The eight principles that make up the Santa Claus Oath were written with the ideals of what portraying Santa should be about. Authored by professional Santa, Phillip L. Wenz, the Oath was inspired by the lives of the two most prolific Santa Claus actors of the 20th century: Charles W. Howard of Albion, New York and Raymond “Jim” Yellig of Santa Claus, Indiana. Upon writing the Santa Claus Oath and publishing it to numerous Santa Claus group websites, the document was adopted by nearly every Santa Claus organization and individual Santa portrayer in the world.
The Oath was dedicated in October 2008 with great pleasure and historical significance. The grandsons of Charles W. Howard and Jim Yellig met in the round room of the Candy Castle in Santa Claus, Indiana, where their grandfathers had met 70 years prior. Will Koch, Jim Yellig’s grandson and Charles Bergeman, Charles W. Howard’s grandson, represented their families and their famous grandfathers by recording the first signatures to the Santa Claus Oath.
In March of 2009 at the Santa Claus Convention in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, the Santa Claus Oath was presented for the first time in public to the Santa Claus community. At the convention, over 600 Santas, Mrs. Clauses and helpers recited in unison the Oath’s eight principles. After the Convention, a traveling ceremony was created for Santa groups to use at their regional gatherings. The Traveling Santa Claus Oath Ceremony has been to 35 cities in the United States and to four other countries; Canada, Denmark, Great Britain and Australia. Along with the traveling ceremony, an official Santa Claus Oath Book was created to hold the thousands of signatures from these events.