Dale Says

November 2, 2006

Becoming a Professional Santa

Filed under: Profile — Dale @ 3:21 pm

It’s hard work being a professional Santa.  It involves long hours filled with inquisitive children, insistent parents, and demanding employers.  Santa pay varies depending on the employer and level of experience.  At the top end, an experienced Santa with a real beard can earn $10,000 – $20,000 for a 5-6 week stint in a shopping mall.  Santas who work private parties usually earn less, anywhere from zero dollars to sky’s the limit.

How to become a professional Santa:

1.  Most importantly, you need to have it in your heart.  Susen Mesco, who leads a Santa School in Colorado, believes Santa must be sensitive and in touch with his nurturing side.  “Children have so little magic in their lives,” she says.  “There are few heroes left in today’s world.”  She advises her Santa students to put glitter in their beards, so children who touch Santa’s beard can take home a bit of the magic.

2.  Professional Santas must believe that the magic they help bring to children overshadows the less glamorous aspects of the job.  Children ask embarrassing questions, pull your beard, and share all sorts of stories (and germs) with you. Teenagers taunt you.  Parents watch you like a hawk and complain if your distress their children.  But you will also bring joy into the lives of children.

3.  You need the proper equipment; which includes a Santa suit, hat, wig, beard, belt, boots, gloves, glasses, and eyebrow whitener.  All of this will set you back between $30 for a used Santa outfit on eBay and $800 for a deluxe size XXL burgundy plush pile “Majestic” Santa suit from McCulloch’s.

4.  It’s best to make sure you are legally covered.  To reduce the odds of legal troubles, Santa Victor Nevada advises professional Santas to keep their hands in plain view at all times, avoid being alone with children, and speak loudly enough that people around can hear what he and the child say to each other.  Santas are also advised not to comment on a child’s hair, eyes, smiles, etc., and to never promise a child they will get what they ask for.  They should also wear non-slip gloves to reduce the possibility of dropping children, and have a parent or guardian place small children on Santa’s lap.

5.  You might want to attend a Santa school, where you would learn a variety of essential Santa skills, including how to deal with difficult or sensitive situations.  For example, when you need to leave your Santa post, it might be best to tell the children in line it’s time to call the North Pole and see how toy production is coming.  When asked, “Are you real?” an appropriate anser might be, “I’m as real as I can be.”

24 Comments »

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