My kids aren’t too keen on writing to you this year (for reasons which will become obvious shortly) so I thought I’d drop you a line instead. There are a number of things that I’d like for Christmas, but there’s just one thing that I want from you: I want you to act more like Santa Claus and less like a complete tool when I bring my children to visit you.
You see, after we left your poky little cubicle yesterday – and I mean little: my husband and I had to flatten ourselves against the wall so that your terminally bored “attendant” could get the door closed - my six-year-old made me promise that you weren’t the “real” Santa (because surely the real Santa wouldn’t say mean things to her) and my four-year-old just looked really, really sad. Quite an achievement, Santa, for three minutes of work.
Even our nine-year-old, who doesn’t believe in you any more, was moved to observe that you were nothing like the Santa we saw last year (last year we went to David Jones) and that maybe we should’ve gone back to see that Santa again.
So Santa, for the sake of the few thousand other children who will excitedly trek to your throne between now and Christmas, here are a few tips to make their experience more enjoyable:
1. Don’t threaten to not leave gifts. “Last year you left skim milk out for me. I don’t like skim milk, don’t do that again. If you leave skim milk again this year there won’t be any presents under the tree.” Seriously Santa? Top marks if you were trying to scare the kids; a big fat zero if you were trying to be funny. The fact that we left out beer, not milk (maybe you should’ve asked the kids what they left out?) just added to their confusion.
2. Don’t threaten to leave reindeer sh*t in the backyard. You did ask the kids what they left out for the reindeer last year. They answered carrots. You told them that if they didn’t leave apples and water instead this year, the reindeers would make a big mess in their backyard. A tip for you: kids generally like the idea of flying magical reindeer. Flying vengeful reindeer who take big dumps in their garden, though, are not so good.
3. Put your beard on straight. It’s a small detail but really – little things matter. On the plus side, it did make it easier to persuade the kids afterwards that you weren’t the real deal.
4. Talk in a jolly voice. Honest to God, you sounded as though you’d popped a few Valium before slumping onto your throne. You made Dave Hughes sounds animated. Perhaps you had self-medicated – it would be a pretty demanding job - but it meant that your monotone mumble was devoid of all cheer. No hint of humour,no kindness, nothing at all that would make the kids think that you were even remotely interested in them. Now, you and I both know that you’re NOT interested, of course, but they don’t know that. They think you’re Santa Claus!!! Remember????It’s presumably in your employment contract!!!
Overall, Santa, I think you’ve lost sight of the fact that most of the kids who come to visit you actually do believe in you. You need to respect that and try to act as though you care. You’re not Billy Bob Thornton. Your squishy “Santa’s Cave” isn’t a movie set. Your role is to help brighten Christmas for the children who visit you (checkout your job description – it’s on seek.com.au – if you don’t believe me). If that idea doesn’t appeal to you, then can I respectfully suggest that you get a different job?
Photos: For more Christmas moments that haven't quite gone to plan have a look at our Awkward Family Christmas gallery.