Help me be Santa!
November 17, 2006 6:37 PM   Subscribe

Help me be Santa Claus! I'm playing Santa for my small town's Christmas parade, and pictures etc with kids after. I'd like some tips on things I haven't yet thought of or been told (particularly related to interacting with the kids). (A Google search didn't get me much.) Tips from your experiences and pointers to relevant websites both welcomed. Thanks!
posted by attercoppe to Grab Bag (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The most important rule of interacting with the children: Never promise to bring them something specific unless you've pre-arranged with the parents to ensure its okay. If Santa says yes, he'll bring them something specific, and that's not what the parents got the kid, it's gonna be a hella disappointment.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:15 PM on November 17, 2006

I don't know, but I played Santa once in the mall for about a week. It was kind of David Sederis esque - maybe worse. First off, I'm a woman, second, I'm Jewish. Kids would point and laugh at me and comment on how small I was even though I was wearing two layers of padding under my costume.

The reason I played Santa is that one of our Santa's stopped showing up due to probable alcoholism. He was a way worse Santa than me, and we even had one mom come back the next day after her kid sat on his lap to ask for a new picture with a different, less creepy Santa.

So my suggestions to you: don't drink on the job, and don't be a woman.
posted by serazin at 8:46 PM on November 17, 2006

If you are in the States, I'd say be super-careful about how you touch the kids. People are quick to take offense and jump to conclusions. And I'd imagine that a charge of "pedophile", however misplaced, would be a nightmare to deal with.
posted by Brave New Meatbomb at 9:18 PM on November 17, 2006

I haven't been Santa, but here's a guess:
- No sudden movements, do things a bit slower than you normally would. Ho -- Ho -- Ho! Merrr-rrrrrrrrrrry Christmaaas! (Obviously practice so this doesn't seem like fake-slowness, but like jolly fat man slowness)
- No swooping down into a little kid's face. Let them come to you, and let them maintain their own space from you so they can retreat if they get scared.
- Think of a few good standard lines that you can use, with littlest kids, with medium kids, with kids who say they don't believe in you (or, is this your real beard, or, aren't you Mr. So- and-So?, or where's Rudolph? where's Mrs. Claus?), with parents.
- Review your reindeer names
- No garlic or beans before the parade
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:50 PM on November 17, 2006

- Parents this year probably took their kids to see The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, so you might get a Jack Frost question or two.

- Kids are gonna cry. A lot. Don't take it personal.

- Think up some cool responses on why it's gonna be real difficult to get a PS3 or Wii this Christmas.

- Try not to grimace so much when the heavy kids come around.
posted by icontemplate at 6:53 AM on November 18, 2006

Be prepared to get sick of hearing about the popular toys that every kid wants. I did the mall Santa once (LOL...when I was 16 in college). For me, it was horrible. Not that I dislike kids, I'm just no good at faking the jolly bit. The only good part was having my attractive boss (a mormon) help me get in costume. ::sigh::
posted by Goofyy at 5:37 AM on November 20, 2006

This might help.
posted by KathyK at 8:50 AM on November 21, 2006

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