Learning to Be Santa: What Happens at Santa School

http://cnn.it/1IJnQUZ (Photos: Caitie McCabe/Mother Image)
  1. Every year, some 125 Santas and Mrs. Clauses enroll in Santa school
    ...at the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School in Midland, Michigan.
  2. They take classes on reindeer-handling, toy-making and how to give a proper "Ho ho ho!"
    For three days in October, Santas-in-training take classes on things like sign language, reindeer-handling and how to apply makeup. They learn to do live television interviews, dance like an elf and give a proper "Ho ho ho!"
  3. They take fitness classes
    ... to remain limber. "Santa is a healthy outdoorsman," explains Tom Valent, dean of the school.
  4. And learn how to make wooden toys
    Children are going to ask how the toys are made, Valent says, so it's important for the Santas to have these experiences to draw from when they answer.
  5. They learn how to get the Santa beard
    The Santas get a lesson on how to properly care for their beards, including rubbing peppermint oil in it to add a comforting smell. Those who don't have a natural beard can be fitted for an artificial wig and/or beard.
  6. And how to make their mustache look like it's been windblown
    ...by the sleigh ride
  7. There's also time built in for bonding