Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Have a question not answered here? Contact us via any method on our Book Now! page.

Booking Questions

Our primary service area is North Alabama (Huntsville, Decatur, Scottsboro, Guntersburg and surrounding areas) and Southern Tennessee (Fayetteville, Chattanooga and areas in between). We typically try to stay within a 90 minute drive to our home base in Huntsville. However, all travel is negotiable and we are open to any and all opportunities within the U.S., pending availability. Contact us for details via the info provided on the Book Now! page.

We are hoping to add this option in 2024. Stay tuned. In the meantime we offer pre-recorded video greetings or audio phone calls as an option.

There’s no time like the present! We expect to be plenty booked for the holiday season by mid summer, and repeat clients most likely book at least a year in advance. However, we do events year round so don’t hesitate to book now to be sure of our availability!

Rates vary according to the type, location, and date of the event. We have rates as low as a $29 flat-fee for some specific services, and they go up from there – it really just depends on the circumstances. Generally speaking, rates are less in the “off-season” with slight bumps in June/July for Christmas in July events and then begin increasing October 1st thru Christmas, before dropping again in late January. Some events may be offered pro bono. The best way to get a rate is to have us quote your event. We are working on a new online quote tool, but for now, please reach out to us with any method listed on our Book Now! page. For all other types of events including corporate, government, and private party events, contact me directly for a quote. Your quote will be carefully constructed and considers factors including those listed above as well as the number of assistants required.

All rates for film/tv acting, modeling, and brand ambassadorship projects are negotiated via our talent agents. Click the Book Now! link for info on how to reach them.

Tips are never required, but they are always welcome and appreciated.

Tips can be given discretely via cash in a sealed “Christmas Card” for the reindeer, the elves, or your character of choice. Tips can also be given via credit/debit card with your electronic invoice at any time before, during, or after the event. Or you can send tips via Paypal to Paypal@CraigCringle.com.

Yes!!! We’re so glad you asked. As professional performers, we believe it’s so important that all professional Christmas Performers should be professionally trained, insured, and especially willing to provide a current background check within the last year. Santa & Mrs. Claus are ready and willing to share a copy of our background check with you WITHOUT HESITATION! This is so important! Would you trust someone with your children or in your home who may hem or haw over providing this to you? That should definitely be a red flag. Additionally, we are adequately insured. This is so important when you are booking an event for your business or community.

Insurance and background checks are relatively inexpensive and any *professional* Christmas Performer should be able to provide this information to you. Would you expect anything less from a professional?

Even if you don’t book with us, we encourage you to ask for this information from your potential Santa and/or Mrs. Claus. More importantly than booking with us, we want your children, your home, and/or your place of business to be safe.

Absolutely! Reach out to us via the info on the Book Now! page and we’ll be happy to provide a quote.

Yes, we require both a signed agreement and a retainer of 50% of the booking fee to secure the date and time of the event. This retainer is applied toward the total price of the client’s event. This is unfortunately necessary due to the limited amount of dates we can book, and cancellation of events can create difficulty in getting the date rebooked in time. Other details can be discussed at the time of booking.

We understand that life happens, and not even magical beings like ourselves can foresee the future. If for some reason a client needs to change the date and/are time of the scheduled event contact us ASAP. We will check our calendar with the client to see if the event can be moved to a different time or different day. Please understand sometimes the calendar is too full to make the required change. In the event that it can not be moved then the only option is to cancel the event.

If one of us is unable to make the event for any reason, we will endeavor to find a suitable replacement first, but if an event has to be cancelled by us for any reason, the retainer will be refunded in full. If an event is cancelled for any reason through no fault of ours, the retainer will be refunded per the following schedule.

  • If canceling 121+ days prior to event – ninety percent refund of the retainer.
  • If canceling 90-120 days prior to event – half of your retainer will be refunded.
  • If canceling less than 90 days prior to event – no refund will be issued.

Please remember that October thru December is our busiest time of year, and that Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays are our busiest days of the week during those months.

Please also remember that our vacation home is in Huntsville, Alabama. Especially when the client’s event is outside of the Huntsville area, the act of canceling a booking after all the travel arrangements have been made, assistants and crew booked, etc., may present an even enhanced inconvenience for us. Those kinds of things are what puts a client on the naughty list! Ho! Ho! Ho! Please do everything possible to keep events once they are booked.

It is assumed that all events will be indoors, or that inclement weather arrangements have been made per the contract if the event is held outdoors, and therefore cancellation by the client due to inclement weather will result in forfeiture of the retainer. However, if inclement weather forces an event to be rescheduled due to hazardous travel conditions, then Santa will endeavor to rebook at the earliest available date. In practical terms, cancellations or postponements due to rainy weather are not acceptable, but postponements due to weather conditions which result in closed or impassable roads are understandable. Keep in mind, however, that any postponements may not be able to be rescheduled until after Christmas due to the many already scheduled bookings during the highest peak of the holiday season.

We have a variety of items available as add-ons to our services. Check out our Prop & Equipment Rental page for more info. However, arrangements will need to be made for the delivery, set-up, and pick-up of any such items. This time will be factored into the price. Mr. and Mrs. Claus aren’t getting any younger, so we try to limit our heavy lifting, especially while we are dressed in our formal suits.

We are very open to barters and trades for professional Santa and Mrs. Claus services. Please contact us via any of the methods on our Book Now! page and let us know what you have in mind.

day of event logistical Questions

Tips are never required, but they are always welcome and appreciated.

Tips can be given discretely via cash in a sealed “Christmas Card” for the reindeer, the elves, or your character of choice. Tips can also be given via credit/debit card with your electronic invoice at any time before, during, or after the event. Or you can send tips via Paypal to Paypal@CraigCringle.com.

Yes, but only at events over one hour in length. We reserve the right to take a 10-minute break every hour. With that being said due to our Traditional North Pole Suits, it is necessary to have periodic breaks. If the event is located indoors, it is recommended that the location be cool and comfortable at approximately 67 degrees. If the event is outdoors, a nearby private indoor cooling area and restroom is a requirement. If this is not possible, a private tent or other temporary structure with secluded and personal-use (non public access) restrooms and cooling fans are requested to be available for Santa to stay comfortable.

(These details may be spelled out in detail in the booking agreement/contract, or it may fall under what we call the “comfort clause” in which both parties agree in good faith to work reasonably with one another to maintain comfort level of every party involved.)

Please remember that our suits are very warm (and often layered!) even on the coldest of days. Imagine how warm they can be on a 90 degree day in July!

We should be covered at all times against inclement weather, as our traditional presentation suits are not designed for adverse weather conditions which may cause permanent blemishes and irreparable discoloration to the suits.

If we should make an appearance on stage, the stage area should be protected and shielded from inclement weather. We will not be able to stand in the rain out of concern for permanent blemishes and irreparable discoloration of our suits. If rain is in the forecast, a full-coverage umbrella (for example, a generously large golf umbrella) should be readily available by the event host for our use when walking around, which of course will be returned at the end of the event.

If private parking isn’t available in close proximity to the event, we require a pre-arranged ride (for example, a golf cart or other means of private transportation) to be shuttled to the event area to avoid spoiling our entrance or being swarmed and stopped by onlookers which might cause us to be delayed. Likewise, we would also require a ride back to his parking spot after the event. This may seem a bit much, however it is not only for our comfort but also for appearance’s sake as we are doing our best to make the event magical and full of wonder.

Finally, consider assigning an experienced handler and/or security escort for Mr. and Mrs. Claus as needed. We are among the most recognizable public figures in the world, and sometimes there are those who will either purposefully with ill-will or unintentionally cause us to be delayed. Santa or Mrs. Claus never want to be the one who has to decide who we have time for and who we do not, so it’s always better if Security has us move along rather than Santa or Mrs. Claus abandoning a crowd of onlookers and leaving a bad impression. 

All of this may seem like a lot, but rest assured we make all these recommendations in order to enhance the experience for the client and for any children present.

For in-home visits, a decorated area for our visit is best provided by the home occupants. Christmas trees and unlit fireplaces decorated for the holidays make great backdrop scenes. All we need at minimum is a sturdy dining room chair for both Mr. and Mrs. Claus (as applicable) with no arms for the children to sit on our knees and tell us what they want for Christmas, and with enough space to place my bag near me!  Of course, if we are doing a Sneak-a-Peek or Catch Santa Red-Handed, a chair may not be required at all.

We also ask that we not be placed near any heat-sources, such as a lit fireplace or heater. Preferably, the thermostat would be lowered to 67 degrees a few hours before our visit.

Finally, we ask that you provide a reserved parking spot for Santa, Mrs. Claus, and/or our helpers, if possible. This can be as simple as placing a trash can in a driveway holding our space, and removing it upon our arrival. Ideally, this parking spot would be out of sight from any little ones, so that they cannot see us coming or going.

Generally, we do not provide a photographer, though we certainly can provide some recommendations if you would like to hire one.

Performance Questions

Santa wears a real beard all year round. That said, a lot of things can go wrong in Santa beard care, and the elves at the North Pole Hair & Beard Emporium aren’t perfect, and there may be times, on very rare occasions, where Santa temporarily wears a designer beard if mishaps occur. Nobody wants to see a beardless Santa after all! Ho! Ho! Ho!

Possibly! Mrs. Claus, Jack Frost, and Merry the Sugarplum Fairy are all available to be booked for events, should their respective schedules allow.

We have a few different suits to choose from for making appearances, and rest assured all of them are high quality, very authentic looking, professional grade suits.

During the booking process, if you have a preference, please let us know and while we cannot guarantee it, we will try to accommodate any specific requests. (Reasons we may not be able to include having multiple events in the same day, dry cleaning schedule or possible soiling of a requested look, etc.)

If given enough notice, we may be able to put together a custom look for clients, at the client’s expense. However, since our time would be required to work with seamstresses or shop for custom looks, those suits will remain the property of Claus Enterprises, LLC, as compensation for that time, and we will have rights to use them again at other events (unless products display a company logo, for example, in which case we may choose to modify them unless otherwise arranged).

Backstory Questions

You may have noticed the spelling change in my last name from that of my ancestor, Kris Kringle. Well, that is only how it is spelled in the Western Hemisphere. Many centuries ago, a census error resulted in my original name “Kraig Kringle” legally being registered with 2 C’s instead of 2 K’s, and to this day it has remained.

Besides making toys? Well, Santa has been around a long time and a few decades ago he actually completed an aeronautical engineering degree. He often lends his expertise (after all, he drives a sleigh with flying reindeer!) to local aerospace companies and government organizations in Huntsville and elsewhere. That’s one of the reasons we make a vacation home here!

Mrs. Claus, on the other hand, is the CEO (Christmas Executive Officer) of the North Pole! She basically oversees everything that happens in the Northern Realms as well as locally, making sure everyone is where they need to be at the right time, getting nutritious meals to keep their energy levels up, and ensuring all of the elves are staying on top of their tasks.

Photos & Videos
Photographers & Videographers

Any and all photos taken of or with Santa, Mrs. Claus, or our helpers, whether by individuals or professional photographers, are assumed to be for private or personal use of the client and may not be used for commercial or promotional use without the written permission of Claus Enterprises, LLC. While we understand that we cannot necessarily control what people may do with photos taken on their cell phone, etc., any commercial use or promotional use may be considered as an endorsement, and Claus Enterprises, LLC should have rights to approval and compensation for that type of use. As such, for commercial or promotional use, please contact us and perhaps we can come to a mutually beneficial agreement.

However, if your company has booked Santa, Mrs. Claus, and/or our helpers, it is expected that Claus Enterprises, LLC be able to use its own photos taken by our elves or assistants at your event for commercial and promotional use, unless otherwise arranged. All of this is generally outlined in detail in the booking agreements.

For events that you have booked Santa, Mrs. Claus, and/or our helpers for, we have a small set of images that we have negotiated rights with photographers to use for 3rd party promotional purposes. We try to obtain a few new ones each season. We are happy to provide some of these upon request.

We ask that everyone respect the intellectual property rights of photographers/videographersand to not use photo or videos they or we may publish through various venues including websites and/or social media for promotional or commercial purposes without permission.

Upon request and at our discretion and availability, we may be able to schedule promotional activities such as photo shoots, video shoots, etc. We may also be able to film and edit some social media blurbs, etc. If you desire to have promotional shoots for your event, please let us know and we will build it into our quote.

For any photographer or videographer that wishes to book Santa or Mrs. Claus for sessions with your clients, we offer for first-time bookers, (pending mutual availability at least one-month prior to your scheduled client sessions), a free 1-hour promotional photo shoot. In exchange for the free shoot, we ask for commercial/promotional usage rights of the photos and/or videos taken during the promo session. We also ask for permission to take our own Behind-the-Scenes (BTS) photos or videos during the promo sessions.

Santa, Mrs. Claus, and our helpers are all held to the highest standards as role models for all the little eyes upon us.

As part of our booking agreement, if photos or videos are taken by the client or any designated agents, you also agree to protect the use of our images and likeness captured so they will only be used for wholesome, family oriented, purposes compliant with “contemporary community standards”.

We maintain the right to refuse participation in any images inconsistent with these standards.

As part of our default booking agreement, we do not permit our images or likenesses to be used for any third-party commercial use, including but not limited to stock photography, image libraries, or any platform that allows the sale or licensing of images for general commercial use, or to promote other Santa Claus or Mrs. Claus Portrayal Artists you or anyone else may engage with.

Additionally, our clients are welcome to use our images and likenesses in photos and videos that they own for promotion of any events for which we are booked on their social media or website, or for a professional portfolio. All of these details are generally spelled out in our booking agreements. 

We are open to the idea of selling photos and videos of our images and likenesses for commercial use, but these would be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.

Images or likenesses obtained in photos and/or videos of Santa Craig Cringle, That Filipina Mrs. Claus – Aila Cringle, or our helpers may not be used for training artificial intelligence models or generating AI-derived works without our explicit written permission.