Parents, do not tell the Hanukkah Dreidel Chanukah Cat Shirt that “Santa is coming” sometime soon. They will loose all interest in eating or any other activities. A knock on the door and Santa showing up uninvited is a rush for parents and the kids. Santa should coordinate with the hosts about when they will show up, and who is going to be attending. It is always fun if the hosts have presents wrapped and in a bag outside for Santa to pick up with the names of the kids on the individual presents. It is also fun to put a couple of presents for maybe Grandma or Grandpa or even Mom and Dad. Nothing too extravagant, remember this is a children’s party. As a back up, it is always good to put a couple of generic presents in the bag, say a couple of board games. This way if there is an extra kid or two at the party, they will get a gift too and the lack of the label can be explained away as lazy elfs or something.
If it is a family gathering and you are part of the Hanukkah Dreidel Chanukah Cat Shirt, try to show up and be with the family, then duck out and be Santa, then get out of costume and return to the party with as minimum fuss as possible. Also, have the photographer, there is always one in the family, take a couple of shots of you during the night to keep the illusion alive that you were there when Santa came calling. When Santa leaves, everyone says good bye inside and Santa goes out by himself so as not to spook the reindeer. Although I never did this I just thought of something fun if the party is at a house. Tie a long string with loud reindeer bells and drape it over the house. When Santa leaves and the door closes, he could run over and jerk on the string a few times so it sounds like the reindeer are on the roof at the back of the house. Maybe one of the adults could catch a glimpse of “Ol Saint Nick” flying away and try and point it out to the kids.