Let’s hope Santa isn’t left on the sh-elf by crunch

THE worsening economic crisis is affecting more and more people worldwide. In the run up to Christmas, the tales of woe signal that it will be a miserable festive season for many. Everyone is potentially at risk as the recession bites and threatens to bec

THE worsening economic crisis is affecting more and more people worldwide.

In the run up to Christmas, the tales of woe signal that it will be a miserable festive season for many.

Everyone is potentially at risk as the recession bites and threatens to become a depression.

I fear that that there is one person who is being particularly badly hit by what has been going on in the world of late.


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He is in the worst possible position. He is of pensionable age but is able to work, although nobody can give him a staff job so he has to be self-employed. The truth is, he is only really guaranteed work for one night a year.

Until now he has muddled along finding a bit of work here and there, perhaps mending a toy or two or tending to a stretch of fir trees.

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But the orders have not been coming in like they used to do what with customers having to tighten their belts.

So the old gent I have in mind has had to take drastic action. The pension he gets won't go too far, of course, just like anybody else's and he can no longer use some of it to subsidise what he loves to do.

And that is very bad news for the tribe of little people who rely on him to give them work.

Just like companies with order books drying up, he has had to cut back on the number of his employees, putting them on the sh-elf so to speak.

It's all about balancing the books these days, unlike happier times when money and spending was no problem at a certain time of the year.

Now the message is reduce, reduce, reduce, with people being urged to make their own cards and even produce the gifts they may give each other by their own hands. Don't they know how difficult it is to make a Nintendo Wii in a garden shed?

But there are some who have not yet lost their jobs, seen their savings dwindle to nothing, and had their homes repossessed who are still able to buy presents for others.

The natural choice for delivering them is not the Post Office but the old gent, of course. But a new problem has arisen.

It has not been publicised, but for years the sleek vehicle he has used to whizz around the sky on his delivery night has been produced by those generous people at Honda.

However, even that rock solid motor company is now feeling the economic pinch and declared that it is pulling out of Formula One, punching the stop Button (sorry Jensen) so to speak.

A sideline of producing racing cars was manufacturing a special sleigh each year capable of travelling around the world in one night.

So with just a fortnight to go, the old gent has big problems - he has lost half his helpers and his transport has been taken away.

And I hear that the Icelandic bank which supplied his mortgage has gone bust and his home is about to be repossessed.

If he manages to get to my house, I'll leave out an extra mince pie to cheer him up.

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