Chris and Wina Reid, also known as Mr. and Mrs. Claus, are back home from the Charles W. Howard Santa School in Midland, Michigan.
The classes ran Sept. 29 and 30 and Oct. 1.
“There were Santas from everywhere. There was one from England and there was one from Jerusalem. He (the Santa from Jerusalem) has 20,000 kids a year come to his house,” said Wina.
There were around 300 Santas from all across the world in attendance, which gave the Reids’ an opportunity to ask questions and learn some different tips or tricks they may have to prepare for the upcoming holiday season.
“First they went through the history of Saint Nicholas and how Santa became Santa. As they talked through the day, I was just really happy that my husband and I were on the right track. We were doing everything the way we were supposed to do it,” said Wina.
The Reids’ were taught everything from ‘ho, ho, ho’ being more of a laugh than said to learning how to do sign language.
“If you come across a child that’s deaf, at least you can give some communication,” said Chris, adding that the lady that taught the class has deaf children herself and spoke to the class using her hands while she was speaking.
They were also able to make some wooden toys and even took part in a parade float to see what that was like to operate.
They also met Blitzen, a real reindeer who loves apples.
“One thing we found out is that reindeer really do not like carrots. They would rather have apples,” said Wina.
“We also did an exercise class, because you’ve got to be a healthy Santa,” said Chris, joking that it was pretty neat to see 300 Santas jiggling away.
All of the various activities they took part in were held in three different venues, where they got to participate with a range of Santa Clauses.
“There was a good mix. There were people who were going to be Santa Claus for the first time and people who have been at it for 50 years,” said Chris.
For Chris and Wina, they’ve been Mr. and Mrs. Claus for around five years now and have loved every minute of it.
“We love it, it warms our hearts,” said Wina.
They will be heading to many events this holiday season including the Sylvan Lake Food Bank on Nov. 20, the Rimbey Tree Lighting on Nov. 24 and the Festival of Trees in Red Deer on Nov. 25 and 26. They will also be helping to hand out meals to seniors on Christmas Day.
Everything they do is out of the kindness of their hearts and they collect donations for various charities. This year money they collect will go towards the Ronald McDonald House.