With the holiday shopping season getting underway in earnest this week shopping mall Santas will pop up across North America.
Parents will flock to malls and department stores; day cares and kindergartens will engage school buses and troop the little ones to see the pudgy fellow in red.
In an era when boy scout leaders and sports coaches, as well as religious leaders are, quite correctly, coming under great scrutiny after several sordid revelations by victims of abuse one has to hope all these Santas have been checked thoroughly.
With parents essentially throwing their children onto the laps of complete strangers in shopping centers and even paying for pictures, it sounds a bit like a pedophile’s dream!
Here in Quebec there is a Santa Claus Association that offers Santas for hire and assures potential customers of the safety they desire.
Not anybody can represent Santa Claus. Rigorous hiring practices are used including background inquiries to insure that the people hired have a clean background and meet all the requirements for the perfect Santa Claus.
I applaud the Association and hope that other such organizations exist to vet potential Santa Claus representatives. And that they have long contracts with .. yep … lots of clauses!
As for those elves, that’s a different story!