Key Questions to Improve Your Santa Season

What, if anything, would make this your best Christmas season ever?

What special thing or things would you like to do this season as Santa?

These are what I call my ‘Key Questions’…

I don’t use them to establish goals as much as to gain clarity about what is important to me about what I’m doing… that clarity seems to shift my focus.

In 2004, my second season portraying Santa, (I was a volunteer Santa from 2003- 2010 in Ashland, Jacksonville, Medford & Grants Pass, Oregon) I wanted to be in the local parades and do the countdowns at

Santa Ed Ashland, Oregon Parade & Grand Illumination

local Tree Lighting Ceremonies. At the time the Santas doing these things were typically reluctant volunteers wearing very inexpensive costume shop Santa suits that came with a wig & beard.

Every year from 2005 through 2010 I wanted to create bigger events and add more fun activities for the communities I served. In addition to the parades & Tree Lighting ceremonies, I spearheaded efforts to provide free photos with Santa. These events were run by volunteers and local business sponsors covered the hard costs.

So when I ask those questions to myself during those early years my answers usually had to do with more people, more activities (in addition to free pictures with Santa we had carolers, roasted chestnuts, horse-drawn wagon rides, hot cider, etc).

As the years passed everything grew… and the communities of Jacksonville & Ashland, Oregon loved our Christmases… and they still do (although I haven’t been there since 2010).

After the 2010 season, I decided I wanted to try my hand at being a “paid Santa”. So the answers to my key questions shifted. I still wanted to do some volunteer work for sure, but I also wanted some paid work.

By that time I had discovered a couple of Santa Groups and subscribed to their email lists (this is just about the time I was getting on to Facebook). As luck would have it, Santa Tim Conahan sent out an announcement about being a Santa at the photo studios at Walmart & Sears… and they were looking for a Santa in my area, Medford, Oregon. I applied for, I landed the jobs. I was probably the only local guy to apply.

Tim also posted about jobs in several locations working for Microsoft. I applied for a position in Los Angeles, and after a couple of Skype interviews, they hired me.

Just to take a moment to connect the dots… the answers to my Key Questions had to do with earning an income portraying Santa and 3 paying jobs came along, so far, more came along as the season progressed, but my point is, the questions helped me gain some clarity about what I wanted to do… the “stuff”, in this case, the paid work, followed.

So after 2011, I decided I liked being a paid Santa and I wanted to do more of it, but I didn’t want to work in a mall… what else is there?

Back to my ‘Key Questions’…

What, if anything, would make this my best Christmas season ever?

What special thing or things would I like to do this season as Santa?

The answers had to do with earning more money & doing more volunteer work (2011, my 1st year in LA was the only year since 2003 that I did no volunteer work as Santa).

I’ll spare you the year to year from 2012 to the present… but appearing in major parades & Tree Lighting Ceremonies, fabulous Home & Company parties, Entertainment Industry events, TV shows, movies &

Santa Ed Santa Monica Parade & Tree Lighting

commercials, doing “Santa Magic” photos, making appearances at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and doing a lot of wonderful work for not-for-profits, ALL of this, 100%, is the result of me asking myself my Key Questions… and without really establishing them as ‘goals’, but just allowing myself to be guided by the clarity of my intentions.

So, we’ll end where we started…

What, if anything, would make this your best Christmas season ever?

What special thing or things would you like to do this season as Santa?


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