The Santa Claus School

Jasmyne Singleton, Staff Writer

Santa Claus. The big, jolly guy with a long white beard, and bright rosy cheeks. The man who eats up all your chocolate chip cookies, and all of your milk. We all have seen them. In our houses by “accident”, in the middle of the mall sitting in front of the big decorated tree, in parades, and etc. All of the Santa’s from all around seem to be pro’s. Being jolly good feelings and cheer every time Christmas comes around. But, did you know that, in the Michigan countryside, they made up a school directed towards inspiring Santa’s? Over 100 men have all legally registered in this school while they all sit in a classroom about the listening to the “Art Of Being Santa Claus”. This newly school is to show how every Santa in this area has a different process and different effects to there roles. Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School was one of the few Santa schools in the whole U.S. to be authorized legally, others being International University Of Santa Claus, and the Professional Santa Claus School in Denver.

Howard was based on an actual person who was an actor, and the official lifelong Santa. The Santa school initially started out in 1937 in Albion, New York. He died later in 1966, his students, Mary Ida and Nate Doan, took over the school and then move to Michigan. The school and Mary Ida Doan still holds the record for the perfect attendance. As of now, it will be there 57th year of registration. In the 1970’s, Tom and Holly Valent had came and took over the school once the Dan’s had retired. In 1987, Tom had asked architect Steve Barstow to help build and create the Santa House In Midland. The Santa House, also known as the school’s spiritual home, hold smaller classes for the newcomers and the returning alumni. For three days, you learn how to handle reindeer, dance like elves, learn sign language, apply makeup and how to give a hearty “Ho Ho Ho”. Over 125 Santa’s and even Mrs. Claus are enrolled in this school per year.

Being Santa Claus, is a lot more than one would originally think. You don’t have to just put on a costume, and a fake beard. You can legally be an authorized Santa Claus to do different jobs, other than being a Mall Santa. “Its the Harvard for Santa’s.” One students of the school would call it.