A Christmas confession: I pretended to be Santa – Nick Cook

Nick Cook couldn’t bear the thought of the disappointed faces of young children waiting to see Santa.

Saturday, 21st December 2019, 6:00 am
Santa Claus hands out sweets to children. Or is it Nick Cook is disguise?

Last weekend, I found myself at Mimi’s Bakehouse at the City Arts Centre. Along with my wife and 16-month-old daughter, we were meeting friends for an afternoon of culture, cake, mulled wine, kids craft activities and general festive cheer. Our city centre at its best.

A couple of hours in, the place was full of toddlers, merry adults and even a full-blown Christmas choir.

But there was a problem. A plump festive problem. Santa Claus hadn’t turned up.

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I dutifully found myself pulling on the red velvet Santa suit, fixing my miraculously sprouted white beard and stuffing a fair few cushions under my belt. A half hour later, after a blur of photos and bellows of ‘Ho Ho Ho’ I felt as though I’d saved Christmas for a small army of toddlers. If only for an afternoon.

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My good deed is a small one. I simply couldn’t bear the thought of those disappointed little faces – my own daughter included.

While the debate around Edinburgh’s Christmas market is sure to rumble on for years, it is important to remember the proper community spirit that the festive season inspires in so many of our capital’s citizens.

The parents who give up hours of their time running the school fayre, to the community centre staff and volunteers who go that extra mile to open their doors for families to have an afternoon of affordable fun. The work that the likes of Social Bite do in providing the homeless in Edinburgh with a Christmas meal or the Scottish Book Trust do in seeking donations to ensure that, regardless of parental means, no child need be without the priceless gift of reading this Christmas.

Wherever you are in our Capital, I would encourage readers to think what seemingly small deeds they could undertake to make a big difference for someone else in the city.

Nick Cook is the Conservative councillor for Morningside