Want the ultimate holiday host? Hire Santa!
2009-12-02 · By Barbara Holbrook
No matter how old we get, we still smile at the sight of Santa Claus. Easy to laugh and quick to pass out a candy cane, he’s the ultimate holiday host. If you want to add some Christmas pizazz to your party, then hire Santa! It’s a sure way to get on everyone’s “nice list.”
Of course, most of us have not had the opportunity to hire a Santa. If you’re not sure where to start, then pour a glass of egg nog and check out our handy Santa check list.
Here are the most important questions to ask when before you hire Santa.
Hire a well-dressed Santa.
First impressions are everything. When Santa enters the room, the first thing guests will notice is his suit. Is it velvet, plush, velour? How about the trim? Is it traditional? Does he have real boots or covers? What about his hair and beard? There are many different types of suits, perhaps your Santa has options — Traditional or Beach Santa, Father Christmas, etc. Ask to see photos so you know what to expect.
Does he know how to Ho Ho Ho?
After the suit, the most important aspect of a good Santa is the laugh. If you plan to hire Santa, it’s OK to ask him to give you a little Ho-ho-ho demo. Listen for a good belly laugh and look to see if he really “shakes like a bowl full of jelly.” Even if his padding isn’t real, you’ll recognize Santa by the twinkle in his eyes.
Is his Santa backstory up to snuff?
Ask a few “Santa questions” and test his answers — how many reindeer does he have, has he ever gotten stuck in a chimney? Kids will ask these questions, so before you hire Santa make sure he’s prepared.
Will your Santa hand out presents?
Hopefully Santa will be willing to hand out gifts to your guests — after all that’s what he does! Some Santas charge an additional fee and most will require you to provide the gifts, trinkets or candy. If you’re going to have him pass out presents, consider making arrangements to give him the gifts a day early so that he can arrive with a full bag.
Does Santa have any “special” skills?
Some Santas will sing carols, dance, or tell jokes and stories. When you hire a Santa consider what your expectations are. Do you want him to roam the room spreading good cheer, or are you looking for an entertainer to perform?
What about Photos with Santa?
Most Kris Kringle’s will pose for photos, but for a little something extra find out if Santa has an elf to take professional photos with your guests. If you plan on allowing party-goers to take pictures with the Jolly ol’ Elf, find out if he can provide a photographer and backdrop. Also, does he charge per photo or per hour? If shooting digital, ask if you can get a copy of all the photos on a CD at the end of the party.
Hire a Santa that is age-appropriate.
A Santa that specializes mainly in children’s events may not have the right holiday material to please an adult party, and vice versa. You wouldn’t want “Bad Santa” to entertain your toddler. On the other hand a slightly raucous Mr. Claus may be just what you need to liven up a holiday cocktail party. Before you hire a Santa be sure to ask about his experience with children, teens or adults — depending on the type of party you are planning.
Get Santa’s References.
Who else has hired this Santa? Has he performed at the mall, parties, annual festivals or corporate events? Call a few previous clients to find out what happened when they hired Santa for their event. Was he on time? Did he interact with the guests? Would they hire him again?
Hiring Santa for your holiday party is a fun way to inject the Christmas spirit into your event. And, when he arrives make sure to let him know that I’ve been a very good girl this year!