In case your kids, grandkids, or nieces and nephews ask where Santa got his skills, there’s a real answer: Midland, Michigan.
Declared the “Harvard of Santa schools,” by founder Tom Valent, the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School trains full-bearded men in the art of Christmas. Aspiring Santas can learn everything from carpentry and toy trends to Christmas carols, for $415 for a four-day course.
“You must set high standards for yourself, both in terms of appearance and behavior,” Valent tells Quartz during basic training. “It’s about children. They notice everything from hair in your ears, breath and the details of the costume.”