A Shortage of Santas on Radio National

I decided to work as a Shopping Centre Santa because I needed something to write about. I had abandoned one novel and started another and I needed a writing project that I could finish quickly.

I did not feel like a writer anymore. I was working in Red Hill digging holes and restumping a house. I made a lot more money doing this than they were paying me to be Santa, but I had already written a story about restumping a house in Red Hill.

I remember being really scared about the Santa job and feeling a great responsibility to do it properly.

I wrote the story very quickly, over a weekend, from notes I had written in my journal. I really enjoyed writing this story because it just seemed to write itself. I had it finished by the time I went back to work digging holes and when I gave it to my boss to read I saw him laughing.

I imagined that I could get it published in The Age Good Weekend Christmas edition. I sent it to them a few times, but then it was published by The Sleepers Almanac and I was happy with that.

The photo was taken with my camera by the photographer who was bossing me around for the day.

It’s quite out of focus so I look more like Santa than I actually did on the day.

S/W Ver: 85.97.F1P

Last year I was asked to record my Santa story at Radio National with the good people at Paper Radio.

It will be broadcast this Sunday 21st December at 3pm on Radiotonic, Radio National.

or just click on the link here to hear it right now:



2 Responses to “A Shortage of Santas on Radio National”

  1. Have listened to a shortage of santas numerous times, made my son sit and listen as only a mother could ‘ you must listen to this’. Start to smile before I know I am going to laugh, wait for the line. I love the way santa becomes santa with the attachment of the beard. I feel sorry for santa, he is so ill prepared, and I too want to hit the ‘bad’ parent. To call it a joy might be misconceived but it is and thank you. I am now of in search of the elusive snail!

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