Sunday, April 8, 2012

Pondering being Santa

Sometimes I sit back and ponder what my life would have been like without Santa Claus. Today is Easter Sunday 2012 and I have been in full regalia over a dozen times already this year. It started in February doing promotions, photo shoots and related activities for Santa’s Village. This month, April 2012, we have a couple day in the suit, but more importantly, we have over 700 Santas and Mrs. Clauses coming to Santa Claus, Indiana in less than two weeks to be a part of the Jim Yellig Santa Claus Workshop. After the Workshop in in May 2012 Santa’s Village opens to the public for the season and Santa appearances for the park will stretch until the end of October…and then the real Christmas Season begins in November and December.

I know that I am very fortunate to be able to have a true year round Santa career for over a quarter century. It is special and I know it. But just as many people, especially other Santas, wonder what my world is like, I sometimes wonder what their world is like. It is something that I am not sure I will ever really know. And that is okay. Being Santa is a vocation and a fulltime paying job for me. It is my work, my living, what I am all about, and what I do. Just like most, I like to get away from my job and not think about it. I have hobbies, but to many people surprises, my hobbies have nothing to do with Santa or Christmas. After a certain time of the day, heck, I don’t even want to talk about Santa. And for some reason that surprises some folks.

April 19, 20, and 21st at the Jim Yellig Santa Claus Workshop, hundreds of Santas will be coming dressed in all sorts of Casual Claus clothes. The first time I saw this, it reminded me of a comic book convention I attended years ago in Chicago. I saw dozens of “Batmans”, “Supermans”, “Spidermans” and many other characters being portrayed by attendees. It was wild. These folks really get into this stuff. I guess so do guys who play Santa. I guess it is a release from their real jobs and real worlds. I on the other hand I will just be me, Phil, at the Workshop as I want to get away from my real job, which is being Santa. I do enjoy the pageantry of the Casual Claus, though I do not fully understand it. And probably never will no matter how many times someone tries to explain it to me.

The Jim Yellig Santa Claus Workshop will be fun, but the best part of it will be… I get to see others really get excited about portraying Santa. I get to hear about all the stories of a Santa’s past seasons. I get to see friendships being made and acquaintances being renewed. I get to see some really neat outfits. I get to be behind the scenes seeing people smile and enjoy the Spirit of St. Nicholas. I get to be just a normal guy among a sea of white beards and red shirts. I get to smile, be “the child” and enjoy the magic. I get to be me, Phil, not Santa.

And I would not have it any other way.
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