A few good HINTS:
Parking the sleigh: Reserve a special parking place for Santa. Although the real Santa Sleigh is in safekeeping until its big journey on Christmas Eve, Santa needs to be close to your event and to where he is appearing. If he parks down the street or around the corner and has to walk all the way to your home, or office, he might be a bit winded or exhausted when he arrives.
In addition, remember, Santa arrives wearing a heavy velvet suit, a real Santa suit that gets very hot, even in winter. If the visit is at your home, leave an opening at the end of your driveway. Just put a temporary barrier in the space. Use a box, a chair or a sawhorse. Have some fun and put a sign out “Reserved for Santa!”
If your event is at a company facility, office building or hotel, try to arrange for Santa to park in a valet or loading area. Again, you can mark the area with a fun sign. This makes it easier for him to be fresh and ready to bring joy to your guests.
Santa’s Schedule fills up Fast!
When you schedule a visit from Santa, Santa will call his contact to let them know he is about to appear for your visit. This allows time for you to get children and other guests inside and ready for the big arrival! The Christmas magic begins as Santa enters the room with a big ho-ho-ho, jiggling his bells and assessing how the children are accepting him. Santa does not like to approach children immediately if they are afraid. The idea is to have children who are not afraid give Santa a hug, a high five or shake his hand. This is good for the children who are afraid to see and get more comfortable. Santa also likes to give special attention to senior adults, because Santa Claus brings back so many special memories for them. Santa Claus effects everybody in so many different ways. Then, depending upon the group that is in attendance, Santa can pass out presents and pose with children, families, and guests for photographs, as Santa likes to interact with each person individually. You might have read that Santa’s background was in childcare, and he has been doing this for more than a decade.
Santa knows what small children usually like, what tweens and teens don’t like (not to sit on Santa Claus’s lap), and of course, the senior adults – they love the man in the red suit!
Upon Arrival: I like to enter the room with a big, Ho, Ho, Ho! As I sashay around the room jingling my bells, I like to assess how the children are accepting me. I do not like to approach them right away if they are afraid. I like to have the children that are afraid see other children either shake my hand or give me a hug.
Chair for Santa: Have a sturdy chair for Santa to sit in. Santa likes a chair that is sturdy and stable. Folding chairs and low chairs (the ones you sink into) are not good. A good straight-back dining chair works well. Santa likes to sit-up or on the edge of the chair. He should be able to sit comfortably and have a child on each knee.
Place the Chair near your Christmas tree or in a holiday setting. Maybe in front of a fireplace (Please make sure it is not too warm as Santa has a very warm suit on) with stockings hanging, or any festive type of backdrop. Your photos will have more impact when the background has a festive look. Place a wreath, a few Christmas cards or your children’s drawings on the wall to make a wonderful difference. Leave a foot or two between the chair and the tree or wall. This will allow room for others to gather around and behind Santa’s chair for group photos.
Children/Food If you invite Santa to an event where food is being served, such a Breakfast with Santa – Please – make sure the children eat after they have seen Santa or please wash their hands if they sit on Santa’s lap after they have eaten. Remember that this is a real Santa suit, and a real Santa beard.
Photography or Video: Have your camera/s ready. Be sure to have all the film, videotape and batteries necessary to take the photos you want or need to get. Be sure to recharge your video camera batteries.
Think about photos with everyone. The mantra: Santa for children does not apply here. Regardless of age, everyone will want to interact with Santa. Yes, some teenagers will shy away or think it is too childish, to have a photo with Santa. Do not worry; Santa can stand up for a “buddy” photo. I also like to give special attention to senior adults because Santa brings back so many special memories for them and Santa affects them in so many different ways. Perhaps take a photo with Santa and Grandma hugging. In addition, the family will chuckle if Santa asks Grandpa if he has been a good boy!
Gifts: Santa can carry in one bag of presents for children or guests, and the gifts should be well labeled. We suggest a large black marker and writing directly on the gift, as tags can easily fall off. All packages should fit into one 35-gallon white trash bag. Any more and it may be too heavy or awkward for Santa to bring in. If you have more than one bag, check with Santa and see if there is a way to have the gifts near his chair before he arrives or if there is a way for him to have “helper’s” to bring the extra gifts in. We all know of Santa’s “Magic Bag.” You know the bag that holds tons of toys and gifts and only weighs ten pounds. Well that bag only works its magic on Christmas Eve!
Santa for Children of all ages - Real Santa!
Final Payment: If there is a balance or payment due to Santa, place it inside a Christmas card or envelope. It never looks appropriate when someone gives cash to Santa. So, as Santa is departing, hand him the envelope and say, “Thank you Santa, here is a Christmas card from all of us.”
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.
Thanks, Santa Shane.
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