What’s it like to live the life of a professional Santa?
Extremely rewarding according to Wayne Phipps of Mendon.
Phipps was a lifelong resident of Upton before moving to Mendon. He is an active member of United Parish and former Mendon Upton School district teacher who retired several years ago after teaching in the district for 37 years. Now Phipps is well-known for his Christmas Magic.
About three four ago around Christmas, Phipps made the decision to become a professional Santa. “If I was going to do it, I was going to do it right,” said Phipps.
Phipps has attended the Charles W. Howard Santa School in Michigan several times; the oldest Santa school in the nation. This year he took different classes. “It was still wonderful. We took a tour of a local Toys r us, you can only imagine the look on shoppers faces when 130 Santas all walked into the store,” said Phipps. “Many children approached us and asked if “you are the real Santa” All we would say is that the real Santa was here but wouldn’t tell which one he was,” he said.
When you’re Santa you have to be able to think fast, the kids have a lot of questions, Phipps said.
He purchased a custom-made Santa suit which is hand embroidered and according to Phipps the suit is awesome.
For Phipps the Christmas season begins September 1; that’s when he starts growing his beard and that’s when he gets pumped up for the season. Phipps said, “Christmas has always been special to me. My house is all decked out…I love Christmas. I got that from my parents.”
Each visit with Santa includes lots of Christmas magic. He is able to make his fingers glow red by a child’s nose to let them know Rudolph said hello. He also passes out special coins which are dated and signed by Santa, and of course, all the kids can ring the sleigh bells.
“I haven’t had a child cry yet, some kids are nervous, but the Rudolph trick usually warms them up right away,” he said.
The kids are always excited to see Santa but Phipps is just as excited about seeing the kids. “I’m probably more excited about being Santa because you just know you’ve done something good. This is more rewarding than anything I can imagine,” said Phipps.
Phipps saves every list and note he is given. “I love when kids bring lists. I save every one. Some start out with ‘I’ve been good’, some with ‘I’ve been mostly good’, and others with ‘I’ve been a little naughty but mostly good’,” he said.
When asked how long he plans on being Santa Phipps said, “I want to do it as long as I can.” He never thought it would catch and has been thrilled with the positive feedback, many have told him he is the best Santa.
He is passionate about making Christmas special for every boy and girl. “When you put the suit on you are not playing the role of Santa, you are Santa,” he said.
Phipps does small and large events from private parties to larger public venues.
This year Phipps will be visiting a Christmas tree farm, a parade, office and home parties and has a couple of cameo roles in a play. .
Phipps sleigh phone number is 508-341-0693 for bookings and you can check out his Facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/wayne.phipps.52?fref=ts