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Popular Content

Showing most liked content since 03/23/2018 in all areas

  1. 12 points
    Today is the day! I have a gift for you, something that has been in the works for a while and I am so excited to finally share it with you! Introducing, The Professional Santa Claus' Podcast, available on many platforms and all entirely free for you. Why a podcast? You can consider a podcast like a contemporary radio show that individuals can download and listen to via a personal device or computer. The goal of this podcast is to uplift and inspire the Christmas community through our interviews. We hope that our guests share with the Christmas community the heart of Santa. There is so much focus on the business side of things with various workshops and classes, and while there is nothing wrong with learning, sometimes this focus comes ego, too much focus on money, and at times a loss of why this work is so special. The podcast will be a heart to heart; inspiring others to want to be better. The podcast is not a business, there will be no focus on creating a podcast for monetary reasons and should be considered entirely a gift to the Christmas community. Clausnet has been a wonderful place for me and I support and share often to gem that is Clausnet to the Santas that I meet. In all avenues of this community, we see the good and the bad. Sadly, the bad seems to get so much more traction way too often. I guess this project is my way of highlighting what I love about this community, in particular the gift we have to do what we do. I have been fortunate enough to focus on some individuals that have made a difference for me in some way and whom I think, or my previous guests think could add something special. There are some wonderful guests coming up that I look forward to talking with and I look forward to possibly visiting with Clausnet’s Wizard behind the curtain, Michael. Here is our starting lineup, beginning with none other than our dear, sarcastic, and deducated Marty! Subscribe to the podcast and enjoy! It’s a little rough around the edges but I truly am working hard to help give back something very special.
  2. 5 points
    Episode 8 - Protecting Santa’s Legend: A Visit with Felix Estridge is now available! Felix is an amazing Santa with a heart of gold and a great respect for the image of Santa Claus and he’s a huge support behind the scenes here on Clausnet. Please enjoy this episode. For the best experience, download the podcast via iTunes, Stitcher for Podcasts App., or Google Play Music App. on your personal device. Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review. Listening on the computer? Follow the link below. http://santaclauspodcast.com/episode-8-protecting-santas-legend
  3. 5 points
    “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" has been a popular Christmas carol for nearly 150 years. Originally a poem by Henry Longfellow titled “Christmas Bells”, the text was set to music by composer John Baptiste Calkin (1827-1905) in 1872. Born in Portland, Maine on February 27, 1807, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) was a 19th century scholar, novelist, and poet, known for works like 'Voices of the Night,' 'Evangeline' and 'The Song of Hiawatha.' On the morning of Christmas Day 1863, Longfellow was inspired to write a poem as he listened to church bells ringing throughout the town. The poem titled “Christmas Bells”, addresses Longfellow's deep despair at the time over the loss of his wife years earlier, his son who was wounded in the American Civil War, and the horrors of war. However, despite his sadness, in the end, Longfellow expresses his belief in God and innate hope that: God is not dead; nor doth he sleep The Wrong shall fail; The Right prevail, With peace on earth, good-will to men! Christmas Bells by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow I heard the bells on Christmas Day Their old, familiar carols play, And wild and sweet The words repeat Of peace on earth, good-will to men! And thought how, as the day had come, The belfries of all Christendom Had rolled along The unbroken song Of peace on earth, good-will to men! Till ringing, singing on its way, The world revolved from night to day, A voice, a chime, A chant sublime Of peace on earth, good-will to men! Then from each black, accursed mouth The cannon thundered in the South, And with the sound The carols drowned Of peace on earth, good-will to men! It was as if an earthquake rent The hearth-stones of a continent, And made forlorn The households born Of peace on earth, good-will to men! And in despair I bowed my head; “There is no peace on earth," I said; “For hate is strong, And mocks the song Of peace on earth, good-will to men!” Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: “God is not dead, nor doth He sleep; The Wrong shall fail, The Right prevail, With peace on earth, good-will to men.”
  4. 5 points
    Well, I have my list of individuals that have made a difference in my life and that I've been impressed by. These are certainly those that I want to hear from. I also open it up to those that have interviewed for their list too. I would say the majority of those that have suggested names have also asked to hear from me, which is very kind. My worry is that, it turns the podcast into it being about me...and that's not the desire I have for this. That being said, my wife had a suggestion that my children take over the podcast for an episode to interview me. It could be fun...but for now, I'm enjoying hearing from others.
  5. 5 points
    Thank you for all of the very kind comments. This has been on my mind and heart for a while. I am going to try hard to maintain a weekly episode upload. I’m working now to bank quite a few episodes for when my schedule just gets too busy. Between the artwork, contact, interview, cleanup, edit, upload, and sharing, these episodes equal about 7-8 hours of work each. I’ve been blessed to work on this and I’m motivated by the response. We have many guests lined up in the coming months. Today we have the first interview after the initial announcement, Clausnet’s own Tom Sheerin! Quite a few of the interviewees have mentioned the gem that is Clausnet. I hope we all get to hear from Michael on the podcast!
  6. 4 points
    Proud and Honored to have been interviewed by you, Johnathan! I am SO impressed by ALL of the interviews so far - and have learned many things from each and every one of them so far! Looking forward to being a long time listener!
  7. 4 points
    Thought I would share an acrostic Christmas poem that I wrote a few years back. SANTA'S SECRET Soaring thru the wintry night A caller makes his wondrous flight. No shooting star can steal the sky That night of nights when reindeer fly. A sleigh of toys they tow in haste - Santa, too, no time to waste. Staying course o'er land and sea - Each home and child to fill with glee. Can such a flight be made so quick? Really, now, one night? Some trick! Elves regard this long held secret. 'Tis Santa's wish to safely keep it. - Robert "Santa Bob" Karrick
  8. 3 points
    NORPAC SANTAS is very excited to announce that we are bringing True back!! Last fall we brought Santa True's CPW to our 8th Annual Northwest Santa Workshop and it was a great success! True left our attendees wanting more. So, we are so happy to have him back June 9th & 10th in the Seattle area ( Sumner, WA ) for two full days of intense training only True can do! Make your plans now to Join Us. NORPAC SANTAS Members and Non-Members welcome to attend. Go to our website NORPAC-SANTAS.ORG for registration form and to pay via PayPal.
  9. 3 points
    Thanks for even thinking I had something to share that others might benefit from hearing. I hope others embrace this effort to share that you have poured yourself into.
  10. 3 points
    Because I have had many request for members only items I need to clarify who may purchase these items again. Our Facebook page is a open group however belonging to our Facebook page does not mean you are a member of The Clan Claus Society. If you wish to become a member of The Clan Claus Society and we hope you will. Just visit our web site at clanclaussociety.com most of your questions can be answered there. Should you need any additional information please feel free to email me directly or call me. Merchandise Current Pricing Large Blazer Badge $24.00 Small Blazer Badge $15.00 Gold Crest Badges $28.00 Lapel Pins $10.00 or 2 for $18.00 Crest Patches $10.00 Wooden Ornaments $9.00 Car Magnets 8x10 $12.00 Believe Pin $15.00 of 2 for $25.00 Ladies Rosette $21.00 Ladies Sash $55.00 Can Cozies $18.00 Ladies Necklace $15.00 We do take Pay Pal or Your Personal Checks. There is a 3% transaction fee from Pay Pal. Checks should be payable to Kona Donald J Gant. Shipping via USPS. Any questions please use my direct email santakona@gmail.com
  11. 3 points
    This is just AWESOME! I've only listened through to the first one so far, but just love this for so many reasons. Thank you for doing this - @Santa Marty, what a delightful, lovely interview. Can't wait to listen to more very soon.
  12. 3 points
    Totally enjoyed listening and giving an interview myself, great job.
  13. 3 points
    This is definitely one of my new favorite pass times. I have listened to the first two and plan on catching up on the rest this weekend.
  14. 3 points
    Christmas in Action keeps giving spirit alive year-round Times Record News March 23, 2018 Patrick Johnston EXCERPT: In Wichita County, some need goes unseen or unnoticed as homeowners remain silent and make do with what they have. Plumbing for a kitchen sink stops working, so the disabled resident simply starts washing dishes in the bathtub or a working bathroom sink. A house may look fine from the front, but a short walk around the home reveals a very different story – a leaky roof covered by a tarp to prevent overnight rains from soaking the elderly homeowner as they sleep in bed. It's stories like these that Cassie Ahearn hopes to shed light on and make the repairs for low-income residents of Wichita County who are elderly, disabled or a veteran. "Sometimes I get phone calls from churches with a member who has an issue. I'll send them an application," the executive director of Christmas in Action said. "Or, I'll get a call from a neighbor about a person who has a leaking roof. They say the person won't call because they are too proud." If it weren't for neighbors helping neighbors – a slogan the non-profit has painted on their wall, Christmas in Action may not be able to help people in dire need. "I have some people though who won't fill out an application though," Ahearn said. "They say they won't fill it out because other people need the services more than them." SOURCE: https://www.timesrecordnews.com/story/news/local/2018/03/23/christmas-action/454390002/
  15. 2 points
    Born in Germantown Pennsylvania, Henry Jackson van Dyke (1852-1933) was an American author, clergyman, and English literature professor. He authored numerous books of poetry and devotion. Among his popular writings are two Christmas stories: The Other Wise Man (1896) and The First Christmas Tree (1897). One of his more notable books was,The Spirit of Christmas (1905); a collection of Christmas themed writings that includes short stories, prayers, and the following sermon entitled, Christmas-Giving And Christmas-Living. Christmas-Giving And Christmas-Living By Henry van Dyke The custom of exchanging presents on a certain day in the year is very much older than Christmas, and means very much less. It has obtained in almost all ages of the world, and among many different nations. It is a fine thing or a foolish thing, as the case may be; an encouragement to friendliness, or a tribute to fashion; an expression of good nature, or a bid for favour; an outgoing of generosity, or a disguise of greed; a cheerful old custom, or a futile old farce, according to the spirit which animates it and the form which it takes. But when this ancient and variously interpreted tradition of a day of gifts was transferred to the Christmas season, it was brought into vital contact with an idea which must transform it, and with an example which must lift it up to a higher plane. The example is the life of Jesus. The idea is unselfish interest in the happiness of others. The great gift of Jesus to the world was himself. He lived with and for men. He kept back nothing. In every particular and personal gift that he made to certain people there was something of himself that made it precious. For example, at the wedding in Cana of Galilee, it was his thought for the feelings of the giver of the feast, and his wish that every guest should find due entertainment, that lent the flavour of a heavenly hospitality to the wine which he provided. When he gave bread and fish to the hungry multitude who had followed him out among the hills by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were refreshed and strengthened by the sense of the personal care of Jesus for their welfare, as much as by the food which he bestowed upon them. It was another illustration of the sweetness of "a dinner of herbs, where love is." The gifts of healing which he conferred upon many different kinds of sufferers were, in every case, evidences that Jesus was willing to give something of himself, his thought, his sympathy, his vital power, to the men and women among whom he lived. Once, when a paralytic was brought to Jesus on a bed, he surprised everybody, and offended many, by giving the poor wretch the pardon of his sins, before he gave new life to his body. That was just because Jesus thought before he gave; because he desired to satisfy the deepest need; because in fact he gave something of himself in every gift. All true Christmas-giving ought to be after this pattern. Not that it must all be solemn and serious. For the most part it deals with little wants, little joys, little tokens of friendly feeling. But the feeling must be more than the token; else the gift does not really belong to Christmas. It takes time and effort and unselfish expenditure of strength to make gifts in this way. But it is the only way that fits the season. The finest Christmas gift is not the one that costs the most money, but the one that carries the most love. But how seldom Christmas comes- only once a year; and how soon it is over-a night and a day! If that is the whole of it, it seems not much more durable than the little toys that one buys of a fakir on the street-corner. They run for an hour, and then the spring breaks, and the legs come off, and nothing remains but a contribution to the dust heap. But surely that need not and ought not to be the whole of Christmas only a single day of generosity, ransomed from the dull servitude of a selfish year,-only a single night of merry-making, celebrated in the slave-quarters of a selfish race! If every gift is the token of a personal thought, a friendly feeling, an unselfish interest in the joy of others, then the thought, the feeling, the interest, may remain after the gift is made. The little present, or the rare and long-wished-for gift (it matters not whether the vessel be of gold, or silver, or iron, or wood, or clay, or just a small bit of birch bark folded into a cup), may carry a message something like this: "I am thinking of you to-day, because it is Christmas, and I wish you happiness. And to-morrow, because it will be the day after Christmas, I shall still wish you happiness; and so on, clear through the year. I may not be able to tell you about it every day, because I may be far away; or because both of us may be very busy; or perhaps because I cannot even aff ord to pay the postage on so many letters, or find the time to write them. But that makes no difference. The thought and the wish will be here just the same. In my work and in the business of life, I mean to try not to be unfair to you or injure you in any way. In my pleasure, if we can be together, I would like to share the fun with you. Whatever joy or success comes to you will make me glad. Without pretense, and in plain words, good-will to you is what I mean, in the Spirit of Christmas.' It is not necessary to put a message like this into high-flown language, to swear absolute devotion and deathless consecration. In love and friendship, small, steady payments on a gold basis are better than immense promissory notes. Nor, indeed, is it always necessary to put the message into words at all, nor even to convey it by a tangible token. To feel it and to act it out-that is the main thing. There are a great many people in the world whom we know more or less, but to whom for various reasons we cannot very well send a Christmas gift. But there is hardly one, in all the circles of our acquaintance, with whom we may not exchange the touch of Christmas life. In the outer circles, cheerful greetings, courtesy, consideration; in the inner circles, sympathetic interest, hearty congratulations, honest encouragement; in the inmost circle, comradeship, helpfulness, tenderness,- " Beautiful friendship tried by sun and wind Durable from the daily dust of life ^ After all, Christmas-living is the best kind of Christmas-giving.
  16. 2 points
    Here's in our interview with @Santa Johnathan from 2014 if anyone is interested...
  17. 2 points
    As so many are currently in the process of traveling for this week's International Santa Celebration in Denver, Colorado, I decided to release the next episode early to enjoy on the trip. Introducing our ninth guest to the podcast, Phil Wenz! Please take the time to listen to this important podcast. Phil's insights, experience, and heart are certainly an inspiration and there are some great references for Clausnet, Michael, and a few other members. For the best experience, download the podcast via iTunes, Stitcher for Podcasts App., or Google Play Music App. on your personal device. Don't forget to subscribe and leave a review. Listening on the computer? Follow the link below. http://www.SantaClausPodcast.com/episode-9-santas-walking-encyclopedia
  18. 2 points
    I think your thinking on this is correct, Don’t make it about the host. Even if your children interview you it still be about you and possibly construed as egotistical. (Which you are not.... but hey, do you really want to perceived that way?)
  19. 2 points
    This past week Bill and I were in MI taking care of business as his mother's legal guardian ( she has Alzheimer's ) and also some of the affairs involving his sister's and bother's in law death this past December. It brought back thoughts of a blog I wrote 4-5 years ago and i have decided to share it once more, I present this with love. Holy week (or Passion Week) has always been especially meaningful to me. In my family, Lent was a time to reflect and renew. During this time of reflection, I am often brought to tears of humbleness thinking about the sacrifice that was made for me. The last week of Christ's life, as told in the Bible, is filled with amazing accounts, leading to the gut wrenching account of betrayal, denial and crucifixion. Then ending in the great crescendo of Christ's resurrection. This week I attended yet another family funeral; number 4 in about 10 weeks. First two wonderful elderly Aunts, then my sister and now a cousin (younger than I). As I sat in the church, observing the draped crucifix, I noticed a realistic looking rooster high in a window, perched on a red draped small bale of straw. A vivid reminder to all of us, how we all fall short of our good intentions and promises. As I looked at all of this, I thought of all that has transformed these past few weeks on ClausNet. We argue and discuss, like a dysfunctional family reunion. All having the healthy need to agree and disagree in order to grow. One theme always comes out. Jesus is the reason for the season. But there is an added truth. The one factor that makes Christians different from any other religion is THIS season. All great philosophers are born and they die. All have followers who idolize their teachings. But only Christians have a living savior. He is risen. He lives. Not only does he live, but He took our place. We are the reason, for this Season. He died for us. Without this, celebrating His birth makes us no different from any other religion. Bill had a beard long before he became an Ambassador for Santa Claus. Most of the time, he's just plain, old Bill who happens to have a white beard. But looking around this sanctuary I realized , at least i think I understood a bit better, that if we tried to make him be Santa all year long, we were only reminding people of Christ's birth, or Christmas. That is only half the story. The real story is in His Resurrection. Please think about this when you are out and about these next couple of days. Please remember to keep the emphasis on Christ’s sacrifice and leave the glory there- not on Santa. These are the musing of an old woman working through her grief in the loss of a sister, whose fate lies solely in the hands of God, not mine. I do not mean to impose my beliefs on anyone. Nor do we plan on having Bill shave his beard. But I am hoping that maybe this blog, poorly written as it may be, will be of comfort to others who chance upon it. David Meece wrote a wonderful song that seems to fit so well into our life ( Bills and Mine). I hope it will be a Blessing to anyone who reads this. God Bless you. Judi
  20. 2 points
    Hi, I'm Keith, and I'm a podcastaholic. Thank you Johnathan for doing this wonderful service for the Christmas Performers, all at a tremendous expense to you, and all for free to us. Thank you as well for your warm invitation to be your guest on podcast #2. OK, I'm all caught up and ready for the next one...
  21. 2 points
  22. 2 points
    These interviews are so informative and inspiring. Thanks Johnathan (the way to develop the 'heart of Santa' in Santas, in my opinion, is to follow great examples of those with extremely large Santa hearts. St. Paul has this same idea about the Christian example that he set being followed in Philippians 3:17. So these podcasts are a great benefit to me personally.)
  23. 2 points
    I am on #4 now and working through them all. Awesome thus far and I have no doubt that it will continue.
  24. 2 points
    Gotta say thanks for making these, been listening to them the last couple of days so far 1 & 5 and will get to the others over this week I'm sure. Must say they are fantastic, fantastic, fantastic. Well done to everyone involved a real gift to us all. cheers
  25. 2 points
    These are GREAT!!! Listened to #'s 1 and 4 so far...will get to the others as soon as I can. And look forward to many more in the future!
  26. 2 points
    Tracking down a child letter writer — 87 years later Jan 4, 2018 by Dale Brumfield - News Leader Excerpt - What are the odds of finding a girl who wrote to Santa in 1930? We did, though. Not only is one of our history article subjects still alive but also she still lives here. Staunton woman Millicent Hall Brubek’s childhood letter to Santa Claus was published not once in the Staunton News Leader, but twice — and 87 years apart. “I was rather surprised to see it,” the 97-year-old retired psychiatric nurse says of finding her letter (first published Dec. 24, 1930) republished on Dec. 19, 2017, in the same paper in a feature on letters to Santa from the past. **** Like most children at the time, Millicent asked Santa for nuts, candy and oranges at Christmas, in addition to small, utilitarian articles, such as gloves and dishes. “I had a stocking but I don’t remember where I hung it, because the stove was in the middle of the tea room,” she says of her early Christmases at the inn. She pauses in thought. “That’s why I warned Santa [in the letter] to not come down the chimney!” Today the Tumble Inn is long gone and Millicent is surrounded in her Staunton home with childhood memories and memorabilia of her life there. SOURCE:
  27. 2 points
  28. 2 points
    As a Financial Advisor I also often get questions this time of year about what is deductible. Although I will mention things in broad terms, it is always best to ask your tax advisor about your specific items. Here is a good rule of thumb: If it cannot be used for other purposes and is purchased specifically and exclusively for your Santa business, it is usually deductible. Some examples: Santa suit - yes, can't be worn to work or church or anything "normal" Santa belt - yes Wig and beard - yes Boots - this one is tricky - do you wear them to ride your motorcycle? Do you wear them everyday? With Jeans? Might not be deductible. If they are exclusive to Santa then yes. Bells, toys, stickers or candy to give away - yes Eyewear - another tricky one. Do you use them exclusively for Santa? yes if exclusive, no if you wear them everyday. Santa's chair - yes, if it is decorative and not used for other purposes. Memberships to Santa organizations - yes Books for Santa or your Santa business - yes Here are some tricky ones: Domain name and hosting - yes if exclusive for Santa Internet service - usually you can deduct a portion. Speak with your tax advisor Home phone or cell phone - same as internet service Mileage - a qualified yes. Speak with your tax advisor, keep good records. It can get a little complicated - donated time as a volunteer, for example can count as a donation. Get advice. KEEP RECORDS Hair care products, bleach, etc - complicated. If you bleach year round it may not be deductible. Storage containers - yes, if used only for Santa stuff. Software, computer equipment, cameras, electronics - mostly no, but qualified. You must prove the equipment is dedicated and cannot be used in every day life. Talk to your tax advisor. Most of all, with everything, keep good records! I often recommend that clients buy a 3-ring binder and fill it with paper. Tape receipts to the pages and make notes beside the receipt as to what was purchased and the use. I also recommend that business purchases be made separate from personal purchases. Keep the receipts separate; it is easier that way. Keep your mileage in a small notebook in your car - or even better, if possible do a MapQuest directions printout for your mileage and place in the same 3-ring binder.
  29. 2 points
    Enjoyed reading more about you...Welcome to the MOtM Club!
  30. 1 point
  31. 1 point
    What's Facebook?!? (never did it, never will...welcome back from the dark side)
  32. 1 point
    Jean McFaddin, Who Made the Macy’s Parade What It Is, Dies at 75 April 18, 2018 By ROBERT D. McFADDEN- NY Times Excerpt - Jean McFaddin, who as Macy’s events planner for 24 years created magical Thanksgiving Day parades in Manhattan, a children’s in-store Santaland at Christmastime, exquisite flower shows every spring and spectacular fireworks on the Fourth of July, died on Wednesday at her home in Manhattan. She was 75. Susan Falk, Ms. McFaddin’s spouse, said the cause was cancer. Friends and former associates sometimes said that Ms. McFaddin was able to see into the hearts of little children, like Edmund Gwenn and Maureen O’Hara in the classic 1947 movie “Miracle on 34th Street,” a holiday favorite about the childlike faith aroused by a department-store Santa Claus who claims to be the real thing. **** On her watch, the parade had doubled in size to 8,000 marchers, balloons had jumped tenfold to 85 and spectators had swelled into the millions. Ms. McFaddin shared more than a dozen Emmy Awards with NBC for the parade telecasts, and in 1999 she was inducted into the International Festivals and Events Association Hall of Fame, the industry’s most prestigious honor. After a night’s rest, she began her next project — Santaland. From the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve, 300,000 children and parents visited Macy’s eighth-floor setting for the rites of seeing Santa. They received tickets for the North Pole Express, saw an enchanted forest, chatted with elves who told stories of Santa’s workshop, and finally met St. Nick. **** In her later years, Ms. McFaddin continued to produce events for corporations, civic groups and charities like the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. But she had officially retired in April 2001, a few weeks after her last flower show. Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, at a City Hall news conference, proclaimed “Jean McFaddin Day in the City of New York.” And she received a handwritten note from Maureen O’Hara. “Your wonderful contributions to Macy’s, to New York City and to womanhood will never be forgotten,” it said, and signed off, “from one Parade Lady to another.” SOURCE
  33. 1 point
  34. 1 point
    Judi: I agree, as I heard one man say: "We MUST go through the cross to experience ever lasting LIFE". Though MANY are afraid of death, and who isn't, I understand. But by his death we all get to live. LOVE YOUR POST, and part of me can't wait until it's time to go home, I just hope and pray it's quick! Ha ha listen to me, adding a request to go home.
  35. 1 point
    Since I have had the pleasure to spend time with your wife and kiddos I think that would be a great interview. Of course I could see your oldest going off script and that could potentially be hilarious 😆
  36. 1 point
    Fantastic interview and congrats! You and the Mrs. look wonderful!
  37. 1 point
    The April 2018 issue of the ClausNet Gazette is now online! view online
  38. 1 point
    Last year Santa’s elves responded to over 22,000 letters to children they are all volunteer. They also operate the letter writing campaign on donations they are a 501C-3 Letters get mailed to them from all over the world. Mail to Santa. P.O. Box 1. Santa Claus, Indiana 47579. If you are so inclined to make a donation just make your check out to Santa’s Elves. I am sure they would appreciate it. Oh and Santa is available at The Santa Claus Christmas Store from the end of May through Dec. 24th
  39. 1 point
    Good work being done, I could see this growing to a great many cities and enhance the quality of life for those who desperately need some help.
  40. 1 point
  41. 1 point
  42. 1 point
    I am self-employed in other adventures of life - attending 1st Santa School this summer. This is very helpful. Thanks!
  43. 1 point
  44. 1 point
    Congratulations and welcome to the MOTM club!
  45. 1 point
  46. 1 point
    Congratulations and welcome to the Club!!!
  47. 1 point
  48. 1 point
    Congratulations! Awesome interview, thanks.
  49. 1 point
    Long before I became Santa, and in what now feels like another life altogether, I had a friend and a colleague at the newspaper I worked at who hated Christmas! For my friend, Doug, the only thing he liked was the increased advertising commissions and the Christmas bonus he received. He absolutely detested everything else about Christmas. Thought it was all silliness and lies. It was my favorite time of year! I loved the reason for celebrating Christmas! The home and hearth would be beautifully decorated, a Nativity would be prominently placed in the living room, an Advent calendar would be hung on the wall and the smell of a real pine tree brightly adorned and lit up with presents knee deep under it. I loved all the excitement, the twinkling lights and the smells. I would come home to a house full of excited children and my wife preparing a feast for us all to sit down and enjoy. For snacks, she made ginger and sugar cookies right out of the oven just about all day long. Bowls and bowls of popcorn would be popped and the children would sit down and string it to hang on the Christmas tree. More of it was eaten than was ever hung up, but then, things are always more fun on a full stomach. For Doug, it all changed one very cold early November evening. I was just returning from an assignment and saw he was still at work, so I stopped by his cubical and we started talking. Doug had just come back to the office from a meeting with Bill Anderson who owned a chain of appliance stores throughout the city. Bill was a very wealthy man. I also knew Bill pretty well and had great respect for him. Doug continued his story. A few days earlier, he had finished a meeting with a client and was heading for his parked car across the fountain plaza downtown. As he walked, a van parked alongside the fountain caught his attention where there were about 25 homeless people gathered around the back of it. As he passed the van, he saw three or four people at the back ladling out soup into bowls and handing it to those in line. One of the men helping to pass out the soup was someone Doug knew. It was Bill and he was dressed like he had just stepped out of the board room. He had a long, camel hair Pea coat on over his suit. Doug stopped and watched as the line dwindled down to a couple of people. Then Bill began going around and talking to a number of the homeless as they ate. Doug stayed in the dark shadows and watched. Bill was talking to one of the men who was a skuzzy looking young man, dressed in very light summer shirt and shorts. They talked for a few minutes, then Bill turned and began to walk back to the van. Very suddenly, Bill stopped and went back to the young man. The two of them talked for a couple more minutes before Bill took off his coat and helped the younger man to put it on. When he was finished, Bill headed back to the van. Doug was stunned at what he was seeing. That coat had to have cost more than a thousand dollars. Doug had never seen anything like it before! Here was this wealthy businessman who had worked hard through the years building his business giving this homeless guy his very expensive coat! The scene played over and over again in Doug's mind for a couple of days till he got up the nerve to call Bill and ask for an appointment. He kind of expected Bill to tell him to mind his own business. Bill welcomed Doug into his office and after dispensing with small talk, Doug told him what he had seen a couple of nights earlier. He only had one question for Bill, "Why would you do something like that?" Doug told me how Bill became very quiet as he told the story of what he had seen. After Doug was finished, Bill leaned forward and began to speak: Bill had been going down to the fountain to help feed the homeless for about a year and a half with others from his church. That evening, he had just finished a board meeting and had to hustle to get down there in time to help. He didn't normally go down in his suit and good coat. Bill told how he had been attending a Bible study before on Wednesday evenings and one evening the crew invited him to tag along with them to minister to the homeless. From that first evening, Bill found himself very humbled. As he prayed about what he had seen, he knew he was being directed by the Lord to continue ministering to the homeless. So he had been going out just about every Wednesday evening since and relationships with several of the men were actually growing pretty deep. Doug continued telling his story to me. He knew that I too was very involved in this work because I had told him about it before. The young man Bill had given his coat to was Ron and he was only 22 years old. He had run away from his parents home shortly before graduating high school and was living on the streets. When Bill had seen Ron, Bill rummaged around in the van to see if there was a blanket for him (the team usually took out woolen pile blankets to give out). Unfortunately all the blankets had been given out before Bill could put his hands on one for him. Bill further explained to Doug that he found himself trying to avoid Ron because he knew what the Lord was leading him to do. His coat was new and was tailored to fit, so it was quite expensive. But it was no use, and finally Bill went over to talk to him and gave Ron his coat. Ron was indeed dressed in summer attire and it was very cold out that November evening. As hard as it was for Doug to understand what Bill had done, what Bill said next was the most puzzling of all. Bill finished by telling Doug that what he had seen that evening, what Ron had received was only a small measure of what God had been working into Bill's life. From the very first night he had gone out, the Lord was cultivating into Bill's life the very heart of God for all mankind. And in that time, the one thing he had seen was how often the poor are very quick to embrace the love of God into their lives. He had come to understand that living wasn't about creating an empire, but that life, real life came by knowing Jesus and learning to love others, even sometimes at great personal expense. Bill saw that God was using this time to change him, make him more compassionate and loving toward others. Particularly those that in the past caused him roll up his car windows at intersections or look the other way before passing one of them on the street, the outcasts of our society. In the weeks that followed, Doug found himself profoundly impacted by what he had seen that evening and what he had been told about it. Doug quit with the cynical and sardonic comments and actually seemed to begin to enjoy the Christmas season. He had come to understand just what it was that made Christmas so important and why people rejoiced as they did. Doug learned how God's gift of His Son Jesus has impacted so many lives down through the ages, people like St Nicholas, and caused them to be compassionate and to give selflessly. I moved to a different city a few years later and have lost track of Doug (and Bill). But every Christmas since, I remember Doug and how he was changed by witnessing the selfless giving of a beautiful coat to someone else who desperately needed it. And I find myself rejoicing even more, because one more person has seen why Christ is so important to Christmas!
  50. 1 point
    Dear Clan Claus Society Members – It is my pleasure to share with you that Dr. Joseph J Morrow QC the Lord Lyon of Scotland is now a distinguished member of the Clan Claus Society! The Court of the Lord Lyon is the heraldic authority for Scotland and deals with all matters relating to Scottish Heraldry and Coats of Arms. The Court of the Lord Lyon of Scotland maintains the Scottish Public Registers of Arms and Genealogies. (www.lyon-court.com) We were fortunate that one of our members, Santa Matty Ross was in the “right place at the right time”. For those of you who do not know Matty, he is a fixture at the Utah Highland games where he represents Clan Claus Society. The Lord Lyon was in attendance at the Utah games a few months ago to award the Utah games their own Coat of Arms. Matty was one of a few select people invited to the private reception for the Lord Lyon. It just so happens that Matty was seated directly across from the Lord Lyon. The Lord Lyon noticed Matty’s Order of the Benevolent Reindeer medallion and inquired about its significance. Matty and the Lord Lyon had a lively conversation. He was very interested in our mission and purpose. As it turns out the Lord Lyon has been portraying Santa for over 20 years! He has been a part of the spirit of Christmas for decades. I was able to make contact with him and invited him to become a member our Christmas family. Here is his response. “Dear Kona, I was so delighted and honored to be made a member of your Society. It also in this summer months brought a real sense of joy to me. Can you thank all in the Claus Clan Society for the kindness they have shown me. All the materials have arrived safely I think it is one of the most enjoyable honors I have ever received. I will promote your/our work through my own work. With many thanks and best wishes.” Lord Lyon (Santa Joe Morrow)
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