The Christmas festivities are in the air. As much as the Christmas tree is a favourite, the festivities are incomplete without Santa Claus. But, did you know there exists a school that trains Santa Claus? And what more? It holds the Guinness Book of World records title for the longest-running Santa School.
Located in New York’s Albion, Orleans County, The Charles W Howard Santa Claus School was founded in October 1937.
At the school, the Santas learn the skills necessary to convey a convincing Father Christmas. This includes:
*How to ride a sleigh
*How to build toys in a workshop
*Learning lyrics to popular Christmas songs and accompanying dances
As per the records website, the lessons on how to dress like Santa even include the timings required to get into the festive get-up, for example, applying your Santa makeup should only take 30-35 seconds.
“I think is a really important foundation for anybody that wants to be Santa,” student Michael Beurer told the records site.
“It becomes a Santa family and you can actually lean off each other. Together we’re better – this is one of the main foundations I think Charles Howard was trying to portray,” he added.
The school’s founder Charles W Howard was a farmer and a passionate toy maker. He always wanted to portray Santa so he appeared as Santa in various department stores as well as in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
The school which was started in Charles’ home moved to a much larger site in Midland, Michigan, USA due to growing attendance.
The school graduates are conferred with a BSC – Bachelor of Santa Claus at the end of the three-day course, and are awarded as part of a graduation ceremony too. Santa graduate Jason Sanderson said; “You’re not just a performer, you’re also providing magic for everybody”.
Now, the school attracts 300 students per year from all over the US, states the website.