As with any program or activity, there are always some questions. I have tried to answer as many as possible on each of the pages of this web site. But, that does not always work. So, here are some of the most commonly asked questions.
REGISTRATION – Anyone can register to attend the International University of Santa Claus, aka: School4Santas. It is open to all Santas, Mrs. Claus, Santa Helpers and others interested in the work and business of Santa Claus.
Do I have to have a real beard in order to attend School4Santas? – No, you do not need to have a beard in order to attend. There are hundreds of professional and volunteer Santas, if not thousands, who wear theatrical beards and wigs. My school teaches that it is not the beard….It is not the belly……It is not the red suit. It is what you have in your heart. By the way we do discuss the quality of theatrical beards during the course.
May a Mrs. Claus attend without a Santa? – By all means, yes! Our course does teach the basics of being a good Santa. But we also delve into the work of Mrs. Claus and how she works with Santa. Additionally, we will discuss some other services and talents a Mrs. Claus can use to get her own bookings, whether with a Santa or not.
Does the cost to the school include my hotel room and meals? – No, unfortunately your school registration only covers the two days of training, your course book and diploma. Any travel, lodging or meals is your responsibility. I offer these schools in different cities around the country, trying to get as close to the Santas as possible. I wish I could do the school in each Santa’s ‘backyard.’ Unfortunately, that is not possible.
Are there Scholarships or discounts for military or Senior Citizens? – There are some Santa organizations that offer special Scholarships to attend our School or one of the other recognized Santa Claus schools or training programs. Check with your local or state Santa Association. Additionally, for 2017 School4Santas is awarding one registration refund at each of the 2017 schools. There is also a 10% discount on all registrations made before April 1, and a separate discount to anyone who attended last year’s Discover Santa 2016 Convention. Details are on the registration page for each school. There are no discounts for veteran’s or seniors, as 1) the average age of a school attendee is 63, and 2) over 50% are veterans.
LOCATIONS AND LODGING – The location city for each of the schools is listed on the main web site under the heading “School Locations.” The actual hotel location for each school is then listed on that City’s web page. Each of our host hotels offers a special room rates for Santas and guests of the School. Just call the phone number listed on the Location page and mention “School4Santas,” to get the special rate. You are also free to see if you can find reduced rates using your AAA or AARP cards, or any of the special hotel discounts web sites. There is no obligation to stay at the Host Hotel.
WHAT IS THE SCHOOL SCHEDULE/AGENDA – The workshop hours are identical for Saturday and Sunday with class beginning at 8:00 a.m. and running until 5 p.m. There will be a one hour lunch break around Noon. I try to get into the class room between 7:00 and 7:30 p.m. and we begin on Saturday morning at 8:00 a.m. with a welcome followed by a brief History of Santa Claus. If the attendees for a school wishes, we can have a small prayer gathering on Sunday morning at 7:30 a.m. A full agenda for the two days can be found on the web site at http://www.school4santas.com/agenda/. Just click on the link for Agenda.
WHAT IS THE DRESS OR ATTIRE FOR ATTENDING A SCHOOL? – Most schools are taught in the spring and summer. It can get quite warm at some of our schools and especially indoors in a classroom filled with Santas. So, the dress it is very casual and comfortable. But, as always ‘red’ seems to be the color of the day. We do invite all students, if they wish, to show us their Santa wardrobe. If you wish to show off something or get comments and suggestions from myself and other Santas, you are most welcome to bring any suit or suits and share on Sunday Afternoon. Or, you can simply supply me with some photos that I can add to the video presentations. We all learn when we share. By no means is this a requirement that you have a suit as I do know some Santas do not own suits and only wear suits that are loaned or supplied to them for the Season. Please do remember your Santa Hat for the Graduation ceremonies.
DO STUDENTS RECEIVE A CERTIFICATE OR DIPLOMA? – Every person who attends a School4Santas workshop is presented with a special Diploma from the International University of Santa Claus (IUSC), suitable for framing:
- Correspondence Course/DVD Training = Associate Degree in SantaClausology
- Attendance at first workshop= Bachelor Degree in SantaClausology
- Attendance at second workshop = Master Degree in SantaClausology
- Attendance at three or more workshops = Advanced Master’s Degree in SantaClausology
- PhD presentation at a workshop = Doctorate in SantaClausology
For additional information on Diplomas, click on the link for Diplomas.
HOW WILL MY NAME BE PRINTED ON THE DIPLOMA? – Diplomas will be printed on Tuesday, before the School! You may have your name printed on your diploma in a variety of ways. I will be sending out a notice with what wording you gave me on your registration form. However, if you wish to change it, please let me know if there is a change prior the Tuesday before your school. PLEASE DOUBLE CHECK MY SPELLING! Options for wording on your diploma include: “John Smith”; “Santa John Smith”; John “Santa John” Smith; “Susan Smith”; “Mrs. Susan Smith”; Susan “Mrs. Claus” Smith, or any stage name you prefer.
I have taken your DVD course and receive my associate’s diploma. If I attend one of your ‘live’ schools what diploma will I receive? – First, thank you for taking the DVD course. Now that you have your associates diploma when you attend your first ‘live’ school you will receive a bachelor’s diploma.
SANTA CLAUS OATH CEREMONY – On Saturday Afternoon at around 4:30 p.m., at the closing of our first day of school, I will host a “Santa Claus Oath Ceremony.” This is through special arrangements with the Santa Claus Oath Foundation. Over 3,500 Santas and Mrs. Claus have taken the Oath and I am pleased to offer this ceremony to all Santas and Mrs. Claus in the region. There is no cost and one does not need to be a student of the school in order to attend the ceremony. All Santas and Mrs. Claus in the region are invited to join us. Certificates suitable for framing will be handed out.
SATURDAY NIGHT DINNER/SOCIAL – On Saturday Dinner at 6:30 p.m. everyone is invited to join together for dinner at a local restaurant. A location will be announced a week or two before the school. This dinner is often done in association a local Santa Association or group. It is not restricted and is open to all Santas, Mrs. Claus, Friends and Family in the region. One does not need to attend the school in order to attend the dinner. Come join the friendship and networking with your fellow Santas and students. (Separate Checks Please!)
INSTRUCTOR ARRIVAL – I generally arrive Friday Evening. However should I be arriving early, I can meet with anyone on Friday evening. My departure will either be on Sunday evening or Monday morning. Should I stay over Sunday Night, I can also meet with anyone.
I am alumni and my wife who has never attended wishes to also attend the school with me. How do we register? – You would register as an alumni couple. You could share the original book that you got when you first attended. For this school you would receive your Advanced Masters or whatever level you are qualified for, and she would receive her Bachelor Diploma.
Is School4Santas an adjudicated school? Are the diplomas real? – No, the International University of Santa Claus, aka: School4Santas is not an adjudicated university or school. It is only a two day, 16-hour training period. And the diplomas are just a way of showing that you have invested in yourself and the work you do to continue the spirit and image of Santa Claus. Please know that many of the major photo companies do like to know if you have attended any type of school or training, this school or others. For the independent or volunteer Santas it is also a good way of telling clients that you have had some training.
How can I have a school in my area? – It is quite easy to arrange for a school in your area. I have done this in the past with many regional Santa associations. I do have a requirement that the school should have ten to twelve students enrolled. This is necessary in order to cover the cost of the meeting location traveled for myself, books, diplomas and other materials. If you can secure a meeting location, at little or no cost, this can reduce the registration fees.
Should you have other questions, I welcome them. Just e-mail me: Santa@School4Santas.com