I dressed up as Santa one Christmas when we lived in northern England. Armed with my bell and carrying my sack filled with chocolate delights I visited households at our end of the street where my daughter’s pals lived. Always on the lookout for ideas I wanted to add something else to the familiar script of ‘Ho, ho, ho! And what have my elves put in my sack for you, little one?’ So predictable. Being a Scot I was suddenly struck with the idea of re-enforcing the stereotype for which we Scots are well-known. So off I went. When I reached the first house and did my ringing of the bell and ho ho ho bit the little girls jumped up and down with excitement as their parents looked on with beaming smiles. I motioned the children to calm down and placed my sack in front of me and pulled out a cheerfully wrapped tubular shaped present (chocolate buttons) and with a smile said ‘Right children, who wants to buy a present?’ Aw, the look of sudden bewilderment that swept across their faces as they looked up at their parents then back at me. The parents looked just as bewildered and weren’t sure what to say to them. ‘Have you no money?’ I asked the children. ‘You mean to say that me and my reindeer have come all the way from the North Pole carrying all these lovely presents only to find that you’ve got no money to buy any?’ Poor souls just stood there baffled. I waited for a few silent moments before I suddenly burst out laughing ‘Ho, ho, ho! Fooled you didn’t I?’ and proceeded to restore the excitement and beaming smiles again and handed each child her present. The moral of the story is: be thankful that Santa’s surname isn’t MacGregor.