The festive season is upon us and before Christmas comes and goes we wanted to answer a longstanding disagreement between the valued men who portray Santa Claus, regarding the best way to embody the jolly fellow, hence forth why we are now going to talk about ‘The Great Beard Debate’.
It is a commonly discussed issue behind closed workshop doors far away from the public eye. The ethic for maintaining a successful performance of Santa is to never pull the beard off! Which many young children are always inclined to do. Many Santa conventions worldwide spark the debate over whether a real or fake beard is the way to go when spreading Christmas cheer amongst the masses.
Can you guess which is the fake beard?
On one side you have the real bearded Santa’s who are adamant that there is no argument in that a real Santa must have a real beard, and that’s that! One annual Santa said “Having a real beard covers you from every possible eventuality”. When a child asks if he is the real Santa he’ll never respond with a yes or no, he’ll simply let them have a gentle tug on his beard and watch their eyes light up.
Riding the other sleigh are the fake bearded Santa’s, who would much rather prefer a fake beard or as they like to call them ‘designer beards’ or ‘fashion beards’. Their main argument is that a good quality fake beard especially those made from Yak hair can cost over £2,000! And can actually look more traditional, like Santa’s beard as depicted in many books and films. Santa’s beard is often larger than life and in order to actually grow a beard of this size and grandeur would be impossibly hard to maintain as well as managing to grow in the first place. It just seems a tall order to simply put into good use for one time of the year.
An odd issue arose some time ago which we will for this article refer to as ‘The Disney Incident’ whereby a real bearded Santa was out on holiday with his family at Disney World when numerous children began asking for autographs and hugs. Park officials accused him of portraying a real character, which ridiculously is against park rules and was kindly asked to leave unless he removed his costume. When he explained that the beard was in fact real he was left with the choice of either leaving the park or taking a trip to the on-site toilets to make a facial adjustment.
Fortunately these issues don’t happen all too often and no one has suffered any beard related injuries, at least not of which I have been made aware of. So the art of growing a festive beard remains a stable tradition among many.
It has been common knowledge, at least in the fake Santa inner circle that fake beards are the predominant choice for those in the industry and real bearded Santa’s are becoming more of a rarity. However recent studies have shown that this is on the increase due to the lack of availability of good quality Yak beards in the modern market with producers leaning more towards cheaper synthetic beards, problems such as itchiness and skin irritation are just some of the complaints made by those choosing these cheaper alternatives for the festive season.
Those who regularly rely on the seasonal income of these jobs are now finding that unemployment may be of an issue if they do not have the real deal with adverts specifically asking for real bearded individuals only to apply. Such a demand has lead to a rise in discrimination complaints towards those who argue they possess superior acting ability and such qualities far outweigh the redeeming nature of having a real beard.
After all is said and done it is worth mentioning that at the end of the day the true responsibility for authenticating the real Santa from fake should and always will be down to the children as it is their enjoyment and appreciation for the man in red that makes the festive season what it is today.