Fascinating Facts You Don’t Know About Professional Santas

Are the Santas at your local mall or your office Christmas party professional Santas? If they are, they might have an agent, a business website, or a Facebook page. They will almost certainly have a diploma from Santa school.

Santa Schools Train Professional Santas

Santa schools offer training for Santa, Mrs. Claus, and elves. Program costs range from $200-$500 per person with discounts if you attend as a couple or if you’re returning as an alumnus. Program length is three days or approximately sixteen hours.Professional Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus waving from a parade float

The world’s largest Santa school, School4Santas, has had 3300 graduates. In 2017 it will hold classes in Dallas, Texas and aboard a cruise ship to Mexico.

Canada’s Santa School is in Calgary, Alberta. They will make you a custom suit, and their manual – All About Being Santa – is reputed to be the most comprehensive guide.

The leading Santa school in the United Kingdom is Ministry of Fun, an event company in London, England. They say they take fun extremely seriously and that’s why they are the #1 provider of Father Christmases in Britain.

The Harvard of Santa schools is the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus school in Midland, Michigan. It was started in 1937 by Charlie Howard who was Santa consultant for the movie “Miracle on 34th Street.” The school campus includes a North Pole workshop where students learn to make toys. There are also a couple of reindeer that are kept as pets so students can learn about them up close and personal. There’s a waiting list to get into this school.

There is also an online program available at The Santa Claus Conservatory. The program consists of nine core sessions and nine bonus sessions.

77% of Santas have attended Santa school at least once. There are classes on negotiating contracts, setting up a Santa business, managing difficult conversations, being Santa to special needs children, basic sign language, and working with photo studios.

Ten Fascinating Facts About Professional Santas

Statistics in this infographic come from a National Geographic survey of more than 550 Santas at the World’s Largest Santa Convention in Branson, Missouri (December 2016) and from 2012 data provided by a School4Santas poll of 342 Santas.Santa Claus highfiving a young child in her father's arms

Click here for a download of this infographic.

infographic of 10 fascinating facts about professional santas

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9 More Fascinating Facts About Professional Santas

    1. The owner of the Calgary Santa School noticed that many of her Santa students are from the military or the police. She thinks it’s because they are used to protecting children and value the opportunity to see children in happy settings.
    2. “Santa needs to go feed the reindeer” is code for “I need a break.” To get ready for each day, Santas listen to Christmas music, think good thoughts, exercise, get lots of sleep, and eat good food.

      Kids believe in Santa; adults believe in childhood.

      Cate Kennedy
    3. ย “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” is, not surprisingly, the favourite song of professional Santas. Their second favourite is “Silent Night.” “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” is a close third.
    4. The owner of the Charles Howard school says that ‘ho ho ho’ needs to be mellow, calming, a mild laugh. (I don’t think I’ve ever heard a ‘ho ho ho’ that sounded like that.)
    5. ย The first department store Santa in the States was in Brockton, Massachusetts in 1890. The first in the United Kingdom was in 1909 at Selfridge in London.
    6. Refusal to grow up is what the best Santas say makes them believable.
    7. The best photos with Santa are taken in the first 5-10 seconds of a visit.
    8. When boys tell Santa what they want, they are very straightforward. Girls want to explain everything.
    9. The Santa oath includes the promise to “use my powers to create happiness, spread love and make fantasies come to life in the true and sincere tradition of the Santa Claus Legend.”


The Cost of Santa’s Outfit

santa claus extending hand to child. child's face is not seen
There used to be just two versions of Santa Claus: St. Nicholas in his flowing red coat, or Santa Claus in his red suit and hat. Now there are variations galore. Lone Star Santa wears a cowboy hat. Steampunk Santa has light up shoes. And Florida Santa is in red shorts and a short-sleeved top.

Taking just the standard North American department store Santa, here’s what his outfit and accessories would cost.

infographic showing cost of Santa's outfit and accessories

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Have you ever come across a truly wonderful Santa? What did he say or do that made him so terrific? Let us know in the comments below.

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  1. I did not know a lot of this stuff about professional Santas. Thanks for the great pictures and infographics you’ve included with this post I have pinned them to my Profound Journey board on Pinterest.

    I have seen a great Santa at our local mall, actually. I didn’t speak to him or anything since my boys are both adults now but I did watch him for a few minutes. He was very engaged with the little kids when they came to sit on his lap and get their photo taken. I could tell this was not just a job to him but something he enjoyed doing just by the way he was with the kids. He was friendly, took his time with them even though there was a lineup and listened to them making them feel so special. You could see it on the kids faces that they really loved being there. I liked his suit too…bet it was one of the pricey custom made ones. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Thanks for sharing the infographics on Pinterest, Susan.
      I’m really happy to hear that your local mall Santa is a good one. I like your description of what made him special. Having someone pay attention to you is so important to everyone, adult and child alike.

      1. Thanks, and you are right…having someone pay attention to you and feeling special is important to everyone. We all want to matter, to be heard and to feel like someone cares. ๐Ÿ™‚

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