Hold on now… Father Christmas is real, but in the event that you want to hire someone to help out the “real” Father Christmas then keep reading….
It is that time of year already and if you are a retailer or store owner and you have not started scouting your perfect Father Christmas then you better get cracking. Father Christmas and clowns have a lot in common so let me outline the things you need to look for when hiring this special character.
Is he old and wise?
There is no doubt in my mind that the Father Christmas image is an old wise man. Rightly so… it is always better to get a Father Christmas that is older, younger versions just don’t look right. The perfect part for a Father Christmas is usually a retired pensioner or grandpa.
If he is professional then the beard is real, there is a good chance that the child is going to investigate the bushy beard and maybe give it a tug, a real beard eliminates any questions.
A natural belly is preferred but stuffing is allowed if done well. If you need to stuff make sure that their are no strange lumps where they are not meant to be.
The Christmas suite can be in original green or Coca-Cola red but either way it should be clean and made to fit. Professionals always have their costumes custom made and we don’t want them walking around as if they are hired garb. Even the sack needs to be made from exceptional fabrics. A belt with a nice silver or gold buckle needs to stand out.
Gentle… the type of person you feel comfortable around before he even opens his mouth. All Father Christmas figures should love kids and be able to communicate with them. There is no use in having the perfect looking “Santa”… he needs to play the part and engage with the kids. It is also advised that he know how to react to screaming kids or children that are slightly restless. Just remember, the image of Father Christmas and the personality that the kid picks up on is going to effect the way they perceive the jolly old man later in life.
Every Father Christmas comes with a troop of little helpers, there is no reason why they should not be as professional as the big man. Father Christmas must meet his helpers before the event and create a hierarchy amongst them with himself as the leader. You need to make sure the big guy is in charge and make sure that the helpers know this. It is also up to the helpers to make sure that Father Christmas is well hydrated and keeps cool. The helpers may also need to act as security guards when the big guy needs to take a break, keeping back the kids who may want to follow Father Christmas any where he goes. It is also up to the helpers to keep control of the kids (and parents) and make sure that Father Christmas is always comfortable.
In sight means in character
At no point what-so-ever is the Father Christmas to fall out of character. There is nothing worse that a Father Christmas changing his voice of his character just because he is off stage. As long as he is in your venue he needs to stay in character AT ALL TIMES. At no point is he allowed to smoke of drink (Alcohol) while at your venue (not even in a room far away). Make sure you mention this before hiring.
I hope this gives you an insight into a fantastic event that memories are created from.