Timothy Connaghan

Profile Updated: January 2, 2021
Residing In Babylon, NY USA
Spouse/Partner Barbara
Homepage http://www.NationalSanta.com
Occupation The National Santa Claus
Children Morgan Killeen Connaghan, 1/19/1987 - Married to Jonathan Sheriff
Military Service U.S. Army  

In case you were wondering who the world's most prolific and active Santa is, look no further than Santa Tim Connaghan!
• National Santa for the Marines Toys for Tots Foundation,
• Official Santa for the Hollywood Christmas Parade.
• 2011 Inductee – Santa Claus Hall of Fame.
• Trainer of over 2600 Santas and Mrs. Claus through his School4Santas!
• Owner of America’s largest Santa Booking agency RealSantas.com
• One of America’s foremost experts on Santa Claus and the Business of Santa.
• Former President to one of America’s Largest Santa Groups.

It all started in 1969, when for just 30 minutes, wearing a beard of shaving cream, he served as Santa for his fellow soldiers in Viet Nam. That simple event led to his now being one of America’s most recognized Santas.

Hand-picked by Hollywood’s Original Honorary Mayor, Johnny Grant, Connaghan is now celebrating over 45 years of wearing the Red Suit, and his tenth year as the official Santa for the City of Los Angeles’ annual Hollywood Christmas Parade.

As an Entrepreneur and entertainer he has established himself in the Santa world, through his personal contributions, and as Ppresident of, The Kringle Group, LLC, which includes a variety of businesses.

Through his School4Santas, officially known as the International University of Santa Claus, (IUSC), he has trained over 2600 Santas and Mrs. Claus. The school is recognized as the largest annual Professional Santa School in the world and is based on his book: “Behind the Red Suit – The Business of Santa Claus.”

In recent years the school has been presented on select Princess Cruises in the Caribbean, Alaska, Hawaii and Europe, and featured on various television shows including The Travel Channel which will feature the School on Princess Cruises as part of a Holiday show in this Fall.

A “24/7/365” Santa, he also directs RealSantas.com, one of America’s largest and busiest Santa Claus booking agencies with offices in New York and Los Angeles, and supplying ‘real beard’ Santas for as many as 1,400 events and promotions each year. He is one of the world’s busiest Holiday suppliers of Santas for malls, photo studios and special events all over the world.

Clients for Real Santas include, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Radio City Music Hall, Macy’s Sears, Wal Mart, Kiddie Kandid, Curacao Stores, Toys R Us. Kid R Us, Southwest Airlines, K-Mart, Hallmark, Dave and Busters, Hertz, Federal Realty, Disney, David Letterman, the Mentalist, Castle, and more.

Santa Tim, like all other Santas, donates some of his time to various charities. In addition to his volunteer visits to various Children’s Hospitals and Ronald McDonald House, one of his proudest accomplishments has been the establishment of a special web site he hosts: www.SantaCares.US

The web site, using his personal data base of over 2,200 Santas, is designed to assist non-profit schools, organizations and most importantly, Military Units and Hospitals in finding Santas for holiday visits.

He also coordinates Santas for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve “Toys for Tots” community campaigns.

Many honors have been presented to Santa Tim, but the most prestigious is his induction into the International Santa Claus Hall of Fame at Santa Claus, Indiana in December of 2011. He is currently one of only 30 men who have received this award from the Santa Claus Oath Foundation.

Past inductees include Edmund Gwenn from Miracle on 34th Street, Mickey Rooney and Haddon Sundbloom who created the famous image of the Coca-Cola Santa.

In 2013, he was also presented the prestigious Charles W. Howard Award. Chosen by the Howard Family, the award is presented to an individual who continues the traditions started by Charles W. Howard of teaching and sharing the work of Santa.

Connaghan is an accomplished performer, comedian, public speaker, producer and consultant, and author of “Get a Head Start on Christmas, “a guide to Holiday Organizing and having a “Stress-Free Christmas,” with advice and handy hints on how to enjoy and get the most out to the holiday season.

As an RBS (Real Bearded Santa), and one who is very knowledgeable on the origins, evolution and history, from Saint Nicholas to Santa Claus, he is often called on as an expert or authority regarding Christmas facts and lore.

In the role of ‘Kris Kringle,’ he speaks on “The Origins of Santa Claus,” “The Symbols of Christmas, “Fifteen things you did not know about a Mall Santa,” and “How to get a Head Start on Christmas.”

His voice ranges from the baritone styles of Gary Owens and Don Pardo to the comic diversity of characters including Bullwinkle, Barney, Goofy and Mickey, studying with famed character voice artist June Foray.

Having performed in Community Theater, his comic timing and tenor/baritone range are well received. He is comfortable in front of any audience whether it is four, forty, or forty thousand. As Comedian, “Kris K”, he has appeared at the Improv, Ice House, Comedy Store and other locations across the U.S.

For three years he led the nation’s largest Santa association, AORBS, the Amalgamated Order of Real Bearded Santas, and hosted the first modern day convention for Santas. In July of 2016 he will direct “Discover Santa 2016,” a tenth anniversary convention with projections to have over 1,000 Santas in attendance.

Seen by millions on Dr. Phil, The Today Show, Tonight Show, The Doctors, Mad-TV, Deal or No Deal, and Ryan Seacrest Show, he has acted in movies and television shows, including: “Castle,” “It’s Complicated,” “Southland,” “Suburgatory,” “Cinema Verite,” “the Mentalist,”

He has also been featured in many documentary and news shows for the History Channel, National Geographic, Travel Channel and the USA Network.

Santa Tim’s annual release of Santa Statistics and his position in the Santa community are well known and have led to appearances on the Neil Cavuto Show, CNN, NBC, ABC’s Nightline, Bloomberg News, Fox News and PBS,

His interviews have been featured in Time, the Wall Street Journal, Reader’s Digest, Los Angeles Times, and via hundreds of stories in many local, regional, national and international media.

A major figure at spectacular tree lightings, major events, and celebrity parties, millions of children and their families have been delighted with appearances from Santa Tim.

These include The Kodak Theater, The Grove in Los Angeles, Hollywood & Highland, Toys for Tots @ NYSE, Capitol Records, Hallmark, Los Angeles Country Club, The Salvation Army, The St. Regis Resort and Spa, K-Mart, The USO, Dr. Phil and Robin McGraw, Reese Witherspoon, Candy Spelling, Joel Silver Marvin & Barbara Davis and Steven Spielberg.
He is in high demand for corporations, organizations and media promotions, advertising and commercials having worked for Coca-Cola, Sears, Microsoft, Toys for Tots, Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, I-Hop, In-N-Out Burgers, KIIS-FM, Kraft, Nabisco, Oreo’s, Target, Planter's, Ritz, Macy’s, McDonalds, Southwest Airlines, Von’s Corporation, The Regent Beverly Wilshire, Dannon, Old Navy, The Kodak Theater, Disney, Wal-Mart, Honey Baked Ham, and Cool Whip. He has also appeared on five catalogue covers for J.C. Penney

A native Californian and the oldest of eleven children, Tim’s first experience as Santa occurred on December 23, 1969. Wearing a beard of Barbasol shaving cream he handed out holiday packages to his fellow soldiers serving in Viet Nam.

He served in the U.S. Army’s 9th Infantry Division and is a recipient of the Bronze Star and other awards. In February, 2008 he was awarded the Military Legion of Honor’s Humanitarian Award.

It was while in Viet Nam that he first served as Santa.
Upon his return home, he attended Long Beach City College and California State University at Long Beach where he majored in Communications. In addition he holds both a certificate in Corporate Communications and one in Fundraising from USC (University of Southern California).

It was in just before Christmas in 1970, and while still in college, that he donned his first Red Suit, working at a Southern California Bullock’s Department Store, which later became part of Macys. It was just a years after his Santa role in Viet Nam!

He spent three years as Santa for Bullocks and expanded his work as Santa, volunteering for a variety of community projects with the Jaycees.

Following college and his studies in broadcast journalist, Tim spent almost a decade as a News Director and radio personality at small California radio stations.

While in radio, he found his talent for project development and fund raising, which began a 25-year career raising millions of dollars working for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the March of Dimes, the City of Hope, and The American Cancer Society.

As a fund raiser he helped produce dinners, concerts, telethons and special events including shows at the Hollywood Bowl and Universal Amphitheater, with the Beach Boys, Rick Springfield, Lucille Ball, George Burns, Rick Dees, Florence Henderson, Marie Osmond, John Schneider, Bob Hope and many other celebrities.

As a volunteer, he continued his community work with the Jaycees and in the late 70’s he was elected President of the Lakewood Chapter. He then moved on to various state chairmanships and was eventually elected California State Vice President for Community Programs in the 1985.

Tim Connaghan has performed, entertained and produced special events throughout California for over 30 years, including community theatre, performing magic, producing shows at the Hollywood Bowl and Universal Amphitheater, and announcing at the Coliseum.

His strong and patriotic support of voting programs and efforts to bring hostages home from Iran, garnered him an international award for community services from the Junior Chamber International.

And during all of those years, he continued wearing the red suit every Christmas for family, fellow employees, friends and special groups.

He says his many years in a variety of jobs and positions were God’s way of preparing him for the greatest job of all …..becoming Santa Claus!

In 1995, after watching a television program where a ‘real’ bearded Santas was featured, his wife suggested that being Santa might be a good retirement. So he threw his razor away and within a few years was worked a variety of parties and events each Christmas.

He learned of a local Santa association and in 1998 he attended a luncheon with the Amalgamated Order of Real Bearded Santas. As his Santa work evolved, In 2003, he assumed the role of Executive Director of the 250 member, “Amalgamated Order of Real Bearded Santas” (AORBS).

By January of 2007 the organization had grown to over 1,300 members he had produced the “Discover Santa” Convention and he was elected the associations first President.

The leadership of AORBS, the Convention and portions of his life story, are the basis of a new Scott Rudin/Mike White movie “Santa Wars,” scheduled to begin production in 2014 at Paramount.

In his over 46 years his wardrobe has grown to include many red suits, and he continues his dedication to the traditions of Saint Nicholas and the goal of keeping the realism of Santa Claus alive.

When he has a few moments of free time, he is working on two other books, “Memories of Santa,” a collection of Santa experiences from our favorite celebrities and heroes, and “Santa Remembers,” an auto-biography with stories and experiences from his over 45 years as a Santa.

When not traveling, making public appearances and teaching, he splits his time between California and New York, where he lives with his wife Barbara. He has one daughter, Morgan, a financial analyst who works in New York City.

A member of SAG/AFTRA he is represented on the West Coast by Coast to Coast Talent (323) 845-9200 and in New York by Stewart Talent (212) 315-5505. He can be reached for consultations, appearances and presentations on his Sleigh Phone at: (631) 871-4901 or: Santa@NationalSanta.com
Last Update – December 1, 2013

School Story

During my time at Millikan, and when I could find the time, I participated in the Sr. Class Council, Sabre and Chevron, Boys League, Prep Club, Tom Dooley Youth League, Mixed Chorus, Radio Production Lab and worked as the Varsity Football Manager. I also worked for the school district and was an aid to Mr. (Andy) Seymour, and performed numerous task around the school in addition to being the aide-de-camp to the our mascot, Robby the Ram. As the oldest of eleven children, I also worked in a family business four or five hours every morning before school. On weekends, I often also worked as volunteer Production Assistant at KCOP-Channel 13 for a television show, Fun-for-All

Timothy's Latest Interactions

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Jun 03, 2020 at 1:33 AM
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Timothy Connaghan changed his "Now" picture.
Jul 21, 2016 at 5:37 AM
Jul 21, 2016 at 5:35 AM
Jun 03, 2016 at 1:33 AM
Timothy Connaghan added a comment on Harold Dixon's Video. New comment added.
Oct 06, 2015 at 6:47 AM

Posted on: Oct 06, 2015 at 6:47 AM

University Distinguished Professor awards honor faculty who have made sustained contributions of consistent educational excellence and have demonstrated outstanding commitment to undergraduate education. Harold W. Dixon is a Professor of Theatre Arts
Jun 03, 2015 at 1:34 AM
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Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 10:32 PM
With Jewel at the 2013 Tree Lighting and Taping of the television special, "A Hollywood Christmas from the Grove."
Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 10:32 PM
Appearing on the Today Show with Giada de Laurentis
Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 10:32 PM
Ringing the Bell at the New York Stock Exchange in support of the Marine's Toys for Tots campaign
Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 10:32 PM
Joining with the Marines support team for the Blue Angels as we deliver over 100,000 toys for the children affected by Hurricane Sandy.
Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 10:32 PM
Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 10:32 PM
Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 10:32 PM
Riding in the Hollywood Christmas Parade with my Marine Escourt.