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Bylaws Update


Florida Kris Kringle

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When I ran earlier this year for an IBRBS Board of Directors seat, I said I would always do and vote for what is best for the members. Having listened to our membership and other Board members, and being a Charter Member of IBRBS myself, I fully support these changes to our Bylaws, and urge you to support them as well.

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Are there any Board Members that have posted their opposition to this proposed change? I've only been able to find posts from those that support the change and would like to read opposing views from the Board.

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On ‎6‎/‎24‎/‎2018 at 12:36 PM, Steelwheels said:

Are there any Board Members that have posted their opposition to this proposed change? I've only been able to find posts from those that support the change and would like to read opposing views from the Board.

I may be wrong, but I don't think you will see that.  Not that there isn't any opposition, not saying one way or the other, but there seems to be an effort to present a unified front on that subject, at least on the group's FB page.  There "is" some opposition present there from some of the membership on the FB page.  I've PM'd with certain people on the officer level and I'm thinking they feel they are doing what's right.  Can't say I agree with their line of thought, but I guess "vote day" will tell the tale.  It should prove to be interesting to see how it all turns out. 

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IBRBS members were the ones who asked for this to be considered. It went through the normal process before being presented to the Board. As a Board, we have an obligation to put it forward for a vote. It doesn't mean that every Board member is going to vote for or against it. It was approved by the Board unanimously to put forward as required. As a member driven organization, the members will decide if it is approved or not.

Understand that IBRBS stopped being a real bearded organization 2 years ago when the members overwhelmingly voted to allow Mrs. Claus' in. It was at the same time that the name of the organization only started being referred to by the acronym. I would hope that you would agree that these changes had no effect whatsoever on your membership. The only possible change if the new bylaws are approved is that you may get even more benefits at a lower cost.

Please let me know if you have any further questions, and I will be happy to answer them.

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5 hours ago, Florida Kris Kringle said:

IBRBS members were the ones who asked for this to be considered. It went through the normal process before being presented to the Board. As a Board, we have an obligation to put it forward for a vote. It doesn't mean that every Board member is going to vote for or against it. It was approved by the Board unanimously to put forward as required. As a member driven organization, the members will decide if it is approved or not.

Understand that IBRBS stopped being a real bearded organization 2 years ago when the members overwhelmingly voted to allow Mrs. Claus' in. It was at the same time that the name of the organization only started being referred to by the acronym. I would hope that you would agree that these changes had no effect whatsoever on your membership. The only possible change if the new bylaws are approved is that you may get even more benefits at a lower cost.

Please let me know if you have any further questions, and I will be happy to answer them.

Thank you, Keith. It will be sad to watch the organization split, but it seems like that is the pattern. It happens about every 5 years. History seems to be on speed repeat! 😉

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Yes it would be sad to see it split.  It doesn't have to happen that way.  This could potentially be averted by this vote being cancelled and more effort put into finding a way to accomplish the "stated goal" of the "powers that be" while maintaining the appearance, integrity, and reputation of what the group was supposed to have been all about. 

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1 hour ago, Santa Barney said:

Yes it would be sad to see it split.  It doesn't have to happen that way.  This could potentially be averted by this vote being cancelled and more effort put into finding a way to accomplish the "stated goal" of the "powers that be" while maintaining the appearance, integrity, and reputation of what the group was supposed to have been all about. 

I totally agree, Santa Barney. Every single Christmas performer I know would like to see more unity within the Christmas community. But IBRBS is not the proper vehicle to get us from point A to point B. 

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Ultimately, it's up to the members to decide. This same proposal nearly passed the last time it was introduced, and that was before Mrs. Claus' were overwhelmingly approved to become full members. If you know the history of IBRBS, it was originally supposed to be an all inclusive organization.

Change isn't always bad. I bet the CEOs of Toys R Us, Sears, Kmart, and other companies wished they had changed with the times. IBRBS ceased being a RBS organization when the overwhelming majority of members voted to allow Mrs. Claus' to become full members.

Personally, I don't see how it will affect any RBS member. Your only competition out there is you. You would still have the same benefits as before. Most likely, there would be more benefits, and perhaps even less expensive benefits due to buying power.

Just my 2 cents, but I also respect all opinions.

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A version of the following was posted on the IBRBS Facebook page and felt it might be worth posting here as well:

Isn’t it time for this massive division among Santas to stop? I’m a younger Santa and I find it just silly. Some play really nice until “they” want to play in “our” playground? That’s not the heart of Santa. The beard alone means nothing in my mind, it’s how you use it. You do not get extra bonus points with a natural beard in my book, you do in how you treat others. I’ve seen Santa’s with the most pathetic natural beards hanging on by a few hairs, is that IBRBS? We certainly have seen cheap costume beards but that’s not a true professional. The true dedicated professional shows their dedication in their portrayal. This is the case with traditional theatrical beards or a real beards, I admire both sides that elevate what they do in a professional way. But, sides must stop...we are all Santas.

I have been a traditionally bearded Santa, I have been a real bearded Santa but at this point, I’m just a Santa, call it a brotherhood and sisterhood, whatever...I have come to love the Christmas community and many have become like family and dear friends. Having had the opportunity to start and host The Professional Santa Claus’ Podcast, I have had the opportunity to hear from Santa’s and Mrs. Clauses that have truly inspired me to be better, what type of beard or the lack thereof is irrelevant. To be honest, with the podcast, I did not even go public until I had traditionally bearded Santas to set an example from day one. 

My personal hope is that IBRBS becomes less about the type of beard and more about the level of professionalism. I certainly see in the future content based on specific needs for an educational element but I would love to see IBRBS as the standard of quality and professionalism regardless of how the beard came to be on someone’s face. I want IBRBS to be where the best are, and to speak honestly, some of the very best at this point, are not able. That just does not make sense to me. I’m not a member of IBRBS because of the “real beard” I’m a member because it’s the largest and most dedicated organization that represents and supports me, as a Santa...and I believe, it should be ALL Santas. I will support every effort to make sure that my brothers in red that choose not to grow a beard can stand next to me in an organization that I hope begins to mean more and more than just insurance and background checks. Honestly, you can find those things anywhere. 

Now, what really changes for YOU? Really? Forget playground arguments or humorous conspiracies, what changes for you? I see not only the same benefits but possibly more, I see a greater talent and experience base increase to potentially help teach and inspire you to be better, I see us truly supporting the International Santa’s that by and large do not grow beards and I see a community of like-minded individuals coming together for really, the first time in this way to learn to be better for the communities we serve. 

Some are stuck on a name. IBRBS stopped going by “International Brotherhood of Real Bearded Santas” as soon as the membership voted to allow women as full voting members. Organizations update, change, evolve. My vehicle insurance is through Geico (Government Employees Insurance Company) but I am certainly not a government employee. Their structure changed to offer insurance to benefit a greater number. 

IBRBS can stand for more. 

I am grateful that voting members chose to open up IBRBS to those that portray Mrs. Claus. In that moment, IBRBS became less about a “brotherhood” but it did NOT become less than...we gain so much by having our sisters in red as equals. I am encouraged to see a group trying to make the next step with a great deal of member support to make a wonderful impact in our community. I read of those inducted into the Santa Claus Hall of Fame, and I believe we should be the organization where all of those inductees would all be welcomed, the best of the best. Not as “honorary members”, but full membership...the best of the best should be found in IBRBS, if they choose. 

Will some disagree, certainly. But, I will not argue, I will not name call...we are all better than that. I will vote. I encourage every IBRBS member to vote. I do believe the future is here and I am excited for the possibilities. I have the greatest of hope for this world-wide Christmas community, brothers and sisters in red...United for a greater positive difference. 

The attached picture is of two great looking and dedicated Santas. They make a great difference and represent the Christmas community in a wonderful way. I believe they are equally passionate about their portrayal but only one of them at this point, could join IBRBS. That’s not the future of IBRBS that I hope for. 

I have one vote, just one and I have thought long and hard about the difference I want to make with it.

IBRBS and other national groups are not what everyone feels a need to join, there are many groups to join out there. My hope is that IBRBS sets an example for others. Welcoming ALL Santa that have desires to be better and follow The Santa Claus Oath is the right thing to do. That’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it! 

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Thank you Santa TJS for the photo example. Tom is not only an active member on Clausnet, he is a wealth of information, a kind man, and an amazing Santa. 

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What is crazy about this argument is that both sides of this issue just seem to talk past each other without addressing some of the main questions. There are a lot of assertions being made, without much sustenance. Wanting to unite the Christmas community is a good thing...using the International Brotherhood of Real Bearded Santas to accomplish that job, is not. IBRBS is not the right tool to get this job done. It’s like using a saw to pour concrete. “But the saw is the best tool we have right now” and the foundation is still going to be a mess.

We specialize in hearing the dreams of children yet forget to dream ourselves. I would love to see an organization created that brought all Christmas performers together. Perhaps something called (insert creativity here) that IBRBS could be a part of, along with FORBS if they wanted, and MOTS if that’s an organized group, or any other speciality* that wants to stand hand and hoof with Santa. (*Agents, Photographers, Vendors, Elves, etc.)

But the leadership seems sold out on making IBRBS the center focus. And everyone must join this group instead. My dream is a little bigger.

 

(Sadly, I know I’m going to get chewed up and spit out, or perhaps cast out would be the better term, for this and for speaking out against the leadership. But when it really boils down to the nuts and bolts, none of this really helps any of us be a better Santa. If you can’t do this because you have love, joy, and peace in your own heart it doesn’t matter how much training or how cheap the insurance is, it ain’t gonna work.)

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On 7/3/2018 at 9:46 AM, Steelwheels said:

What is crazy about this argument is that both sides of this issue just seem to talk past each other without addressing some of the main questions. There are a lot of assertions being made, without much sustenance. Wanting to unite the Christmas community is a good thing...using the International Brotherhood of Real Bearded Santas to accomplish that job, is not. IBRBS is not the right tool to get this job done. It’s like using a saw to pour concrete. “But the saw is the best tool we have right now” and the foundation is still going to be a mess.

We specialize in hearing the dreams of children yet forget to dream ourselves. I would love to see an organization created that brought all Christmas performers together. Perhaps something called (insert creativity here) that IBRBS could be a part of, along with FORBS if they wanted, and MOTS if that’s an organized group, or any other speciality* that wants to stand hand and hoof with Santa. (*Agents, Photographers, Vendors, Elves, etc.)

But the leadership seems sold out on making IBRBS the center focus. And everyone must join this group instead. My dream is a little bigger.

 

(Sadly, I know I’m going to get chewed up and spit out, or perhaps cast out would be the better term, for this and for speaking out against the leadership. But when it really boils down to the nuts and bolts, none of this really helps any of us be a better Santa. If you can’t do this because you have love, joy, and peace in your own heart it doesn’t matter how much training or how cheap the insurance is, it ain’t gonna work.)

I’m not sure who you think will chew and spit you out, it will not be me. This is a passionate debate and one that brings out very strong opinions. I have respectfully heard all sides, and truly support every member in voting the way their heart leads. We should hold ourselves to a higher standard when we choose to put on the red suit and portray Santa. We can have differences of opinion and be kind and friendly to those same people. I feel that’s a huge problem we see all over the place now. 

At this point, I see no words will change the direction of your vote, that’s not my intent, and my vote is set. You are clear in your point of view as am I. I think healthy debate is good and could possibly help someone that is on the fence to make an informed choice. Remebering, we are kind to each other.

I do believe the answer is seeing one of the national groups welcoming the Christmas community, particulatly those that apply their beard. I would venture to say that their investment, time, effort, and skills in using a quality beard far goes beyond anyone growing one. These are our brothers in red...I want those I respect and call a mentor by my side. Creating a brand new group just is not the answer in my mind.

Did you know, six years ago, a similar vote took place? This was a vote brought forward by many of those that founded IBRBS. Six years ago, the majority of the IBRBS membership voted and wanted a similar change BUT...it was not a super majority and the bylaws were not updated. Two years ago, by a super majority, the Mrs. Claus community was welcomed to IBRBS. At the time, some threatened to leave some claimed it would ruin the community, some said things that I believe should never come from someone portraying Santa. In the end, the gloom and doom did not take place. IBRBS continued to grow. We had more talent, more resources, more examples, and more heart brought into our community. Again, the doom and gloom that some preached was no where to be seen and those that threated to leave comfortably stayed put. 

This vote will certainly change IBRBS but what really changes for the individual Santa or Mrs. Claus? Are you still not in an exclusive group? I mean, I do not see Christmas characters walking the streets everywhere. Will you not have the same benefits? Will you not be able to call yourself a “real bearded Santa” if you choose? Will welcoming more talent, examples, and dedicated Santas hurt you in any way? I truly understand the arguments being made but whatever perceived benefits you see by keeping things the same, they do not outweigh, in my mind, the benefits to being a little more inclusive to those that choose to be the best they can with these characters. I am NO better than a traditionally bearded Santa because I chose not to shave as part of my portrayal. 

We all vote and in due time we will see the direction that the membership feels IBRBS needs to take. I look forward to this being behind us. Christmas is coming, we have so many great things to prepare for! How lucky and blessed we are to do what we do. Santa is Santa and we start that portrayal by taking a good look at our heart. 

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Steelwheels, like Johnathan, I too am a Board Member, and have no intention of chewing you up and spitting you out. I completely respect your opinion. And although I may disagree with you, we can all be respectful.

As I've mentioned previously, IBRBS ceased being a real bearded organization when there was an overwhelming approval by the membership to allow Mrs. Claus to join. And this vote us not up to the Board, but rather to the full 2100+ members.

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Thanks for sharing gentlemen. I’m painfully aware of the history from the 10 in 94’ to AORBS. Then the split from AORBS into FORBS and their subsequent split into IBRBS. And now this vote. I’m out of IBRBS either way. It was never about saving money on insurance or anything’s else, I’m not doing Santa to save money. It wasn’t about training, mentoring, and knowledge that’s already happening in local groups, schools, and places like ClausNet. It was just about the name. Sad that so many just don’t get that, or don’t care. Anyway, bottom line...it doesn’t help me be a better Santa.

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33 minutes ago, Steelwheels said:

Thanks for sharing gentlemen. I’m painfully aware of the history from the 10 in 94’ to AORBS. Then the split from AORBS into FORBS and their subsequent split into IBRBS. And now this vote. I’m out of IBRBS either way. It was never about saving money on insurance or anything’s else, I’m not doing Santa to save money. It wasn’t about training, mentoring, and knowledge that’s already happening in local groups, schools, and places like ClausNet. It was just about the name. Sad that so many just don’t get that, or don’t care. Anyway, bottom line...it doesn’t help me be a better Santa.

I understand your feelings, although I do not know if I will leave or not (last year I did not renew till very late) I use none of the benefits the organization provides.   I also belonged because of the name.  I most likely will vote for the change just avoid having to do all this again.  As to whether or not being a member of a Christmas Performer group has any benefit to me I will have to think on that.

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50 minutes ago, Steelwheels said:

Thanks for sharing gentlemen. I’m painfully aware of the history from the 10 in 94’ to AORBS. Then the split from AORBS into FORBS and their subsequent split into IBRBS. And now this vote. I’m out of IBRBS either way. It was never about saving money on insurance or anything’s else, I’m not doing Santa to save money. It wasn’t about training, mentoring, and knowledge that’s already happening in local groups, schools, and places like ClausNet. It was just about the name. Sad that so many just don’t get that, or don’t care. Anyway, bottom line...it doesn’t help me be a better Santa.

I too was never in it for anything but the pride of being a part of a group of, what I took to be, like minded fellows who took the time and effort to grow and maintain a "real beard" as opposed to a designer/fake/synthetic/etc. beard.  The designer beard looks nice, if you spend the bucks to get a top shelf one, but I consistently have people tell me there is no substitute for the way Santa looks with a "real beard" and that's what I wanted to be a part of and help perpetuate.  Now that seems to have taken a distinct back seat to the cancer of "inclusiveness" that's overtaking the world today. 

I feel myself coming up on a rant about this, so I'll take a deep breath and back away after saying to all.....

It's not too late to take a stand, draw a line in the sand, and stand up for what's right, or sure used to be right, within this group called IBRBS.    VOTE a resounding NO to the bylaw change!

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8 hours ago, Santa Barney said:

I too was never in it for anything but the pride of being a part of a group of, what I took to be, like minded fellows who took the time and effort to grow and maintain a "real beard" as opposed to a designer/fake/synthetic/etc. beard.  The designer beard looks nice, if you spend the bucks to get a top shelf one, but I consistently have people tell me there is no substitute for the way Santa looks with a "real beard" and that's what I wanted to be a part of and help perpetuate.  Now that seems to have taken a distinct back seat to the cancer of "inclusiveness" that's overtaking the world today. 

I feel myself coming up on a rant about this, so I'll take a deep breath and back away after saying to all.....

It's not too late to take a stand, draw a line in the sand, and stand up for what's right, or sure used to be right, within this group called IBRBS.    VOTE a resounding NO to the bylaw change!

I agree with much of what you said. And here’s the real rub. I have absolutely no desire to join, break-up, or change a Designer Bearded Santa group (maybe like MOTS). So why do that to a Real Bearded Santa group? All of the reasons I’ve read are empty and without merit.

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2 hours ago, Steelwheels said:

I agree with much of what you said. And here’s the real rub. I have absolutely no desire to join, break-up, or change a Designer Bearded Santa group (maybe like MOTS). So why do that to a Real Bearded Santa group? All of the reasons I’ve read are empty and without merit.

Neither do I.  I have thoughts about what precipitated this move, but they are just that "thoughts" and not based on anything but personal hunches, so they must remain unsaid. 

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I could care less about where your beard comes from. If that’s the only reason that you joined IBRBS, for the name? that’s just makes me sad and I don’t know why the board is working so hard to volunteer and to try and provide something more. This is not a move being pushed by the traditional bearded Santas, they are not knocking on the door. Why would they? Not when they do not feel welcome. This move is a moment for the Christmas community to come together. It’s no surprise that some of the most respected Santas in the community are wanting this change. I want a group that has the best of the best or at least welcomes them. I was a traditionally bearded Santa and later grew a beard; my heart is the same, my dedication is the same, my love for doing this is the same. I am not a better Santa in my heart for having a real beard. 

At some point does this international group evolve to work together for all Santas and truly become international for all those that take on this vocation? I certainly hope so. Take a look at the Santa Claus Hall of Fame, take a look at our history, IBRBS can mean more and I’d love to see a time when we welcome all that take this work seriously. “Real Bearded Santas” are primarily a contemporary US novelty and a marketing move. If we are truly to be an international group, we need to vote “YES” on the bylaws change. Six years ago, this was voted with the majority wanting to include and redefine IBRBS. Six years ago, the majority of IBRBS members did not see the change they wanted because a super majority was not reached. It should be time now.

I find all talk on conspiracy theory and financial gain rediculous and insulting, people put too many selfless hours in behind the scenes for that. This change for me, and as a board member, is all about coming together and it should be time. Our historic Santas like Jim Yellig and Charles W Howard defined this work, both traditionally bearded, the Charles W Howard School’s Dean, traditionally bearded, writer of the Santa Claus Oath, traditionally bearded, the founder of Clausnet, traditionally bearded, just about every famous Santa seen in film, traditionally bearded. Personally speaking, any Santa Group that thinks these individuals would not bring value to our organization and not want to do whatever possible to welcome them and learn from them, just to keep things outdated exclusive and solely based on a beard...this is just sad and I pray that this community can be better at making the right decisions for the future of IBRBS.

 I celebrate all Santas and Mrs. Claus. We stand on the shoulders of the men and women before us when ego was not a big deal and when social media played no part. I’m working on a future podcast, a historica series. They cared about the vocation...not their facial hair...not how much their beard cost...and not their gender. They cared about children and the tradition. Today I cast my vote. When you cast your vote, think of them...not yourself. Look through the eyes of a child. Santa and all Christmas performers should look at it from their perspective...not our own. Is this about me and my ego...or about the tradition and what this is really about? Santa is for everyone, all believers and All Santas are for children, that is my hope. 


IBRBS has the potential to mean more, we just need to take the necessary steps to do that. I believe this with all my heart and I have thought long and hard about this vote. We move forward regardless and I will look towards finding ways to improve each day and be a support to this community. I am grateful for IBRBS and I am so very grateful that some in the world humble me by calling me “Santa Claus.”

 

 

 

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If you are an IBRBS member in good standing, please make sure you take the time to vote. It is very important that we have an accurate vote on the desires of the membership as we look at where we see IBRBS in the future. 

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On 7/11/2018 at 9:02 AM, Santa Johnathan said:

I could care less about where your beard comes from. If that’s the only reason that you joined IBRBS, for the name? that’s just makes me sad and I don’t know why the board is working so hard to volunteer and to try and provide something more. This is not a move being pushed by the traditional bearded Santas, they are not knocking on the door. Why would they? Not when they do not feel welcome. This move is a moment for the Christmas community to come together. It’s no surprise that some of the most respected Santas in the community are wanting this change. I want a group that has the best of the best or at least welcomes them. I was a traditionally bearded Santa and later grew a beard; my heart is the same, my dedication is the same, my love for doing this is the same. I am not a better Santa in my heart for having a real beard. 

At some point does this international group evolve to work together for all Santas and truly become international for all those that take on this vocation? I certainly hope so. Take a look at the Santa Claus Hall of Fame, take a look at our history, IBRBS can mean more and I’d love to see a time when we welcome all that take this work seriously. “Real Bearded Santas” are primarily a contemporary US novelty and a marketing move. If we are truly to be an international group, we need to vote “YES” on the bylaws change. Six years ago, this was voted with the majority wanting to include and redefine IBRBS. Six years ago, the majority of IBRBS members did not see the change they wanted because a super majority was not reached. It should be time now.

I find all talk on conspiracy theory and financial gain rediculous and insulting, people put too many selfless hours in behind the scenes for that. This change for me, and as a board member, is all about coming together and it should be time. Our historic Santas like Jim Yellig and Charles W Howard defined this work, both traditionally bearded, the Charles W Howard School’s Dean, traditionally bearded, writer of the Santa Claus Oath, traditionally bearded, the founder of Clausnet, traditionally bearded, just about every famous Santa seen in film, traditionally bearded. Personally speaking, any Santa Group that thinks these individuals would not bring value to our organization and not want to do whatever possible to welcome them and learn from them, just to keep things outdated exclusive and solely based on a beard...this is just sad and I pray that this community can be better at making the right decisions for the future of IBRBS.

 I celebrate all Santas and Mrs. Claus. We stand on the shoulders of the men and women before us when ego was not a big deal and when social media played no part. I’m working on a future podcast, a historica series. They cared about the vocation...not their facial hair...not how much their beard cost...and not their gender. They cared about children and the tradition. Today I cast my vote. When you cast your vote, think of them...not yourself. Look through the eyes of a child. Santa and all Christmas performers should look at it from their perspective...not our own. Is this about me and my ego...or about the tradition and what this is really about? Santa is for everyone, all believers and All Santas are for children, that is my hope. 


IBRBS has the potential to mean more, we just need to take the necessary steps to do that. I believe this with all my heart and I have thought long and hard about this vote. We move forward regardless and I will look towards finding ways to improve each day and be a support to this community. I am grateful for IBRBS and I am so very grateful that some in the world humble me by calling me “Santa Claus.”

 

 

 

What will be the necessary steps for changing the name “International Brotherhood of Real Bearded Santas” that it is registered under? That will eventually have to happen for it to progress in the way you want it to.

 

As to much of your post, I just think it is pointless to comment further. Most of the points you raise are not in dispute and just create a false dilemma. The Christmas community IS united, just look at ClausNet as an example. Whoever you’re listening to that says we are not united is pulling your Santa hat over your eyes. Learning for each other is already happening and has been for the years I’ve been around. I’ll testify to how much I’ve gained from many in the community as a whole...male and female, Santa and Mrs. Claus, Bearded and non-Bearded. Heck, even Chris Capstone, if you can believe that! Teeheehee. The change is unnecessary, wrong, and will cause division.

 

But either way the vote goes, the damage has been done. As your leader said, “the dye is cast.” Sadly, that quote from Suetonius is about the beginning of the fall of the Roman Republic.

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4 minutes ago, Steelwheels said:

What will be the necessary steps for changing the name “International Brotherhood of Real Bearded Santas” that it is registered under? That will eventually have to happen for it to progress in the way you want it to.

 

As to much of your post, I just think it is pointless to comment further. Most of the points you raise are not in dispute and just create a false dilemma. The Christmas community IS united, just look at ClausNet as an example. Whoever you’re listening to that says we are not united is pulling your Santa hat over your eyes. Learning for each other is already happening and has been for the years I’ve been around. I’ll testify to how much I’ve gained from many in the community as a whole...male and female, Santa and Mrs. Claus, Bearded and non-Bearded. Heck, even Chris Capstone, if you can believe that! Teeheehee. The change is unnecessary, wrong, and will cause division.

 

 

4 minutes ago, Steelwheels said:

 

But either way the vote goes, the damage has been done. As your leader said, “the dye is cast.” Sadly, that quote from Suetonius is about the beginning of the fall of the Roman Republic.

The change is wrong? Because you like to be in an exclusive club? Does it make you feel extra special? Set you apart as a better Santa? Do you like to see fellow Santas left out of your special club?

I think the Christmas community, as we see here on Clausnet, united together, is exclusive enough for me and should be reflected in our groups and clubs.

Our IBRBS ISC enjoyed the presentations of Phil Wenz, a Hall of Fame Santa, our key note speaker was hall of fame Santa, Bruce Templeton, another wonderful traditionally bearded Santa. Are you better than they? We learn from them, we watch their examples, we invite them to our events but cannot join our exclusive club and that’s okay to you? The devision certainly is there, not united, perhaps not as bad as some would say, but it is there in the thoughts, hearts, and actions of some, and has been seen here on Clausnet many times. 

I have no idea how things will go with this vote, but I feel confident I made the right choice that I felt was needed with my vote. Your opinions sadden me on this but we move forward and the membership does have an opportunity to vote how they feel. If I am in the minority, so be it. 

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I believe that every member of the IBRBS Board started out as a traditional bearded Santa. Are we better today for having a real beard? No. We’re better because of years of experience, learning from all sorts of performers, and having Santa in our heart.

My reason for becoming a Charter Member of IBRBS was for the affordable insurance, background check, networking, and other benefits. I personally wouldn’t waste my money joining any organization just because I have something. If that were the case, I’d probably be broke from joining a riding mower association, toothbrush association, etc. Call me crazy, but I want something of value in return for my investment.

I think we all would agree that we’re in this for the children. So, if they don’t care, why should we?

Ive read here and on Facebook many valid reasons why these proposed changes are good. The problem is I don’t recall reading any legitimate reasons for not supporting these changes. All I seem to read is, “Because I have a real beard.” So?

There is no need to change the name either. We simply continue using the acronym IBRBS. As has been pointed out numerous times, there are many companies that have changed their original focus but still use the original acronym (IBM, RCA, etc.). Just seems to me that there’s too much emphasis on the name, as opposed to how great this could be for our Community.

Whatever you do, make your voice heard and vote!

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10 minutes ago, Santa Johnathan said:

 

1. The change is wrong? Yes. That is not what the group was established for in the first place.

2. Because you like to be in an exclusive club? That’s what a “club” is by definition. A group of people that come together because of some interest they share. (ie; Girl Scouts [The Boy Scouts are struggling in this area], The new IBRBS, if it does get changed will still be exclusive for Christmas Performers only.

3. Does it make you feel extra special? This has a rather sarcastic tone.

4. Set you apart as a better Santa? Being in a “club” is not a value statement on others.

5. Do you like to see fellow Santas left out of your special club? There are many clubs I can’t join because I don’t meet their requirements to be a member. They have the right to do that and it’s okay.

 

I think the Christmas community, as we see here on Clausnet, united together, is exclusive enough for me and should be reflected in our groups and clubs. Please see your second question.

Our IBRBS ISC enjoyed the presentations of Phil Wenz, a Hall of Fame Santa, our key note speaker was hall of fame Santa, Bruce Templeton, another wonderful traditionally bearded Santa. Are you better than they? Answered in question #4.

We learn from them, we watch their examples, we invite them to our events but cannot join our exclusive club and that’s okay to you? This is not a move being pushed by the traditional bearded Santas, they are not knocking on the door.“ Were you correct when you made this comment?

The devision certainly is there, not united, perhaps not as bad as some would say, but it is there in the thoughts, hearts, and actions of some, and has been seen here on Clausnet many times. 

I have no idea how things will go with this vote, but I feel confident I made the right choice that I felt was needed with my vote. Your opinions sadden me on this but we move forward and the membership does have an opportunity to vote how they feel. If I am in the minority, so be it. 

I’m not sure this is a profitable discussion to continue anymore, but if you could answer my original question...

What steps will be necessary to remove/change the name “International Brotherhood of Real Bearded Santas” from how it is registered?

(I’m not real good at doing the split quote thing, so I just commented where I had something to say.)

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24 minutes ago, Steelwheels said:

I’m not sure this is a profitable discussion to continue anymore, but if you could answer my original question...

What steps will be necessary to remove/change the name “International Brotherhood of Real Bearded Santas” from how it is registered?

(I’m not real good at doing the split quote thing, so I just commented where I had something to say.)

I see you spinning around quite a few points. I will be very clear as I have tried to be. This vote is up to the membership, everyone has one vote to make a choice they feel is best. I await the voting results just as much as anyone else. I do believe that this vote is not about option 1 or 2, it’s about right or wrong. 

IBRBS was started to make the biggest difference within the Santa community and help support those members. Yes, it was geared towards the real bearded community but as the years pass, we see that Santa is Santa, the exclusiveness based on your beard just does not seem right. 

Organizations change, they grow, they evolve. These changes are based on a wide variety of things. 

I have made the point before, as soon as women were voted in as full voting members, IBRBS moved to that name, just IBRBS. Just as my GEICO car insurance is no longer just for “Government Employees” IBRBS can serve more than just real bearded Santas...they already do! 

As far as an official name change, I do not think it’s needed to erase or change the history of our group. Regardless, you are a member of IBRBS. I do not believe any time would be given to a name change, until the time comes that the membership vote for a change. I hope that answers your question. 

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Interesting by product of this vote is the opinion of many Board members toward membership that disagree with them!  Disagree and you are attacked, put down etc.  Agree and they tell you how smart and wise you are.  In an above post someone said they like it as it is and the next post by a board member basically tells them they are wrong and does it in what in my opinion is an unnecessary way.

Are members not allowed to have an opinion and voice it with out being told they are wrong? 

 

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2 hours ago, Santa Warren said:

Interesting by product of this vote is the opinion of many Board members toward membership that disagree with them!  Disagree and you are attacked, put down etc.  Agree and they tell you how smart and wise you are.  In an above post someone said they like it as it is and the next post by a board member basically tells them they are wrong and does it in what in my opinion is an unnecessary way.

Are members not allowed to have an opinion and voice it with out being told they are wrong? 

 

Well, board member or not, I think many have very strong feelings about this and are quite passionate about this. I’m sure I have come across as one with strong feelings on this. In responses, I hope that I have not come across as attacking anyone. I think we can certainly be respectful but agree we see things very differently. I have seen a lot of negative comments. I will support every member’s right to vote, I will speak my mind. 

This organization takes an extreme amount of volunteer hours, extreme. The board has worked tirelessly to create a bylaws update that will refine it’s organizational setup, as well as erase a dividing line in the community that has no real need to be there anymore. This bylaws update has been clearly stated, has been recommended by the board, and has seen those that have even founded the organization endorse the need for this change. There are a few members that have been adamant that it’s a terrible move without any real justification but to say, keep things as they are, change is bad. 

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” - Socrates

I will be honest, I will be transparent, I am constantly looking at ways to support this community...the whole community. For me, at this point of our community’s history, a vote to support all brothers in red was not a casual option, it was the only option to do what is right. I stand by that firmly. I understand that there are those within IBRBS’s membership that will vote differently than I. I wish this was just simply about options...but, for me, it is not. 

That being said. I am very curious to finally see this vote and the thoughts of the membership. Either way, there will be a group that is quite disappointed and I do hope that we can all learn to support each other, regardless as we look to the future. 

IBRBS can mean more. 

 

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An open letter to IBRBS Membership, publish as you wish,

    My fellow Santas,

     With the current By-Law vote in progress, I would like to make some points in favor of the proposed revisions:
     First, the only major change in the proposed newly written By-Laws is the definition of Full Member and Associate Member.
    We have come to recognize that the spirit of Santa Claus starts in the heart, with the spirit of goodwill and giving, not from a beard, real or not.
    We have also been approached by many younger men who would like to learn about becoming Santa but cannot sport a beard because of their employment situation or physical condition.  If such men are seeking the true heart of Santa, we should recognize this and help them in any way we can. After all, our Purpose (Article 2, A) is "to support, mentor and promote professional development."  There is another side to this question:- Can we agree that a Santa in the public eye who does not understand or reflect our values, reduces the respect and appreciation for all Santas?
    I hope you will also consider the long-term value of including nonreal bearded Santas in our membership, just as we have recognized the value of including Mrs. Claus'. 
   In addition, the increased pool of gentlemen will bring a number of professionals who have training and experience which could be of value in the leadership of IBRBS.
        PLEASE VOTE

        Have a happy and successful season,
        My Best Regards,

        Santa Ron Robertson

        IBRBS President Emeritus

        International Hall of Fame Santa

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Interesting that the above letter does not mention all Christmas Performers.   This vote is not  about beards but more about letting any one who claims to be a Christmas Performer as a full member.  Grinch, elf, Dominic the Donkey,  etc. Also this letter states non bearded are asking to join and earlier it was said there is no movement of that at this time. 

This will be my last post as I am just really tired of the whole debate.   I do still find it interesting how hard this is being pushed. At the end of the day I do not care at all, I just like facts to be facts and truths to be truthful. 

 

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  • 8 months later...

Santa Johnathan was right then, and he is right now.

The IBRBS Vision and Mission Statement contains a list of “Our Tenets” which includes the laudable goals of promoting the joy of giving, upholding the positive image of Christmas performers, fostering good will and cooperation throughout the entire Christmas Community, and encouraging members to be charitable.

Moreover, “Our Tenets” says explicitly “We support the principles embodied in the Santa Claus Oath.”

The Santa Claus Oath pledges the oath taker to bring cheer and good will to all; to bring a spirit of warmth, understanding and compassion; to create happiness, to spread love and make fantasies come to life, in the true tradition of Santa Claus.

Most significantly, the Santa Claus Oath states explicitly that “I realize that I belong to a brotherhood and will be supportive, honest, and show fellowship to my peers.”

With these statements in mind, why did the IBRBS membership vote to exclude clean shaven Santas from membership in their organization?

Can anyone explain to me how recent votes of the membership excluding clean shaven Santas from IBRBS membership were consistent with the goals expressed so well in the IBRBS statement of “Our Tenets?”

Were IBRBS members fostering good will and cooperation throughout the entire Christmas Community, or being supportive, honest, and showing fellowship to their peers when they cast votes to exclude clean shaven Santas from membership? Was  it supportive, honest, or showing fellowship to say one thing and do another?

Did IBRBS members bring cheer and good will to all, or bring a spirit of warmth, understanding and compassion when they cast votes that caused so much hurt to clean shaven Santas, their children and grandchildren? Do those children and grandchildren count, or are they somehow expendable?

Perhaps IBRBS members believed they were promoting the joy of giving, or encouraging members to be charitable when they cast votes to exclude clean shaven Santas from membership? Was it a generous or charitable act to cast such votes?

Were IBRBS members upholding the positive image of Christmas performers, creating happiness, or spreading love and making fantasies come to life, in the true tradition of Santa Claus when they cast votes to exclude clean shaven Santas from membership? International media portrayed these votes as more evidence of a nasty feud between members of different organizations of Christmas performers, suggesting their positive image was tarnished by it.

Were such votes an appropriate way to recognize a brotherhood of Santas and be supportive, honest, and show fellowship to one’s peers?

Does there seem to be a bit of a disconnect between what IBRBS members say and what they do? Were the votes cast excluding clean shaven Santas from IBRBS membership entirely honest and supportive, and did they display fellowship towards other members of this brotherhood?

What would Santa do?

Might these would-be Santas find themselves on a Naughty List? Certainly this suggests many IBRBS members either do not understand or do not really embrace the tenets of IBRBS, and may require some remedial education about what they actually mean. Perhaps IBRBS should institute a continuing education requirement for its members?

Perhaps Santa, and anyone embracing the spirit and legend of Santa Claus, would have voted to allow clean shaven Santas membership in IBRBS, thereby promoting the joy of giving; fostering good will and cooperation throughout the entire Christmas Community; encouraging members to be generous and charitable; expressing cheer and good will to all; bringing a spirit of warmth, understanding and compassion to the issue; creating happiness instead of pain for children; upholding the positive image of Christmas performers; spreading love and making fantasies come to life, in the true tradition of Santa Claus.

Thank you, Santa Johnathan, for your insights and leadership on this important issue.

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