Dave has transformed himself into Santa Claus for the holiday season every year since he was 14. Back then, his aunt asked him to play Santa as a favor to a friend. He loved playing the role, and he’s been dressing up as jolly Saint Nick ever since. Dave says that when he began playing Santa, he used a pillow for a belly and donned a fake or spray-painted beard. But both the belly and beard are all too real now! This year, Dave will sport a brand-new Santa suit, since the last one shows the wear of 35 years. Dave visits families, attends photoshoots, and performs at holiday parties—he even played Santa for Dot Founder Robert Tracy (RT) several times! Dave had 14 scheduled events last Christmas, not counting the “pop-ins” he likes to do for friends and family. He has no plans to hang up the Santa suit anytime soon.
Drew Seal started playing Santa in 2018 when his daughter, a professional photographer, asked him to pose for holiday mini-sessions. Drew was apprehensive about the role initially, but quickly changed his mind the moment he saw the joy of the children he interacted with. To prepare for the role, Drew starts to grow his beard during the summer months. He dyes it white before the mini sessions, and his wife, Dot Graphic Designer Yvette Seal, uses a makeup powder to make it extra white. As Drew says, he “always seems to pack on a few extra pounds during the holidays, so filling out the Santa suit isn’t a challenge.” Drew enjoys working with the children and considers it a personal challenge to ensure everyone leaves with good memories and lots of laughs. Surprisingly, pets are the most challenging to pose with. Usually, with several treats and lots of coordinating, Drew’s daughter can get the perfect shot. The smiles and laughter of the children bring back fond memories of Drew’s children during the holidays. He enjoys the tradition and family gatherings of Christmas and looks forward to them every year. It’s hard to tell who has a bigger smile during the Santa Claus mini-sessions—Drew or the kids.