When Jerusalem’s Santa Claus Issa Kassissieh was in need of fellow Santas to keep him company, he invited some colleagues from the US, Germany, Denmark and Romania for a post-holiday break in the Holy Land.
Kassissieh, a former basketball player, lives in Santa’s House, his Christmas-bedecked home in Jerusalem’s Old City.
The four-day trip, arranged by the Tourism Ministry as part of its ongoing hosting program, is taking place this week from January 5 through 8.
The 47 Santa Clauses and Mrs. Clauses traveled to Jerusalem, the Galilee and the Dead Sea regions.
They have so far participated in parades in Jerusalem’s Old City and in Nazareth, were baptized at Yardenit, a baptism site located on the Jordan River, took a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, and had fun entertaining other tourists as well.
For all but one of the Santas, this was their first visit to the Holy Land.
Kassissieh met his fellow Santa colleagues at the Michigan-based Charles W. Howard Santa School, during a Santa conference last year.
At the school, aspiring Santas learn how to “be” Santa, including how to speak to children, how to smile, how to put on Santa’s makeup, how to “be” the red suit, and how to say ho, ho, ho from “deep within one’s belly,” he told The Times of Israel.