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 March 2020 is Santa Randall!
Featured ClausNet Member – March 2020
Real Name: Randall
Location: Canton, Ohio USA
ClausNet member since: March 19, 2019
Community Reputation (as of today): 2,000 – Darn near Santa himself!
Our March 2020 Featured Member hails from Canton Ohio. Santa Randall first donned the red suit a year ago. He joined the ClausNet community in March 2019 and has been a regular contributor ever since. We caught up with Santa Bill a few days ago, and here is what he had to say...
ClausNet: How long have you been portraying Santa Claus and how did you get started?
Randall: "I have portrayed Santa for one entire season! I watched a Santa work a nursing home. I was amazed. I wanted to talk to him about what it was like to be Santa."
ClausNet: What or who are your influences on your portrayal of Santa Claus?
Randall: "The longevity of Santa and the fact that just about everyone knows Santa Claus! When my curiosity got to me, I started to research. Listening to the men and women who have so much to share is something that I can't get enough of."
ClausNet: What do you enjoy most about being Santa Claus?
Randall: "I am a mall Santa. I love happy, excited children! But I must say that when an excited family brings an infant or young child to get the child's first picture with Santa...well, I feel so honored and blessed to be that Santa! Just think about how your image is spread throughout the world as these photos are shared."
ClausNet: What do you enjoy the LEAST about being Santa Claus?
Randall: "It really gets to me when a child is so afraid of Santa. They just don't want anything to do with him/me. And then there are the parents that don't want to be there. Sadly, some parents are harder to deal with than unruly children."
ClausNet: What is your most memorable visit?
Randall: "A young family came up to me and I could tell that something just wasn't right. A lady holding a young child and two older children standing close. It turns out that the children lost a brother that week. I asked them if it would be okay with them if Santa prayed for them. I meant afterwards but the lady said they would love for Santa to pray for them and they reached out to me and grabbed my hands! So right there in the mall we had prayer! The lady thanked me, they turned around and walked away. They didn't care about a candy cane, they needed comfort."
ClausNet: Do you have a favorite gig?
Randall: "Like I said, I'm a mall Santa and for now, I want to be the best Santa I can be for the community."
ClausNet: What is your dream gig?
Randall: "Really just being the Santa that children need. Children are forced into the adult world way too soon. Children need to be children. That being said, I want to be a positive influence in their lives."
ClausNet: What keeps you busy when you are not being Santa?
Randall: "Well, I'm retired. And married, so…"
ClausNet: What are your hobbies / interests?
Randall: "I like to work with my hands. I've always been mechanical. I have two vintage Cub Cadet tractors that are working tractors that I use on my property. They are over 40 years old, but so far, I've kept them running. I love to shoot. There's something about hitting or trying to hit that bullseye."
ClausNet: What is your favorite color?
Randall: "Growing up it was blue. And although I still like blue, as I've gotten older, I'm favoring red for some reason!"
ClausNet: What is your favorite food?
Randall: "BBQ! Pulled pork, ribs, etc. plus all the sides. My family is from the Blueridge Mountains of Virginia. Can't beat that comfort food! But then there's Italian, Mexican..."
ClausNet: Coke or Pepsi?
Randall: "Between the two, Pepsi. But if someone asked me if I would be the Santa in a Coke commercial then "Coke is it!" (Pun intended)."
ClausNet: What is your favorite cookie?
Randall: "Oatmeal raisin. But you can't leave out cut-out cookies with icing, chocolate chip, well almost any homemade cookie."
ClausNet: What is your favorite movie?
Randall: "I really like the Alex Kendrick faith-based movies Facing the Giants, War Room, Courageous."
ClausNet: Do you have a favorite Christmas movie?
Randall: "I'm reintroducing myself to Christmas movies. But recently I have been caught up with Santa Claus documentaries. "Becoming Santa" "Believe: The True Story of Real Bearded Santas" and "They Wore the Red Suit" I've watched them over and over again soaking up all that I can."
ClausNet: What is your favorite Christmas song?
Randall: "O Holy Night sung by David Phelps."
ClausNet: What was the last book that you read?
Randall: "You may find this odd, but I don't read much. I've read through the entire New Testament and some of the Old testament. My problem is that when I'm reading, my mind goes somewhere else and I don't retain what I just read."
ClausNet: What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Randall: "As a child, I wanted to be a heavy equipment operator. I thought it was the neatest thing to watch bulldozers, backhoes and front end loaders in action."
ClausNet: What profession would you not like to attempt?
Randall: "I totally respect the men and women that have to work outside. But that's not me. I was cold working in the shop for 44 years."
ClausNet: What were some of your favorite toys as a child?
Randall: "Tinker toys, erector sets, simple science projects."
ClausNet: What is your most memorable experience of Santa while growing up?
Randall: "I really don't have one. I remember Santa but I don't remember talking to him. It could just be my memory, after all, that was 60+ years ago!"
ClausNet: What is the hardest question you have gotten as Santa Claus and what was your response?
Randall: "I had a young man ask me if I will live forever. I told him that was a complicated question. I asked him if he had seen movies that made him wonder and he said yes. So I proceeded to tell him that Santa will just keep going. Somehow it works out that one day I will kind of disappear and another Santa will take my place and it all just keeps going on like that forever. It's kind of hard to explain. I asked if he sort of understood and he shook his head yes. I said just remember, there will always be a Santa."
ClausNet: What is the strangest request you have gotten as Santa Claus?
Randall: "The fellow was embarrassed to ask me and I asked him if he wanted me to guess. The adults tipped me off so I played along. He wanted a stapler."
ClausNet: How did you find ClausNet?
Randall: "I ran into a guy at a restaurant that had a "Santa" beard. I complimented him about his beard and asked if he wears a red suit at Christmas time. He did, we talked, and he gave me his business card. Later we exchanged emails. He gave me suggestions of places to go to gather information. One of them was ClausNet."
ClausNet: And what do you like most about ClausNet?
Randall: "Everything! The willingness to share. The stories. The suggestions. So many have been there for this new guy. I can't thank you enough."
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?
Randall: "I mentioned earlier that I wanted to talk to the Santa that I was watching at the nursing home. Well, while on ClausNet, Santa DBC saw that I was from Ohio as was he. He invited me to a Buckeye Santas meeting and who do you think was there? The Santa I wanted to talk to! This Santa, Santa Tom Shilling, took me under his wing and has been a great mentor/friend. Santa Tom is well thought of and respected as a Santa portrayer. He's the one that told me about the mall position being available. He lives close to the mall and came to check on me a few times during the season."
ClausNet: What advice can you give to a first time Santa or Mrs. Claus?
Randall: "Research. There are tons of things regarding Santa out there. But there is one piece of advice that was drilled into my head. I was told over and over to just be yourself and have fun with it. Interact with the children. So, when I had my first visitors as Santa, I really didn't think about it, it just happened. I had a wonderful first year."
ClausNet: Anything else you would like to add?
Randall: "Yes! Thank you! Thank you Michael for providing this. Thank you Felix, Eileen Strom, Drosselmeyer, TamaleClaus, Santa Johnny Boy, Schwindy, et cetera, et cetera... Too many to list. God bless you all!."
Thank you Randall! Everyone, please join me in congratulating Santa Randall, our ClausNet Featured Member of the Month for March 2020!