Between Black Friday and Christmas Eve, Santa is usually available to greet children at your local shopping mall. During this time, mall Santas can see anywhere from 10,000 – 45,000 children and higher depending on the size of the city.
Here are some behind the scenes facts you might not have known about mall Santas
He probably went to Santa College
If you see Santa at your local mall, there is a high possibility that he went to Santa college run by the Noerr Programs Corporation. They are an events company that trains and distributes Santas to more than 278 major malls and shopping centers across the country.
Always stay in character
The #1 rule is to always stay in character and have a jolly temperament.
They know where the private mall restrooms are
The last thing Santa wants to do is ruin his magical charm by being caught in the public restroom. Santa knows exactly where the private restrooms are at the mall. Some malls have a private dressing room where Santa hangs out when taking a break.
When Santa has to take a break, a sneaky Santa double might fill his place for a bit. Santa has to take a break sometime, right?
If you see Santa at the mall, there is a good chance he will have a bodyguard escorting him around the mall.
Bleaching Santa's beard
Some Santas have natural colors in their beards while others need to bleach them. Mall Santas will start bleaching their beards in October to prepare for the holidays.
Santa pulls in the cash
Mall Santas can earn well into the five-figure range for six weeks of work. Seniority helps determine how big of a paycheck Santa will receive.
A round belly isn't required
Santa does need a real round belly to get the job. Extra padding can be added to enhance their existing belly. A bit of rosy makeup on his cheeks helps round out the look.
They avoid messy foods
The last thing Santa needs is a messy beard that is stained with ketchup or mustard. Most, try to avoid messy foods that can stain their beards. A stash of breath mints is usually on hand as well to keep Santa's breath nice and fresh. Peppermint scented beard oil might be used as well to add an extra level of immersion.
They have to study
Santa obviously needs to know the names of his reindeer and other details about where he lives. Some Santas watch all of the new Christmas movies and TV shows that come out so they aren't caught off guard when someone asks about them. If Santa is in the movie, he should know all of the scenes he was in. Santa should also know all of the latest toys that are coming out for the season. What good is Santa if he can't talk about the toys he makes?
Code Word "Mrs. Claus"
Nothing can prepare Santa for all of the questions he will be asked during the Christmas season. When he does encounter a question that he doesn't know the answer to or just doesn't want to answer, he will say "I'll have to ask Mrs. Claus about that."
Santa never promises
Mall Santas won't promise a child will get what they are asking for Christmas. He doesn't want to put anyone in a situation where they won't be able to deliver.
Santas don't like crying baby photos
Santa would rather have parents stand off to the side to have their crying child get used to Santa instead of throwing them on his lap instantly. Please don't throw your kids to Santa, make sure he has a hold of them before letting go. Some mall Santas say the parents are the worst part of their holiday time as Santa.
Not all mall Santas are able to nail the famous ho-ho-ho laugh.
Just in case a child was to fall off Santa's lap or worse, most carry liability insurance to cover any damages.