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Children deserve better than false beards, dark hair and cheap suits' says Father Christmas

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Santa Ian

'Children deserve better than false beards, dark hair and cheap suits' says Father Christmas
Meet the 60-year-old who spends nine months growing his beard and gets his Santa suit tailor-made in North America

WalesOnline
8 Oct 2015
By Liz Day

EXCERPT:

 

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'Children deserve better than false beards, dark hair and cheap suits' says Father Christmas


Father Christmas, aka Chris Dawson is criticising other Santas who look fake

A Cardiff-based Father Christmas has hit out at “would-be skinny Santas” with false beards, dark hair and cheap suits, saying “children deserve better”.

He spends nine months growing his beard and gets his suits tailor-made in North America, but authenticity is the name of the game for professional Santa Christopher Dawson.

“Children are very clever,” said the 60-year-old from Culverhouse Cross, who devotes three months of the year to working as Father Christmas.

“If they see a false beard with an ill-fitting elastic band, they see right through it and they stop believing. Children deserve more than this.”

Christopher believes his long white hair and beard are his most important qualifications for the job.

“I met a young girl last year and her dad told me she no longer believed in Father Christmas,” he recalled.

“She told me she had already seen two Santas and they both had fake beards. I said: ‘Go ahead, pull my beard – but not too hard.’

“When she realised it was real, her eyes widened in amazement. Having a real beard is all part of the magic. You also need to get your Ho Ho Ho just right.”

Christopher, who works in legal services for the rest of the year, believes spending three months as Santa gives him the opportunity to “give something back”.

This year, he hopes to bring presents to children in hospitals, as well as raising money for Children in Need. He also makes appearances at parties and business events.

“I always loved Christmas,” said Christopher, who has two children and two grandchildren.

“Christmases at home were incredible fun. My parents always did the best with what they had to keep the magic alive, although my dad never put on the suit.”

During the summer, he travelled to America with his wife Christine on a quest for the perfect Santa suit.

“I saw a police car following me and I thought I was in trouble for jaywalking,” he said.

“The officer pulled up alongside me, wound down his window and said: ‘Is this where Santa takes his vacation?’ He laughed and drove off.”

During his trip, Christopher discovered there is an International University of Santa Claus in the US, but says the skills “come naturally” to him.

He describes his work as “a labour of love” and says the biggest challenge is keeping up with the latest toys.

Christopher, or Your Santa, will be in Cardiff city centre every Thursday and Friday evening for late-night shopping and on Saturdays and Sundays from the end of October.

SOURCE: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/children-deserve-better-false-beards-10225639

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Felix Estridge

What do I think?  Chris Dawson has an over inflated ego and thinks too much of himself.  He talks like he has the children as his focus of concern, but if he did, he would be only concerned about his own portrayal and how it impacts them, one at a time.  He obviously feels threatened by traditionally bearded Santas to make a comment that is quoted in the media.  To feel threatened is nothing more than you own self importance (ego) taking control.

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Michael Rielly

I'll put my overall portrayal of Santa Claus up against this guy any day.

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Chris Capstone

Do they also deserve a scowl from underneath a hat pushed down over your face and a beard that is the length of Kenny Rogers? What an idiot.

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Dutch Schrap

Gray and yellow in his beard, mismatched eyebrow color, beard that hardly touches the collar and green on the sides and nose pads of his glasses.  Umm, ok.  Can we send this guy an invite to ClausNet so we can "help" him out?

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SCSanta

If this were an impartial commentary on his concern of businesses hiring amateurs that don't meet the minimum aesthetic requirements to portray Santa, then his message would have merit. But it clearly is not. It is self-promotion and Santa bashing at it's worst...very thinly disguised as concern for the children and the industry. Sad and just a little bit obvious in my opinion.

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Michael Rielly

 

If this were an impartial commentary on his concern of businesses hiring amateurs that don't meet the minimum aesthetic requirements to portray Santa, then his message would have merit. But it clearly is not. It is self-promotion and Santa bashing at it's worst...very thinly disguised as concern for the children and the industry. Sad and just a little bit obvious in my opinion.

 

Agreed! The exact same argument could be made that a scraggly real beard and less than jovial appearance is not what children deserve.

I love this comment:

 

During his trip, Christopher discovered there is an International University of Santa Claus in the US, but says the skills “come naturally” to him.

 

He must be good. Because he as to tell you he is. haha!

 

And then the little plug...

 

Christopher, or Your Santa, will be in Cardiff city centre every Thursday and Friday evening for late-night shopping and on Saturdays and Sundays from the end of October.

 

Edited by Michael Rielly

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Santa Ian

Thanks gents, I agree with your observations. There is an old adage somewhere that goes like this, if you want to set yourself up as an example for others to follow then you have to be the very personification of what you want to demonstrate to others.

In the words of the old fable, 'This Emperor has no clothes!'

I would like to ask our Brother Claus from the UK, Santa Robin Black, if he has heard of Chris Dawson. Maybe there is some history that allows  Mr Dawson to believe he is an eminently capable Santa and thus able to lecture to others on their dress and behaviour. He certainly doesn't demonstrate that to me in his photo and his statements.

I also took on that line - "During his trip, Christopher discovered there is an International University of Santa Claus in the US, but says the skills “come naturally” to him." - and strongly question just how good he is that he doesn't need to do any learning or revision to be the best Santa that he can be. I honestly doubt that is the case.

Gentlemen, how do we get in touch with him and help him correct this quite awful article that he has signed off on?

 

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FrSanta

I really don't like posting about these kind of things as I know opinions can be very emotional and can often be taken in the wrong way, So please understand I am not attacking anyone for their opinion but I would like to advise you all to go easy on this Santa and take a few things into consideration. 

First this is from a news article, and if you have ever been interviewed for a news paper story you have to realize they don't give everything you say, and they generally quote what they think will grab a headline.  

Second this article is from Wales, so I assume so is this Santa.  You have to understand that in many places outside of the United States professional Santas are not the norm,  because of our shopping malls and big stores, parades and movies and television the United States is way a head of the game when it comes to presenting a professional Santa, and with the onset of Santa groups, schools, conventions,  websites and suppliers in the last 15 years the resources have exploded.  In my experience of doing Santa in Rome, Italy I was a huge sensation because the people had never seen a professional looking Santa.   You would see gypsies doing Santa in public squares, with dirty suits, and beards that are so dirty they are grey, or some using a rubber mask with a beard,  I have seen some of you write and complain about shabby Claus and how they need to do better. In many places around the world, a shabby Claus would be an improvement,  This Santa is probably looking around and seeing things that bother him because they are not good or professional looking Santas, it bothers him because he knows how important it is to give the best possible Santa to the kids.  

He got his suit in america because he wanted something better than a cheap party costume, I would be willing to bet he has never seen the professional looking beards that some of you use, and I would really doubt he has seen the professionally glued on makeup style that is nearly indistinguishable from a real naturally grown beard.  In his comment about fake beards he said with the elastic band showing, this brings to mind an image that does not resemble any of the Traditionally bearded Santas here.  I don't know this Santa, and maybe he is on an ego trip, but I am willing to give a Santa the benefit of the doubt, who is trying to be the best Santa he can be.

Clausnet has provided a lot of Santas with resources and information to become a better Santa, but this is a recent reality if any of have been doing Santa for a lot of years you would know that 20 -25 years ago there was very little available and for some the best suit a person could find was from a department store. With the internet things are expanding and so is the quality of Santa. However, I do wonder if you were the Santa in this article and you found Clausnet, would you feel welcome?

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Ol Santa

Well, everyone has an opinion, I suppose...

        ...Ol' Santa here.    Obviously, we can't all be right all the time.    So, let's just to give this gentleman his due and

say he's terribly misinformed and has a totally wrong idea about what being a Santa is all about.

        All the rest of us know that it's not the beard that makes you a Santa, shucks; anyone who has ever sat in the Big

Chair knows it's what's in your heart.    Mr. Dawson, bless his sole, is a fellow trying to do the best he can with what he

has and that appears to be a, shall we call it, a scraggly beard.    I suggest that he simply mount his motorcycle and

ride off into the sunset.

        My goodness, I'll bet that Monty Wooly is flipping over in his grave at about this time. 

Ol' Santa

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DeputyDogRick

My opinion is this God bless the men and woman that don the suit to bring joy, laughter and understanding to others in the Christmas season and to those that live Santa all year long by their actions.

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Chris Capstone

I'm really surprized that anyone on here would cut this guy some slack. 

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FrSanta

Yup that is me,  I don't know the guy, and I could be wrong, but I honestly don't think he was referring to Santas here on Clausnet, or other professional Santas.

His basic comment was on bad looking Santas that are obvious to children, not to be real. How many comments on these discussion boards talk about the same thing? He says children deserve better than this.  I might not agree with everything he said or the way he said it, and yes, maybe there is a bit of ego in his comment, and could he be educated on how impressive traditional or designer beards can be, sure.  but I would like to believe that he is not a horrible person or Santa,  He wants to visit hospitals and raise money for needy children, he loves Christmas, and wants to be the best.  He only just discovered there was a Santa School, I think he is pretty unaware of the size, breath, and quality of professional Santas, so his opinions and observations are somewhat limited.

 So maybe it is just me but I try not to take offense, to be patient, sympathetic and to look for the good in others, and not let the bad get in the way of love and friendship. 

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Steelwheels

Yup that is me,  I don't know the guy, and I could be wrong, but I honestly don't think he was referring to Santas here on Clausnet, or other professional Santas.

His basic comment was on bad looking Santas that are obvious to children, not to be real. How many comments on these discussion boards talk about the same thing? He says children deserve better than this.  I might not agree with everything he said or the way he said it, and yes, maybe there is a bit of ego in his comment, and could he be educated on how impressive traditional or designer beards can be, sure.  but I would like to believe that he is not a horrible person or Santa,  He wants to visit hospitals and raise money for needy children, he loves Christmas, and wants to be the best.  He only just discovered there was a Santa School, I think he is pretty unaware of the size, breath, and quality of professional Santas, so his opinions and observations are somewhat limited.

 So maybe it is just me but I try not to take offense, to be patient, sympathetic and to look for the good in others, and not let the bad get in the way of love and friendship. 

Thank you for you kind words, salted with grace. I would say that is the spirit of Christmas, no suit necessary.

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Elf Without Jingles

Sorry, Chris, but we American Kringles don't do the ego thing. Y'see, this is why Phil Wenz wrote those Eight Principles down --- when you put your signature on the Santa Claus Oath, that means your #1 duty is to the children! The beard don't matter, as long as you do your giving from the heart. Know what I mean?

Edited by Felix Estridge
Removing quote

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Santa Marty

When any article leads off with words like REAL, FAKE, FALSE relating to ones Santa beards, credibility of an unbiased report goes out the window.

There are Men out there who have an envied look no matter the beard type.  Others, just don't look good regardless.  We have all seen them, we have all shaken our heads in dismay.  

This article had me shaking my head at the end of the first line.

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Dutch Schrap

The problem with an article (or guy - we don't know I guess) is that it propagates the assumption by some that "fake beards" are horrible, they aren't professional, and a child could yank the ol'beard right off you with a soft tug.  These horrible articles in the media are very easily searchable by unknowing parents that are hiring all of us.

Are these parents going to assume this is the Santa look that everyone wants?  No idea. But, I will always try to combat those false hoods - in a nice and professional way in public.  Behind closed doors - here - not so much anymore.  :)

Have at it Friends - down in the story feed on the right side ...  https://www.facebook.com/WalesOnline?fref=nf

I posted and you'll see my nice response  Nothing mean, just setting the record straight.  By the way - this news story was shared on Facebook 722 times!  How many people saw this article? Who knows ... Yikes.

 

 

 

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Eileen Strom

I also took on that line -

"During his trip, Christopher discovered there is an International University of Santa Claus in the US, but says the skills “come naturally” to him."

- and strongly question just how good he is that he doesn't need to do any learning or revision to be the best Santa that he can be. I honestly doubt that is the case.

Gentlemen, how do we get in touch with him and help him correct this quite awful article that he has signed off on?

 

If he IS like the article sounds, do you really think he would take ANYONE'S advice?

Sorry, Chris, but we American Kringles don't do the ego thing. Y'see, this is why Phil Wenz wrote those Eight Principles down --- when you put your signature on the Santa Claus Oath, that means your #1 duty is to the children! The beard don't matter, as long as you do your giving from the heart. Know what I mean?

Well I have to say I disagree with you Elf Without Jingles...I have seen WAY TOO MANY egos, and many of those have signed the oath.

But, I also have to go with Fr. Santa below:

I really don't like posting about these kind of things as I know opinions can be very emotional and can often be taken in the wrong way, So please understand I am not attacking anyone for their opinion but I would like to advise you all to go easy on this Santa and take a few things into consideration. 

First this is from a news article, and if you have ever been interviewed for a news paper story you have to realize they don't give everything you say, and they generally quote what they think will grab a headline.  

Second this article is from Wales, so I assume so is this Santa.  You have to understand that in many places outside of the United States professional Santas are not the norm,  because of our shopping malls and big stores, parades and movies and television the United States is way a head of the game when it comes to presenting a professional Santa, and with the onset of Santa groups, schools, conventions,  websites and suppliers in the last 15 years the resources have exploded.  In my experience of doing Santa in Rome, Italy I was a huge sensation because the people had never seen a professional looking Santa.   You would see gypsies doing Santa in public squares, with dirty suits, and beards that are so dirty they are grey, or some using a rubber mask with a beard,  I have seen some of you write and complain about shabby Claus and how they need to do better. In many places around the world, a shabby Claus would be an improvement,  This Santa is probably looking around and seeing things that bother him because they are not good or professional looking Santas, it bothers him because he knows how important it is to give the best possible Santa to the kids.  

He got his suit in america because he wanted something better than a cheap party costume, I would be willing to bet he has never seen the professional looking beards that some of you use, and I would really doubt he has seen the professionally glued on makeup style that is nearly indistinguishable from a real naturally grown beard.  In his comment about fake beards he said with the elastic band showing, this brings to mind an image that does not resemble any of the Traditionally bearded Santas here.  I don't know this Santa, and maybe he is on an ego trip, but I am willing to give a Santa the benefit of the doubt, who is trying to be the best Santa he can be.

Clausnet has provided a lot of Santas with resources and information to become a better Santa, but this is a recent reality if any of have been doing Santa for a lot of years you would know that 20 -25 years ago there was very little available and for some the best suit a person could find was from a department store. With the internet things are expanding and so is the quality of Santa. However, I do wonder if you were the Santa in this article and you found Clausnet, would you feel welcome?

What you say is true there Fr Santa! Articles can have a way of skewing things in ways that were never intended by the interviewee. And I will step out on a limb and say that more than likely his "points of view" were not intended to make him the king of all Santas. Obviously in his neck of the woods, what is out there seems to stink and he has reacted to it by trying to make himself the best he can be in his corner of the world and came to the US to do part of that. Does he still need improving - yes, but then don't we all.

While we here in the US and Canada (especially as we all here are IN the community of it so we see more than most people ever will) are more familiar with the better looking (as well as some tragic looking) RBS's & TBS's, the average person in the UK and Europe is not. From what I can gather from those few I have talked from there, most Santas are TBS's and their suits and beards are mostly on the poor to fair side as they don't have the luxury that we have here of better products.

So while the article makes him sound like a pompous a$$ (and he maybe), perhaps what he has seen and had to deal with, really does make him look like he is more superior and better equipped than those. But I will say he hardly sounds humble if these are direct quotes even if we don't have the whole question that he is answering to.

So, assuming he IS trying to make a better outward experience for the children in his area, maybe he will pull a few others up a bit with his article by "calling them out" as it were.

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Schwindy

OK my opinion and mine alone:

Why not someone from ClausNet on the board, get in touch with Liz Day first, the writer? As most writers are always looking to score a lead story, this would be a follow up to her story and she would probably want to stir the pot trying to get a he said he said thing going. (So remember that when one talks to her) But how interesting it would be to see what the author has to say about her story and what she would think about passing along the information that one can find here on ClausNet and how much of a difference of opinion her story caused here on CN? Now this is really if one would truly want to go through all this trouble, but it would HELP get the record straight. Since reading the article, it would be my guess key word here is GUESS, that this man has no idea the amount of work that goes into the many of Yak sets, real hair sets, even some of the synthetic hair sets, the time and the money it takes to make them, and the care that goes into keep them as well. Just like he didn't know about the Santa schools until recently, how could he know about CN when he is over their and we are over here, and yes many out of the states have found CN, but remember he wasn't looking! Yes there is the Internet, but like Father Santa Dave has said, & I see and agree with him. I think he is ONLY comparing himself to others around him.

   I believe if he were to come on here and do what I did the very first time I was allowed access,  ......................    His head would pop off and then after he found it and placed it back on his shoulder's. He'd go back and say, WOW I just found this site called ClausNet and WOW, there are guys out there who must spend a TON of cash to look like I do. Then when he takes a trip down to the RBS and sees what you guys go through to keep up that appearance, he'd go, ................  find his head................... again, ........................ then put it back on, then say................. Man those guys are nuts! I only do it part of the time, SOME OF THEM DO IT ALL YEAR LONG, and keep it white all year long!!

There is no way he knows about this place, and no way he is talking about any of YOU, NONE of YOU! He doesn't even know any of this exist, what an eye opener it would be for him and Liz Day!  

****************************************************************************************

    Now on the funny ha, ha side.....................

Once he finds out, I want to see Marty first then Chris Capstone get to talk live to him one on one with a 15 minute time limit, because both would have WAY TOO MUCH FUN, and it wouldn't be right, because remember, I truly DON'T THINK HE HAS A CLUE about this place!

And if he does.....................

Well Marty and Chris get to have an hour then, that would only be fair!

Schwindy

 

Edited by Schwindy
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SantaMikeUK

Well, as I live in the UK, of which Wales is a part, I feel duty bound to offer my five pennyworth. It seems to me that FrSanta and Eileen have hit the nail on the head with all of their comments. Gentlemen, some if not all of you must have been interviewed by a reporter at some time, whether as a Santa or not, I certainly have. I strongly suspect that not everything you said, or in the way/meaning you said it was printed accurately. Reporters naturally want to make their stories readable, and so present them that way, often with only a passing nod in the direction of what was actually said.

Eileen knows very well that obtaining any good quality Santa gear in the UK is almost impossible. That is why I get most of mine from the USA with Eileen's valuable assistance. Again, I have posted on here several times about the huge chasm and difference between Santas and how they are received and perceived in the US compared to the UK.

Of course, he just might be the egotistical chap the article seems to make him out to be. On the other hand, by growing, dying (sort of) his hair and beard he might well be the best Father Christmas for many miles around in his area. At the risk of sounding egotistical myself, although a TBS, that description pretty much applies to me. But then that is because I found ClausNet and the huge amount of knowledge contained therein. But do please remember colleagues in the USA, there is a huge difference between the way Santa is portrayed in our 2 countries. We're any of you to appear over here, I would be out of business!!

So, although, judging by the posts thus far, this goes against the grain, please cut him some slack. I doubt he even knows the existence of ClausNet, but if you think it worthwhile, I will attempt to contact him and point him in our direction. If he then fails to take advantage of ClausNet and its knowledge, then you were correct, and he is an egotistical idiot.

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Charlie Claus

Let me begin by saying that I was once interviewed by a local paper(interviewer was a class mate of mine). I was very excited to see the article and was expecting it to be great advertising for our little farm. When the article hit the presses it was another story all together. I was made out to be a jerk who thought his eggs and chickens were above question. Instead of promoting local farmers like us, as I had hoped, it had the exact opposite effect. The so called Journalist twisted my words and we ended up losing customers to the point of actually losing our, then profitable, egg/ chicken biz.

Because of this experience I DO NOT speak to "reporters" and will give this Brit a complete pass. Be mad if you want, but until you have had your world wrecked by one pf these self serving "journalistic reporters" you may not understand.

(picks up soapbox and quietly walks away)

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Santa Arthur

The last thing we need to do is to look down on other Santas that have a different type of beard.  What we should do is to help Santas that are not up to our level of quality to improve themselves.

For 20 years I used a traditional beard and a suit that was of comparable quality to those used in the malls.  I wanted to look professional and at the time, such a setup was in keeping with this image.  Of course we know that real beards became much more common starting in the late 90s and I realized soon after this that I would someday grow a real beard.  I did consider using a yak beard at one time bet found out that there were ways to make a naturally dark beard look real.  In 2009 I grew the beard and have appeared with a real beard ever since that time.  I also upgraded my suit several years ago. 

I recognize that many designer bearded Santas go to great expense and trouble to get an authentic appearance.  These Santas are concerned about the quality of their portrayal just as most real bearded Santas are. 

The most important thing to remember is that the beard and the suit are not what makes Santa what he is.  The spirit within you is most important,

                                                                                                  Santa Arthur

 

 

 

 

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Eileen Strom

 

Well, as I live in the UK, of which Wales is a part, I feel duty bound to offer my five pennyworth. It seems to me that FrSanta and Eileen have hit the nail on the head with all of their comments. Gentlemen, some if not all of you must have been interviewed by a reporter at some time, whether as a Santa or not, I certainly have. I strongly suspect that not everything you said, or in the way/meaning you said it was printed accurately. Reporters naturally want to make their stories readable, and so present them that way, often with only a passing nod in the direction of what was actually said.

 

Eileen knows very well that obtaining any good quality Santa gear in the UK is almost impossible. That is why I get most of mine from the USA with Eileen's valuable assistance. Again, I have posted on here several times about the huge chasm and difference between Santas and how they are received and perceived in the US compared to the UK.

 

Of course, he just might be the egotistical chap the article seems to make him out to be. On the other hand, by growing, dying (sort of) his hair and beard he might well be the best Father Christmas for many miles around in his area. At the risk of sounding egotistical myself, although a TBS, that description pretty much applies to me. But then that is because I found ClausNet and the huge amount of knowledge contained therein. But do please remember colleagues in the USA, there is a huge difference between the way Santa is portrayed in our 2 countries. We're any of you to appear over here, I would be out of business!!

 

So, although, judging by the posts thus far, this goes against the grain, please cut him some slack. I doubt he even knows the existence of ClausNet, but if you think it worthwhile, I will attempt to contact him and point him in our direction. If he then fails to take advantage of ClausNet and its knowledge, then you were correct, and he is an egotistical idiot.

 

Would LOVE it if you could get a hold of him, AND let him kindly know of this place too!

At that point, you might have a better grasp on the guys disposition, and if he is "the egotistical chap", 10 to 1 he wouldn't want to join anyway. But if he did, and we did what Schwindy suggested, and we let Marty and Chris have a go with him he might not come back!  WHich sort of defeats the purpose of inviting him. :thumbsup:

 

It would be interesting to get the interviewers comments however like Schwindy suggested...

And I did see the humor in your comment above Schwindy!

But if we can get the guy here and he can go WOW to the eye opening that he more than likely would have, I think we would have the makings of a great Santa for the UK section of Wales.

Edited by Eileen Strom
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Felix Estridge

If anyone from ClausNet reached out to anyone involved in this story, it would be our benefactor, @Michael Rielly.  He and his family are in Vermont this weekend, away from the fray.

In recent communications I have been a part of and with other comments from other topics, I feel the need to remind everyone that ClausNet is not an organization or group.  It is merely a forum website where members share a common interest and the desire to help one another.  There is no hierarchy that governs.  The website has a single owner and he makes the final decision on who is allowed to join the forum and points of concern.  There are those who have volunteered to help moderate and administer the daily happenings on the website.  Nothing more.

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Chris Capstone

I've given tons of interviews over the years both print and tv. I agree that reporters will often misquote, twist, etc. for their own agenda. But I'm prtetty sure this guy set the tone for the interview. I don't cut him slack because he didn't qualify anything. He didn't say some false bearded Santas look bad. He equated false beards with being poor quality perod. He made a blanket distinction.

People, we all know there are great Santas and crappy Santas both RBS and TBS. The type of beard has nothing to do with the portaryal. Notice I said TYPE of beard not QUALITY of beard. Of course it's all about quality: quality of suit, accessories, hair (TBS or RBS) and actual acting ability. All these together make up the portrayal of the character.

 

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      People are asked to send a headshot and resume to flcasting@enchantchristmas.com for consideration to play a Christmas "enchantress," elf, toy soldier or townsfolk.
      Availability must be open for at least either Christmas Eve or Day, among other requirements. From Nov. 22 to Dec. 29, the ballpark’s outfield is slated to be outfitted with a massive light display and a Christmas market with more than 60 local food and merchant vendors.
      Tickets are $19.99 and are on sale now at stpete.enchantchristmas.com. People interested in customer service jobs are asked to visit the Tampa Bay Rays' website and click on "enchant opportunities."
      SOURCE: https://www.wtsp.com/article/entertainment/events/enchant-christmas-jobs-florida-tropicana-field/67-2cd0e276-95e3-473b-8bac-aa1b93b2551e
       
    • Michael Rielly
      By Michael Rielly
      Early Christmas display causes Monroe resident to call the city
      Ken Brown
      Fox19
      October 5, 2019
      EXCERPT:

       Christmas in September ... It’s not a holiday you hear celebrated often in the fall, but the Schmitt family Christmas celebration took place in Monroe in mid-September this year.
      “Every year we get together for Christmas and we’ve done this for as long as I’ve known,” Monroe resident David Schmitt said.
      Schmitt is a native of Wisconsin and most of his family still lives there. At 54 years old, Schmitt is the youngest of nine siblings who still try to get together to celebrate the Christmas holiday each year.
      “The drive to Wisconsin, where my family is from, it’s kind of hard to do in December,” Schmitt said. “So this year we said, ‘How about Christmas in Ohio?’ September, good driving weather ... nice weather ... I thought, ‘Perfect, everybody could come here for Christmas.’”
      “As everybody gets older we don’t get to see each other as often and living so far away from each other. It was really wonderful to just be able to have everyone together,” Donna Schmitt said.
      To celebrate the early holiday family gathering, Schmitt decorated his house with lights and ornaments three months ahead of the actual Christmas holiday. The early appearance of Christmas décor had at least one resident concerned enough to call the city of Monroe.
      “All you had to do was pull in the driveway and ask us and we would have told you... probably offered you a beverage,” Donna said.
      The city asked the Schmitt’s to remove some decorations that were too close to the road. No citations were issued and the family was given 60 days to remove any other decorations that were not in compliance with the city code.
      SOURCE: https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2019/10/05/early-christmas-display-causes-monroe-resident-call-police-city/3879715002/
       
    • Michael Rielly
      By Michael Rielly
      Mariah Carey will celebrate 25 years of her Christmas album in Atlantic City
      The Philadelphia Inquirer
      by Nick Vadala
      September 30, 2019
      EXCERPT:

      It’s been 25 years since Mariah Carey dropped her popular holiday album, Merry Christmas, and now, the singer is celebrating the release with a yuletide tour that comes to Atlantic City this December.
      Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” tour hits AC’s Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena on Dec. 7. The stop is one of five planned shows from Carey on the East Coast this coming holiday season, with additional concerts scheduled to take place in cities including New York, Boston, and Washington, D.C.
      SOURCE: https://www.inquirer.com/entertainment/mariah-carey-all-i-want-for-christmas-tour-atlantic-city-hard-rock-20190930.html
       
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