Bill was enjoying the work, yet for him to commit himself to the career, integrity was important. He felt the Santa character had become more about attracting people to Shopping Centres to buy an abundance of presents. “I wanted to make it less about materialism and commercialism and more about the tradition of giving and spending time with loved ones, the Saint Nicholas way, not the Coca Cola Santa way”.
So from as early as they could they were promoting these values and steering conversations with children to more substantial topics than “Santa I want..” and if and when the wish-list was discussed, it was about “how many elves it takes to make one” and “what will you do to help mum and dad around the house to earn that”.
And the response has been wonderful. In addition to this subtle social engineering, The Real Santa team put their hands up to help those less fortunate, from performing voluntarily at Charity events, to Climbing the Sydney Harbor Bridge for the Starlight Foundation, appearing at both Sydney & Melbourne Royal Children’s Hospitals, Flying up to visit a remote Indigenous Community in far North Queensland, as well as the highlight of Bill’s life – Volunteering in Uganda.