DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — It might be August, but it’s never too early to think about Christmas. Several men are spending their weekend learning how to transform into Santa Claus.

The organization “Santas Just Like Me” launched its first “School of Being Santa” session Saturday with people both in-person at the Hayti Heritage Center and on Zoom. The school is focused on finding more men of color to turn into Santa and represent the North Pole in the community. 

The class covered just some of what Santas need to know.

“The various types of children that you’re going to encounter, the women who love Santa that you need to be watching out for,” said Stafford Braxton, founder of the organization.

Warren Keys has been portraying Santa for several years but attended Saturday’s class because he wanted to learn some new tricks of the trade.

“Stafford is giving us some tips on being in business. That’s also part of it but just sharing stories, hearing stories of other Santas who have had experiences, how they deal with some difficulties,” Keys said. 

Braxton says he’s hoping to host another Santa class sometime this fall.