Real Beard, Friendly and Trustworthy are some of the most important qualities of Santa Claus
Seems like every year you hear stories about a Santa that belongs on the naughty list. As we kick off the holiday season, 7 On Your Side has looked into what you need to know before hiring a Santa for a party or event.
"I didn't choose to be a Santa, being Santa chose me," says Santa Claus Bill Bass.
Bass and fellow Santas wait all year for the Christmas season .They'll head to local stores, malls and parties to hear children's wishes and spread holiday cheer. Bass tells us what you can look for to make sure the experience is magical for everyone.
"A real santa's gotta have a real beard and a real ho ho ho ho ho," Bass says.
Bass also adds that a Santa should be friendly and trustworthy.
It seems like every year we hear about a naughty Santa. Just this week police charged a Massachusetts' Santa with assaulting an elf. Bass says stories like that hurt the magic of Christmas.
"It's not just what it does to the innocence of Santa but It's what it does to the children that have trusted Santa," Bass says.
The Santa Academy says make sure to have a background check of your Santa.
Santas at both Anderson and Haywood Mall are required to go through background checks and drug screenings. The Simon Mall group also makes real beards a priority.
'Whenever I see them looking at the beard I say go ahead - you can pull it," Bass says.