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Santa students suit up to learn old Saint Nick's tricks

Department store hires attend classes to become professional Santas ahead of the holiday shopping season at London's Santa School.

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Performers dressed as Santa Claus stand in a line at the Ministry of Fun Santa School in London on Nov. 16, 2017.

The Ministry of Fun Santa School is Britain's only genuine training school for professional Santas, preparing a dozen trainee Father Christmases before heading out to Britain's department stores, tourist landmarks and private parties for the festive season.

Matt Dunham / AP
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A student Santa looks at his reflection while putting on his costume ahead of a lesson.

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Instructor James Lovell, right, teaches student Santas how to laugh like Father Christmas.

According to AFP, Lovell said being a good Santa is about training, not improvisation. "It is a big deal. Children are coming to meet him because he is a special person," he said.

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Performers dressed as Santa Claus listen intently in a classroom.

Yui Mok / PA via AP
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Lovell adjusts the costume of a student Santa during a class.

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Santa Claus performers get ready with red velvet costumes, bushy white beards and black boots before taking part in a classroom session.

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A student Santa speaks with people outside a pub as he takes a break from his training.

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Lovell talks through the finer points of outfit details as performers dressed as Santa Claus and an Elf learn the names of all 12 reindeer.

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Father Christmas performers react as they receive instruction.

According to Lowell, well trained Santas have to be able to move with an ambling gait and are encouraged to practice bellowing over and over their signature greeting: "Ho, ho, ho!"

Yui Mok / PA via AP
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Student Santas take off their costumes at the lunch break during training sessions.

Adrian Dennis / AFP - Getty Images
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Students dressed as Father Christmas and Elf performers take part in holiday training.

Matt Dunham / AP
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A student Santa drinks a cup of tea through a straw to avoid staining his mustache and beard during a break from Saint Nick classes.

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Lovell adjusts the costume of a student Santa during training.

Adrian Dennis / AFP - Getty Images
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