One Helluver Christmas

by Max

When I left school one of my first jobs was as Visual Merchandiser for a large department store. It was artistic and I loved it, staying with the store for five years.

Every Christmas my team (The Display Team) was responsible for assembling Santa’s throne and all the decorations. You can imagine how busy it was, taking months of planning and putting together.

One Christmas the boss asked Simon– a lanky individual with a John Cleese sense of humour – to put the final touches on Santa’s throne before the store doors opened. It was Santa’s first appearance and the early-bird crowd was huge, pressing at the doors well before opening.

Neil and I had some boxes to collect and would meet Simon at the throne. Our job was to ensure that everything was just right - for Santa, the kids and the parents.

At 8:45 (the store opened at 9:00) we took the escalator, marvelling at the crowd as we went. But when we reached the top our jaws dropped.

One of Simon’s jobs was to fit giant red-and-white squares of plastic that spelled out Santa’s name. Atop the throne, in full crimson glory, was the word SATAN, not SANTA.

A few months prior, Neil and I were working in a different part of the store when someone – I don’t know who because I never saw them – thought it would be a great idea to set a rack of dressing gowns on fire. Neil moved very quickly, stomping the gowns until the fire was out. But on this day – Santa’s throne day – Neil moved even faster, just like the Flash in Justice League.

As the store doors opened and the first mum lunged forward, Neil sped past Simon and repositioned a ladder and the letters – just as Santa’s fluffy derrière hit the seat.

Had Simon intentionally misspelt the name to see if anyone would notice?

We never found out.

This week I installed a new letterbox for a client; a new letterbox and new stick-on numbers. Ensuring the numbers and letters were in the right order reminded me of this story.

Need a new letterbox or throne for Christmas? – call The Fixician.
1300 349 424

Rremy Fixmas.