Christmas is an arduous time for Santa Claus, the traditional giver of presents on December 25 in millions of homes across the world.
SV One of the Santas having his hair and beard arranged.
SV PAN & GVs Santas receiving Santa Claus tuition at seminar for Santa in Chicago hotel. (12 SHOTS)
SV PAN Santas at graduation ceremony. (3 SHOTS)
SV Fred 'Santa' Nibel speaking about being Santa Claus. (SOT)
SV Santas congratulating each other during ceremony.
SV Santas at breakfast.
SV Santa Jim, with real beard, speaking about being Santa Claus. (SOT)
TRANSCRIPT: REPORTER: (SEQ 4) "Do you believe in Santa Claus?"
FRED 'SANTA' NIBEL: "If I didn't believe in him, I wouldn't be here..."
REPORTER: (SEQ 7) "One last thing, do you believe in Santa Claus?"
'SANTA ' JIM: "I definitely do, after all would I not believe in myself?"
NOTE TO EDITORS: THIS STORY HAS COMMENTARY BY NBC REPORTER BARRIE BERNSON, WHICH MAY BE USED IF REQUIRED.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Christmas is an arduous time for Santa Claus, the traditional giver of presents on December 25 in millions of homes across the world. Santa Claus also has a busy time in the early part of the month, dispensing gifts in the toy departments of thousands of stores. In the United States, his role is taken so seriously that schools have been established to teach budding Santas seasonal skills. Fifty Santa Claus recently graduated from one Chicago, Illinois, academy after tuition in traditional Santa Claus looks, dress, history and mod of speech. Twenty of the class of '83 were new recruits to the job: the others had many years of festive experience in stores across the United States. Eldest of the graduates was 75-year-old Fred Nibel, a retired city policeman who was ready for his 33rd Christmas as Santa Claus. After they had received their diplomas, the Santa Clauses sat down to a hearty breakfast, having removed their beards -all except one graduate called Jim, who claimed he was the real Santa Claus because he had a genuine white beard.