You can tell Christmas isn’t far off when the annual “UK families ripped off by unscrupulous and entirely predictable seasonal Winter Wonderland theme-park extravaganzas” are upon us.
This is like Groundhog Day, yet another year, yet another traditional Christmas fiasco. You know, events that advertise snow, forests, elves, herds of reindeer and scores of marquees offering “finest seasonal foods”, but turn out to be families forking out to stand in long queues in “boggy fields” with bad-tempered Santas in tacky outfits, smoking elves in dodgy costumes, donkeys sporting cardboard antlers and stalls selling Cadbury chocolates well past their sell-by date.
This year a Christmas parade was branded a “shambles” after parents said it had just three floats and was “all over in five minutes”. Swansea’s annual festive event promised “dynamic dance-troupes” as well as “spectacular shows and stages”. But road works in the city centre saw the parade hugely scaled down, leading to a barrage of complaints from “outraged” parents on social media.
And plans for a female Santa Claus at a town’s Christmas parade led to accusations that councillors were letting political correctness ruin tradition. Father Christmas tours the streets of Newton Aycliffe, Co Durham every Christmas Eve, handing out sweets to crowds of excited kids from a float. The festivities have taken place since the 1960s. However, this year things WILL be different after a sub-committee at Great Aycliffe town council voted unanimously to let a female take over the role.
Wonder what the job ad possibly stipulated? Equality position. No experience necessary. Previous work with large animals desirable as float propelled by reindeer and donkeys. Deep voice and ability to say ho! ho! ho! an advantage but otherwise voice training will be given. Must be willing to travel (essential user sleigh allowance provided). As reindeer will fly, driving licence not essential but private pilot licence desirable with night piloting certification.
I think I’ll put my poodle in for the job next year… animals have rights as well you know! Ho ho ho or woof woof woof? HAPPY CHRISTMAS!
Nora Johnson’s psychological crime thrillers ‘The Girl in the Woods’, ‘The Girl in the Red Dress’, ‘No Way Back’, ‘Landscape of Lies’, ‘Retribution’, ‘Soul Stealer’, ‘The De Clerambault Code’ (www.nora-johnson.net) available from Amazon in paperback/eBook (€0.99;£0.99) and iBookstore.All profits to Costa del Sol Cudeca cancer charity