Another one from Australia:
Disillusioned by a growing list of rules imposed by recruiting agencies and shopping centres to guard against litigation, men who have brought smiles to the faces of thousands of young West Australians for decades are reluctantly deciding to call it quits.
They can’t hand out lollies, they can’t pat children on the head because of religious beliefs, they can’t put children on their laps unless they get permission from parents and they can’t have photographs taken with youngsters unless their hands are in full view.
So frightened have some Santas become of being sued that they are demanding extra helpers to act as witnesses just in case a complaint is made.
(Joe Spagnolo, Daily Telegraph (Aus.), Dec. 4). For discouragement of Christmas parties Down Under, see our Friday item. More Santa-related items from around the English-speaking world: Dec. 24, 2004; Dec. 30, 2003; Oct. 9-10, 2002; Oct. 12 and Dec. 13-14, 2000.