Santa Jonathan Rich
When I put on the Red Suit, I am Santa. This is the mantra I follow after eighteen years as a member of a concept: a Real Bearded Santa. It all started when my wife, an elementary school teacher, asked me to fill in as Santa at her school in a cheap Santa outfit and white hairspray in my (short) beard. I now have completed my Bachelor and Master's of Santa Claus from the International University of Santa Claus (IUSC) - to go with my BS in Marketing from USC. My beard is now naturally white and much longer, my Santa Suits are tailored for me along with all the necessary accessories (leather boots and belt with brass buckle, always fresh white gloves at the ready, copies of The Night Before Christmas ready to recite).
As a Lifetime Member of FORBS and IBRBSantas I take out Liability Insurance after having a Background Check performed every year to go with my much more stringent RCFE licensing; that Background and Insurance is renewed yearly as a condition of my membership in the major Santa organizations.
Yet, that is not what makes me Santa. I become Santa for the Senior Care Facilities and Dementia Care units that I have so much experience serving (I earned my CA license as RCFE (Residential Care Facility for the Elderly) in 2006. I become Santa for the schools and Special Ed units I have enjoyed serving because of my training as a Medic and Neuropsychiatric Specialist during my military service (Honorable Discharge as a Sergeant First Class, E-7). I become Santa for family pictures (previously at Picture People, Plaza of El Segundo, Malibu Santa at Cross Creek and The Americana at Brand, Glendale) because it is satisfying and fulfilling to do so.
I am Santa because my very being becomes Santa when I put on the Red Suit. I exist to bring happiness to all who wish it. It is just part of who I am. I am Santa Jonathan Rich.