Even Santa affected by the economy

Associated Press

ST. PAUL — The economy has been both naughty and nice for the guys who work as Santa Claus during the holiday season.

Some tell the St. Paul Pioneer Press that gigs at parties, corporate events and retailers are up, while others are happy that they have day jobs.

Santa Steve Van Hale of Stillwater says business is up this year. He’s been a professional Santa for 13 years and a full-time probation officer.

On the other hand, Santa Ken Courtier, 71, says he feels lucky he’s got his Social Security and tax preparation business to fall back on.

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