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Video Discussion: Santa is Not Just for Christmas Anymore.

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Chris Capstone

Every time this sort of discussion arises I post this link, enjoy: 

 

 

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Santa Dave
16 hours ago, Felix Estridge said:

Can you tell I feel strongly about this?  It sickens me that we care that little for the legend.  I will not mince words on this.

I totally agree that there are times when a RBS slips into Santa mode no matter the time of the year.  Its the ones who approach children or call out to them or just plain seek them out that I have an issue with.  Its creepy...regardless of your intentions.

You are correct in that there is no ruling arbiter for Santa.  We are all our own arbiter.  And if we all were to want to keep the mystery of the legend alive and approach our interactions with that in mind, then I would have absolutely NO issue at all.  Don't seek them out.  If you are approached as an RBS, do what you want at that point.  But no.  We get caught up in our feelings...the feelings that we experience.  We also get caught up in what we hope those that we serve feel.  But, we should be more concerned with only their feelings and not our own.

This legend...this character...it has a history and we should not go changing the history of who he is, how he behaves, and when he appears.

I can say this to prove my point.  I would say 99.9999% of all of us who do this, when we were children, seldom (if ever) saw Santa Claus outside of the Christmas holiday unless it was at a themed event or park.  Why do we feel the need to change that except for our own benefit?  We can say its for the children, but its not.  It all comes down to ego.  And that will be the downfall of this legend.  And if you cannot even begin to see it from that standpoint, then you are the problem.

Well said Felix.  We need more people to stand up like Felix and defend the mystic of Santa.  I applaud him for taking a stand as, well most of the other members here are followers and not leaders.  This is the first time I have posted here in over a year.  Why? Because of attitudes like the original poster and others here.  Santa being seen throughout the year is ruining the mystic of Santa.   Santa used to be seen only once a year.  Then he made his deliveries one. Isn't a year and was never to be seen until the following November.  Too much of a good thing is bad.  But once again we have the egos of ordinary people who have a white beard running wildly.  Once again we have ordinary people who can't separate real life from a fictional being.   It's more important to them to feed their own ego rather than protecting the image.  I may add that some of the egos amongst Traditional bearded Santas are getting out of hand as well.  Now with that being said I will,go back to my normal life and wait until November to be Santa and no longer visit this site.  Nothing has changed here.  Just the typical Real Beard BS.  . Just one more thing.   If you need to look,like a fictional person to be able to spread happiness to others in the off season then, I'm afraid you need professional help.  Isn't it strange that I can be nice to people and make other people happy and I don't even have a beard?   I guess I still believe Christmas lies in the heart and not the beard.   

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ImSanta
On 8/4/2017 at 4:54 PM, Santa Marty said:

Gentlemen,

You can look like Santa year round, you don't have to act like Santa all year.  It is a choice, a choice each of us makes.  And yes, this is more difficult for a naturally bearded individual.  Some, not all, have just chosen to take the position... Well, I look like Santa everyday, I might as well be Santa everyday.   If Santa is "seen" day in and day out, the "specialness" of Santa will be dissipated, diluted, and become ordinary.  In my opinion, Santa is not ordinary, not at all, Santa is SPECIAL. 

I may appear to look like I might be Santa most of the year.... for children, if I am asked, I will tell them that I am NOT Santa.  My engagement usually goes along the lines of "no, I am not Santa but, wouldn't having a job like Santa's be great?"  

Personally, I don't mind it one bit if I happen to be in a department store or any other store for that matter, and a child having "one of those moments" (tantrum or semi tantrum / I want this or that) and just my appearance.... not saying a word... I observe a distinct behavioral modification.  I happen to enjoy the smile I receive from a parent or guardian once I am noticed.

If I am hired to be Santa off season, I portray myself as Santa.  I don't walk around day after day in Santa Casual, but I will for Santa related events, meetings etc.  

Again, this is just my opinion and merely an expression of my thoughts, I have not been appointed, nor elected to be the Santa Sheriff.    

 

Thanks for your thoughts. I certainly respect your opinion. But I have a hard time accepting the idea that giving children (and adults) the opportunity to connect with Santa at other times of the year will make Santa ordinary. It specifically the "specialness" of Santa that makes those encounters so magical. 

I was heading into the water for a swim at the beach one day. And a little boy saw me and asked if I was Santa. I winked and put my fingers to my lips, whispering "I'm on vacation." You can't tell me the look on his face and excitement was a result of Santa becoming ordinary. On the contrary, it was a bonus opportunity to experience the specialness of Santa. What would the response be if I said no, I'm just an ordinary fat, bearded guy going for a swim. That child would have lost a exciting, special moment in his life.

Why do folks regularly ask to take a photo with us? When a guy hollers from across the street -- "Hey, Santa. How come I didn't get that car I wanted for Christmas?," is that because Santa has become ordinary? When a little child spies you in the supermarket and identifies you as Santa, that's not because we have become ordinary; it's because Santa is special always. 

My opinion is you can never have too much of a good thing. And having a moment of "specialness" through an encounter with Santa anytime is a good thing.

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ImSanta
On 8/4/2017 at 5:23 PM, Felix Estridge said:

No one said you weren't entitled.  The fact that you think you are entitled says a lot, though.  Its the consequences of your choice to do so that I was speaking to.

Protect the legend.

Harsh! So I'm not entitled to celebrate Santa as I wish? What are the consequences of my choice? Bringing joy and magic to children and adults all year long. Shame on me. 

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Santa Marty
4 hours ago, ImSanta said:

Thanks for your thoughts. I certainly respect your opinion. But I have a hard time accepting the idea that giving children (and adults) the opportunity to connect with Santa at other times of the year will make Santa ordinary. It specifically the "specialness" of Santa that makes those encounters so magical. 

I was heading into the water for a swim at the beach one day. And a little boy saw me and asked if I was Santa. I winked and put my fingers to my lips, whispering "I'm on vacation." You can't tell me the look on his face and excitement was a result of Santa becoming ordinary. On the contrary, it was a bonus opportunity to experience the specialness of Santa. What would the response be if I said no, I'm just an ordinary fat, bearded guy going for a swim. That child would have lost a exciting, special moment in his life.

Why do folks regularly ask to take a photo with us? When a guy hollers from across the street -- "Hey, Santa. How come I didn't get that car I wanted for Christmas?," is that because Santa has become ordinary? When a little child spies you in the supermarket and identifies you as Santa, that's not because we have become ordinary; it's because Santa is special always. 

My opinion is you can never have too much of a good thing. And having a moment of "specialness" through an encounter with Santa anytime is a good thing.

You may do what ever you like.  Like yourself, I was/am merely expressing my opinion.

This is a good topic, I am enjoying the dialog, along with its discourse, thank you for your participation and contributions.

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Felix Estridge
5 hours ago, ImSanta said:

Harsh! So I'm not entitled to celebrate Santa as I wish? What are the consequences of my choice? Bringing joy and magic to children and adults all year long. Shame on me. 

Why don't you re-read what you quoted from me. I clearly said that no one said you weren't entitled.  The consequence is the dulling of the magic, the disappearance of the mystery of the legend.  Bring love, hope, and joy to people...yes.  But don't use a seasonal character to do it out of context.  And that context being the holiday he is associated with.

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Santa Johnathan

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There was a time not that long ago, in the grand scheme of things, where the magic and excitement of Santa Claus brought people out in droves. Just SEEING Santa Claus was a major event...it will NEVER be like that again.

We all approach Santa Claus differently and those differences can often be seen in our appearance, our mannerisms, and our chosen Santa work. I am not here to judge nor am I in a place to say my way is better than the next guy. I am positive there are aspects of my portrayal of the Santa character that some would not agree with...to each their own. My hope and desire would be however,  that ALL of us try to raise the standards of the profession, protect the integrity and "magic" of the character, and certainly try and keep Santa unique and special.

Santa is common place, I think most would agree that he is too common place, this is quite sad. I do not think there is anything wrong with making money portraying Santa but if we start to see how we can milk Santa as a source of income throughout the entire year, we are not helping to keep Santa a special and unique thing for children and families alike to anticipate with excitement.

I believe we are stewards of the Santa story, and as we tell that story in our own way, we help shape it here and there. We must try and keep that story intact without changing it too much. 

 

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Felix Estridge

@Santa Johnathansaid it well.  This is what I had hoped to emote, but clearly did not.  I am no one's arbiter but myself.  I have standards and they are mine.

This is the last I will say on this.  Do what you want.  Deal with the consequences.  That is your legacy.

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JohnZ

I'm naturally white bearded all year long. Off season I'm just John. I never deliberately approach someone as Santa off season. The only exception is  a Christmas related event such as Christmas in July,  where I've been hired as Santa.

During Season I never go to the mall. If I am ever in a situation where there is another Santa and some one asks "If the is Santa who are you?" My favorite response in "North Pole Security, we look after the big guy".

With that said. If I'm approached and called Santa, I become Santa and keep my visit very brief. If asked what am I doing in Florida in the summer time. I just sat I'm on vacation or Just checking my nice list. Then I quickly move on. I always keep any off season encounters as brief a possible. Often as I'm walking away I hear parents say to their children"See he's always watching". 

 

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SantaJackC

I kinda didn't want to get into this discussion, but what exactly are the consequences a Santa has to deal with? Are elves going to come to my room in the dark of night and shave my beard off or what? Just curious. Sounds rather dire.....

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Santa Charlie G

My thoughts are the same. If i am approached as Santa in the off season, I will briefly talk with the child/parents. I do NOT go into the Malls or any business that has a Santa on duty. I feel it is "treading on someone else's property" so to speak. Plus, i do not want to confuse the kids. I feel this is respect for other Santas. I try my best not to dress like Santa in the off season, except when doing an event as Santa. Ex: Christmas in July. or surprise Birthday parties. This is how I will continue to operate. I do not criticize any Santa for doing things their own way, simply because I do not want folks telling me how to do my job as Santa. Now, I do enjoy trading ideas and suggestions in the Santa business. I try to keep the Christmas Spirit in my life daily. But I do believe that Santa should be preserved for the Christmas Holiday Season. This does not make me or anyone else a bad person. Everyone has their way of doing things. 

 

Ho Ho Ho!

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Florida Kris Kringle

I am a professional Santa year round. With that said, you rarely, if ever, see me wearing red. I don't carry candy canes, or you've been caught being good cards. I do nothing in my private life to indicate to anyone that I am Santa, except have white hair all year round.

When I say I am Santa year round, it's strictly because of my non-profit organization, the Believe in Santa Foundation. I do visits to children in need all year round. This includes children living in poverty, crime victims, disaster survivors, hospitalized, terminally ill, or the child of a serviceman or woman. A child can't pick and choose when their house is going to be destroyed, when they are going to end up in a hospital, or face death as a result of a terminal illness. With that said, these visits are normally very private, or at least very quiet. My cover story is easy living in Florida. I discuss how cold it is in the North Pole (even in the summer), and talk about how much I love to visit Florida on vacation.

 

With that said, I would never consider promoting my "paid" appearances all year round. That for me is reserved for Christmas, and maybe a Christmas in July event or two. People already complain how Christmas comes earlier and earlier in the stores. I am not going to add to that by having Santa appear at major events all year round. Charity, yes! But for no other reason.

Let's remember that this is all about the children!

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Santa Michael Sayyae

I see all the reminiscing and this is how it use to be, well times change.  The children no longer have much of an imagination, they forget what isn't in their face constantly.  I drive for Uber and Lyft doing ride share and some of my customers tell me they would give anything for someone to be able to remind their kids that Santa is watching all year long so they will be reminded to be good for him.  I know that the parents should step up and take control of the children but I my self being from a broken home and raised by a single mom who had to work full time and raise 4 kids it gets tough.  I don't see an issue with trying to make life better for the parents with a reminder to the kids that "Hey! Santa is watching and you never know where he may pop up" or if someone or an organization is looking for and invites you as Santa to go help them out no mater what time of year.  I tell kids and people who don't see me as the "real" Santa that the real Santa's don't live for ever and when the old Santa is ready to retire he chooses one of his many helpers that are out there (Because there are so many in stores and such around the cities kids are questioning anyway) to become the real Santa.  Then I let them know I am the next in line so I am growing out my beard and working hard to become the BEST Santa that has ever been. 

I know a LOT of you don't agree, and yes making the kids and parents feel good about them selves and seeing the AWE in the kids eyes makes me feel better but what is wrong with people helping each other out and making each other feel good no mater the situation?  Who says that Santa's can only have their internal magic recharged during the "season" and the rest of the year we have to just be.  I love the joy the kids get when they think they have seen Santa on vacation, I think in most cases it is just as special as when they see Santa near Christmas.  I ask the kids what they want and then tell them when they come to see me later, closer to Christmas, to remind me what they  want because there is still a lot of time between now and Christmas and they could change their mind, and if they don't I need to make sure that my list is correct.  I LOVE being Santa and yes I know that some of it is feeding my own need of joy but again I don't feel we should be deprived of the joy most of the year and don't think that the kids are being hurt because the saturation is already here and the BIG CITIES and the retail need for making money off the Christmas season and us as Santa's is real and not going to go away.  Shoot across the street from my condo in Arizona there is a Coke advertisement that has Christmas like theme already and it has been there sense JUNE!!!!!

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Santa Michael Sayyae
On 8/6/2017 at 1:58 AM, Santa Johnathan said:

Santa is common place, I think most would agree that he is too common place, this is quite sad. I do not think there is anything wrong with making money portraying Santa but if we start to see how we can milk Santa as a source of income throughout the entire year, we are not helping to keep Santa a special and unique thing for children and families alike to anticipate with excitement.

As I said above I believe the retail greed has ruined the magic of Santa more than any of us could.  Santa is common because the retail stores are putting him out there before Halloween now and keeping him up after New Year in some cases.  If anything is ruining the "magic" it would be them, all the children I see when on "vacation" still have the awe in their eyes and the magic in their hearts.

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Tim Cavender

Remember, just because someone disagrees with you does not make them a hater.  You know, I was thinking the other day about the classic Santa movies like "Miracle on 34th Street" and every time you saw Santa without the suit, he always wore normal street clothes. The fun was seeing the old gentlemann in normal clothing and wondering whether or not he was Santa without having to dress in bright red suits, striped socks, red shoes or whatever. I'm not really a big fan of the Christmas in July, because I feel that it takes away from the specialness of Christmas. Just think if we decided to have another Halloween in March, or celebrate another 4th of July on December 4th or Easter in October. I hope we never lose the excitment and the build-up for Christmas that I remember as a child.

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Santa Marty
2 hours ago, Tim Cavender said:

Just think if we decided to have another Halloween in March, or celebrate another 4th of July on December 4th or Easter in October. I hope we never lose the excitment and the build-up for Christmas that I remember as a child.

Tim, 

I believe that I understand what you are saying and I agree.  I do find your analogy of Halloween and Easter amusing for the following reason, Kids Would Love 2 or more Halloweens & Easter.

 

 

One common element we seem to have as humans is a longing for the innocence of our youth.  It matters not what decade our childhood occured, but we cling to that time in our lives.  I clearly remember my grandparents, my parents, all express the thought that things were "better" back then.  Even now, as we age we are clinging to the nostalgic times we experenced.  This my friends, are exactly how traditions are started,  not just for Christmas, but for many family events and get togethers.  

While it is true that times change, wouldn't it be nice to slow those changes down, especially for Christmas, a season which we as a community, seemingly have a common interest in?

We will always have different camps when something is important to us and not to,others.  There will be extremists in each side of these so called camps.  Our passions will not necessarily change just because someone doesn't agree with us.  I'm glad we have a place where we can express our points of view and still be friends.  After all, if we didn't have the passion we do for portraying Santa and all that it entails, we would not even be members here, or join groups of a similar nature.

Stay friends 

 

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Felix Estridge

Marty is hitting nails on the head all over the place on this one.  In particular, the innocence of youth.  I think its something that we all wish we could help maintain in those we service as we portray Santa.  I know that is something that Tim is emphasizing in his take on this topic.  Heck...I get the biggest thrill out of adults who show that innocence like they were when they were children.  You can see it.  Its actually tangible to me.  It is the one thing that drives me most to do this and do it as well as I can.

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Santa Warren
16 hours ago, Tim Cavender said:

Remember, just because someone disagrees with you does not make them a hater.  You know, I was thinking the other day about the classic Santa movies like "Miracle on 34th Street" and every time you saw Santa without the suit, he always wore normal street clothes. The fun was seeing the old gentlemann in normal clothing and wondering whether or not he was Santa without having to dress in bright red suits, striped socks, red shoes or whatever. I'm not really a big fan of the Christmas in July, because I feel that it takes away from the specialness of Christmas. Just think if we decided to have another Halloween in March, or celebrate another 4th of July on December 4th or Easter in October. I hope we never lose the excitment and the build-up for Christmas that I remember as a child.

I so agree with your example of miracle on 34th st.  I try to portray that Santa image vs the Tim Allen one. I know people look and wonder, could that be Santa.  

I also want to say, for the most part, this thread has stayed civil and although we all agree and disagree with others it has been very Santa like.

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Santa Marty
7 hours ago, Santa Warren said:

I also want to say, for the most part, this thread has stayed civil and although we all agree and disagree with others it has been very Santa like.

As it should be.

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Santa TJS

Odd I have never seen the guy that portrays the Easter Bunny at the mall any other time than a couple of weeks up to Easter. I suppose if we saw that it would be alarming.

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Michael Rielly

I am sure there are Easter Bunny actors walking around in Casual Easter Bunny Attire...

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SCSanta
5 minutes ago, Michael Rielly said:

I am sure there are Easter Bunny actors walking around in Casual Easter Bunny Attire...

Just Ralphie...

ralphies-bunny-suit-pajamas-from-aunt-cl

 

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Caleb Sigmon
On 8/12/2017 at 0:44 PM, Santa Michael Sayyae said:

1) I tell kids and people who don't see me as the "real" Santa that the real Santa's don't live for ever and when the old Santa is ready to retire he chooses one of his many helpers that are out there (Because there are so many in stores and such around the cities kids are questioning anyway) to become the real Santa.  Then I let them know I am the next in line so I am growing out my beard and working hard to become the BEST Santa that has ever been. 

I know a LOT of you don't agree, and yes making the kids and parents feel good about them selves and seeing the AWE in the kids eyes makes me feel better but what is wrong with people helping each other out and making each other feel good no mater the situation? 

2) Who says that Santa's can only have their internal magic recharged during the "season" and the rest of the year we have to just be.  I love the joy the kids get when they think they have seen Santa on vacation, I think in most cases it is just as special as when they see Santa near Christmas.  I ask the kids what they want and then tell them when they come to see me later, closer to Christmas, to remind me what they  want because there is still a lot of time between now and Christmas and they could change their mind, and if they don't I need to make sure that my list is correct.  I LOVE being Santa and yes I know that some of it is feeding my own need of joy but again I don't feel we should be deprived of the joy most of the year and don't think that the kids are being hurt because the saturation is already here and the BIG CITIES and the retail need for making money off the Christmas season and us as Santa's is real and not going to go away.  Shoot across the street from my condo in Arizona there is a Coke advertisement that has Christmas like theme already and it has been there sense JUNE!!!!!

Hi Michael!

Here are two ideas that I think will help you, and you should get lots of mileage out of.

1) Take this go-to line that you are keeping in your back pocket and throw it in the trash.  Instead of essentially telling kiddos that you are waiting on the "real" Santa to kick the bucket (by the way, who says that to a child?!?!) spend fifteen minutes coming up with a creative response that actually empowers a child's imagination.

2)  Your statement that it's sad that Santa's can only have their internal magic recharged during the Christmas season... it strongly illuminates that your desire to interact with children as Santa throughout the year centers on the adrenaline rush and joy that YOU experience.  

Here is a newsflash, people >>> We portray a character (it's acting, right?!) that everybody knows HE LIVES AT THE NORTH POLE DURING THE YEAR.  The man runs a toy factory, working 364 days out of the year to make gifts for the children of the world!!  THEN, on CHRISTMAS EVE, he flies around the globe, dropping in and leaving presents.  That's Santa.  Not the next-door-somebody who wears a Santa hat to Denny's and hands out stickers to kids coming to eat with their families in August! This is not Santa - this is an unhealthy addiction.

It is time for us as a community to wake up and realize that we are portraying something much bigger than ourselves, and serving our community as Santa is not about us.  Still want to feel that special inside magic year round?  Volunteer to help with story time at your local library.  Help out with Children's Vacation Bible School at your church.  Sign-up to be an usher at your local community theatre.  

But please, for Santa's sake, don't wear that red Santa Hawaiian shirt and leave the stickers at home.  You'll be glad you did.

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Santa Michael Sayyae
On 8/16/2017 at 9:09 AM, Caleb Sigmon said:

Hi Michael!

Here are two ideas that I think will help you, and you should get lots of mileage out of.

1) Take this go-to line that you are keeping in your back pocket and throw it in the trash.  Instead of essentially telling kiddos that you are waiting on the "real" Santa to kick the bucket (by the way, who says that to a child?!?!) spend fifteen minutes coming up with a creative response that actually empowers a child's imagination.

2)  Your statement that it's sad that Santa's can only have their internal magic recharged during the Christmas season... it strongly illuminates that your desire to interact with children as Santa throughout the year centers on the adrenaline rush and joy that YOU experience.  

Here is a newsflash, people >>> We portray a character (it's acting, right?!) that everybody knows HE LIVES AT THE NORTH POLE DURING THE YEAR.  The man runs a toy factory, working 364 days out of the year to make gifts for the children of the world!!  THEN, on CHRISTMAS EVE, he flies around the globe, dropping in and leaving presents.  That's Santa.  Not the next-door-somebody who wears a Santa hat to Denny's and hands out stickers to kids coming to eat with their families in August! This is not Santa - this is an unhealthy addiction.

It is time for us as a community to wake up and realize that we are portraying something much bigger than ourselves, and serving our community as Santa is not about us.  Still want to feel that special inside magic year round?  Volunteer to help with story time at your local library.  Help out with Children's Vacation Bible School at your church.  Sign-up to be an usher at your local community theatre.  

But please, for Santa's sake, don't wear that red Santa Hawaiian shirt and leave the stickers at home.  You'll be glad you did.

I do not walk around with my suit on or my hat on, I dress in normal clothes but if someone comes up to me or asks me then I portray the roll.  I am not out trolling the kids looking for a fix of ego.  I know I am not the real Santa but enjoy the feelings I get and the joy I bring the kids when they see something they never thought they would see.

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      You’re fooling yourself if you believe that no one notices or cares if your bead is yellow or unkempt. Maybe you’re also missing a few of those pearly whites, or they are stained from tobacco products. Again, don’t fool yourself….kids notice everything! I have a gold crown capping one of my lower teeth. Every once in a while, I have an inquisitive youngster question what that gold thing is in my mouth. Years ago I thought it was well hidden however; kids have uncanny radar to pick out any of our flaws….

      You may be asking yourself, “What difference does it make? “It’s not the Christmas Season.” Maybe it isn’t however, If you’re representing Santa, you’re representing one of the most recognizable characters in the world. What you do reflects upon me and every Santa reader of this article. If you’re going to be recognized then do justice to the character we are reenacting.

      Over the years I have been a Santa, I have frequently been by told by people about the Santa they hired or saw which left a very poor expression. Most of their comments were predictable. Their Santa did not interact with the children as expected or he was unprepared. He was unanimated, had a dirty suit or lack luster beard. Obviously these are sure fire ways never to be called to this group again.

      Think about what impression you make as a Santa and pay attention to developing your character. You can become one of the best Santas in your area by learning everything about your character and performing from the heart.

      Always remember: It's not about you. It's about the children.

      Santa Lou Knezevich is the creator of the Legendary Santas Mentoring Program
      Contact Santa Lou at: LegendarySantasMentoringProg@gmail.com
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    • If You Have the Post Christmas Blues You’re Doing Christmas Wrong
      The post-Christmas blues are a very real thing. Once the date of December 25th has passed the specter of December 26th is an ominous marker to many. It sits there on the calendar like the Ghost of Christmas Yet-to-Come. Silent and foreboding, the very image of the hooded Angel of Death it seems to be. And why not?

      Just about anywhere you look Americans are tossing trees to the curb, ripping down lights from rooftops and radio stations are flipping back to everyday music. What took months to build gets deconstructed in a matter of a couple of days.
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    • Auld Lang Syne
      Every New Year’s Eve at the stroke of midnight, millions around the world traditionally gather together to sing the same song, “Auld Lang Syne”. As revilers mumble though the song’s versus, it often brings many of them to tears – regardless of the fact that most don’t know or even understand the lyrics. Confusion over the song’s lyrics is almost as much of a tradition as the song itself. Of course that rarely stops anyone from joining in.
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    • Merry Christmas, My Friend
      Every year around this time, some variation of this poem is circulated online. The poem is generally credited to “a soldier stationed in Okinawa” or more recently since September 11, 2001, “a Marine stationed in Afghanistan”.

      However, the poem’s true author is Lance Corporal James M. Schmidt.

      Originally entitled, “Merry Christmas, My Friend”, Corporal Schmidt wrote the poem in 1986 while serving as Battalion Counter Sniper at the Marine Barracks 8th & I, in Washington, D.C.

      That day the poem was placed in the Marine Corps Gazette and distributed worldwide. Schmidt’s poem was later published in Leatherneck (Magazine of the Marines) in December 1991.
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    • Is it time to start calling out Bad Santas?
      Is it time to start calling out Bad Santas?

      Do you think we should start calling out those in our community whose actions or behavior is unbecoming of Santa Claus or Mrs. Claus?
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