Santa (Rick Goode) tries to get his own photo of the Canberra Times photographer after a long day at David Jones. Photo: Jeffrey Chan
Santa has seen on average 200 children a day on the upper level of David Jones in Civic throughout December, revelling in their sense of fun and steadying himself after the occasional heartbreaking story.
''What do you want for Christmas?'' he asked one little fellow. ''For my Daddy to be happy in heaven,'' came the reply.
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One in five visitors has been an adult. On Sunday four sisters in their 40s wanted a picture with the Big Guy for their mother.
Boof-headed footballers with smiles as wide as their fierce tattoos lined up with Santa too.
Little girls have been asking for Barbie, a lot of little boys want Lego and one wondered if he could have a ''mobile telegraph pole'' for his model train set.
Too exhausted to talk after yesterday's marathon, Santa left it to his close friend Rick Goode to handle media interviews.
Mr Goode recommended sitting in a heavy suit all day in front of lights if you wanted to lose weight, but you ran the risk of dehydration. He warned against telling children to smile for a camera. They were sure to recoil and struggle.
''We've had fun, sitting on the floor playing games,'' he said.
Santa has one last gig on Monday from 8.30am. Only one more sleep!