🎅🏼🎄 ‘Why I keep coming back’: the raw stories behind Wagga’s Santa army | Santa’s helpers are scattered around #Wagga this month spreading cheer and goodwill but there’s more to these jolly jumpsuits than meets the eye. Photos and fridge magnets may be part and parcel for the men in red, however, a quiet word behind the scenes can reveal deeply personal accounts. Take Sturt Mall Santa*, for instance, a battling father of six. “Christmas is hard work when you’ve got that many kids,” he laughed. “But this is my third season as a Santa in this very spot and this job’s just a given for me now, that’s how much I love it.” However, Santa’s emissary is no role for the faint-hearted.
“It can be terribly hard. I’ve had a family come in who wanted a photo for their dying father to keep in hospital and an autistic boy who took a while to warm to me but eventually came around,” Sturt Mall Santa said. “I’ve had kids and even adults approach me to ask if they can make their mum and dad better for Christmas and sometimes you ever hear about helpers who have children ask them to bring mummy back from heaven.” Other Santas, such as Wagga Marketplace Santa*, prefer to meet their charges head-on with boundless enthusiasm. “If people are grumpy and don’t respond to waves, I tend to throw a reindeer at them,” he said.
“If they still don’t wave back, I might have to put them down on my naughty list and send them coal.”
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