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Furious mom lashes out at Polar Express Santa who ‘seemed homeless’ and didn’t say ‘ho ho ho’


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Furious mom lashes out at Polar Express Santa who ‘seemed homeless’ and didn’t say ‘ho ho ho’

Source - US MAIL 24

By - Eron Musk

Date - -8-12-2021

An irate mother is demanding a refund on a Polar Express train ride after claiming the volunteer Santa looked “homeless” and didn’t say “ho ho ho” — leaving her seven-year-old niece an infidel.

Melissa Evans, 35, shamed the smiling Santa by sharing his photo on Facebook with a scathing review declaring that he looked “nothing like” Saint Nick, due to his slender figure and short gray beard.

51487149-10287543-image-a-17_16389584812

The disgruntled customer, from Cannock, Staffordshire, accused Telford Steam Railways of ‘cheating people and committing murder on a very sloppy show’ after spending £135 on tickets for the ‘disappointing’ Polar Express train ride.

The railroad advertises the experience as “an immersive re-creation inspired by the iconic 2004 Polar Express film,” where customers can “embrace the spirit of Christmas on their wondrous journey” and “take home lasting memories of a magical experience.” to take’.

But after boarding the train with her partner, daughter, stepdaughter and niece on Sunday, November 28, Ms Evans said she was shocked to see a smiling Santa Claus pass by, who she said looked more like a “homeless person.”

The store associate said the whole experience was “not magical at all” and is now hoping to get at least a partial refund from the volunteer-run service after filing a formal complaint.

While some online commentators supported Ms. Evans’ complaint, others labeled her a “self-titled Karen” and dismissed her decision to post a photo of the volunteer along with her scornful review, saying he “his did the best’.

Melissa Evans, 32, (pictured with her daughter Mylah-Jane), is demanding a refund of £135 from a Polar Express experience due to unconvincing Santa

Mrs. Evans said Santa (pictured) was slim and had a short gray beard, and didn't say 'ho, ho, ho', making her niece an infidel

Ms Evans said: ‘There was no Santa character, there was no ‘ho, ho, ho’, he literally just walked on and said ‘hi’ – he didn’t interact with the kids.

“I don’t want to say it because it’s filthy, but he looked like a homeless man who got on a train. He just had no character, there was nothing magical about it.

“As soon as he walked away, my seven-year-old said ‘that’s not Santa Claus’. We had to try to say that Santa Claus sends his helpers because at this time of year he is too busy to do it himself.

“But she’s now saying ‘I don’t believe it, Santa isn’t real’ because Santa was so bad. It was horrible.

“The seven year old then said to my four year old niece ‘Santa is not real’ which was very difficult because I didn’t want to say ‘you can’t say that because she’s only small’ because I still want to believe her too, she’s only seven .

“My brother said, ‘I don’t know where this is coming from’ and I said it’s probably because Santa was so bad.

“Some of my friends sent me pictures of Santa Claus from their Polar Express and it’s what you would expect Santa to look like: the big beard, the thick and the small round glasses. It was a million miles from what we got.”

The mother and her partner Adam Evans, 31, took her nine-month-old daughter Mylah-Jane, four-year-old stepdaughter Amelia and seven-year-old niece on the train after learning about other families’ “magic” journeys.

But Melissa says they got off to a bad start when the shuttle bus dropped them off at outdoor tents “in the freezing cold” for over an hour before they were allowed to board the train at 4pm.

She also claims that the entertainment during the 40-minute train journey was “rushed” and “not magical at all,” contrary to the advertised experience.

Melissa said, ‘When we got there it was absolutely snowing and freezing and they were going to set up two small tents that you would probably use in the summer as they had no sides.

“Busloads of people showed up and they had nowhere to go and there wasn’t really any staff around, so we just stood around with no idea what was going on.

“About 15 minutes before our train was due to leave, they opened a covered tent to put on a show, but there weren’t enough seats – a lot of people couldn’t get in and we had to stand in the back.
Some social media users berated Ms Evans for sharing a picture of Santa Claus, arguing he’s a volunteer who is probably ‘doing his best’

Telford Steam Railway thanked Ms Evans for her 'constructive feedback' following her online complaint

“We were taken to where the train was on the platform and I have to say that part was magical – not everything was terrible – there was fake snow and the train was amazing but once we got on the train it was absolutely ice cold.

“They gave everyone hot chocolate and a cookie, but they rushed to pick up the trash before we even finished, it was really rushed.

“Where you get out is a shop that sells souvenirs and the kids can write a letter to Santa and that was pretty good.

“I don’t know why they didn’t put that bit on it in the beginning as we had almost an hour to waste in the freezing cold but at the end it was rushed as the shuttle bus was on its way to pick us up. ‘

Several other parents commented in support of Ms Evans’ scathing review, saying they too were disappointed after booking the same “expensive experience” and getting away with children who were “skeptical” of Santa Claus.

One said, ‘I’m so glad I’m not the only one saying this! I was terrified! My three-year-old son was even skeptical and that’s saying something!’

Another said: ‘I felt exactly the same, I also emailed. We paid almost £200 for 4 tickets and felt ripped off.’

Meanwhile, others labeled her “entitled” and branded her decision to post a photo of Santa on board alongside her complaint as “rotten.”

One said, ‘What a bunch of self-proclaimed Karen’s [whinging] about what Santa should look like in their eyes – kids had a good time anyway, but Karen’s p****d because Santa’s beard wasn’t the right length – get on with life.”

Another said: ‘If you’re making a formal complaint, why are you posting here. Kind of a bad move to post this guy’s photo on social media and throw him out like that.”

While some supported Ms. Evans's complaint on Facebook, others labeled her a 'self-entitled Karen'
Some even noted that the historic railway is run by volunteers and questioned the mother’s accusation that the railway is “framing people.”

One commenter said: ‘You mean a bunch of volunteers who have nothing for them but the feeling of doing their best are scamming people? Are you sure? They have nothing to gain.’

But Ms Evans remains steadfast in her complaint, saying the onboard Santa fell short of expectations after seeing how “magical” the character looked in previous years and on similar services from other railroads.

She said, ‘People said ‘what do you expect, Santa isn’t real’ – we’re not stupid, but looking back at the photos from previous years, the Santas look magical.

“If you read about it, it turns out to be a wonderful, magical experience for children that you would enjoy.

‘My friends had just returned from the Stoke Polar Express and said how good Santa was, sitting with the kids and having pictures taken – there was no opportunity for us to do that.

“The comments started to get abusive, so I deleted and blocked the post. I don’t let things like that get to my heart.’

After the mother filed a formal complaint a day after her “terrible” experience, she now hopes to get “at least a partial refund” for the five “gold” tickets.

Ms Evans added: ‘To me £135 is a lot of money to spend to see Santa appear like this, it wasn’t 100 per cent worth the cost.

“I took my little girl to a place near us where they told stories and danced with elves and met Santa – it only cost me £8 and they were more happy with that than on the train.”

Telford Steam Railway responded to Ms Evans’ complaint on social media, writing: ‘We have strengthened our customer service team and all outstanding questions are being addressed by our volunteers as soon as possible.

“We thank you for all the constructive feedback and appreciate your patience and will contact dissatisfied customers directly via private message or email.”

Mail Online has contacted Telford Steam Railway for comment.

 

SOURCE: https://internewscast.com/news/furious-mother-hits-out-at-polar-express-santa-who-looked-homeless-and-did-not-say-ho-ho-ho/

 

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47 minutes ago, Rob Thompson said:

“not magical at all”

This statement shows why training is so important.

47 minutes ago, Rob Thompson said:

She also claims that the entertainment during the 40-minute train journey was “rushed” and “not magical at all,” contrary to the advertised experience.

Now the complaining

47 minutes ago, Rob Thompson said:

But Melissa says they got off to a bad start when the shuttle bus dropped them off at outdoor tents “in the freezing cold” for over an hour before they were allowed to board the train at 4pm.

She was sour before boarding. This is why she is deemed "Karen".

 

Is the suit something I would wear? No. But, it looks clean and if his belt was up and the top buttoned it would be fine. Was the gent professionally trained? Most likely not because he volunteered. His beard large and white? No. Apparently not.

What this shows is that there IS a difference between professional Santas and volunteers who are not professionally trained. Was the guy's heart in the right place? Quite possibly. Perhaps the gent is done with this and there'll be no more complaints. Perhaps the gent will see the complaints and change his appearance a bit.

But, perhaps, the mother's behavior made a tough situation a horrible situation.

Edited by Black Hills Santa
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A well-meaning volunteer at a charity fundraiser shouldn't have to face this kind of thing, but this working family was charged £135 (around 180 in US dollars) for an "immersive re-creation" of the Polar Express. They should have hired a professional Santa or at the very least provided a decent suit.

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2 hours ago, Rob Thompson said:

Furious mom lashes out at Polar Express Santa who ‘seemed homeless’ and didn’t say ‘ho ho ho’

Source - US MAIL 24

By - Eron Musk

Date - -8-12-2021

An irate mother is demanding a refund on a Polar Express train ride after claiming the volunteer Santa looked “homeless” and didn’t say “ho ho ho” — leaving her seven-year-old niece an infidel.

Melissa Evans, 35, shamed the smiling Santa by sharing his photo on Facebook with a scathing review declaring that he looked “nothing like” Saint Nick, due to his slender figure and short gray beard.

51487149-10287543-image-a-17_16389584812

The disgruntled customer, from Cannock, Staffordshire, accused Telford Steam Railways of ‘cheating people and committing murder on a very sloppy show’ after spending £135 on tickets for the ‘disappointing’ Polar Express train ride.

The railroad advertises the experience as “an immersive re-creation inspired by the iconic 2004 Polar Express film,” where customers can “embrace the spirit of Christmas on their wondrous journey” and “take home lasting memories of a magical experience.” to take’.

But after boarding the train with her partner, daughter, stepdaughter and niece on Sunday, November 28, Ms Evans said she was shocked to see a smiling Santa Claus pass by, who she said looked more like a “homeless person.”

The store associate said the whole experience was “not magical at all” and is now hoping to get at least a partial refund from the volunteer-run service after filing a formal complaint.

While some online commentators supported Ms. Evans’ complaint, others labeled her a “self-titled Karen” and dismissed her decision to post a photo of the volunteer along with her scornful review, saying he “his did the best’.

Melissa Evans, 32, (pictured with her daughter Mylah-Jane), is demanding a refund of £135 from a Polar Express experience due to unconvincing Santa

Mrs. Evans said Santa (pictured) was slim and had a short gray beard, and didn't say 'ho, ho, ho', making her niece an infidel

Ms Evans said: ‘There was no Santa character, there was no ‘ho, ho, ho’, he literally just walked on and said ‘hi’ – he didn’t interact with the kids.

“I don’t want to say it because it’s filthy, but he looked like a homeless man who got on a train. He just had no character, there was nothing magical about it.

“As soon as he walked away, my seven-year-old said ‘that’s not Santa Claus’. We had to try to say that Santa Claus sends his helpers because at this time of year he is too busy to do it himself.

“But she’s now saying ‘I don’t believe it, Santa isn’t real’ because Santa was so bad. It was horrible.

“The seven year old then said to my four year old niece ‘Santa is not real’ which was very difficult because I didn’t want to say ‘you can’t say that because she’s only small’ because I still want to believe her too, she’s only seven .

“My brother said, ‘I don’t know where this is coming from’ and I said it’s probably because Santa was so bad.

“Some of my friends sent me pictures of Santa Claus from their Polar Express and it’s what you would expect Santa to look like: the big beard, the thick and the small round glasses. It was a million miles from what we got.”

The mother and her partner Adam Evans, 31, took her nine-month-old daughter Mylah-Jane, four-year-old stepdaughter Amelia and seven-year-old niece on the train after learning about other families’ “magic” journeys.

But Melissa says they got off to a bad start when the shuttle bus dropped them off at outdoor tents “in the freezing cold” for over an hour before they were allowed to board the train at 4pm.

She also claims that the entertainment during the 40-minute train journey was “rushed” and “not magical at all,” contrary to the advertised experience.

Melissa said, ‘When we got there it was absolutely snowing and freezing and they were going to set up two small tents that you would probably use in the summer as they had no sides.

“Busloads of people showed up and they had nowhere to go and there wasn’t really any staff around, so we just stood around with no idea what was going on.

“About 15 minutes before our train was due to leave, they opened a covered tent to put on a show, but there weren’t enough seats – a lot of people couldn’t get in and we had to stand in the back.
Some social media users berated Ms Evans for sharing a picture of Santa Claus, arguing he’s a volunteer who is probably ‘doing his best’

Telford Steam Railway thanked Ms Evans for her 'constructive feedback' following her online complaint

“We were taken to where the train was on the platform and I have to say that part was magical – not everything was terrible – there was fake snow and the train was amazing but once we got on the train it was absolutely ice cold.

“They gave everyone hot chocolate and a cookie, but they rushed to pick up the trash before we even finished, it was really rushed.

“Where you get out is a shop that sells souvenirs and the kids can write a letter to Santa and that was pretty good.

“I don’t know why they didn’t put that bit on it in the beginning as we had almost an hour to waste in the freezing cold but at the end it was rushed as the shuttle bus was on its way to pick us up. ‘

Several other parents commented in support of Ms Evans’ scathing review, saying they too were disappointed after booking the same “expensive experience” and getting away with children who were “skeptical” of Santa Claus.

One said, ‘I’m so glad I’m not the only one saying this! I was terrified! My three-year-old son was even skeptical and that’s saying something!’

Another said: ‘I felt exactly the same, I also emailed. We paid almost £200 for 4 tickets and felt ripped off.’

Meanwhile, others labeled her “entitled” and branded her decision to post a photo of Santa on board alongside her complaint as “rotten.”

One said, ‘What a bunch of self-proclaimed Karen’s [whinging] about what Santa should look like in their eyes – kids had a good time anyway, but Karen’s p****d because Santa’s beard wasn’t the right length – get on with life.”

Another said: ‘If you’re making a formal complaint, why are you posting here. Kind of a bad move to post this guy’s photo on social media and throw him out like that.”

While some supported Ms. Evans's complaint on Facebook, others labeled her a 'self-entitled Karen'
Some even noted that the historic railway is run by volunteers and questioned the mother’s accusation that the railway is “framing people.”

One commenter said: ‘You mean a bunch of volunteers who have nothing for them but the feeling of doing their best are scamming people? Are you sure? They have nothing to gain.’

But Ms Evans remains steadfast in her complaint, saying the onboard Santa fell short of expectations after seeing how “magical” the character looked in previous years and on similar services from other railroads.

She said, ‘People said ‘what do you expect, Santa isn’t real’ – we’re not stupid, but looking back at the photos from previous years, the Santas look magical.

“If you read about it, it turns out to be a wonderful, magical experience for children that you would enjoy.

‘My friends had just returned from the Stoke Polar Express and said how good Santa was, sitting with the kids and having pictures taken – there was no opportunity for us to do that.

“The comments started to get abusive, so I deleted and blocked the post. I don’t let things like that get to my heart.’

After the mother filed a formal complaint a day after her “terrible” experience, she now hopes to get “at least a partial refund” for the five “gold” tickets.

Ms Evans added: ‘To me £135 is a lot of money to spend to see Santa appear like this, it wasn’t 100 per cent worth the cost.

“I took my little girl to a place near us where they told stories and danced with elves and met Santa – it only cost me £8 and they were more happy with that than on the train.”

Telford Steam Railway responded to Ms Evans’ complaint on social media, writing: ‘We have strengthened our customer service team and all outstanding questions are being addressed by our volunteers as soon as possible.

“We thank you for all the constructive feedback and appreciate your patience and will contact dissatisfied customers directly via private message or email.”

Mail Online has contacted Telford Steam Railway for comment.

Definitely a lot to be learned from this.  From all sides.

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11 hours ago, Black River Santa said:

A well-meaning volunteer at a charity fundraiser shouldn't have to face this kind of thing, but this working family was charged £135 (around 180 in US dollars) for an "immersive re-creation" of the Polar Express. They should have hired a professional Santa or at the very least provided a decent suit.

I worked on a Polar Express event in the UK for many years. The initial run was fraught with challenges and complaints, but they really got their act together and moved from volunteers to professional staff and it made a massive difference. Of course you will always get some people who are not happy, whether justified or not, but this article goes way to far in my mind in respect of the Santa. The issue for the most part rests with the company who have the Warner brothers franchise

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3 hours ago, Rob Thompson said:

I worked on a Polar Express event in the UK for many years. The initial run was fraught with challenges and complaints, but they really got their act together and moved from volunteers to professional staff and it made a massive difference. Of course you will always get some people who are not happy, whether justified or not, but this article goes way to far in my mind in respect of the Santa. The issue for the most part rests with the company who have the Warner brothers franchise

Shame on the company for putting him in that position but the guy could have at least buttoned his collar and cinched up his belt. 

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A little caveat:

Well, I happened to go the FB page of a Holliday Train near Mt Rushmore. They had called me last year wanting me and were willing to pay my rate and wanted me to contact them this year. I did: 3 phone calls (all unreturned to me after I left a voicemail) and two letters. I wondered if my prices are too high or something to that effect. Well, I don't think that's the problem. It seems to me they have a low threshold and will take whatever Santa they get. Folks are paying $40-76/adult and $18-56 kid for this. I'd be madder than a hornet if I paid that for this. Dirty pants? The beard? Happy as h-e-double hockey sticks I have nothing to do with this.....

263080940_10160132367777137_660811427031054945_n.jpg

Edited by Black Hills Santa
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My opinion, coming from 100% Amateur Santa:

   I don't believe it has anything to do with Professionals or Volunteers, RATHER, this all falls back on or to the ones who are putting this together and making it "A Thing" 

The company or Group MUST BE 100% DEDICATED TO THE CRAFT, MAGIC, & DESIRE TO GET IT RIGHT!

   One CAN NOT BLAME a "volunteer" if ONE DOESN'T TRAIN THAT VOLUNTEER. Whether it be Santa, the Elves, or even the conductor. If there is even a conductor, if he or she were to say "Hey who wants to ride the trolly thing to Easterville? Instead of ALL A BOARD" NOPE! From top to bottom, ALL MUST BE ON THE SAME PAGE and that page should have been written and handed out no later than October 1st of the year it is to be "A thing"! I blame this on those who set up & actually ran the "Polar Express"! Plain and simple, YES it is hard now a days to get good reliable workers, let a lone volunteers. But one doesn't get a volunteer to take tickets and then expect them to be a busboy handing out hot chocolate & bye the way, he or she can't even dance or sing!!! Don't tell the Santa he is the man and then he gets NO training??? Everyone should have been given some sort of script, here is what's to be expected from the second you start "working" until you walk off the stage, and or train. AGAIN, this is my opinion. I believe the lady was told it was to be an experience above and beyond or "just like" and those kind of expectations are very hard to mimic when you're comparing a cartoon to the real thing!  TRAINING, HOMEWORK, & DEDICATION will work every time, but remove or over look one of these and you'll be missing the other two for sure.   

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2 hours ago, Schwindy said:

My opinion, coming from 100% Amateur Santa:

   I don't believe it has anything to do with Professionals or Volunteers, RATHER, this all falls back on or to the ones who are putting this together and making it "A Thing" 

The company or Group MUST BE 100% DEDICATED TO THE CRAFT, MAGIC, & DESIRE TO GET IT RIGHT!

   One CAN NOT BLAME a "volunteer" if ONE DOESN'T TRAIN THAT VOLUNTEER. Whether it be Santa, the Elves, or even the conductor. If there is even a conductor, if he or she were to say "Hey who wants to ride the trolly thing to Easterville? Instead of ALL A BOARD" NOPE! From top to bottom, ALL MUST BE ON THE SAME PAGE and that page should have been written and handed out no later than October 1st of the year it is to be "A thing"! I blame this on those who set up & actually ran the "Polar Express"! Plain and simple, YES it is hard now a days to get good reliable workers, let a lone volunteers. But one doesn't get a volunteer to take tickets and then expect them to be a busboy handing out hot chocolate & bye the way, he or she can't even dance or sing!!! Don't tell the Santa he is the man and then he gets NO training??? Everyone should have been given some sort of script, here is what's to be expected from the second you start "working" until you walk off the stage, and or train. AGAIN, this is my opinion. I believe the lady was told it was to be an experience above and beyond or "just like" and those kind of expectations are very hard to mimic when you're comparing a cartoon to the real thing!  TRAINING, HOMEWORK, & DEDICATION will work every time, but remove or over look one of these and you'll be missing the other two for sure.   

Spot on Schwindy. TH Polar I worked on was making several million pounds per season, but paid the majority of staff peanuts. The Santas received the highest pay, but to their credit, most of the lower paid staff really worked their socks off. ^ trains per day with a 20 minute turn around, hard hard graft. They had pride and wanted more than anything to provide a wonderful experience for the children and their parents etc..

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  • 2 weeks later...

We have a local Polar Express with similar problems at times. I would think that with the possibilities and the quality that could achieved, they would produce a really special event, but it seems so often that the entertainment and characters are the last minute thought. I may be a bit spoiled but I wish I could have a say in things. To recreate the experience of my favorite Christmas film in life would be a dream.

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3 hours ago, Michael Rielly said:

Probably not an "official" Polar Express.

Is there like a franchised polar express? That would be interesting to see.

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1 hour ago, SantaFredNY said:

Is there like a franchised polar express? That would be interesting to see.

I worked for  seven years on the Polar Express here in the UK, which was licensed via Warner Brothers. Every year Warner Brothers they had 'secret shoppers' visit the event on several occasions to ensure that the event was operated within the prescribed guidelines /expectations. 

@Michael Rielly may be correct, it could be an unofficial event, having said that, Warner Bro's are pretty hot on copyright and if they were aware of it, Im sure they would have their legal eagles all over it etc..

Edited by Rob Thompson
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  • Moderator

one of the railroads I work with did a Polar Express train (a few years before I joined them) and they got hammered for copyright violations - and fined for every train car on every train run they did - Warner Bros. is very protective of their ownership . . . .

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On 12/24/2021 at 4:26 PM, SantaFredNY said:

Is there like a franchised polar express? That would be interesting to see.

Warner Brothers owns the rights to The Polar Express. I have worked on two different ones. An official from Warner Brothers actually attends the first one or two performances. A venue must meet specific requirements in order to officially use the name.

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11 minutes ago, Michael Rielly said:

Warner Brothers owns the rights to The Polar Express. I have worked on two different ones. An official from Warner Brothers actually attends the first one or two performances. A venue must meet specific requirements in order to officially use the name.

They also have Warner Bro's representatives visit the event during the season without anyone knowing. This happened on a regular basis when I worked on the Polar 

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I agree the leadership of an organization is responsible for outcomes.  I earned a masters degree in administration, and was taught that problems in an organization, whether paid staff, or volunteer workers, ultimately go back to leadership.  Appropriate recruiting, interviewing, indoctrination, and training has to come first, and from management/leadership.  Otherwise, it's luck if it works. 

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I was on a "Santa Express". I must have done OK, because I was back the next year.
Even with my training, thier Mrs. Claus was teaching me things, more things than I could absorb in one trip. I knew that even with Santa school, I had a long way to go to be my best.

Never stop learning and don't be critical of volunteers. Of course, you could volunteer at your local charity if you think that you could do better.

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On 1/9/2022 at 6:38 PM, Santa Chicago said:

Even with my training, thier Mrs. Claus was teaching me things, more things than I could absorb in one trip. I knew that even with Santa school, I had a long way to go to be my best.

Indeed. Speaking for myself, it seems we never stop learning the craft of portraying Santa Claus.

On 1/9/2022 at 6:38 PM, Santa Chicago said:

Never stop learning and don't be critical of volunteers. Of course, you could volunteer at your local charity if you think that you could do better.

Those who are overly critical of volunteers (like the mother in the story, although I don't mean to point fingers) often seem to be people we just can't please. They always have to complain and can't ever seem to be happy. Granted, while I'd say that Santa doesn't always need to do volunteer work and can charge reasonable rates for services (although my thoughts are still growing in that area), those who volunteer are blessings (both to the Santa community and others). We should be careful to criticize them until we've walked a mile in their boots. We can help, give advice, and so forth, while being kind in our comments toward one another.

How many times have Santa performers been criticized by their own? How many of us have unintentionally done or said something along the lines of unfairly criticizing a Santa performer's beard (real or traditional), suit (fleece, plush, velvet, cashmere, wool, etcetera), or even belt and boots (vinyl, polyurethane, and other synthetics versus genuine leather)? Granted, I'm certainly not saying I've never done these things (though I hope I haven't), I also hope we, all of us on ClausNet, can be a loving and caring community that accepts our differences (whether as regards our dress or our own personal volunteer work). We can hold ourselves and each other up to the standards of the Oath, and, when we disagree, we can love each other anyways. Granted, these are simply my own thoughts. You may disagree. :santa_smiley:

Edited by Sundblom Santa
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  • 4 months later...
On 1/9/2022 at 11:58 AM, Michael Rielly said:

Warner Brothers owns the rights to The Polar Express. I have worked on two different ones. An official from Warner Brothers actually attends the first one or two performances. A venue must meet specific requirements in order to officially use the name.

I just met a Santa here in Tucson yesterday that was heading to Durango, Colorado for his Polar Express training with Warner Bros. in two weeks. He said they are very particular about the image of the Santa and the script for their Polar Express Train shows. Apparently they want to open one up at Old Tucson and use their steam engine.

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  • 1 month later...
On 12/24/2021 at 9:26 PM, SantaFredNY said:

Is there like a franchised polar express? That would be interesting to see.

Yes there is a Polar Express franchise, the licence is issued by Warner Brothers. Each year they would have a couple of company, secret shoppers ride the train to check that everything was going according to their prescriptive conditions etc..

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      Most of us never think of ourselves as actors, but we are. Certain characteristics of Santa Claus have been handed down from one generation to another. The way we dress and conduct ourselves all follow an established pattern.

      Santa Claus is one of the most recognizable characters throughout the world. This came about from the advertising campaign of the Coke Cola Company and the creative painting genius, of Haddon Sundblom. Coke Cola was looking to increase winter sales of its soft drink and hired Sundblom to produce illustrations for prominent magazines. These illustrations appeared during the holiday season from the late 1930s into the early 1970s and set the standard for how Santa should look.

      This characterization of Santa with rosy cheeks, a white beard, handlebar mustache plus a red costume trimmed in white fur is the image most everyone has in their minds. Unconsciously people are going to judge you against that image. If your beard isn’t white or you have a soiled suit it will register with the onlooker.

      By the way, the majority of Sundblom's paintings depict Santa with a Brown Belt and Brown Boots. Not until his later illustrations did he change the color to Black for these items. Within the past few years many costume companies have offered the Coke Cola Suit and it has become very popular. You can tell it by the large buttons and absence of fur down the front of the jacket.

      No matter how you portray Santa, be it home visits, schools, churches, parades, corporate events, malls, hospitals we all make an entrance and an impression! The initial impression we make determines if our client will ask us to return.

      The 5 Second Rule

      I have a theory: When you enter the presence of your audience you have about 5 seconds to make people believe you are the real Santa.
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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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    • Not Everyone Can Be Santa!
      Yes, I said it and it is not meant to hurt anyone’s feelings. I do view many Facebook sites along with websites and posted photos. Frankly, many of these postings should have never been put on public display.
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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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