Inside the school where men train to be the perfect Santa Claus


santa school

Christinne Muschi/Reuters

Santa students enrol for the course from countries all over the world.

Turns out that playing Santa Claus requires much more than pulling on a red costume and sprouting a big white beard.


That's why each year, hundreds of aspiring St Nicks pay for a three-day crash course at America's "Harvard of Santa Schools."

More than 200 men and women from all over the world attended the Michigan-based Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School this November.

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Reuters went along to follow their journey as they learnt to make toys and spread Christmas cheer for appearances at supermarkets, shopping centres, and markets around the globe.

The course - which ran from 18 November until 20 November this year - is open to solo Santas and couples hoping to play Mr and Mrs Claus. It teaches everything from the History of Saint Nicholas to reindeer habits, according to the School's website.


"It's a privilege to play Santa," Thomas Valent, the school's current dean and former alumnus, told Reuters. Here's what it takes to become the perfect Father Christmas.