Santa, the Man

familyServant Santa, who is the man behind the “Red Suit.”  Born in Alabama 1959, Charles E. Barnett is the man behind the Red Suit.  Charles has attended the University of Alabama, Northwest Alabama Junior College, studied Greek and Hebrew at Oral Roberts University, and is a graduate of a private Bible College.

Charles has over 35 years of retail management, has assisted in founding two churches, and is a Bible teacher who expounds the Word of God in practical street language that appeals to both Christian and non-Christian.

He accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior at the age of 16, and was baptized.  Pursuing a career in marine biology, he answered the call to the ministry two years into circular college.  He then discontinued his studies to attend a private Bible College for biblical studies.

Charles never celebrated Christmas until 2001; he first donned the “Red Suit” in the year 2000, at the request of his employer.  Not having celebrated Christmas his whole life because of religious beliefs, he agreed to be Santa at a company Christmas party.  Thinking it would be a way to advance his career, and be a team player. He was not aware of what was soon to over take him!

Through a series of events, including auditing a class at Harding Graduate School in Memphis, Tennessee titled “New Testament World,” the sacred cows of his belief system came crashing down.  He became faced with the facts either his belief systems were wrong, or the Bible was wrong.  After reconstruction of his views about celebrating Christmas, in the light of what he had learned in class, Charles accepted the Gift of Being Santa.  It is said that, “You don’t chose to be Santa, the Gift of Santa choses you.”  Since then he has never looked back, and became the “Servant Santa!”

Charles considers it an honor, with great responsibility to be the second most recognized figure in the world.  The first being Jesus Christ, and the second being Santa Claus. There can be no other mission in life so rewarding as being part of the “Greatest Story Ever Told,” and the spreading love, joy, and good will toward men.

Charles has said, “Portraying Santa has made me a better Christian!”  You can be a Christian and get away with certain things, because people can’t see your heart.  But, when you look like and portray Santa, you give up your right to be angry or rude in public.  Suddenly you just can’t get away with certain things any more, and everyone expects you to be jolly and nice.  The thing I like most is the smiles I get when someone notices me, they don’t usually say anything, just look at me and smile.  I return their smile with a “wink and a nod!”  At that moment something magical happens between us, two perfect strangers.  The children just come right up to me and start talking like we’re best friends.  It’s a great joy to be able to lighten someone’s day, even if for a moment!

Charles currently makes Memphis, Tennessee his home in the summer, calling it his “North Pole Outpost,” where he now lives with his wife and daughter.