In Disney World , the characters are trained to be Cinderella, Beauty or Goofy. They must attend school to become the living versions of the Disney characters we all know and love.
How about Santa? He needs training, too!
The oldest Santa school is in, appropriately, cold Midland, Michigan. The Charles W. Howard Santa School was established in 1937. Howard was a Macy’s Santa and served as a consultant on the 1947 hit Miracle on 34th Street.
Thomas Valent, current dean of the school, first studied under Charles Howard. The 3-day course teaches beard and hair care, the importance of changing gloves frequently, St. Nicholas history, and how to work with children with special needs. This is just a smidgen of the instruction that centers around the privilege of being a Santa. The three-day class, this year on October 18, 19, and 20 costs $415 for new students. Registration is now open.
In a parody of the mall Santa and Santa school, Homer Simpson becomes a mall Santa and must attend Santa school in “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” or the The Simpsons Christmas Special was the first full-length episode of The Simpsons. It originally aired on December 17, 1989. I’m putting viewing this episode on my Christmas-must-do list. I suspect all I need to do is check with my sons, or Jeremy, who can most probably quote segments already!