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Second Annual Donation Drive

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Showing most liked content since 03/01/2017 in all areas

  1. 8 likes
    The Empty Workshop by John Gable What’s in Santa’s workshop? Let’s take a look around. They should be busy making toys, But no elves can be found. One should hear tiny hammers, See bouncing balls and bears, But all the shelves are empty, The tables and the chairs. There’s not a doll or train in sight. No jump ropes or toy cars. No Jack-in-boxes, building blocks, Toy drums or toy guitars. Perhaps we should be worried At this toy making reprieve, But for tonight we’ll worry not For this is Christmas Eve! The toys are packed and ready Up there on Santa’s sleigh. Tonight we rest , and then start work For next year’s Christmas Day!
  2. 5 likes
    Saturday was a long day in a Columbia Theatre as we had our first round of auditions for a Live on stage Christmas Musical Review that will begin rehearsal in the end of June and open in mid-July. 10 hours of auditions narrowed the field down to a cast of more than 60 gifted and talented children, who will take part in a 3 week workshop/instructional/rehearsal period for 6 hours every day. In addition to being the 'Christmas Consultant', I am the artistic/technical director and scenic/lighting designer on the project. There is a staff of 10 or so to handle choreography, music, sound, instruction, writing and rehearsals. There will be preview workshop performances during rehearsals and the full show opens in an 800 seat auditorium on July 15th.
  3. 3 likes
    Name: Santa John Gable - 2015 Review Category: Member Videos Date Added: 2016-01-14 Submitter: Santa John Gable I put this together as a sort of Facebook Christmas card for all of my friends, and posted it on Christmas Eve. I have always loved the song, and even more now. Hope you enjoy! Santa John Gable - 2015 Review
  4. 2 likes
    Cowtown kicks off season this Saturday by Beccy Tanner, The Wichita, Kansas Eagle | Posted: 03-27-2017, 7:53 AM CDT EXCERPT: WICHITA, KANSAS --- Old Cowtown Museum is gearing up for its summer season, and on Saturday, it will host a sampling of all of that season's very special events. From noon to 4 p.m., visitors will be able to see the living history museum for free, according to its director, Jacky Jacobs Goerzen. For Saturday's season launch, a table will be decorated for each of Cowtown's summer events, among them: Once Upon a Time; The Civil War; Steampunk; The Chisholm Trail and the National Day of the Cowboy; Halloween; Christmas; and the Wine Mosey. In addition, there will be exhibits featuring information on volunteering and memberships. Goerzen also promised photo ops and meet-n'-greets with characters from all of the aforenoted special events. Particularly, the Headless Horseman and Santa Claus will make special appearances. SOURCE:
  5. 2 likes
    Holiday World lifeguards win award From the DuBois County, Indiana Herald | Posted: 03-09-2017 EXCERPT: SANTA CLAUS, INDIANA --- The team of lifeguards from Holiday World and Splashin' Safari earned a Platinum International Aquatic Safety Award in 2016. The 150-strong crew received "exceeds" scores in all categories of their third-party safety audits last season. "Only 10% of the aquatic teams who underwent these safety audits worldwide received these 'platinum' awards," Holiday World President and CEO Matt Eckert said, in an official press release. "And even more impressive, our lifeguards received a perfect score on all of their audits. We're incredibly proud of their dedication to keeping all our park guests safe." The International Aquatic Safety Awards are one component of the Lifeguard Training Program implemented by Jeff Ellis and Associates, which includes unannounced safety audits throughout the season. SOURCE:
  6. 2 likes
    Bus Driving Santas Raise over £26,000 for Charity by Emily, neconnected.co.uk | Posted: 03-03-2017 EXCERPT: DURHAM, ENGLAND --- Drivers from six northeast bus depots have raised a staggering 26,000 lbs. for charity by spreading some Christmas cheer while driving their buses during the run-up to Christmas. Based at depots at South Shields, Newcastle, Sunderland, Hartlepool and Teesside, the drivers from local bus operator Stagecoach North East all dressed up as Santa Claus while they were on driving duties, each bringing a smile to the hearts of passengers young and old alike and encouraging them to dig deep for the 10 chosen charities across the region. Customers again showed generosity, with staff collecting for charities such as CLIC Sargent, Children North East, the TOMA Fund, the Daisy Chain, Trinity Holistic Centre, Caring for Kian and Tiny Lives. At the Sunderland bus depot, staff collected for St. Benedict's Hospice, the Alzheimer's Society, and 'I'm in for Will,' 4-year-old William Calvert from Hylton Castle, who suffers from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Sunderland bus driver Oz McCormack, who dressed as Mrs. Claus throughout December, explained: "All three charities were chosen by our employees and they offer much-needed support in our local community, and we're very proud to have helped them in this way. We'd like to thank all our passengers for having supported us, and for giving as generously as they did on their travels, and we hope we've made their journey a little bit more fun and festive." SOURCE:
  7. 2 likes
    Sounds just like my mall work. It is a wonderful way to spend November and December. the joy of the children and having been at the same place for 13 years for me is the best. We get to know so many families, even remember some names. Families so appreciate that their children have the same Santa experience ever year. Several parents routinely bring in their whole collection of pictures, all with the same Santa, one gave me a framed set with 9 pictures. Cant wait for next November
  8. 2 likes
    As you know, your humble Elf Without Jingles happens to be part of the family of the disabled; this next story will, I hope, remind all our Kringles out there that not all disabilities are visible: Retired Zebulon trucker cleans up road for disability check ABC11 Together highlights the strength of the human spirit, good deeds, and how our viewers can help by Stephanie Lopez, WTVD-TV/DT, Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina | Posted: 02-28-2017, 6:22 PM EST EXCERPT: ZEBULON, NORTH CAROLINA --- John Middleswarth has just been named Zebulon Citizen of the Year after the retired truck driver who's now on disability decided that he wanted to do much more for his community to earn that check, so he took to the streets to pick up the trash. If it's between sun-up and sundown, chances are you'll find Middleswarth picking up litter and recyclables somewhere in Zebulon while folks honk their horns hello. "I'm everywhere. I'm like Santa Claus," he said, stroking his big, Santaesque long white beard... To Read More, Click Here: SOURCE
  9. 2 likes
    A Santa Claus rooted in faith by LeAnne Burke, DuBois County, Indiana Herald | Posted: 02-27-2017 EXCERPT: SANTA CLAUS, INDIANA --- What began more than six months ago as an effort to get a section of one Indiana highway named after Raymond Joseph ("Jim") Yellig, a/k/a Santa Jim, of Santa Claus, culminated on Saturday morning in a posthumous Sagamore of the Wabash Award Ceremony for the man who helped shape the image of Santa Claus many Americans have come to know and love. The Hoosier Santas Organization, made up of men and women who costume playact (cosplay) as Santa and Mrs. Claus, headed up the effort to honor Yellig with the assistance of the Santa Claus Museum and Village. Santa Timothy Etter was behind the petition that made its way to former Governor, now Vice-President of the United States Mike Pence's desk. Etter conceived the honor for Yellig... To Read More Click Here: SOURCE
  10. 1 like
    until
    http://santagathering.com This year’s Gathering will be on: SEPTEMBER 14-17, 2017 and held at: DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Hotel Lancaster 2400 Willow Street Pike, Lancaster, PA 17602 (800) 291-9434 http://www.doubletreelancaster.com/
  11. 1 like
    until
    80th Anniversary of the oldest Santa School in the US For more info visit http://www.santaclausschool.com/
  12. 1 like
    Name: Santa Busting through Presents Category: Member Videos Date Added: 2017-03-17 Submitter: Santa of the North Santa Busting through Presents
  13. 1 like
    Santa and More Than 300 Santa's Helpers in Gatlinburg for Santa Family Reunion from Sevier, Tennessee News-Messenger | Posted: 03-17-2017 EXCERPT: GATLINBURG, TENNESSEE --- A Parade of Santas and other events will be held at the Santa Claus Family Reunion in Gatlinburg this weekend. Santa Claus is coming from the North, from the South, from the East and from the West. But how can this be? Everyone knows that the real spirit of Santa Claus resides at the North Pole, but now through this Monday, Santa will hang his hat in Gatlinburg! More than 300 of Santa's Helpers will be heading to the Gatlinburg Convention Center for the Santa Claus Family Reunion. The event is the largest gathering of its kind in the Southeastern United States. Many unique events are on the agenda, including special workshops on Santa and Mrs. Claus, an industry trade show filled with Santa-related items, and even a fashion show! Santas will also compete to see which has the fastest sleigh as they barrel down the mountain for snow tubing at Ober Gatlinburg. The whole weekend is full of fun and informative activities! And of course, what would a Santa Convnetion be without a Grand Parade: The Parade of Santas! Everybody loves a parade, and it stepped off this morning at 10:30 a.m. with a procession that included hundreds of Santas, Mrs. Clauses, and various local units from the surrounding area. There was also a rumor that the REAL Santa was expected to attend! Children of all ages had a fabulous time enjoying all the atmosphere and the Christmas cheer as the Parade jingled down the street. The Santa Family Reunion was produced and coordinated by Team Leaders Sherri Heath from Michigan and Debra Ann Gabrelcik from Minnesota. Both ladies have been active in the greater Santa and Mrs. Claus community for many years. Together with their Team Members, they made this Reunion one VERY JOLLY EVENT! SOURCE:
  14. 1 like
    As I mentioned in my last blog entry, my website is up. Today, I can report that I have made it visible to search engines, and enabled Google Analytics. Yes, my site is finished, at least enough to feel that it is worthy of display. Sure, I'm still planning to tweak bits and pieces, and add frequent blog entries (both as Santa, as well as the North Pole News) as well as episodes of "The Story of Santa", which will eventually end up in book form, but for now will provide a distraction to younger readers who find my site. I also set up a GigSalad account. I'm not sold on the idea that this is the best way to generate business, since it comes with a fee (6%/$20/gig), and it doesn't link back to all the other social media I plan on having. But everyone tells me that it is necessary, so I set it up. I didn't mention it in any of my previous blog entries, but during the photo session last month, the clasp on the brand new reindeer brooch I had bought to put on my Santa hat broken off. I couldn't even fix it, since I evidently lost a piece when I picked it up. Didn't particularly like those pin and clasp arrangements anyway, so I went online and bought a pack of those magnets you use on the back of fancy plastic name tags. Sticky tape on magnet replaces pin and claps, and I'm all set. The remaining 9 magnets went in my Santa tool kit for future repairs. While I was putting my gear away, I noticed that the vinyl belt that I had used for the photo session was already tearing at the buckle hole I had used. Not too surprised, since I'm rough on belts... I usually go through a standard leather belt every year or so, so vinyl doesn't stand a chance. I have a couple of backups (in vinyl), but it's too important to depend on these things, so just before sitting down to enter this blog entry, I went on one of the sites I found for such Santa belts (https://www.yourtack.com/Santa.html) and bought a good 3 1/2" leather belt with brass buckle. I suppose that I could have found something cheaper if I'd asked around, but this is still a lot cheaper than the belt(s) that I hope to have in the future. Meanwhile, it is 1000% better than vinyl. One of the sad things about being a beginning Santa is that I have to deal with all the expenses involved with getting started (Santa Wear, Photos, Beard Treatments, etc.), and won't be seeing any return for months. Yes, I know that gigs are assured, since I am working with the local IBRBS group, and they assure me that they're always looking for someone to offload extra work on. Next year, I fully expect to be able to have money for the "nice to have" stuff... but this year goodies like trips to Gatlingburg, Atlanta, Denver, etc. are not in the cards. Same with going to a Santa School... this year. I already have that stuff mentally penciled in for 2018 (assuming work allows, and my not being a total Santa-flop).
  15. 1 like
    Changes coming to Lewisville events by Heather M. Goodwin, Lewisville, Texas Leader | Posted: March 21st, 2017 EXCERPT: LEWISVILLE, TEXAS ---- In three of the last five years, weather conditions have forced city officials to cancel and/or change their plans for the annual Old Town Holiday Stroll. Now, a plan is in place to prevent that from ever happening again. The afternoon and early evening activities for the Stroll, including the Kids' Zone, Santa Claus meet-n'-greet, movie showing, Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, live stage and musical performances, and the Stroll itself, will be held on November 18th. "By moving all these activities to the Saturday before Thanksgiving, we can now kick off the season a little bit earlier. Also, the weather is usually better than it would be the first week of December," said Jim Kunke, Director of Tourism and Community Relations. The daytime events, specifically the Santa Claus Parade Breakfast, daytime Parade and Toy Run, will still be held as scheduled on December 2nd, which is the first Saturday of the month. "This event, almost more than any other of our events, is very weather-reliant," Kunke explained. "Two years ago the weather was perfect, and we had a great crowd, but last year the weather was so bad we had to cancel all our outdoor events." City officials debated over whether they should move the parade to the Saturday after Thanksgiving, but that would interfere with Lewisville ISD's annual holiday break. Kunke said that the city did not want to have a parade without the school groups. In addition, city officials are looking for newer, more exciting activities to strengthen the event. "We'll bring back some packages to the City Council during the budget process that would allow for new things, such as a light display," promised City Manager Donna Barron. She and other city officials have begun talks with Four Seasons, a company that could bring a Christmas Market one night per week on Thursdays. SOURCE:
  16. 1 like
    Rotary Club chooses to end parade by Angelica Ingram, Haliburton County Echo, Haliburton, Ontario, Canada | Posted: 03-21-2017 EXCERPT: HALIBURTON, ONTARIO, CANADA --- After months of deliberation, the Haliburton Rotary Club has decided to no longer host a parade on the same day as their annual summer carnival. The parade has taken place on Haliburton's Main Street on the first Wednesday following the civic holiday weekend for the past 50 years. Club President Richard van Nood told the Echo earlier this year that it was becoming more and more difficult to attract local participants. Last week, van Nood confirmed that the club had made the decision to cancel the parade, but he could not give specific details as to what the club has planned to replace the event. This decision will have no immediate impact on the Rotary carnival, which will still go on as planned this summer. van Nood added that the club was looking at other family-friendly options that could replace the parade to add to the existing carnival. The Rotary parade's cancellation would have no impact on the accompanying Santa Claus parade, organized by the Lions Club. SOURCE:
  17. 1 like
    So many photos and videos came out of the Santa Family Reunion that it was literally impossible for even the KringleQuest Group on Facebook to share each and every one. Please visit the Facebook presences of those who did make the journey, and congratulations and best wishes to all who took part!
  18. 1 like
    The last couple of weeks have been busy, between getting my photos and the website launched, as well as doing things for work, etc. Yesterday saw a continuation of that, we my wife and I driving from Raleigh to Alexandria National Cemetery to pay respects to her grandmother, who passed a year ago. I did take time during the middle of last week to add a couple of posts to my website, since it had been a little while. My intent is to start adding a post to the blog almost every day, and I've set up a story line that should occupy at least a few of these posts. If you want to know what it is, you have to go read it. Another thing I'm working on in my web site is my Story of Santa. Yes, I know it's been done, but I am trying to convince myself how I ended up as the man. The first postulate of my Santa ethos is that Santa is eternal, but it is not the same dude forever. This has been done in a number of stories and movies, including Joe Moore's "Believe Again" and Tim Allen in "The Santa Clause", both of which I enjoyed immensely. The purpose of my Story of Santa is to provide a background that I can use in answering questions about the North Pole, but to act as a diversion to curious eyes exploring my website. Note that the link for the Story of Santa appears above the About Mrs. Claus and About Santa links that will provide relevant information to prospective clients who want to know about the people who will be performing for them. I don't mind the kids reading these things... but if they read the Story of Santa first it will actually make sense that Santa is real. Yes, there's a lot more going on in my life as Santa. I'm working occasionally on putting together a gig bag with all the stuff that a busy Santa is likely to need in his work. There's a long way to go before that's complete, but I figure that there isn't a real hurry to get it done. Also new Santa gear to be produced. I picked up some nice material to make a Santa vest, as well as plain red cloth which I can use to make a Santa bag. My wife promises that she will get to it soon. Also bought some name plate magnets that I can use to repair a Reindeer Wreath ornament who's clasp broke during the photo shoot. That's all for now. Need to go do some more chores now, or I'm likely to get onto the Naughty list.
  19. 1 like
  20. 1 like
    English-born Canadian writer, Stephen Butler Leacock (1869 – 1944) is best known for his humorous fiction. At the height of his career between 1915 through 1925, Leacock was the most popular English-speaking writer in the world. The Errors of Santa Claus is one of several short stories included in Leacock’s book, Frenzied Fiction (1918). The Errors of Santa Claus by Stephen Butler Leacock It was Christmas Eve. The Browns, who lived in the adjoining house, had been dining with the Joneses. Brown and Jones were sitting over wine and walnuts at the table. The others had gone upstairs. "What are you giving to your boy for Christmas?" asked Brown. "A train," said Jones, "new kind of thing -- automatic." "Let's have a look at it," said Brown. Jones fetched a parcel from the sideboard and began unwrapping it. "Ingenious thing, isn't it?" he said. "Goes on its own rails. Queer how kids love to play with trains, isn't it?" "Yes," assented Brown. "How are the rails fixed?" "Wait, I'll show you," said Jones. "Just help me to shove these dinner things aside and roll back the cloth. There! See! You lay the rails like that and fasten them at the ends, so -- " "Oh, yes, I catch on, makes a grade, doesn't it? just the thing to amuse a child, isn't it? I got Willy a toy aeroplane." "I know, they're great. I got Edwin one on his birthday. But I thought I'd get him a train this time. I told him Santa Claus was going to bring him something altogether new this time. Edwin, of course, believes in Santa Claus absolutely. Say, look at this locomotive, would you? It has spring coiled up inside the fire box." "Wind her up," said Brown with great interest. "Let's her go." "All right," said Jones. "Just pile up two or three plates something to lean the end of the rails on. There, notice way it buzzes before it starts. Isn't that a great thing for kid, eh?" "Yes," said Brown. "And say, see this little string to pull the whistle! By Gad, it toots, eh? just like real?" "Now then, Brown," Jones went on, "you hitch on those cars and I'll start her. I'll be engineer, eh!" Half an hour later Brown and Jones were still playing trains on the dining-room table. But their wives upstairs in the drawing-room hardly noticed their absence. They were too much interested. "Oh, I think it's perfectly sweet," said Mrs. Brown. "Just the loveliest doll I've seen in years. I must get one like it for Ulvina. Won't Clarisse be perfectly enchanted?" "Yes," answered Mrs. Jones, "and then she'll have all the fun of arranging the dresses. Children love that so much. Look, there are three little dresses with the doll, aren't they cute? All cut out and ready to stitch together." "Oh, how perfectly lovely!" exclaimed Mrs. Brown. "I think the mauve one would suit the doll best, don't you, with such golden hair? Only don't you think it would make it much nicer to turn back the collar, so, and to put a little band — so?" "What a good idea!" said Mrs. Jones. "Do let's try it. Just wait, I'll get a needle in a minute. I'll tell Clarisse that Santa Claus sewed it himself. The child believes in Santa Claus absolutely." And half an hour later Mrs. Jones and Mrs. Brown were so busy stitching dolls' clothes that they could not hear the roaring of the little train up and down the dining table, and had no idea what the four children were doing. Nor did the children miss their mothers. "Dandy, aren't they?" Edwin Jones was saying to little Willie Brown, as they sat in Edwin's bedroom. "A hundred in a box, with cork tips, and see, an amber mouthpiece that fits into a little case at the side. Good present for Dad, eh? "Fine!" said Willie appreciatively. "I'm giving Father cigars." "I know, I thought of cigars too. Men always like cigars and cigarettes. You can't go wrong on them. Say, would you like to try one or two of these cigarettes? We can take them from the bottom. You'll like them, they're Russian — away ahead of Egyptian." "Thanks," answered Willie. "I'd like one immensely. I only started smoking last spring — on my twelfth birthday. I think a feller's a fool to begin smoking cigarettes too soon, don't you? It stunts him. I waited till I was twelve." "Me too," said Edwin, as they lighted their cigarettes. "In fact, I wouldn't buy them now if it weren't for Dad. I simply had to give him something from Santa Claus. He believes in Santa Claus absolutely, you know." And, while this was going on, Clarisse was showing little Ulvina the absolutely lovely little bridge set that she got for her mother. "Aren't these markers perfectly charming?" said Ulvina. "And don't you love this little Dutch design — or is it Flemish, darling?" "Dutch," said Clarisse. "Isn't it quaint? And aren't these the dearest little things, for putting the money in when you play. I needn't have got them with it — they'd have sold the rest separately — but I think it's too utterly slow playing without money, don't you?" "Oh, abominable," shuddered Ulvina. "But your mamma never plays for money, does she?" "Mamma! Oh, gracious, no. Mamma's far too slow for that. But I shall tell her that Santa Claus insisted on putting in the little money boxes." "I suppose she believes in Santa Claus, just as my mamma does." "Oh, absolutely," said Clarisse, and added, "What if we play a little game! With a double dummy, the French way, or Norwegian Skat, if you like. That only needs two." "All right," agreed Ulvina, and in a few minutes they were deep in a game of cards with a little pile of pocket money beside them. About half an hour later, all the members of the two families were again in the drawing-room. But of course nobody said anything about the presents. In any case they were all too busy looking at the beautiful big Bible, with maps in it, that the Joneses had brought to give to Grandfather. They all agreed that, with the help of it, Grandfather could hunt up any place in Palestine in a moment, day or night. But upstairs, away upstairs in a sitting-room of his own Grandfather Jones was looking with an affectionate eye at the presents that stood beside him. There was a beautiful whisky decanter, with silver filigree outside (and whiskey inside) for Jones, and for the little boy a big nickel-plated Jew's harp. Later on, far in the night, the person, or the influence, or whatever it is called Santa Claus, took all the presents and placed them in the people's stockings. And, being blind as he always has been, he gave the wrong things to the wrong people — in fact, he gave them just as indicated above. But the next day, in the course of Christmas morning, the situation straightened itself out, just as it always does. Indeed, by ten o'clock, Brown and Jones were playing the with train, and Mrs. Brown and Mrs. Jones were making dolls' clothes, and the boys were smoking cigarettes, and Clarisse and Ulvina were playing cards for their pocket-money. And upstairs — away up — Grandfather was drinking whisky and playing the Jew's harp. And so Christmas, just as it always does, turned out right after all.
  21. 1 like
    Well, I got the photos from our professional photographer last Thursday, and of course immediately started putting them into my web site. The photographer sent us the best 20 or so pictures, and I culled through that list to come up with the best image for each page of the site. From there, it was crop and scale, and position the text boxes until everything was looking the way that it should. Unfortunately, that took up a lot of my time, since I had to get the site ready for Gatlingburg, as well as create business card mock-ups, resulting in not having time or energy to post here, or on my Santa Claus blog on the website. Hopefully, now that the web site is ALMOST ready for prime time, I'll have time to get back to the blog(s). No, I am not going to Gatlingburg. However, my partner, Mrs. Merry Lou Claus (Shelton) is attending, and she wanted to have some information to hand out. We spent a couple of hours on the phone last night going over the web site page by page, and I have fixed everything she pointed out. Still waiting on her bio for the About Mrs. Santa page, not to mention entries for her blog, but that is on her. From my standpoint, the website is about ready to turn on. Still want to generate my blog and story content before I unleash Google search on it, but is far enough along that I am no longer ashamed to admit I did it. So for your browsing pleasure: https://www.mrsclausplussanta.com/ I will continue to add Blog Entries or continue writing in the Story of Santa Claus section in the coming weeks. As soon as I can get Lou to add her bio, and start posting in her blog, I will unblock it from search engines. Hopefully I can have enough story content done by Fall to capture the interest of any kids who happen on the site.
  22. 1 like
    They couldn't find a better Christmas Consultant & Techie Director wrapped up in one body!
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    Each month, our Featured Member section profiles a ClausNet member. Members are chosen totally at random by myself and the staff. Once selected as Featured Member of the Month, we interview the candidate and post the interview here. This is a great way to get to know your fellow ClausNet members! We are happy to announce our ClausNet Featured Member of the month for March 2017 is Santa Bill Reiller! Santa Bill Reiller Featured ClausNet Member - March 2017 Profile: Santa Bill Reiller Real Name: Bill Location: Foley, Alabama USA Facebook: Santa On The Gulf ClausNet member since: 24 November 2014 Community Reputation (as of today): 233 – Outstanding! Our Featured Member of the Month for March 2017 joined our community 2014 and has been a key contributor ever since. Santa Bill Reiller is a retired Police Officer of 25 years and we thank him for his service. We caught up with Santa Bill a few days ago, and here is what he had to say... ClausNet: How long have you been portraying Santa Claus and how did you get started? Santa Bill Reiller: "I have been portraying Santa Claus since 2014. I retired from Law Enforcement with the DeKalb County Police Department in Georgia after 25 years in 2010 and moved to Foley, Alabama. I had been thinking of portraying Santa Claus for many years before I retired but never did anything about it. After being clean shaven for so many years I started to grow my beard and let my hair get long. In 2014 a local photographer needed a Santa for an event and I told him that I was interested. The event was for a local festival with pictures taken with Santa. The photographer said that they usually use a rented suit and I told him not to bother and I bought a suit online. I was hooked after that." ClausNet: What or who are your influences on your portrayal of Santa Claus? Santa Bill Reiller: "I try to pull what I like from other Santas so I do not have any one influence on my portrayal." ClausNet: What do you enjoy most about being Santa Claus? Santa Bill Reiller: "I really enjoy seeing the children's eyes light up when they see Santa and they get excited. I also enjoy the hugs from the children." ClausNet: What is your most memorable visit? Santa Bill Reiller: "I do not do any types of visits at this time. However, that is something that I am investigating right now." ClausNet: Do you have a favorite gig? Santa Bill Reiller: "I really love being a Mall Santa.’." ClausNet: What is your dream gig? Santa Bill Reiller: "I cannot really think of a dream gig besides perhaps being a Mall Santa at one of the larger malls with all the interactive activities for the children while they wait." ClausNet: What keeps you busy when you are not being Santa? Santa Bill Reiller: "My wife and I operate a small Arts and Crafts business. We make bottle lanterns, lit by a tea light, out of recycled wine and liquor bottles. We sell them at various festivals in the area." ClausNet: What are your hobbies / interests? Santa Bill Reiller: "Hunting, fishing, and Cowboy Action Shooting." ClausNet: What is your favorite color? Santa Bill Reiller: "Red." ClausNet: What are your favorite foods? Santa Bill Reiller: "Homemade fried chicken and really good snow crab legs." ClausNet: Coke or Pepsi? Santa Bill Reiller: "Diet Coke." ClausNet: What is your favorite cookie? Santa Bill Reiller: "Chocolate chip cookies." ClausNet: What is your favorite movie? Santa Bill Reiller: " Any John Wayne western. " ClausNet: Do you have a favorite Christmas movie? Santa Bill Reiller: "White Christmas." ClausNet: What is your favorite Christmas song? Santa Bill Reiller: "White Christmas by Bing Crosby." ClausNet: What was the last book that you read? Santa Bill Reiller: "Guns of the Timberland by Louis L'Amour." ClausNet: What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Santa Bill Reiller: "Working harder at being retired. " ClausNet: What profession would you not like to attempt? Santa Bill Reiller: "Anything that involves tall heights." ClausNet: What were some of your favorite toys as a child? Santa Bill Reiller: "Some of my favorite toys were cap guns and the Johnny West and Chief Cherokee figures." ClausNet: What is your most memorable experience of Santa while growing up? Santa Bill Reiller: "Nothing really stands out as the most memorable. We always went to one of the local department stores to visit with Santa." ClausNet: What is the hardest question you’ve gotten as Santa Claus and what was your response? Santa Bill Reiller: "One of the children asked about his deployed parent and if I could bring him home. I told him that I would pray that he would return safe as soon as possible " ClausNet: How did you find ClausNet? Santa Bill Reiller: "Internet Search." ClausNet: And what do you like most about ClausNet? Santa Bill Reiller: "What I like the most about ClausNet is the large amount of information you can gain from the site as well as the different friends gained. " ClausNet: Is there a Santa or Mrs. Claus over the years that you admire or has inspired you? Can you tell us a little bit about him/her? Santa Bill Reiller: "I really liked the various actors that have portrayed Santa Claus in different movies. I try to pull some inspiration from the movies themselves." ClausNet: What advice can you give to a first time Santa or Mrs. Claus? Santa Bill Reiller: "Learn as much as you can through ClausNet, the many different Santa schools, and the nearby Santa groups." ClausNet: Anything else you would like to add? Santa Bill Reiller: "I feel really honored and humbled to be chosen this month. It is fantastic to help bring the Christmas Spirit to the children. I always try to be a better Santa than I was during the last season or the season before that. Never give up on learning and asking questions." Thank you Bill! Everyone, please join me in congratulating Santa Bill Reiller, our ClausNet Featured Member of the Month for March 2017!
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    Congratulations Bill... ...Ol' Santa here. I'm delighted you've been selected as the March M O M. While you certainly won't get rich from the experience, it is a good indicator you have made an impact on the folks at ClausNet. So keep up the work and try to find a place where you have kids on your lap all day and have plenty of time to visit with each of them. When you're a big mall santa, usually you're under the time restraints they place upon you and you're under their oblication to become just a photo prop forced to pose with several kids per minute. I have found it so much more enjoyable to talk with the children rather than just having those pictures made with them. That's when you'll really find the enjoyment of being a Santa. Ol' Santa
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    Acrobat, Santa, musician: A few fun facts about Utah's lawmakers by Hallie Golden and Michelle Price, The Associated Press via The Washington Times | Posted: 03-09-2017 SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH --- Utah's legislature has an interesting cast of characters including a former high-flying circus performer and a Santa Claus impersonator. Lawmakers have spent a lot of their time debating serious societal issues during the session that ended earlier this morning, but several of them took the time to share some fun facts about their lives outside the Capitol. Rep. Paul Ray devoted the majority of his teen years to performing on the high-wire and trapeze at a local circus. Rep. Lee Perry plays Santa Claus for the local Wal-Mart in Perry every year. And Rep. Jeremy Petersen of Ogden used to play in a college rock-n'-roll band called "The Attack Bobs." SOURCE:
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    Cancer can't stop the Christmas spirit for local Santa Claus by Bill Rettew, Jr., West Chester, PA Daily Local News | Posted: 03-07-2017, 3:44 PM EST EXCERPT: EAST BRADFORD, MASS. --- Even Santa Claus gets a little ill every once in a while. Even if Jerry Corrado, a/k/a Santa Claus, is now sitting in a hospital bed, he's still preparing for 2017's Christmas celebration. Five years ago, Jerry gave up counting how many lights there were that annually twinkle on his two-acre property on Knobb Hill Drive, a display he has run for the last 10 Christmas holidays. 50 blow-up holiday and movie figures also cover the lawn. Jerry's electric bill increases by some $650 for the time period between the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve each year. Even more importantly, through the massive display, Jerry has collected over 10,000 unwrapped toys for kids at the Chester County Hospital. Those toys are now destined for the emergency room and the pediatrics and oncology units of the hospital. As part of a new twist, Alzheimer's patients receive word puzzles. "Every year it gets bigger and bigger. It takes just two months just to set it all up," Jerry explained to this reporter from his hospital bed at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Rhoads Building. He was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) after feeling ill while he was taking down his most recent display in late January. With the roles now reversed, and Jerry now visiting the hospital, "Santa" now spoke about the children. "They can't believe it, their faces," he said. " 'You're not Santa, you're that light guy,' they say. It's really something, all those smiles from ear to ear." Christmas carols serenade the guests while the cars line up on Knobb Hill Drive. Many visitors leave their cars to walk through the massive display. The man whose favorite holiday is Christmas went on to say that he stores his display in an attic above his garage, a shed in the backyard, and one side of a two-car garage. SOURCE:
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    Capital Voices: 'If you live on Taffy Lane, you have to have the Christmas spirit' by Bruce Deachman, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada Citizen | Posted: 03-03-2017 EXCERPT: OTTAWA, ONTARIO, CANADA --- As Canada celebrates its Sesquicentennial, the Citizen's Bruce Deachman has been searching for Ottawans ---150 of them --- to hear their stories of life and death, hope and love, obsession and fear. Between now and Canada Day, we'll share one person's story every day..... "I'm 11 years old, and we moved here when I was nine. This is my third Christmas here. Before we moved here, we lived on St. Moritz Court, which is just down the street a bit. "I was about one or two when I figured out that Taffy Lane was a place. And ever since, whenever we were free, we'd drive down it. When I first saw it, I used to think, 'Wow!' because I hadn't seen so many lights. It was really cool. But now that I live here, I can just walk out the door and just see Taffy Lane. "When my parents told me we were gonna move to Taffy Lane, I was so excited, because then I could just see Taffy Lane any time I wanted to. "I like living on Taffy Lane because there's a whole new bunch of people I've seen and met, and a bunch of lights. And I've met a whole bunch of people who haven' lived on Taffy Lane, because my dad and I dress up --- he plays Santa Claus, and I'm his Elf, and we hand out candy canes, and we see new people we haven't even met before. Last year, somebody visited us from Brazil. They didn't really know what Christmas was around here, so they were like, 'Wow!' like I was when I first saw Taffy Lane. ........ "We have this little competition with our neighbors to see who can have the most lights, and unfortunately she won this year, but we're close, and it's so exciting having them live right next door to us. But one of my biggest joys here is living next to Kailee and Darby. We call them the Griswolds, and Kailee likes to dress up just for me and the other children, and that makes me so happy. "Mom and Dad sometimes get annoyed about all the traffic, but I don't really care about that, because I'm not the one who's doing all the driving. And it never gets boring because there are always new lights and new things coming up. If you live on Taffy Lane, you have to have the Christmas spirit, otherwise, what's the point of living here?" --- Emily Levert, Taffy Lane, Orleans, December 6th, 2016. SOURCE:
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    New stores planned for Aviemore's Santa Claus Land site From BBC News Scotland | Posted: 8 hours ago AVIEMORE, SCOTLAND ---- Aviemore's derelict Santa Claus Land site should be a new retail park by Christmas, developers have said. L&SI is constructing the new retail park on land which Tesco had proposed building a new store on prior to abandoning the plan and selling the site. Supermarket Aldi and general goods retailer Home Bargains have already been scheduled to move into at least two of the three shopping units that are being built. When completed, the new park could provide jobs for more than 100 people. SOURCE:
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    Spent several hours today having professional photos taken. Except for having to wear a hot Santa Suit, the session was a lot of fun. The studio tells me that the pictures will be processed and available in about a week, which I'm really looking forward to. In addition to having to complete my website, I need to get my GigSalad account set up, and make up a new set of business cards and so forth, in preparation for Gattlingburg. This week, my wife is away, so she hasn't been able to get started on new Santa gear for this year. We picked out material for the first outfit or two, so I know she is eager to get started. I'm also eager, since it will expand my wardrobe beyond the basic off the shelf suit. I'd go on, but this week I've been running behind on sleep, and am about ready to nod off. Blessings, Santa MikeE
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    Clearview Mall Santa works five straight weeks to delight children by Rosalyn Eason, NOLA.com and the New Orleans Times-Picayune | Posted: 12-02-2016, 10:07 AM CDT; Updated: 10:10 AM CDT EXCERPT: METAIRIE, LOUISIANA --- The North Pole is always full of activity this time of year. Toys must be finished, gifts must be wrapped, reindeer must be fed, and a sleigh must be filled with presents. It takes a whole lotta effort and a little bit of magic to make sure that every child's Christmas is special. Leaving his loyal Elves in charge, Santa Claus always visits the children he loves at several area shopping malls so that he can check his list (twice) and determine which is naughty and which is nice. With his usual twinkle in his eye, he brings joy to the many who pay him a visit, whether it's to give him their wish-lists, or to pose for photographs with him, or to simply stare up at him in awe. It's a tradition that leaves memories for parents and children alike. One of Santa's favorite spots to visit is Metairie's Clearview Mall. For the past 14 years, 73-year-old Galusha March III has greeted thousands of adults and children from his elaborate Throne at Santa's Winter Wonderland. The hours may be many, but the rewards are always great for this Santa who certainly appreciates his position. "The best part is seeing the joy that all those kids get in simply seeing Santa Claus," he said. It was coincidence that first brought Santa to Clearview. In the off-season, he's a member of the Hammond Area Golden Oldies Antique Car Club. One of the club's members was looking for someone to fill in for Clearview's then-regular Santa, who had taken ill. With his natural beard and jolly disposition, March was the perfect choice for the job. "I did it, I enjoyed it, and it just came natural," he explained. Through the years, Santa has had many memories of his years at Clearview. He's had to develop quick thinking skills when the kids request certain unusual items --- like the time when a young boy asked Santa for a goat. Santa had to tell the kid that goats aren't born around this time of year, and that he, the kid, would need to wait until Springtime to get a goat. Also, cellphones are another popular item on the kids' wish-lists, but Santa always has to remind them that while he can get them the actual cellphone, it's the parents who have to buy the cellphone plan in order to make it all work. Santa's visitors come in all ages. His oldest visitor was a 102-year-old woman. Another visitor was an 82-year-old man who wanted to take a picture with Santa so that he could prove to his grandchildren that he personally knew Santa Claus! March has even had children as young as just three days old sitting on his lap. "I think what those particular parents do is, they leave the hospital and stop by on their way home, and then they get the picture," Santa explained. .......... Santa greets his visitors every day, except Thanksgiving, for 5 weeks prior to Christmas. He has never taken one day off, because he does not want to disappoint his visitors. Some days, over 100 of those visitors stop by after having to wait in long lines for their turn. The pictures are always important to the parents, but it's the children who enjoy waiting for only a few hours to get their special moments with this very special man at Clearview Mall. "People come here to see Santa Claus," said Santa Galusha March III. "They don't want a substitute." SOURCE:
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    Santa's Grotto, Alpine Lodge and craft stalls: Meet the new people behind Christmas 2017 in Bournemouth by Darren Slade, Bournemouth, England Daily Echo | Posted: 03-01-2017 EXCERPT: BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND ---- Bournemouth's German Christmas Market has been dropped in favor of a new Alpine-inspired attraction, including Santa's Grotto. Local company Seventa Events has been awarded a 5-year contract to provide the town's festive attractions. They're promising a "renewed local focus," with public views invited. The Bournemouth-based firm said they'd create a Christmas offering "more focused on benefits for the entire town." Among the local businesses that have already expressed an interest include restaurants Ojo Rojo, Koh Thai, La Piccola Italia, and Smokin' Aces, said Seventa executives. Simon Brooks, the company's founder and director, said, "We are thrilled to have been awarded the Christmas contract." Seventa previously installed a Christmas pop-up bar in the former Print Room restaurant in the Daily Echo headquarters building. Seventa Events takes over from Manchester's S&D Leisure, which had held the Christmas contract for around 9 years. Said Mr. Brooks: "As a business based locally, we're well aware of the mixed reactions to the previous Christmas offerings in the center of the town. We'll listen to the general public at all stages of planning and delivery. We'll also work with area officials so that everybody can experience a Christmas area that's created by and for the people of Bournemouth." ...... There will be a Santa's Grotto along with entertainment and other activities in the Lower Gardens, which in recent years have included a popular ice-skating rink. SOURCE:
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    These commercials are amazingly creative, and enough production to be a mini movie!
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    YouTube: The 10 most popular Christmas ads of 2016 by Lara O'Reilly, BusinessInsider.com | Posted: 12-05-2016 EXCERPT: NEW YORK --- Christmas ads are becoming as much of a British cultural export as the Super Bowl is here in the U.S., according to YouTube. Globally, this year's most popular Christmas ad came from British department store John Lewis, which has become a brand synonymous with festive marketing. In fact, six of the top 10 Christmas ads watched on YouTube were all from British-based companies, or were global ads made by a British-based ad agency. (London-based Adam&EveDDB created three of the spots in the top 10.) "The excitement, buzz, and creative activity surrounding Christmas adverts shows how much this 'ads as entertainment' moment is quickly becoming a great British cultural export, just like America's Super Bowl," said David Black, Managing Director for Branding, Google U.K. "Not only are users throughout the world turning to YouTube to watch and engage with these ads, but more and more brands are starting to tap into this opportunity to share emotional stories." SOURCE:
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    Awesome story, Bill. It's always a good storyteller that can keep people enchanted. Gene Roddenberry was forever saying, "Tell a story about people, not about science and gadgetry." Hopefully, your story made a difference for us all. Congratulations!
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    Bill Thank you for sharing with us all your experiences as well as the inside look of your life. Congratulations on this honor! Well deserved!
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    I love doing Santa Claus For the Foster Children, I've been doing it for 3 or 4 years now. I know the children love it. I think it's a Blessing for me. And my Mrs. Claus
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