How Santas Are Prepped for the Holidays

November 17, 2017, 5:07 PM UTC

With Thanksgiving being less than a week away, the season of giving has begun. And that includes the most famous holiday giver of all, Santa.

Santa trainees at London’s Santa School received their final instructions yesterday before heading out to department stores, tourist landmarks, and festive parties. Performers dressed like Father Christmas participated in The Ministry of Fun Santa School at the Ragged Museum, London’s only genuine training school for professional Santas and their elf helpers.

It takes more than just putting on a white beard and red coat to play the magical part. The London performers learned concepts essential to being an authentic Santa Claus such as remembering a child’s name and age and remembering the names of all 12 reindeer. The Ministry of Fun isn’t the only Santa School. There is the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School in Michigan, which typically always has a wait list for enrollment, the Professional Santa Claus School in Denver, and the International University of Santa Claus, among others.

As for the price of the costumes, they can go for up to $2,000 if custom designed. One student estimated the cost of a wig, beard, and mustache to be approximately $1,500 with $50 for grooming each week.

Click through the gallery above to see what goes on in London’s Ministry of Fun Santa School.