Christmas in July—Inside a Santa Summer Camp
Hundreds of professional Santas polished their skills in the blistering summer heat of Branson, Missouri.
It’s the middle of summer and the 10-story atrium at the Chateau on the Lake hotel is filled with Santas.
They are slow-moving spots of cotton-topped crimson along the railings of the upper floors. They crowd the glass-walled elevators, rising and falling in rushes of red, white, and green. They are at the bar, by the pool, and in long lines for the buffet. A few are planning to meet later for milk and cookies near the spa. Outside, in 90-degree temperatures, Santas compete in tug-of-war and footraces. At night, they dance in their Santa casual cocktail outfits on a twilight steamboat cruise.
And everywhere, there’s the sound of jingles. Not short, hard rings that might signal a passing sleigh, but the