From Santa Hollywood

Insight into Christmas, the Holidays and the World of Santa Claus

ACCESSORIES FOR SANTA, Adding more Realism to your Presentation

posted by SantaTim On May - 22 - 2011 Comments Off on ACCESSORIES FOR SANTA, Adding more Realism to your Presentation

To the general public all Santas look alike!

Yes, those who take a casual glance at any Santa seem to think, and assume, that we all look alike.   And it is true.  We often do look so much alike.

Red material trimmed with white fur, a matching hat, black boots and accessorized with a black belt, highlighted by a shiny brass buckle.  That is part of the magic of Santa being everywhere, and there being only one Santa!

But, if you’re like many other Santas, you probably like to be seen a little different.  Or at least you want to have something else in your look that sets you apart from the average Santa.  You want your Santa presentation to have a little flare or realism. 

Let’s face it we are all different.  And part of  our human personality is that every he or she likes to look a little different.  So it goes that we want to stand out from other Santas. 

To start with, we usually buy a quality suit or have a custom suit made.  Just this step makes a lot of difference from just renting a suit.  There is a saying, “A good suit, Makes the Man.”  We can say, ‘A good suit, Makes the Santa!”

Once we have the suit, many of us look at making little changes or adding little extras to our suits to personalize them.  These little additions, however, are not just to get fancy or be like a peacock amongst other birds.  These additions help to add to the realism of your Santa Suit and show that you are the ‘real’ Santa.

NOTE:  I say ‘Suit,’ not costume.  A costume is what someone’s daddy or uncle rents to pretend to be Santa.   What you wear is your ‘Business Suit.’  It should look real and feel real.

The more realistic your suit is, the more realistic your appearance as Santa becomes.   Realism is that element reinforcing a child’s belief that you are “The Real Santa!”

There are quite a few ways to add realism to your Santa Suit.

The first elements to adding realism to a Santa Suit are having a real leather belt with brass buckle and real leather boots.  (Yes, I do offer these at, but you can shop around. there are many other good companies also offering belts and boots.)  Adding these two items will cost you between $100 and $200 each for basic quality items.  Of Course custom made boots and belts with special buckles do cost more.

Hand tooled belts with designs of holly or sleigh and reindeer will run upwards of $300 – $400.  Custom Boots will usually run $350 to $500 with zippers on the side and some boot makers can also handle special orthopedic requirements.

Capri Boots, the custom company I represents not only makes shoes and  boots for Disney and many theatrical and Broadway projects, they also make each boot and shoe from scratch.  They have even made a pair of boots for one of our veteran Santa’s with a prosthetic leg and you could not tell which boot was which!

Some Santas buy one new accessory a year, others can afford to more.

From there you can begin customizing your Suit and adding your personal touches to the Santa you want to be.  You can add a little sprig of holly to your hat.  Maybe you have found a little reindeer or Christmas tree pin you can pin on your coat. 

Sometimes adding a few little bells to you cuffs, hat or boots is a nice accessory.  And bells add sound and movement to your presentations.   By the way, if you often need to be silent when appearing or trying to sneak into an event, I suggest you not attach any bells to your suit, hat or boots.  When moving you cannot keep these bells quiet.

However, by holding the bells in your hand or attaching them to a walking stick or something that you can carry, you will keep the bells silent when walking or slipping into a home or event.  Being silent is also great when you need to walk down a hall in a school and surprise a class of children.  At a teacher’s store, I found a great set of nice sounding bells, attached to a red canvas strap with Velcro ends that wraps around your wrist.   I also carry these at

Do you have a Santa Watch or Santa Key/s?  Department 56 made a lovely pocket watch a few years back with Santa’s face on the outside of the cover and December 25 printed on the inside of the Cover.  The face of the watch says, “Christmas Time.”  I found my watch on eBay.

Santa keys are quite easy to find.  This is the special key that allows Santa to enter any home that does not have a chimney.  Kids will never have to worry that you will pass them by because they didn’t have a chimney.  Hallmark has made a few nice solid brass keys over the years.  Longaberger also makes a limited edition pewter key every year.  You can usually find these on E-bay.

I have also found some unique small keys at Michael’s and other art stores in their ‘scrapbook’ departments.  these keys each had a word printed on the key: Love, Hope, Memories, Friendship, etc.  Add a key chain, clip it to you belt or vest and the key or watch (or both) become a great accessory.  Go on Ebay and type in the words ‘Santa Key.’

Another simple accessory is the custom driver’s license.  This item is good year round.  When ever a child comes up to you in curiosity, you open your wallet and there is your “Santa” driver’s license, with you photo.  The child sees the card and returns to his parents proclaiming, “He is the real Santa!  I saw his driver’s license.”  A couple of our fellow Santas make these cards. 

NOTE:  Try not to give any business cards to children, unless you want them and all of their friends calling you!   I suggest trading cards for the kids with your photo, maybe a web site link and on the back, tips on how to be good.

Two Santa’s I know make custom belts and buckles.  Another Santa’s wife makes custom vests.  Still another carves walking sticks.  I also make special gloves with red LED’s in the finger tip.   A couple Santas also make great toy bags.

Some Santa’s have dollar bills printed with their photo on them.  You can also buy One Million Dollar Bills on the web, with the Thomas Nast Santa on the front and other Thomas Nast drawings on the back.

I have found, and you will also find, that these little changes can make all the difference in your presentation as Santa.  You will also learn that your realism can be the key element in reinforcing a child’s belief and eliminating doubt about Santa’s existence. 

It is a wonderful feeling when a parent stops to tell you that their second or third grader had been told Santa did not exist.  And after meeting you their child now knows their friends were wrong.  You are “The Real Santa!”

© Copyright 2011, Timothy Connaghan,

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