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Showing content with the highest reputation since 09/18/2018 in all areas

  1. 7 points
    I saw the Christmas trees and decorations up in Walmart today, so it's just a matter of time before the Christmas Creep Complainers start in...
  2. 5 points
    Each month, our Featured Member section profiles a ClausNet member. Members are chosen totally at random by me and the staff. Once selected as Featured Member of the Month, we interview the candidate and post the interview here. This is a wonderful way to get to know your fellow ClausNet members! We are happy to announce our ClausNet Featured Member for October 2018 is Chuck Lee! Chuck Lee Featured ClausNet Member – October 2018 Profile: Chuck Lee Real Name: Chuck Lee Location: Ovilla, Texas USA ClausNet member since: 28 July 2011 Community Reputation (as of today): 91 – Very Nice! Website: heressanta.com Facebook: @SantaChuckLee This month’s featured member hails from the great State of Texas! To say Santa Chuck Lee has some interesting hobbies is an understatement. Chuck is a true craftsman. An artisan. In his spare time Chuck builds custom banjos. And if that wasn’t cool enough, he also holds a Black Belt in Shaolin Kung Fu and a Black Sash in Tai Chi. We caught up with Chuck 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? Chuck Lee: "I began portraying Santa in 2011. One of my reasons for portraying Santa was to ‘reinvent’ the Christmas holiday. I didn’t always have good memories of Christmas as a child and want to play a small part in making the holiday special for others." ClausNet: What or who are your influences on your portrayal of Santa Claus? Chuck Lee: "I was definitely influenced by movie portrayals and the vast pool of excellent artwork; however, a former Santa Claus, seeing my natural beard, told me I had the right look and should consider it. I approach Santa as a true craftsman. My whole adult life I have made things with tools and the last sixteen years I have made Professional Grade open back Banjos in an 800 sf secluded workshop in my back yard. I always ask myself, what would a craftsman, a toymaker, do? How would they look and behave? I am not too fancy in my attire, everything is well made (almost everything by my own hands) and most of all, I want to know if the work of my hands brings people joy." ClausNet: What do you enjoy most about being Santa Claus? Chuck Lee: "Finding out how each child is making a positive impact on their world. I am not “all about a long list of gifts” from each child. After a few items from their list, I start in on the good stuff. How do they help their family, do they keep their room clean, put their toys away? Help their parents with chores, help in the kitchen? I want to know how they are doing in school, are they kind, do they include others who are left out? I always ask their favorite subject and how their grades are. Most importantly I ask if they like to read. I tell them Santa loves to read (I really do) and I tell them Santa reads two-three hours a day (I really do). I tell them that reading can open the world of possibilities for them. I finish off with asking them to do something for me, and if they do, Santa with bring them something special under their tree. I ask them to go to their mother/grandmother or other parent figure and to say the following. “You have a very hard time at Christmas and the Holidays. You have many more responsibilities, longer hours in your day and so many things to do for others. Could I do an extra chore for you once a week until Christmas?”. Try it, you will see the love and light of Christmas sparkle through in the eyes of the child and in the eyes of the parents too." ClausNet: What is your most memorable visit? Chuck Lee: "Because of the type of events I mostly do, I often have more time with children than most Santas might be afforded. If I may, two visits hold the top spot. The first most memorable visit was on a Christmas Eve, late at night, being “caught” by the family putting presents under the tree. We spent about 30 minutes talking about my childhood in Myra, my life as I grew older, about the “Real Reason” I give gifts on Christmas Eve, and then long retelling of another night I was caught by the father of the house putting out gifts (inspired by Clement Moore of course). Time was provided for all the questions they wanted to ask. The second most memorable visit was to a neighbor, the group was a mix of English speakers and Spanish speakers. I retold ‘A Visit from Santa Nicholas’, interpreted through a semi-bilingual college student while all the folks there corrected the translation, and offered alternate translations. We all laughed and teased for more than 30 minutes." ClausNet: Do you have a favorite gig? Chuck Lee: "One of my favorite gigs is at a Play Street Museum. I am able to get on the floor and roll balls with the children and act just like Santa would if he was off duty and playing with children. It’s a comfortable setting with plenty of staff support." ClausNet: What is your dream gig? Chuck Lee: "I think I am fortunate enough to being doing my dream gigs. I have had the opportunity to Santa for the Dallas Cowboys fans, the Cowboys owner’s family and the Families of the Cowboys Team and support Staff, with my friend Darla Bicknell. I have worked for the Dallas Mavericks. I’ve been in commercials for American Airlines, and I do a yearly parade for the City of Waxahachie, Ellis County Seat, Texas. My most favorite dream gigs are with Ivy Photography and the Storybook Santa Experience, along with the creative parties at Play Street Museum. My most fulfilling gigs are for Dog Rescue Groups and a Special outreach to Special Needs Adults. For these, I volunteer my time. I have been truly lucky to have been in the right place at the right time to serve." ClausNet: What keeps you busy when you are not being Santa? Chuck Lee: "When I am not being Santa, I am building Chuck Lee Banjos -- 789 to date, delivered all over the world (really). Teaching Kung Fu and Tai Chi, Leatherwork and other handcrafts and working as a Construction Manager for Globus Management Group. I have 40+ years in the Plumbing Trade." ClausNet: What are your hobbies / interests? Chuck Lee: "I love to read on most any topic from Personal Development, to History, and Fantasy. I spend a large amount of time getting healthy and learning about how to be healthy. I have lost about 80+ pounds and earned a Black Belt in Shaolin Kung Fu and a Black Sash in Tai Chi. There’s a story here but maybe not for this request. Also, I love to sew. As a new Santa, I wanted a fine Santa Attire but couldn’t afford it. I taught myself to sew in a Tailoring style. I love to sew." ClausNet: What is your favorite color? Chuck Lee: " Santa’s favorite color is surely red! That said, I have a fancy for Purple and all the deep royal colors." ClausNet: What is your favorite food? Chuck Lee: "I really enjoy a fresh meal of meats and vegetables. Watermelon too!" ClausNet: Coke or Pepsi? Chuck Lee: "Well, actually unsweetened ice tea and hot coffee. I am choosing a healthy Santa approach and lifestyle." ClausNet: What is your favorite cookie? Chuck Lee: " I never met a cookie I didn’t like, and I especially love a good peanut butter cookie. Alas, I try to avoid all but a few for health reasons. Wheat makes my joints hurt." ClausNet: What is your favorite movie? Chuck Lee: "I love to watch Fiddler on the Roof several times a year." ClausNet: Do you have a favorite Christmas movie? Chuck Lee: "The Santa Clause franchise is most enjoyable along with the Santa Baby franchise." ClausNet: What is your favorite Christmas song? Chuck Lee: "Silent Night has the most memories; I learned it as a child for a Christmas performance.." ClausNet: What was the last book that you read? Chuck Lee: "Ego is the Enemy, by Ryan Holiday." ClausNet: What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Chuck Lee: "I have tried many professions, some more successfully than others. But I’ve always wanted to run a Plant Nursery. When I am in a Nursery or Arboretum I feel like I can finally breathe." ClausNet: What profession would you not like to attempt? Chuck Lee: "I don’t prefer sales of any kind." ClausNet: What were some of your favorite toys as a child? Chuck Lee: "I love the story and record of ‘The Little Engine that Could’. I played the record for hours every week. It left a lasting memory, regardless of what I was told as a child. My whole life is built on the affirmation, ‘I think I can’, and therefore I do." ClausNet: What is your most memorable experience of Santa while growing up? Chuck Lee: "Although my family celebrated Christmas with Santa, due to family problems and crises, it was not often a happy holiday. I can’t say I have a positive memory to remark upon." ClausNet: What is the hardest question you have gotten as Santa Claus and what was your response? Chuck Lee: "I always do my best to tell the truth. It’s easy in some ways as I really do have a Toy Shop (Banjo Shop) in my back yard, I have many Reindeer (Dachshunds) running around, we have Elves (Apprentices) in the shop. It’s when I get ‘Are you the real Santa Claus?’ that I have a hard time. I stop, look them in the eye with all the love, acceptance and encouragement possible, I then say ‘What do you think?’. Every time, they look back into my eyes, at the glitter on my face, the rosy in my cheeks, at the long white beard and big mustache. With a full heart, they always say Yes, you are the real Santa. At that moment, to them, I really am." ClausNet: How did you find ClausNet? Chuck Lee: "I really don’t know, it feels like I have been here from my first day as Santa. It would have to have been through Lone Star Santas but a gentle memory says it must have been my friend Eileen Strom." ClausNet: And what do you like most about ClausNet? Chuck Lee: "The opportunity to network and learn. My day is not complete if I have not learned from another person." 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? Chuck Lee: "I admire many of my Santa colleagues, too many to list here. I would try but I would forget someone important. I especially look up to Cliff Snider as he was the first to challenge my heart to pursue the artistic work of Fine Art Photography (as a model, not as the photographer) and to my friends on a Facebook page called Fit Santa. Fit Santa has fitness as a priority for our role model to children." ClausNet: What advice can you give to a first time Santa or Mrs. Claus? Chuck Lee: "Have fun, be professional. Your grooming, clothing, communication and behavior should be above reproach. Don’t get caught up adding lots of bells and whistles, to your act and attire. A simple, high quality approach will make a beautiful Santa." ClausNet: Anything else you would like to add? Chuck Lee: "Stay healthy! Don’t get sucked into the idea that Santa must be fat to be jolly. Eat whole foods and hydrate with lots of water. Find an exercise you enjoy and do it—so that you can get down on the floor with the shy children, if needed. It’s hard to get enough sleep during Christmas Season, but that helps you stay well too. Have a joyful outlook and think—enjoy the mystery and the magic! Oh, and read a book; your mind, heart and soul will be glad you did." Thank you Chuck! Everyone, please join me in congratulating Chuck Lee, our ClausNet Featured Member of the Month for October 2018!
  3. 5 points
    Here are a couple of delightful old Walt Disney "Silly Symphony" Christmas cartoons. Santa's Workshop Night Before Christmas
  4. 3 points
    Here's my attempt to contribute to this thread: "Christmas was on its way. Lovely, glorious, beautiful Christmas, upon which the entire kid year revolved."
  5. 3 points
    DING DING DING DING DING! Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner! Ah, yes, my big scene with John Goodman. Second Santa from the left - a full 1.3 seconds of screen time about 28 minutes into the film.
  6. 3 points
    Aha...an unspoken movie quote from A Wonderful Movie Life! Atta-boy Clarence!
  7. 3 points
    its time to buy your Halloween costume, stuff a turkey, wrap a Christmas gift, and wish everyone a happy new year - right before you buy your Valentine's candy....
  8. 3 points
    Christmas decorations are showing up strong in Hobby Lobby and Walmart already
  9. 3 points
    I knew it was coming...just wasn't sure who would be the one!
  10. 3 points
    Thank you for bringing the news about the new stamp issues to come out with the Christmas Santa Claus Forever Stamps. For many years I would dutifully buy all the new stamps as they were issued. But sometime back in the last 1960s the Postal Service redoubled their efforts to keep pace with their promotion of the new stamp issues requiring increasing amounts to cover quite a lot of variations to the new issues. It became impossible to continue because of the great increase in cost to have all the varieties of stamps being issued. So I stopped my subscription requests. I will definitely purchase several sheets of each variety of the 4 Santa Claus stamps for use in my mail of Santa related materials. Thank you for bringing this to light. I also participated in the greeting card swap you sponsored at least one year quite awhile ago. It was loads of fun, but my law practice was a demanding mistress and I couldn't afford the time or expense to continue doing that. I think it is great you are still involved with that neat program. I was an immediate fan of your site when I first joined it back in the early 2000s. I love the color and pagentry you chose for your site. It is still a tad overwhelming in using the site since I do not come back to it as often as I should. But I do enjoy the monthly issues you send out. Thank you for your tireless work you must do to keep it together. I wish I had more time to spend on your site as I get so much out of it. But as I am on the downslope of my time as Santa, I seem to have less time for all the things I feel the need to participate in. But I will continue with my Santa activities as long as I can still get around. Santa Bill French SantaBill@MyOwnSanta.com www.MyOwnSanta.com Orange Park, FL
  11. 3 points
    Last year, my daughter and grandson called to invite me to join them for a local Christmas parade in their town. This town really knows how to celebrate Christmas! Even though I am a real bearded Santa, I still went and we had a great time watching all the wonderful floats go by, decorated with lights and tinsel and all manner of design. But when Santa and his sleigh came by, Santa just sat there, nary a wave, barely a smile. Then recently, I was paging through a talent agency website looking at various Santas represented by that agency. I’ve got to say, there are a quite a few of us I would not hire if I was looking for someone to appear at my party. I’ve been a Santa now for 10 years and every year have worked hard to improve my appearance and talents. I was a commercial photographer for 37 years before I retired. In that job, I not only had to learn to use a camera and design a photograph, but since I also worked with models (often amateurs), I had to learn how to direct them to get the best shot. When I photographed someone in a shot that demanded a mood of ‘excitement’, I studied what other artists and photographers had done to show that. I directed and worked with the models to get gestures and moods and expressions like happiness, joy, sadness, depression, anger and so on from them. I was prepared for what looks I needed to inspire when I walked into my studio or on set. And over time, it became second nature to me to coax various expressions from my models to even get images that were not planned but still became great shots. I use those skills I learned as a photographer and director. As Santas, we too need to do this. We need to look at what photographers and models have done with expression to get such wonderful shots. And I don’t mean just Santas photos either. The best sources I have had through the years was Lucille Ball and Dick Van Dyke. These two actors had rubber faces and knew how to engage their audiences. They could instantly transform their faces and gestures from that of someone who was being sneaky to one of laughter to embarrassment. I encourage you to create a file of fabulous faces and practice them in the mirror yourself! Think through the kind of engagements you have had with children and what great expression would have made the visit for them AND the picture even greater! Of particular note, practice and learn facial expressions such as joy, surprise, a great laugh, empathy, and even sadness and compassion. Learn them and use them regularly even in the off season. It isn’t just about facial expression either. Learn to use your hands and gestures to further enhance your look! Again, watch what the great pros have done. Perhaps most important is pay close attention to your visitor and learn to give a great Santa expression that meets the situation. I’ve learned to do that even when I am in the same chair for 5 to 8 hours visiting with hundreds of children. I even tell my photographers to be ready to shoot because the interactions come fast. I want those parents to leave with a picture of Santa and their child that they will really cherish and say, “That was the best Santa we ever had!” Now I realize that facial expressions and gestures are not really the ultimate goal. The real goal is to fully engage with the child or visitor if even for just a minute. Several years ago, I had an 11 year old girl come to visit me. She was a delight in every way: beautiful and bubbly and every bit engaging. She wore an absolutely beautiful Christmas dress of red velvet and white fur. We talked for a couple minutes. I complimented her on her beauty and dress and she told me how she was doing and what she wanted for Christmas. Mom took several pictures with her camera of us just talking and my reactions to what her daughter was telling me (surprise, joy and happiness and laughter…). A few days later, Mom came back by the set to get my email so she could send me some of her pictures (she loved them!). As I gave it to her, she was telling me more about her daughter and I learned her daughter was dying of leukemia. I didn’t have to put on a expression at that point. It was truly there. A couple of days before Christmas, Mom and Dad brought their daughter to visit with me again. I recognized her immediately. We had a delightful time together that time as well. But I believe what brought her back was her first visit with Santa. I had made the first visit such a delightful time and Mom had taken so many fun pictures that this time, they wanted the whole family photographed with Santa. This past year, I have been mentoring a man who decided to become a Santa. He is a great fellow and our friendship has deepened significantly. He has a truly great chuckle and very white hair and long beard. He has spent a small fortune having a custom suit, belt, buckle, boots and such made. All well and good. The man who becomes Santa is all about giving of himself to bless those who come to him. My friend will make a great Santa! All things considered, it isn’t the suit, it’s the man!
  12. 2 points
    Ralphie loves telling A Christmas Story
  13. 2 points
    I purchased ornaments at a Hallmark store back in July.
  14. 2 points
    Rockettes’ Christmas Show Gets More Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall Variety by Gordon Cox October 2, 2018 EXCERPT The “Radio City Christmas Spectacular” may have been around for 85 years, but don’t call it old-fashioned. The annual Yuletide showcase for the Rockettes is getting a major tech upgrade this year, boosting the show’s immersive and interactive elements, incorporating drones in the performance and bridging tech and live entertainment in ways that will all come together in a brand-new finale staged by Tony-nominated director Sam Buntrock. Don’t worry: This year’s “Christmas Spectacular” will still have that traditional Nativity scene, replete with live camels, which has always come toward the end of the annual production. But the new finale — featuring performers interacting with animation on one of the largest 8K LED displays in the world; 100 small, flying drones; live aerialists; and, of course, a new number for the Rockettes — will turn its attention to the North Star. “It’s an expressionistic sequence,” says Buntrock, known for meshing technology and theater in stage productions like the 2008 Broadway revival of “Sunday in the Park With George.” “It traces the North Star through time, and fragments that into points of light that then get carried forth into the world, in the tiny points of light on a Christmas tree or on a candle. It has this sense that the Christmas lights have an origin story — like Batman.” SOURCE: https://variety.com/2018/legit/news/christmas-rockettes-radio-city-music-hall-1202964995/amp/
  15. 2 points
    The first Santa Clause (sorry @Michael Rielly but that one comes with an "E" )
  16. 2 points
    Yep...you're going to have to dig deeper. I could even see the scene in my head when I read it.
  17. 2 points
    Didn't even have to get past the first few words before I knew it... National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
  18. 2 points
    It was indeed You win a customized back-scratcher!
  19. 2 points
  20. 2 points
    That's easy - Gremlins
  21. 2 points
    Santa Claus Conquers the Martians?????
  22. 2 points
    Yes, I know that I promised myself to only post every week or so, but I can't help myself. This definitely doesn't fit in elsewhere in the Forum, but I thought you might enjoy it anyway. As I mentioned in my introduction, I am an Amateur Radio (HAM) Operator (KK4ETS), and have a number of contacts in that field. One of the local hams (Gary Pearce KN4AQ) wrote this variation of The Night Before Christmas. Not the only Ham Radio related version, but the only one by a person I have met personally. I've linked to a UTube of Gary reading the poem too. Enjoy! A Ham's Night Before Christmas 'Twas the night before Christmas, And all through two-meters, Not a signal was keying up Any repeaters. The antennas reached up From the tower, quite high, To catch the weak signals That bounced from the sky. The children, Tech-Pluses, Took their HT's to bed, And dreamed of the day They'd be Extras, instead. Mom put on her headphones, I plugged in the key, And we tuned 40 meters For that rare ZK3. When the meter was pegged by a signal with power. It smoked a small diode, and, I swear, shook the tower. Mom yanked off her phones, And with all she could muster Logged a spot of the signal And the DX Packet Cluster, While I ran to the window And peered up at the sky, To see what could generate RF that high. It was way in the distance, But the moon made it gleam - A flying sleigh, with an Eight element beam, And a little old driver Who looked slightly mean. So I thought for a moment, That it might be Wayne Green. But no, it was Santa, The Santa of Hams. On a mission, this Christmas, To clean up the bands. He circled the tower, Then stopped in his track, And he slid down the coax Right into the shack. While Mom and I hid Behind stacks of CQ, This Santa of hamming Knew just what to do. He cleared off the shack desk Of paper and parts, And filled out all my late QSLs For a start. He ran copper braid, Took a steel rod and pounded It into the earth, till The station was grounded. He tightened loose fittings, Resoldered connections, Cranked down modulation, Installed lightning protection. He neutralized tubes In my linear amp... (Never worked right before- Now it works like a champ). A new, low-pass filter Cleaned up the TV. He corrected the settings In my TNC. He repaired the computer That would not compute, And he backed up the hard drive And got it to boot. Then, he reached really deep In the bag that he brought, And he pulled out a big box. A new rig? I thought! A new Kenwood? An Icom? A Yaesu, for me?! (If he thought I'd been bad It might be QRP!) Yes! The Ultimate Station! How could I deserve this? Could it be all those hours That I worked Public Service? He hooked it all up And in record time, quickly Worked 100 countries, All down on 160. I should have been happy, It was my call he sent. But the cards and the postage Will cost two month's rent! He made final adjustments, And left a card by the key: "To Gary, from Santa Claus. Seventy-Three." Then he grabbed his HT, Looked me straight in the eye, Punched a code on the pad, And was gone - no good-bye. I ran back to the station, And the pile-up was big, But a card from St. Nick Would be worth my new rig. Oh, too late, for his final Came over the air. It was copied all over. It was heard everywhere. The Ham's Santa exclaimed What a ham might expect, "Merry Christmas to all, And to all, good DX." (c)1996 Gary Pearce KN4AQ Permission granted for any print or electronic reproduction.
  23. 2 points
    Ernest Saves Christmas
  24. 2 points
  25. 2 points
    Sounds like Ernest is back at it...Saving Christmas again! OK...Here's another easy one... "Oh Fuuuudge...Only I didn't say fudge."
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