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  • Madeline McQueen

Being Father Christmas's helper and a Grotto Manager

Updated: Jun 29

For the last three years, I've been an actor/performer [elf] at one of my local shopping centre grottos.

Before I moved to this grotto, I was working at one of our county's largest shopping centres where I was an elf in the grotto and pantomime.

I've recorded my time at the grotto but last year (2023), was one of my busiest years being an elf and manager so I didn't think of recording, so I thought I'd blog it instead.

It is a ton of fun and enjoyable entertaining the family and children, and it is also a lot of hard work and tiring. Although, I've been a manager I wasn't the main manager, so I got to spend most of my time performing and entertaining.

Yes, it comes with the stresses and difficulties jobs in retail tend to attract, but it also comes with its own perks. It's not the easiest profession but I enjoy it.

Being the manager, I had to set up the grotto and help erect and dismantle it (although anyone on the team can help put up and take down), manage the cash float, work on tills and merchandise, make sure staff get their breaks, and open and close the grotto to name a few, while of course, staying in character. I find the managing side, yes a bit challenging at times but enjoying it has helped.

As an actress and performer, I do very much enjoy, of course, the performing side of things. It's brilliant seeing the children light up and get excited, join in on conversations, laugh and be apart of the magic of Christmas, and I love being apart of the entertainment.

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