Parents may want to dress down when visiting Santa this year. The world famous Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School is teaching students to size up parents in order to scale back expectations.

Fred Honerkamp, a lecturer at the school, suggests that Santas blame mischievous elves for any possible shortcomings on Christmas day. “In the end, Santas have to be sure to never promise anything,” said Honerkamp.

Other Santas are more straightforward. “When kids start asking for the world now, I just say, ‘Hey, look, Johnny, you ain’t getting all that.’ ” explains former Alabama state trooper Rick Parris. “I just make sure to let them know that Santa seldom brings everything on a list.”