Tonight, I will be making my final appearance as Santa Claus for 2017. As I come to the end of my first year as a professional Santa Claus, I have been giving much thought about what my motivation to take up this calling is.
The reason is certainly not the money that can be made. While Mrs. Claus and I have earned a fair amount of dollars, it doesn’t really cover all of the expenses I incurred to get ready for the Season, and may not next year. It certainly didn’t last year, when I mad
I'm getting old.
Yes, I know it's almost a prerequisite of portraying a convincing Santa Claus, but it has disadvantages.
As I type this blog post, I sit at my computer with aching feet and sore back. The last few hours have been spent climbing up and down stairs, taking measurements, and cutting laminate flooring to fit that last little bit of a floor project I've been working on, only to find when I return upstairs that I cut the wrong end of the board as often as not. My fit bit t
Today was a productive day, sort of.
I started the day by re-bleaching my beard, which I haven't done over most of the summer. Since my beard tends to be grey anyway, it wasn't strictly necessary until later in the season. But the reason I did so is the next thing:
At the request of one of the photographers that I will working with this season, I visited her in-home studio to do a practice photo session with her kids, to generate some promo shots for use on her website and my own.
I would claim that my tardiness in posting a blog entry here is because that I've been busy in the workshop, but that would be a stretch. I have been busy, but it hasn't been in the workshop making toys. Instead, it has been a split between my job search, and home restoration work.
The job search doesn't need explaining. The house work does. As I probably mentioned in one or more previous entries, my youngest son finally left the house a couple of months ago (Marine boot camp), and my w
Another week goes by, and we are suddenly rushing toward the Christmas season.
At the request of my mentor, Santa Ron Campbell, I generated a PowerPoint slide for him to use in a presentation he is giving this Saturday (7-29) at the 10th Annual Santa Business Round Table, in Highpoint, NC, showing the importance of having a Santa Claus website. Of course, I used screenshots from my own website as an example, and I must admit that I did have Ron's input when I put that site together. It t
Somehow, this post was never published when I entered it a week or so ago. The form displayed it when I got ready to enter another post. I will just push this out, and go on to write my new mutterings.
This Summer, my son moved out of the house, finally taking the plunge and joining the marines. He's about half way through boot now, and I expect to be attending his graduation down at Paris Island in a little over a month. His older sister moved out a number of years ago, and is currentl
Here we are in the early part of July. The year is barely half over, and I am already getting requests for Santa gigs for the coming holiday season.
For those of you who have been Santa Claus for some time, early bookings may not be anything out of the ordinary. However, from my study of the industry, a newly minted Santa, which pretty much describes me, can best expect to get the bulk of his work from other Santas who are overbooked. This is what I gleaned from this and other web sites,
As I mentioned in my previous blogs, I finally took the plunge and bleached my hair white. I have since re-bleached the roots once, and determined that the whole task isn't too onerous. The primary reason that I finally whitened my hair is that my mentor, Santa Ron Campbell, has been coaxing me to take the plunge for the last month or so. However, my wife's reaction was... less than enthused.
Because I am back on the street as an unemployed IT worker, she thinks that it would be a good i
This morning, I finally took the time to bleach my hair.
For those of you who have followed my postings, you will know that I had my beard professionally whitened by Gary Belo, in Highpoint, NC, back in March. Because it was just for my photo shoot, I didn't do my hair. So for the last three months, I've been wandering around with medium dark brown hair, and a more or less white beard. This wasn't a huge change for me, since while my hair has remained dark, my beard had been going grey f
This week, I bought myself a set of sleigh bells and a key to add to my Santa gear. Still need a few more props, but it's starting to come together.
As the summer fast approaches, and the temperatures here in the southeast soar, I find that my intention to let my hair grow long was less than comfortable. I've always worn my hair fairly short, ever since my days in the Army. Letting it grow a little longer when it is cold is one thing, but not practical or tolerable in the summer months.
This morning, I called the hair salon that does beard bleaching to schedule a whitening job on my beard and hair for two weeks out. This evening, I found out that I'll have to reschedule the whitening to a later date (probably two weeks later), due to a conflict with an event for my son. Ah, the joys of being a parent. Oh well... I have to enjoy him while I can, because at the end of this month, he is off to Marine boot camp.
This weekend, I attended the District 37 Toastmasters spring conference. In and of itself, this had nothing to do with Christmas, or Santa Claus. However, I did want to mention it here in that I had the opportunity to do some cheap advertising in the conference program. I really don't expect to get a lot of return on the ad, but it did make some of my fellow Toastmasters aware of me, and realize that I had a reason for growing a white beard. In addition, I did here one person suggest that S
The post Christmas enthusiasm is beginning to wear off, and it's getting more and more difficult to muster the Christmas Spirit as we move into Spring and Summer. Yes, I am moving forward with preparations for the next season, but I find that much of what I have to do is wait for the next thing.
One thing that I just completed is Ed Taylor's Santa Claus Conservatory classes. Not having worked as a paid Santa Claus before, I have to admit that there was a whole lot of useful information th
Over the years, Easter has changed for me. Back before I got married, it was much like any other day, except that I would make a special effort to go to church. That, and the stores were stocked with chocolate bunnies and eggs. After I got married, I became much more familiar with the candy and egg painting again, which I hadn't been involved with since I was in middle school. But now, with my youngest out of high school and set on joining the marines, Easter is no longer about the candy any
As the title of this post suggests, it has been a taxing week. No, not really difficult, although it was busy. Just not in a Santa Claus way. Although I was off work this past week, I didn't get as many of the items on my honey-do list complete as I would have liked (painting and yard work). It seemed like every evening or day was occupied by some Toastmasters related event or other (contest season). Perhaps the worst of it was yesterday and today... when I knocked out my taxes for the year
Slipping into the role of Santa Claus is something that most of here have learned to do, but as a novice Santa, I am finding that there is more complexity in the Business of Santa Claus than I predicted before I stared. I'm not just talking about the dollars and sense of what gear needs to be purchased, or how much is a fair rate for your time in the big chair or at an event. No, I'm speaking of the little things.
Take Business Cards. You wouldn't think such a thing would be all that com
As I mentioned in my last blog entry, my website is up. Today, I can report that I have made it visible to search engines, and enabled Google Analytics. Yes, my site is finished, at least enough to feel that it is worthy of display. Sure, I'm still planning to tweak bits and pieces, and add frequent blog entries (both as Santa, as well as the North Pole News) as well as episodes of "The Story of Santa", which will eventually end up in book form, but for now will provide a distraction to youn
The last couple of weeks have been busy, between getting my photos and the website launched, as well as doing things for work, etc. Yesterday saw a continuation of that, we my wife and I driving from Raleigh to Alexandria National Cemetery to pay respects to her grandmother, who passed a year ago.
I did take time during the middle of last week to add a couple of posts to my website, since it had been a little while. My intent is to start adding a post to the blog almost every day, a
Well, I got the photos from our professional photographer last Thursday, and of course immediately started putting them into my web site. The photographer sent us the best 20 or so pictures, and I culled through that list to come up with the best image for each page of the site. From there, it was crop and scale, and position the text boxes until everything was looking the way that it should. Unfortunately, that took up a lot of my time, since I had to get the site ready for Gatlingburg, as w
Spent several hours today having professional photos taken. Except for having to wear a hot Santa Suit, the session was a lot of fun. The studio tells me that the pictures will be processed and available in about a week, which I'm really looking forward to. In addition to having to complete my website, I need to get my GigSalad account set up, and make up a new set of business cards and so forth, in preparation for Gattlingburg.
This week, my wife is away, so she hasn't been able to get
Another week goes by, and I am one step closer to being Santa Claus.
As mentioned in last weeks post, I received my round wire-frame prescription glasses in the mail. Of course one of the first things I did was get my wife to take a picture of me wearing the new glasses along with a Santa hat and a red T-shirt. I've added this picture as my new profile pic here.
Not to worry... next Saturday I am scheduled to sit (or stand) for professional photos in full gear, so shortly there
Once again, another week has passed, and I progress toward being Santa.
Over the last week, many of the items I ordered online have come in. Things like a Santa Claus makeup kit, various items to build costumes (faux fur, specialty needles, boot cuffs), and best of all, a message that my round eyeglasses have shipped. This last is great because I'll be able to see while having my professional photos taken (assuming the post office can get them here in less than 2 weeks). If they don't co
Did I mention last time that I expected to have a busy week? It was.
Thursday afternoon, I drove out to Highpoint, NC to have my beard whitened. Something over an hour drive, and then about 2 hours for the treatment. Would have been longer if I had done the top, but I only need my beard white for photos in a couple of weeks. I won't even worry too much about keeping it white until October time frame, when I can plan to get everything done in preparation for the season.
OK, it's a hokey blog title, but its getting late on a Saturday night. I was up early this morning to attend a Toastmasters training event (for the 3rd week in a row!), and I didn't get much of a nap during the day.
Just finished reading Believe Again, by Joe Moore. Very enjoyable Santa Claus story, and plenty of material to allow me to start crafting my own mental image of what the North Pole is like. It isn't urgent that I define this world view... if I get it roughed out by summer I s
Yes, I missed blogging last week, and almost missed it this week. Fortunately, I remembered Monday morning, and had a few minutes to jot down some words while waiting for a meeting to get started.
I made contact with the local Santa community in a big way! Thanks to Santa Steve Gillham for connecting with me, as well as the guys and gals at Triangle Santa buddies. I'm sure to get some great coaching as I move on in my Santa Journey.
At the advice of several of the Santas I've spoken
The ClausNet community is the largest social network and online resource for Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, Elves, Reindeer Handlers, and Santa helpers for the purposes of sharing stories, advice, news, and information.