Posted: Sep 2, 2011 5:39 PM by Andy Koen
Updated: Sep 2, 2011 8:36 PM
You'd better watch out, you'd better not cry. Santa Claus is in town, that's why. The Naturally Santa Inc. Fall Conference is taking place this weekend the Franciscan Retreat Center at the Mount St. Francis campus.
"The guys that are in this agency, in this group are here because they want to express what Santa and Christmas is all about," one Santa said.
Being a member of this group takes committment. They only hire Santa's who are devoted to their work. They must have a natural beard and naturally white or grey hair. There's no smoking, cursing or womanizing either.
The reward for that committment is a stellar reputation. "The malls know this company and so do the photo companies," another Santa explained to me. "If we had more Santa's we could place all of them."
These Santa's will be heading to their respective malls across the country in about two months. The fall conference is their starting point to holiday season.
"This is really when we kick off, really beginning to get our minds in motion to get them in that place it has to be for doing the work."
Veteran Santa's help coach the newer ones on how to handle common problems such as shy children or pushy mall managers.
"For the most part it's common sense but a lot of times common sense doesn't enter into the situation."
The retreat isn't all work. The Santa's also have a little fun with a pajama party, karaoke and a horseshoe tournament.