variety of funky smells undoubtedly, the long christmas days, the crowds and in my case, the fascinated toddlers with so much to say and so little time to say it.

It's tough job being Santa. No one in the line looked like this.

Merry Christmas you hard workers.


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