It’s Santa season! This year, invite the magic of the North Pole into your home. Emilia Casserly, owner of Rent-A-Santa Claus in San Francisco/Bay Area has coordinated professional Santas for over 16 years of events, parties, and corporate functions.
Read on for her tips to hosting the best ever holiday Santa party.
What are your best tips for hiring St. Nick?
Casserly started her company after she realized how hard it was as a parent to find a great Santa Claus. Her top tip to other parents is confirm that Santa has fingerprints and is willing to share them. She recommends always asking for (and calling) references. Also helpful is if they entertainers’ insurance, which can protect Santas in an accident on the job. But most of all Casserly stresses the importance of verifying any criminal record via fingerprints.
How far out does Santa book?
Don’t be alarmed, but Casserly says that repeat customers often book as early as August or September. That’s not to say you can’t find a suitable St. Nick in mid-November, but a great reputation means a busy schedule. If you have your heart set on a specific person and date, the sooner you book, the better.
How many kids can Santa handle?
Casserly says this really depends on the type of function you are hosting. For large events or corporate parties, Santa can accommodate up to 50 kids each hour. However, if you’re hosting a house party, allot approximately 4 minutes per child with Santa. This allows for the fun chit-chat with Santa that little kids love. It also means photo op time for adoring parents.
What’s the best way to prep for Santa?
Don’t ever put Santa by a lit fireplace! In concept it’s beautiful, but in execution the poor man will overheat from his massive suit. Casserly recommends having your phone on when expecting Santa. He will call when he arrives outside and be awaiting last minute instructions, so be ready. Have a decorated area prepared where Santa will sit, or rent a Santa throne for extra magic.
When should you also hire elves and Mrs. Claus?
The North Pole gang is best at large corporate parties. In a home, it’s better to stick to a solo Santa. If it’s a large house party, Casserly recommends opting for a package—such as her company provides—where a face painter or balloon entertainer accompanies Santa. This keeps kids engaged but doesn’t overwhelm the space in the house. Companies such as hers also provide photography packages, if you want to be sure to perfectly capture the evening.
What exactly does Santa do?
For one, Santa can bring gifts! Parents leave wrapped, tagged gifts outside in a discreet bag. When Santa arrives, he transfers them to his sack and then enters with a “Ho Ho Ho and Merry Christmas!” Casserly says that her Santas are available to sing carols with the kids, sit for photos and talk with the kids, and read stories like The Night Before Christmas. She suggests waiting to open and distribute the magic bag of gifts until the end of the night—to keep kids focused on the activities.
Start a new tradition this year by hosting a Santa party. It makes magical memories, delights the little ones, and brings out the kid in everyone during the holiday season.
Here’s how to find a Santa in your area.