This fall, Santa will once again be joining photographer Brenda Horan for some limited-edition photo sessions. This is more than a single pose for your Christmas card. Brenda creates a series of photos that tell the story of a wonder-filled visit to Santa's Workshop.

Walking into Santa's Workshop and hearing Santa greet you with a "Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas" is just what you get when you come to Brenda Horan Photography. To children's delight, the studio is transformed into a rustic workshop where Santa can interact with your child during one of our yearly, Limited Edition photo sessions.

Nothing makes it more personal than having grandma or grandpa join them in this amazing experience....

All the props in this set have been carefully selected to create what I consider to be an authentic, vintage workshop feel. Everything is worn with time and love. Creating a set that is sure to make you want to read this Christmas tale again and again, year after year.

At Brenda Horan Photography, Santa visits the studio in October, so if you are interested, it's never to late to book your appointment as I only shoot 5-7 of these limited edition sessions per year.

From my family to yours, I wish you the most blessed Merry Christmas ever.


You can book online or phone Brenda Horan at (918) 704-4399.

Here's a link to a promotional video that will give you a good sense of how the sessions work.

Below are photos from one of the sessions from 2012, and yes, that's our Santa David:



Santa's Tulsa 2016 calendar


Santa's calendar is filling up! There are still some opportunities available for you to have Santa Claus at your Christmas parties, public events, or photo sessions.

Santa's public appearances and events often have opportunities for photos -- some are take-your-own, some with professional photographers.

Photographer Brenda Horan is once again offering special photo sessions with Santa in his workshop, but only a few sessions are available each year, so you'll want to check on this opportunity soon.

Santa will help kickoff Muskogee's Toys for Tots Drive on Saturday, November 12, 2016. (Details to come.)

On Saturday, November 19, 2016, Santa will be at the Center for Individuals with Physical Challenges for their Holiday Mart, where you can start your Christmas shopping with handcrafted artwork made by the center's residents, and you can get a picture with Santa for $5, all to benefit the Center and its residents.

Santa will once again be at Guthrie Green for Glow on the Green the Sunday after Thanksgiving, November 27.

Santa will be on hand when Jenks Dance Academy holds its Christmas recital on Friday, December 2, at First Baptist Church at 11701 S. Elm in Jenks.

On Sunday, December 4, from 2 to 5, come see Santa and shop for fun and educational Christmas gifts at Learning Express Toys of Tulsa in the Vineyard on Memorial, 7891 E. 108th Street, near 111th and Memorial in south Tulsa (near north Bixby).

Santa will be at Broken Arrow Lanes for their Jingle Bowl celebration, Saturday, December 10, from noon to 1.

On Sunday, December 11, come see Santa at the historic Mayo Hotel in downtown Tulsa from 3 to 5 pm.

Gilcrease Museum will welcome Santa back for its December 18, 2016, Funday Sunday, a day filled with family-friendly activities set in Gilcrease's unmatched collection of American art. Admission is free! Come tell Santa what you want for Christmas and snap a selfie with him.

Santa also loves visiting families on Christmas eve; as of today he has two Christmas Eve visits scheduled and still has limited availability for a few more. If you'd like to book Santa, contact him ASAP via elf mail at

Here are some of the places you'll be able to find him around Tulsa this year.

Day Date Time Event
Saturday 11/5 10:00a - Noon Photography Session
Sunday 11/6 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm Photography Session
Saturday 11/12 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm Photography Session
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm Toys for Tots - Muskogee, OK
Saturday 11/19 10:00 am - 1:00 pm Center for Individuals with Physical Challenges
Thursday 11/24 Thanksgiving
Sunday 11/27 Time Pending Glow at Guthrie Green - Lucky's
Friday 12/2 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm Jenks Dance Academy, First Baptist Church, Jenks
Sunday 12/4 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm The Learning Express Store, Bixby, OK
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm Private Party
Tuesday 12/6 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm Private Party
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm Private Party
Saturday 12/10 Noon - 1:00 pm Jingle Bowl, Broken Arrow Bowling Center
Sunday 12/11 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm Mayo Hotel
Friday 12/16 10:00 am - 1:00 pm Public appearance: TBA
2:00 pm - 5:00 pm Public appearance: TBA
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm Public appearance: TBA
Saturday 12/17 10:00 am - 1:00 pm Public appearance: TBA
3:00 pm - 6:00 pm Public appearance: TBA
Sunday 12/18 10:00 am - 2:00 pm Tulsa Country Club
2:30 pm - 5:00 pm Gilcrease Museum
Monday 12/19 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm Southern Hills Country Club
Saturday 12/24 Christmas Eve Home visits (2 scheduled so far)

NOTE: Events in italics are private or open only to members and guests.

P. S. A special note to our friends who have visited us at Philbrook these past 11 years: Due to changes at the museum, Philbrook management has decided not to feature Santa at the museum this year. Santa's first public appearance was at Philbrook in 2005, and he and Mrs. Claus are proud to have been a part of the Festival of Trees, the children's Christmas party, and the museum's other Christmas traditions for 11 seasons. Santa wishes all his Philbrook friends a Merry Christmas.

About Santa David Bates


Santa David Bates is a real-bearded Santa, a member of the International Brotherhood of Real Bearded Santas, and 2016 is his twelfth Christmas season as a Santa.


David is a lifelong Oklahoman and has been a Tulsan since 1969. He is retired from Saint Francis Health System and continues his involvement with the hospital as a volunteer for the gift shop. He is married with two children and five grandchildren. He and his wife are active members of First Baptist Church in Tulsa.

David's wife Sandy, who appears with him as Mrs. Claus, taught Kindergarten at Catoosa Elementary School for 28 years, and she hosts the weekly Storytime for preschool children at the Catoosa Library.

The 2016 season is filling up with events, but there are still some dates available! To book Santa David for your event, send an elf mail to

You can learn more about Santa from this 2010 Tulsa World feature story about Philbrook's Santa and the accompanying Q&A, this 2008 Urban Tulsa Weekly profile of Santa David Bates, a 2013 profile in Tulsa People, this 2014 Tulsa World story on grooming bushy beards, a 2015 Tulsa World interview by Scott Cherry, and in this tribute column by his son, Michael Bates.

What Santa did this summer


Summer 2016 was an exciting time for Santa David and Mrs. Claus.

Santa visits Branson

In early July, they went to Branson to participate in Discover Santa 2016, a convention and gathering of hundreds of Santa's helpers.


CBS Sunday Morning ran a report about Discover Santa 2016 on their August 28, 2016, broadcast:

Santa visits New York City

Just a week later, Santa and Mrs. Claus visited New York City where they watched their grandson perform at Carnegie Hall, rode the subway, had dinner in Times Square, saw a Broadway musical, and made a pilgrimage to the Macy's Department Store in Herald Square, the site of The Miracle on 34th Street.



Macy's Santaland wasn't open yet, but there was a sign to remind us all that, before very long, Santa Claus will again be coming to town.