Santa Claus performs wedding
"Parents are sometimes skeptical. They say: 'Wait, you’re getting married by Santa Claus?' So I treat the responsibility seriously," says Mr. Claus.

Like many of you, Santa Claus is a ULC minister. Yes, you read that right.

Back in 2012, a New York man legally changed his name to Santa Claus (it’s on his drivers license and everything). He has since taken on the persona wholeheartedly, and even got ordained with the Universal Life Church in order to perform weddings as Santa!

We reached out to chat with Mr. Claus to learn what it’s like being the real Santa, as well as an ordained minister. A transcription of our conversation is included below.

ULC: Do you get phone calls from children around Christmas?

Santa Claus: Kids tend to get a hold of my phone number in one way or the other, so I’ll often get calls from them this time of year. Sometimes parents will call and put the kids on, sometimes the kids will find my number and sneak off to call me on their own.

I’ve even been called at two o’clock in the morning by kids hoping to speak with Santa Claus! “My mom is asleep, can we talk?” they’ll ask. Things like that pop up, amazingly, when I’m in a bad mood. And now I’m transformed into a good mood. Somebody is watching out for me, I’ll tell ya.

When kids ask you what the North Pole is like, what do you tell them?

Well all they know is what they’ve seen on TV. With today’s technology like Google Earth, they’d be able to find it if it was out in the open. So I explain that I live in a domed city underneath the Artic Ocean. The only way to get down there is create a polar vortex – a sort of funnel – which allows the dome to open and for us to fly in and out. 

How did you first get into officiating weddings?

Well the original Saint Nicholas was a judge, and he was able to perform weddings. I thought to really embrace the transformation to Santa Claus, I should do the same. Friends of mine had also been asking me to perform weddings as Santa Claus, so I decided to get qualified to do that legally. I’ve now performed at least 12 weddings as Santa, if not more.

What does a Santa Claus wedding look like?

I joke around a little bit, but I try to keep it mostly serious. I don’t play up the Santa Claus thing during the ceremony, other than the outfit I wear. It’s too serious of an occasion. And parents are sometimes skeptical. They say: “Wait, you’re getting married by Santa Claus?” So I treat the responsibility seriously.

Do you have a favorite or a most memorable ceremony you’ve performed?

One wedding I performed, the couple told me at the last minute that they couldn’t come up with their own vows. So I quickly looked to find a set of vows in the books I had, and I just happened to find one that was like Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham. “Would you love me in a tree? Would you love me out at sea?” It was pretty good. Everyone seemed to love it.

Has the pandemic changed the way you operate? How are you handling things now?

I typically do a lot of bigger gatherings and events this time of year, and obviously that has changed because most of those have been cancelled. So instead I’m doing smaller gatherings and taking proper precautions – taking temperatures, wearing masks, using lots of sanitizer. But this has allowed me to spend more time talking with kids this year, which has been a real positive.

11 comments

  1. The Right Reverend D. Batch's Avatar The Right Reverend D. Batch

    Will you bring back Saturnalia? it seems a lot more fun.

  1. Paul J. Fumero's Avatar Paul J. Fumero

    I love this. Minister Santa.

  1. T Kosse`'s Avatar T Kosse`

    People have gotten married by Elvis even though he been dead for some time now so why not Santa Claus and Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham. “Would you love me in a tree? Would you love me out at sea?” marriage vows that one wedding they will always remember..

  1. Woodrow's Avatar Woodrow

    MERRY CHRISTMAS 2020

    Rudolph the mask-nosed reindeer Forced to have a vaccine dose Dr. Fauci cancelled Christmas You could even say it’s closed

    All of the other reindeer Were ordered to do the same Bill Gates was barking orders You’re censored if you criticize his name

    Then one shut down Christmas Eve Santa was forced to stay Fauci ordered a lock down The reindeer couldn’t pull the sleigh

    Then all the reindeer suffered They existed without joy or glee Rudolph became a victim Christmas became history

    Merry Christmas!

  1. Gail Dobson's Avatar Gail Dobson

    Love vows from Green Eggs and Ham, how great is that?!

  1. Paul J. Fumero's Avatar Paul J. Fumero

    Comment removed by author.

  1. T Kosse`'s Avatar T Kosse`

    I have no doubt that we have a few Jesus some Angel, Peter, Paul and Mary that are ULC member as well, Now maybe we can get God as well to be a ULC member. I am sure there are some who might think they are GOD. Maybe St Patrick too. Any Cernunnos or Thor out there?

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    I wonder if he's going to receive all the letters to Santa like the one on Miracle On Thirty fourth street did. I bet he'll get the hell out of Dodge on his flying sleigh, if that happens. Everyone knows he traded the North Pole for New York. Can y'all imagine all those disgruntled kids banging on his door when he doesn't deliver?

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    If he eventually dies while still playing that part, which could cause him to lose sight of his true identity (like a method actor), he could become the ghost of Santa Claus, like that one Melinda Gordon had to cross over on Ghost Whisperer. But would Jennifer Love-Hewitt be willing to tackle such a noble feat , in real life?

  1. John P Maher's Avatar John P Maher

    HAVE YOURSELVES A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS, STAY AT HOME, SILLY LITTLE CHILDREN, YOUVE POUTED and CRIED SO MUCH, YOU'LL GET NO GIFTS ANYWAY, TRIM YOUR TREE and SHUT UP ALREADY, M E R R Y C H R I S T M A S to ALL, AND to ALL A GOOD NITE !

  1. Greywolfe Gallagher's Avatar Greywolfe Gallagher

    Well, when I was in college I helped out at Santa Claus House in North Pole, Alaska. Got to read and send letters to kids. It was a blast.

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