Being Santa is no easy job.
Sure, they only work a few weeks a year, hand out gifts and receive love and adoration from all. But they also have to handle snotty kids, Grinch-like parents, scratchy beards and overheated department stores. In short, come the post-holidays season, Santa Clauses most certainly deserve a break.
Luckily for them, Israel’s Tourism Ministry must have had this in mind when it invited over some 50 Santas from around the world in early January for the Orthodox Christian Christmas, showing them around the place where this whole Christmas thing began.
The Santas, all graduates of the Michigan-based Charles W. Howard Santa School, arrived from the US, Germany, Denmark and Romania. Here in the Holy Land, they were shown the ropes (or, dare we say it, reindeer reins) by Issa Kassissieh, the resident Father Christmas in Jerusalem’s Old City.
Despite clearly being in much need of some R&R, the Santas were kept busy, touring around Jerusalem’s Old City, cruising the Sea of Galilee and checking out churches in Nazareth. Thankfully, they found some respite in the Dead Sea, where the sight of floating Father Christmases will not be forgotten any time soon.
On second thought, perhaps being Santa isn’t too bad after all.