It’s not yet even Thanksgiving as I write this, but in my town, Santa kicked off his world tour this week. He appeared at our local mall with a highly orchestrated gala of marching and dancing as he assumed his appointed spot in the Christmas village where he will spend the next month and a half accepting the good wishes of the local citizenry.
It’s a lot of work for the old gent. But he puts on a good show. My kids were very impressed with the jolly old soul. But, still, I couldn’t help but wonder: what does it take to get Santa to your town before Christmas? My town is nice, but there are lots of nice towns. How does he decide which ones to visit during his crucial pre-holiday time? Santa may be all about the giving, but c’mon, the man’s got reindeer to feed. Surely, he expects a little something for these public appearance. Makes you wonder what’s in his contract.
Wonder no more.
If you’re thinking about booking the big guy for your company Christmas party, here’s some thing’s you’ll need to know. Never mind how the blog got hold of this (it involves compromising photos of Hermie the Elf), but we got a peek at the various clauses (har!) in Santa’s public appearance contract. And, because the blog is about nothing if not public service, wanted to share a few of them here. We would simply post a link to the contract and let you read the whole thing yourself, but when you click on it, the computer turns into one of those old-timey parchment scrolls Santa is fond of. It’s really hard to figure out what to push down to reset it.
So here’s some of the highlights.
The reindeer cost extra. Santa is, of course, paid in cookies, the toppings of which are negotiable. To get some reindeer to show up is a tough one. Ironically, they don’t really like to travel. The cost in carrots (not carats) is pretty steep. Except Blitzen. You can pretty much get him for gas money and cigarettes.
Santa’s “throne”: Every Santa’s village has a throne where St. Nick sits to greet the children. There’s a rider in Santa’s contract that his throne shall also have a minimum of three inches of padding covered in green velvet, scotch-guarded and lint-rolled daily by the pixies that inhabit the spaces between grains of sands on infinite beaches.
Photos: You may, of course, get your kid’s picture taken with Santa. But only if you don’t care about stealing his soul…
No ho-ho-ho’s, dammit: At his tour debut this week, Santa didn’t utter a single “HO HO HO” and now I know why. It’s in his contract. Hugely famous bands don’t trot out their iconic hits for just anybody either. Santa’s gotta save his best stuff for the big dance, by which we mean Christmas Eve.
Elves: A minimum of three elves shall attend to Santa’s needs at every appearance. To avoid fawning fans and/or ridicule, the elves shall always be disguised as bored, part-time, minimum wage employees in silly hats.
Only one wish per kid: He can’t give everything to everybody. C’mon, who do you think this guy is, Santa Claus…
There will be candy in his dressing room. It will only be plain GREEN M&M’s. Any other color in the bowl and he’ll fire your ass. He won’t say “ass” of course, because he’s Santa, but you’ll still be just as fired.
If Mrs. Claus isn’t happy, no one is happy. She wears the oversized, red velvet pants in the family. She calls the shots. Your mall/auditorium/den/parking garage/porta-potty better be up her standards for her husband or there’s hell to pay.
So there you go. Here’s what you’re in for if you want to book St. Nicholas for your holiday bash. You may want to consider Plan B, Holly “Jingle Your Bells” Jolly and her ladies of Christmas Cheer.