ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) - It's probably one of the hardest jobs of the Christmas season, being Santa Claus. For some, they go to a Santa School to learn the trade, others have been blessed to resemble the big guy, but whether you're the real guy or one of his helpers handling requests and photo opportunities, it's not all candy canes and smiles.
Many endure the sounds of kids screaming. From chaotic situations in photography studios with camera light flashes going off or staff members helpfully shaking rattles to pull smiles from children's faces. Then there are the mall Santa's who sit for hours while family after family occupy time on his lap, this is not an easy task.
"Like I said, they walk around that corner, you see that face, that smile, their eyes light up, there's nothing better in the world," said "Santa Claus" from Bernalillo, posing for pictures at The Hartsock's Photography in Albuquerque.
With the benefits and good times of portraying Santa Claus comes some not so good times, make that down right painful at times.
"Santa wears a really thick pair of pants underneath those red ones because he gets kicked," said Kyle Hartsock, co-owner of The Hartsock's Photography.
In fact, this Santa had quite the ordeal of being kicked during the Christmas season of 2016. "A kid about maybe five, and he got a new pair of cowboy boots right before Christmas, and he got me pretty good in the shin," said the New Mexico Santa Claus. However, a check-up at Urgent Care showed he was just fine.
Still, Santa said he wouldn't trade all the experiences for anything in the world. He also adds he has no intention of slowing down. That includes the fact that he's usually ready to go again by New Years, after some much needed rest.
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