Christmas in Germany could be less delightful asmany regions are suffering a severe shortage ofSantas, according to recruitment agencies.
The Berlin Santa Claus Office, which typically receivesabout 2,500 bookings per year, now has fewer than200 Santas on its books, down from 500, one of theagency's employees, Petra Henkert, told German localmedia Der Tagesspiegel.
"We are suffering a Santa drought," Henkert said.
A student services organization in Berlin has already stopped its recruitment of Santas due tolack of candidates, it said in a statement released on the internet.
Santas in Germany are often hired by families to recite festive poems, stories and songs. Therole has traditionally been considered a nice source of income for students.
An elite Santa could usually earn 100 euros per visit and up to 500 euros per day.
The shortage, "particularly severe in eastern German states such as Saxony and Brandenburg, has been caused by long hours of study, the busy lives of modern students and a decline inthe Christian faith," according to Britain's The Times.