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We Want You!

SantaNana

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I have a mind to join a club and beat you over the head with it.

Groucho Marx

When I was young, I got to be involved in a lot of “causes.” I was part of the women’s movement, part of the fight for racial equality, and an anti-war protester during the Viet Nam War. We, as the former youth of America, had a lot to say about what was fair, and how we wanted the people in our communities to treat each other. My mother was able to break the bonds of boredom and wifedom to get an education and become a professor at a full-blown University. My black friend and neighbor was the first negro to attend the Air Force Academy. Girlfriends who were banned from sports programs became soccer coaches - - and as the years passed, many of us forgot that these were all privileges we had to fight for - - many with their lives.

I have been fortunate enough to have had a challenging career, gotten an education, travelled, and raised a family alone. While I never broke any ceilings, I made a comfortable living and my girl children never really thought there were things that they wouldn’t be allowed to do “just because” they were girls. They could join the military, go into space, play professional sports, program computers, find the cure to cancer - - be the President of the United States!

Of course, we are cognizant of the fact that other countries are not as progressive. We have seen a young girl shot in the head because she wanted to go to school. We have seen women tortured, beaten, demeaned and used as sex slaves in other countries - - and we don’t like it one bit. We won’t tolerate it, will we?

Yet, here in America there are still pockets of our society where women are not welcome. I was puzzled, appalled, and downright angered to find that PARTS of the Santa community are like that. While at first, this was merely annoying, lately it’s become a little more personal.

There have been a series of posts on “Facebook for Santas” indicating that there are scholarships and prizes available for Santas through an organization called The Brotherhood of Real Bearded Santas. Since I am interested in continuing my education as a Santa (i.e. Santa’s SISTER) and meeting as many people in the Santa community as I can, I wanted to “enter to win.” Unfortunately, I have been informed that I cannot become a member because I am a female “unattached” to a Santa member. Well throw me on the funeral pyre and light the torch!

Listen gentlemen (and ladies, too). I know that you can have any darn fraternal brotherhood tree house club festival that you want, but you are leaving out some mighty wonderful women folk, while you’re at it. There was a time when men thought the universe would collapse into a dark hole if women were allowed on the golf course, and guess what - - it ain’t happened yet. Of course, there are a million other examples, but you get the point.

For those of you who think you should support the independent women in your community, you should know about this.

And for those of you who think I’m crazy, it’s a club for BEARDED Santas, I assure you - - I spend a fortune at the waxing salon to get rid of mine.

In conclusion, I want you to know that I did not join the Santa community to be disruptive, or anything other than kind, generous, and the magical sister of the magical Claus. But sometimes you have to stand up for what you believe. I have been treated wonderfully by many other Santa organizations, including ClausNet. I have also received a lot of support from my local and not so local brothers and sisters. I’m hoping that we can help bring the others around to the 21st Century, soon.

Santa Nana

Santa’s Sister



4 Comments


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Santa Gordon

Posted

Santa Nana,

I am getting a mixed message here. Are you upset because you can not access a members only group benefit? Or are you unhappy because they are a "All Boys Club"? If it is the first, I can site you chapter and verse of  Scholarships that are exclusionary on the basis of religion, creed, color, ethnicity, left or right handedness and so on. That being the case you should rail against all of those so called scholarships that you do not qualify to access.

If on the other hand you are unhappy that there is an "All Boys Club" that won't let you access because you are not married to a Santa, That is the way the group was set up. In time it may change if the membership votes to do so, or it may stay exactly as it is. That is part of what lead to the FORBS regional/IBRBS split and the funny thing is, FORBS regional now has a limited number of women members that are not married to a Santa now. Believe it or not, the owner of FORBS regional made his split based on "No Designer Beards and All Boys Only" as his reason for doing this after the vote to be inclusive failed to meet the threshold needed to make the change in the group that is now known as IBRBS. Kind of ironic.

I would suggest that if there are enough Mrs Claus that wish to associate and form a social group following the large Santa group model of being a 501c3 type non profit, they should do so and make it in any fashion they please.

There are several state and regional groups that allow Single Mrs Claus as Members but to my knowledge ONLY IBRBS has this Scholarship program in place as a benefit. There are 2 $500 scholarships that are available to Santas to use to attend the Santa School of their choice a AND 2 $500 scholarships that are for Santas or their Direct descendents for use in ANY school of higher learning and can be applied to tuition, books or any other need to attend the trade school or college of their choice and it is gender neutral. Sons or Daughters are equally eligible to apply for those 2 scholarships. Word I have heard is this benefit program will be expanded next year to 4 scholarships of each type instead of 2.

Just as there are Santa Schools that focus on Santa exclusively and there are Santa Schools that have material for Mrs. Claus as well. You need to find a group that accepts you if you are looking for fellowship and networking. If that group you select grows big enough, it too may offer such scholarship benefits as well.

There are many social media groups and web site that allow and welcome women members but unfortunately very few have dues that would in turn support a scholarship program such as this. There is one out there that is completely open and accessible to any and all that work in the Christmas industry and I will be at their first "Members Only" Event in Vegas the 25th through the 27th of April. If you belong to this group, you would be welcome to attend and avail yourself to any and all benefits that they may make available to their members.

Yours,

 

Santa Gordon

No one special 

 

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Santa Nana....you are an awesome addition to the Santa Community.   I absolutely love your portrayal as a sister to Santa.   Keep up the good work.

 

I think it is absolutely a great idea that IBRBS BOD came up with for scholarships.  However, don't forget.......IT IS the MEMBERSHIP'S Money that is making these scholarships possible.   Of course, that may change as they offer more scholarships to include some kind of "fund raising" specifically for that reason.

 

Nana Claus, having been a part of three different international santa organizations as a spouse only......it has always been a RBS boys club.  Both Randy and I finally came to the conclusion being in a RBS National Organization does not make you a "Superior Santa".....it is NOT needed for a resume to get a job throughout the season and for us, it just isn't a good fit for who we are....or what we enjoy being !

 

Just keep being who you are....a super wonderful sister of Santa Claus !!  Enjoy Life and surround yourself with those you Love !!

 

Debra Ann

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Santa Gordon, Thank you for the thoughtful reply to my blog.  Of course, you are wisened Santa and I always look to you for smart and pointed contributions to all things Santa.  To answer your question, I think my "gripe" was that I was seeing continuous advertisements for free lodging, meals, and scholarships for the upcoming  IRBRS gala, but I was restricted from participating without being a member.  I certainly know there are other wonderful venues where I am accepted, and people are kind and generous.  I was just commenting that this group is not one of them. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

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Santa Gordon

Posted

Santa Nana,

All of the "Free" things offered at the ISC are offered to everyone that attends whether they are a member or not. That is part of the ISC and the ISC is open to everyone that wishes to attend. Although the ISC is being backed by IBRBS the profit margin is very small. It was designed and set up as a "Profit Neutral" activity and foryunately enough people have registered and paid their way to attend that the commitments required to have the event have been met.

The Scholarships are not part of the ISC, they are a benefit for the members of IBRBS. But I can see how the two could be confused. You are more than welcome to participate in the ISC and all the activities therein. How ever you and many more out there are presently not able to participate in IBRBS. If and until the by-law rules are changed to make IBRBS into a more inclusive group, this will unfortunately remain so.

I and many others in the organization of IBRBS have been working and talking to others about opening up the membership to all. A vote on that will take place later this year.

In the meantime there are many different social groups and business groups that are all inclusive both in the real world and on line for you to join if you like. The Santa and the Business of being Santa group is just one of these.

If listening to a "wisened" Santa such as myself is something you do on a regular basis, thanks! Perhaps you will become just as sick of the wide spread notices of the Santa and the Business of being Santa School and Book as well. I will try to keep that to a dull roar. :)

Last count I heard (this morning) for dues paying membership in IBRBS was 732. The $25 annual dues from those members is the main source of funds to the group. Then comes donations and last comes things like the ISC.. As a non-profit 501c type member volunteer elected run group, all "Membership Dollars" must be accounted for to both the Tax board of the state it is incorporated in and to the membership. I would love to see other groups do such wonderful benefits for their members such as these scholarships and low profit events but alas they do not as of yet.

May you grow and learn as you go. May your season be Joyous!

Yours,

Santa Gordon

No one special

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