Who was Santa Claus? And who are all those Santas in malls and parades? Becoming Santa traces the history of Santa Claus and explores the phenomenon of the full-bearded Santas who work the holiday.

When Jack Sanderson–full disclosure, someone I have know for almost a decade– looses his holiday spirit after the deaths of his mother and father, he discovers a photo of his father dressed as Santa for a neighborhood party, and decides to maybe try being Santa for a season. He already has the build and beard, when a pair of kids came up to him in a store and called him Santa, so why not? One thing Jack learns at Santa school: Never call children “kids.”