I have been portraying Santa Claus since 1962. I became a naturally-bearded Santa Claus in 1995 after attending the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School in Midland, Michigan. Since that time I have attended two other Santa Claus schools, receiving a Bachelor of Santa Claus, Advanced Master of Santa Claus and Doctor of Santaclausoligy degrees from the International University of Santa Claus. I have been a workshop leader at four different Santa Claus conventions, and received the first "Keeping Christ in Christmas" award from the Jim Yellig Santa Claus Workshop in 2012. In August of 2012 I received "The Order of the Long Leaf Pine" award (the highest award given to a citizen of North Carolina) from the governor recognizing fifty years of service as Santa Claus to the children of my home state. On December 21, 2012 I was inducted into the International Santa Claus Hall of Fame in Santa Claus, Indiana.
I work with professional artists each year in producing limited-edition prints of paintings of Santa Claus. I also work with professional photographers in their studios producing portraits and Christmas cards for their clients. My work as Santa with all of these talented artists has placed my image into the homes of more people than any other Santa, earning me the distinction of being "the most recognized Santa Claus in America."
I custom design all of my costumes which are then hand made by my own seamstress. These costumes provide any Santa Claus look a client is looking for from the "Coca-Cola Santa" look, to Victorian, workshop, Civil War and Woodland look. I have my own sleigh that can be rented to complete the realistic visit with Santa. Each year I create new accessories to make my appearance as Santa different from any other.
In 2008 I published my own autobiography titled "Santa's Journey-Sharing Christmas Year Round." This book tells through short stories my life as Santa Claus through the experiences I have had with children, young and old. I am experienced as a story-teller, sharing the stories that I have written. I have also contributed to three other books about Santa Claus.
My professional background is in graphic arts and fine-art publishing. I am a graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology and am now retired so I can pursue my passion of providing the most realistic Santa Claus experience you can find.
Cliff Snider: Santa Claus
Haddon Sundblom, the creator of the "Coca-Cola Santa" paintings. My "Santa Mentor" is Santa Ed Butchart, the Stone Mountain Santa. I continually learn from my peers in the Santa world including Santa Steve Gillham, "Santa Noel" (Leon McBryde,) Santa Tim Connaghan, Tom and Holly Valent at the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School. I am inspired by my continuing work with fine artists including Ralph J. McDonald, Linda Hyatt Cancel, Douglas Rowe, Cara J. Reische, Wendy Leedy, William Mangum, Richard Tumbleston, and Teresa Pennington. Photographers Tim Talley, Terry Pardew, Steve Norman, Jeff Pennell, and Larry Hersberger have been ispiring in helping me create my image as Santa Claus.
What to Expect
For seven years I was the signature Santa for Christmas Castle in Jamestown, North Carolina, and have appeared in numerous Christmas parades in my area. I have taught at various national Santa Claus conventions and have studied at the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School in Midland, Michigan, and the Internatonal School of Santa Claus where I earned a BSC and MSC and DSC degree. (Batchelor of Santa Claus and Master of Santa Claus and Doctor of Santaclausoligy.)
I have been featured on "The 700 Club" as "The Praying Santa," on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association website, in "Our State-Down Home in North Carolina" magazine, and my story "The Good Book Santa" appeared in "Guideposts" magazine in 2008;
I am a contributing author to "Christmas Memories of Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus" and have written my own autobiography titled, "Santa's Journey-Sharing Christmas Year Round."
My image as Santa Claus has been painted by several artists in over 50 different limited-edition prints and new paintings are creatd each year. I also work with professional photographers from my area.
It is my desire to represent Jesus Christ, "The Real Meaning of Christmas" in all of my appearances.
I have a complete wardrobe of costumes of my own design, created by my personal seamstress. This wardrobe is complemented with authentic accessories that can provide any look a client desires. I have a portable sound system that can project my voice to an audience of up to 200 people. I can add storytelling or motivational speaking to my performance and have spoken to church groups, civic clubs and special interest groups. I have my own sleigh that can be rented to use as a photo prop for special appearances.
2006: 84 gigs
2007: 50 gigs
2008: 55 gigs
2009: 58 gigs
2010: 66 gigs
2011: 68 gigs
Available for Your
Birthday Party, Casting Call, Christmas Party, Church Service, Convention, Corporate Event, Fundraiser, Grand Opening, Holiday Party, Hotel, Luncheon/Tea, Other, Parade, Restaurant, Studio Session, Trade Show