All schools have a code of conduct, but some put a particular emphasis on keeping a list of who’s been naughty and who’s been nice. If you want to make the spreading of holiday cheer an official part of your resume, you might want to consider becoming a professional Santa Claus.
The original Santa had to learn the tricks of his trade while on the job. Fortunately, today there are schools to train all of his helpers. One of the most comprehensive is the Professional Santa Claus School. Located in Denver, Colorado, Professional Santa Claus School has trained Santas since 1983. The program includes comprehensive education, training, mentoring, and placement.
The varied educational options include an optional “Santa Share-a-Room Roommate Program,” which we assume applies to those who are looking to minimize room and board costs while studying and is not some weird kind of specialized training for those who might care a little too much about staying off of Santa’s naughty list. Also left unexplained are the details about the “Mrs. Claus” program, so we don’t know if this is additional training or some kind of matchmaker service.
Aside from these curiosities, the program is designed to help aspiring Santas with their appearance, understanding the psychology of speaking with children, and how to remain in character for extended periods of time. Although there are optional opportunities to interact with live reindeer, the classes do not at this time offer tips on how to safely fly such creatures through congested air traffic areas.
Additional training includes chiropractic tips about how to avoid injury and discomfort while sitting for hours and lifting children onto your knee, and how to best boost the immune system and avoid catching whatever the little tikes might be inadvertently sharing with you.
If you are going to be a professional Santa, you certainly have to look the part. You will need a Santa Suit. You could make your own, but since the holidays are rapidly approaching, you might want to get a head start by buying one already made. A quick review of online options revealed choices ranging from a no-frills version for $16.69 to this one, for $611.63. Here’s a tip — when choosing a size, keep in mind all the extra cookies and milk you will be consuming between now and December 25.
If you can grow your own beard, you gain instant credibility among professional Santas. Children are notorious for tugging on beards to determine if they are real; while an authentic beard may earn you a few tugs of pain from time to time, it will spare you awkward explanations about why your whiskers came off in the hands of a little crumb-cruncher.
Those going for the most authentic look will also spend $200-300 to bleach hair, beard, and eyebrows.
The next step is to get hired. Opportunities for a properly-trained Santa range from volunteer appearances at schools and parties to extended times in stores, listening to little ones tell you what they want for Christmas. The jury is still out from the public in terms of what the official Santa should be paid. If left to the masses, Santa’s annual earnings would range from nothing (the opinion of about 29% of the public) to about $1.8 billion (also 29% of those surveyed). According to the wage data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Kris Kringle should be raking in about $140,000 per year. When it comes to his thousands of helpers, the expectations are a bit more modest. A typical trained Santa can pull in between $3,000 and $7,000 during the November-December season.
It probably should go without saying, but a big prerequisite to being a successful Santa is a love of children. In other words, don’t be like one of these Santas who earned notoriety for:
- refusing to get near a child who had a service dog;
- telling kids not to violate his personal space;
- telling children that Santa isn’t real;
- regaling children with stories of mass shootings;
- getting drunk and getting arrested;
- getting drunk, throwing up, and riding off on a motorcycle;
- robbing a bank at gunpoint; and
- basically, anything that combines the words “Santa” and “alcohol.”
If, however, the prospect of spending a couple of months out of the year dressed all in fur from head to foot and if you have eyes that twinkle, merry-looking dimples, rosy-red cheeks, and a belly that jiggles like a bowl full of jelly, you might find some fulfillment in helping to spread some Christmas cheer.
By the way, if you get the job and happen to get assigned to deliver gifts to the Commonplace Fun Facts staff, drop us a line so we can send you our “Notice of Appeal Regarding Placement on the Naughty List.”