Life Lessons: Caleb Sigmon, Charlotte’s 24-Year-Old Santa Claus

November 27, 2017 - photo frame

He’ll light a uptown tree this year, yet Santa is a millennial


A BIG CHAIR had an dull seat. The male requisitioned to play Santa in a 2010 Festival on a Square in Granite Falls died unexpectedly. The Caldwell County city indispensable a new Santa with tiny time to find one.

The festival executive sought a hometown teen who complicated during UNC School of a Arts. The student—17-year-old Caleb Sigmon—initially incited down a part, yet motionless he couldn’t leave a Christmas festival though a Santa. 

Caleb, however, desired it. He’s been personification Santa ever since. Now, during 24, Caleb stays an doubtful Santa. There’s his age, for one. And his appearance. This veteran actor and illusionist passes some-more simply for a immature Benedict Cumberbatch than a Saint Nicholas.

The mutation comes around his mother Katy, a veteran melodramatic dress designer. She combined his tradition Santa suit, and nonetheless a sorcery of Santa can be in question, a sorcery of Katy’s dress cannot. Put a design of Caleb in bland life beside a design of him as Santa, and it’s tough to mark a similarity. 

Even yet Caleb doesn’t naturally demeanour like Santa, he does sound like him. The energy. The enthusiasm. The adore of kids and magic. This is not usually a gig, yet it’s a purpose he anticipates all year: operative prolonged hours any holiday deteriorate to move smiles to kids—which sounds like a pursuit outline of someone else…

Caleb will be Santa in this year’s uptown and South End tree lightings. And, as always, he’ll lapse to that strange large chair in Granite Falls. Here he is in his possess words, edited for clarity and length. 

People tell Santa things that they don’t tell other people. It was my initial night as Santa, and this immature male came adult to revisit and lay on my lap. He wanted a span of boots and a toothbrush for Christmas. It strike me so hard. What am we ostensible to contend to this boy? we had this outrageous impulse of realizing how many shortcoming had been placed on me in this role. The usually thing we could contend to him was that we was going to urge for him and do all we presumably could to make certain he had a best Christmas ever. And we don’t know if he got boots or a toothbrush for Christmas. But that child is substantially a reason that we still put on that fit any Christmas.


I’ve been peed on, thrown adult on, kicked in a shin, punched in a face. I’ve gotten it all. And we consider that’s one of a things that also keeps me entrance back; it’s a tiny bit indeterminate and somewhat dangerous. Especially with toddlers. You never know how they’re going to respond. They’ve listened of this man all year prolonged … They’re all hyped up. You’ve got to review them. 


Once there was a lady who walked into a line alone, and we saw that he had a design support in his arms, a design confronting toward him, hold tighten to him. He incited a design around, and it was a design of this unequivocally adorable, tiny baby that was wearing a tiny (hospital) armband. He asked, ‘Do we mind holding a picture…’ yet he couldn’t get by his question. we didn’t ask; it was accepted (that a baby had died). So we pronounced ‘Yes, absolutely’ (and put a support on my knee). we wanted to make him feel comfortable, and we can’t even suppose what he must’ve felt like even withdrawal his automobile and walking into a mall. You couldn’t hear anything else in that room yet a snap of that camera. Time slowed down … The father chose a design that he unequivocally favourite and got out his wallet to pay, and we told him that there was no approach we’re going to ask him to compensate for this. He was going to give a print to his mother for Christmas. He didn’t know what to say. We hugged any other. As shortly as he left, we usually mislaid it. 


I common a story on Facebook with my friends, and it unequivocally exploded, that we didn’t design to happen. The infancy (of messages) were from ladies who went by a detriment of a child: ‘I wish we to know that this print desirous so many lamentation grandmothers and mothers to do a same.’ That’s my remuneration for this. Being means to bond with these people.


(Being Santa) has taught me how we default to putting on equine blinders in my life. And all to (kids) is so extraordinary and magical. Today, we did not demeanour during a singular cloud in a sky to see if it looked like a dragon or a equine or a rhinoceros. Kids do that. we feel like they’re so in balance with a universe around them. we consider that they adore harder. That’s something that I’m training and will continue to learn—how to adore with some-more forward abandon, and how to select to see some-more wonder.


I call it a interview, when a kids and we chaff behind and onward a bit. One year, a child and we were flattering knee low in a interview, and we asked him, ‘Have we been good this year? Are we listening to grownups? Cleaning your room? Eating your vegetables? The critical stuff?’ And he looked during me and he said, ‘Santa, I’ve been middle good this year.’


This is about entrance to revisit Santa, this is not about a picture. The sketch is a product of a knowledge … Adults have this hyped up. Everything has to demeanour usually right. we would contend 98 percent of a time, they unequivocally skip out on a experience, on something they can truly remember since they spend it worrying about something that’s so tiny and so insignificant. And afterwards a child gets undone and bursts into tears, and we were usually wanting to hang, we know? This is a one time in a year to get to see any other and talk. And it’s kind of cleared divided in a inundate of expectations of things that are unimportant. Truthfully, a shoulder tag that slipped down or a hair being disorderly is substantially what’s going to make that design many special down a road. 


I do things flattering differently. we don’t always wear gloves or a hat, infrequently we consider that’s a tiny intimidating to kiddos. we play on a building a lot, and that’s what creates a difference—the comfort turn in a experience.


Playing on a building is where a sorcery happens. I’ve got a tiny golden elfin produce and a wooden truck. we lay there and we produce on a wheels and play with a knobs. If a kids are unequivocally shy, stealing behind a parent’s leg, I’ll usually say, ‘Oh hey, good to see you! I’m usually operative on my truck, and I’ll be with we in a minute.’ I’ll hurl a lorry over to them and ask them to hurl it back. And they’ll hurl it back, so I’ll say, ‘It works! Thank you!’ And we get them to deposit in this object. I’ll hurl it back, yet we won’t hurl it all a way, so they have to come a tiny closer. Before we know it, we’re sitting on a building together, operative on a truck. We demeanour up, we squeeze a picture, and afterwards we can speak about a visit. Especially with kids on a autism spectrum, it’s many easier to describe to an intent than to a person. That’s how they’re means to revisit with me and connect.


‘What is your favorite cookie?’ That’s a big-pressure question. They might watch a film and a Santa in that film says that he loves chocolate-chip cookies or they might review a book that says Santa loves snickerdoodle cookies. And so we usually start fixing all a cookies. ‘I unequivocally like a chocolate-chip cookie, yet we also like a sugarine cookie.’ And afterwards we speak about snickerdoodles and macadamia nuts, and afterwards I’ll say, ‘But you’ll never trust what we had today: a macaroni-and-cheese cookie!’ And a kids always laugh, and it diffuses a vigour of giving them a clear answer.


Kids might ask, ‘Are we a genuine Santa?’ My sweeping response to all of them, no matter how aged they are, is ‘That’s something we can’t tell you. It’s adult to we to consider about on your own. But we trust that Christmas sorcery is real, and Santa’s adore exists in all of us.’ And really, it’s not my pursuit to make them trust that we am Santa Claus. It sounds political: we can conjunction endorse nor deny. So I’ll say, ‘That’s adult to you. If we don’t consider I’m Santa, that’s fair. That’s fair. But we do expostulate a sleigh. we have a bureau of elves. Rudolph and we played in a yard this morning. But hey, that’s adult to we to decide.’


This design is something that people will keep and cherish. Maybe when they’re 65 and display their grandkids their design with Santa, they’ll say, ‘And that’s a day Santa told me about a macaroni and cheese cookie.’

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