The Business of Santas in San Diego County is Booming | NBC 7 San Diego

The Business of Santas in San Diego County is Booming

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Santa Joe of Clairemont belongs to the Fraternal Order of Real Bearded Santas, and he's been dressing up as Jolly ol' Saint Nick for more than 20 years. (Published Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016)

    Need a Santa for a holiday party?

    There’s an array of Saint Nicholases in San Diego County, 300 to be exact. We’ll call them “Santa helpers.”

    Santa Joe Mystic is part of a special group of Father Christmases, who are part of the Fraternal Order of Real-Bearded Santas (FORBS for short.)

    And it appears that business is booming for this brotherhood. Mystic said that in addition to all his December gigs, he’s received hundreds of calls in the last few weeks from kids just wanting to talk with Old Saint Nick.

    So what's it take to be a Santa? Mystic has had a real beard for decades, but said the demand for real bearded Santas skyrocketed over the last decade.

    A quick look online shows you have myriad options of Santas. You can rate, review and book Santas with real beards. There’s even a Santa who performs magic tricks.

    Mystic said he’s been playing Santa for 24 years and it’s the reaction that makes the masquerading worth it.

    “I was doing a party for Century 21 and they were having an event for families. I walked into that room and about four, five, six kids ran directly over to me and grabbed me by the leg and just hugged me,” he said. “That’s pretty special.”