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Legendary Santa Claus

Opening Date of Oath Time Capsule

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Legendary Santa Claus

On November 6, 2010, dozens of professional Santas from across America will come to the Candy Castle in Santa Claus, Indiana to encapsulate the Santa Claus Oath Book. The Santa Claus Oath’s historic journey has taken nearly two years with over 3,000 Santas and Mrs. Clauses in the signatory. Though the collection of signatures has been completed, the Santa Claus Oath will continue to be recited and pledged by Santa portrayers at local, regional, and global meetings.

Included in the pages of the Oath Book are the origins of the Oath, Jim Yellig dedication and bio, Charles W. Howard dedication and bio, a memorial for outstanding Santas of the past, the story of the first Santa Claus group, the story of the first Santa Claus convention and subsequent conventions, the Santa Claus prayer, "What Matters" poem, Oath title page, October 2008 Oath dedication, the signed Oath page by the two grandsons, witness page, Charles W. Howard’s historic Santa Claus School information, Santa Claus, Indiana history and ambassador page, Candy Castle history, the Oath committee roster, traveling Oath information, Santa Claus Hall of Fame charter members’ bios, a dedication to the Santas of the world, historical overview of St. Nicholas and how St. Nicholas became Santa, title page for signatory and the signature pages, custodianship of the Santa Claus Oath Foundation, and a commentary by the Oath’s author.

Through research and documentation, we have linked Santa Claus’ first visit to a dry goods store, J.W. Parkinson’s in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1841, to the first known department Santa, James Edgar in 1890, and to the meeting of the Legendary Santas, Jim Yellig and Charles W. Howard in 1938. By the signing of the Oath by Will Koch, Jim Yellig’s grandson and Charles Bergeman, Charles W. Howard’s grandson in 2008, the Santa Claus Oath has connected the past with the present.

In the year 2035, twenty five years from the encapsulation date, a new generation of Santas will be given the Santa Claus Oath Book to open. This date will correspond with the 100th anniversaries of the Candy Castle and the Santa Claus statue, both in Santa Claus, Indiana, along with the 100th anniversaries of Jim Yellig organizing the Santa Claus American Legion to answer Santa letters and Charles W. Howard’s first year as a department store Santa. All four of these things happened in 1935.

On Saturday November 3, 2035, a set of instructions will be opened and enacted. The Santa Claus Oath and Book will once again be re-dedicated to Jim Yellig, Charles W. Howard, and all those who pass on the loving traditions of the Legend of Santa Claus. After the ceremony, new signatures and information will be added for one calendar year. Then the Oath Book will be resealed for another period of years. This program has been worked out and legally planned to insure the proper transfer of the Santa Claus Oath and the supporting documentation over time.

It is our hope that the new generations of Santa portrayers from years yet to come will embrace their Santa tradition’s history and the endowment of the Santa Claus Oath from the thousands of signers and the many supporters of the Oath from the current generation of Santas. It has been my personal honor to be Santa Claus and it has been my privilege to be part of the Santa Claus Oath.

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My first visit with Santa Claus in 1963. I was one year old at the time and my brother Paul was four. I still believe! Thanks Santa!

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Santa Danny

That is wonderful Phil! I do hope I am around to witness it being opened. That will be a joyous occasion!!

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Santa Tommy

I hope to be around as well. I have added it to my calendar. :thumbup2:

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Santa Bob Elkin

ho ho ho! Phil, thanks for sharing your greatest gift to the Santas and all the world. I will put this date, 2035 on my calendar and make it my goal to do my best to be there! lets see now, 25 years added to........why, I will only be 92! if the good Lord so blesses me to join some of you younger Santas, that would be awesome!

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Santa Dave

I'll be 76 years old. I hope I can make it. Thanks Phil for this tremendous gift to the Santa community

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Santa TJS

I hope to be around at 83 for that event

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Santa California

will be 60 and look forward to hearing about this event as I will not be there in the States

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KKringle

I will be 67 and considering I so wish I could be there for this ceremony this yea, I think, God willing; I have plenty of time to plan accordingly to be there in 2035. Thanks Phil for all you have done. You continue to amaze me.

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VetteCitySanta

Definitely something to look forward to, Phil. I sincerely hope that each generation of Santa portrayers that follows us will grow in their appreciation of Santa history and embrace every noble project like the Oath in order to promote harmony within the Santa community and preserve the integrity of the Santa image...I hope to be there in 2035 at the tender age of eighty-seven. Perhaps many of us who are there this Saturday will be able to return for a 25-year-reunion.

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Santa Wyeth

My son (an elf - future Santa) will be there this weekend as well and is 11 yrs old at present. So hopefully he will make it back and will be 36 years old and perhaps have sons of his own attending for the opening.

By the way, my wife is wondering what everyone is wearing? Any input?

Edited by Santa Wyeth

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Santa Bill

Well lets see 57+25=82 well Peppermint Sticks it just might happen. I will only be 82 that is not to bad. See you all in 25 years.

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SantaKnows

Thank you Phil for all the work you have done. I could listen to you for hours about our history as Santa's ambassadors. and the rich traditions that go along with the red suit.

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Dutch Schrap

I'll be 61 and hope to be there!

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John Johnson

And that would make me 57, I will be right there with you Dutch. Why, I will even volunteer to push a wheelchair for one of our older statesmen :thumbup2: I really hope that everyone can be there, God willing we all can make it.

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Felix Estridge

I hope to make it to this event at the ripe old age of 71.

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Santa JerryO

Well, I hope that the family history doesn't prove right and if it doesn't I will be there at 85 years old.

It has been an esteemed honor to have been named one of the Co-chairman of this fine document. Why, Phil chose me is a question I have often asked myself, but along the way I got to meet some very wonderful people and one of those was the author. Phil Wenz is someone words sort of fall short to describe, here is a man that had fallen in love with a figure that most of us gave up on at age 8 or 9. He followed his heart for years and as he went along he not only believed, he knew that Santa was real and that he did exist. His life became doing what most of us didn’t start doing until our later years and by this time he had honed his skills and had been taken under the wing by one of the most revered Santa’s in all history James (Jim) Yellig, a simple man but one whose voice and gentle touch left you knowing as a child that you had just met Santa Claus. He never wanted to see a child not have the chance of sitting on his lap or writing him and not know that he had not read their letter. This and much more he talked to Phil about but that wasn’t enough for Phil, he wanted to know more about this persona he had grown to love. When Phil heard about Charles W. Howard his appetite was more enticed to learn who he was and in the process he learned and he treasured all he found out about that of a simple farmer/inventor/father and grandfather that simply wanted to make sure that the time a child sat in his lap would be a moment they would remember for the rest of their lives. In all of this Phil strove to be the best he could be and it came from his heart and his desire to carry on what these two pioneers had started.

Through all of his career Phil strove to be the best he could be and he accomplished a lot along the way, more than most of us ever will but the one thing Phil never lost sight of was who Santa Claus really was. The years went on and the Santa world became larger than I am sure Jim Yellig and Charles Howard ever thought it would much less Phil and along this way ego’s entered the scene and before long the world Phil had grown to love and protect became fractured. He watched as the world and the figure he loved was drug through shouting matches, name calling, accusations and it hurt not just him but all those that had come before him and grew up with him. He saw the figure of Santa drug through new names, “real bearded” “designer or traditional bearded” and along the way feelings were drug along the path also. He sat down and wrote one of I think his best works and the one I love the most next to the Oath, “What Matters”. Phil, asks us all to sit down and read it and simply say to ourselves as we prepare to go out and portray the figure he loves so much “What does Matter” and take heart that all the rest is trivial to the fact that most of all what we do and how we look is not as important as “what really matters in that you have had an effect on a child’s life”.

Phil, was still hurt in seeing how things were going in our “Santa World” as we call it and he sat down and thought of how he could bring his heart and his feelings into words that he would hope would heal all of this and in so doing he would also promote brotherhood, but also take us back to the roots of what the figure represents and whom we say we represent. The Santa Claus Oath was born out of love, desire and hope that we, yes all of us would take time to read it and not only say the words but listen to the words as we spoke them. To show us that it is more important to love the figure we portray and not just love what the figure does for us.

I have met so many more along the way and have been blessed to shake hands with men whom I have read about in their performance of Santa and some that I was humbled to have had the honor to meet, Charles Bergeman, Will & Pat Koch, Cliff Snider, Mike Rielly, Mike Sypherd, Dave Troutman, Everett Johnson, Dennis Blanden, Bob Elkin, Dutch Schrap, the grandchildren of Charles W. Howard and the list goes on and on and everyone along the way I can now call my family.

I was really blessed to have been paired up with a man that I have great admiration for Gary Isaacson whom is my Co-chair and is one that is keeping the spirit of Jim Yellig alive each and every year. Gary is a quiet sort of man and in so many ways emulates that of Santa and of Jim Yellig. He is the type that is seen and not heard from too much, yet he is one that if you get the chance to talk with him I recommend you do, I come to know him better and I am proud to call him a brother.

To get back to the first part of all this, I have to wonder why I was chosen and what Phil saw in me, but whatever it was I am glad that it has happened and that I have been able to be there along this path the Santa Claus Oath has taken not just for me but all of us. It is up to us now as we prepare to lay the Oath to rest for the next 25 years, not to turn to it on our walls and look up at it and say I took that and I signed the pages and my name is in the book. We need to occasionally turn to it and read it, say the words out loud and listen as we say them, for all of this will be for nothing, if there is not a figure for the world of children to look up to call Santa Claus. Jim Yellig, Charles W. Howard, James D. Rielly and so many more have done all they could do to help keep Santa alive through all these years. The questions we must ask ourselves are we ready to keep the figure of Santa alive not for our personal gain or vanity, but for the good of children everywhere and for the next Virginia who asks “Is there really a Santa Claus?”

It has been a long and winding road the Oath has taken and I for one am glad I could be a part of it and I hope that I will continue to not just say the Oath but try and live the Oath, and then I only hope that one day it will be said of me “that he did it for what really matters”

One of Charles W. Howard’s best known saying’s is “He errors who thinks that Santa enters down the chimney, he enters through the heart”

Let us open our hearts, to one another and not just encase the Oath in a time capsule, but let us encase it in our thoughts, in our actions and in our hearts. Thank you Phil, for all you have done for me and for us.

P.S. This is strictly what I think Phil was thinking, and it was not taken from him for I only have great admiration for who he is and what he has done.

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Santa Bob Elkin

Santa Jerry, thank you for putting in print those words, they ring so very true in every sentence. I have felt these same emotions and wish to place a second to all of your statements, if you will allow me me to do so. .

I think, perhaps, those of us who have been honored to have been chosen by Phil to work with him and beside him, someday, someone may say, of one of us, oh! that is old Santa so and so he was a close confidant and brother Santa of The Legendary Santa, Phillip L. Wenz..

I am so pumped to see everyone this weekend in Santa Claus Indiana!

Edited by Santa Bob Elkin

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Santa Bear Larry
B)Well, I will be 93 and Phil if I am able to be there I will be with bells on.

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Santa Bob Elkin

Santa Bear, thanks for posting your age, I remembered I was a year older than you, went back and looked and realized I made an error, guess I will really be 94 in 2035, well I am still going to list it on my calendar!!

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Gator Claus

Santa Bob, I would be honored for you to join me in 2035 for the opening of the Santa Oath Time Capsule as one of the original members of Drill Team just as I am each time you perform with me. The members of Palm Tree Santa Drill Team are deeply honored and humbled to be a part of such an historic and iconic event that will take place on Saturday. Having the unwavering support of the Lengendary Santa Phillip Wenz has shown the Drill Team members that we are on the right path iand are bringing the right message of Pride, Honor, Courage, Hope and Love to the children and their heros. We are all very excited to have the opportunity to show all of our brother Santas what we have been doing this past year in the name of Santa. Saturday will truely be our "Christmas morning!"

Santa Jerry, your words are written straight from the heart as only a true Santa could. Thank you for reminding us "What Matters." It will be wonderful to see you, Santa Everett and Santa Dennis again on Saturday.

Edited by Gator Claus

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Santa Mike Liquori

I was unable to make it this time, but in 2035 I'll be 78. I have plenty of time to make plans. I hope to be there. 

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Eileen Strom

Well I would be 75 and Dave would be 80 - so assuming that one or both of us are still around and able to get around, it would be definitely something to attend. Should I mark my calendar now?!:whistling:

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Sean Rielly

When that happens I'll be 43!

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Michael Rielly

When that happens I'll be 43!

Good! You can drive me there! :hohoho:

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Santa Mike P

Good! You can drive me there! :hohoho:

Swing by Toronto and pick us up too please. I'll be 85 then.

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