Calling All Kringles: The Annual Santa Claus Congress Kicks Off in Denmark

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Attendees at a previous Santa Claus Congress enjoy a yuletide dip.

Every year since 1957, Santa Clauses from around the world have descended on an amusement park north of Copenhagen for an annual congress. There they spread good cheer, have friendly competitions—and, NewsFeed imagines, compare notes on their respective Mrs. Clauses. 

According to the Santa Claus Congress’ web site, the Santas will spend this Monday through Wednesday at the Bakken amusment park in various yuletide pursuits. There will be a parade, a Christmas gala and a “Santa Workshop” where attendees can share professional quandaries and advice. The “Santa World Championships” will be held on an obstacle course (please, please, let cookie-eating be one of the events), and an “Honorary Santa of the Year” will be chosen.

(MORE: Top 10 Bad Santas)

Only those working professionally as a Santa Claus (or Christmas pixie or elf) are eligible to attend, and there is a strict code of rosy-cheeked conduct:

The following will be expected of all participating Santas and Christmas pixies and elves:

  • That they perform in full costume (in accordance with the traditions in their home country)
  • That they do not advertise products and do not sell products
  • That they conduct themselves appropriately, in a friendly and amenable manner with both the public and Santa colleagues
  • That they do not drink alcohol or smoke while they are dressed as Santa Claus

(MORE: The World’s Largest Santa Claus)

Assuming some of the Santas take their roles more literally than others, à la Miracle on 34th Street, NewsFeed also suggests the following topics for seminars during the Congress:

  • safety and economics of elf working conditions
  • growth in jobs at the North Pole
  • cost-effective solutions for reindeer upkeep
  • sled transportation infrastructure and innovative spending
  • lessons in prevention, response and restoration following chimney incidents
  • closed hearings to examine certain intelligence matters

Katy Steinmetz is a reporter at TIME. Find her on Twitter at @KatySteinmetz. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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