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I worked twice, in my life, as a department store Santa; once at Nordstrom's on Union Square (an upscale joint) in San Francisco.
I can tell you two things about "being" Santa: if you give a deep belly laugh, "ho ho ho," a few hundred times in one day, you cannot be depressed at Christmas time; and, second: Santa very often will be visited by quite lovely young women who are working the store for the holidays, and having them sit in your lap, can put some extra ruddy in your cheeks (all platonic, of course).
Merry Xmas, Bill
"We live in a world ruled by fictions: mass merchandising, advertising, politics as advertising, instant translation of science, technology, into popular imagery, increasing blur of identity in realms of consumer goods, preempting any free, original, imaginative, response to experience by the television screen. We live in an enormous novel. For a writer it's less necessary to invent a novel's fictional content: fiction's already there. A writer's task is to invent a reality." J. G. Ballard, 1974
I've done it a couple of times at a store, and you're right - there were quite a few young ladies wanted to sit on Santas lap
I kept every single photo that was taken (the store offered free photos with Santa) and its great to look back.
I took advantage of having the professional Santa suit to do a couple of appearances at my sons kindy (current and previous) too.
Best job in e world without a doubt - and you're right, there is absolutely no away you can be even marginally grumpy !
I thought it awesome that family friends, and even my son, failed to recognize me at all - one of e girls who worked (in IT) for me came into the store with her kids, and was gobsmacked when Santa knew their names, the names of their pets etc.