School4Santas Two-Day Agenda
Day One – I usually arrive at the meeting room at 7:00 a.m. to set up and start registration and check-in. The course begins at 8:00 a.m. with most of the day dedicated to The Basics of being Santa – plus, how to work with photo companies, malls and event producers. We generally finish between 5:00 and 5:30 p.m. The Saturday Dinner is usually at 6:30 p.m. for all students and any other Santas in the region. You do not need to attend the school in order to attend the dinner.
- The History of Santa Claus – How he evolved from Stories, Legends and Cultures. From a humble beginning in the third century, we follow St. Nicholas as his stories and legends travel throughout the world and his evolution as he becomes Santa Claus.
- The Basics of being Santa – What a Santa should know – Making the visit memorable – Positive Guest Service – Who do you Work For?
- Santa’s basic work – Santa’s Greeting, Your Ho, Ho, Ho’s – Santa’s Arrival, Breaks and Departure- Welcoming the Children – Seating the Child or Children
- Posing for Photos – Special Techniques for photographing babies – The first 5 seconds – Seating Toddlers and Pre-Schoolers – Seating School Age Children – Photos with Tweeners, Teens and Young Adults – Hands in the Photo – Working with Special Needs Children & Adults – Group Photos – Posing Suggestions – Special Techniques
- Talking with Children – Asking, listening and answering – How to ask the right questions – Secrets of how Santa knows all -How to answer children’s questions – Answering difficult questions – Talking with teens and pre-teens – Knowing the current and most popular toys – Answering those who don’t believe in Santa or Christmas – and many other questions children ask.
- Your Image as Santa – What children, parents and others see and think of you – 24/7/365? – Background Checks – Grooming and Appearance – Your health and Personal Hygiene – Santa’s Magic Suit and accessories.
The day will close with a special presentation of the Santa Claus Oath. All Santas and Mrs Claus from the region are invited to attend. You do not have to attend the school in order to participate in the Oath ceremony.
Everyone is invited to join together for dinner at 6:30 p.m. Again, this is for all Santas and Mrs. Claus in the region.
Day Two – Again, I do arrive around 7:00 a.m., and at 7:30 a.m., if those in attendance wish to do so, I can host a small non-denominational prayer meeting. The school begins at 8:00 a.m. and the day covers finding work; elements of being a special event or private party Santa including; Types and sources of business; Basic business set up; Elements of marketing and promotion; Additional sources of income. I try to finish at 4:30 and begin graduation and presentation of Diplomas at that time. We will finish between 5:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
- Your Magic Wardrobe – Simple steps to building a good, workable wardrobe. Care and maintenance of your wardrobe. For those wishing, they can bring in their suits or dresses and wear them if they wish. They can change out of them at lunch time.
Enhancing your Image as Santa – Suggestions for improving your appearance and presentation as Santa.
- Working for a Mall or Photo Company – Who’s in charge – Efficiency, it’s a team effort – Working with and training your helpers – Working with Pets – Handling problems – What a mall should supply – What the Photo Company supplies – Working away from home – “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays”, What to do? – When the media calls, protocol for handling the media.
- There is more than just sitting in a Mall – Children’s Parties & Home visits – Company and adult parties – Corporations and associations – Charitable and non-profit events – Media or marketing events – – Parades – Tree lightings – Conventions and major dinners – Off-season events – Santa 24/7/365.
- Special Event Santa – Making the Grand Entrance. Handling large Crowds, Getting more training – Working with and using the Media.
- The Entertaining Santa – Add Storytelling, Singing, Magic, Balloon Art, etc. to your resume.
- The Year-round Santa – What to do the other ten months of the year. Summer promotions – Modeling, Advertising and Commercial work.
- Adding more to your visit as Santa – Mrs. Claus and Helpers – Other activities – Sleigh, Reindeer, etc.
- Santa as a Business – Starting and managing your own business – What you need to get started – Getting free help and assistance – Setting your rates – Marketing and rate surveys – Insurance – permits and licensing – Background Checks – Bookkeeping
- Marketing & Promotion – How to Market yourself – Getting Good Photos – How to get free professional photos – Business Cards and handouts – Web pages and web sites – How to get others to promote you – Networking
- Get a Head Start on the Holidays – Planning and Scheduling your time so you can also enjoy your work, have time for family and reduce stress.
- Be Prepared – Be Organized – Being prepared for the job – Checklists of supplies and equipment – Checklists for work – The dressing area – What a client should supply – What you should have for entertainment and public appearances..
- What Qualities do Great Santa’s Possess – A Santa of Character – Santa Emeritis
- Graduation – Presentation of Diplomas
In the beginning, anyone attending IUSC only had their book and a receipt for their registration to show or prove that they attend one of my schools. In 2005, I began issuing a simple certificate, a diploma of sorts, to all who attended our one and two day schools. I called it a Bachelor’s Diploma. later that year, Bernie Shine, a documentary film producer suggested the category of “SantaClausology,” and the diplomas since then have used that term
Now, each year, the International University of Santa Claus (IUSC) issues 200 to 300 special diplomas to Santas, Mrs. Claus and other Holiday Professionals who attend our School4Santas. These diplomas are presented as an acknowledgement of their attendance at our School and their commitment to furthering their education and knowledge within the Santa World.
There are five categories of Diplomas:
Associate of SantaClausology – This degree level is for those who take our DVD/Correspondence course. There is no printed diploma for this degree. However you can mention it on your social media page, web site or marketing materials, along with positng the school logo.
Bachelor of SantaClausology – Any individual who registers and attends attends his first School4Santas will receive, upon completion, this diploma.
Master of SantaClausology – Any individual who registers and attends a second School4Santas will receive, upon completion, this diploma.
Advanced Master of SantaClausology – Any individual who registers and attends a third, fourth, etc, School4Santas will receive, upon completion, this diploma. You may receive and unlimited number of these diplomas
Doctor of Santaclausology (PhD) – Through special arrangements and advanced coordination, this diploma is presented to those individuals who
- Have five or more years of experience and references;
- Have registered to attend their fourth school, having already received an Advanced Master’s Diploma; and
- Have had the selection committee review and approve their dissertation, which will be presented at one of the schools.
A Santa, Mrs. Claus or Couple, who feel they have special knowledge in one or more areas of Santa education, may apply to the School and if their subject is accepted, they will make a 20 to 30 minute dissertation at a school. Click here for details on applying for the IUSC Ph.D. Click here to see a list of all Ph.D Santas.
Any questions on the diplomas and qualifications should be addressed to Santa Tim Connaghan at: Santa@NationalSanta.com
*The diplomas and honors presented by the International University of Santa Claus are presented to Santas and Mrs. Claus in recognition of their investment in furthering their education and knowledge on Santa Claus and the many areas related to the business and activities of being Santa. The IUSC, aka School4Santas, is not certified as an institution of higher education, nor acredited by the Council for Higher Education (CHEA) nor any organization that is recognized by CHEA.