Day 19 – First Batch of Photos

If you ask, you shall receive. Here are the first batch of photos from Friday night’s event. Do you just see the sheer joy on everyone’s face? The power of Santa does that.

Thanks to my lovely Elf assistant, Ms. Rachel Smith of Phantom Papers. Thanks for wandering around me and laughing at my jokes!


Day 17 – Santa Sutton was a Success

Last night’s Santa event was a total success and I have a sore throat to prove it! It is really hard to deepen your voice and HO HO HO all night (#whitegirlproblems). For some of the night I sat on a lovely arm chair provided by Halsted’s own Ms. Amanda (or at least her family let her borrow it) and folks would sit on my lap and take saucy photos with me.* The patrons were mainly doing the sauciness, turns out the gays sure know how to make a guy blush. I thought I was dirty…  Some of the night I wandered about the bar passing out candy canes. My favorite moments of the night were when I was standing outside of the bar trying to get pedestrians to come in. The music was blaring outside and with my big ol’ fat gut dancing is a lot more fun. The great part of being behind a mask made of a curly white beard is that you can act a fool and no one knows it’s you. So basically that is what I did all night, which complete strangers love. I think in another life I was an actor.

I brought along my elf photographer friend Rachel and she photographed the entire night, I’ll post those pictures as soon as I have them. Until I have that physical proof of how awesome the night was you will have to go off of my list of favorite things:

1) The lovely lady at the bar who, I think, had a bit of a Santa fetish. There are several photos of this young lady trying to get frisky with Santa, but turns out Santa is a bit of a tease.
2) The gay men that got saucy with Santa. I found out that Bears actually really DO like Santa. And turns out that Santa doesn’t mind getting grabby when provoked.
3) My walk to the bar. This was earlier in the night so people were sober and genuinely excited and merry. I had several guys walk out of their way for a block talking with me and listening to me talk to everyone I passed.
4) My walk home from the bar. This was later when everyone was wasted. Holy hell! I was a mini-celebrity. I actually almost shut down the intersection of Belmont and Halsted. Cabs were honking, people waving from cars, people on the other side of the street yelling and freaking out, people running across the street to take photos with me. If you have ever needed a confidence booster seriously, just dress as Santa, go to Boystown in the middle of the night on a Friday or Saturday. SO much fun.
5) Seeing my friends and being able to fake hit on them. I’m not sure that I did a great job or anything, but its fun to be able to see your friends as a different person, and to see how surprised they are by you.
6) Seeing the joy and Christmas spirit twinkling in people’s eyes.
7) Having drunk women climb all over me.
Because I don’t have any photos from my event I will just leave you with these thoughts for today. I’m not really sure what to call myself. I’m not a performer, or a comedian, or just a Santa that sits and asks what kiddies want for Christmas. I think I’ll just have to go with Christmas time Santa Entertainment Liaison. And here are my last thoughts:

So basically I’m pretty badass.
*When I woke up this morning my legs were completely sore. I feel like I did lunges and squats all night. I just realized it’s because parties of up to 4 adults were sitting on my lap. What a strange workout.

Day 16 – Santa Sutton Does Santacon

First off, today is the day! Halsted’s Bar and Grill, 10pm – 12pm. I’ll be there taking photos with folks, hitting on you inappropriately, probably telling you that you’ve been naughty and asking if you want to see my candy cane. I’m just saying. I’m hoping that no one spills their drinks on me tonight because that sure will make my family Christmas a whole different kind of memory for the children. It would probably be a little bit more closely related to a mall santa reeking of booze.

I’ve been following some photos and blogs regarding the New York City Santacon. Well, I have found plenty of great information on how to hit on the ladies as Santa Claus. I will NOT post that until after all of my Santa gigs are finished, I mean, I can’t give away ALL of our trade secrets. I didn’t really let anyone know that I was going to be at Santacon, because I couldn’t let anyone know that I was using the sleigh for the weekend. But here are a few photos of me in the Big Apple.

This is totally random but I thought I should address it.  I’ve been getting a lot of hatemail about my mad photoshop skillz. I just thought you should check yourself, before you wreck yourself. Yes, I do have mad photoshop skillz, but please, don’t be too jealous, I can teach you one day if you so desire my massive amounts of talent.

Day 14 – Santa’s Dislikes List

For my Santa Studies today I decided to re-watch A Christmas Carol. That Ebeneezer Scrooge sure is a mean mean old man. So it made me think, I wonder if Santa is a scrooge about anything. I made a list of the things that I think that the real Santa does not like.

The Real Santa’s Dislikes List

  • Lazy Elves – Those lame bastards. Elves were put on this earth to build toys and to squeeze into tight places. If they aren’t building toys they are just wasting North Pole resources.
  • Facial Wind Burns – Flying around the globe in one night, year in and year out, the wind burn from Christmas Eve is the most brutal you’ve ever seen. Santa absolutely loathes is how red his checks and nose get. People always think this is a cute little detail about Santa but he has really tried everything to get it to go away. He uses extra-strength Vaseline, Burt’s Bees and even prescription strength Rosacea medication but alas, his cheeks and nose will always be wind burned.
  • Mansions – Some mansions have multiple fireplaces and multiple chimneys. These monstrosities take precious minutes for Santa to find the correct Chimney, and then to find the correct Christmas Tree. Some of these houses have 3-4 trees!
  • Mrs. Claus during Swim Season – Santa loves Mrs. Claus with all his heart, but man o’ man does that woman get crazy during the swim suit months. I mean, do I even need to go into details on this one?
  • Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy Free, Sugar Free, Fun Free Cookies – Santa remembers the days when there was whole milk, and butter filled cookies, now there’s all this hippy-dippy stuff. His bowl full of jelly doesn’t agree with all those lame substitutes.
  • Easter – What kind of holiday mascot is an Easter Bunny? I mean, you can track the history of Santa Claus to several different origins, and he seems to fit with the holiday; giving, birth, peace and will towards man. Santa embodies all that crap. But the Easter Bunny? How in the hell does he symbolize Jesus rising? And eggs? Egg hunts? What kind of crap is that? Santa and the Easter Bunny have a notorious life-long feud going on. Heck, just google Santa Vs. Easter Bunny and this is what you get.

Things Santa Sutton dislikes about being Santa:

  • The Heat – That suit is just so incredibly steamy. Add layers of clothing, padding, make-up, plastic beard and wig and you might as well put me in a sauna. I was really flattered when one lady at my other gig told me that I had sweat through my suit jacket. It’s just that those clothes were made for the North Pole, not balmy Chicago.
  • The Inaccessibility of Bathrooms – Or it’s just the inaccessibility to being able to get out of the suit to go to the restroom.
  • Not Knowing Where I’m Walking – Usually I can see my feet, in the Santa Suit I cannot see my feet. Every once and awhile I will second guess a step and just looking down to see where my feet are going puts me off balance. I have not fallen yet. I will keep you posted if that were to happen*
  • The People Who Pretend Not to Notice Santa – Oh Come on. I know you want to look. Just look, smile and be merry. You don’t have to pretend not to make eye contact when we walk down the sidewalk. Be friendly you assholes.

And to prove that I am not the most manly person around I am now watching Love Actually and my heart is melting. “Christmas is all around me. And so the feeling grows.” I love to hate that song in the movie.

In other news, FRIDAY FRIDAY FRIDAY Halsted’s Bar + Grill, come visit, 9-11pm. Come sit on me, hit on me, buy me a hot cocoa and have a jolly ol’ time.

*In High School I had an inner ear infection and it happened to mess with my balance and gave me vertigo. There were maybe 3 or 4 times where I would be standing minding my own business when I would get really dizzy and fall over. As in, fall over while standing. Not any kinda of fall or anything, just, I’m there one second and on the ground the next. Luckily this only lasted a month or two.

Day 13 – Christmas Memories

I had to run a lot of errands today and every person that helped me promptly got a “HAPPY HOLIDAYS!” It was fun to see how taken off guard people were by my holiday cheer. I suppose it’s still early but giving me the ‘bitch-you-crazy’ look is just uncalled for. I’m never sure when it is too early for me to spread my seasonal joy, but I think that we are officially in the Christmas cheer phase.

For me Christmas time was always marked by the annual hanging of the outdoor lights right after Thanksgiving. This was a lovely tradition that my father and I shared. And by ‘lovely’ I mean ‘a complete nightmare.’ This might have been a tradition that my brother joined in on but I don’t have any memory of him being there. Maybe I’m a little foggy due to the multiple electrocutions. Let’s call these ‘electrocutions,’ ‘Happy Holiday Zaps.’ Getting Happy Holiday Zaps seemed to be part of the tradition every year. My dad and I would lay out every strand and inspect every bulb and every socket. As the strands got older my dad would patch one old light strand to another, or would cut out a bad socket. Our strands were always green and black, the black being electric tape. I would go to change a bulb in one of these Franken-light-strands and get a nice little Happy Holiday Zap. When I would get Holiday Zapped I inevitably would get all whiny and my dad would say, ‘It’s just a little stinger.’ So yeah, for me, Christmas time starts right after Thanksgiving out on the front lawn getting Happy Holiday Zaps, aka electrocuted. Ahhhh memories *le sigh*.

Another part of my family’s holiday tradition is… you guessed it, SANTA CLAUS. I always dress up on Christmas Eve and surprise all the kids with boats loads of presents. It started when Matthew, Joe, and Taylor were young, but now they are in Middle School and know it’s me. So now I am THE crazy Aunt. Below are some photos from Christmas Eve 2008.

While I’m typing this I am “researching” the perfect Christmas by watching “Christmas Vacation” and I realized that… THERE IS NO VACATION. I’ve been fooled all this damn time. I feel lied to. I suppose I’ll move on the second Clark takes out the chainsaw and says “Fixed the newel post.” LOVE that line.

I’ve also been working on a few Christmas presents and portfolio pieces so below is the start to an illustration I’m working on. If you take away the lines in Photoshop doesn’t that look cool? It’s supposed to be jazzy Santa. Thoughts?

Day 12 – Santa’s Motorcycle Madness

As with all holiday traditions and weddings, something must go wrong. I scheduled a time with a friend to take some pictures of me riding around town on my motorcycle as Santa. I gathered all of the necessary equipment for this adventures, my helmet, warm long johns, a bunch of coats and then my Santa gear. I had to walk to my motorcycle, as Santa, sans the beard, wig and hat. Lakeview at this time of day is a hopping place to be and again, the walk as Santa was my favorite part of my day. There were several There were several construction workers who were just as pleased as punch that I was walking down their sidewalk.

Long story short, after walking several blocks, the motorcycle wouldn’t start. I tried to keep my cool, as I’m sure watching a puffy-girl-Santa swearing at a motorcycle would be a little bit disturbing for a child. I tried everything I could, which basically entails me sitting on my motorcycle thinking looking pissed off and pretending to touch things on the engine as if my magic touch will start the beast up. Now that I’m in a Grinch of a mood you will just get the aftermath of my dressing up today. Here are the wonderful pictures of badass motorcycle riding Santa, indoors and with no motorcycle in sight.

As a reminder, THIS FRIDAY! FRIDAY! FRIDAY! at Halsted’s Bar and Grill I will be making my public debut. Come drink, be merry, sit on my lap and get your pictures taken by my fabulous mistress elf helper (Shhhh. Don’t tell Mrs. Claus). Tell me what you want for Christmas, tell me if you’ve been bad or good. I’ve pretty much decided that everyone has been naughty, but I’d like to hear your defense.

Also, in the spirit of this small setback, my favorite quote from Clark Griswold from Christmas Vacation.
“We’re gonna have the hap hap happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tapdanced with Danny fucking Kaye.”


Day 10 – Santa and Simeone’s Seasonal Soiree

Yesterday was my first paying Santa gig! It went so so well! I was a surprise guest at the fabulous Simeone Deary Desin Group’s Christmas party. My lovely friend Julie is an interior designer there and she knew her company would get a kick out of dirty Santa. There were maybe 20 extremely beautiful people seated at a long dinner table (hiya ladies ;)). We all just kinda hung out, I did a little bit where I passed out Christmas pencils, christmas tree toys, santa straws and I said something dirty about each of the toys. Then for the remainder of my hour I just kinda hung out and took photos with everyone in the photobooth, I’m not going to lie, I could have been dirtier. But I think that everyone just kinda loved having a girly man santa. I definitely got the belly down but I am pretty scrawny under that big coat.

After the gig I walked two blocks south to the school I attend, Chicago Portfolio School, to go spread a little holiday cheer. That two block walk was my favorite part of the whole day. People actually crossed the street to give me a hug. Three big manly Texan ranchers could not have been more happy to see me, every single one of them and their wives gave me HUGE hugs. I actually gave a meter maid a hug and told her that if it were any other time of the year I would walk as far away from here as possible and I was sorry about that. It’s a pretty amazing feeling to walk down the street and every person that you walk past smiles and waves, or actually talks to you.

Well below is a little snippet of my day as Santa. The prep only takes about 20 minutes but man do I look like a different person. Well, HO HO HO and Happy Saturday!

Day 9 – Santa Learned Photoshop

Today’s the day. My first hour long gig. Downtown. In front of people. People that are not my family members. I don’t have much to say about Santa today because I’ve already spent my morning doing a few trial runs. But then I got distracted by my wig and Photo Booth. I realized that I could technically play both the Mr and Mrs. Claus parts. I mean, how awesome would that be? Mrs. Claus comes out, gets the crowd riled up (clearly I’d be a sexy Mrs. Claus) and then I leave for 10 minutes and come back as Santa Claus, big fat perverted Santa Claus. So fun. I just doubled my rates.

Ok, wait, my Mrs. Claus is kinda creepy too.

After my post last night I looked up a few youtube videos on how to wear a wig (Have you watched any ‘cosplay’ videos? Man that stuff is weird… this coming from a drag king lesbian perverted Santa Claus). I learned that you can buy thigh-high pantyhose to use as a wig cap. THEN I learned that you can see what you look like bald with a little pantyhose and photoshop. I’ve always wanted to see what I would look like bald, I think that this quells my curiosity. I can move on now, and probably never sleep again.

Tomorrow I will recap the gig. Wish me luck.

Also, here’s a bonus video from Photo Booth. Man that thing is addicting.

Day 8 – Santa’s Lady Partner

In my search for all things Santa I realized I had been ignoring the most important thing. Mrs.Claus. Who is this woman? What makes her tick? How would she feel about naughty Santa hosting a Ladies’ Night in the middle of Boystown? Well, I decided that my version of Mrs. Claus is a badass. She’s always baking the best cookies, giving me awesome foot massages and for the month of December I get a free pass to do whatever I want outside of work (I think she just allows that so that she can have free reign with the elves while I’m out of town. Think about it, one woman and hundreds of elves? It’s kinda like the Smurfs.) She also puts up with me spying on millions of children and naughty women. Somewhere in this post I wanted to write that she loves Santa because he’s good at slipping into tight places. Well, I just did.

While studying other versions of Mrs. Claus I came upon this highly disturbing image of the Claus’. Are they trying to strangle each other? I’m pretty sure they are. Not the happy couple that I always imagine.

Last minute things I’m thinking about before my first gig in public (as in, I have to walk into a restaurant and be led to a private party room… Should be an interesting commute to ‘work.’):

  • I should have bought a wig cap.
  • Santa has his nose pierced right? Well, this Santa sure does and will not be removing it.
  • Do I have enough candy canes?
  • Have I memorized enough Santa pick up lines?
  • I should practice a few HO HO HOs before tomorrow. Santa-ing in the shower?

Wish me luck! I’ll definitely be documenting the process and the day. Also, good luck to all the Burnett Breakfasters! Enjoy your holiday party, I hope to see you all after my Santa gig.

Day 7 – Santa’s Deep Thoughts

Today’s Santa Sutton blog will be focused on the details of things that you would never really think about if you weren’t becoming a drag king Santa. Things such as, how in the world will I go to the bathroom once I leave my house? I mean, first of all, I have TONS of clothing on, padding, straps, safety pins, all sorts of things to get through. But my main concern is this; I’m a pretty convincing dude, until I talk, so will I be walking into Women’s bathrooms and concerning bar patrons? I mean, if you saw a Santa walking into the women’s bathroom you’d be a little concerned right? So what does that leave me with? I could go into the men’s room but I think that would be a little bit more awkward for me (I’m giggling out loud picturing myself as Santa in a men’s room looking like a deer in headlights.) I guess I’ll just have to announce myself as I enter all public restrooms as Santa, “HO HO HO! Santa’s a woman that’s got to go!” I’ll have to work on that.

Another concern was how do I get to my gigs, obviously I usually have the sleigh and reindeer but they are getting their pre-Christmas tune-ups, massages and training runs in. Here in Chicago do I take the CTA? I don’t think so. I think that one of my expenses as a Santa without a sleigh should be cab fares. The Halsted’s gig is literally 4 blocks away from my house (by “house” I mean the “North Chicago Pole Office”), so I get to do a 4 block trial run prior to my gig.

What if some drunk scrooge decides to mess with my beard and wig? I will just like you to know that I’ve been undergoing some experimental treatment to cure an addiction to cookies and milk. My problem is that part of my job requires me to have milk and cookies, but that just fuels the addiction. This experimental treatment entails a medicinal beta-blocker cocktail that’s allows me to eat cookies and milk only briefly in December. The downside to the treatment is that I have lost all of my long flowing white locks of hair. So please, if you come to an event, don’t pull off my wig and beard, Mrs. Claus and I have had a very rough year dealing with my physical transformation.

What if I’m not naughty enough for the Naughty Package? Who am I kidding, I’m Santa Sutton, I’ll naughty it up all night. Any ideas of naughty things that I can tell people I’m going to get them instead of a real present?

There is just so much to think of before Friday.

Also, to prove how long I’ve been doing this, I went through my gear again last night and found my first wig and beard, I’m currently on my third*. The first picture is supposed to be more of a cartoon type Santa, but it ended up more like “Dreaded-Rasta-Yosemite-Sam” Santa. The second is my current luscious treatment beard. Thoughts?

*The second wig and beard were actually never worn by me, they were hand-me downs and reeked of cigarette smoke. Carly and I decided to put them in the dryer with a fabric softener sheet on the lowest setting for 5 minutes, but we forgot about them in there. By the time we got them out they were basically melted to each other. We spent hours trying to afro pick the plasticy hair apart but it was a lost cause. The End.