Flexibility: Low

Social Engagement: High

What’s what: Do you instinctively know who’s been bad or good? For goodness sake, be Santa!

Amava Take: As flexible jobs go, this one’s guaranteed to be jolly! Yes, you may have to wear a somewhat less than breathable fabric and, sure, there’s always that kid who cries during the photo-shoot, but studies show you’ll be spreading cheer of the very best kind way more often than not. And to think they’ll pay you for this!

From the front office:

What kinds of candidates are you looking for to fill these jobs?

Clairvoyant, bearded, baritones who look great in red.

Any tips for first-timers to make it a productive and fulfilling experience?

Learn the kid’s name!

What’s a typical daily schedule like?

Generally, it’s a shift at a mall with long lines of people waiting just to meet you. And you get a comfy chair.

From the trenches:

What’s the most satisfying part of the job?

The kids who ask for something modest are adorable.

How would you describe the hard parts?

Kids who cry when they get too close and leaky diapers.

Favorite Santa song?

You have to ask? He’s the boss!

Special requirements: This is one where it helps to look the part. But you’d be amazed how much you can change your appearance with a pillow-belly and a beard. As always, the right pair of glasses goes far. For obvious reasons, Santa applications will be detailed, and you may have to submit to fingerprinting and a background check, but the pay can be surprisingly good. Believe it or not, you can go to Santa School to get in-depth instruction on how to be the best Santa you can be.

Finding a position: Most malls have Santas (and some have Mrs. Claus as well as greeters and organizers), and many department stores do too. Most start work after Thanksgiving, but that can vary and there are usually many shifts available. You can search on talent websitesThis article details elite Santas making big bucks and these three Santas explain what it takes to do the job right.