Santa’s Helpers: A Look at the Fraternal Order of Real Bearded Santas

  • Time to read: 6 min.
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There’s a mystique around Santa Claus that captivates us, whether we’re young or simply young at heart. But amidst a sea of holiday impersonators, there exists an elite brotherhood—a group of men for whom the persona of Santa isn’t a mere once-a-year role but a year-long commitment.

These men don’t just wear the red suit; they live and breathe the spirit of Saint Nick every day. And oh, those beards? They’re as real as the twinkle in their eyes. Dive with us into the enchanting world of the Fraternal Order of Real Bearded Santas, where the lines between legend and reality charmingly blur.

The Legendary Tale of Real Beards and Red Suits

Long before the malls were flooded with Santas during the holiday season, a chance meeting set the stage for what would become a legendary brotherhood. The year was 1994, in the sunny landscape of Southern California. A group of bearded men, each proudly sporting their own naturally white, fluffy facial hair, found themselves coming together for a commercial advertisement.

What might have been just another job for them transformed into a lasting bond of camaraderie. Over lunches and casual meets, these Santas shared stories, exchanged tips, and basked in the joy of portraying the world’s most beloved holiday figure.

What began as a simple gathering soon birthed an idea—a fraternity dedicated to upholding the genuine spirit and authenticity of Santa Claus. It wasn’t just about the beard, although that was a key symbol of their dedication. It was about the essence of Saint Nick—the warmth, the joy, and the unbridled magic that could make a child’s eyes light up in wonder.

As the years passed, word of this unique society spread. Santa impersonators from across the country reached out, eager to be a part of this extraordinary fraternity. It wasn’t long before the Fraternal Order of Real Bearded Santas expanded from a cozy group in California to a sprawling network of jolly old elves dedicated to preserving the magic of Christmas.

To be a part of the fraternal order of real bearded Santas was to commit to more than just a role. It was a pledge to a lifestyle, an oath to carry forward the centuries-old legend of Kris Kringle with grace, authenticity, and a pinch of holiday sparkle.

The Magic of Being a Genuine St. Nick: Embracing the Brotherhood

At a casual glance, one might assume that the Fraternal Order of Real Bearded Santas is all about keeping up appearances, but the reality is so much richer. Being a part of this brotherhood is a voyage into a world of age-old traditions, heartwarming encounters, and unforgettable memories.

  1. Santa Schools and Workshops: Imagine attending workshops where seasoned Santas share the tricks of the trade. From perfecting that heartwarming “Ho, Ho, Ho” that resonates with pure joy, to learning the art of listening — truly listening — to a child’s whispered wishes. These schools aren’t just about refining a role; they’re about embracing a legacy.
  2. A Close-knit Community: One of the most cherished aspects of the Order is the sense of brotherhood. In a world that often rushes past the magic of Christmas, these Santas come together to share, support, and celebrate. They exchange stories from their visits, compare notes on the best type of cookies left by the fireplace, and even share tips on beard maintenance.
  3. The Santa Gatherings: These aren’t just any meet-ups. Picture a hall filled with Santas, each with their own style of suit, but all radiating the same festive spirit. It’s a sea of red and white, punctuated by hearty laughter and melodious carol singing. The gatherings are a spectacle to behold — a blend of business and celebration.
  4. The Unspoken Bond: While the gatherings and schools play a crucial part in the life of a member, the unspoken bond between the Santas is truly the heart of the Order. There’s a mutual respect, an understanding that each of them holds the power to make the holiday season magical for countless souls. This mutual admiration forms the bedrock of their fraternity.
  5. Year-long Yuletide Spirit: While the rest of the world earmarks December for festivities, for these Santas, the Yuletide spirit is a year-long affair. The anticipation of the next holiday season begins as soon as the last one ends. And why wouldn’t it? When you’re a part of something so special, every day is a step closer to the most wonderful time of the year.

In essence, being a Real Bearded Santa is a delightful blend of responsibility, community, and pure, unadulterated joy. It’s a call to embody the spirit of the season, not just in December, but every single day.

Embarking on the Santa Voyage: A Deep Dive into Becoming a Real Bearded Santa

Joining the ranks of the Fraternal Order of Real Bearded Santas is a transformative journey, one that requires dedication, passion, and a touch of magic. Let’s break down this adventure:

1. The Art of Crafting the Perfect Beard:

  • Growth: This isn’t about merely letting your facial hair run wild. It’s a careful cultivation of silvery-white strands that can take years. Embrace the patience; the journey is as important as the destination.
  • Maintenance: Invest in quality beard products. Regular oiling, washing, and gentle combing keep it soft, lustrous, and free from tangles.
  • Training: Believe it or not, beard training is a thing. Ensuring it grows in the desired shape and thickness is a craft in itself.

2. Diving into the Santa Archives:

  • Digital Exploration: The fraternity’s website is a trove of information. From the history of the Order to testimonials from seasoned members, it offers a glimpse into the Santa world.
  • Literature: Dive into books, articles, and even documentaries about Santa Claus. Understanding his origins and evolution over the years will give you a richer perspective.

3. Engaging with the Santa Community:

  • Event Participation: More than just attendance, immerse yourself. Engage with members, ask questions, share your experiences, and let their stories inspire you.
  • Networking: Building relationships with veteran Santas can be immensely beneficial. Their guidance and mentorship can be invaluable on your journey.

4. The Education of Santa:

  • Workshops: Regularly held by the Order, these aren’t just about the “Ho, Ho, Ho.” They delve deep into the psychology of children, cultural sensitivities, and even managing challenging situations.
  • Self-learning: Keep updated with global Christmas traditions, modern children’s desires, and even the latest toy trends. Remember, kids will quiz you!

5. The Official Induction:

  • Application: This is more than just filling out a form. Reflect on your motivation, your vision, and what you bring to the Santa table. Authenticity is key.
  • Interview Process: Be prepared to share stories, discuss hypothetical situations, and demonstrate your commitment to the Santa ethos.

6. Living the Life of Santa:

  • Year-Round Dedication: Santa is not a seasonal role. Every interaction, even outside the festive period, reflects on the brotherhood. Carry the spirit of kindness and joy wherever you go.
  • Continuous Evolution: The world changes, and so should Santa. Embrace feedback, evolve with the times, and always strive to be the best Santa you can be.

Stepping into the shoes (or should we say boots?) of Santa Claus is a path filled with wonder, challenges, and immeasurable rewards. Are you ready to answer the call of the North Pole?

In Conclusion: The Magic Behind the Red Suit

Being Santa is not just a role; it’s a vocation. From cultivating the iconic beard to mastering the myriad nuances of Yuletide cheer, the journey to become a Real Bearded Santa is filled with dedication, love, and a sprinkle of magic. By joining the ranks of this esteemed Order, you aren’t just wearing a suit; you’re embracing a legacy that has been the cornerstone of countless childhood dreams.

FAQ – Fraternal Order of Real Bearded Santas

Do I need to have a naturally white beard to join the Order?

Not necessarily! While the natural snowy-white beard is iconic, the Order acknowledges that every Santa’s journey is unique. What’s essential is authenticity and a genuine commitment to the spirit of Santa.

Can I join if I don’t live in the U.S.?

The Fraternal Order of Real Bearded Santas has its roots in the U.S., but the spirit of Santa is global. While the main events and gatherings are based stateside, the Order welcomes Santas from all corners of the world.

Is there an age requirement to join?

While there isn’t a strict age requirement, becoming a member of the Order is about embodying the age-old spirit of Santa. Generally, the authentic look and feel come with age and life experience.

What if my beard isn’t thick enough?

Every beard is unique, just like every Santa. The emphasis is on authenticity. With proper care and maintenance, most beards can achieve the desired look with time. Remember that there are lots of different types of beard and mustache styles.