A couple of years ago, Santa wasn’t able to make it to the occasional care centre where my darling wife worked and daughters were cared for, so I volunteered to don the red suit and fill in for the big man.

Man dressed as Santa on a hot day

Santa arrives to see the children

I remember it being a typically hot December morning so it wasn’t much fun to wear a suit, cushioning, wig, beard and gloves, but watching the kids’ excitement was worth it.

The funniest part of the day, however, was watching my 2.5 year old daughter stay away from me in fear. Her mum got her close to me only with a bribe of a lolly bag, and that was only with holding mum’s hand tightly and running once she had the bag! All her friends sat on my lap, but not my little girl.

It was hard keeping a straight face and not telling her who was really under the suit, but we weren’t going to spoil the illusion for any of the kids.