You might not be ready to get in the Christmas spirit just yet, but there’s a group that prepares all year long. It’s hard for Santa to be everywhere at once, but luckily, we have the Michigan Association of Professional Santas to make sure Santa has a successful Christmas season.
“We’re an organization, a social but educational organization. I mean, our whole purpose is, we realize that we’re better together. And I mean, so our whole gig is through fellowship. We’re constantly learning and gleaning from each other. We’re lifelong learners. We realize that we’re never going to stop learning - that if we’re going to create magical environments for children and adults, you know also, that we’ve got to constantly honing those skills, constantly being shared and growing from one another,” said Santa Michael.
Which is why these Santas frequently meet at a Rico’s Pizzeria here in Northern Michigan to collaborate and plan for the season.
“We get together and fellowship in the midst of that fellowship, we’re constantly talking about ‘What are you doing? How are you preparing for your season? What are you getting done?’” Santa Michael said.
And to be one of the Santas helpers, you have to attend Santa School.
“Being a Santa is a huge professional organization. I learned about the Michigan Association of Professional Santas when I went to school the first time. There’s the oldest school in the country in Midland, and it’s the C.W. Howard School and that was where I learned about the Santas. They have different classes. They’ll have exercise classes. They have some dancing classes. They sing songs all day long,” said Santa Greg.
“Santa is not just for December, you know. Santa, literally, we have an opportunity as brothers, as a constant reminder about loving and caring and giving and sharing. You know, I think Santa is an icon to remind us of all the good that we could be and a good up front saying, yeah, I need to do that. I think that we all can be a little bit better. And we all need that reminder especially nowadays,” Santa Michael said.