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  1. 7 points
    Another try at this ½ the size
  2. 6 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 January 2020 is Jerry Nebel! Jerry Nebel Featured ClausNet Member – January 2020 Profile: Jerry Nebel Real Name: Jerry Location: Lake Bay, Washington USA ClausNet member since: September 21, 2009 Community Reputation (as of today): 1,007 – Darn near Santa himself! Website: SantaInSeattle.com Our first Featured Member of the Month for 2020 has been a member of ClausNet since 2009. Jerry Nebel started down the path of portraying Santa Claus not far from the North Pole. Jerry’s first time in the suit was back in 1975 in Valdez, Alaska! We caught up with Santa Jerry 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? Jerry: "In 1975 in Valdez, Alaska I was asked to be Santa for the residents at the State Mental Hospital. I don’t remember much about that actual gig. I took advantage of the suit and visited with friends with children and the pictures are fun to compare with my present day look. One family had a big St. Bernard and when he saw Santa, he charged ready to tear him up only stopping dead in his tracks when he recognized the voice. In April 2008 I went to work for a tug and barge company. We delivered refined petroleum products up and down the West Coast from Los Angeles, California to Barrow Alaska, August of that year the General Manager asked if I would be Santa at the company Christmas party. At the time the company had over 250 employees and at Christmas at least half were at sea. The company put on a huge party at a large venue. Many activities for children and presents for them all. The manager had been the Santa previous years he explained. He had a suit I could use and over and over told me it was something he was sure I would enjoy. He couldn’t do it now because of his new responsibilities and it was easy to tell he was kind of sad he wasn’t going to be able to be Santa. After much deliberations and discussions with my wife Patti I decided to say yes. I stopped shaving and let my beard grow out. The handlebar stash I had been sporting for years. Patti added some touches to the suit which was a very inexpensive costume shop outfit. I had a pair of black rubber muck boots that I cleaned up with tire cleaner/polish to replace the plastic spats. At the venue there was a long staircase that Santa would come down to enter the party. I stood at the top of the stairs. Gave a hearty Ho, Ho, Ho and descended. When I reached the bottom, I was immediately surrounded by children. One little guy put the teddy bear hug on my leg and had to be pried off by dad. When I was departing I had him in my arms and asked if he wanted to come with me to the North Pole. A rookie mistake because of course he did and was most upset when he learned that Santa really didn’t mean it. I was hooked. Patti is an excellent seamstress and she made me a Victorian Santa suit the following year and encouraged me to develop my character and get an agent. Sound advice. Based on a Santa from a Judi Jensen painting, Patti then made me a Woodland Santa outfit. It is very unique and almost always when I ask a client which suit they would like me in the Woodland Santa is it." ClausNet: What or who are your influences on your portrayal of Santa Claus? Jerry: "ClausNet. I discovered it almost immediately soon after saying yes to the boss ‘I will be Santa’. A fantastic resource I had found. So much sound advice and members of the community sharing information. On ClausNet I learned that there were schools and I attended one of Santa Tim’s school in Portland, OR. In recent years I have learned much from Robert Seutter, aka Santa True. NORPAC our local Santa organization have brought him to the Northwest twice and we have all learned a lot. Many of the founding members of NORPAC have been influences in my portrayal also." ClausNet: What do you enjoy most about being Santa Claus? Jerry: "Receiving the unconditional love from children. I find it a true expression of Grace." ClausNet: What do you enjoy the LEAST about being Santa Claus? Jerry: "Being away from home during the Christmas season and the cold I seem to have been putting off for weeks laying me out for the week following Christmas." ClausNet: What is your most memorable visit? Jerry: "Domestic Violence Shelter on Christmas Eve. The joy and love from children who, worried that Santa wouldn’t know where they were on Christmas Eve and Mothers overcome with emotion seeing their children so filled with cheer and joy provided by Santa. I wasn’t ready for the love given and received by Santa that evening. It was a real tearjerker." ClausNet: Do you have a favorite gig? Jerry: "I truly enjoy my time in portrait photographers’ studios. I’m very fortunate to work with some amazing folks who their sessions special. I really enjoy putting the magic in a picture. A smile that is not generated by someone saying, ‘say cheese’. Seeing the same children and family’s year after and sharing the joy of Christmas with them. For a few years I worked for an outfit in Dublin as their Skype Santa. Was a great opportunity. Bedtime in Ireland is morning on the West Coast. It was so much fun looking into the Irish homes as the children had a visit with Santa." ClausNet: What is your dream gig? Jerry: "As Santa, raise the 12th Man flag at the start of a Seattle Seahawks home game." ClausNet: What keeps you busy when you are not being Santa? Jerry: "I recently joined Toastmasters. I have found that it is a great way to develop and practice backstory with an appreciative audience. Members enjoy it and their evaluations help to fine tune my portrayal of Santa. I also joined a writers group where I’m working on writing about my experiences while in character. I teach guitar classes from time to time. We retired to a 2 and half acre spot in the country a couple years ago and there is always something that needs tending." ClausNet: What are your hobbies / interests? Jerry: "I’m a member of a plein air painters group working with watercolor and acrylics. I enjoy playing the blues on acoustic and electric guitar. I play from time to time in a jam band at a local wine bar. Patti and I enjoy international travel also. Greece being one of our favorite locations." ClausNet: What is your favorite color? Jerry: "Toreador Red." ClausNet: What is your favorite food? Jerry: " Greek, Italian, and some Japanese." ClausNet: Coke or Pepsi? Jerry: "Pepsi." ClausNet: What is your favorite cookie? Jerry: "Russian Tea Cake. My mom called them Russian Rocks." ClausNet: What is your favorite movie? Jerry: "I don’t have one. I have never developed an interest. I think ADHD as a child I never had the attention span to sit thru a complete movie and when older Sleep Apnea put me asleep as soon as the theater went dark. In the past year I have enjoyed the movies about Elton John and Eddie Mercury." ClausNet: Do you have a favorite Christmas movie? Jerry: "Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale. I even have the T-shirt." ClausNet: What is your favorite Christmas song? Jerry: "The First Noel." ClausNet: What was the last book that you read? Jerry: "Ken Follett, ‘Winter Of The World’. Presently listening to ‘Edge of Eternity’ on CD as I go about my seasonal rounds." ClausNet: What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Jerry: "I did a tally the other day. I have received pay for my services or labor from 27 different sources since the paper route which was first. Most of my working life I was happy doing what I was doing and didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about how green the grass might have been on the other side of the fence. Growing up I wanted to be a National Park Ranger. Liked the uniform." ClausNet: What profession would you not like to attempt? Jerry: "Changing light bulbs on the top of radio towers. I am glad that there is someone that will go up and do it. Would be a real catastrophe to run into a dark tower on Christmas Eve." ClausNet: What were some of your favorite toys as a child? Jerry: "Lionel train, Lincoln logs, BB gun." ClausNet: What is your most memorable experience of Santa while growing up? Jerry: "Making the trip from our home in Port Townsend, Washington on the Olympic Peninsula (requiring two ferry rides at the time) to Seattle where the ‘real’ Santa was holding reign at the big Bon Marche Department Store. In Port Townsend the Santa an easily identifiable fake beard, black plastic spates over his shoes, and usually had the odor of cigarettes and or liquor. There was magic in Seattle at the department store." ClausNet: What is the hardest question you have gotten as Santa Claus and what was your response? Jerry: "The questions asking for healing from serious health issues or the return of a parent from service or incarceration are always hard. I try and answer with understanding, compassion and love." ClausNet: What is the strangest request you have gotten as Santa Claus? Jerry: "As I made my way thru a busy downtown crowd to present the ring for a marriage proposal, I was asked, ”Santa, please a pimp who doesn’t beat me”. And once in the grocery store, while out of character, a young woman came up and whispered in my ear, ‘Santa I would like a fireman’." ClausNet: How did you find ClausNet? Jerry: "Google Search for resources when I was starting out." ClausNet: And what do you like most about ClausNet? Jerry: "The open sharing of experiences and knowledge. I tell Santas I mentor that one of the first things you should do is join ClausNet. There you will find answers to your questions and where to find anything you might need. I tell them that if they have a question regarding anything, post it up and there will be answers almost instantaneously!" 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? Jerry: "From the start, I have been inspired by the ClausNet community. Santas, Mrs. Clauses, and contributors who have been so gracious and warm sharing their experiences, advice, and knowledge. I have learned much from them. From Santa Ron Kearns, a founding member of ClausNet, I have learned much about the ‘reason for the season’." ClausNet: What advice can you give to a first time Santa or Mrs. Claus? Jerry: "As you start your path, always try and remember that your smile and direct eye contact with a child are your greatest assets. The fancy suit, latest accessories, fantastic magic tricks, etc., are not what it’s about. When a child looks you back in your eyes and they can feel that ‘Santa cares and he is listening to me’ that is bringing." ClausNet: Anything else you would like to add? Jerry: "Thank you Michael Rielly and everyone associated with ClausNet for this recognition. I am honored to be joining the ranks of ClausNet Member of the Month club. I would encourage others to become active in their area or regional Christmas Performers group(s). Offer to be a mentor if you can. I have found it is a very rewarding activity. As you plan for the new year try and pick one thing each month to work on that will improve your portrayal of Santa. Strong backstory is important. Pick a subject for a month and work on it. Happy New Year to one and all. I’m wishing that the year 2020 is your best ever!" Thank you Jerry! Everyone, please join me in congratulating Jerry Nebel, our ClausNet Featured Member of the Month for January 2020!
  3. 6 points
  4. 5 points
    As one of my last acts as Chairman of NORPAC SANTAS, I asked the Executive Board for a Suggested Motion to make a donation to ClausNet from the organization's treasury. The motion was carried by the board by unanimous vote and the donation has been made. I know that ClausNet has been a valuable tool for many of our members in making themselves the best Christmas Performers they can be including myself. Trever Waltos NORPAC SANTAS Chairman
  5. 4 points
    I love, love, love this picture! Thanks for sharing.
  6. 4 points
  7. 3 points
    Mayberry town drunk Otis Campbell was also Santa Claus for a generation of kids July 17, 2019, 10:16AM By MeTV Staff Otis Campbell eventually found his redemption. Throughout The Andy Griffith Show, the hiccuping sot repeatedly found himself behind bars in the Mayberry jail. Heck, he often let himself into the cell. In "The Case of the Punch in the Nose," we learn that ol' Otis was first arrested for drunkenness on way back in 1941 (at the Mayberry Garden Club, at 2 p.m. on a Tuesday). But in Return to Mayberry, the 1986 reunion movie, Otis is working as an ice-cream man, having been sober for years. (Though, five years later, Otis turned up in an Alan Jackson music video, drunk as ever.) The irony is that Hal Smith, the actor who portrayed Otis Campbell, never had a drink in his life, at least according to Andy Griffith himself in a 2003 interview with Larry King. Smith has quite the range, especially behind the microphone. The character actor voiced dozens of cartoon characters, from Owl in Winnie the Pooh to Flintheart Glomgold in DuckTales. But his most recurring role might be that Jolly Old Elf from the North Pole. Source: https://metv.com/stories/mayberry-town-drunk-otis-campbell-was-also-santa-claus-for-a-generation-of-kids?fbclid=IwAR25TMPIXdAubnKePvn6qaWqRMusAYkg1C9b8U1I_hroJI6__1ngKqxqCww
  8. 3 points
    Name: 2019 Holiday Kickoff RHC Category: Commercials Date Added: 01/08/2020 Submitter: Santa Marty Another try at this ½ the size 2019 Holiday Kickoff RHC
  9. 3 points
    this editorial caught my eye - and while I understand what the pastor was trying to convey, not quite sure I agree with the way it was said . . . Jeannie Cunnion: Why we shouldn't keep Christ in Christmas By Jeannie Cunnion | Fox News 12/25/2019 He was born in a manger in Bethlehem to fulfill God’s perfect and pure law on our behalf so that we might walk in freedom from trying to do enough and be enough to secure God’s love and welcome. My son, along with his 3-year-old classmates, lined up at the back of the church, nervously awaiting their procession down the center aisle to take their place on the stage. It was the annual Christmas concert at his Christian preschool, and after weeks of practice, it was finally time to perform “Feliz Navidad” and ”Jingle Bells” for the proud parents. But first, the head pastor of the church that hosts the preschool took the stage to welcome the families and offer a few thoughts on why we celebrate Christmas. “Welcome! It’s wonderful to be together today to celebrate the birth of Christ. But before the children perform, I’d like to offer a brief word of encouragement, which is this: Parents, please don’t keep Christ in Christmas.” I’ll admit the preacher didn’t have my complete attention until that moment. I had a full day ahead of me, and my mind was on how I was going to get my older kids to all the places they needed to go and still navigate all the things I needed to do. While the pastor continued on about the bumper stickers we often see on cars at this time of year that say “Keep Christ in Christmas” I turned to my husband and asked, “Did the pastor really just say “Don’t keep Christ in Christmas?” Before he could respond, the pastor answered the question for me. I can’t remember his precise words but his message clarified my confusion. “When parents pack up the Christmas decorations, they tend to put away Christ as well,” he said. “We tend to keep Christ in Christmas day alone. The invitation is to take Christ beyond your Christmas celebration and into your everyday lives.” As the pastor concluded his message, I nodded my head in agreement and whispered a prayer of gratitude for a God who wants to go with me and chooses to dwell in me by His Spirit. It’s the “wants to” that gets me. He loves us so much that He chose to enter our fallen world and broken lives in the humble form of a baby, His Son. But this is no ordinary Son. He is both God and man. He is Jesus, and every longing of the human heart finds its fulfillment in Him. In John 10:10 Jesus said, “I came so you might have life, a great full life. My purpose is to give you a rich and satisfying life.” Life! This is Christ’s gift to us. Source: https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/jeannie-cunnion-why-we-shouldnt-keep-christ-in-christmas
  10. 3 points
    Stories my mother told me, using actual candles to light up real Christmas trees when she was a young girl. Getting actual fruit during the winter was a real treat.
  11. 3 points
    Maybe you could find someone to pay you to be a test subject? For further tests, on long term? @Drosselmeyer
  12. 3 points
    I watched an instalment of this Fx series. The setting is probably very close to Post-Industrialized Victorian England, but it does take liberties from the Dicken's novel. I'm not sure if I'll watch more, I was wondering if Tiny Tim would be fighting off Zombies.
  13. 3 points
    Momma went to bed - so my son and I stayed up to watch this last night. as expected - it was much darker than other versions - but it highlighted the suffering caused by Scrooge and Marley's greed - it also gave more back story for Scrooge - who learned to hate Christmas from a cruel father and a pedophile priest . . . "How much is Merry Christmas - and how much is lies ?" the story is definitely changed up - there is a focus on Marley in purgatory - and trying to get Scrooge to repent as his soul and eternity is tied to Scrooge's - the spirits are also different - Christmas past governs the wood where "Christmas goes to die" - and Christmas present is the ghost of his beloved sister this was not a warm, fuzzy Christmas movie - it was a dark Victorian tale - and I do think it was closer to Dickens original intent that many other versions out there - not a family movie - maybe not on my top favorites list - but will likely watch again someday . . .
  14. 3 points
    Everyday is “Groundhog Day” .........................Jimmy Dean
  15. 3 points
    When Michael first posted this, it was an early January morning and I had just returned from walking the mall with my wife. An elderly woman stopped me and asked if I portrayed Santa at Christmas (I keep my silvery beard and hair year round and was wearing a nice camel Pee coat with a red scarf). I told her 'no,' but that I was Santa. She got a delightful expression on her and began to tell me all about her grandchildren and their love of Christmas. I get these all year round because when I go out in public, I wear Santa casual clothing. Any of us who keep our beards through the year also have these kind of rendezvous with children and adults. My wife and I do a lot of entertaining in our home since I pastor a church. My office at home sits right beside the doorway to the main bathroom, so when people visit, they get a glimpse of my office. The office features a big roll top desk with snow globes, and compasses, many dozens of Santa figures and statuettes. Trains run across the top of the desk and also on a shelf that runs around the perimeter of the room up above. Behind the desk is a big, beautiful walnut wardrobe that has all my Santa suits and shirts and such. On the book shelves sit wooden toys and decorated boxes and books. While the decorations are removed by late January in the rest of the house, my office remains fully decorated and in character all year. And visitors absolutely love it when they peer in and see it. It is like looking into Santa's sanctum, the place where he sorts through all the letters and writes his own lists of good and naughty. But my office also keeps me entirely in the spirit year round. I love my job!
  16. 2 points
  17. 2 points
    Because I'm new, I stumbled upon each of these Santas in one way or another while researching Santa portrayal. How neat to see them receive this honor! Congratulations, well deserved!
  18. 2 points
    Based on the girth of my tummy, and the volume of coffee I drink (about 8 to 10 cups a day) I don't give this study much credit.
  19. 2 points
    Caffeine may offset holiday weight gain, study says ABC Eyewitness News, Houston TX Wednesday, December 25, 2019 9:34PM If you're worried about packing on pounds this holiday season, researchers suggest drinking some coffee could help. A new study found that drinking four cups of coffee daily could reduce weight gain from a diet high in fat and sugar. Scientists say they tracked rats and discovered those that had caffeine gained 16% less weight and accumulated 22% less fat than those who didn't. They tested the rats using tea, synthetic caffeine and caffeine extracted from coffee. The study was conducted by scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and published in the Journal of Functional Foods. Source: https://abc13.com/health/caffeine-may-offset-holiday-weight-gain-study-says/5785117/
  20. 2 points
    Name: 2019 Holiday Kickoff Royal Hawaiian Center Category: Commercials Date Added: 12/31/2019 Submitter: Santa Marty 2019 Holiday Kickoff Royal Hawaiian Center
  21. 2 points
    This is wonderful - brings back memories of my grandfather talking about growing up in lower DE during the depression and how they made do - gathering evergreen fronds to weave into wreaths to sell "to a man who would take them up to the big city" (New York) - inheriting his older brothers shoes with new bicycle tire soles - big old farm family dinners . . . such a different world . . . but to hear them talk about it makes it seem so much more meaningful - everyone was happy
  22. 2 points
    People may refer to it a simpler times, but is was a great deal of work to prepare for Christmas Day. I even think back on growing up and how we would prepare versus how we do prepare now.
  23. 2 points
    Presenter Mary Parkinson looks back at Christmas in days gone by with three ladies who grew up at the turn of the century: Edna Brannon Florence Edwards Emily Holde First shown: 05/12/1973
  24. 2 points
    I like sausage. I like candy canes. I am a Southerner. But, I do not like sausage flavored candy canes. No way, no how.
  25. 2 points
  26. 2 points
    NOTE: caffeine may boost metabolism and help contribute to weight loss - but this alone is not good - stimulants that overdrive the metabolism will have much more negative health benefits - including nervousness, insomnia, muscle cramps and cardiac issues - your body is not designed to lose weight - it is designed to store reserved in the summer months for fuel in the winter - but there is no "weight loss" metabolism - the best way to lose or control weight is a good diet and moderate exercise - plenty of fluids and good rest - no shortcuts here - but I still like my coffee . . .
  27. 2 points
    What I do to Keep-me-Energized is to simply Donate Blood. So far I stick to an ongoing donation (I am allowed to donate whole blood once every 56 days) schedule. After each blood donation I give, I Shine with "that-mood" that I have done something to help someone-else at a time when they Need it the most. C'mon.... / I encourage all to "Give the Gift of Life." Contact your local Blood Center for donation-opportunities.
  28. 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.
  29. 1 point
    cool - fighting the Belscnickel - sounds interesting - wondering how they are going to script that out ? ? ? Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn return as Mr. and Mrs. Santa in Christmas Chronicles 2 Entertainment By Bradley Lamb - December 8, 2019 Up News Info – Real life couple Kurt russell and Goldie hawn they return to work as Santa and Mrs. Claus for a sequel to the 2018 Netflix movie "Christmas chronicles". Goldie visited Instagram on Friday, December 6 to announce that she and her longtime partner will return as the Clauses in "The Christmas Chronicles 2"at the end of next year. "A year later and I'm still playing Santa's bells," he captioned a photo of the couple in their costumes posing in front of a snowy background. "I couldn't be happier to be working on @christmaschronicles again with Kurt Russell, my real life Santa @netflix 2020." In the new movie, Russell's Santa Claus joins a teenager to fight a mythical troublemaker, named Belsnickel. Source: https://upnewsinfo.com/2019/12/08/kurt-russell-and-goldie-hawn-return-as-mr-and-mrs-santa-in-39-christmas-chronicles-2-39/
  30. 1 point
    That's great ... thank you so much, I really love things like this ...
  31. 1 point
    I would totally be okay with replacing the turkey with brisket or prime rib, and a large plate of bacon as a side. haha. But I'm eating the carnivore diet now so other than the turkey, I can't eat any of it. ha
  32. 1 point
    Could this be any worse than last years flavor choice of “dill pickle” candy cane?
  33. 1 point
  34. 1 point
    i saw it when the announcement came out. I couldnt be more excited. I cant think of anyone more deserving. There is a good choice of candidates. you sir are among the best in my book.
  35. 1 point
    After initial goal of 200, 2000 Christmas trees are donated to help sand dunes in New Jersey The branches can capture sand and help build up the dune. By Ella Torres January 8, 2020, 2:28 PM 4 min read When New Jersey park officials asked residents to donate their Christmas trees for a sand dune restoration project, they hoped for some 200. Instead, throngs came out and more than 2,000 trees were donated in total, according to the New Jersey State Park Service. "We had a small project in mind. The response was just incredible," Jenifer Clayton, the superintendent of Island Beach State Park, where the trees will be put to use, told ABC News on Wednesday. The Christmas trees will be used to help improve the dune system along the coast in New Jersey as erosion levels rise, according to Clayton. The trees' branches help anchor sand caught up in the wind to the dunes. The sand accumulates, rebuilding the dunes at a faster rate than would occur naturally. The outpouring of donations from the community was an unexpected but welcome surprise. Clayton believes social media helped spread the message. "All of [the trees] are gonna be put to great use just because of all the damage we have been getting," Clayton said. Source: https://abcnews.go.com/US/2000-christmas-trees-restore-sand-dunes-jersey/story?id=68144397
  36. 1 point
    Congratulation Sir !! very much enjoyed reading your story . . .
  37. 1 point
  38. 1 point
    Nicholas the Wonder Worker A Look At Our Patron Saint A few weeks ago now a group of Santa Clauses met in a little town in the Smoky Mountains. As they met they took a pledge, a pledge that their brothers from all over the globe join them in taking. One of the lines reads as follows: “I pledge myself to these principals as a descendant of St. Nicholas the gift giver of Myra.” -- The Santa Claus Oath, Phillip Wenz They made a pledge to ideals that should befit every Santa Claus, closing that this pledge was made as a descendant of Saint Nicholas of Myra/Bari. These men have dedicated their lives to uphold the character of a man that truly very little is known about, yet his life has touched the world in a special way. Who was he? Why was he special? How does this one figure remain alive after 1700 years after his natural life has ended? Who is Saint Nicholas? What Did Saint Nicholas Look Like? If you would see him you would never think of the jolly, plump Santa that we all know and love. In contrast, Nicholas was a rather tall and slender man. His beard was more likely cut in the fashion of the times, being cropped close to the jawbone. This is much different than the long, flowing beard of our Santa. Saint Nicholas Icons, Author’s Collection A study performed on the remains of Nicholas in the 1950s by Luigi Martino, the University of Bari, described a man who had a bent back, worn shoulders, and a broken nose. The study also revealed that the Saint had lived on mainly a meatless diet. Nicholas would have been dressed in the clerical vestments of the day, carrying a long shepherd’s staff (crosier). Indeed the picture of Saint Nicholas is far different from that of our beloved Santa. However, the two share the common bond that became the seed of the Santa Legacy – a deeply rooted love and generosity to children of all ages. Left: 2004 Facial Reconstruction, by Anand Kapoor. Right: 2014 Updated Facial Reconstruction What was Saint Nicholas’ Early Life Like? Imagine the small Mediterranean village of Patara, in modern Turkey, between the years of 260-280AD. This was the hometown of Nicholas, who was born to Theophanes and Nonna. By accounts Theophanes was a prosperous merchant, and both he and his wife were very active in the Christian community. They had spent much time in prayer asking for a son. Then came Nicholas (which means the people’s victor) as an answer to that prayer. The stories about him begin at this point. One account says that the baby was standing on his own and talking at the instance of his birth. As Nicholas grew into his early teens we see the picture of a devout young man who fasted every Wednesday and Friday – a practice he continued all his life. It was said of Nicholas that he excelled in his knowledge of the Holy Scriptures and in the daily virtues of the Christian life. He especially held to a strict code of chaste thinking, abstinence, and temperance. He was also said to spend long hours in prayer to his Heavenly Father, sometimes for an entire day and night. This raised the attention of his uncle, who some accounts say was the bishop of Patara at the time. His name was Nicholas as well, and he realized that his nephew had a true calling for the service of God. It was at this point that, with the help of his uncle, he entered the monastery of Sion. He excelled in his ministerial studies, and when Nicholas was ordained, the elder Bishop Nicholas prophesied: “I see, brethren, a new sun rising above the earth and manifesting in himself a gracious consolation for the afflicted. Blessed is the flock that will be worthy to have him as its pastor, because this one will shepherd well the souls of those who have gone astray, will nourish them on the pasturage of piety, and will be a merciful helper in misfortune and tribulation.” As time went on and the old bishop decided to go on a pilgrimage to the Holy Lands, he left the care of the congregation to Nicholas. It was said that the future saint took the work very seriously, spending much time in fervent prayer and fasting. His care for the congregation was every bit as strong as that of his uncle. Also around this time came a great tragedy to not only Patara but also to Nicholas. A plague had swept through the town leaving no family untouched. Nicholas was left an orphan. However, Theophanes and Nonna had left a considerable inheritance to their son. Some of the priests admonished Nicholas that he should give it to the Church. But Nicholas had other ideas. He would use it to bless the needy. In his late teens to twenty in age, Nicholas was making his first steps to what he would forever be remembered for – a selfless giver to all. What Are Some Early Stories About Saint Nicholas? One of the earliest stories regarding his generosity actually took place when he was very young. A man in the village was unable to supply dowries for his daughters and was about to sell them out as slaves or prostitutes, as he was unable to give them a future. When Nicholas heard of the need of this very poor father, he came at night when the family was asleep and dropped a bag of gold either through the window or the chimney. Some accounts have this bag of gold actually falling into a stocking. Nevertheless, when the family awoke the next morning they were amazed and happy to find this gift. The father wept and thanked God. When it came time to marry off the man’s second daughter, Nicholas did the same thing. He secretly left another bag of gold in the night, which was received the next morning with great happiness and thanksgiving. Finally, when it came time to marry off the third daughter her father decided to find out who their benefactor was. So, Nicholas came once again in the night and left the bag of gold. This time the father chased Nicholas down and found out the identity of his benefactor. Nicholas made him swear that he would never tell the truth. Do you think that the poor man kept this promise? Nicholas Gives the Dowries, Author’s Collection How Did Nicholas Become a Bishop And What About His Early Miracles? At one point in Nicholas’ early life he went to Alexandria and the Holy Land to study. Upon the return home, the ship that carried Nicholas entered a mighty storm. The ship was tossed, causing a man to fall from the mast to the deck of the ship. He was pronounced dead. Legend has it that Nicholas, in the name of Jesus Christ, calmed the seas and then went to kneel beside the fallen sailor. After a prayer Nicholas told the man to, “Raise in the name of Christ our Lord.” This the man did, and it was this act that caused Nicholas to be revered by seamen unto this day. Upon his return to Myra, Nicholas happened to just walk into the Church and be pronounced the new bishop. Here is how he received this station. While in sleep the night before, one of the priests had a vision from Heaven that the first man to enter the Church the next morning would become the new bishop. To prove this fact the man would be named Nicholas. Having no knowledge of this Nicholas entered for prayer early in the morning. When the priests asked his name, they fell to their knees in thanksgiving. Nicholas was in his early twenties at this time. Bishop Nicholas took his duties very seriously, and brought much good to his flock. It is said that he loved all, especially children and those who were in need or afflicted. He was constant in prayer and led his congregation wholly in the faith. Was Saint Nicholas Ever In Prison? Sadly, Bishop Nicholas lived in a time when the Christian faith was not approved. The Romans did all they could to squelch this new faith and not only caused problems for but also killed many Christians. The Emperor, Diocletian, was the Roman ruler at that time and called for an empire wide persecution of all Christians. Though many died, many others (including Nicholas) were beaten and taken to prison. What happened to him while there we do not know, but one thing is known – Nicholas raised above all the pain that he had to endure and remained forgiving and friendly to his tormentors. Legend has it that while in prison, Bishop Nicholas would make small toys for the children of his guards. This in turn caused some favor with them. Even in the strongest of persecutions, our Nicholas stayed the course for Christ, and with the coming of Emperor Constantine was released after four long years of imprisonment. His back a little more crooked, Nicholas returned to his Church in Myra to much rejoicing from the people. What Were Some of Saint Nicholas’ Biggest Achievements for the Church? By far there are two major acts that Bishop Nicholas performed which must be considered his greatest contribution to the Christian faith besides just his noble character. In fact, both took place not too far away from his home in Myra. You see, during this part of history there was still the influence of idolatry among the people. Too, Christianity was still in its formative years and there were still conflicts to be fought. Not far away in the town of Ephesus there was an altar to the goddess Diana. Nicholas launched a religious crusade to destroy paganism. In so doing Nicholas won many converts to Christ. One account tells of how Nicholas called the false spirits out of the actual shrine and claimed it for Christ. Truly this act of faith should not be forgotten. Another great event took place in 325 AD in the town of Nicea. An ecumenical conclave was held be Emperor Constantine, as the teachings of Arius were to be debated. Was Christ truly divine? That was the question raised by this teaching, which held that Jesus was but a mere man. Upon hearing this, Nicholas went to Arius and struck him in the face. Arius and his supporters appealed to the Emperor that Nicholas be removed from the proceedings. He was jailed. Stripped of his position, many of the bishops and Constantine dreamed that night of Nicholas and were told to release him and restore his position as he was indeed working for the will of God. Legend has it that an angel came down to Nicholas in his cell and delivered a special book to his hands. One account says that it was a book of the Gospels while others contend it was the Book of Life. Nevertheless, Emperor Constantine released Nicholas and restored him to his place in the conclave. It was said of Nicholas by John the Monk, “He was animated like the prophet Elias with zeal from God, putting Arius at the council to shame not only by word but by deed.” In the end, the teachings of Arius were condemned and a new creed was established within Christianity proclaiming the true and full divinity of Christ. Of the 318 leaders that were at this conclave, Nicholas had proven to be the most zealous for the cause. After this Christian triumph he returned to Myra and cared diligently for his flock. Are Their Any More Stories Regarding Saint Nicholas? The stories concerning Nicholas are too numerous to fully write down. Many have become legend. However, there are three that must be remembered which took place during his life. It is said that upon his way to Nicea that Nicholas stopped at an inn for the night. Though the land was in drought and famine, Nicholas was treated to a dinner of roasted meat. This intrigued Nicholas and he went into the kitchen to inquire of the Innkeeper of where this meat had come. As he entered he found that the Innkeeper had actually kidnapped, killed, and dismembered three young children and had placed them in three barrels of brine. It was the thigh of one of these that he had served Nicholas. Nicholas rebuked the Innkeeper and stressed that he should repent before God. He then turned to the barrels and prayed for the children to be made whole through Christ. The three children came out of the water whole and unharmed. The Innkeeper repented and asked for forgiveness. Nicholas forgave him and called for God to do the same. Nicholas Saved the Children, Author’s Collection Nicholas Rescues the Innocent Soldiers, Author’s Collection In another instance, three soldiers had been condemned for a crime that they had not committed. In fact the three had been on the road with Bishop Nicholas at the time. The sentence was death, and when Nicholas heard the news there was little time for a formal pardon from the Emperor. So, off he went to their rescue. He found them on the field of execution with the blade of the headsman raised high above the first soldier’s head. Nicholas ran to the man and stopped the sword between his own hands. Unscathed, he proceeded to tell the officials of his presence with the soldiers at the time of the crime. The three were released. Famine was a reality in the area around Myra. So many stories deal with Bishop Nicholas feeding the hungry. One such legend finds Nicholas doing just that. The people were starving and they called upon the good bishop to help them. Far out on the sea was a ship filled with grain. As the captain slept he began to dream. In his dream he envisioned Nicholas beckoning him to come to Myra where he could sell his grain. This the good captain did and upon the morrow the town was saved from hunger. The captain also received the price he was asking. Some stories tell that when the captain returned to the ship it was miraculously filled with grain once again. When Did Saint Nicholas Die and Where Are His Remains? Nicholas continued doing great works for Christ until he was advanced in years. He had devoted his life to the ministry of Christ, and on December 6, 343, was called home to be with his Lord. His last words came from Psalm 11, “In the Lord I put my trust.” He was laid to rest in great honor within the small cathedral in Myra where he had served so long. He was buried there by much monastic pomp and by a countless crowd of mourners. All grieved for this beloved leader. He remained within his tomb there for nearly seven centuries, until a group of sailors from Bari, Italy, took the remains and carried them back home with them in the 1070s. There are many stories as to why they did this, but it appears that the most plausible was to protect the remains of Nicholas from the raiding Muslims who had just before destroyed many of the Christian sites of the area. He now lays within the Basilica di San Nicola di Bari in Italy. Upon opening the tomb the nostrils of the thieves were met by a very sweet and wonderful fragrance. It was discovered that myrrh, one of the gifts given to Christ at His birth, actually exuded from the remains of Nicholas. This myrrh, called “manna” is said to have many healing properties. Every May there is a festival in Nicholas’ honor. His feast day is honored as well, with the tradition reaching all over the world. Miraculous stories of Nicholas still are carried and his tradition and teachings are well remembered. When Did Nicholas Become a Saint? We really have no date to an official canonization of Saint Nicholas. The official canonization process would not be in effect until the 1000s. But, it is believed that he was called Saint Nicholas as early as the 500s when Justinian I built a church in his honor. Accounts from as far back as the 800s tell of him as Saint Nicholas as well. We definitely have proof that by 1100 he was perhaps the most beloved and powerful of the Saints. More churches and more monasteries were named for Saint Nicholas than for anyone else other than the Holy Family. Knowing this, it was a group of French Nuns that are said to have been the first to begin the practice of giving gifts on December 5, the night before the Saint Nicholas Feast in his name and honor. Each was done in secret, as was the method of the Saint. Statue outside of Saint Nicholas Church In Myra depicts Nicholas “Noel Baba” With children, Author’s Collection From this point on the legend of Saint Nicholas grew and expanded from Turkey to cover the entire world. Vincent A Yzermans wrote, “The evolution of Saint Nicholas to Santa Claus, embodying goodness and love, good cheer and virtue, heartiness and holiness was really not a hard one.” Stories of his generosity and especially his kindness for children, intermixing with various regional influences, have created the modern Santa Claus. As Santa Claus, we have a wonderful line of heritage that truly began in many ways with this man, the Wonder worker of Myra. As we all strive to be the best Clauses that we can be, let us never forget Saint Nicholas, his life, teachings, and example to all who believe in the wonders of childhood. ### Santa John Johnson © 2009 - All rights reserved. Updated: Michel Rielly, 2015 Source: Saint Nicholas: A Closer Look at Christmas by Joe Wheeler & Jim Rosenthal, Nelson Reference and Electronic, 2005 Wonderworker: The True Story of How Saint Nicholas Became Santa Claus by Vincent A. Yzermans, Assisting Christians To Act Publishing 1994 There Really Is A Santa Claus: The History of Saint Nicholas and Christmas Holiday Traditions by William J. Federer, Amerisearch 2003 Santa Claus: A Biography by Gerry Bowler, McClelland and Stewart 2005 Stories Behind The Great Traditions of Christmas by Ace Collins, Zondervan 2003
  39. 1 point
    There are some Christmas decorations that are just worth leaving up all year long...
  40. 1 point
    The Santa Claus Oath I will seek knowledge to be well versed in the mysteries of bringing Christmas cheer and good will to all the people that I encounter in my journeys and travels. I shall be dedicated to hearing the secret dreams of both children and adults. I understand that the true and only gift I can give, as Santa, is myself. I acknowledge that some of the requests I will hear will be difficult and sad. I know in these difficulties there lies an opportunity to bring a spirit of warmth, understanding and compassion. I know the “real reason for the season” and know that I am blessed to be able to be a part of it. I realize that I belong to a brotherhood and will be supportive, honest, and show fellowship to my peers. I promise to use “my” powers to create happiness, spread love and make fantasies come to life in the true and sincere tradition of the Santa Claus Legend. I pledge myself to these principles as a descendant of Saint Nicholas the gift giver of Myra. All words, contents, images, and descriptions of the Santa Claus Oath including the Santa Claus Oath Crest are copyrighted under an attachment with Arcadia Publishing 2008 by Phillip L. Wenz. ISBN # 978-0-7385-4149-5 and LCCC # 2007925452 - All rights reserved.
  41. 1 point
    This 1945 movie short (22 min) won the Academy Award in 1946 for best short subject film. It is a simple, but very touching retelling of the Nativity Story, set in the American Southwest. I found it as an added feature on my Christmas in Connecticut DVD. Did I mention it was very touching? (It brought tears to my eyes)
  42. 1 point
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