First, the bad stuff. The guy who licked Talia's face! Eeeewwwwww! She told me about that one later. The two people who made a scene because I wouldn't give them lollipops. We were running low and so were being very strict with people. A gentle "Sorry, we've only a few left and we're saviung them for the children" was enough for most people. Except for two separate cases. The old man who started yelling that Santa was being greedy and keeping all the lollies to himself, and the old woman who claimed that Santa was cheating her. Both did this in front of children. I swear if I hadn't been St. Nick I would have kicked the fuck out of both of them. Greedy pieces of shit. If a kid misses out because they've grabbed lollipops, they aren't the ones who have to deal with the child's disappointment. I don't mind dealing with that if it's unavoidable but why put the kid through it when it can be avoided by these cheap bastards spending 50 cents to buy their own damned lollies. Grrrr...
Okay... Now the good stuff from Preston Market.
The stallholder who, every day gave me fruit or veg. This again came in handy when I got a kid that preferred the idea of a pear to a lollipop. Made his day. Yay! Having a photo taken at the market with a gorgeous bunch of African/Kenyan kids. The stallholder who regularly got as excited as a little kid and would run about saying "It's Santa, he's come to visit me!" That guy also used to berate greedy adults saying "Leave some for the kids." The manager of the pub who thanked me for coming in every day, saying that it was a highpoint and really gave the bistro area a nice feel. The several stallholders who asked me to come back next year. I don't remember one bratty child at all today. And all the great stall-holders from Cramer street Market, who were right into the spirit of fun, danced around and were generally great.
After I finished at Preston, I headed out to Roxburgh Park to privately Santa for a family. That was fan-bloody-tastic. Everyone was well into it and the kids had a ball. It was a tradition for the mum - her dad used to organise them a Father Christmas a few days before - and she wanted to keep it going for her kids. I spent an hour there and got presents, too! It really was a delight and an honour to get to share in the family's Christmas tradition.
Then, still wearing the borrowed Santa suit, I drove to their friend's place in Deer Park. The drive was great fun, got some excited kids waving at me and from now on they'll know that Father Christmas drives a 1970's Holden. Got a few excited adults waving, too. hehe
Deer Park was for a three-year old girl who was gobsmacked when Santa just walked into the house. "Oh no! I thought I'd get in early while you were out," playing up that I thought they'd already be at church. Not sure how long I was there, but it was a while. That was great, too.
What can I say? If someone had told me how almost universally great the kids would be, I wouldn't have believed them. All up this has been the best Christmas I've had in a very long time. Since Dad died, each Christmas has just been another year without him in my life. But being Father Christmas helps fill that void. When I think about it, it's the sort of thing my dad would have liked to do. Shame he never had the chance but I know he'd love that I'm doing it.
So Merry Christmas to all of you reading this. Hope you have a wonderful day.
And Merry Christmas, Dad.