Last week I gave an interview to a regional publication for their upcoming December issue about being a real fulltime Santa Claus. It was the typical type interview discussing my life growing up as Santa and being able to make it a fulltime career. I do know that very few have had the opportunities and the good fortune that has been unfolding in my life ever since I was 4 years old.
During the conversation with the reporter, he asked what I plan on doing when I retire. The question really threw me. Unlike 99% of other Santas who become the character while working a different job and made it a hobby/part time thing or a guy who retires from years of work someplace to grow a real beard and then Santa becomes his retirement hobby/job, I have only been a professional year round Santa.
The question of retiring from Santa was a good one. I am a little over a year from turning 50 years old and the Santa business has been very good to me. DeAnn and I have made some good investments, so planning for that part of our future is secure. Like most everyone else there is always some sort of health issues that can or could pop up. But that is under control too.
So the question goes back to what the reporter asked… “What are you going to do when you retire?” Well, as odd as it seems to some, I don’t want to be Santa forever. In fifteen to seventeen years when I am in my mid 60s I do plan on retiring from the professional world of Santa.
Most folks retire from being a labor, lawyer, teacher, accountant or such but does someone really retire from being Santa? When I retire that is preciously what I will be doing. DeAnn and I look forward to just traveling and enjoying not doing anything at all. I’ll let my hair and beard grow out and then go fishing.
And as for Santa, well I look forward to having him go back to being what he was to me before I became him…a magical and inspirational elf that brings the message of love, hope, and peace in a sometime dreary world. And I think that I will appreciate Santa more by not being him.
At one time I thought 50 years old was a long way away. But it is sneaking up on me. Retirement is a while away, at least for now, but with all aspects of life you have to plan ahead.