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Snow joke as Santa left on the shelf this Christmas in Debenhams
He brings untold joy to scores of children and makes the most magicaltime of the year that bit more special.
But this Christmas, it will be “no no no” rather than “ho ho ho” as Father Christmas will not be appearing at Debenhams department stores.
It means that Paul-John Harris, 63, from Newhaven, will be out of work this festive season.
For the past ten years he has helped Father Christmas by stepping in when Santa is busy preparing for December 25.
Mr Harris said: “I’m going to really miss it. I would get up and walk around the store and sing Christmas carols to shoppers, make people laugh and make kids happy.
“For me it’s going to be like having a leg cut off, it means that much to me.”
Mr Harris worked at the Churchill Square store in Brighton and also at the Eastbourne and Crawley branches.
He said: “What am I going to do this year? No carrots to buy for my reindeer and my sack of presents will be empty.
“It’s not about the money. I love the part. I’ve even done Santa discos in the past. If anyone wants a Santa this yuletide please get in touch and make a sad Claus very happy.”
A Debenhams spokesman said: “It is a national decision to not have Santas in our stores any more.
“There has been such an increase in shopping centre and town centre Santas over the past few years and we don’t want to overcrowd the market – and of course Santa can only be in one place at one time.”