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Dear Santa: Can't you just be Santa at Christmas?

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Santa Hill

As far as the "policy" talk goes, we already have a policy in place it's called the Oath.  If you portray Santa to the best of your abilities with the goal of keeping the magic alive for a child you are doing the right thing. Now a roomful of bearded men all doing the same thing might be a little confusing to most, if not all, onlookers.

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Shannon

And I'm saying that if a parent ignores the "warning signs" and allows their child to interact with me (i.e. play on the trampoline) then I'm not going to act as if I'm not Santa (i.e. live behind a fence), I am Santa (and so are you, and you, and you). If I'm recognized by a child as Santa "I promise to use "my" powers to create happiness, spread love and make fantasies come to life in the true and sincere tradition of the Santa Claus Legend." Or does the oath not count if Im not being paid to be Santa? I'm not in the fantasy-dashing business, at least not with a consenting parent looking on.

But the bottom line for me is the parent has allowed their child to engage a stranger, with no control over what that stranger might or might not say to their child (they aren't at Disney or the mall photo set, after all), they got exactly what they should have expected (the guy who looks like Santa, acted like Santa), and then complains about the result. I don't see the reasoning. I'm all for keeping the mystery (if you don't know that then you haven't read me much) especially when in public with other Santas, but I've had enough of sending little ones away dejected having expected to meet Santa and only meeting a fat guy who smells like a cookie!

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Santa Dave

And I'm saying that if a parent ignores the "warning signs" and allows their child to interact with me (i.e. play on the trampoline) then I'm not going to act as if I'm not Santa (i.e. live behind a fence), I am Santa (and so are you, and you, and you). If I'm recognized by a child as Santa "I promise to use "my" powers to create happiness, spread love and make fantasies come to life in the true and sincere tradition of the Santa Claus Legend." Or does the oath not count if Im not being paid to be Santa? I'm not in the fantasy-dashing business, at least not with a consenting parent looking on.

But the bottom line for me is the parent has allowed their child to engage a stranger, with no control over what that stranger might or might not say to their child (they aren't at Disney or the mall photo set, after all), they got exactly what they should have expected (the guy who looks like Santa, acted like Santa), and then complains about the result. I don't see the reasoning. I'm all for keeping the mystery (if you don't know that then you haven't read me much) especially when in public with other Santas, but I've had enough of sending little ones away dejected having expected to meet Santa and only meeting a fat guy who smells like a cookie!

And what are the warning signs? That you have a long white beard and dressed in some sort of Santa casual or a plain red t-shirt. Or maybe you have a red car decked out in Santa signs? Just because a couple kids come up to you what makes you think that all parents approve of seeing Santa all year? It's a double sided sword. The verse of the oath you quoted is when we are working and performing as Santa. If you think you are Santa all year and you must look like Santa all year then that is your business but I will tell you that you may be doing more harm than good. Remember the Santa legend was that we never saw Santa after Christmas. In your post you said we all are Santa. WE ARE NOT SANTA. We are actors who PORTRAY Santa. You say you are not in the dream dashing business? Well I believe that is true but, you wouldn't have to dash any dreams if you didn't look like Santa 24-7. To be brutally honest I don't know why you would want to be Santa 24-7. Sometimes I think it is to stroke your own ego.

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Shannon

I disagree with nearly every point you make, but with this...

Sometimes I think it is to stroke your own ego.

 

I'm done. Enjoy the thread, guys.

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Coudy Santa

It still sounds like to me the mother just didn't want to have to answer the "Is Santa really real" question from her children. Perhaps she had a tough time thinking of how to explain it to them especially the 4 year old but she'll be in a heap of trouble for sure when the really tough questions start when they get older. I'm not saying the letter wasn't legit but since none of us were there we can't say for sure if these Santa's acted out of line in any way. Perhaps they did, if they did they used poor judgment, we just don't know.

 

I would hope this topic doesn't turn out to be about reigning in RBS's and creating some kind of official policy on how one should act when in public. Although the proposition for such a thing I'm sure is well meaning.

 

We are all going to portray Santa the way we want to, I think that's what make us all special. I think we all would agree we just need to use some common sense and personal responsibility when we are in public. I have never known anyone hear at ClausNet doing otherwise.

I more meant guidelines and not official policy. We will all do what is most comfortable for ourselves. But, there is always a but, I think a compilation of ideas from 1,500 pros to answer some of these questions is a good idea. Of course it is my idea so I kind of like it right off the get go but I can be swayed off my straight and narrow.

 

Sooo, I am going to continue to ask questions and collect answers to build some sort of a guide, not for all things Santa, but to help with public exchanges. I will need buy-off from Mike on the final product and maybe a list of contributors. This is all really fresh with me so it will evolve. Maybe a kind of Santa First Aid and Survival for Santa to be available through ClausNet.

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Santa Warren

Well unity is clearly not a part of this group. This is a very us vs them thread that does nothing but divide us all farther.

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Cayman Claus

Well I believe that is true but, you wouldn't have to dash any dreams if you didn't look like Santa 24-7. To be brutally honest I don't know why you would want to be Santa 24-7. Sometimes I think it is to stroke your own ego.

 

I shouldn't take the bait, but I will.  To be brutally honest, it's also to look the part. 

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Michael Rielly

I more meant guidelines and not official policy. We will all do what is most comfortable for ourselves. But, there is always a but, I think a compilation of ideas from 1,500 pros to answer some of these questions is a good idea. Of course it is my idea so I kind of like it right off the get go but I can be swayed off my straight and narrow.

 

Sooo, I am going to continue to ask questions and collect answers to build some sort of a guide, not for all things Santa, but to help with public exchanges. I will need buy-off from Mike on the final product and maybe a list of contributors. This is all really fresh with me so it will evolve. Maybe a kind of Santa First Aid and Survival for Santa to be available through ClausNet.

Not sure I understand what you mean, but feel free to PM me.

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Santa Oliver

Well unity is clearly not a part of this group. This is a very us vs them thread that does nothing but divide us all farther.

 

It is starting to appear so Santa Warren, I hope and pray my perception is wrong. I know we (Santa's) are never going to agree on everything but we should try to keep things civil at least.

Being a traditional, fake, designer bearded Santa or whatever you want to call me I've noticed somewhat of a bubbling up of negativity toward RBS's for sometime. I think it's unfortunate. We should agree to disagree on things and not start a new Santa war.

I think we could all agree on that.

Peace, my brothers.

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SantaCraig

Like any family there are going to be occasions of infighting, praise, sorrow, and joy. We are never going to agree 100% on all topics. There are going to be misunderstandings and sometimes sacrifices. Sometimes we will have to back down, and other times rise up.

But at the end of the day it is my hope that you still love each other and hopefully have their back. To be there for each other because we are all kin in a way of the cloth. We don't have to like each other all the time and like families sometimes part of our family goes their own way.

It will all work out in the end if we allow it.

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Michael Rielly
When I saw this come through the feed I seriously considered deleting the post. But then of course I would be accused of censorship.
 
Folks, the point of this site is to engage in dialog. Why do all these threads have to sink into an "us against them" discussion? Everyone has an opinion and we are all entitled to one. At the end of the day we are playing Santa Claus. That's it. No one here is Santa Claus. No one here can make reindeer fly or has has gone down a chimney with a sack of toys; and no one here lives at the (Geographic) North Pole! I can't believe I even have to say this!
 
Let's stop taking every post personally! There are bigger problems in the world guys. War, poverty, disease, hunger, taxes...pick one! In the big picture of things: real beards or fake beards, naturally white beards or bleaching, dressing as Santa year round or not, doesn't matter! Honestly, stop taking yourself so seriously! Last year at this time, my wife had stage 4 Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Believe me, the last thing I was worrying about back then was playing Santa Claus.
 
On my way home from work this evening a member here who rarely posts gave me a call. He is one of the most positive people you will ever meet. He reminded me that it is much harder to build up, than it is to tear down. It takes months, sometimes even years, to erect a building. But it only takes seconds to bring it down.
 
I built this site in 2007 to bring the community together; not separate people into buckets. We need to focus on building each other up -- not tearing each other down.
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Santa Johnathan

Like any family there are going to be occasions of infighting, praise, sorrow, and joy. We are never going to agree 100% on all topics. There are going to be misunderstandings and sometimes sacrifices. Sometimes we will have to back down, and other times rise up.

But at the end of the day it is my hope that you still love each other and hopefully have their back. To be there for each other because we are all kin in a way of the cloth. We don't have to like each other all the time and like families sometimes part of our family goes their own way.

It will all work out in the end if we allow it.

Need more "likes" for this one.

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NYSanta

I think this needs to close as no good can come of this, there are already hurt feelings being expressed here. and remarks that have no bearing on the original post

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Morgan Putnam

LOL!

SEND IN THE CLONES!!!

6td2lh.png


I'm reading through this thread and pondering the different viewpoints and thoughts expressed and figured WTH; I'll toss in my 2 cents.


1. The 'traditionalists' have a point. Santa saturation.

2. The 'year-rounders' have a point too. I'm a joy bringer and I can do that 365 if I want to. The world NEEDS more joy.

3. As a fairly green RBS, I'm conflicted. While I agree that too much Santa is not a good thing; I'm NOT sure where that line between 'okay' and 'too much' is.

4. At the Cenex station just this afternoon, I walked in and the county road-maintainer (it's a monster sized scraper used on gravel roads) operater (very nice fellow) hollers out, "Hey Santa!" . Luckily, no children about...but there easily could have been. I'm dressed in jeans and a tan bowling-type shirt. It's a tiny community among a handful of other tiny communities out here in the middle of fly-over country. So I guess, I'm local 'color' and the Santa eccentric guy. That doesn't bother me, what bothers me is kids could have heard him.

5. I don't like lies and evasions and half-truths. Never have. It's how I was raised. So it runs against my grain to evade questions from kids like, "Are you the real Santa?" I understand the need for dancing around the truth. I understand that that moment in childhood of wonder and belief and innocence is all too brief; and it's to be treasured and nurtured for as long as we can hold this fallen world we live in at bay for them. But I'm wrestling with the performance/showbusiness end of this Santa 'thing' vs. my general dislike of people who pretend to be what they're not. And the need for signed contracts when a handshake should be enough (it used to be) .

**climbs off the shrink's couch**

6. Humans are social creatures. And we like to get together. Especially around common interests. So it's natural that we do it. There wouldn't be Santa groups, or Clausnets if we weren't. But we're hamstrung by the singular nature of Santa's persona. We've kind of 'defaulted' to a Santa helpers posture to try and explain the myriad Santas on every street corner. (I actually like the 'family reunion angle mentioned above). But as somebody said in a post on this subject here not too long ago, "The genie is out of the bottle" and we can't go back in time.

So...what's the answer? I think it's fairly simple. As long as we, each one of us, go about our business (whether seasonal or year long) with our eye on the ball; we'll be okay. I think Bestamor said it best in this thread:

Being sensitive to the magic and mystery of Santa, when it comes to the people around us, is a responsibility of the person who chooses to be a naturally ( or real ) bearded Santa. This sacred trust should be carefully and prayerfully upheld.


I'd only add that it's not just RBS's but DBS/TBS that need to keep their eye on the ball too. All of us...together.

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Nick Hudson

LOL! My goodness I can't believe grow men can be so offended, I have a real beard and I shave it and glue on one for Christmas. I will grow a full long beard when I retire or if I ever get into a place where I can grow one. I love you guys that take the time to either grow one or get the best they can find and put it on there face (at least you take the time to get the best you can an d not make one out of cotton balls!) Here is what I believe the lady is saying, below are pictures, my question is I approach any of the below are they going to tell the truth even if they are not what they appear?

 
The car is not a real cop car, it's for sale like it is on craigs list and the police shirt  (looks good but if he isn't a police officer it's just a shirt)  Disney just kicked out a guy for wearing a police shirt and he offered to change it and they wouldn't let him and if you drive that car in  my state when your not a cop your going to jail.
Hug your kids and grandkids and thank the good lord you can do what you do!
I ask bearded or not are you the real Santa? Wink Wink? 

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Ol Santa

Well howdy ya'all...

       ...Ol' Santa here.   Sorry, guys, but I have to go with the general public here.   Two Santa's are too many to show up in one place.

at any given time.   The last time I talked to the fella in the big chair, he had no twin brother!

        When I get the question "How come there are so many Santa's?"  It breaks my heart to have to lie and say something like this...

"Oh, those are some of my helpers because you see at Christmas time everybody wants me to help them do something; or promote

something, or raise money for a good cause.   I just can't be everywhere at once".   "Now Mrs. Claus and I have had lengthy

discussions about this and she says, "Well Santa, you're just going to have to make a choice".   "So I do, and while we may look a lot

alike, it's just some of my friends helping me do lots of good things all around town."

        Think about it and just imagine the confusion you're creating in the minds of little 4, 5, or 6 year old kids when they see a dozen

or two Santa's together doing something.   Parents tell me that's one of the toughest questions they have to deal with.

       Of course, if these Santa's make their entrance before a group of people presenting toys in disaster relief (or anywhere else) as

"Santa's Helpers", I have no problem with that.   Sorry, I always have to take the side of the kids in these types of issues!

 

Ol' Santa

 

P.S.  I'm willing to take the flack, but I believe what I believe is right in this instance!

Edited by OlSanta

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Santa Marty

Where is that can o worms I saw floating around here a while back?

 

Third Post in this Tread.

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Nick Hudson

All the flack I have OL Santa is if your the real one I want to talk to you because I was a good kid all them years and you game me squat! So you owe me big time! :ranting:


Well howdy ya'all...

       ...Ol' Santa here.   Sorry, guys, but I have to go with the general public here.   Two Santa's are too many to show up in one place.

at any given time.   The last time I talked to the fella in the big chair, he had no twin brother!

        When I get the question "How come there are so many Santa's?"  It breaks my heart to have to lie and say something like this...

"Oh, those are some of my helpers because you see at Christmas time everybody wants me to help them do something; or promote

something, or raise money for a good cause.   I just can't be everywhere at once".   "Now Mrs. Claus and I have had lengthy

discussions about this and she says, "Well Santa, you're just going to have to make a choice".   "So I do, and while we may look a lot

alike, it's just some of my friends helping me do lots of good things all around town."

        Think about it and just imagine the confusion you're creating in the minds of little 4, 5, or 6 year old kids when they see a dozen

or two Santa's together doing something.   Parents tell me that's one of the toughest questions they have to deal with.

       Of course, if these Santa's make their entrance before a group of people presenting toys in disaster relief (or anywhere else) as

"Santa's Helpers", I have no problem with that.   Sorry, I always have to take the side of the kids in these types of issues!

 

Ol' Santa

 

P.S.  I'm willing to take the flack, but I believe what I believe is right in this instance!

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Santa Warren

I think this thread will cause me to take a leave for a while.   Seems it is either I am right or you are wrong thread.  There has been a, as someone earlier said, bubbling of TBS against RBS.  Even after Micheal asked to calm it down people posted in the I considered us vs them attitude.  There are to many other things I can waste my time on then to sit here and read this.

 

I wish all luck, I may be back then again I may find I don't miss the negivitive feeling I get here.

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Jeff Westover

Mike tipped me off that this was causing a bit of a stir. If it is helpful, I'd like to provide some context here.

 

First of all, I'm glad this is a closed discussion and that parents cannot access it. I see a lot of knee jerk reactions from "parents" that go just as much, if not more, over the top than what we sometimes see in the Santa world. (The ho topic today has been Bad Santa the sequel, coming soon apparently).

 

This lady who emailed is not one of those individuals. If you read her note she is complimentary of the interactions she had with the Santas she met. I did ask her some follow-up questions and from what I can tell it was a completely chance encounter. This was on a ferry, not a cruise ship. It sounded to me like the group of Santas was unavoidable. The dilemma, she admitted, was all HERS -- not that her children created a scene. Their questions came later. I failed to ask if the issue was addressed with any of the Santas involved. I doubt that it was and would reiterate again that she was very complimentary of the individuals involved. I believe her point was simply what she stated -- Why do Santas on vacation have to dress AS SANTA when it isn't Christmas? I do recall her telling me that these men were ALL in full costume (maybe they were doing some kind of photo shoot? idk).

 

Any way, I think there is a broader point here to be made that I feel most here are missing: stop thinking of them as parents and start thinking of them as customers.

 

That could be taken as a little crass and I don't mean it that way: a customer mentality -- a SERVANT mentality -- really shifts, I would think, even your reactions HERE in situations like this. Parents are the ones who make Santa possible. Without them, most of you wouldn't be Santa. We want to say it is because of the kids and it IS....but that belief comes first from the parents. They WANT to believe in Santa. But when Santa, in their eyes, gets out of line in even a small way...well, look out.

 

This lady wasn't like that and didn't have that attitude. I think she was just making a point. She couldn't very well come here to make it. And she was reasoned in her communications with me and that's why I felt to post it.

 

I've received a lot of other email as a result of this post from other parents. The overwhelming response from them has been "me too", when it comes to seeing more than one Santa in one place at one time. One told a horriffic story of her daughter seeing Santa through the doors of a mall hallway and into a back room where "Santa" had taken off his boots and pants and was standing in front of a fan. Eyes are everywhere and you just never know.

 

Parents bear responsibillity. In fact, total responsibility. That was this lady's point. It wasnt that she was asking for the Santas to do anything there. SHE was left to do the explaining. Many of you have training, she doesn't.

 

I would make just one personal aside here. I've been wearing a real beard for over a year now. I don't play Santa and don't think I'm cut out for it given my feelings and what I see that it is you all do. Nevertheless, I have been **humbled** a couple of times this past year by children who ask me if I'm Santa. I'm a big guy, my hair is silver and going white, and my beard is not too far behind. My own children get a kick out of it when it happens, in fact, they are starting to think it entitles us to discounts when we go out. The Santa jokes run rampant amongst my teenage daughters.

 

I frankly do not know how you all handle the pressure. For me, Santa is such a sacred character that I would be afraid of messing it up. It is a tremendous responsibility and just based on the few minor mistaken identity situations of this past year I've gain a whole new level of respect for those who put on the red suit and do it for real.

 

Parents like this lady are your friends and you should value her observations and learn from them.

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Nick Hudson

Amen

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Santa Marty

A good closing post I would think.

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Jeff Westover

BTW, I was asked why this wasn't on My Merry Christmas. Frankly, I don't want to see negativity, criticism or just bad exposure for Santa there either. Been there, done that, don't like what it does to the community. This is a different environment here. You're a special group and you should be able to discuss difficult things as it pertains to Santa Claus. Clausnet provides a very necessary service. I will, however, continue to share via DefendSanta.com what parents say. I've disabled commenting there, for obvious reasons. I can't verify 100% everything that we receive there. But in this case I think the facts are less important than her feelings and observations.

 

I'm sorry this is been a difficult thing to process here. It wasn't meant to be divisive. To the contrary, in fact.

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Nick Hudson

Shut her down MIchael  we need this behind us.

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Michael Rielly

Thanks Jeff! 

 

I think I will close this post temporarily for now. I would like to suggest that folks go back and read through these posts. I find that I often read through these posts too quickly without giving myself time to digest what I just read.

 

Edited to add:

 

I'm adding this closing quote. Thank you Dutch!

 

"Today, as the world becomes smaller and smaller, the concept of “us” and “them” is almost outdated. If our interests existed independently of those of others, then it would be possible to have a complete winner and a complete loser, but since in reality we all depend on one another, our interests and those of others are very interconnected." ~ Dalai Lama
Edited by Michael Rielly

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