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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    The jobless must pick up the pace this season

    The holidays are not immune to rough economic times, or human emotion and response. Even Santa Claus is human, as silly as it seems to acknowledge that. Some disheartening stories recently surfaced about just how hard it is to be a Santa Claus in a mall, and how so many are trying to be the man in the red suit. Apparently Christmas cheer isn’t enough to prevent you from being bummed about a struggling economy.

    The New York Times published an article detailing how economic hardships have encouraged some struggling Americans to take up and refine the craft of playing jolly old Saint Nicholas. In an effort to get part-time work with decent pay, ranging from $25 to $50 an hour, more men are seeking out employment as the holiday’s loveable fat man. Additionally, some men are even attending school to learn how to be a better Santa. The school, which is located in Midland, Mich., charges $400 tuition for first time students and $350 for the rest. Naturally, this is no easy penny to come by when you consider some are doing this to bring in additional money to make ends meet.

    If that isn’t bad enough, a short while back a World War II veteran, David McKell, was laid off from his post as Santa Claus in a New York store due to budget cuts. Although McKell was later rehired, due to a donation, his story is not unlike many others, including a Pennsylvania man who faced the same reality. Not even Santa’s job is a given.

    Additionally, some of the Saint Nick’s across the country face the painful realities of the economy when they hear the requests of the children that visit them. Among those wishes for top of the line electronics (which often evoke painful looks from on-looking parents), come requests for shoes that fit and employment for mom and dad. As heart wrenching as that is, it’s a reality.

    As terrible as it seems, economic downturn pulls no punches. A bad economy doesn’t care that your favorite winter holiday is coming up. It doesn’t care if you want an iPad or a job. Times are tough and there is no escaping that. As much as we like to think that the holiday season is ‘off limits’, it isn’t. It might be hard, but give all you can to those you love and those who desperately need it.

    It’s might be cliché, but keep plugging away and looking for employment any way that you can. It might be mushy, but holidays are about family, not gifts. It might suck, but it’s your livelihood.

    Unfortunately there are a lot of people out there who don’t get to relax this season. For those of you who do, count your blessings and keep them in mind. For those who don’t, it’s sad to say, but now is no time to take your foot off the gas pedal.

    — Storm Byrd is the Perspectives editor. He can be reached at

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