Saturday, December 08, 2007

A Little Cultural Exercise - Santa Clause

Well it has been far too hectic in the St Jude household this past month. With studying and working we have not had a moment to ourselves. With this in mind I decided that this year I needed to avail myself of a 'personal shopper' for my Christmas pressies. After some thought it came to me that at this time of year there really was only one person for the job a true professional in every sense of the word... Santa Claus!

So I settled down and wrote my list of presents. This done I pondered on what to do next. I could pop it in the post box with nice little note;

My Dear Santa,

I just thought that I would drop you a quick note and a short, (shortish), list of my gift requirements for the forthcoming Yuletide festivities. Please note that I have referenced in italics preferences for colour, size, brand, and alternatives should the item be out of stock. I have also put the address for each item to be delivered.

Yours in eager anticipation

St Jude xxx

I set off to the post box with my precious list. As I rounded the corner I noted the burly figure of the postman heaving a huge sack of letters into the back of his van. He groaned as I sprinted towards him with the list in my outstretched hand.

"Oh blimey, not another letter for his nibbs!" he huffed, "I hate this time of year with all this extra mail. Why don't they just go and see him instead, it'd make my life a whole lot easier."

Of course! What a wonderful idea, then I could be sure that he had received the precious list. Unfortunately this was a tad difficult as I had already delivered my letter into the 'safe' keeping of the postie. Who was adamant that it was now the property of the Royal Mail, and I couldn't have it back. I thought about turning on my saintly charm, but then I realised that time was ticking on. After a couple of minutes of attempting to wrestle the letter from his grasp, I had the better of him and triumphantly marched back home with my prize held close to my chest for safe keeping.

A short while later I was headed for the bright lights of the city and my hunt for Santa Claus had begun. Now boys and girls I don't want to burst anyones bubble but I have to inform you that there are some rather scurrilous people out there, not least the 'Santa doppelgangers'!!! You see I wasn't about to leave my precious list with just any old Santa lookalike. No! I was determined to make sure that I went to the very man himself. This mission was not going to be an easy one, but I was up to the challenge, I had ensured that I had put on my comfiest heels and wrapped up warm in a natty little cashmere number. Look out Santa... St Jude is on your case.

After doing a brisk recky of the shops and malls I discovered to my horror that there were even more 'Santa's' plying for business than I had anticipated. Hey ho I would just have to jump in at the deep end. My first port of call was a smart shopping mall with a grotto situated on the top floor. It looked the business with a Peter Pan themed display and little animated characters jiggling here there and everywhere. (They really should have put it closer to the toilets, children do have very small bladders.) I took my place in line and waited with baited breath. After what seemed like hours but in reality was a mere forty minutes, I was finally bidden entrance to the man himself.

I smiled my saintly smile and approached Santa. Just as I was about to plant my saintly behind on his lap a rather matronly fairy sternly announced, "we don't sit on Santa's knee,"

"Oh would that be the 'royal' we, or the common variety of we?" I asked bemused

"Please use the stool." she glowered.

Turning to follow her gaze I noticed a somewhat diminutive wooden stool placed to one side of the now smiling Santa. A couple of minutes later I had managed to balance myself, somewhat precariously onto the aforementioned stool. So with my knees jockeying for position with my ears I proceeded to go through my list. Sadly I had only managed to get a third of the way through before the Fairy called time and insisted that I let someone else have a go with Santa. After a somewhat undignified scramble and with the assistance of Santa's beard, I managed to extricate myself from the stool.

The next Santa was located in a large department store that had obviously seen its heyday and was now marching time until the developers could move in and change it into up market apartments. The grotto had seen better days, some of the characters were now showing their age. Snow White needed her roots doing as the grey was showing through, and grumpy had obviously been stored too close to the radiator as he had melted and now looked like he had, had a stroke poor soul, and where was Dopey? I needn't have feared, Dopey was alive and kicking in the shape of a spotty little Herbert who was dressed as an elf. He smiled inanely as he rooted around the caverns of his nostrils seemingly blissfully ignorant of the audience he had accumulated. After passing him a tissue I proceeded in to see Santa. Trust me when I say that this was not the real deal. If the shop was past it's best then this chap was definitely past his sell buy date. The suit was threadbare and smelt of mothballs, his boots were a pair of wellies and his beard, well, suffice to say that I could have knitted him a better one. I didn't linger, made my apologies and left sharpish.

Onwards and upwards as they say!

To be continued.....
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