It Pays (Literally) To Impersonate Santa Claus

ANAHEIM HILLS ( — Many people wonder why an actor would choose to don a white beard and red suit to impersonate Santa Claus every holiday season.

Turns out, he’s paid quite a sum to do it.

Sandy Ryan of Anaheim Hills said she gave up big bucks for St. Nick, or Tim Connayhan, to be the main attraction at her Christmas party.

‘I think (I paid) $400 maybe. For an hour,” she said.

Connayhan, who is a professional Santa Claus year-round, said he’s already made appearances at six parties on Christmas Eve alone.

“I do about 60 events (during the holidays),” he said.

Connayhan, however, is not in the business for the money or the costume. After all, he’s taught 2,200 people to be Santa over the years.

“It’s not the red suit…it’s not even the beard. It’s what’s in your heart,” he said.

Ryan, who has been bringing Santa to her parties since 1992, spent around $5,000 for her entire event.

She said every penny is meant to remind her grandkids of the virtue of the holiday season.

“So my kids can believe in Christmas. You have to believe to receive, you know,” she said.


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