Santa is ballin’

by Rich DeMatteo on December 3, 2009 · 11 comments

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Santas

Grubbing on some beef stew last night for dinner, I reached over and grabbed the ‘Jobs’ section from the local paper.  Each week they cover an ‘out of the box job’.  In this weeks edition, the job in discussion is Santa Clause, and just how jolly the seasonal job can be.   Stuffing my face and smiling, I continued reading as my mood started to cheer up, rosy cheeks and all.

Everyone knows that thousands of men are hired each year to play Santa Clause in hospitals, malls, department stores, banquets, or wherever.  What might come as a shock is that some Santa’s are making $175 per hour.  A real beard plus a stout figure equals a higher wage for Mr. Clause.  Also determining rate is location, the group hiring Santa, and of course how many years he’s spent in the North Pole.  Putting the paper down for a second I thought that maybe adding on another 20 pounds of winter fat wouldn’t hurt, and let’s be honest – shaving is over rated. 

There has to be a con to this kick ass seasonal job, right?  Well, besides long hours in an awesome costume all day I really couldn’t come up with too many downers for this gig.  Santa is more famous than Oprah, we are talking world-wide fame.  Children and adults greet Santa with smiles, hugs, and cookies.  How are the customer service associates at Best Buy greeted?  If you need further convincing, just talk to Tim Allen.  The man loved becoming Santa so much that he did it two more times.  

That’s not all.  The group of Santa actors that feature real beards meet annually to celebrate their stories and network with each other.  These top notch Santa’s are part of a group called The Amalgamated Order of Real Bearded Santa’s.  Don’t believe me?  I googled it…

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10 comments
Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Hi Claire - thanks for the comment! It surely is a gold mine and something that I will think about as I get older. Even if the opportunity is $80 per hour, you can be looking at somewhere around $17,000 for the seasonal work. Amazing!

Claire Roth
Claire Roth

Rich, To put it in perspective, Santas working from Thanksgiving til Christmas make about $35,000 if the $175.hour is accurate. This truly is a gold mine and a niche opportunity for those willing and able to fit in to the physical requirements. HO,HO, HO! Claire

Jenny
Jenny

Just when I thought I had matched personality with career.. you throw this at me. Now I need to put on 170 pounds and grow a beard. A white one at that. Love this. "If you need further convincing, just talk to Tim Allen. The man loved becoming Santa so much that he did it two more times. " Bahhaha.

Laura Kimball
Laura Kimball

I think there's more to this story. What else can we learn from Santa (the seasonal ones, not the 'real' one)? Obviously networking for starters...

Lindsey
Lindsey

Must be a nice life :)

Lindsey
Lindsey

But what do they do during the off season?

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Jenny - come up to Philly and I'll feed you some cheese steaks, that should help add on the lb's. We can work on the white beard, maybe we can put you on some heavy steroids, which may help that beard grow quicker.

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Laura - surely, I think the networking part is huge. It's pretty cool what they do. Santa's (with beards) from all over the world meet up annually. Think about how much fun that is. Professionals should look for ways to have fun like that as well. Also, I think older Baby Boomers should look in the mirror and check the size of their gut and the hair on their face to see if this is something they should sign up for. I love kids and people, so if I was older I think its something I'd be all about! Season Santa's can also teach the value of good customer service. The great ones probably make the most money, look the most like Santa, and work at the most prestigious malls. For a job like that, customer service needs to be a premium. Crying kids, picky parents, and a hot hot suit could make anyone cranky, but its their job to be Santa. Only smiles allowed!

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Sure is. Sign me up when I have that belly and facial hair!