Signs of the Times, December 2014
I saw a job advertisement for a Santa Claus the other day. I thought that strange. I mean, if I were immortal, had magical abilities and the satisfying role of bringing cheer to children around the world every year, why would I ever retire?
Has the online shopping trend negatively impacted on Santa too? Or is the mixture of cold and having to contort in and out of chimneys too much for an old man’s arthritis?
Anyway, I’m thinking of applying, though I don’t seriously think I have much of a chance. To begin with, my laugh is more of a "haha" than a "hoho", I don’t have a sleigh-flying licence and my only Santa costume experience was a disaster (it was an office Christmas party and I was constantly retrieving my pants from around my knees as my fake belly wasn’t big enough for the drawstring).
Tell you what, though, I’d love to be Santa’s manager and if I got that job, I’d be implementing a few changes to relaunch his career.
For starters, I think Santa could do with a makeover. I’m no fashion guru, but I’m pretty certain wearing the same outfit twice to a Christmas party, let alone year after year, is a big no-no.
At minimum, the big red man could simply change the colour of his suit each year. If nothing else, this will boost merchandise sales, as costume stores and card and wrapping paper manufacturers all have to update their products annually to reflect Santa’s new apparel. This will create jobs, stimulate the economy and perhaps even bring about world peace, if the right colour combinations were sewn into a stylish onesie.
Santa could also do with a decent trim and colour for his beard and hair, and reducing that tum-tum should be a priority too. I get that he has a very sedentary job: sitting in the sleigh, sitting in shopping centres and sitting in his office the rest of the year as he deals with workplace health and safety paperwork.
But couldn’t he at least install a treadmill on his sleigh? He’d effectively be walking around the world, and anyone who walks around the world is bound to lose weight, right?
Speaking of his sleigh, what about auctioning rides in the off-season to benefit charities or giving seriously ill children a swoop around the block as a pick-me-up? He could even help out with humanitarian airdrops!
But back to the Santa job. Being very much a real person, I’m unlikely to get it, but hopefully the right imaginary person gets the job to be an even better Santa 2.0.
Talking about real people, did you know there’s an even greater immortal, gift-giving Miracle Worker who brings joy around the world and has some association with not only Christmas, but Easter too? His name is Jesus Christ.
Now this Man is in an infinitely higher league than Santa! Not only is He the Creator of the natural world; not only has He provided me with more than just socks and gift cards and other day-to-day needs; not only does He promise to take me on a ride beyond the stars; not only can I speak to Him at any time; not only did He die for me, so He can offer me (and you) the chance to live with Him forever; He isn’t a figment of someone’s imagination—He’s actually real!