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A Right Jolly Old Elf

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About this blog

Ho Ho Ho and all that jazz...

Entries in this blog

 

You are not the real Santa Claus

Normally I don't pay much attention to any of the Santa Facebook groups. Wading through all the egos, tantrums, and prima donnas is nothing less than exhausting. There is so much chest thumping going on over there it won’t be long before one Santa climbs to the top of the Empire State Building. Of course as soon as the first one starts his climb, it wouldn't be long before others joined in – all claiming to have thought of the idea first. And instead of Faye Wray, the Santas would be carrying th

Michael Rielly

Michael Rielly

 

Daddy, are you Santa Claus?

Well, it was bound to happen. Christmas 2008 will be the year I remember as the year I told my daughter that I was Santa Claus – or rather, to be exact, one of Santa Claus’s Ambassadors. I guess I should be thankful I got this far. After all, Meghan is almost 11. My son made it to 12! He only found out it was me after reading a newspaper article that mentioned my name. Back in 2006 she was wavering. I decided to see if I couldn’t get at least another year out of her. So I appeared in M

Michael Rielly

Michael Rielly

 

Ho! Ho! Ho! and welcome to Santa Rielly's Blog!

Well hello there and welcome to my very first blog entry! I thought a long time about what my first entry would be here and it seemed only fitting to use this opportunity to say thank you to my inspiration in becoming Santa - My grandfather (Papa) James D. Rielly. James "Jimmy" Rielly was born in 1908 soon after my great grandparents arrived here from Ireland. Papa donned the red suit early in life. I have gotten conflicting data from my aunts and uncles (his children) and my rece

Michael Rielly

Michael Rielly

 

One Thousand

This week we reached a major milestone on ClausNet.com. On October 21, 2010 we welcomed our 1,000th member to our community. Now you may not think this is such a big deal, but consider the fact that unlike other online communities, I personally approve each and every request to become a registered member. When I launched ClausNet.com, I had just returned from my first time attending theCharles W. Howard Santa Claus School, in Midland Michigan. As a first time student to the school, I was st

Michael Rielly

Michael Rielly

 

Yes Meghan, there is a Santa Claus

In a few weeks, my daughter will turn 12. Yet despite the fact that most, if not all of the kids in her school no longer believe in the Jolly Old Elf, my daughter Meghan still believes that there is indeed a Santa Claus. She knows that I and a few of my friends are Santa Claus Ambassadors and she knows that I run ClausNet.com. At first, you might think that she is immature for her age, but she really isn't. In may ways she is more mature than some 15 and 16 years olds. Growing up,

Michael Rielly

Michael Rielly

 

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 brow

Michael Rielly

Michael Rielly

 

A Milestone

Next month will be something of a milestone for me -- 40 years. No, not my birthday (I wish). It was forty years ago that I first donned the Red Suit. At age 8, I was picked to be Santa Claus in our third grade Christmas Play. I don’t remember how or why I was chosen for the role. Maybe it was just fate. I don’t even remember the title of the play or any of my lines. I do remember singing “Santa Claus Is Comin To Town” and vaguely remember that I played “Kris Kringle” and that no one knew t

Michael Rielly

Michael Rielly

 

My second Bachelors degree in Santa Claus!

Today I received my second Bachelors degree in Santa Claus. I received my first Bachelors of Santa Claus in 2005 from the Charles W, Howard Santa Claus School in Midland, MI. Today, I graduated from the International University of Santa Claus (IUSC). The class was held in Providence, RI by Santa Tim Connaghan. Santa Tim Connaghan – Santa Hollywood The class covered several topics including: The History of Santa Claus The Basics of being Santa - Making the visit memor

Michael Rielly

Michael Rielly

 

My Santa mini-book

Each year, I try to add or improve something to my Santa persona. A few years ago Cliff "Poppy Claus" Snider told me about his Santa prayer book and I thought it was a wonderful idea. Here's my Santa mini-book.

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 wi

Michael Rielly

Michael Rielly

 

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!

Michael Rielly

Michael Rielly

 

Syracuse.com: My kids are starting to doubt Santa Claus

I read the following in the Syracuse.com website: My kids are starting to doubt Santa Claus When my daughter turned 9, she began to have doubts. Most of the kids in her class don't believe. So, on Christmas Eve of that year I entered her bedroom at midnight with a prized American Girl doll in hand. I woke my daughter and presented the gift to her. I sat on her bedside for a little while and told her how good she was doing in school and how she deserved this American Girl doll. A

Michael Rielly

Michael Rielly

 

Community

I was thinking about this, this morning on my drive into work. Only a few months ago, ClausNET was less than 30 members. In a year we grew to over 400! What makes ClausNET different from other Santa and Mrs. Claus groups? What is it that makes folks come here and keep coming back? There are other 'Santa Claus' groups online. Why is ClausNET different than other groups? Is it the software you are reading this with? Is it the graphics? Is it the Arcade or the Live Chat? And then it struc

Michael Rielly

Michael Rielly

 

The Santa Claus Oath Coat of Arms

This week, Phil and I collaborated on a project for the Santa Claus Oath. We decided to create an historically accurate Coat of Arms for the Oath. One of our goals in developing the Coat of Arms was that it needed to represent the eight principles that make up the Oath. The eight elements of the Santa Claus Oath Coat of Arms are: Shield SC Letters Crossed Candy Canes Traditional Symbols of Saint Nicholas Reindeer Grapevines Banner Colors Each eleme

Michael Rielly

Michael Rielly

 

From: Toy Fair 2011: The Coolest Toys

I have had the good fortune of attending a few Toy Fairs. I also live very close to Hasbro's World Headquarters. I've always thought I would love to work for a Toy company. Yeas ago, I interviewed for a marketing position with the CEO and VP of Sales of a small toy manufacturer, now owned by Hasbro. In the interview they asked me what were some of my favorite toys as a kid. Without missing a beat I listed off several of my fondest toys and went on to explain how I still have many of them to this

Michael Rielly

Michael Rielly

 

The Nutcracker

I don't know what it is exactly about me. But there are certain pieces of music that effect me in a way that many grown men may not want to admit to. I grew up with a lot of varied musical influences. My mother studied and played classical piano. She also played the organ for our Church on occasion. So there was a lot of Chopin, Brahms, Mozart, and Bach always in the background growing up - but also a lot of country, jazz, and popular music as well. Elvis, Johnny, Frank, Dean, Bing, an

Michael Rielly

Michael Rielly

 

All aboard!

Last weekend I did The Polar Express in Newport, RI. What fun! The first day was a little unorganized but they managed to pull it together by the second day. The biggest problem I had was the heat! The train was over 80 degrees! Even the passengers were complaining. What a test for the cool vest! But even the cool vest couldn't keep the spirit glue from literally melting! By the end of the night I was passing out bells with one hand and holding my whiskers on with the other. The Newport, RI

Michael Rielly

Michael Rielly

 

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 ma

Michael Rielly

Michael Rielly

 

Little Marissa

I worked the Polar Express last weekend. If any of you have worked a Polar Express you know that there is very little time to get through the entire train by the time you get back into the station. So the amount of time you can spend with each family is limited. Well on Sunday, I asked this one little girl named Marissa if there was anything special she wanted for Christmas. She thought about it for a minute or tow but just couldn't think of anything. So I told her I would surprise her with

Michael Rielly

Michael Rielly

 

Welcome to ClausNET

This month I launched ClausNetMedia. ClausNET now has it's very own Channel on YouTube! This video is the first of several original videos planned for the ClausNetMedia YouTube Channel. Feel free to subscribe to the ClausNetMedia Channel and check back for new videos coming out each month! ClausNET on YouTube In addition to original content, ClausNetMedia can be used for our members to promote themselves in video on YouTube, blogs, and websites. Here is an example of a S

Michael Rielly

Michael Rielly

 

I'll Take The Compliment

Yesterday on New Year's Day, my Mrs. Claus and I went out to do a little shopping. There is a very cool country store the next town over. The store is always beautifully decorated but especially at Christmastime. The owners of this store contacted me in December wanting to know if I was available for a photo shoots. Unfortunately I was completely booked so they said that they would just wait and do something in November. Anyway, Mrs. Claus and I went into the store to see if we could

Michael Rielly

Michael Rielly

 

My favorite Santa gig

As I mentioned in previous posts, I don't do many appearances during the season. Four to five gigs a season are about it for this Santa. This is partly due to the fact that I am particular in the appearances I make, but mostly due to time constraints with my regular job – my "Clark Kent" persona if you will. I feel that each of my appearances as Santa is a "gift" and I have often said that if I ever felt being Santa was "work", that I would not enjoy doing it as much. That is not to s

Michael Rielly

Michael Rielly

 

Christmas Eve 2007

As I mentioned in previous posts, my favorite appearance of the season happens on Christmas Eve - my Season Finale if you will. For the past 7 years now, the Pastor at my Church has asked me to speak to the parishioners during the Homily at Christmas Eve Mass. Each year I address the congregation and discuss the true meaning of Christmas. As Santa, I feel that this message is particularly powerful. Who else to discuss the reason for the season than Santa himself? Here's what Santa had to sa

Michael Rielly

Michael Rielly

 

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

Michael Rielly

Michael Rielly

 

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

Michael Rielly

Michael Rielly

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