Decked in red and white, Santa Claus sits and greets those eager to see him. A crowd forms as Santa’s helpers take pictures of Santa Claus and the kids. As the A lunch bell rings, signaling a small break before the B lunch rush, the kids hug and thank Santa and walk away with their holiday photos in their hands. Taking off his fake beard and hat, Tinsley Jones sighs in relief.
What started out as simple fundraiser by Future Business Leaders of America has grown into a magical tradition.
Interventionist Tommy Miller served as Santa for a few years, but when he had conference one year and could not don the red suit, Jones volunteered. Despite passing the Santa suit to Jones, he enjoyed the time spent as Santa.
“The best part of having the suit [was when] I tried on the suit in my kid’s room,” Miller said. “My three-year old son believed I really was Santa Claus. He said that I needed to ask his dad because he wasn’t allowed to talk to strangers.”
Jones has turned what originally started out as simple volunteering into a fun event for both the students and himself. Jones appreciates spending time with the students.
“It’s very enjoyable,” he said. “because I get to see all the kids and get to know them better.”
Seeing Jones play Santa has helped some students get to know him better.
“He’s very kind and friendly,” senior Yash S. said. “He looks the type of guy to give you presents.”
Jones believes it is important for children to believe in Santa Claus.
“I think they miss out on an awful lot of fun because they don’t believe in Santa Claus,” he said. “Santa Claus is for both the young and old people.”
For some students, it’s not about believing in Santa Claus, but rather believing in the holiday spirit.
“We know that Santa Claus isn’t real,” Yash said. “But it’s the thought that counts.”
FBLA’s Santa’s photoshoot will occur on December 13 and 14 in the school store near the cafeteria. Photos are for $5.