We'd Like You To Meet The Founder Of The Entire Real Bearded Santa World:


Tom Hartsfield was a professional actor in 1995, when he was selected by German catalog giant Otto Versandt to be the lead Santa in a television commercial that was to promote that year's Winter catalog around the world. The 10 Santas in the commercial had all responded to a casting call which required that each "Must have REAL BEARD & own Santa suit". 

This was such an unusual job for these 10 men that they decided to get together after the Christmas Season had passed, to strengthen the bonds of friendship forged that day!  As the group's leader, Santa Tom Hartsfield decided they should have a name, and coined for them the whimsical name, "Amalgamated Order of Real Bearded Santas" (AORBS).

This group continued to meet year after year, inviting other professional Santas & Mrs. Clauses to join them as their "Luncheon" gradually expanded into a 3-day event that would fill the last weekend of each January. Eventually they would become the forerunner of all modern professional Santa organizations, and their annual Reunion continues today thanks to the stewardship of the Fraternal Order of Real Bearded Santas (FORBS), the direct descendant of that original band of brothers. In 2008, FORBS secured the long-term future of the annual Santa Reunion by forming a 501(c)7 .

That same year, Santa Pioneer Tom Hartsfield founded the third major group in the Christmas Community-- the International Order of Santas (IOS).

In 2011, the Santa World was shocked to learn that Santa Tom Hartsfield had decided to hang up the Red Suit for the last time & leave sunny SoCal for a bucolic country estate where he could spend more time with his family.

He chose his successor without hesitation: Santa Ric Erwin

Santa Ric (a professional singer & actor who performs with his wife during the Holiday Season as "Singin' Santa & Diva Claus") is perhaps most well-known today as the FORBS Chairman of the Board of Directors & oft-elected leader of the nation's oldest Real Bearded Santa group, the Santas of the OC.  However, Ric also happens to have a degree in computer science that's older than the internet-- making him one of the most important early leaders of the fledgling Santa World!  Santa Ric knew better than most, therefore, the role which the World Wide Web was to play in such an explosive growth industry!

By the summer of 2011, Santa Ric had launched the first-ever web design & hosting service dedicated to the professional Santa & Mrs. Claus:

Since then, IOSantaNet has continued to expand to meet the needs of the entire Christmas Community-- today, it's known as WINTER-Net!

In recognition of all the Christmas Community owes Santa Tom Hartsfield, in 2014 he was honored at the 20th Anniversary of the annual Santa Reunion which he founded as the recipient of the first-ever Founder's Award:

The Christmas Tree represents the modern Santa World-- and each of the hanging ornaments represents a professional Santa organization, convention, school, etc that traces its roots directly back to our annual Santa Reunion.