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Santa Ian

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

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FrSanta

I would not advise contacting the newspaper,  do you really want to see the follow up story headlines,  "USA Santas angry at real bearded Santa in Wales? "  "Santas fighting over real beards vs fake beards"  "American Santas protest article about real bearded Santa" .  Your expecting the reporter who wrote this article, and titled it "Children deserve better then skinny Santas, false beards, dark hair, and cheap suits, says Father Christmas".  That was a sensationalized title to grab readers.  I would not expect anything but another sensationalized article that would not make Santas look good. I haven't forgot the ugly articles and news stories on the "Santa civil war", from a few years back.   

 

I know that being Santa is a competitive business for some, and anything that you think will effect your business prospects is important to you. But seriously an article about a Welsh Santa and his opinion is not going to hurt you. No one is going to look at Santa Dutch, Micheal, Chris or the others here and say anything other than you guys look amazing.   Now some people may have their preference for style and look, St. Nicholas, Father Christmas, Coke Cola Santa, Victorian, Traditional, Story Book or real bearded, but on the commercial side of things the costumer gets to decide.  I freely admit I have met Santas that are amazing, and I know that if I was in a head to head competition for a job they would probably get the job. I strive to be the best Santa I can be, and great Santas inspire me. I know I am speaking without a dog in the hunt, because I am not doing Santa as a business, but it seems to me that you guys work so hard at your appearance that you can counter articles like this by just looking great.  Your Santa appearance speaks for itself.  

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Chris Capstone

 

I would not advise contacting the newspaper,  do you really want to see the follow up story headlines,  "USA Santas angry at real bearded Santa in Wales? "  "Santas fighting over real beards vs fake beards"  "American Santas protest article about real bearded Santa" .  Your expecting the reporter who wrote this article, and titled it "Children deserve better then skinny Santas, false beards, dark hair, and cheap suits, says Father Christmas".  That was a sensationalized title to grab readers.  I would not expect anything but another sensationalized article that would not make Santas look good. I haven't forgot the ugly articles and news stories on the "Santa civil war", from a few years back.   

 

 

 

I know that being Santa is a competitive business for some, and anything that you think will effect your business prospects is important to you. But seriously an article about a Welsh Santa and his opinion is not going to hurt you. No one is going to look at Santa Dutch, Micheal, Chris or the others here and say anything other than you guys look amazing.   Now some people may have their preference for style and look, St. Nicholas, Father Christmas, Coke Cola Santa, Victorian, Traditional, Story Book or real bearded, but on the commercial side of things the costumer gets to decide.  I freely admit I have met Santas that are amazing, and I know that if I was in a head to head competition for a job they would probably get the job. I strive to be the best Santa I can be, and great Santas inspire me. I know I am speaking without a dog in the hunt, because I am not doing Santa as a business, but it seems to me that you guys work so hard at your appearance that you can counter articles like this by just looking great.  Your Santa appearance speaks for itself.  

 

Trust me, none of the guys you mentioned believes a guy in Wales is going to "hurt" us. That's not the issue. I'm not in competition with this guy or anyone else really. My goal is to be the best I can be and stay in a constant state of learning, growing and imroving.

The issue I have is with anyone anywhere who tells the general public through an interview, Facebook post, copy on a website, etc. that makes the case that "real" = good and "false" = bad without qualification. Of course it doesn't affect me personally. My personal Santa business won't be affected by this guy's ignorance. But I care about the Santa community at large and this guy is spreading manure on it with is misinformation.

Edited by Chris Capstone
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Schwindy

<<Snip> . 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.

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.

Mike:

Personally, I'd love for you to show him or direct him to ClausNet! Like you, I do believe as I said B/4. I bet he has NO IDEA of ClausNet and what all happens here!
As far as me putting you out of business, wouldn't happen, I thought I looked good for what and how we do things here for family and friends, but now............ I learned and I know I am better because of ClausNet. My look of my suit as well as the accessories, but by far am I able to put anyone out of business!
:sc_wink: Not trying to either!
Best of luck to you and I hope you can get a hold of him; But again like I said in the above posting, I'd REALLY like it if Liz could get a read of what is done here and how it helps the many, NOT JUST North America but rather ALL of the world to be a better Santa.

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)

Charlie: Yes I agree 100% as I have had family suffer from a news article that was nothing but half truths. Again I doubt that this guys knows anything about good places to buy a traditional set, or the glue up sets that look more real than some of us who try to grow our own beards and mustache.

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.

Eileen:
    Having Chris Dawson join this group would be rather impressive! For two reasons, if he did in fact want to join, Like Father Santa said, would he feel welcomed? Even I have had a little ha ha thrown in their. #2 If he does join and really dives into it like some of us have, do or did, it would be enlightening to him, and bring much respect from me personally  and I'd be rather happy to see that happen.

    Now for Liz, I'd enjoy hearing her take on what she feels about us "fake" Santa's who she wrote about and of course it would be quickly said that she was merely quoting Chris, to which I'd ask her if she in fact did any back round checking? And does she feel that one who wears a "fake" beard couldn't be Santa? and then show her Our Father Christmas Bruce Lowe and then from there keep rolling them out to her, with all the guys who wear the Yak and then the hand made. I'd PAID to see her response right up until the guys who walk the walk and talk the talk and oh yea have the most realistic looks I have ever seen here on CN. (Not mentioning any names in fear I'll miss them and feel terrible about it. You all know who you are! Yes I mean you and you. And them over there.

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.

Felix: I'd love to do it, but I am not that guy. I am here just under 9 months, and from what I have learned and seen, it has been wonderful and I am grateful. But someone who has been here from the start, the very beginning. In my opinion, I couldn't talk about the how, why, or this or that. I mean TJS has pictures upon  pictures that I think would blow them away. I too agree that the people in the OP would only benefit from knowing about ClausNet as well as help ClausNet grown and be even stronger. I know when I talk to a few guys who have the look of Santa, I always ask them if the are "related" to the Big Guy in red? From there I always talk about ClausNet.

I'd be glad to help ClausNet where I can, but I am NOT the one who should be trying to contact either of them to inform them in my opinion.   

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.

 

Chris, your first response: He did say false beards being poor quality, yes he probably said that, I'd be willing to bet he has NEVER seen other than TV a good high quality traditional or real hair set. Just my guess and belief.

Second: Yes Quality is KING, and as I heard you say many times, Whiskers, belt, boots then the accessories (which too are important)

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Felix Estridge

Somehow, I still feel the need to say this.  Nothing should be done on behalf of ClausNet except by @Michael Rielly, unless he directs someone else to do so.  Anything anyone else does is of their own volition and only they would be responsible for their statements.

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Chris Capstone

Somehow, I still feel the need to say this.  Nothing should be done on behalf of ClausNet except by @Michael Rielly, unless he directs someone else to do so.  Anything anyone else does is of their own volition and only they would be responsible for their statements.

Yes. Nobody speaks for ClausNet except Rielly, it's his site. I'd say leave it alone. If the guy wants to be a part of CN or the broader Santa community, he will seek that out on his just like the rest of us. I have a feeling he's not interested however.

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Schwindy

Yes Felix and I am sorry: I did read and then incorrectly respond to your first comment, but I do feel exactly how you stated above.  :sc_blush: I'd never nor would I try to EVER speak for anyone here let alone the BOSS 

But I do think they should know about ClausNet and what all it does and how well it works.

Edited by Schwindy
it's not letting me copy and paste to the right comments

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FrSanta

Well, you all can decide who to like, or dislike, on your own, and it is not for me to tell you.     My main point there may be more to this than meets the eye, from a newspaper story, and not to be too quick to judge, as he might be a good Santa if given a chance to get to know. 

 I will also say, I really have mixed feeling about ever posting my thoughts or opinions on this message board. As I really don't like creating controversy and it is not why I come here.  I am not a big fan of social media in general, as posting messages are often taken in the wrong way and I always feel like as soon as I post,  I am asking to have another comment about the comment, about the comment....  So I am ending my participation in this thread.  God Bless and to all a good night. 

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Santa Caras

Hmmmm. Wonder if he broke his arm patting himself on tha back? His "natural ability" must be nice cuz not sure bout ya'll, but I have to really work hard at it when the suit is on. That and I know I can be and get better. Heck, I doubt myself after just about every performance. Always preffered humility over braggado. 

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SantaJoe

It's the heart of the man that makes a good Santa! Not beard, suit or attire.

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SantaMikeUK

Well, clearly I will not be contacting this chap. As some of you have strenuously pointed out, that is only Micheal's prerogative. But I really do have to say again that some of you are totally missing the very valid point I made on the huge chasm between Santas in the UK and in the USA. It's all very well saying that he can find this site if he looks, but I found this site by pure accident, and how many members have posted that they have joined after being told about ClausNet by other members?

I have never met this chap and don't know him from Adam, and neither does anyone else here. But there seems to be a queue of people condemning him for comments that may well be the reporter's slant on what he said. Not really in the spirit of Santahood or Christmas I would suggest.

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Big Jim Santa

Big Jim Santa from Peoria IL. (10/11/2015

As it is you fine Santa's come up with some good reads. I agree with FR Santa and Eileen.

But like the 7 rules of life : 1.Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

                                              2.What others think of you is none of your business.

                                              3.Time heals everything, give it time.

                                              4. Don't compare your life to others and don't judge them. You have no idea what there journey is all about.

                                              5. Stop thinking to much, it's alright not to know the answers. They will come to you when you lest expect it.

                                              6. No one is in charge of your happiness, EXCEPT YOU.

                                              7. Smile, You don't own all of the problems in the world.

                                                                                                                                                                By Whisper of the heart.

 

I'm an old vet of Vietnam and like many you train to become the very best of what you do. For me I will never stop learning and you fine folks are my teachers.

And like these 7 rules of life Claus.net gives us all a great chance to share the knowledge and love of children of all ages to believe . Maybe this Santa needs a Claus.net.   

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Santa Ian

I really like the spread of comments that this story has engendered. Reading through them all I find myself rethinking my original stance and with the help of the insights shared I am now thinking that I have been reacting to the comments the journalist has shared which may or may not have been exactly as he said in the interview. I can accept that there are insufficient verifiable facts to establish what he is like when on the set and dealing with his young visitors. He may well be seen as a good Santa.

So we have a controversial statement as published, what do we do now? Maybe I can provide a summary of what has gone on above this post:

  • We have agreed that an invitation to Clausnet is inappropriate as that is Mike's decision.
  • I think we have an agreement that the standards for the Gentlemen in Red that might be considered the norm in the USA would not necessarily apply for Canada and Australia and the UK. Thus the comment about the 'fake' beards (I so dislike that term) may be a factual reflection on the standard of hire and presentation of some other Malls in his city.
  • We are agreed that learning about the business of being Santa as well as the brotherhood that we all share is an intrinsic part of who we are and yet so many of us did not know of such things when we first started out in the role. I certainly had no idea till I found myself chatting to Santas on the original Santas Across The Globe and also on AORBS when I first started back in 2003 .
  • Some of us think that an effort should be made to make contact with Chris Dawson and at the least offer him an opportunity to learn more about the Santa Industry and how he can learn more about the role.
  • I don't think any of us want to tangle with the journalist because they have an agenda which differs widely from our goals. We could really stir things up just from having an innocent conversation with her

Lets look to the future. Can we please move on from the criticism mode and into an outreach mode. IF we can somehow find him, even if we ask the Journo to forward on our contact, how should we approach him, what would we say, what suggestions would we offer, what resources would we point him to?
In other words, how do we help him take his place in our brotherhood of the Red Suit?

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Santa Ian

Update: I followed - like several others have - the link in the article to the paper's Facebook page. There I spotted his daughter posting so followed her link through to her Father's page.

You will find him here: https://www.facebook.com/christopher.dawson.9250

That obviates any need to communicate to the journo, now we can chat to the man direct. I have submitted a friend request. Lets try to make this a positive welcome to the brotherhood for him.

 

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Santa Caras

Tha thing that rubs me wrong regarding his interview is this. I MAY AGREE to some extent with what he has to say, bad beards, breath, suits, whatever  I was just taught better than to verbalize it. Yes, I believe children deserve better and I'll do my very very best to provide that but I'm not getting there by knocking another SC down. If you cant say anything nice........

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Felix Estridge

Well, clearly I will not be contacting this chap. As some of you have strenuously pointed out, that is only Micheal's prerogative. But I really do have to say again that some of you are totally missing the very valid point I made on the huge chasm between Santas in the UK and in the USA. It's all very well saying that he can find this site if he looks, but I found this site by pure accident, and how many members have posted that they have joined after being told about ClausNet by other members?

I have never met this chap and don't know him from Adam, and neither does anyone else here. But there seems to be a queue of people condemning him for comments that may well be the reporter's slant on what he said. Not really in the spirit of Santahood or Christmas I would suggest.

No one is saying to not contact him.  Just not as a representative of this site.  If anyone wants to approach him, it is up to them and done through your their choices and is their responsibility.

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Nick Hudson

Wow this is a read! :blink: No off colored eyebrows?  I could care less what this guy says and I choose to do my own Santa portrayal with the reading I do here and elsewhere, real beard designer beard who cares? :huh: You say something to the press and it comes out different, you say something to someone else and it comes across wrong and gets in the viscous circle that you can't take back. I have repeat customers for 4 years now and I hope I have them 5 so I'll do my best with what I have, hope it works! :sc_whistling:

Edited by Nick Hudson
miss spell
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SantaMikeUK

Well I have visited his Facebook page and I don't think the reporter put a slant on his comments at all. Gentlemen, I apologise to those of you who thought from the outset that he was egotistical. Below is the Facebook page from which the reporter's story probably came. He, like all of us, decries the cheap suited, poorly presented Santas, but then goes to say that he is the real deal

For all you mums and dads coming into Cardiff on Saturday 22nd Nov Your Santa will be in Queen St, St Mary St, The Hayes, Cardiff Market at St Johns Church and in arcades. I should be there for about 2.30pm until 6pm. You'll recognise me I'll be wearing a red suit with white fur, white hair and real beard...I don't believe children should have to pay to see a Santa in a Grotto or pay to have pics with a thin Santa with black hair and a fake elastic beard. So please stop me for a photo and capture the magic that a real Santa can deliver to your children. 
PS Most people are saying that I am like Richard Attenborough when he played Santa - but really he is like me Ho Ho Ho

Oh dear!

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