How Do You Become Santa Claus | NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

Edited by Chelsea Jackson for Director Allison Otto and National Geographic

3 minutes | 2017

Since the 1930s, aspiring Santas have been gathering in Midland, Michigan for the annual Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School, a three-day course for Kris Kringle newbies and veterans alike. While there they learn everything from holiday jingles, beard grooming, and belly laughs to negotiating contracts and working with small children. The student St. Nicks interact with live reindeer, get fashion tips, and take a trip to nearby Frankenmuth, home of the self-styled “largest Christmas store in the world.” The school is run by 66-year-old dean Tom Valent and his aptly named wife Holly.