From Jenny M.: "This is me on Santa's lap at age 2. My mother tried to appease my fearful tears with that beautiful plastic poodle. Obviously, I was not a fan."(Photo: Reader submission)
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Things you may not have known about the Santa Claus business:
- Santas avoid each other while on the job. "It's professional courtesy," says Kennison Kyle, a Santa who works out of Memphis, Tenn. Even in their civvies, Santas stand out, he notes. "A lot of guys I know avoid malls and other places where they know Santas are going to be. They don't want to be an unnecessary" distraction.
- What Santas tell children who see a half dozen Santas and ask which is the real one? "Tell them you'll know him when you see him," Kyle says.
- What Santas tell children who ask why the reindeer aren't flying? "Tell them the reindeer can only fly on Christmas when good boys and girls are in bed," Kyle says.
- What to tell a child if no reindeer are around? "Not cold enough yet," Kyle says.
- What Santas do when they get together: "Talk shop," Kyle says. "How to keep up with bookings. How to deal with real shy kids."
- What can Santa deduct from his taxes? "I deduct hair spray, my boots, the fabric for having my suit made, salon charges for getting my hair bleached," Kyle says. He also deducts his millage - provided he can prove they were by a vehicle with wheels.