Santa can’t deliver all those gifts by himself! On Christmas Eve, hundreds of volunteer Santas and elves head out on “reindeer buses” to spread joy to those in need of festive cheer. Want to help us spread the Christmas spirit? There’s an opportunity for everyone. We welcome our volunteers to take on more than one role!

Please note: all volunteers – new and returning – are required to register with us before volunteering. Before you sign up, please take note of this year’s Orientation (Elf Rally) and make sure you are able to attend.

Volunteer opportunities

Bus elves

Donning a handmade elf costume and glittered cheeks, these elves ride with Santa and make home visits on Christmas Eve. It’s their job to spread The Magic of Christmas’ motto of “Loving, Caring, and Sharing.” Teams of elves ride each reindeer bus for 6.5 hours, in the morning or in the afternoon. They help Santa prepare for each visit by stuffing toy sacks, singing carols, and bringing smiles to families’ faces.

Bus elves are required to attend our annual Elf Rally Orientation in early December and must be familiar with common Christmas carols. Download our songbook here.

“Little elves” must be at least 8 years of age and must ride with a parent or guardian. Only those 16 years and older are eligible for night bus shifts (schedule shown below).

Bus Santas

“Once you’re in the costume, you’re in the role.” Being Santa is an immense responsibility, but a rewarding one. On Christmas Eve, Santas visit every family on their bus route, lead elves into each home, hand out gifts, and encourage carol singing. A visit from Santa is like nothing else—every home visit should be magical, genuine, and jolly!

While Santas come in all sizes and shapes, all share common qualities: they have a caring disposition, an upbeat personality, good listening skills, are non-judgmental of those they visit and keep their elves smiling and singing.

It’s a big job, but you don’t have to go it alone. We help Santas prepare for the big day at our mandatory Santa Training event during the Elf Rally Orientation in early December.

How long will I be out on a bus for?

All bus shifts are 6.5 hours long, with two buses leaving the workshop every 30 minutes.

Morning shifts start between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m.

Afternoon shifts start between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Hospital elves

Some Santas and elves visit nursing homes, hospitals, and care homes during day hours only. These volunteers hand out hundreds of teddy bears! All volunteers who sign up for this role must be at least 16 years old. Visits can last 5+ hours, so please come prepared and dress accordingly.

Chief Elf On-boards

Chief Elf On-boards (CEOs) are the “top elves” on any reindeer bus that leaves our workshop. CEOs organize special gifts, help bus drivers plan their route, prepare elves for each visit and act as primary contact for the workshop. Returning volunteers should consider applying as a CEO.

CEO Training is mandatory—check our events calendar for training dates in December. If you do not attend training, you may be denied the opportunity to act as CEO. If you are unable to attend, please call 403-803-1619 to schedule for individual training at a later date.

Costume requirements

All bus elves and Santa show elves are required to wear an elf costume, which consists of either a single jumper-style outfit, or knickers and a vest. You will need to bring a solid white or black turtleneck, leggings/tights and appropriate shoes to complete your elfish ensemble. Bare legs, printed slogans on shirts, etc. will not be permitted.

Register to volunteer

Though we try to accommodate all requests, volunteer assignments are subject to change depending on our needs. Positions will be assigned with a preference to returning elves or to elves who have volunteered in other capacities, including sorting, picking up donations, workshop support, and so on.

When you’re ready, sign up for a role on our volunteer registration page.

Have questions? Visit our FAQ page.