Ho, ho, ho this job really suits

There's two sleeps until the big day so you'd better not cry, Santa Claus is already in town. 

POOR old Santa Claus.

This Christmas, while you’re busy eating mince pies and knocking back festive drinks, spare a thought for the big man in red.

Because, while most people are beginning to relax and to enjoy the holidays, St Nick’s work is only just beginning.

There’s the list to check, first up.

According to the Australian census there are 4.21 million children in this country alone.

That’s a lot of kids to check who’s been naughty and who’s been nice.

Then there’s all the toys to make and all the gifts to wrap, all the houses to visit and all the presents to deliver in time for Christmas morning.

And while the work is mostly down to an army of elves, there’s still plenty to finish off and check in time for Christmas Eve — it’s a wonder he has time to enjoy any of the yuletide spirit.

Pulse managed to track Santa down this week amid his busy schedule at Lavington Square Shopping Centre, where it was hard to get a word in with so many wide-eyed children keen to say hello.

And why not?

After all, it’s not every day you get to meet someone so special.

But the children must have been good because this is the ninth year that Santa’s visited the centre.

Among the youngsters excited to meet Santa himself was Jacinta Clarke, 6, from Springdale Heights.

Beaming, she said it was “really good” to meet him and she knew just how he managed to get through such a busy schedule.

“His elves do it,” Jacinta says.

“And he has to sleep the whole morning on Christmas Eve.”

So was Jacinta one name Santa could tick off on the “good” list?

“She’s tried very hard,” mum Marion says. “So we’ll say, yes.”

With just four more sleeps until Christmas Day there’s still a little time left to be really good.

So remember to spare a thought for a very busy man on Christmas Eve, leave out a little something nice and stay off that naughty list.

Are you the real Santa?
Yes.

Do you have a favourite reindeer?
Rudolph, of course is an old favourite.

Do you have a favourite Christmas song?
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Coming from the North Pole, is it too hot for you here in Australia?
No ho ho! I don’t mind the heat at all, even while wearing this red suit. I’m quite used to it and, anyhow, it’s worth it for the kids.

What’s your favourite festive snack?
Beer. It’s nice to have a cold beer after a busy day.

What’s been on children’s Christmas lists this year?
Lots of iPods and iPads and iPhones. Kids leave me for dead these days with their technology. Board games are non-existent to them these days — it’s all about the electronic things.

Do you have to put up with a lot from the kids?
You get a few screamers and they can get quite piercing. You 
get mums who put them on your knee screaming and leave. But you get a lot of good children too. The youngest I’ve had on my knee was two days old. I love this job — you wouldn’t do this for so long if you didn’t love it.

You can catch Santa at Lavington Square Shopping Centre today and tomorrow from 10am to 3pm.

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