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  1. 7 likes
    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 February 2017 is SantaGene! SantaGene Featured ClausNet Member - February 2017 Profile: SantaGene Real Name: Gene Location: Tacoma, Washington USA Website: MyTacomaSanta.com Facebook: MyTacomaSanta ClausNet member since: 16 March 2010 Community Reputation (as of today): 63 – Very Nice! February’s Member of the Month has been wearing the red suit for 9 years now. Santa Gene from Tacoma Washington joined our community in 2010 and has been a key contributor to the community since. We caught up with Santa Gene 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? SantaGene: "I have been portraying Santa for 9 years now. I started when my first grandson was a year old. I had borrowed a suit from a friend. It was a cotton suit that he had used for years. Then that same season my wife brought me home a Santa suit from Costco. That was the beginning of the end (her words). The next year I bought a couple of OTR suits and then one from Adele’s and a few (I’m not saying how many) from Sam. And then boots, vests, and belts and of course buckles. Let’s just say that when someone from NORPAC Santas needs to find something Santa, they ask me first." ClausNet: What or who are your influences on your portrayal of Santa Claus? SantaGene: "The Coca-Cola Santa and Miracle on 34th Street Santa." ClausNet: What do you enjoy most about being Santa Claus? SantaGene: "To see the eyes of a child light up when they see Santa, whether it’s an Alzheimer’s patient or a preschooler. To hear their requests; one of the best was when I asked a 10-year-old boy what he wanted for Christmas and he told me he had already received his present this year, he had been in foster care and he had just gotten adopted. Brought tears to my ears!" ClausNet: What is your most memorable visit? SantaGene: "This year I was asked to make a visit to a 94 year old lady who is on Hospice. She was surprised and very gracious. I have to say that my most memorable visits are the ones that I don’t get a monetary fee from. It’s not to say that the paying ones aren’t fun and memorable but those that I give just my time are wonderful, whether it’s a nursing home, or a military unit party or visiting disabled student of one if my teacher friends. They are all good!" ClausNet: Do you have a favorite gig? SantaGene: "I love them all but my favorites are home visits. I love the flexibility of them, to be able to try new things and I can see by the size of the group what will work and what won’t. This year I did a much better job of scheduling my visits and I didn’t feel rushed in any way to get to the next one! But the nursing homes and preschools are great too.’." ClausNet: What is your dream gig? SantaGene: "I would like to be in a parade someday. I do my own bookings so I have some gigs that are steady work but it also gives me a chance to book different venues too. I’ve done some that I reflect back on and say: ‘Wow that was great’! Sometimes they come up again sometimes not but I do get opportunities to do different gigs. Livin’ the dream!" ClausNet: What keeps you busy when you are not being Santa? SantaGene: "I’m mostly retired now. My career as an IT person was caught up in the Washington Mutual Bank thing and was never able to find work in the late 2009 and 2010. Having our grandchildren (3) in town keeps us busy and doing work at our church, there is always something to do." ClausNet: What are your hobbies / interests? SantaGene: "I love to camp with my family; we’ve done every type from tenting to backpacking. I prefer my fifth wheel trailer now. I like to fish, steelhead river fishing to salmon fishing in the Puget Sound, mostly lake fishing now. My passion is singing. I play the guitar and have a band called Loose Canon, Mountain Gospel with some Bluegrass thrown in." ClausNet: What is your favorite color? SantaGene: "Red." ClausNet: What are your favorite foods? SantaGene: "I love a big ol’ hamburger and homemade fries. BBQ ribs, slow cooked with a dry rub that I put together. I do like BBQ!" ClausNet: Coke or Pepsi? SantaGene: "Diet Coke." ClausNet: What is your favorite cookie? SantaGene: "Soft Chocolate Chip." ClausNet: What is your favorite movie? SantaGene: "Young Frankenstein, Gene Wilder." ClausNet: Do you have a favorite Christmas movie? SantaGene: "I have many that I watch every year, from Elf to Miracle on 34th Street, It’s a Wonderful Life, and Scrooged. My youngest grandson(3) loves The Polar Express, he would watch it every day if he could! I love watching it with him, every time it’s like he’s seeing it for the first time!" ClausNet: What is your favorite Christmas song? SantaGene: "Funny you should ask because I was asked by an older child this year what my favorite Christmas was, I didn’t have an answer because I love so many of them. My 3-year-old grandson always wants me to sing, When Christmas comes to Town, from Polar Express. I tend to be an old schooler when it comes to Christmas songs, Perry Como, Nat King Cole, Johnny Mathis. It drives my wife crazy! I did put A Visit from St. Nicholas to music last year. For me it’s easier to memorize things when it is put to music. I have to say it was a hit at our Santa Workshop." ClausNet: What was the last book that you read? SantaGene: "Second Watch, by JA Jance." ClausNet: What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? SantaGene: "Social Work." ClausNet: What profession would you not like to attempt? SantaGene: "Health Care profession. All of my wife’s side of the family is in health care. It takes a special person to be good at it (they are) and I know I’m not." ClausNet: What were some of your favorite toys as a child? SantaGene: "Tinker Toys, Erector Set, dump truck, and a bulldozer." ClausNet: What is your most memorable experience of Santa while growing up? SantaGene: "This is the question that I always read when others have been the Member of the Month. The reason is I really didn’t have experiences of Santa growing up. I lived in a rural town in Washington (Packwood) and other than once seeing Santa across a gymnasium in grade school after the Christmas play, that was it. We never went to a city and saw Santa; never sat on Santa’s lap or even spoke to a Santa. But I loved Christmas and everything about it; the music, the lights and the smells! We would always go into the woods and cut down a tree. I would cut off cedar boughs and make garland for around the front door. I remember sitting in the rocking chair as a child for hours; rocking and staring at the Christmas tree and listening to Christmas music." ClausNet: What is the hardest question you’ve gotten as Santa Claus and what was your response? SantaGene: "Having Military bases close by and doing parties at the bases, children ask if I could bring their Father or Mother home for Christmas or if could help make sure they are safe. I tell them that I’m sure that their parent(s) wish they could be home with them too and that they are thinking of them. I tell them that they are in my prayers and thoughts." ClausNet: How did you find ClausNet? SantaGene: "I believe that I found it through an Internet search when I first started to portray Santa. I think at that time there were less than 500 members." ClausNet: And what do you like most about ClausNet? SantaGene: "All the information and sharing that goes on. Also the good natured ribbing and occasional sarcasm (Marty) It also lead me to Eileen, who has over the years, made me what I am today." 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? SantaGene: "Wow tough question because there are so many! I have guys in Norpac Santas that I admire and are continually inspiring me to be a better Santa. Too many Santa and Mrs Clauses here on ClausNet do the same. I am sort of a lurker (sorry) at times on ClausNet because I love to observe and read the message boards here. There is so much great information that I like to take it in and process it. I am pretty much an introvert so portraying Santa brings me out." ClausNet: What advice can you give to a first time Santa or Mrs. Claus? SantaGene: "Have fun with it! Pay attention to the children when they are talking and as my director in Community theater always told us actors: remember to stay in character because no matter what part you have, big or small, someone is always watching you!" ClausNet: Anything else you would like to add? SantaGene: "I feel blessed to be able to portray Santa; to bring a little joy into someone’s life, if even for a second. Always try to be a better Santa than you were last season. Never stop improving. Thanks to all you Santas and Mrs. Clauses!" Thank you Gene! Everyone, please join me in congratulating SantaGene, our ClausNet Featured Member of the Month for February 2017!
  2. 6 likes
    Last night I was a guest at a Valentine's Day Christmas Party with the BOD of Golden Glow of Christmas' Past Vintage Christmas Ornament Collectors group. I met people from NY, PA, IL, WA, CA, NC, SC, OR, KS, NJ, and other places. I put in words for excellent Santas that I knew in the area so plugged Santa Howie, Santa Nick, Santa Johnny Boy, Johnathan, Trever, Jerry, Santa SC, and anyone else I could remember to rattle off when meeting and greeting with these 24/7/365 Christmas Enthusiasts. Here is the text of an email I received today along with some attached photos. Santa Marty, Thanks so much for visiting our group yesterday, Feb 14! Everyone was surprised and enjoyed your warm Christmas wishes on Valentine's Day. But remember, these folks celebrate Christmas all year long! We are The Golden Glow of Christmas Past, collectors of antique Christmas, with a small contingent visiting us in the islands. I had a great time with these folks and one of the earliest starts to my 2017 Season. I hope my beard will be ready to go in time for Christmas!
  3. 6 likes
    Born in 1908, James (Jim) D. Rielly was a lifelong resident of Bristol Rhode Island whose love for his country and his community was immediately evident when you met him. In many ways, he was Bristol’s unofficial Ambassador. To paraphrase Yeats: There were no strangers to Jim Rielly; only friends he had not yet met. Jim Rielly was well known throughout New England for his kindness, generosity, and countless charitable acts. He was featured in the New York Times on multiple occasions and in hundreds of other newspapers throughout the United States. In 1982 he appeared on the television news program, PM Magazine hosted by Sheila Martines and Matt Laurer. In recognition of his efforts, Jim Rielly was the recipient of numerous awards and commendations. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus and an honorary member of the Bristol Rotary Club, which presented him the Paul Harris Fellowship Award. He was a life member of the Bristol Elk Lodge No 1860 and the Cup Defenders Association. He also received awards from the Bristol Jaycees, the Rhode Island House of Representatives, the Leonardo DaVinci Lodge, Sons of Italy, and the Seabees of Davisville. The Coast Guard Cutter Spar honored Jim Rielly for the loving and compassionate time he shared with crew members and their families. He also received awards from the Naval Air Station at Quonset Point, the US Naval Construction Battalion Center, the USS Hammerberg and the USS Essex. In 1989, the Bristol Town Council presented Jim Rielly with the Bristol Citizen of the Year Award. Over the course of his lifetime, Jim Rielly received numerous letters of recognition from celebrities and dignitaries from all over the world including: Eleanor Roosevelt, Senators Theodore Francis Green, Claiborne Pell, and John Chafee, Presidents Dwight D Eisenhower and Richard M Nixon, and even his Holiness, Pope John Paul II. For 10 years Jim Rielly portrayed the character Charlie Weaver, appearing in Bristol’s Fourth of July Parades and at various places throughout Rhode Island. He once received a letter from the real Charlie Weaver, Cliff Arquette, who wrote “Keep up the good work but don’t take any checks”. In 1976, the year of our nation's Bicentennial, the town of Bristol appointed Jim Rielly as official Town Crier. His duties were to call to order the Patriotic Exercises and officially begin the Military and Civic Parade. As Town Crier he participated in all Bristol Fourth of July Parades from 1975 to 1989. He also participated in the official capacity of Town Crier in numerous other community and civic events. But Jim Rielly’s most notable role was that as Rhode Island's own "Santa Claus." His first appearance as Santa Claus was in the beginning of the Great Depression. In 1928 at the age of 19, Jim Rielly appeared as Santa Claus for a family living in an abandoned chicken coup. For more than 60 years, he would visit various orphanages, hospitals, nursing homes, schools, churches, charitable organizations, military bases and the State House. As Santa Claus, he traveled by helicopter, plane, Coast Guard vessel and sleigh to bring joy, laughter and cheer to literally hundreds of thousands of people. Accepting no payment for his appearances, his only fee requirement was that we share the true meaning of Christmas by loving one another. Close to his heart were those occasions when he spent time at the homes with mentally and physically handicapped children. In 1970, the town of Bristol named a street in his honor, Rielly Lane, and in 1975 the town dedicated the James D. Rielly bench at Rockwell Park. In 1979, the United States Senate entered his name into the Congressional Record for his kindness to people as “James D. Rielly, A Truly Remarkable Santa Claus from Rhode Island.” And on December 22, 2010, James D. Rielly was honored posthumously as one of the inaugural inductees into the prestigious International Santa Claus Hall of Fame in Santa Claus, Indiana. Today, at the entrance of Bristol’s Town Hall, hangs an oil painting of Jim Rielly; welcoming visitors to his beloved town as Bristol’s unofficial Ambassador. James D. Rielly died on November 26, 1991 at the age of 83.
  4. 5 likes
    Booked a Santa appearance on Valentines Day (night) with a group of antique ornament collectors. These are some serious collectors, and I'm looking forward to the visit. Photos to follow. Golden Glow of Christmas Past Vintage Ornament Collectors Got to love PayPal 💵 Money 💰 already in my account!
  5. 4 likes
    Back story. Since the children were ill during Christmas, you waited until they were all well. points: Santa didn't want to transmit anything (germs) to make them sicker. Santa didn't want to transmit any germs they may have to; other children, Santa, Mrs. Claus, the reindeer, elves, ... you get the idea. Then just have a "regular" visit, so what it's not December? And, you didn't want pass them by until next year because they were so brave & took their medicine to get well. ✅
  6. 4 likes
    I am not a fan of pop-up books for reading aloud to a group. I do like them for one on one, particularly for the shy child who needs a reason to get a little bit closer. I have some antique Christmas pop-up books that I treasure, but obviously I would never bring those out in a public setting.
  7. 4 likes
    Santa Claus extends his work schedule for area foster children in YLS program by Ryan Hyde, Holidays in January Committee Chair, via Jacksonville, Florida Financial News and Daily Record | Posted: 1-16-2017, 11:13 AM EST EXCERPT: JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA --- Contrary to popular belief, Santa Claus' annual Yuletide journey around the Earth did not end when his reindeers' hooves touched down outside his Workshop, during the wee hours of December 26th. Jolly Old Saint Nick needed to visit one special group of children; so, on January 7th, he harnessed up his loyal flying antlered friends, shined up his famous jingle bells, and headed into the River City for one very grand finale... To Read More Click Here: SOURCE
  8. 4 likes
    A Poem from Descartes Seuss I think Therefore I am I do not like Who you think I am I can not say What you should do My foot will not Fit inside your shoe Truth is not What you call it to be Often it isn't What you think you see Evil comes easy Seems good never does It will never be The way it once was So choose love Over the ways of hate Do it now Before it is too late. by George Castor descartespdf.pdf
  9. 4 likes
    An old copy of Night Before Christmas is a great prop on a photo set and handy to have around. If you have a sleeping baby, Santa can pretend to sleep too with the book as the 'reason' why the two fell asleep.
  10. 3 likes
    #4 N/A because ........... I like what's in the Gazette, BUT if there were more or less info, I would still read it, all of it. There have been times that I don't read each and every article. BUT it's not because there is too much information in it. Now that all said, if there was less in the newsletter I would understand that as well. I save it and read it from first to last and I have never thought, "Well there goes 10 to 15 minutes I'll never get back"! I enjoy it and like receiving it. Best of luck to you Michael.
  11. 3 likes
    In answer to our petition, the State Of Indiana granted Jim Yellig it's highest civilian honor, The Sagamore of the Wabash! We will be presenting his daughter, Pat Koch, the award on February 25th 11AM CST. This will be done at the Santa Claus Museum in Santa Claus Indiana. Afterwards, there will be a wreath ceremony at his grave site. (And then lunch at the Chateau in Mariha Hills. Santa Jim owned this restaurant and bar!) All are invited to attend to help us celebrate the life and wonderful legacy of this great man! We will be broadcasting this live on Facebook Live. ( Details on who to follow will be coming.)
  12. 3 likes
    Santa Claus makes special trip to McLane Children's Hospital by Kandace Thomas, KXXV-TV/DT, Waco, Texas | Posted: 02-12-2017, 6:39 PM EST; Updated: 02-13-2017, 12:35 AM EST EXCERPT: TEMPLE, TEXAS --- Santa Claus was back in town for one very special little girl. On Sunday, Baylor Scott and White McLane Children's Hospital in Temple held a Christmas celebration for 4-year-old Layla. Her family says that for her entire short life, Layla has been a fighter. Born prematurely, she later lost her mother. For much of the last two to three years, Layla has been in and out of the hospital, battling seizures and respiratory problems... To Read More Click Here: SOURCE:
  13. 3 likes
    I received a Valentine's Day request from a family who's children were ill during the Christmas season. I'm not sure what to think of this. I need to work out the story/plan.
  14. 3 likes
    Thank you, this unusual February booking just came out of nowhere. My beard is very short but after a short personal interview it was acceptable to my new client. From what I can tell, this is a very serious group of Christmas enthusiast, some of which maintain year round displays. I am looking forward to meeting them and hearing about what they look for in the way of vintage ornaments. Without a doubt, I will be seeing some nostalgic ornaments of my youth!
  15. 3 likes
    Use of books is a good topic. We could devout a lot of time on it and I'd like to CN have a section on just use of books. I am not a big fan of using books unless the situation is optimum for it. The Night Before Christmas is really longer than you think. I have found from experience that it takes quite a bit to hold the attention of younger children with it. To increase the effectiveness I use a very large picture book of it. I have the entire poem memorized so I can keep the book fully open with the double page spreads facing the children. Sometimes I will enlist the help of an adult to sit in my chair holding the book towards the kids and I stand and recite the poem giving page turning cues to the adult helper. Standing while reciting helps me to make a number of broad gestures, expressions and poses which helps keep the attention of the kids. I also point to various items in the picture book as I tell it. I can focus on the kids and my delivery because I don't have to deal with the book and the page turning. Sometimes I'll have an older child do the book holding for me if I spot one that I think will do a good job. A non-believing older sibling or cousin is good for this at a home visit. But in general I'm not a big fan of using books. Kids have books read to them all the time (hopefully) so it's not a super special experience. I'd rather spend the time on storytelling with a prop. And if you have a custom prop that they've never seen (one not commercially available) then it's more interesting. There are some really good picture books that are geared to the preschool crowd that are much shorter if must read a book, but there is so much more you can do during a visit if you use your imagination. (Assuming you have one. ) It's rather sad to see how attention spans of children and adults have shortened over the last 30 years. I know lots of guys say they read books and in particular read Night Before Christmas on home visits, but honestly if you have lots of 3 and 4 year olds I think you'll be pretty disappointed with the situation at about 2/3 of the way through it. And if it's a large number of kids then once you lose them it's tough to get them back. That's why I use a puppet. The photos below are reaction to the puppet. It's almost impossible to get that from a book. The group in the photo was a preschool we did 65 kids on one day and 35 kids the second day. They were all under 5. They would have been climbing the walls half way through Night Before Christmas. But if must read a book and it must be Night Before Christmas, then I'd recommend the big one illustrated by Tom Newsom or get a vintage copy of the Big Golden Book illustrated by Corrine Malvern, you can find them on ebay. I'm not sure a pop-up book would survive some of my home visits. Best Night Before Christmas book IMO, very large pictures and some beautiful double page spreads, hard cover with a dust jacket (get a mylar cover for the jacket): Vintage Big Golden Book version with awesome vintage images:
  16. 2 likes
    Y'know, as always, nobody else compares with kids when it comes to discussing matters Claus. So CBS2's own Scott Rappaport felt the need to investigate that. Here are the happy results of his findings: Kids Talk Santa Claus After Christmas Morning by Scott Rappaport, WCBS-TV/DT, New York | Posted the evening of Christmas Day, 12-25-2016, 11:32 PM NEW YORK CITY --- It's the night after the big day, and Santa Claus has come and gone, but the magic and wonder of St. Nick is still dancing within the heads of kids from all across the Tri-State Area. Ask any little kid about him, and of course they'll tell you how much they believe in Santa Claus. CBS2's Scott Rappaport spoke with some kids who shared their experiences with him: So, what do we know about this Kris Kringle guy anyway? "He rides on a sleigh with magical reindeers," said one boy. "He has a white beard," said another. "He's fat," said a little girl, drawing laughter from a third boy. Some kids said that they saw the Big Man last night. "He asked me to sing a song," said one girl, before giving our cameras a roaring rendition of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas." Santa, apparently, approved. As for the biggest question of them all: just how does Santa get into people's houses? One girl thinks he may slip in "through the heating vents, or something." Still another boy says he's got it all figured out. "He just needs to get in the secret way," he said. Simple enough. SOURCE:
  17. 2 likes
    Santa Claus, Inc. expands services By Charles Roberts, Highland, Calif. Community News | Posted: Feb. 20, 2017, 11:22 AM EXCERPT: HIGHLAND, CALIFORNIA --- Santa Claus, Inc. has come a long way from its humble beginnings in 1952. Initially organized to provide Christmas gifts for 50 to 100 children of enlisted officers at Norton Air Force Base, the nonprofit now serves almost 250,000 and serves not only the entire San Bernardino area, but now all the way from Ontario to the Palm Springs and Victorville areas. Larry O'Nan, President-elect of the Highland Kiwanis Club, got involved with them at the suggestion of his wife. "I just drove here to work, driving through Highland but not really knowing anybody here and not being fully involved with the community," he told the Kiwanis Club members during their February 16th meeting. "My wife suggested that I should get involved, so I visited the Kiwanis Club office and decided to join up." Since then, Larry has not only become an active and fully involved member of the group, he's also gotten involved with Santa Claus, Inc. of San Bernardino, starting off as a volunteer, and then up to the Board of Directors, and eventually to a leadership position within the organization. Since then, Santa Claus, Inc. has hired its own full-time Executive Director, Karen DeCarlo, and has expanded its services to become a year-round operation, not just helping the needy at Christmas, but anywhere that they are needed. SOURCE:
  18. 2 likes
    Once again, another week has passed, and I progress toward being Santa. Over the last week, many of the items I ordered online have come in. Things like a Santa Claus makeup kit, various items to build costumes (faux fur, specialty needles, boot cuffs), and best of all, a message that my round eyeglasses have shipped. This last is great because I'll be able to see while having my professional photos taken (assuming the post office can get them here in less than 2 weeks). If they don't come in, I'll have to use costume glasses that I picked up, which don't do anything for my sight. What else have I been doing? I finally broke down and bought web space on WIX, and a domain name to go with it. MrsClausPlusSanta.com is now registered in my name, and the basic framework for the site is up, along with some material that I have been able to accumulate or appropriate from examples set by other Santa's. If you look at it at the time of this post, it doesn't look like much, since there are no pictures (except one selfie), and I haven't really worked on the text yet that much. After picture day, I should be able to start alleviating that lack, but I also need to work with my partner, (Merry) Lou. After I get pictures up, and the site in a more presentable state, I'll post the URL as part of my profile.
  19. 2 likes
    Clarification on my "yes" response to question 6. I have purchased items that were listed in the Gazette, but not because they were listed in the Gazette.
  20. 2 likes
    This house was moved to make room for expansion of a business next door. The idea is this house is going to be turned into a year-round Santa house and try to turn it into a visitor destination. It's a cool idea if you've got the finances to support it the first couple of years.
  21. 2 likes
    Nokomis House Moves for Santa's Sake From the Journal-News, Hillsboro, Illinois | Posted: Thursday, February 11th, 2017, 12:15 AM CDT EXCERPT: NOKOMIS, ILLINOIS --- We all know the song: "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town." But thanks to some cooperation between Casey's General Store, the Town of Nokomis City Council, and one local resident, you might wanna make that "Santa Claus is Stayin' in Town"! To accommodate that possibility, a house was moved from behind Casey's this past Valentine's Day, to a spot about a block and a half north at Front and North Cedars. And the plan? Having studied expansion options, Casey's had acquired the property behind them for the space needed to do so, with a view toward demolishing the house on the site, said City Commissioner Tim Brookshire... To Read More Click Here: SOURCE
  22. 2 likes
    Y'know what? Enough already with the references to 'fake news'! Before 2017 is out, this whole 'fake news' thing will find its way to Bakken and the World Santa Claus Congress; and they were gonna have a nice 60th Anniversary Bash in July. But noooooooooooo!!! Those media morons didn't wanna leave it alone; now, by this Christmas, we'll all be muttering about 'fake news'.
  23. 2 likes
    Congratulations, Santa Gene! Serving as Tacoma's Santa warms the cockles of this old Elf Without Jingles's heart.
  24. 2 likes
    Valentine Day I purchased some cut flowers for my sweetheart Just for Valentine day She said," Oh they make my alleregy rise So please take them away." So then I purchased a big heart of chocolate candy She said you shouldn't have done that You know i am on a diet and that will make me fat Pondering what I should get for her I had a this thought today I would buy her a ticket to Matazlan But to her surprise It was just ONE WAY. Just a poem that came to me -- Happy Valentine Day.
  25. 2 likes
    Ha ha Steve. Nothin takes that long!
  26. 2 likes
    I am thinking about using some pop up books this season, has anyone used these, if so what are the pros and cons. My wife covered the night before Christmas in velvet and antiqued the pages of it and it made the pages easy to turn, but it takes days to do one. You can see pictures of the book she make in my gallery. She could still make a velvet cover for the pop up books, I just wondered if it would hold the attention of the children
  27. 2 likes
    When I read at the National I always read The Night Before Christmas. I explain the history of it and I know it by heart so I as I go. I had a different thread on the use of props, well at the National I use my Santa bag the has a secret pocket where I hide my mouse puppet, So I start the book and when I get to no even a mouse I stop and say hey where is our mouse? I grab my bag and pull out any animal but a mouse and after 3-4 try's I grab the bag and pour 80 to 100 plastic or stuffed animals (cost around $1.000 each) and I ask the kids to find my mouse (he's not there) so I put my head in the bag and look and then make a big deal and grab my mouse puppet. The kids have a ball and I spend 80-90 bucks but I get paid over $500 for a hour and I have 3 events there. I ald explain the Polar Express and hand out the bell in a bag and we all open at once and ring the bell (it's great) and the club pays for the bells.
  28. 2 likes
    Monarch Landing Receptionist by Day, Santa Claus by Night Naperville resident Brody Krise and "Santa" photo by Alicia's Photography By Ivy Marketing Group via Naperville, Illinois Patch.com | Posted: 1-27-2017, 1:59 pm Eastern Time EXCERPT: NAPERVILLE, ILLINOIS --- While his hair is no longer bleached white, and he's packed up his red suit for the season, there's still a lotta Santa Claus left in Jim Roberson. Receptionist at Monarch Landing by day, the longtime area resident plays Santa every weekend and every evening throughout the holiday season. It's a role that's not too much of a stretch for this jolly gentleman who is usually the very first friendly face you'll see when you visit Monarch Landing... To Read More Click Here: SOURCE
  29. 1 like
    Another week goes by, and I am one step closer to being Santa Claus. As mentioned in last weeks post, I received my round wire-frame prescription glasses in the mail. Of course one of the first things I did was get my wife to take a picture of me wearing the new glasses along with a Santa hat and a red T-shirt. I've added this picture as my new profile pic here. Not to worry... next Saturday I am scheduled to sit (or stand) for professional photos in full gear, so shortly thereafter I expect to be replacing this makeshift Santa picture with a real one. Not sure what kinds of backdrops the photographer has, but I hear that they do Santa pictures for kids, so I'm hopeful. What else? Oh yes, my web site. Still not ready to go public, since it doesn't have pictures, but one thing that I decided to add was a blog. So not only have I made a commitment to post in this blog every week, but I want to post over there three times a week, more or less. Not that it is the same kind of blog entry. More as Santa, talking about things going on at the North Pole, or answering questions. Sometimes I plan to post "North Pole News", which comes from the local journalists up there. All good fun, with the intent of keeping new material on the page every week, both to keep the kids coming back, and to get Google to rank the site higher. No, I haven't set it so Google will crawl the site yet... I want to get the picture on the site, and finish a little more material on the Blog and certain other pages before I do that. Be assured, I do intend to turn it on before the end of March (prepping for Gatlinburg). Blessings, MikeE
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    Coatbridge's own Santa Claus lights up lives with record donation for sick kids Proceeds from Christmas display lead to 12,750 lbs. being collected for Ronald McDonald House charity by Ian Bunting, Daily Record, Coatbridge, Scotland | Posted: 1300 GMT, 19 February 2017 EXCERPT: COATBRIDGE, SCOTLAND --- Big-hearted Coatbridge festive fundraiser Alastair Doyle has broken his own annual charity donation record, thanks to the kindness of generous locals. Awestruck families who visited the spectacular Christmas illuminations display at Alastair's Kirkwood home contributed to the phenomenal 12,750 lbs. that the retired pensioner was able to deliver, to help bring light into the lives of Kirkwood's sick children. Alastair's 2016 overall total was the most he's ever collected over a 12-month period, and takes the amount he has raised for the Ronald McDonald House at Glasgow's Royal Children's Hospital to an astounding 50,979 lbs. in just 11 years! During the festive period, Alastair does double duty as Kirkwood's very own Santa Claus, who, each year, displays an array of magical Christmas lights from his house on Sharp Avenue. Every year since 2006, Alastair has raised more than the previous year's target, and, with the help of friends, family and the entire community, he has once more entered record-breaking territory... To Read More Click Here: SOURCE
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    A Christmas thank you by Rocky Rohn, from the Letters Page, Winona, Minnesota Post | Posted: 02-20-2017 WINONA, MINNESOTA --- Again this past Christmas, I portrayed Santa Claus for various area homes and local businesses. I would like to thank all the local businesses that hosted me. Also all the several homes; for purposes of privacy I will not divulge the families' names, because I feel that I should respect the families' decisions. All the donations that were given to me by all the wonderful, very caring, and loving people are not forgotten. It'll never be "just like every year;" since I started playing Santa in 2001, it's always different every year. So to Jeff and Barb, let me thank you for your lifelong kindness and friendship; you both have supported and guided me. Each year, I always get new clients, as well as continued donations from those who have played along for several years. I want to say thank you and God bless all of you, along with all the relatives, friends, and neighbors --- and of course, all you children; I think of you all quite often. Why, I've even got one or two places already booked for this coming Christmas. Wow! Finally, I'd like to thank Sue Beck, to whom I gave all those donations. I first met Sue in Lewiston, at a public place on January 6th; she had her daughter with her, along with her daughter's two children. When I spoke with Sue, I learned that she is cancer-free, thank God. Sue's husband passed away from cancer back in March of 2015. Sue has several bills from her husband's medical treatments, as well as her own. She also told me that there'd been a great turnout for her benefit; and that was because your donations helped to lighten her load. So again, my thanks to everyone; and I look forward to returning this coming Christmas, to touch more and more hearts. To Read More Click Here: SOURCE
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    until

    I am going!!! Only a few days before we leave
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    That's next Saturday, right? Cool! Thanks for the heads-up!
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    SC, Every tree in the place is a themed tree. Some very collectible antique ornaments are just like what we had on our tree when I was a kid growing up. Ahem... guess I'm approaching antiqueness myself!
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    Wonderful! Yes Pictures - Please!
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    Meet Santa Claus FC, Father Christmas' gift-giving football club by James Masters, CNN.com | Posted: 8:45 AM EST, December 24, 2016 EXCERPT: ROVANIEMI, FINNISH LAPLAND --- He may be making his list and checking it twice, but Santa Claus will have to wait for the transfer window if he wants to shower his very own football club with presents. That's right, the man in the big red suit with the bushy white beard is a longtime fan of a team here in the northern Finnish city of Rovaniemi --- and, not surprisingly, they're named FC Santa Claus! While Santa gets busy all year round getting ready for his travels all across the globe, he still makes time to sled on down to the nearby Rovaniemen Keskuskentta Stadium... To read more, click here: SOURCE
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    Santa's House about 2 weeks from completion by Dustin Dorsey, WWAY-TV/DT, Wilmington, North Carolina | Posted: 02-03-2017, 5:58 PM EST EXCERPT: CAROLINA BEACH, NORTH CAROLINA ---- It all started with one little girl and her wish for Santa Claus to have his very own brand-new home. In September, Carolina Beach's residents and builders came up with the idea to construct a new home for Harry Bule, the man known as Santa Claus. We stopped by to take a look at the construction phase, and to find out exactly when Santa's Homecoming will be. The inside looks a little different from the last time our camera crew visited Harry Bule's house... To read more click here: SOURCE
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    Kinsmen passes Stouffville Santa Claus Parade torch to Mayor's Community Fund Stouffville Kinsmen made the announcement at the Santa Claus Parade Award Ceremony on January 25th by Ali Raza, Stouffville, Ontario, Canada Sun-Tribune | Posted: 02-01-2017 EXCERPT: STOUFFVILLE, ONTARIO, CANADA --- The Kinsmen's Club of Greater Stouffville will no longer host the town's annual Santa Claus Parade. That responsibility has now been passed to the Mayor's Community Fund (MCF), in an announcement made at the Kinsmen Santa Claus Parade Award Ceremony on Wednesday, January 25th. "This last Parade was challenging in a lot of ways, and to be honest, we didn't think that we could pull it all together," said Kinsmen member Bruce Smith. "Still, we've made the decision to step back, and we will not host the Parade in the future."... To Read More Click Here: SOURCE
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    Congratulations Santa Gene. I now know where to go for all things Santa. I look forward to picking your brain for information. Again, congratulations.
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    Nice read Gene! I enjoyed it very much, Congratulations!
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    I wouldn't recommend a pop-up book - too many chances for something to go wrong; the page doesn't pop-up correctly, it gets folded in on itself wrong, a child reaches out and grabs it tearing it, the group is more interested in the pop-ups than the story, the list goes on...
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    This is the book I have, Thanks Chris for the great idea about the cover. I was concerned how long / seasons it would look presentable. I only used it twice thais last year but I was quite happy with the over feel and pictures. Like Chris mentioned attention spans are pretty short so I only have this for visits that have an arranged " story time".
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    Name: Twas the Night Before Christmas (1974) Category: Movies and Television Date Added: 2017-01-25 Submitter: StNickPDX The Old Rankin / Bass special. I love this one... Twas the Night Before Christmas (1974)
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    Those were my thoughts as well. I'd file a police report. My Santa "equipment" as well as my "Tools" use to be covered under my business insurance policy. Since selling that business my Santa stuff is now covered under my homeowners policy. You might not think your Santa equipment & wardrobe would be very valuable. Just sit down and estimate what it would cost to replace it all at once. A lot of guys have continued to add, improve, & expand their "Santa Stuff" over years, possibly decades so the real replacement value is of a lesser concern. Facts are, people feel it is ok to just take what they want. Sad indeed.
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    This will be my 11th year portraying Santa Claus with any real determination and focus. In that time, I have grown (figuratively and literally!) to not only respect the opportunity that I have in the suit, but to cherish the time I have in the suit. We have all heard it said, "you never really can understand until you are in the suit" and I can attest to that. It's an amazing rollercoaster and you never can expect what's around the corner as I, like most, have been thrown a few curveballs here and there. This season is almost 100% booked and while it's not only going to be busy, I am adding a new wardrobe, new belt and buckle, new boots, new items for my Santa show, new giveaways, and a new custom ornament based on my mailbox design for special visits. Not replacements, just additions. Will all of these new things make me a better Santa? The obvious answer is, "NO." When I was in high school, I was hired by a family friend to work as a roofer. I would learn to spot repairs that were needed, reroof a house, and treat wood shake. One thing that I was not prepared for was the experiences and lessons I would learn from this trusted father figure in my life. He has now since passed away but recently I heard his words ringing in my head and I thought I would share... Mr. Brown had one of the biggest roofing companies in our area with one major competitor, a newer business that seemed to be everywhere. While our company had two older tiny little pickups and modest equipment, the competitor was seen around town with a full size truck fleet, brand new equipment, and trailers with their logos everywhere. I remeber one afternoon while on a roof with him, one of those shiny big trucks drove by and the driver honked and waived. As they drove off, I made a comment about how we should get a truck like that. His response was, "Why?" He explained, "Can we not do everything our job entails and to the best quality standard? His company has been around for five years and in that time, would you like to know how many customers have come to us because they were not happy? While they were out buying stuff in their first year of business, in my first year, I was walking door to door, and doing the best possible job I could do, treating every customer like they were my first but that they could be my last. "I have never seen a need for the shiny and new because what I have gets the job done and leaves my customers happy." It was a year or two after that conversation that the competitor filed for bankruptcy and was gone. Mr. Brown kept going until he decided to sell the business and retire. I found myself, while I sent off another payment for something new and shiny, Mr. Brown's word enter my mind. Now, what's the point of the story? I'm not going to tell you to stop buying things because, let's face it, new and shiny is pretty fun sometimes, but...time, effort, and training will always come out as the victor in our Santa portrayal. I am fortunate to not be in an area that is saturated by Santas. I have more than enough work in my area and I'm certainly not competing with other Santas. Time and effort is always spent on the "stuff" for the coming season but are we taking time to prepare our minds and hearts? May each of us not forget or lose sight of the fact that our inner Santa, our knowlege, our heart, our experience, must ALWAYS come first in our seasonal preparations...each and every child needs this to be our focus. The new shiny buckle, suit, or boots will NOT make you a better Santa. What is on the outside is not what makes you Santa. We have an amazing opportunity coming soon. We will put on a suit and create lasting memories for those we visit. Be your best, study, read, ponder how to be your best. That's my focus for this season. Finding ways I can be better. Thank you Santas! I am grateful for this community and for the sharing that takes place here. I cannot imagine portraying Santa isolated, not being able to share or learn from each others experiences. I am grateful for you and I can certainly say there are some giants and mentors here that I respect immensely...keep sharing!
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    I like the pom on a string but I like the bell look too. I don't currently have a hat with a bell, but if I did I think I would remove the pea so it wouldn't be ringing in my ear all the time.
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    For many, decorating the Christmas Tree with a pickle ornament is a beloved holiday tradition; however the origin of the Christmas Pickle remains somewhat of a mystery. Details vary, but the most common explanation is that the Christmas Pickle or Die Weihnachtsgurke is a centuries old German tradition where the last decoration hung on the Christmas Tree was an ornamental pickle; hidden deep within the branches of the Tannenbaum. And the first person to find the briny bauble on Christmas morning would receive an extra gift from St. Nicholas or be blesses with good fortune the coming year. The Bronner's CHRISTmas Wonderland website offers several varieties of Pickle ornaments and includes this explanation of the legend: “According to German tradition, the pickle brings good luck. After all the other ornaments were hung on the tree, the pickle ornament was hidden somewhere within the branches. On Christmas morning, the first child to find the gherkin was rewarded with an additional small present left by St. Nicholas." Unfortunately, there are a couple of holes in the story. Firstly, in Germany, Saint Nicholas arrives not on Christmas Day, but rather on the day of his feast, December 6, Saint Nicholas Day (Sankt Nikolaus Tag). Second, in Germany, gifts are usually opened on Christmas Eve (Heiliger Abend), not Christmas Day morning. Of course there is also the fact that most Germans have never heard of the tradition; and those that have, believe it to be an American tradition. So if most Germans have never heard of this tradition, then how did it get started? There are at least two Christmas pickle ornament stories floating in the Internet brine of speculation. The first story takes place during the American Civil War. As the story goes, Bavarian-born soldier, Private John Lower (Hans Lauer) of the 103rd Pennsylvania Infantry was captured in Georgia by the Confederate Army and taken prisoner. On Christmas Eve, Private Lower, starving and in poor health, begged the prison guard for just one pickle. The guard took pity on Lower and granted his request. The pickle gave Lower the strength to live on. Once reunited with his family, Lower began a tradition of hanging a pickle on the Christmas tree every Christmas Eve. The second story, recounts a tale of two boys trapped in a pickle barrel. There are several variations of the pickle barrel story; however, they mostly center around two Spanish schoolboys who are kidnapped by an evil innkeeper and placed into a pickle barrel. That evening, Nicholas, the Bishop of Myra (St. Nicholas) arrives and rescues the children. It’s probably no coincidence that this story sounds very similar to the legend of St. Nicholas and the three children in a barrel. As the story goes, a malicious butcher lures three children into his shop where he kills them and places their remains in a barrel of brine to cure, planning to sell them off as ham. Nicholas finds the children and resurrects them through prayer. This legend accounts for St. Nicholas as the patron saint of children and barrel makers and why the saint is often depicted in statues and paintings alongside three children in a barrel. Despite evidence showing that the Christmas Pickle tradition likely did not originate in Germany, there is however a connection to Deutschland. Both Christmas trees and Christmas ornaments originate from Germany. The small mountain village of Lauscha is considered to be the birthplace of the glass-blown Christmas ornament. In 1847, Hans Greiner began producing the first glass ornaments in the shapes of fruits and nuts. Soon after, the glass blowers of Lauscha were manufacturing ornaments in other shapes such as hearts, stars, and angels. By the 1870s, Christmas ornaments were being exported throughout Europe. But it wasn’t until the 1880s that glass ornaments became a regular fixture on Christmas trees in the United States. In 1880, a traveling salesman called on 28-year old Frank W. Woolworth at his store in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The salesman wanted to sell German glass ornaments to people for decorating their homes at Christmas. Woolworth was unconvinced of their appeal. He felt that Americans would not waste money on them because they didn't 'do' anything. Reluctantly, Woolworth purchased one case of 144 ornaments, but insisted on sale-or-return terms. Much to his surprise the ornaments sold out in one day, generating a profit of $4.32. The following year Woolworth doubled his order and sold out again. It seemed Americans loved the idea of decorating their Christmas trees with these unique glass ornaments. Regardless of its origins, the tradition of the Christmas Pickle survives and adds a layer of whimsy to the joy and merriment of the holiday season. And for many, no Christmas Tree is complete without it.