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You can earn up to £16 an hour this Christmas as Santa or one of his elves

Could you be a patient and kind Father Christmas? (Roberto Ricciuti/Getty Images)

It’s a busy time of the year for Santa and his helpers – they need all the help they can get.

And for retailers, it’s a golden opportunity to cash in – and what better way to tempt shoppers into the store than by having an in-house Father Christmas, a few elves and a grotto.

As more and more seasonal jobs become available, many casual workers will perhaps not be so keen to spend long nights in “fulfillment centres” or re-stocking supermarket shelves.

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So why not really buy into the Christmas spirit by getting work as a temporary Santa or one his helpers?

Specialist recruitment site Great Grottos is on the hunt for workers to fill upwards of 700 roles up and down the country.

Some pay very well indeed – £15 an hour, which is double the minimum wage.

The three main roles on offer are:

Many retailers, such as Selfridges, have already opened their Christmas departments (Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images)

Father Christmas – clearly, this is a role where older workers may well have a distinct advantage over youth. Beards would be good, too.

“Could you embody the values of Father Christmas?” asks Great Grottos. “Could you talk to children about life in Lapland, Rudolph and what they want for Christmas this year?

“Experience is not essential. A warm heart and gentle demeanour is.” Full training is given, as is the uniform – and padded bellies are provided.

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Santa always needs his elves to help him out (John Lamparski/WireImage)

Santa’s elves – maybe something for the younger jobseeker, this role calls for excellent customer service and some experience in performing.

“The position of Santa’s Elf allows you to explore an imaginative performance role whilst delivering exceptional customer service,” says the site.

Candidates may also be operating till systems where Christmas Grotto photo souvenirs are purchased.

Grotto managers will need to run the whole experience (Great Grottos)

Grotto managers – well organised candidates with people skills are being sought for this role. The grotto manager oversees all aspects of running the attraction, from organising staff, to dealing with customers.

“The goal of the Grotto event is to create individual and magical experiences for each family and to ensure that all Grotto staff work towards this.”

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Candidates will be DBS checked for any criminal records and jobs are usually available from the beginning of November right up until Christmas Eve.

LaplandUK, for example, in Wokingham, is looking for a Father Christmas for its Christmas experience, at £16 an hour.

And Centre Parcs, Penrith, wants various people to fill full and part-time roles as Santa at £9.55 an hour.