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Grow your own Christmas Tree!

There are only 209 days until Christmas, but you only need 12 hours to grow your very own Christmas Tree! I am not sure how it works exactly, but it looks pretty cool! The Magic Christmas Tree comes with a string of red beads, sparkles, and a gold star. Set the tree's trunk into the base, decorate, add the magic water and in 12 hours - viola! - a beautiful Christmas Tree! The same company makes a Magic Snowman too! Like the Magic Christmas Tree, growing the Magic Snowman is just as easy! I will have to get one of these for next year!

Michael Rielly

Michael Rielly

 

Santa's Treasure Chest

Was raining outside the other day so all of my outdoor chores were canceled. My wife suggested I clean and organize my closet. This meant phasing out clothes that I no longer wore (or could no longer fit into), and taking the disgards to the local Goodwill. My closet is also storage for my junk collection. Odds and ends, flea market finds, collectables and not-so-collectables. Things I meant to sell on Ebay but never got the chance. The back of my closet is piled with boxes and the shelf on top is loaded all the way to the ceiling. It's a wonder that I could fit any clothes at all. This was going to be an all-day project and there was no way I was going to get out of it. I attacked it without mercy. Shirts, long out of style, had to go. Pants, though never worn, would no longer fit since my waistline had expanded. One bag was filling rapidly and another would soon be needed. Boxes with old newspaper articles and magazines from the 1980's were pitched. I could almost see the back of the closet! I was pleased with my progress. After all, I would now have room for new collections and stuff that I would gather for the next several years. One last box to look at. A cardboard box on the top shelf slightly larger than a shoebox. I had written, "Santa's Treasure Chest" on the outside of it, but had forgotten what I put in it. Now what kind of stuff would Santa keep in his treasure chest? I had to open the box to see. Sure enough, there was genuine treasure inside. Treasure that was so good that it far outshined gold, silver and diamonds. The minute I saw it, it brought a smile to my face and a tear to my eye. Inside was every letter, drawing and Christmas list that every child had ever given to me, sitting on Santa's lap. "Dear Santa, I would like some books and games and a Webkins for Christmas. And bring my baby brother a teddy bear. I love you, Giannia." "Dear Santa, For Christmas I would like a Lightning McQueen car and High School Musical on DVD. I have been a very good boy this year - just ask my Grandma. Thank-you, James." Some brought a lump to my throat. "Dear Santa, All I want for Christmas is for my Daddy to come home. He is a soldier in Iraq and I really miss him. Please Santa? Nathan." There was artwork of all kinds, from scribbled pages out of a coloring book to elaborate mosaics of Santa made from pieces of construction paper. There were beautiful colored pictures made with crayons that was done with love, care and diligence. Some of the letters were in fancy envelopes with a bow or a small ornament attached to it. Looking at all of this treasure instantly took me back to Christmas of last year. I was Santa Claus again, with my red suit, throne and all the settings. I looked at the letters and thought of each child that gave one to me. I can remember children, holding out their letters with pride, but also a little shy about getting too close. "You wrote me a letter? How very nice. I'll keep this and know exactly what kind of presents to bring you." "Here Santa, I drew this for you!" "You drew this for ME? I LOVE this! You are a wonderful artist! Instead of leaving me cookies, I would like it very much if you could leave me some more of your artwork. I promise you, that I will take this back to the North Pole with me and keep it forever!" And I did. Every letter and every drawing that I received, I promised that I would keep. Occasionally, a parent would signal to me to sneak the letter or artwork back to them. I would always oblige, knowing how this was important to a parent who wanted to collect as many memories of their child's life that they possibily could, before they grew "too old" to draw pictures or write letters. But the letters I got to keep became treasure to me, because they brought back memories and feelings of a happiness that I was fortunate enough to experience. And that made it more precious than gold!

Santa Johnny Boy

Santa Johnny Boy

 

Awaiting The 2008 Season

Sitting here on a rainy spring night one might find it odd to be thinking of the Christmas season. Not me of course Christmas is with me always and I hope that it never changes. Last week for instance I has a new suit delivered and had it on for a fitting. Everything fit great except the hat. Too small for my gourd of a head. Well it was off to the post office to send it back to Sam to be made larger. Soon the bigger hat will arrive in the mail and again the suit will go on this time in full make up and whiskers for some sample photos. The new suit is made by Santa & Co.also.the same ones who make the Charles Howard suit. Sam Militello runs the company and all his suits are made in fine rich red wool as this new cola style suit. Well I ordered a new belt and a white shirt to add to the new duds. This suit has a vest made from paintings of the Coca Cola Santa. My next thought goes to whiskers, my search never ends for more realistic set,though the Yak sets are pretty good after hours of cutting and styling. Hoping to find the time to attend one of the Santa events or schools this year. My work always seems to get in the way, perhaps more time for that when I retire. Well I should be thinking about planting, kio ponds and lawn care and I find myself again lost in Christmas thoughts during a warm spring rain!

Santa TJS

Santa TJS

 

Scouting in a Kilt

I have been associated with the BSA for over 25 years and I am personally of Scottish descent. I don’t own a plaid or tartan Kilt, but I do have a nice green one that matches well with my Scout Uniform. I take a little grief from friends when I wear my kilt. But that doesn’t bother me I am proud to be a Scottish Scout.

Santa Matty

Santa Matty

 

Geocaching

Are there any Geocachers among us. I have been caching since Sept 2002 and have over 1350 finds. What a great sport-Hobby Here is a pic of my latest find near Kaysville Utah.

Santa Matty

Santa Matty

 

Ogden Newspaper article

Yes, Virginia, That is a Real Beard Monday, December 24, 2007 By Marie Dougherty Standard-Examiner correspondent And this Kaysville Santa has grown his own since 1999 KAYSVILLE -- Boots? Check. Belt? Check. Red suit? Check. But what about the beard? Got it. And it's real. To Matty Ross, there's no other kind. The 50-year-old Kaysville resident sat on his couch and stuck out his chin while his wife held a measuring tape. "It's a good 9 inches," Shelley Ross said. She measured from the bottom lip, because that's how Santas do it. Matty Ross is new at the whole Santa thing, but he's learning from an international group of more than 1,300 Santas with bona fide whiskers. He's a member of the Amalgamated Order of Real Bearded Santas. That's right, there's a fraternal order whose members have transformed themselves into the jolly old elf. They carry candy canes year-round and hail Tim Allen's performance in "The Santa Clause." The real beard is a must, but that's no problem for Ross. "I hate shaving with a passion," he said, explaining that he hasn't done so since 1999. As time went by, his dusty red beard mixed with a little gray to create "cinnamon and sugar," he said. So for years, people have been commenting that he looks like Santa Claus. Two years ago, the wheels started turning. "Just kind of testing the waters, I would wear a red sweatshirt and a Santa hat," he said. When he got a positive response, it occurred to him: "I think I can pull this off." But cinnamon and sugar wouldn't do, Ross said. His beard had to be white, so it had to be bleached. Instructor Denise Johnson, from Fran Brown College of Beauty, said the older a man gets, the better his chances are of having naturally white hair, although it depends on genetics. So Ross is not the only Santa who frequents a salon during the holidays. Davis County is home to another of the Amalgamated Order's members: Hugh Taylor, of Woods Cross. At age 65, Taylor hasbeen a Santa for 10 years. He shaves his beard every February, then lets it grow out again in time for Christmas. Both Ross and Taylor say they are humbled by their role as bearers of joy and the Christmas spirit. It is a reminder for them to be on their best behavior. "When you put the red suit on, you become a different person," Ross said. But not as different as one might think. Both men seem naturally suited to be Santa Claus. Both seem quite jolly, and they laugh a lot, although it's unclear whether their bellies shake like bowls full of jelly. Both Santas are used to being around children. Ross has seven of his own, and Taylor has eight. Taylor is a quiet man who likes to keep the mystery in life. "I try to keep on a dry humor side," he said. "You gotta have a little twinkle in your eye." Taylor said that after a decade, his 24 grandchildren are only now finding out about his alter ego. "It was a well-kept secret," he said. Taylor has always had a little magic in his life. He entertained as a clown for 30 years before becoming a Santa. Ross fills vending machines with toys and candy for a living. "I have an uncontrollable urge to give away toys and candy," he said. These are men who take pride in putting smiles on people's faces. But being a Santa is not without its drawbacks. There are a lot of expenses involved with the venture. Taylor owns three Santa suits, the newest of which cost $700. A heavy 4-inch leather belt alone is about $80. But he wants to be realistic. "There is no substitute for the good stuff," he said. Then there's the price they pay for having all that facial hair. Ross said it's usually safest to drink from a straw. "You don't even consider an ice-cream cone anymore," he said, also remembering the syrup he had to wash from his beard after breakfast that morning. But they wouldn't have it any other way. There's nothing to match the look on children's faces when they realize it's a real beard. Real beard means real Santa. When the children sit on Santa's lap, they are awestruck. They always say they have been good. "If you've been bad, all you're going to get is underwear," Taylor tells them. Well, there was the boy who wanted a live alligator for Christmas. Why? Taylor asked. So it can come and eat you, the boy said. "We'll talk to Mom and Dad about that," Taylor said he told the boy. Sounds like a candidate for underwear. Real bearded Santas earn anywhere from $100 to $250 for their appearances at events. Ross said he hopes the Amalgamated Order's eight or so Utah members can form a better network so they can help each other during the busy Christmas season. After all, even the real Santa Claus has elves. Story Advertisement Click to Visit Images and text copyright © 2005 by Ogden Publishing Corporation. Reproduction or reuse prohibited without written consent.

Santa Matty

Santa Matty

 

Chris and her Children

As a relatively new Santa each experience is a new experience. One of the first of these was visiting a young family, a mother named Chris and her 5 children. I had met Chris as a clerk at a local convenient store. I knew very little about her other than she was Divorced and not doing very well financially. I had spent several days working for a photographer in a typical children visiting Santa Claus setting but I had not done any kind of home visits. I arrived at the home early in the evening; the children were all very excited to see Santa coming through the front door. Though I was a little uneasy everything went very smooth. Pictures were taken as each child told me what they hoped for. Chris was beaming with joy as each child sat on my lap. Then as quickly as I came, I was gone. On the way home instead of feeling happy, I was overcome with a profound sadness. I had left without even leaving a candy cane. I told the kids they would have a great Christmas and they would all get something special, But would they? I made a silent promise to myself, next year things would be different. Soon Christmas was over, and life returned to it's mundane routine. As the year progressed I often thought of Chris and her kids and I formulated my plan. As an avid hiker I belong to a hiking club. Not much really just an Internet website and a discussion forum of fellow hikers. At a fall gathering I announced my plan. Everyone already knew I was a professional Santa, I told the group I would be holding a Christmas party in Early December. Everyone could come and see Santa. They could take all the pictures they wanted, mingle and have some light refreshments. In return each guest was invited to leave a gift for a needy family. In addition I would extent my gift giving visits to as many needy families as necessary. Three other families were identified. The gift giving was overwhelming, and I filled 11 plastic trash bags full of toys. A few days before Christmas, I returned to the home of Chris and her Children. This time not empty handed. Five of those bags were delivered to 5 very excited kids Chris was beaming with joy and this time I left with a smile on my face that has kept me smiling all year.

Santa Matty

Santa Matty

 

Looking for lost reindeer

I love to hike. I used to hike 3-4 times a week. Since changing jobs I have not had as much time as I once did. I went out for a couple hours today. Where I live in Northern Utah, it’s a hikers paradise. I live only a couple miles from the mountains and can be on the trail in less than five minutes. The weather was perfect today around 70 degrees and a gentle breeze. I was not the only one to come up with this great idea today. There were several cars in the parking lot and I passed quite a few people along the trail. Of course I get plenty of stares and smiles from passers by. I also enjoy stopping and visiting with other hikers along the trail. So whenever I would come upon a family with small children I would just ask, if any of you have seen any reindeer today. I seem to be missing a couple. So If you see them please tell them to go straight home. Most kids just act shy and giggle a little but the parents seem to enjoy the humor. Often playing along with me. I am thankful today for my health and freedom, to live in a beautiful place where I can go out, get some fresh air and exercise, and put a few smiles on children’s faces. See you on the Trail Santa Matty

Santa Matty

Santa Matty

 

I love it here

In a conversation with my sweet wife today I told her I had finally found a Santa Claus web site I really like. I have frequented four other Santa forums in the past two years. I also follow three other non-Santa discussion forums. Being somewhat a forum junkie I often log in several times per day just to see what’s happening. I know most of you are aware of the problems some of the other boards have. Some of then are just a little slow or awkward to follow. I just love this place I like the colors, the graphics and the ability to show pictures in our posts. But most of all this is a very friendly and peaceful place. I love being Santa Claus. In real life I fill toy and candy vending machines. I am out in the public dealing with and being seen by literally hundreds of people a day. Almost every one identifies me as Santa. Many of my friends call me Santa. I frequently talk to kids representing my self as Santa. To almost everyone in some way or another I am Santa Claus. So a Big Thank you to you kind folks who put this board together. Thank you to all the good Santa’s who help to keep this a happy and friendly place.

Santa Matty

Santa Matty

 

" Because Everyone Deserves a Lifetime. "

Hello All and Welcome to My Blog! As most of you know, I want to make a difference this year. I decided to join thousands of men and women across the country and participate in the 3Day Breast Cancer Walk for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Organization. My event will take place in one of the 14 cities across America - Philadelphia on the weekend of October 17, 18, and 19th of this year. This 60 mile walk is over a 3 day period throughout the streets of Philadelphia and it's suburbs. I'm going to be tired, cold, and blistered - but I know someone out there is waiting for a diagnosis, I know someone out there is sitting getting their chemo treatments, I know someone is trying to explain to their young children why their 30 something year old Mommy won't be here this coming Christmas. I am doing this walk so that you and I don't need to explain to our children someday that their is no cure. With everyone's help - there will be a cure someday! I believe this whole heartedly. Without a cure, 1 in 8 women in the U.S. will continue to be diagnosed with breast cancer. This is why I am walking 60 Miles in 3 Days! I am walking "Because EVERYONE deserves a LIFETIME." Through my training walks, orientation meetings, and stories I have read, I have met some wonderful women AND MEN who have been through breast cancer. This makes me even more passionate about this walk. I have learned so much. Each walker must commit to raising a minimum of $2200.00 by October. I have asked my annual Santa customers to pay my visit fee early - directly to the Breast Cancer website listed below. 100% of my earnings collected before the event for Santa visits will go directly to my fundraising and walk commitment. They get a tax dedcustion and I get the true joy of giving as Santa. I am that passionate about it. Santa's, please consider making a tax dedcutible donation. If you can't give an amount all at once, you can spread it out over 4 months, using the payment plan option, if you donate online at http://08.the3day.org/goto/dutch . Please also ask your employer if they will double your donation with a matching gift. Many employers will. Every single donor will have a place on my shirt during my training and walks with their name, business name, website or all three. Also, on the breast cancer website, there is an honor roll with the names of donors. Everyone will see your name if you wish (there is an option for being annonomous right on the site). But, most importantly, you will have a place in my heart as I do the walk and you will know you are part of the cure! 60 Miles, 3 Days, and 2 Feet Closer to a Cure! Thanks for reading my first blog! More to come soon and I wil update everyone on training and events. The 3Day website: http://08.the3day.org/goto/dutch

Dutch Schrap

Dutch Schrap

 

Batphone or Santaphone?

I posted this on my personal site a few days ago. Jeff reminded me that this would look great on Santa's desk too! I think he is right! Anyone old enough to remember when you had to get your phone from the telephone company? I was thinking about that last night when I stumbled across a site that sells old phones. A few of the phones reminded me of the Batphone Adam West used. So then I started wondering if it would be possible to build you own Batphone. A quick search came up with this site with step-by-step instructions for building your very own Batphone! Complete with the glass dome and base! Build Your Own Batphone

Michael Rielly

Michael Rielly

 

Back to work!

Well after a short stint of unemployment, I am now back to work. Actually my first day with my new company was the second week of March. But I have been so busy since then, that I havn't had much time to post or blog. Hopefully the travel will subside a bit soon.

Michael Rielly

Michael Rielly

 

3 days to go.

Well it's been a while since I posted here. Actually if Santa Rielly hadn't mentioned it, I may not have been enthusiastic about another entry. But with surgery coming up in 3 days I know it'll be a while before I get here so now is a good time. Yes total knee replacement surgey comes up March 11th and that means staying in the hospital for about a week and then on rehab at home with very little activity other than strengthening excercise for about 6 weeks. I'll go bonkers!! We are moving the computer out of the basement and upstairs into a spare room. Good thing I decided to go wireless. That way I can still interact on this thing without trying to negotiate the stairs to the basement. I hope I'm diligent enough in the rehab excercise that I will heal faster than the 6 weeks. I need to get the other knee done too and with any sprt of good luck I'll be able to do that around June/July and following rehab still be able to attend at Santa School in October. That is important to me as really I'm still a first year Santa and the instruction will help me a lot. Of course that also means that I will not be able to work this year until Christmas season so finances are going to be tight. Good thing my wife is a very frugal person and controls the treasury like a good finance minister would. We should do all right. With any luck I can get to develop a couple more websites and bring in a little cash. I'm still grateful for belonging to this brotherhood in red. I've met some very nice people through ClausNET and SATG and MOTSC. I've received e-mails and acknowledgments from Santa's Rielly, Clauswithacause, Fr Santa, Santa Richard and from Phil-the Legendary Santa Claus. I'm very grateful for the advice and instruction provided and yes I'll be my own Santa but boy would I like to fashion myself after Santa Phil. Everyone acknowledges that he IS SANTA and I can't go wrong if I try to follow in his boot steps. Thank you gents for being so kind and helpful to me. That's it for now. Prayers are welcomed for this surgery on March 11th and the rehab afterwards. Not only for me but for my wife Sheila who is taking vacation time off to be with me for 2 weeks and nurse me in that time period. She's got her hands full and I thank God for her every day. I'll be in hospital on her birthday and she is sharing that with me. What a gal! Cheers my friends from Alberta

Carlo Klemm

Carlo Klemm

 

A Review of the National Christmas Center

The National Christmas Center in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, by Santa Johnny Boy I’m sure there’s many of you out there, like myself, that experience Christmas Withdrawal Symptoms: The depression that is felt when the holidays are over; being the last one in the neighborhood to take down the Christmas decorations, and still playing Christmas music in the privacy of your own home or car. Still hanging on to any bit of Christmas possible. Why does it have to be over so quickly? It doesn’t ! My wife surprised me with an After-Christmas Getaway, by taking us on a trip a few hours away to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Having never been to Lancaster before, I must say that I was quite impressed with this town. But what fascinated me the most was the National Christmas Center. Located on the historic Lincoln Highway (Route 30 East), The National Christmas Center is a premiere family attraction with over 20,000 square feet of indoor exhibits - everything Christmas! Think back to when you were a child at Christmas time. Do you remember visiting downtown store windows, department store toylands and shopping at the local 5 & 10? What about the first time you saw the Nativity displayed at your church? It seemed like the whole world was made of magic. The magic is back! No matter what decade you grew up in, there is sure to be something here that will stir your memories and emotions and bring back the child inside you. Like going to a Christmas back in time with all the lights and displays, The National Christmas Center is the brainchild of Jim Morrison, who prefers the name Santa Jr, himself a real-bearded Santa and a card-carrying member of the AORBS Santa Jr, a delightful one to talk to with his many stories of his own Christmas memories, had been collecting Christmas memorabilia since he was a child. Couple that with his years of working for the Smithsonian Institute and you have one first-class, spectacular museum. Also featured are the collections of Judith Murtagh from the American Christmas Museum. The feeling of Christmas is abundant in the many displays. There is, "Christmas Around the World". You can learn about the customs brought over by the early immigrants as you pass through life-size displays of England, Russia, Holland, Germany, Norway, Sweden and Italy. It was their traditions that evolved into the American Christmas as we know it. You can visit a re-creation of an early F.W. Woolworth’s 5 & 10 complete with fixtures and display cases of that era, packed with toys and Christmas merchandise from the1930's through the 1950's. Coming here made me feel like Ralphie, from "A Christmas Story". There was never such a sense of warmth and beauty in today’s malls and superstores. "Tudor Towne" is a walk-through, English Victorian-style village complete with cobble stone roads. It contains over 125 animal characters dressed in authentic, Old English-style outfits. Walk through, and an original Christmas Fairy Tale unfolds before your eyes in the form of chapters and scenes. The memories of a childhood Christmas are well-preserved in, "Toyland". I can remember when my dad would assemble the American Flyer train set under the tree a week or two before Christmas. Being very young at the time, I would lay on the floor eye-level with the train as it traveled it’s course around the track. Looking up, I could see the underside of the Christmas tree with lights and ornaments dangling down, a view not shared by many except for children. The tree would look so huge from that angle; like being in an enchanted forest. That was also the thinking of Santa Jr when he created the Toyland exhibit. Imagine a mountainous, 30-foot diameter train display centered around the trunk of a tree whose branches reach across the ceiling, covered with lights and over 3000 ornaments. As you walk around this huge display, you will also notice the life-sized toy shop windows of yesterday. It was hard to pull me away! "Santa’s Enchanted North Pole Workshop", is a must see for any aspiring Santa Claus. The level of detail is astounding in this bigger-than-life walk through of Santa’s secret domain. Animated elves are busy at their trade while Santa checks his list for the second time. Polar bears curiously peer in through the windows. Toys are everywhere! If no one’s around, you may want to sneak a picture of yourself sitting in Santa’s chair. The First Christmas is equally and dramatically represented. "The Art of the Nativity", features a world-wide collection of creches, some as old as 200 years. There is a room-filling, Moravian Presipio that depicts nearly the entire town of Bethlehem. Appropriately, there are church pews to sit on as you listen to the Biblical account of the first Christmas, while gazing into the panoramic view set across a star-lit night sky. The beauty is breathtaking ! Just when you think that it can’t get any better, you walk into life-size scenes, complete with sounds and life like figures of the Holy Land, historically accurate and with actual ancient artifacts. Travel through Bethlehem on a cobblestone road like it was over 2000 years ago, and see period structures, tools and clothing used by the average citizen of that time. A Roman soldier speaks Latin and an Innkeeper speaks ancient Aramaic. See an Angel appear as if from nowhere to announce to the Shepherds the birth of the newborn King. You will feel what it must have been like, the night that Jesus was born, as if you were a time-traveler coming back to that point in history. And then, of course, the crowning jewel - a historically researched life-sized Mary and Joseph as they celebrate the Birth of Christ. This is how it might have actually looked as you peer over the shoulder of one of the Three Wise Men into the Manger of a scene that is far more beautiful and humbling than any church that I’ve ever been in. This was quite a moving experience. There are many other displays that I haven’t mentioned only for matter of space in the Khronical. They are, "Pennsylvania Christmas", "Antique Christmas Emporium", "Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa !", "Amish Christmas", ‘Images of Santa" and a 1943 Living Room with Christmas ornaments from that time period and Christmas songs playing on an antique radio. Even the Rest Rooms are decorated and feature framed pictures of old time Christmas ads. Two new exhibits are being built and are planned to be unveiled in Summer of 2007, one of them is being called, "Street of Memories", where visitors will walk past old time department store windows decorated for Christmas. The other new exhibit will be a life-sized tableau based on a 1950's Christmas. Plan to spend at least three hours here, if you like to take your time to see everything. The National Christmas Center is a self-guided tour and is handicap accessible. For hours of operation and more information, visit www.nationalchristmascenter.com There are plenty of other interesting things to do and see in Lancaster. Try, "The Strasburg Railroad" (ride an actual, working steam locomotive) , "The National Toy Train Museum", (Toy train collectors hold their conventions in this town) , "Longwood Gardens" ( world-famous, a must for any gardening enthusiast) , and many numerous others. Just Google "Lancaster PA" and see for yourself. There are plenty of hotels, motels and an RV campground all close to the main attractions. Mrs. Claus will especially enjoy shopping at the two, huge factory outlet malls - Rockvale Outlets and the Tanger Outlets. The Elves and Grand Elves will love Dutch Wonderland Amusement Park. Lancaster is right off the PA Turnpike and there are airports in Lancaster, Harrisburg and Philadelphia. The town is family-friendly and has lots of meeting, hotel and convention space. Don’t just take my word for it; plan to spend some upcoming vacation time here. You won’t regret it!

Santa Johnny Boy

Santa Johnny Boy

 

Feb 2008

Here it is Feb 2nd and the winter still has a grip on Alberta. The last week has been bitterly cold with temperatures dipping to the -40C range but producing a windchill of -50C on some evenings. It wasn't this cold last year, but those of us who live here know that usually for at least 4 days every winter it does get down to that range. The exception was 2006 when snow fell in October and lasted until April, with occassional snowfalls just to keep things white, however we did not get as cold as it did this year. I've had 2 more iron IV this past week to bring me up to 800mg of iron into my system. It is necessary as my hemo and iron were down to the point that it caused some concern for those who are going to do my knee replacement surgery. Low iron and hemo meant that I would be subject to blood transfusions with the surgery, but now it could mean I can produce enough red blood cells to avert a transfusion. They'll do more blood lab work around the middle of the month after my last 200mg IV is done and a week has passed. That way they'll know if I'm ready for the March 11 surgery, which I now have to get all geared up for again. I'm hoping that it will go ahead and that I am diligent enough to do the rehab excercises that go along with it, so I can get the other knee done at about 3 months later. That should put me in a desirable position to be able to walk properly in time to take on the Santa School in Calgary in October and be ready for the next Christmas season. I know my wife will be a "nag" because I probably need it and she cares enough to help me out. Bless her. It's been great meeting new people at ClausNET and encouraging that I am not the only one with problems and that this group of men and women are now a part of a fraternal family that believes in the power of prayer and the encouragement of others. I just hope that soon I'll be in a position healthwise and financially to come to some of the gatherings and conventions that are slated and get a chance to meet some of them. God bless each and every one of you for your chosen activity in bringing smiles to the young and the young at heart. Carlo - Santa Edson

Carlo Klemm

Carlo Klemm

 

The first

I guess I had better get to using this blog. Santa Rielly has made it available and I signed in so I'll try to use it as much as I can. First of all the ClausNET site is one of education and social and I appreciate the work and effort that goes into a development such as this. It's not always easy. So first of all Santa Rielly, my thanks for taking this on and for standing up for the site. You gotta stand for something or you'll fall for anything. I also appreciate the fact that this site is nonheirarchal and that no one takes the role of a chairman, president or the like. I acknowledge this is Santa Rielly's site put here for the use of all Santas and that he is the "owner" and makes the rules and I suggest according to also the wishes of those who use it. I also see from various posts that there are some Santa's here who have it rough in life. I see that due to circumstances some have health and financial problems. Others have had situations with family. I thought of myself, having two knee replacements coming up as something of a setback. but as someone once said, no matter how bad you think you have it, there is always someone worse off than you. It is evident here and I am glad that we can all pray and encourage each other in these various upsets. I'd like to get to know you all a bit better and I guess if I post enough and you post enough we'll learn something about each other. I appreciate the words of welcome and kindness and help from so many. I also feel a genuine interest from people like Chris and Father David who have a seminary or theological background. I'd even encourage one of them to think about maybe becoming a chaplain for the forum. It's tough enough being a pastor without having to take this on but I feel that those who need it, may be encouraged by simple e-mail not public posts like here, to someone with a sympathetic ear and the way to handle situations. It could be shared duty as well. Like I said, private not public but someone to turn to. I am the grandfather of 4, 3 shes and a he. My son and his family live in Finland so that is like a universe away. It's not like you can hop in the car and drive out for a visit, and believe me, there are no seat sales from Canada to Helsinki. It's not your typical tourist destination. That said, those on this forum would have an interest in the Santa Claus Village at the Arctic Circle in Rovanemi. I've been there once and would certainly go back again. We talk about a belief in Santa Claus and boy is it evident there on a year round basis. I became interested in Santa Claus probably through that experience. I had to write two thesis on the conclusion of my Economic Development courses and I used the idea of transforming a town into a Christmas town in the first phase and then adding a theme park to the town. Not an abundance of that in Alberta. My profs were good enough to score me high on them but when I made the presentation locally, I was kind of scoffed at. Long time merchants involved in their own business and not having the best interest of the town as a whole. Small downtowns in too many centres are being lost to mega-developments and the WalMarts and Canadian Tires and Staples and Office Depots and Future Shops and Best Buy and on and on. The time will come when they say to themselves, "we got to do something". By then it may be too late. Life moves ahead very quickly these days. Anyway, the spark never died and this past year after I lost my position to the president elect of my board, I found the time to don a rack suit and cheap wig and beard set and bring some happiness to some kids. (It had to be a rack job as it is hard for a 59 year old to get meaningful employment other than a Walmart greeter, and with the surgeries coming up, no one is willing to hire and train and then lose you for a few months.) It also made me feel good as I mentioned my own grandkids are not anywhere handy to sit on my knee and tell me all sorts of things. Maybe that helped in the feeling of satisfaction I received while being Santa. I got hooked. My office is now full of pictures from websites, tips on suit care, wig styling, beard cleaning behaviour and I even printed out the last 4 years of the Kringle Chronicle and bound them so that I woud have them on hand for reference. I bought real boots and belt because I don't like the "tops" and the suit was backed up with another one purchased after the season at 50% off. My sister from Denver also is sending me one she found as a birthday present to me. She knows my interest and supports my venture. So there you have a short bit about me. I didn't think Santa Carlo sounded right so I used Santa Edson as that is the town I'll be mainly working in. After 12 years on the radio, and 15 years as an elected councillor for the town, I guess I'm sort of a "Mister Edson" so the title fits. I still write a Southern Gospel music column for the local paper, but that is because I've been involved in it for the last 15 years and it's my "ministry" I'll try to keep in touch with this blog and with posts on the site and my mailbox is never too full, so if you really want... Carlo Klemm Box 20002 Edson, AB. Canada T7E 1B4 God bless each and every one of you for your chosen activity in bringing smiles to the young and the young at heart. Cheers

Carlo Klemm

Carlo Klemm

 

A Month Has Past

Yes, a month has past since the magic of Christmas Eve 2007 was upon us all. As darkness fell on the 24th I began my yearly journey into Christmas making home visits and wonderful memories for young and old. Just a month ago checking every last detail of beard and costume ready to step out for the one great finale of the 2007 Christmas season. What a wonderful night it was ,snow on the ground, clear and cold but dry clear roads for travel. I visited many homes greeted many young and old leaving them with a smile and a great memory to carry them until the 2008 season.As many of us who wear the red suit each year know a month passes quickly and our thoughts turn to the season of 2008 a how we can make it even better. Our let down after the trappings of the holiday are safely stored away are now replaced by research and planning. Yes, we are looking for new suits ,better hair goods, for those of us who use them, and working on bookings for the next season. So it is that let down when the season is over is replaced by great expectations of the season that. is to come

Santa TJS

Santa TJS

 

Will work for cookies...

On January 2, my company informed us that they made a 'strategic' decision to move the business unit that I manage to another division within the company. Unfortunately, there was no room at the new division for most of the team including me. The company was nice enough to provide me with a decent severance package though. I only hope it is enough to get me through to securing a new position. So I am home now. I guess I will use my spare time to paint a few rooms in the house. Oh and I can finally get to reorganizing the file cabinet! And my CD collection is woefully in need of being alphabetized too. I stayed home with the kids today. They had the day off for MLK Day. I told them this morning that I lost my job and would be able to spend more time with them for a while. I've been sending out resumes and applying for jobs all morning. This afternoon I had a very cute conversation with my daughter. Dad? Yes? Did you find it yet? Find what? Your job. You said you lost it. Did you find it yet? Not yet. Oh. Then can I use the computer? Yep. Finally I can get a few things done around here! I wonder what color I should paint the hall?

Michael Rielly

Michael Rielly

 

2007 Season Now a Fond memory

Well I sit here at my computer on this January night watching the thermometer dip below ten degress looking out my home office window at a dark cold darkened cul-de-sac which only a few short days ago was festooned with Chistmas lights and decorations of all kinds. It was also the first Christmas in some time we had a substantial snow cover which is all but gone now. I sit here with feeling a bit low as the gloom of winter nights sets upon us.I will have my tree up at least through the week-end but my exterior decor is now residing in the attic.Now the long wait for spring begins, the pre Christmas excitement of seeing the first snowfall behind us I cringe at the nightly winter forecasts. The Christmas cards have all made there way to the trash,the yards of bright wrapping paper are tucked away for the next season. The dreadful though of that livingroom corner with the bightly lit tree covered with hand blown ornaments collected over so many years going dark and empty brings me down.I think of the Norman Rockwell picture of the young boy headed back to school after the Christmas vacation, a bent tree discarded and a broken toy in the background. That is my mood this cold dark January night.I will have to close my eyes and return for a moment to those wonderful nights in December when dressed in red and working on my best Santa portrayal made glad the hearts of all who I greeted.Till next season!

Santa TJS

Santa TJS

 

Morgan May

I have never styled my own whiskers before. So last year I decided I would give it a try. I needed some way to hold the whiskers while I set the curlers, so I bought a Styrofoam head to place the whiskers on. However, before I had a chance to pin Santa's whiskers to the head, my 9-year old daughter spied the Styrofoam head (without the whiskers thankfully) sitting on a shelf. She asked me what it was for. Well naturally I couldn't tell her, so I said it was Grandma's and I was going to throw it away. She then promptly asked since I was going to throw it away if she could have it. What was I to say? A 9-year old's logic can sometimes be uncanny. "Umm, sure honey.", I was forced to reply. With that, she promptly scooped up the faceless head, ran to her room, and closed the door. Behind her bedroom door I hear whispers and then giggling. "Is everything alright in there Meg?" I asked. "Yes!", my 9-year old daughter replied. More giggles. Then after about an hour, from behind the closed door she tells me to close my eyes. I oblige. I hear her door open and more giggling. "Don't open them yet.", she says. "Keep them closed." "Okay. Now you can open them.", she says. As I open my eyes I find myself nose to nose with a bald Dame Edna! Using markers and paint my daughter had transformed what was to be a simple tool for styling my Santa whiskers into a badly made up, over the top female impersonator! The once all white Styrofoam head now displayed huge blue eyes with very long eye lashes and deep purple eyeshadow. Her eyebrows now clearly defined in yellow highlighter and her lips now formed a Mona Lisa smile in crimson red paint. "Isn't she beautiful?" Meg asked sweetly? "Her name is Morgan May" These days Morgan May sits on my daughter's dresser next to the beta fish, "FrootLoop". I'm not sure, which is more colorful - Morgan May or FrootLoop.

Michael Rielly

Michael Rielly

 

Well, I'm back

Hey folks, It has been a while since I've been around, sorry to be gone so long. Life has just been very busy the last couple of months. I hope all is well with everyone and I wish everyone a Merry Christmas season. Just remember as you spread joy to all the young and young at heart you take some time for yourself. Always remember it started with Jesus, the greatest Gift Giver, 2,000 years ago. Glory to God in the highest !

Santa Oliver

Santa Oliver

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