Germany is facing a shortfall of Santas - despite record unemployment levels - because most jobless applicants are too depressed to don the famous red suit.
The situation is worst in Berlin, where agencies organising children's Christmas celebrations report that candidates lack the 'Ho Ho Ho factor' - the ability to raise a smile with a jolly laugh.
More than 270,000 people in Berlin are jobless. But Rene Heydeck, who runs a Christmas event agency, said: "We have a shortfall of 500 Santas for 4,500 family celebrations. So far, we only have 150."
Andreas Fuchs, an unemployed man from the capital, said: "I have been out of work for far too long. A Santa should be in a good mood, and I am too miserable."
And Herold Drip, a jobless sound engineer, said: "I want a job in my profession, and do not want to make a fool out of myself playing Santa. I find it stupid."