I’ve got a new job working as a garden centre Father Christmas. I can’t quite remember, but I expect I already did something like that in past. You probably don’t care. You're probably not even reading this properly.
It’s great working here. I have my own grotto, and I get to sit on an old wooden pallet, that has been covered in yellow felt, and decorated with splashes of paint and mouse droppings.
Also, I’ve been impressing my colleagues with a number of whimsical “sleigh” of hand magic tricks. They especially like the one where I push a marker pen up my nose until I cough, bleed, and start crying. At least, I think they’re impressed. It’s difficult to tell, as I only ever perform the trick in the privacy of the staff lavatory.
Some people have suggested that, in this day and age, the very idea of a Father Christmas is a bit creepy and inappropriate. To this end, I have sought to reassure youngsters and parents alike, by making myself seem more friendly and accessible.
I have done away with the traditional red costume (red being the colour of danger) in favour of a more mundane brown boiler suit. Instead of scary black boots I go barefoot. Also, instead of a long, white beard - the sort of beard a scary old man who lives in the woods might have - I've just wrapped a crepe bandage around my chin and head (this makes me look as if I've had an accident, and am therefore quite vulnerable and approachable).
Finally, instead of shouting "Ho Ho Ho", which could risk sounding like a startled bark, I sprawl on my felt-covered pallet, mewling like a lonely gull.
Additionally, I feared that giving out gifts to strangers might make it appear as if I'm after something. Consequently, I have replaced the traditional gift-giving with the gift of heavy silence (albeit punctuated by the occasional stifled mewl and sharp intake of breath).
I've mostly had a lot of fun being a garden centre Father Christmas. However, yesterday I accidentally ate some old raisins, and got terrible food poisoning. I completely forgot which festive celebration I was meant to be representing, and just kept rambling on about fireworks, Easter eggs, and Yom Kippur.
One parent got a little angry with me when I failed to produce a gift for his son, because I was too busy down the synagogue giving out Easter eggs, and letting off fireworks. Suffice to say, it was one of those days where everything I did seemed to upset someone.