The iconic costume of Santa Claus can be seen pretty much everywhere at this time of year, but have you ever wondered how quickly you could actually get into one?
I’m sure I don’t need to explain what Father Christmas’s usual outfit is, but on the off-chance you’re unfamiliar with the man who delivers presents every year, he’s usually spotted in a red suit, a hat with white trim and a black belt with a big buckle.
Those looking to impersonate Santa can add the extra details by padding out their bellies to mimic his mince pie-loving body, as well as donning his white beard and a pair of round glasses ready to give his list of naughty and nice children that all-important second look.
Given that it’s only really deemed necessary to dress as Santa towards the end of the year, you might want to take time to ensure every bit of the outfit is exactly as it should be, so much so that even Father Christmas’s elves might struggle to tell the difference.
Alternatively, you could whack the costume on as quickly as you possibly can and attempt to secure a new Guinness World Record while you’re at it, adding your name to the book that always proves to be an interesting and eye-opening gift.
That’s apparently exactly what multiple record holder André Ortolf, from Germany, decided to do on September 5, 2018, when he set a new record for the fastest time to dress in a Santa costume – just 30.94 seconds.
Ortolf broke the record at the book launch event for the 2019 Guinness World Records book, but it was broken less than one year later when the team at BBC’s QI decided to take on the challenge.
Host Sandi Toksvig was originally slated to take on the challenge during the filming of the QI Christmas episode, which was actually recorded on August 17, 2020, but she allowed her son Theo Toksvig-Stewart to take over instead.
In order to successfully secure the record, you must dress in Santa’s ‘traditional costume’ including ‘red trousers with elasticised waist, a red with white fur trim jacket, a fake white beard, a red hat with fur trim, a black belt, a pair of black boots, and white gloves’, according to Guinness World Records, though anyone looking to attempt the challenge would need to apply to receive the full list of guidelines.
Toksvig-Stewart took two attempts to beat the record, with his first ending in a not-so-fast time of 50.25 seconds due to a struggle to fasten Santa’s chunky belt. Thankfully his second proved more successful and he managed to shave two seconds off Ortolf’s time, creating a new Guinness World Record of 28.91 seconds.
It’s less time than it takes to eat your Christmas dinner, decorate the tree or complete a rendition of your favourite Christmas song, so if you happen to have a Father Christmas costume on hand this year, why not take 30 seconds – or rather, 28.90 seconds – and attempt the record yourself.
Just think, if you win, you could double bragging rights with Christmas gifts by handing out the book with your name in it as a present. Win-win!
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