Friday, December 19, 2014

I'm Santa...

Will the real Santa please stand up! Now days it seems as though every retail outlet has their own in-store Santa it makes it very difficult for families and children in particular.

I know  that all of the “fake” Santas work as assistants to the real Santa, passing on the requests from children and advising on the good and bad lists. The gift requests are of critical importance and the use of intermediaries, in my opinion, present an unacceptable risk of gifts being forgotten or misinterpreted.

Only the President is entrusted with the nuclear codes, not every member of the government.

Whilst it is easy to pick some of the assistant Santas, visible elastic around the ears holding up the bead, pillow corners visible between the buttons of the tunic. Others are more cunning and much harder to spot.

Children need to be weary of divulging their most sincere Christmas wishes to a fake.

Growing up in Adelaide I was quite aware that there was only one real Santa Claus. He lived in the Magic Cave which at the time was housed on the top floor in the David Jones Rundle Mall store.

He was the real one, the whole state knew it. We all saw him arrive in town on the second Saturday of November in the world famous Adelaide Christmas Pageant. The grand procession lead by SA Mounted Police Greys, the world champion Drill Team, Ellie the Elephant, the Pageant Queen, Nipper and Nimble stopped the city.

For the next 6-7 weeks Santa would happily greet children inside the Magic Cave and listen to their wishes before posing for photos (available in the gift shop for a nominal fee).
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Understandably the queues were long.

My family made the annual pilgrimage to the Magic Cave more than once. My parents on seeing the length of the queues would then suggest that we go do some shopping in Rundle Mall and return later when the lines would be shorter.

It never felt the same when re-entering the Magic Cave later the same day. Things looked unfamiliar. When quizzed my mother would explain that we had just entered via a different door or because so many of the children had gone home it just felt different.

It was only years later that she explained that after walking us up and down Rundle Mall for a little time in and out of various stores she would then take us into Harris Scarfes (opposite David Jones and not home of the Magic Cave) to visit a fake Santa.


This explains why my gifts were close but never exactly what I wanted. As the message got passed down the line from the fake Santa to the real one the finer details got lost. When I wanted G.I.Joe I got Action Man, similar but without the kung-fu grip. Adidas had a range of sneakers called “Romes” white leather with the trademark 3 stripes. I got “Jeans” blue with 2 stripes.

For the sake of the children, identify the living person of the man called Santa Claus.

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