FATHER Christmas may look younger than usual in the grotto this year — due to a shortage of senior Santas.
Men in their 30s have been rushing to fill his black boots as older people self-isolate due to Covid.Father Christmas may look younger this year as senior Santas isolate from Covid-19Credit: Alamy
Shopping and garden-centre grottos will go ahead, but with coronavirus measures in place.
Britain’s biggest Santa supplier said it has been snowed under by youthful applicants for its 100 jobs.
More than 2,000 hopefuls — three times more than usual — have applied to Great Grottos, with some as young as 20.
Boss Matthew Wise said: “Some regular older Santas in their 50s are staying at home this year due to Covid.
“Men in their 30s who are jovial and smile can do just as good a job as older Santas. The key to becoming Santa is not being as old as him, but behaving like him.”
Deryn Fowler, 24, of Great Barford, Beds, is one who has signed up.
He said: “When I heard there was a shortage and young blokes like me could do it, I realised Christmas had come early.
“I have put a few pounds on over lockdown, so I’m a bit more round.
“But they can also make you a bit tubbier with a fat suit and make you older with the make-up.”
Under new rules, Father Christmas and his elves will wear masks, sitting on the knee is out and grottos will be sanitised. Kids will also be told not to pull off Santa’s mask.
Christmas-daft Scots gran transforms her home into Santa’s Grotto four months early with seven trees, thousands of lights and snow machine
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