Safety Training for Santa and Friends

safety-for-santa-and-friends-imageWith all the hustle and bustle surrounding the holiday seasons, it’s easy to forget about holiday safety.

Rushing around is a prime cause of workplace accidents, after all, as is being distracted.

With that in mind, and not a minute too soon, we’ve pulled together the following safety training suggestions for characters in made-for-TV holiday specials.

Hope you enjoy this and that you have a wonderful holiday season.

Safety Training for Characters in Animated Holiday TV Specials

Here are the safety (and other workforce) training suggestions we’ve pulled together for some of the characters from these popular TV shows.

We’ve broken the character lists down by the special they appear in, and have included a total of six specials:

  • Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town
  • The Year Without Santa Claus
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  • Frosty the Snowman
  • Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas

Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town

In case you don’t know, or don’t remember, this is the story of how a red-headed orphan named Kris Kringle (nope, not Krispy Kreme, but if you look at him when he gets older, you DO wonder if there’s a connection…) becomes Santa Claus.

Fred Astaire handles the voice of a mailman telling the story, and it features some great tunes, including one of my faves, “Put One Foot in Front of the Other.”

Here are our safety and other workforce training suggestions for some of the characters:

Special Delivery (S.D.) Kluger–For our kindly narrator, voiced by and bearing a remarkable resemblance to Fred Astaire. He’s an old-school mailman, and so we recommend our Email Basics course to help him step into the new era.

Kris Kringle–Captured in the tight embrace of evil, magic trees; crawling down long, narrow chimneys; even locked up in the slammer. Give this man a dose of Confined Space Awareness training.

Winter Warlock–For one of the two singers of the classic tune “Put One Foot In Front of the Other,” we suggest Pedestrian Safety.

Burgermeister Meisterburger–The episode kicks into high gear when the Burgermeister trips on a toy, breaking his leg. Our medical evaluation: he needs Slips, Trips, and Falls.

The Kringle Elves and Momma Kringle–They seem too nice to joke about, don’t they? Well, they’re toymakers, so let’s give them some Hand and Power Tool Safety training and encourage them to keep up the good work–safely.

The Citizens of Somber Town–I thought about a course on moods and depression, but their real problem is the contradiction between their values (especially those of the kids) and the values of the Burgermeister. These differences can be resolved with some Conflict Management training.

Topper the Penguin–What’s a penguin doing at the North Pole? Get back to Antarctica where you belong, our cute little black-and-white friend! Some Precision Instruments & Measurement training, especially focusing on compasses and GPS, is just what you need.

Jessica the School Teacher–Jessica initially scolds Kris Kringle for bringing the children of SomberTown toys, but her heart softens and she changes her mind after Kringle gives her a doll. A little Adult Learning is in line for Ms. Jessica, to show even adults can grow (and in this case, it’s ironic, since her day gig is as a teacher).

The Year Without Santa Claus

If Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town focuses on the early Santa, then The Year Without Santa Claus depicts Santa in his later years: bed-ridden, suffering from a cold or flu and chronic back pain, disenchanted with the holiday season, and ready to “bag it” this year without delivering any presents. Sound like anyone you know? We hope not!

The musical high notes of this one come compliments of the loveable “Miser Brothers,” Heat Miser and Snow Miser.

Here are our safety and other workforce training suggestions for some of the characters:

Santa Claus–Not the spry young Kris Kringle we met earlier, this Santa is grumpy, sick, bed-ridden, and notably obese. Our First Aid for Diabetic Emergencies course is what’s needed here. Remember, Santa–diet and exercise.

Mrs. Claus (aka “Mrs. C”)–If Santa wants to dodge his yearly duty to deliver presents this year, Mrs. C knows the importance of Meeting Customer Expectations and ultimately rights the wobbly ship in time for the holiday season.

Jingle Bells, Jangle Bells, and Vixen the Baby Reindeer–These two good-natured elves and this young-but-plucky reindeer try to save Christmas by leaving the North Pole and mixing it up in the “real world,” but they’re not prepared for life in the big city and wind up in the pokey (a surprisingly common occurrence in these shows, it seems). Our recommendation is a triple serving of Hazard Awareness. And a get out of mail free card, natch.

Heat MiserHeat Stress, of course.

Cold Miser–You guessed it-Cold Stress for this bad boy.

Mother Nature–She’s called in to address a conflict between her two sons, Heat Miser and Cold Miser, and with the deft manner in which she handles these two, it looks like she may already have received some Environmental Hazards training on the job.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

The story of a grumpy, green, elf-like character, his sadly mistreated yet inexplicably loyal (and supremely cute!) dog, and their fruitless attempts to bring an end to holiday cheer in nearby Whoville.

This one features the narrative talents of none other than Boris Karloff, displaying more elocution skills than he did in Frankenstein, and the music highlight is, of course, the tune about the Grinch himself. My favorite line explains that the Grinch is “a bad banana with a  greasy black peel“…what’s yours?

Here are our safety and other workforce training suggestions for some of the characters:

Grinch–He seems angry–maybe Stress Management and Prevention? He’s mad about all the noise in Whoville on the holiday, especially the singing–maybe some Hearing Conservation? And hey, about that madcap toboggan run down the hill you live on–how about some Alert Driving?

Grinch’s Dog–What this little sweetie really needs is a course on recognizing misplaced loyalty. But we don’t have one. So we’ll suggest our Line of Authority course, so our fuzzy canine friend can recognize authority of The Grinch and (in this case only) disobey it immediately.

Cindy Lou Who–She’s young, sweet, and naive, but she still should have known something was wrong when she discovered the Grinch in her home. We recommend a course on Good Housekeeping so she’ll recognize a hot mess when she sees one in the future.

Frosty the Snowman

In this one, we watch as a down-on-his-luck magician tosses out his worthless magic hat, only to find that it then brings a snowman to life. Hilarity, shenanigans, adventure, and sentiment follow, as you’d guess.

The movie’s narrated by Burl Ives, and the show-stopping tune is named after the big guy himself: “Frosty the Snowman.”

Here are our safety and other workforce training suggestions for some of the characters:

Professor Hinkle, the Magician–Tosses out his magic hat only to discover it’s got enough magic to bring Frosty to life. The good professor should have consulted our Equipment Maintenance and Reliability course.

Hocus Pocus, the Rabbit–He’s a cute, friendly, and helpful rabbit–what’s not to like? I’m not sure we’ve got a joke for that. Come back next year and see if we do better. Until then, hocus on, Mr. Rabbit!

Frosty, the Snowman–A man poorly suited in a world that’s too hot. We’ve got just what he needs–Refrigeration: Compressors and Ice Makers.

Karen–A good-natured girl who tries to travel with Frosty in a refrigerated box car to the North Pole and nearly catches her death of a cold. Our Flu Awareness course is in order (this is from our blog, but our full-scale, fancy Production-department model is coming soon).

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer

In this thrilling tale,  a young reindeer shows you can be born with a grogblossom, go into self-imposed exile, round up a crew of fellow travelers, and still return in time to win the girl, save the family, re-establish community, and save the day. Not only that, we learn that dental care at the North Pole is finally put in goods hands.

Once again, Burl Ives does the narration, and the smash hit song is the title tune, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

Here are our safety and other workforce training suggestions for some of the characters:

Santa–A big snowstorm has Santa stuck at the North Pole on the big night. Rudolph ultimately saves the day, but what the big guy needed was an Emergency Action Plan.

Rudolph the Reindeer–Even as a young buck, barely born, our red-nosed friend is told by no less an authority than Santa that he’ll never get to fly and pull the sleigh with that red nose. Might be a need for a bit of Workplace Discrimination training here.

Donner and Blitzen–Did you know that Donner was originally known as “Dunder” (German for “thunder”) and Blitzen was originally known as “Blixem” (German for “lightning”)? It’s true. And so we suggest some Electrical Safety for our explosive Nordic friends. Or maybe just an all-day Thor-fest.

Rudolf’s Mom–The show makes it clear that Donner is Rudolf’s Dad, and we meet Rudy’s mum, but she never gets named (tell me if I’m wrong on this, but I think I’m right). That sounds like low-level Sexual Harassment to me, and just plain not fair.

Abominable Snowmonster of the North–By the end of the show, he’s tamed and tasked with putting stars on top of trees, so we’ll offer some training for Working at Heights.

Herbie the Elf–For the toy-making elf who wants to be a dentist and is teased as a result, we recommend Diversity in the Workplace.

Yukon Cornelius–An entire series of mining safety training for our bearded friend, who’s both (1) obsessed with “silver and gold” and (2) quite the risk-taker (wandering the frozen tundra alone, willingly setting off on chipped ice flows, single-handedly attacking The Abominable Snowman–and taming him, no less!).

Island of Misfit Toys–Faced with a bleak future, some would say no future, these toys that no one plays with might become candidates for Substance Abuse training. Luckily, things don’t seem to have turned that way when we meet them mid-episode. Let’s hope they get some companionship soon.

King Moonracer–We’ve got no joke for the winged lion-kind of the Island of Misfit Toys, but he’s got such a cool name we thought we’d mention him here. Why he never got a role in a 1970s-era James Bond movie, we’ll never know.

A Charlie Brown Christmas

The show starts with Charlie Brown being depressed and confused. What’s new, right? This time it’s because he doesn’t understand the meaning of the holiday season. To help him find meaning in the season, Lucy offers him the chance to direct the school play.

Though we see precious little real thespian activity, the music is tops (thanks to Schroeder and Vince Gauraldi) and the dance moves are as hot as any on Soul Train. Speaking of the dance moves, we saw this ranking of the various dancers on the show just the other day.

Here are our safety and other workforce training suggestions for some of the characters:

Charlie Brown–Who can make yet another joke at Charlie Brown’s expense. I can’t. I can’t do it. I won’t do it. Happy Holidays, Charlie Brown, even if you are “the Charlie Browniest.” May you find true happiness, satisfaction and meaning in life next year–finally.

Lucy–Lucy sells psychiatric therapy sessions (for the bargain price of a nickel, even, though you have to account for inflation to get an accurate assessment of that), so it seems like in today’s workplace, she might have a role in HR training.

Snoopy–What more can you say about the perpetually happy, graceful, and successful Joe Cool? He should take an OJT Mentoring course and teach us all his secrets.

Schroeder–Schroeder is in charge of the music for this episode. And as we’ve already discussed, the tune-age is H-O-T smokin’ hot, so we’ll suggest a little Fire Safety training in case things get out of hand.

Linus–Linus is cool, and Charlie Brown’s best friend. I don’t begrudge him for carrying that blue blanket everywhere, but you wonder what greater meaning it has. Our Symbols, Standards, and Schematics course is in order for learning more.

Pigpen–A nice enough guy, to be sure, but you still assume our Hand Washing and Hygiene course could benefit.

Conclusion: Happy Holidays to All from Convergence Training

We’d like to wish all of you a happy holiday season, regardless of the particular holiday(s) you celebrate.

May your family be happy and healthy, and may good fortune smile your way.

Are you familiar with the TV specials we included in this article? If so, we’d love to hear from you. Which were your favorite specials? Which were your favorite characters? Do you still watch any of these today, even as an adult?

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Jeffrey Dalto

Jeffrey Dalto

Jeffrey Dalto is an Instructional Designer and the Senior Learning & Development Specialist at Convergence Training. Jeff has worked in education/training for more than twenty years and in safety training for more than ten. You can follow Jeff at LinkedIn as well.

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