Can you get a repetitive stress injury from wrapping gifts? Though we are certainly witnessing signs of an economic slowdown, our store is nevertheless in holiday retail mode, our fingers sore from near-constant folding and cutting and taping and ribbon-curling. I’m having a hard time keeping a regular blogging routine as my store routine becomes busier with each passing day. (I say "busier" because it’s not like my usual routine leaves much time for slacking. Sadly.)
One of the more entertaining holiday diversions at our store of late was an event we hosted yesterday starring none other than… SANTA CLAUS. Yep. The guy in red. The jolly old soul. The realio, trulio bringer of loot.
In what was a very clever, non-traditional publicity scheme, Little, Brown arranged to send us (umm… kids, stop reading here, please) a "professional Santa Claus." They worked with a professional Santa staffing agency (did you know there were such things?) to choose our guy, who was by all accounts PERFECT.
Santa (who goes by the name "Charlie Madden" on non-working days) entertained the audience at our store with a LIVELY reading of Priscilla and the Great Santa Search, then posed for photos with the kids in attendance. Little, Brown provided us with the necessary camera and film to take said photos and send kids home with them in souvenir Priscilla… frames.
I was, sadly, not present for all this jolly fun, but our assistant manager Kym Havens was, and raved about the results, despite our relatively small crowd, which was perhaps diminished by the day’s bad weather or the fact that many local kids had visited with Santa at a town-wide event a few days prior — that guy sure gets around. Kym’s sons Sam and Jack (ages 8 and 10, respectively) were COMPLETELY CAPTIVATED with Charlie’s… I mean SANTA’s, er… "performance" and so flabbergasted when they got to talk with him one-on-one that Jack forgot to tell Santa about the gift he most wanted. (I HATE it when that happens!)
Here’s a Christmas card-worthy photo of Santa with the Havens boys:
Jack and Sam had seen the guy in the big red suit arrive wearing street clothes, which became a topic of conversation later when Santa asked Sam, "So, did you recognize me without my business suit? Not many kids get to see Santa without his business suit!" Both boys decided this would give them definite bragging rights at school, just as Lorna and I can now boast that, yes, Santa got undressed in our office.