Monday, August 8, 2016

A Santa Summer Camp In The Ozarks

Photo Of The Week

Santas Convene: The image of a jolly portly man with a white beard and wearing a red suit is synonymous with the giving of gifts and of the holiday of Christmas. Advertising had a lot to do with the creation of the modern view of Santa Claus, Wikipedia notes: “[The] 1881 illustration by Thomas Nast who, along with Clement Clarke Moore’s poem ‘A Visit from St. Nicholas’ helped to create the modern image of Santa Claus.” Undoubtedly, there is more today to being Santa than having a genuine white beard, putting on a red suit, and having a hearty laugh, although these are indeed minimum requirements; it is also about learning from your peers on how to become a better Santa, in what has become a big business in Canada and the U.S., Mary Meehan for National Geographic writes (“Christmas in July—Inside a Santa Summer Camp;” July 26, 2016): “The average age of a Mr. Claus at Discover Santa 2016 is 62.5. Billed as the World’s Largest Santa Convention, the five-day celebration and trade show has drawn 750 Santa Claus impersonators from all over the United States to Branson, Missouri, a town in the Ozark Mountains that’s essentially like Las Vegas but with country music in place of gambling. Here, between the stifling humidity of southern Missouri and the air-conditioning of hotels, the Santas meet with vendors to talk about makeup, beard care, marketing, websites, and North Pole workshop sets—anything that can make them the best Santas possible. Because the life of a professional Santa isn’t easy … and it doesn’t come cheap.” For more, go to [NatGeo]
Photo Credit: Dina Litovsky