The season of big-bellied, white-bearded old men is upon us, and there seems to be more of them this Christmas than ever before.
“Santa Claus is in high demand this year,” said Holly Valent, registrar for the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School in Michigan.
Some 113 St. Nick wannabes enrolled this year, she said. More than 40 students are already registered for the 2013 classes.
The training helps prepare Santas for an evolving Christmas industry.
Though “99% of the mall business is still Santa in a chair posing for pictures,” more Father Christmases are being dispatched to tree lightings, charity events and other venues, said Kringle Group president and Santa...