Tis the season to earn loads of cash sitting in the back of a warehouse for nine hours every day, removing staples from documents (I did this). Or maybe getting a part time job in the WH Smiths in your home town. Or being an elf in a grotto.
Whatever your choices, the festive period is a great time to bag a throwaway job and cash in on the fact that Christmas has become a consumerist paradise. Here are some examples of the more amusing jobs to be had this yuletide. Ho ho HO-W ON EARTH DID YOU BAG SUCH A GREAT CHRISTMAS JOB.
Festive score: 2/5 (you may get to put tinsel on your till)
It’s not fun, you’ll have to listen to the same Christmas CD on loop every day, and dealing with Christmas shoppers will make you want to shove some holly up your own ivy, but it’s also easy money that may get you 50% off calculators. If you work at a stationery shop, that is. Right about now, almost all retail outlets will be taking on Christmas-specific staff and if you’ve ever had a job before, you can knock all those snivelling A-level students out the park. Because they live at home with their parents and aren’t trying to save up for a deposit on a flat. Plus, they’re younger and easier to knock out of parks.
Top tip: Fake being happy. Not only will it make the day go quicker, but there’s nothing sadder than being served by a grumpy grinch wearing reindeer antlers. There’s also nothing worse than being called a “grumpy grinch” by a middle aged woman in a Christmas jumper (this happened to me). Late December shoppers may be a nightmare, but you’re contributing to their festive experience – make a joke or wish them a happy Christmas. Spread that cheer. Go on.
2. A christmas tree shop/Christmas markets
Festive score: 5/5 (come on, you can’t get more festive)
Ask around the Christmas tree sites and markets to see if anyone needs an extra pair of hands lugging fir trees around or putting German sausages on tables. They’ll welcome strong people for hands-on tree-ing (not a word) and weak people can do the tills/trinket moving/bread cutting. Look, it’s probably the most festive part-time job you can hope for, you’ll be surrounded by happy families squealing with delight and you might bag some delightful bric a brac. Like a Santa made from potatoes by local children or whatever.
Top tip: Wear three jumpers and a Santa hat. And three pairs of socks and wellingtons. Then put a coat on. And a scarf. And two pairs of gloves. And a balaclava decorated to look like your face so nobody will be able to tell you’re wearing one, it’ll just look like you have a woolly face.
Festive score: 5/5 (ditto the comment from aforementioned point 2)
Unless you’re a 50 year old fat man, Father Christmas may be out of the question, but there’s always room for his little helper. As a kid, there was nothing worse than seeing Santa’s elf played by some 40 year old plump lady called Val. Elves should be young and fresh-faced. Toy stores and grottos are currently looking for helpers to get into the Peter Pan-esque outfit and smile at children/give out colouring books/talk convincingly about the North Pole. Plus, it beats stacking shelves at Asda or lugging trees around (see option 2) and think of the anecdote potential.
Top tip: Refrain from smoking by the bins while in costume. The only thing worse than 40 year-old Val the Elf was seeing her sucking on a Marlboro Light with Santa behind Woolworths (it was in 1996). Same goes for drink, drugs and snogging. Even if the other elf is really fit.
Festive score: 1/5 (you’ll be sick of roast dinner by the 25th. And knackered. Be warned)
A good one if you want to rack up some serious money – choose places with good tips and long shifts. Oh, and make sure you’re in peak condition both physically and mentally. Roast dinners contain gravy and gravy can be tipped into people’s handbags and onto people’s children. Other places I’ve tipped gravy include: on dogs, the floor, laps and one man’s shirt pocket containing his spectacles. Be prepared to serve large groups of drunk people which can be both rewarding (large drunken tips) and terrifying (large men staring down your top).
Top tip: Be constantly prepared. If you don’t have an apron, always have pockets for your notepad. Also, keep a ballpoint behind your ear/stuck in your bun (as in, the hairstyle. Carrying a bread bun with you is unnecessary). Oh, and repeat orders whenever possible because people will often be unclear when drunk. And then shout at you afterwards.
Looking for work?
1. For Christmas jobs in retail: http://www.retailchoice.com/search/christmas-jobs
4. Here’s some catering jobs to get you going.