The Santa in Chicago website came about because I love everything about Santa Claus. One of the things I found while playing Santa in the Chicago area was that there wasn’t a website that just featured Santa Claus events in and around the area. I could find a few sites that listed some of the major events, but nothing that let people know about the hundreds of Santa Claus happenings going on in every city and town. So this is what I have focused on, where to find Santa Claus in Chicago and Northern, Illinois. I hope you like the results.
My love of Santa goes back a long time. My initial experience working with Santas was over twenty-five years ago when I was employed to be the first manager of the Santa Claus set, at the newly opened Charlestowne Mall in St. Charles, Illinois. I hired the Santas, helpers and photographers, and basically ran the whole operation for the company that had the contract with the mall. Being the manager meant working incredibly long hours from early November right through Christmas Eve, with very little time off. Some of the Santas I had were great and some were frankly unreliable. When someone failed to show up, I always ended up being Santa. To make a long story short, I found playing Santa gave me a lot more pleasure and satisfaction than dealing with the problems of being the manager.
So the following season I came back as Santa full time, and I have been enjoying the role ever since. The fact that I have a naturally white beard hasn't hurt my image at all. Today, I no longer play Santa in malls. Now, most of my work is at private parties in homes, or corporate and company events. Yes, I still love being Santa as much as I did the first time I put on the red suit and hollered ho ho ho!
John Sullivan - “Santa in Chicago”