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Ron Horniblew

School for Santas

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School for Santas: Training to become Father Christmas from Award-Winning Santa Ron

Santa Ron has now been Father Christmas for 51 years and so has a huge amount of experience. He was delighted to receive a 40 Year Service Certificate at the Bakken Santa Claus Annual Congress. When he started, Santa Ron just wanted to entertain his own children but his role has since expanded. He is now one of only two Santas in England who has been authorised by Santa Claus of Greenland. This means that he is entitled to wear the official badge.


Santa Ron often helps to raise funds for charity; he attends children's parties and sometimes even those for adults. He also visits homes for senior citizens and attends numerous Church Christmas Fairs. One of his fondest memories was when he visited an orphanage in the Bahamas on Christmas Day. The children were delighted to see Santa and were so pleased that he had come to visit them. Santa Ron has also worked in retail stores and in shopping centres.


Santa Ron has also travelled throughout the world, which has enabled him to meet many other Santas. In 2013 he made a Santa Training film for Beefeater Grill Restaurants, part of the Whitbread family. Here are details of some of Ron’s visits.


Bakken Santa Claus Annual Congress (July: 2004, 2006 & 2008)

The Congress, which has been running for over 50 years, is held near Copenhagen in Denmark. Participants come from all over the world.

Santa Ron as Father Christmas at Bakken


Santa Ron at Bakken


Gällivare Santa Claus Winter Games (November: 2004, 2005 & 2006)

The Games, which started in 2003, are the Santa Claus equivalent of the Olympics. Gällivare is about 60 miles above the Arctic Circle in Sweden (Lapland). The competitions include climbing chimneys, eating porridge (without getting it on your whiskers), reindeer sledging and snow-sledge racing. Once again, competitors come from all over the world. In 2004, Santa Ron became the Champion Gold Medallist. He also received a Bronze Medal the following year.

Santa Ron as Father Christmas at Gällivare


Santa Ron at Gällivare


Savalen Santa Chill-Out (January: 2006 & 2007)

This is an annual event held each year in January at Savalen, which is in the Norwegian mountains, about 200 miles from Oslo and 10 miles from Tynset, the nearest town. The event gives Santas the opportunity to relax, have fun and party after their hectic Christmas workload.

Santa Ron as Father Christmas at Savalen


Santa Ron at Savalen


Kyrgyzstan International Winter Festival of Santa Clauses (2009)

In December 2007, a Swedish engineering consultancy concluded that, in terms of travelling, it would make more sense if Father Christmas was based in Kyrgyzstan. In 2009, Santa Ron represented England at the second International Festival of Santa Clauses of the World in Kyrgyzstan.

Santa Ron as Father Christmas at Kyrgyzstan


Santa Ron at Kyrgyzstan