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Nov 25, 1976: Twenty-eight members of the Sears Roebuck Santa Claus school get some final tips before they begin four-week stints as St. Nick.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: John Malmin / Los Angeles Times

Nov. 21, 1979: Some of the 15 Santas taking part in a training class at Sears district headquarters in Alhambra get acquainted with some electronic games. "It's important that Santa keep his credibility" in knowing all about the toys, said Sears spokesman Nat Read.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: R. L Oliver / Los Angeles Times

Dec. 7, 1992: John Whiteriver rides an unusual bicycle to his job as a Santa in downtown Whittier. Perhaps his reindeer had the day off.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Joe Kennedy / Los Angeles Times

Nov. 23, 1984: Patrick Cullen, 17 months, makes his first visit to Santa at Northridge Fashion Square.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Brian Gadbery / Los Angeles Times

Dec. 19, 1985: Travis Parry, 68, as Santa, can often be found surrounded by young and old at South Coast Village in Santa Ana.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Ken Lubas / Los Angeles Times

Nov. 18, 1979: The Broadway department store Santa makes his way along Flower Street in downtown Los Angeles during a promotion starting the Christmas season five days before Thanksgiving.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

Dec. 13, 1979: Santa, actually Los Angeles Police Department Sgt. Jack Rose of Rampart Division, arrives at the Blind Children's Center for a holiday party.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times

Dec. 8, 1977: George McClintock, who has been on the job 16 years at Santa's Village in the San Bernardino National Forest, counsels Amy Spain, 2, of Riverside, about her Christmas list. McClintock's beard is his own.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: R. L. Oliver / Los Angeles Times

Dec. 19, 1958: Children gather around the fireplace as Santa makes his entrance at Breakfast Club party.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Frank Q. Brown / Los Angeles Times

Dec. 8, 1990: Olivia Senecal, 11 months, wears her road runner sunglasses while having her picture taken with Santa at the Rolling Hills Plaza in Torrance. Santa's photographer borrowed Santa's sunglesses from a spectator in line. This Santa was actually Los Angeles Times reporter Bob Pool.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

Dec. 20, 1990: Los Angeles Times reporter Bob Pool for his Secret Santa series. In this image here is the Kosher Santa on duty strolling through Farmer's Market looking for kids.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

Dec. 13, 1987: Toughy the cat, under Santa's cap, gets his picture taken with Shogun Santa in Little Tokyo Village.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Lori Shepler / Los Angeles Times

Dec. 22, 1971: Kay Hogg and Lester Northrup get completely into the Christmas spirit during the annual Marina del Rey boat parade. This photo was published in the Dec. 23, 1971 LA Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Harry Chase / Los Angeles Times

Dec. 18, 1968: Santa Claus, Torrance High School football player Terry Waters, hands out gifts to Head Start children at Evangelical Brethren. More than 70 Torrance students distributed gifts to 300 children at five Head Start centers. This photo was published in the Dec. 19, 1968 LA Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Ben Olender / Los Angeles Times

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Before it was called Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving was Santa arrival day. Every year my parents dragged me down to see the big guy. One year I was the big guy — cool job.

Here are the best images from the Los Angeles Times library Santa file.


Scott Harrison

[undated: Original photo gallery from 2010 updated for Thanksgiving 2011 with three additional Santa photos. Updated again for 2012 with two additional photos.]

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