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 AbandonedDon't Be A TouristNostalgiaOff-Beat & Little Known

Hot Off the Press

Editor's Picks

salemwitchmuseum

Welcome to Halloweentown, USA

“I think I saw the Head Witch of Salem in Trader Joe’s today,” I remember my mother saying. “She was wearing a pointy hat and cape in front of me at the checkout.” Welcome to Salem, Mas...

Trending 635
parisianbohemian

The Secret Bohemian Dinner Party in Paris

Behind the ominous door at number 8 Rue de Conservatoire, a secret bohemian dinner party awaits... Up the theatrical marble staircase, knock at the door on the first floor to find your eveni...

Trending 5,424
delaney

The Miniature Library of Forgotten Curiosities

If you can't have your own velvet-curtained library complete with dusty volumes, mysterious documents and antique treasures, how about a miniature one? On my internet travels today, I stumbled upo...

Trending 3,240
catacombs25

Penetrating the Paris Catacombs: Level One

We were told to dress in inconspicuous clothing, wear sturdy boots and gloves, bring food supplies, an ID in case of arrest and a rosary in case of the unimaginable. We met our host to the underworl...

Trending 13,097
dopples

13 Things I Found on the Internet Today (Vol.XCVII)

1. A Biblical Theme Park in Florida Photographer Daniel Cronin to the ancient and sacred land of Orlando, Florida to visit The Holy Land Experience, a Biblical theme park owned and operated by the...

Trending 21,063
connecticut

For Sale! The Ghost Town that Nobody Wanted

Johnsonville, Connecticut may be completely void of (human) inhabitants at present and characterised by those particular houses where one might occasionally see the faint shadows of children in ni...

Trending 161,404