Every Santa Claus has his own Philosophy — a Code of Values that expresses what it is he truly believes in. Here’s Elf Without Jingles’ Philosophy:

Trust the child, and let him/her imagine first! Imagination is always essential to the values that have shaped Mankind for centuries. Encouraging imagination is just important if you plan on becoming a proper Santa Claus. Once you’ve put on the red suit, it’s not enough to simply ask that boy or that girl “What do you want  for Christmas?” Listen to that child’s imagination. Follow it, and then use it to help him or her be more comfortable. That way, everybody benefits.

Never abandon anyone’s imagination! Most of the time, a typical Santa will tell each child, “I’ll see what I can do.” But leave it to my good friend, children’s book and comic book illustrator Tony DeTerlizzi, to spell out the truth for us all. “Never abandon imagination” is Tony’s personal code. For him, as well as for me, it means that a world devoid of imagination and creativity, is a world forever dominated by the forces of doubt. Christmas is the greatest season of all, I think, when Imagination can always triumph over Doubt.

Don’t be afraid to have fun! As the years immediately following the events of September 11th have all too often shown us, our world has forgotten how to have fun. What world has this become where the very word “fun” is enough to cause anger in even the most cynical amongst us? I’ve spent close to four decades now struggling with that; I’m sure that a lot of you parents/caregivers out there have struggled with it as well. What to be done, then? Why, that’s simple: NEVER be afraid to have fun! Pass the idea of fun to your children and grandchildren; let them share that idea with everyone else; give them your unconditional positive regard, and try to encourage it within others. Only when we learn to start having fun again will this be a better, less complicated world.

Remember the ones who taught you! The first, and I think the best, step in becoming a great Santa Claus is to remind yourself of your old teachers, the Santas from whom you learned when you first decided to devote your life what is literally a multibillion-dollar worldwide industry…. a world where there is much happening behind the scenes that a chosen few ever gain access to. In my immediate case, I merely stumbled my way into the Kringleverse —- and needless to say, the rest is history! Ho ho ho!