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Live from Peru, IL!

Hi all! I am here in Peru, IL for the Midwest Santa's The Santa and Mrs. Claus Christmas Workshop. So I thought I would provide a day-by-day account. I arrived in Chicago O'Hare around 11:00AM and the drive to Peru was about 2 hours. After a stop by the local Starbucs, I spent the rest of the afternoon preparing my presentations. I'll post my presentations here next week. Later, I met Phil Wenz and his wife for dinner. We had a wonderful time! Pizza and beer. Good combination! I'm

Michael Rielly

Michael Rielly

 

Holly

Just a very special kid. I have one child and she is a wonderful young lady in her early twenties. Holly is part of not only my life and family; she is part of my Santa Claus world. As a child she came out to Santa's Village to see me and enjoyed the park. She knew that I "helped" Santa. When I did have a day off, I would take her around the park and enjoy Santa's Village just as any other parent would. I often wonder how she felt about having a father that was basically Santa all the time.

Legendary Santa Claus

Legendary Santa Claus

 

A Mother and a Mentor

A Mother and a Mentor Like most of us say, my mother was an extraordinary woman. She was one of two children growing up in a small town. She was a very likeable and friendly person even at a young age. She took dance, was extremely active in school events, a baton twirler for the marching band, and even won Miss Strawberry Festival as a little girl and a teen. I always thought my mother was beautiful, but upon seeing photos of her in

Santa Bear

Santa Bear

 

Mentors

Over the past few weeks I have thought a great deal about my father and how he inadvertently has influenced me in my becoming Santa. Yes, Dad had a loving heart for all people, especially children. A devout Christian, Dad relished in the celebration of Christ's birth. He loved to give and to watch the faces of those he gave to. I guess it was this early image of my own father that has drawn me to the role I now occupy as Santa. But there are other men, too, who wore the suit that I rem

John Johnson

John Johnson

 

Time Marches On

A friend of mine retired off the job last Friday and it made me think just how quickly time passes. The fellow who retired is a year younger than I am and it make me think. Being on the same job over 30 years and nearly that many as Santa.As one passes into middle age you start to appreciate things more.I recently was asked to assist as an usher in our church I was more than happy to do so. After taking up the collection I passed by the crying room window which cast my reflection. I looked for a

Santa TJS

Santa TJS

 

Labor Day -Summers is Over

Well summer is about to end and fall will be upon us before we know it.I have already seen the fall decorations ,yes and even Halloween candy in the supermarket.I am already deep in the planning stages for the 2008 season with new custom suit belt and boots already in the closet waiting for the first official use. I have my first booking on November 15th an all day Christmas bizzar and craft show. I will be sitting for photos with the proceeds going to a church charity and acting as an official

Santa TJS

Santa TJS

 

Even Santa Claus Feels Sadness

Well, all of the things that I had planned for the past week have either been cancelled or postponed. I was hit with terrible sadness over the past week as I learned that my father, John William Johnson III, had passed away due to complications of a massive heart attack and two large strokes. He remained unconscious through it all, having suffered a fall that had sent him to the hospital to begin with. He was 54. My father was a great man in my eyes. Though he and my mother had divorced w

John Johnson

John Johnson

 

Keeping Your Santa Secret

I have a 10-year old daughter who still very much believes. My son, who is 15 now, did not know that I was Santa until he was 12! I managed to keep my secret identity hidden quite easily up until last year. That's when I started ClausNET. As you can imagine I am on the site often. This has been a challenge recently as my daughter, who is very much Daddy's girl lately loves to hang on my shoulder while I am working on the computer. More than a few times, I've had to quickly collapse my browse

Michael Rielly

Michael Rielly

 

Christmas Isn't Always In December

Ok, as I sit here today thinking of my upcoming week I cannot help but be greeted with two Santa functions that I am prepared to do. The appeal of Santa Claus at functions is beginning to extend far beyond the usual two month period here in West Virginia. It is nice for a Santa to feel needed beyond the usual Season as well. A part of this week's activities calls for me to visit our local baseball team, the West Virginia Power and attend a game in honor of the Secret Santa charity that I help

John Johnson

John Johnson

 

Rock Climbing

As I have mentioned before I have been involved for many years with the Boy Scouts. One activity I have thoroughly enjoyed over the years has been Rock Climbing and Rappelling. Though I have done a little climbing (when I was a few pounds lighter) I have had the greatest time working with the boys teaching them to Climb and Rappel. Many times I have watched these young men conquer their fears as they have rappelled sometimes hundreds of feet. From time to time I have also had the privilege of te

Santa Matty

Santa Matty

 

A Tale of two Santas

I am known as the "Santa from Santa's Village" ...but to me there is only one Santa Claus that is really Santa from Santa's Village and that man is Don Goers. An Algonquin, Illinois native, Don first came to Santa's Village in 1959 as part of the maintenance department. He started to help out "Santa" that same year by playing the part to give a day off to the main Santa. He is among the original gentlemen who played the role at the park in 1959. Goers made "Santa" his own in 1966 taking t

Legendary Santa Claus

Legendary Santa Claus

 

Paddeling

Who likes to Paddle? I sure do. In my lifetime I have paddled many hundreds of miles in several different states. So on this hot summer day the twins and I returned to one of our favorite places. A small reservoir in North East Utah. The day was hot probably 85-90 down in the valley but much more comfortable at higher elevations. The water was perfect cool but not too cold. The lake was not too crowded though several others had the same Idea we had. So we paddled. We splashed and we swam. We ma

Santa Matty

Santa Matty

 

Stepping Into A New Way of Thinking

Today in may ways I begin anew. My mind is clear and I focus upon the mission that I have been given to spread cheer to children of all ages. I must confess that this mission has been hampered by an unknown involvement in a conflict of pointless origin, a conflict that has riddled the Santa world. It was a conflict that I did not believe in and still do not believe in, and I pity those who are still embroiled in it. To be Santa you must have love in your heart and I found myself with no

John Johnson

John Johnson

 

Bleaching

I just got home from the beauty shop where I had my hair and beard bleached. It did not come out as white as it has in the past. But I am not un happy with it. I have two appearances this week. I will be attending an annual book expo in Salt Lake City Utah. Here Santa will meet book store owners who hopefully will be ordering large quantities of the latest production of The Night Before Christmas. The producers seem to think since I was the star Santa in the movie I am the right pe

Santa Matty

Santa Matty

 

I have seen the Tetons

This past week I had the opportunity to drive up to Jackson Wyoming. Jackson is just south of the Grand Teton National park and only a few miles south of Yellowstone. Unlike its older brother The Grand Tetons fail to receive the attention and visitors that Yellowstone receives. However the beauty and splendor of the Tetons is more than worth the trip through the park I only wish I could have spent mort time in the park

Santa Matty

Santa Matty

 

Update on Santa Dutch's Breast Cancer Walk

OK, many of you may be asking if I'll be dressed as the Big Man during the walk... I will not be wearing my Santa costume during this walk. It's way too heavy and it probably won't fit very well in October because I'm losing some weight!! 60 Miles is a good trek. Even a watch may get to be a bit of a nuisance they told us. I can absolutely guarantee though, I'll be having a whole lot of Santa in my heart. I Promise! This experience has already changed my life! Just this morning, we had ou

Dutch Schrap

Dutch Schrap

 

Christmas In July

Well here we are July 25th, traditionally Christmas in July. Not very much like Christmas in Boston the temperatures last week were in the 90's and very humid and this week it rained and rained and stayed humid. Well while sitting in gridlock traffic coming home tonight I turned on the radio and to my surprise the oldies station was playing Christmas music. The long slow commute on a Friday night from Boston went from sheer misery to thoughts of Christmas yet to come. I listened to Nat King Cole

Santa TJS

Santa TJS

 

Majority Rules

After reading the breaking news story "City Debates Ripping the Wings Off Angels", I decided to vent a little here on my blog. You can read the topic here. What is wrong with people? "It's my way or the highway!" That seems to be the attitude of some people that just seem like they don't want to get along with others. This "I'm right, you're wrong" attitude seems to be contagious. It even seems to get a little worse when Christmas is fast approaching. Communities debating whether or not

Santa Bear

Santa Bear

 

Santas Behaving Badly

There used to be a show on British television years ago called Men Behaving Badly. As the title of the sitcom suggests, the basic premise of the show revolved around men who frequently engaged in childish pranks and behaving immaturely and selfishly. Today's article in the Wall Street Journal by Jim Carlton entitled: "These Santas Are Keeping a List, And Not All Have Been Nice" reminds me of that show. As I am not a member of AORBS, FORBS, or FIRBS I cannot really comment on the matter.

Michael Rielly

Michael Rielly

 

New Suit for Santa Rielly

Here's an update on my new suit. First off the girl making the suit decided to get engaged! That of course put my new suit on hold. As you might expect she has decided to make her own wedding gown. Thankfully she already has the pattern laid out for my suit. We are still looking at fabrics and still need a good source for fur. I will be using Santa Craig's buttons for the suit and have decided to nix the fur down the front. I think it might be too much. The most difficult part will be

Michael Rielly

Michael Rielly

 

Bronner's CHRISTmas Wonderland

I'm headed to Michigan next week and one of my first stops will of course be Bronner's CHRISTmas Wonderland! Sadly, Wally Bronner passed away this year. I had the distinct pleasure to meet Mr. Bronner this past October and I was honored when I was invited to the Silent Night Chapel where we sang Silent Night in the Chapel together.

Michael Rielly

Michael Rielly

 

Memories of Watseka, Illinois

I came across some old photos and articles the other day about my early years in Watseka, Illinois and playing Santa there as a teenager. They brought back quite a few memories and how lucky I am to have had these wonderful opportunities at such a young age. As some of you know I have been playing Santa in public since I was four years old, as a little Santa at the hospital where my Dad was the administrator, at local nursing homes and at school parties. By 1977 I was a six foot tall freshman

Legendary Santa Claus

Legendary Santa Claus

 

Reaching out to others

A great experience in diversity was experienced by both my self and the boys dutrin our visit to Zion National Park. Due to the current changes in economy, travel to the United States by foreign tourists has skyrocketed. We found ourselves surrounded by tourists from all over the world. As you know I am a very out going person and love to talk to people. As I began to realize how many foreign visitors we had in the park I began to formulate a plan to reach out to these people, to welcome them to

Santa Matty

Santa Matty

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