Santa School circa. 1961

By

20th Dec, 2013

With Christmas being so close you can almost taste the egg nog, I thought I’d better step up my Yuletide game here at MessyNessyChic. So let’s hop on our slay and travel back in time to 1961 Albion, New York and take a tour inside Santa School … (it’s basically better than Lapland).

Established in 1937, the Charles Howard’s Santa Claus School actually still exists today, now operating out of Michigan and proudly claiming the title of the world’s oldest Santa School. Candidates pictured here in 1961 by LIFE photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt have signed up for a 5-day, $75 course in the hopes of receiving a Santa certificate that will enable them to get Yuletide jobs at local department stores.

Above, a Santa Clauses is put through his paces during a practice session with child volunteers (it is unclear whether these children have previously caught their parents putting presents under the tree and are therefore now non-believers, suitable for Santa training).

Demonstrating how to wear the Santa suit. 

Six of the 15 men enrolled in Santa Claus School learning how to render a jolly belly laugh.

Two men in Santa gear learning how to do a spritely soft-shoe dance.

Learning how wear wigs and whiskers.

Founder Charles Howard showing students how much of Santa’s face should show between wig and beard.

This certifies that …. has honorably and diligently completed the course in the study and art of Santa Claus, and is now ready to carry on as a Helper of Santa Claus.

As holder of this diploma, I fully realize the responsibility and privilege that is mine in spreading joy and happiness to the children of this world through their beloved friend and servant, Santa Claus. 

I hereby sincerely and solemnly promise to give my best, my all to carry out the principles Santa Claus stands for. 

All images (c) Life Archives

:::

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:

.

You Might Also Like

Comments

More in Don't Be A TouristLost & FoundNostalgiaOff-Beat & Little Known

Hot Off the Press

Editor's Picks

Processed with VSCOcam with e1 preset

Trespassing Hotel California

We heard a rumour that there was an abandoned 1930s hot springs resort hotel on the road to San Francisco, that may or may not still be there. Of course I had to go see for myself. We pulled up to t...

Trending 6,797
featureLV

Vintage Vegas: Finding the Forgotten Strip

I know you might have heard I was doing a California road trip but our journey actually begins in Las Vegas (Sin City tempted us with cheaper air fare). It's not the most obvious of destination...

Trending 5,220
woodstock1

Into the Woodstock Crowd, 1969

Forty five years ago today, nearly half a million music lovers descended upon a dairy farm in the Catskills for three days of peace, love and rock'n'roll. The year was 1969 and a total of 32 band...

Trending 26,853