I remember being taken along to Santa's Grotto in department stores like D.M Browns, Draffens & G.L Wilsons (photo above) as a wee lad in the 60's.
The one thing about it I can recall most is that us primary kids applied a bit of know-how to the situation.
Santa's sacks of gifts were seperated into different age groups. Something like Under 5's, 5 to 7's and 8 to 10's. We noticed the pressies were bigger & better the higher the age group. So when it was time to chat to Santa, instead of telling him our correct age, 7 for example, we'd say we were 8, and he'd take something out from the appropriate sack!
Well it was the difference between getting a water pistol or a Luger with a silencer!
Photo by Dundee University.Tints by GG.