Well, he tried it without the beard and it just didn't look Santa-ish enough. There's just something about the flowing white beard that's more Santa like and to be truthful, I'd rather he wear a fake beard than encourage him to grow his beard any longer than it already is. That's just too much hair for my liking.
Here's a couple photos of the girls in their elf suits. The person who loaned Mike the Santa suit had the elf hats and shoes, I made the little felt tunics, and the girls just wore turtle necks and tights underneath.