PART 3- Pro Santas using Social Media…(Facebook Personal Page)

PART 3- Pro Santas using Social Media…(Facebook Personal Page)
Continuing Educations and Information 
for serious New and Veteran Professional Santas 
based upon level 1 core curriculum from 
Professional Santa Claus School (PSCS) of Denver Colorado. 
Founded in 1983 
to support great men with great hearts (Real Santas!) in maintaining a great tradition.

Our last 2 posts covered using Facebook... specifically, PART 1 covered Santas setting up a "Fan" page as your business page for your Santa Claus business for your clients and PART 2 covered having a Santa Claus “Friend” page to connect with other Santas and the Santa Industry… 
Now we talk about YOU…. just plain, human, wonderful YOU!

OK… Here is the last page you'll have on Facebook… 

  • Your  "human" page… Joe Smith… 
  • Again, a “FRIEND” page where you’ll connect with anyone OUTSIDE the Santa community- friends, family, business associates, neighbors, classmates, politicians, political parties, busty bikini babes in the spiked heels, and children (who aren't supposed to be on FB!) and teens… basically any other “mortals.” 
  • Your profile photo on this page, is of you, NOT in any sort of Santa hat or dress.  Perhaps fishing or golfing or on your motorcycle. Even you, years ago in your military uniform or your high school or college pics... Anything EXCEPT any form of YOU, related to Santa Claus (aside from here, you may be a guy with a white beard.)
This is where you let the whole world know;
Who YOU think should or should not be President. 
You cheer for your Superbowl and March Madness favorite teams,
You announce your dog has had puppies, 
You complain about your neighbor’s tree growing into your yard, 
You give us your views on gun control, birth control and pest control. 
ANYTHING and EVERYTHING a child would expect Santa to NOT to be involved/comment about.
Your image “as Santa” (and ours!) is not at stake! 
Go ahead! Share an off color joke, swear word or risqué / gruesome  pics. 
Be your “human” self. 

Plain ol' Joe and I don't mean J.O.E. = Jolly Old Elf !

Keeping your Santa and human persona SEPARATE will bring you much dignity and success in your career as a professional or future professional Santa Claus. 

It will also afford you the ability to express your real thoughts, political views and controversial issues, apart from your Santa persona, keeping YOUR Santa persona pristine, not associated with any one thing or ideal that will turn off 50% of your viewers.

One more thing… I am very unclear and somewhat baffled by all the “ELF” profiles that have popped up over the past 18 months on Facebook. Hmmm?

Since most of the “ELF” profile photos and their posts use cartoon profiles, I have a sneaking suspicion that some parents are allowing their children to have FB pages under this "Elf" guise because of their desire to interact with Santas... Do these parents really know how many Santas are on Facebook…   
Elves = Children? Teens? or Adults having fun? I just do not know! Do you?

Hopefully, it is adults, having fun, finding a way to get in on the Christmas scene if they aren't Santas or Mrs. Clauses. Then... That's great!

In "real" life, Santa is associated with the ELVES he hand selects to work with him at the North Pole. Santa KNOWS who he has working with him in that scenario...
BUT...FB does not allow any real discovery process to know if you are “friending”; an adult having fun or a child/teen. The mischievous "Elves" aren't being very savvy about posting accurate elfin information with their cartoon personalities... Use caution!

So, you need to make a rather tricky decision when/if  “friending” these cute "ELVES." Seems like a good idea ... Santa connected to Elves... but since we really don't know... My suggestion is let the Elves have their own little community unless you KNOW the persona behind the cartoon! Better safe than sorry, though! You have to make that decision for yourself on your "Santa" Friend page. On your personal page... Friend away to everyone... Even these mysterious "Elves."

Using these same suggestions (in Parts 1-3) with your Linked In, Twitter, Pinterest and other accounts would be considered prudent, ethical and professional.

Please feel free to leave us YOUR comments, ideas and tips 
for using Social Media tools as Santa Claus! 
We'd love to hear from YOU!

See you at the Santa School Conference this fall!

Susen Mesco
Master Santa Claus Trainer since 1983!
31st Professional Santa Claus School Denver, CO
August 30 – September3, 2013

Pro Santas Addressing Crisis and Tragedies with the Children

Pro Santas Addressing Crisis and Tragedies with the Children

Continuing Educations and Information 
for serious New and Veteran Professional Santas 
based upon level 1 core curriculum from 
Professional Santa Claus School (PSCS) of Denver Colorado. 
Founded in 1983 
to support great men with great hearts (Real Santas!)
 in maintaining our great tradition.
Advice to Santa Claus; Handling Conversations with Children about National Tragedies.

As a Santa Claus Trainer for 31 years, our local (Colorado) Santas have dealt with the shocking 1993 Santa Claus Death Threats and the heartbreaking 1999 Columbine Massacre, as the unexpected boot camp /  training grounds, for teaching our Santas and PSCS Santa students, how to effectively talk with the children about crisis and tragedies. Recently, we've have taken on children's questions about the Aurora Theater Shootings. (Children spend most of their time living in the REAL world... until they get to YOUR LAP!)

As the world changes, Santas nationwide have had to face scattered conversations about horrific events and disasters that grip the nation, such as; 911, Hurricane Katrina, Osama bin Laden, the Joplin, MS Tornado, Sandy Hook and sadly, this week, the Boston Marathon Bombings, and the West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion…

In a child’s eyes, sometimes it seems as if Santa may be the only one who can “fix” these tragic realities of life. Prepare your Santa-self mentally! Honor and accept this grave responsibility. Address the children seriously at the developmental level of each child who brings their concern to Santa. (Santa! Ditch the “faerie dust” approach on these REAL, media-covered, heartbreaking crisis!)

Children are now exposed to a world where world news is instant, repetitive and overly abundant. Children see the news clips over and over like we do. (I agree, it is the parents who need to turn off the TV to avoid the horror and nightmares, but children are still “overexposed” to reality.) Even as adults, with a concrete point of reference, we are afraid, upset, have nightmares and worry. Imagine how scary this is for the children! Their small, safe worlds have just become global and ugly. Embrace the feelings of these little ones!

Questions WILL come up, so Santa needs to be prepared. Telling a child it is “OK” and “they are safe,” is a flagrant illusion on Santa’s part. Children today are much too savvy to buy that “cop out.” Even as adults we are sickened, shocked, afraid and don’t feel we have “the answers” or words to heal. We’d prefer to simply avoid the entire topic but we cannot leave children alone to struggle with their fears, especially IF they elect to bring their concerns to us in the Santa chair!

This situation in the chair will, of course, require that Santa immediately switch gear / mindset, from the typical holiday “candy cane” conversations. And it will mean that this interaction with the child will take a bit longer, effecting the pacing of your line for an extra minute or two. That’s just fine! This child NEEDS Santa now, and photos can just wait!
.Here are some suggestions for Professional Santas 

from Professional Santa Claus School of Denver, CO…

1.  AS SOON AS any crisis happens, expect questions to arise from the children, in your encounters, in the chair or out in public! Seriously think through the many potential questions Santa may receive, as well as Santa’s valid responses for each, and each age group (developmental stage.)

2. Take a big, deep breath. Clear and open your mind as you “switch gears.”

3. Give your prearranged hand signal to your Mrs. Claus, elf and or photographers, that this visit will need some extra time and attention from Santa.

4. LISTEN! Provide a safe and connected environment where the child can express themselves. Allow the child to fully express their thoughts and concerns to Santa, as best they can, at their age level, without interrupting them. LISTEN to what the child is truly saying…Are they afraid this will happen to them? Do they want to take action? Do they feel the loss of a friend who was affected by the tragedy? etc.

5. Briefly and sincerely, AS SANTA, dovetail into the specifics of what the child has told you. “Santa understands / agrees, this is a terrible thing… or Santa wants to stop this too!…” Or “Santa hurts too because Santa has special friends he has also lost in this tragedy,” etc.

6. Confirm to the child that it is OK to feel this way. Santa feels sad, upset, etc., too. Whatever the child is feeling, Santa feels too! (Because it’s true!)

7. Ask if the child has spoken to parents, teachers, friends, classroom or with school counselors about this? Ask what was discussed… Agree or add simple input from Santa’s universal perspective. (Santa may even wish to call the parent/s over after the child has left your lap, to cue the parents to discuss this topic with the child at home at the appropriate time.)

8. ASK… “Is there something you would like Santa to DO?”  See if there is some action, suggested by the child, that Santa can take, to help satisfy the child’s concern. Again, LISTEN! Children often come up with some amazing suggestions!

9. Respond appropriately (not just “I’ll fix it.”) Try something like;“Yes, Santa has his special elves helping bring food and blankets to the people who were in that earthquake, Mrs. Claus is making cookies, pies and cakes for them.” “Santa has his secret service elves looking for the bad guys…” etc.

10. ASK… “Would that be OK?,” to see if Santa’s suggestion/response has helped subside the child’s immediate fears or concerns.

11. Demonstrate that Santa has strength, hope, confidence, (whatever emotion is appropriate) to help calm the child’s fears or anxieties over this situation.

12. Understand that even Santa, cannot remedy world tragedies in a 3 minute encounter but, Santa CAN begin to calm the immediate fears and worries, brought to him by the little ones. That is Santa’s goal.

13. Give the child an age appropriate, positive ACTIVITY to perform, a special request from Santa, such as, “Tonight, instead of watching the news, for Santa, will you make 3 of your special cards or pictures and send them to  ________. Santa just loves the wonderful pictures you color. I like the colors you pick. Your pictures are SO beautiful! You are a very good artist!”

14. If the child still has worries or questions, repeat the process…LISTEN and RESPOND! Repeat until the child appears more calm and relaxed.

15. ALWAYS conclude your interaction on a positive note once you see the child has shown signs that their concerns/fears have subsided. “Santa knows you had something special you wanted for Christmas! Is it still the same present? Or have you decided upon something different?”

16. End each visit with a hug, high 5 or fist bump. AND “Santa loves you!” or “Santa is SO very proud of you!” Or other parting comment you typically use.

17. If required, call parents over to alert them of your Santa conversation with their child, so they may follow up with a more in depth family discussion.

18. IF you believe in a Higher Power, say a prayer, each time that Santa gets dressed, that Santa is filled with His inspirations, to address and respond to the concerns of the children, as each of them needs in your appearances today. Add another prayer that these tragic events stop happening!

Leave us your comments, ideas, suggestions and tips on how YOU, Santa Claus, address these serious concerns of the children ...

See you at the Santa School Conference this fall!

Susen Mesco
Master Santa Claus Trainer since 1983!
31st Professional Santa Claus School Denver, CO
August 30 – September 3, 2013

PART 2 - Professional Santas Using Social Media...

PART 2  Pro Santas using Social Media...Your Santa Claus FRIEND Page on Facebook

Continuing Educations and Information 
for serious New and Veteran Professional Santas 
based upon level 1 core curriculum from 
Professional Santa Claus School (PSCS) of Denver Colorado. 
Founded in 1983 
to support great men with great hearts (Real Santas!) in maintaining a great tradition.

Our last post covered using Facebook... specifically, setting up a "Fan" of business page for your Santa Claus business for your clients... Now I'll cover using your Santa "Friend" page for connecting professionally within our industry.

Today, we'll cover connecting with other Santa Clauses worldwide, 
when you are BEing your Santa Claus persona on your "Friend" page on Facebook...

T.M.I. Too Much Info for Your Clients!
  • All of us Santas know how very much fun it is to be together! 
  • We all like sharing our thoughts, photos, overflow gigs, new finds and information with the entire Santa community, so this page will serve as your Industry Social Santa “FRIEND” page. 
  • Santa Bill Baltimore, where most of your “friends” and connections will be other Santas, Mrs. Clauses and Santa industry supporters. 
  • Your clients do NOT need/want to know/learn about the smoke and mirrors that make you magic! Such as; You are attending a local Santa Claus meeting or national conference, or that you just ordered a new suit, or today you are going to get your beard bleached, how you groom your beard or moustache, that you had a funny request from a child, you are designing a new chair, you saw a cool sleigh, you found an awesome resource for a new Santa accessory, you went to the reindeer park to learn about reindeer… 

  • The Santa Claus community is thrilled with these tidbits, photos and ideas that you'll share! AND wants to hear and share info about BEing Santa Claus. BUT... All of this is WAY T.M.I.  for your clients, but not for other Santas to share. So share away!  
  • If you are planning or hosting a Santa event… you aren’t going to invite your clients! (which could easily happen if you hit a wrong button if you are not familiar enough with the FB platform) Nope… just other Santas!  
  • Your clients only care that you look great, not where you got your boots or bells.
  • In case children do somehow "happen by" your Santa (industry) "Friend" page, you’ll want NOT to  automatically “FRIEND” them, (or anyone else for that matter, BEFORE you check their page before you “accept” their invite. There are some strange, mysterious and odd product marketing "beings" out in the cyber universe!)  
  • Wouldn’t that be hard to explain, why you have 653 other Santa “Friends”…to a child who was poking around for "the answer" to that burning childhood question about Santa, on FB? So please don’t blow your cover, or ours by accidentally "friending" little ones!
  • It's a good rule to NEVER accept a friend invite (unless you know them of course) until you've gone to their page to explore just who you are connecting with! (We never accept an invite from "beings" without a photo, but that's just our personal rule.) But we love making new friends on both our Santa pages (Fan & Friend) and we sincerely hope that the info we share is of benefit to the entire Santa community!
    Mystery "BEing" ?
  • As with your "FAN" page, it's not always about quantity of friends, but the QUALITY of those you choose to associate with! Pick Santas committed to the Santa industry for your "friends" on your Santa Friend page, even if they are new... Let's help our new generation of Santas!
  • This page is your industry insider page of Santa “friend” info. You’ll want to still maintain a very high level of professionalism in your posts and select quality Santa “friends.”   
  • If you feel someone you have selected to be a "friend" is acting inappropriately on FB, you can always block or "unfriend" them. OUCH! 
  • If you are acting with ethics, you won't be unfriended. If you are "unfriended," you'll probably never know why and won't be able to "message" that person to find out "why?". Polish up your act and just move forward.
  • One may (and probably WILL!) raise an eyebrow, when any Santa is connected to / "Friends" such as too many children, teens, gun groups, political associations, numerous MLM companies, or busty pole dancers in bikinis and 6 inch gold pumps! That just is not very Santa-like! 
    Very Nice! But NOT an appropriate Santa "friend."
The “posts” you “share” AS SANTA, should always reflect 
your high ethical level of Santa professionalism. 
You are in your Santa persona when you are on your "Santa Bill Baltimore" (“Friend”) page.
  • Santa lives at the North Pole and is a citizen of the world. He doesn't vote. Santa does not get involved with politics- national or inter-industrial! Santa does not share or originate anything rude, demeaning or off-color, ... you get my point! PART 3 of this blog, coming soon will show you how you can express yourself and still maintain a PRISTINE Santa persona online.
  • Your Santa "friend" page should be happy, positive, fun, supportive, creative and used for quality networking with other Santas.
  • Need more quality Santa friends? Go to and check out our friends. Select some to add to your network. They are all top rate, bonafide, quality folks. Keep reading before you act...
  • A word of caution... sending "friend requests" to too many Santas and Santa supporters in one day or week is considered bad behavior and will get you locked out of FB for a period of time. 
  • Solution... Pick and explore the pages of 5 new Santa industry potential friends a day. On their page is a button to send them a "MESSAGE" before you send them a "friend request." Do it the old fashioned way that you excel at- make a new friend, share a bit of your story- you are new or just getting started, etc and see if they respond in a few days. THEN "friend request" them if they haven't already asked to "friend" you! Cyber etiquette!

Most of all. ALWAYS respect your own Santa Claus reputation, 
as if you were in public, in your full dress reds Santa outfit, 
because YOU ARE, 
when you are connecting AS SANTA, online with real people 
and other Santas in the Santa community worldwide.

Stay tuned for PART 3... we'll discuss humans and elves! 


Please feel free to leave us your comments, ideas and tips 
for using Social Media tools as Santa Claus! 
We'd love to hear from YOU!

See you at the Santa School Conference this fall!

Susen Mesco
Master Santa Claus Trainer since 1983!
31st Professional Santa Claus School Denver, CO
August 30 – September 3, 2013