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  1. 12 points
    pretty sure there are some other strings on this topic of off-season Santa encounters - but I couldn't find them this morning . . . the lovely @Elizabeth Rose and I stopped at Olive Garden for dinner on the way home from working the show last night in the booth behind us sat a woman, her mother, and a very energetic 4 year old boy at some point he started stroking my wife's hair - she turned around to say hi and he started a conversation . . . then he noted that "that guy" next to her kinda looked like Santa - my wife smiled and said "well, that's because he is" at that point he got even more animated - why was I there (why - getting some tools at Home Depot and then heading back to my workshop after dinner of course ! ) he then proceeded to tell me he wanted a Nerf gun and some slime "to mush on his face" (little boys can be silly) I had to ask if he was being good - and he told me he was - he chewed our ear for a good 20 min - but it was a good time . . . Grandma thanked us later - the boy was being raised by his aunt (the one daughter) as his Momma (the other daughter) had OD'd 2 years ago - she was very appreciative someone took the time to engage and entertain her grandson - sometimes you never know the backstory when you get a chance to share a little Christmas with a child . . .
  2. 12 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 March 2019 is Drosselmeyer! Drosselmeyer Featured ClausNet Member – March 2019 Profile: Drosselmeyer Real Name: Doug (“db”) Location: Wilmington, Delaware USA ClausNet member since: May 29, 2018 Community Reputation (as of today): 1858 – Darn near Santa himself! Facebook: The Father Christmas Archive March’s Featured Member of the Month joined us only last year, but he hasn’t wasted any time jumping feet first into the community. Santa Doug, aka Drosselmeyer, Joined us in May 2018 and has been a key contributor ever since. We caught up with Santa Doug 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? Drosselmeyer: "As much as she hates to admit it, it is all my wife's fault! She called me one afternoon when we were dating - I think 1996 or 1997 - and told me that she had volunteered me to be Santa for her company's children's Christmas party. They had a musty old corduroy suit and a really awful beard, but over 100 kids were there (or so it seemed) and we had a lot of fun. I was hooked! I did that party for the next several years. I also ended up doing some visits for friends, and also for the local Longaberger Christmas events. My mother made me my first real suit. For several years I just did it as a thing for friends and family - primarily our annual Christmas party. My son didn't know it was me until he was 10! Of course, he is now my trusty reindeer herder. When I went to sign up to join the local fire company, the interviewer looked at me and said: "Well, you have a beard, and we need a Santa with a beard, welcome to the team, you are our new Santa." The next year my wife got a call from a friend who did events for the local radio station, and the next thing I knew I was Father Christmas at the Old-Fashioned Christmas at the local DuPont estate! This year just went off the rails. I was asked to be Santa for the historic steam railroad up in Lancaster, and then also got called to do breakfast with Santa at the nearby conservatory and gardens in Kennett. I am already getting calls for this season. It just keeps going!" ClausNet: What or who are your influences on your portrayal of Santa Claus? Drosselmeyer: "I like to draw from a lot of different sources. I have found costume or accessory inspiration in some pretty random places. I like the Sundblom Santa, but that style just doesn't fit my personality. I have always seen Santa as a little more rustic and active, I like the old-European style Father Christmas. I appreciated the workshop Santa costume of George Buza, and Kurt Russell certainly had a different take on the look. As for character - my all-time favorite Santa is by Douglas Seale - for me he expressed the passion and love that defines who Santa is." ClausNet: What do you enjoy most about being Santa Claus? Drosselmeyer: "I get to make people happy. Younglings get excited, but even the older children's eyes will light up when Santa comes by to have some fun. You can have a positive impact on so many people. I can think of a couple little boys who yelled up to me on the firetruck and asked me if I would dab. I did. They went wild. ‘Santa really did it - that is so cool!’ I also remember a few times on the train when I would ask a child if Grandpop was being good - almost always they would giggle and say no - at which point I would excuse myself and step to the back of the car and get a lump of coal out of the scuttle and bring it up and give it to Grandpa and tell him to try harder - the kids would just explode. I had one Grandpop chase me down the car and thank me profusely for the lump of coal - he really meant it. Just being a little spontaneous and meeting people where they are and helping to make them happy is a wonderful thing." ClausNet: What is your most memorable visit? Drosselmeyer: "I can think of two visits that really made an impact. The first was for a friend whose daughter had just had hip surgery. She was stuck at home in a wheelchair and couldn't go out. Mom and Dad left a few things on the front porch for Santa to slide into his sack. I hadn't shaved in a few weeks, and didn't feel like it that day, so I just brushed clown white into my short beard. We showed up on a bleary Saturday afternoon. I think her eyes almost popped out. I got to sit with her, and she just kept talking - telling me about her hip, and how her sister was silly, and how her brother was a pain, and what she wanted for Christmas - she just kept talking. At one point she reached up and touched my beard and said: ‘it's real - you really are Santa!’ I am happy to say she did get better, and I have not been clean shaven since. The other visit was later that same year. My parents live just down the street from us, and my Mom had a 50th reunion Christmas party for her high school class. She asked if Santa could make an appearance. I stopped by and just kind of worked my way around the rooms having fun with everyone. My Mom noted one lady who was sitting back in the corner - she had MS and was having a hard time getting around. I went over and sat next to her and spent some time with her and she just lit up. My Mom told me later that she was just giddy - not that ‘your son’ or ‘that guy’ came over, but that Santa came to sit with her. The fact that I went to her made all the difference. It doesn't take a lot to make someone." ClausNet: Do you have a favorite gig? Drosselmeyer: "I don't think I could name a favorite. It's hard to beat standing on top of a firetruck running lights and sirens waving to everyone but riding on a steam train is pretty awesome too. We have also been able to do some special breakfasts with Santa at a few of the local DuPont estates, and the tea parties with the Princesses is a blast! Appearing at the theater this past year in tandem with the Elf, Jr. production was over the top! I do enjoy the venues I can go to with my wife - it's always nice to have Mrs. Claus by my side." ClausNet: What is your dream gig? Drosselmeyer: "I have already been blessed with a lot of fun options - but if I had unlimited funds and opportunity I would like to get a farm where I had space. Maybe a few reindeer. Now I'm starting to sound like a Hallmark movie! My wife and I enjoy entertaining and having a place like that to decorate and have folks in over the holidays would be great! Just imagine a big country barn all lit up and folks going for sleigh rides and warming up by a bonfire." ClausNet: What keeps you busy when you are not being Santa? Drosselmeyer: "I am a Chiropractic Physician and Licensed Acupuncturist. In addition to my practice I serve on a few professional boards. I am also the DE delegate for the American Chiropractic Association. I usually clock about 60 hours on my normal work week, so that tends to keep me out of trouble." ClausNet: What are your hobbies / interests? Drosselmeyer: "I have a bad habit of getting involved. I am all over the place. I pursued my EMT, but with the beard I don't get to ride so I serve as Chaplain for the fire station. I also head up the security team at my church. I usually help out teaching the children's karate classes on the weekends. My wife and I just auditioned for roles in Mary Poppins, and will be filling a few character roles in that production in two months." ClausNet: What is your favorite color? Drosselmeyer: "I'm usually in the Johnny Cash black category." ClausNet: What is your favorite food? Drosselmeyer: "Fried chicken. Ham steak. Scalloped potatoes. Pecan pie. Rocky Road ice cream." ClausNet: Coke or Pepsi? Drosselmeyer: "Sweet tea." ClausNet: What is your favorite cookie? Drosselmeyer: "Chocolate Chip - crunchy cookie - soft chunky chips." ClausNet: What is your favorite movie? Drosselmeyer: "I like westerns, so Dances with Wolves, Tomstone, or Lonesome Dove." ClausNet: Do you have a favorite Christmas movie? Drosselmeyer: "That's easy! Ernest Saves Christmas! Hands down one of the best Christmas movies ever. Yes, it's Ernest and he's totally goofy, but I am challenged by the way Douglas Seale presents a devotion to what Christmas is - what it needs to be. From the customs agent, to the business man, to the children in the airport he is recognized maybe not directly as Santa, but as someone special. Just by being in jail Santa is able to get all the other inmates to promise to be good. His replacement is so concerned for children that he can't say bad words - not because the kids haven't heard them before - but because they have never heard him say them before. Even Ernest has a Keep Christ in Christmas bumper sticker in his car. At face value it's just a goofy Ernest movie, but there is definitely some Christmas magic, a little bit of faith, a little bit of whole lot of Christmas feel good." ClausNet: What is your favorite Christmas song? Drosselmeyer: "Christmas music has been a part of my family for as long as I can remember. My Dad's father had an extensive collection of Christmas music, and my Dad would always start playing some albums by the start of the school year. So, Christmas music is hard-wired in my brain. I listen to it almost all year round. We have well over 2000 Christmas tracks in the iTunes library! There are way too may songs at the top of my list: Hallelujah Chorus by the original Young Messiah, Cowboy's Rocky Mountain Christmas or Merry Christmas Mary by the Flying W Wranglers, Home for Christmas by Steven Curtis Chapman to name just a few. But David Phelps did a track called Joy, Joy - which my son also performed at church - right now that is at the top of my playlist." ClausNet: What was the last book that you read? Drosselmeyer: "This Life I Live by Rory Feek and The Immortal Nicholas by Glenn Beck." ClausNet: What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Drosselmeyer: "If I could, I would love to ride off into the sunset. To be a working cowboy in the old western tradition." ClausNet: What profession would you not like to attempt? Drosselmeyer: "Bank teller in Alaska - everyone is wearing ski masks! But seriously, I couldn't do a cubicle desk job - my brain fogs over. I need to be up and active. To be stuck in front of a monitor in a little box would drive me insane." ClausNet: What were some of your favorite toys as a child? Drosselmeyer: "I had GI Joe - the real one with the action grip - and Action Jim. I always played with Hot Wheels. Of course, I had Legos and Micronauts too. When I was young, we lived in southern Texas near the Louisiana border. When it rained our yard would always flood and we had thousands of little marsh frogs appear - those were also a lot of fun to play with - although my mom didn't find them nearly as interesting as I did." ClausNet: What is your most memorable experience of Santa while growing up? Drosselmeyer: "I was the oldest grandchild by almost 10 years, so I was in on the magic for the younger cousins. I can remember my grandfather putting on a beard and going out in the yard and knocking on the windows to surprise my cousins on Christmas. I don't remember if he ever did it with me, but I do remember him coming in after his outing just smiling and laughing to himself. All my cousins would run to him and ask if he had seen Santa outside. He would say ‘No. Of course not. Was he here?’, and they would tell him how they just saw Santa out in the yard waving to them. He would just smile and look at me and wink - I was in on his special secret and that made me feel pretty good too." ClausNet: What is the hardest question you have gotten as Santa Claus and what was your response? Drosselmeyer: "This last year I had a boy at the fire house ask me for a new washer and dryer for his parents - that was all he wanted. That one caught me off guard and his mom or dad wasn't there to give me any input. I think I said something to the effect of ‘my goodness - how will I fit that in the sleigh?' and then tried to redirect to him, but as quickly he shared his request he jumped up and ran off before we had a chance to talk more. I didn't see him again that whole." ClausNet: What is the strangest request you've gotten as Santa Claus? Drosselmeyer: "I had a boy ask me for a parachute this past year - no explanation - he just wanted a parachute." ClausNet: How did you find ClausNet? Drosselmeyer: "I seem to have existed in a Santa vacuum for a long time. It just never occurred to me to look for Santa stuff online until about two years ago when I met a friend at a neighboring fire station who told me about going to Santa school. I had no idea there was such a thing. As I went online and started looking, a whole new world opened up to me. There were Santa schools. There were resources and books. There was a Santa Claus Oath! I had no idea all that was out there! In that process I found ClausNet - and I am glad I did!" ClausNet: And what do you like most about ClausNet? Drosselmeyer: "That's another question that limits the answer. There is an awful lot to like about ClausNet. I have made some great friends and great contacts. I was given good advice about how get ready for Santa school. I have found great information on how to answer many of the questions that kids ask Santa while on his lap. I have learned a lot - and am still learning. Did you know there was a whole thread on how to make paper snowflakes? That was fantastic! The more you take time and wander around the more you find! There is an awful lot in the archives! If you ask a question you get a lot of good insight from others who have already dealt with your situation and have insight - that is powerful. And there isn't a rivalry - everyone is here to help each other and promote a positive image of Santa. Another wonderful thing is that the members support and encourage each other - they will share concerns and requests and pray for each other! I don't think I have ever found that in any other group I have been involved with - there is a tangible level of brotherhood here that makes you part of the family. Of course, there is an amount of friendly antagonism - I am guilty of that - but I have made some good friends and enjoy the banter. It’s nice to slip back to my desk from time to time during my work day and take a minute or two and pop on the site, even just to ‘Count to a Million.’ I appreciate that ClausNet is here - I don't think I would be where I am today without what I have gained from this site." 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? Drosselmeyer: "I can't answer that question. If I tried, I would end up leaving someone out - not because I meant to, but because there are too many great Santa's out there. As soon as I joined ClausNet, Schwindy reached out to me. Felix Estridge offered me some great advice on how to approach going to CWH as a newbie, and then also offered to help me with beard whitening. Duane Cooper and his wife befriended me at CWH. Bruce Geron took me under his wing and encouraged me to get singing again. Jerry Owens also took time to share with me a lot of history about the Oath (and how to properly carry my pocket watch!) Eileen Strom has been very patient and helpful with several projects. Michael Rielly gave me good advice on how to incorporate Santa into the ministry. Of course, I have to give due credit to my wife Dawn, without her volunteering me way back when I wouldn't be here now. I could keep going. There are an awful lot of good folks who are genuinely interested in helping others grow in their portrayal. I am thankful to you all." ClausNet: What advice can you give to a first time Santa or Mrs. Claus? Drosselmeyer: "Be patient. Breathe. Have fun. It's going to be OK. If you are approaching your Santa from a foundation of love and joy, you will be fine. We all make mistakes, and we all learn from them. That's OK. There are a lot of very talented and experienced Santas and Mrs. Clauses who are more than willing to shepherd you and help you grow in your character and portrayal. Constructive criticism is not bad - accept it and learn from it. Never stop learning. Never stop growing. Never stop caring - that is what makes wearing the red suit special." ClausNet: Anything else you would like to add? Drosselmeyer: "I think I have babbled on quite long enough. But I would like to say thank you for ClausNet. It has been a source of inspiration and a breath of fresh air. I would not be where I am today on my Santa Journey without this site and you my friends. I will not ever be able to pay you back, but will do my best to pay it forward." Thank you Doug! Everyone, please join me in congratulating Drosselmeyer, our ClausNet Featured Member of the Month for March 2019!
  3. 12 points
    What you'll hear from me on this issue... Crickets
  4. 11 points
    I have had enough of the chest beating like a gorilla in the wild trying to intimidate their perceived competition. I am posting text from a website. To me, this text is profound. It is what we who portray the legend and spirit of Christmas (Santa Claus, St. Nicholas, or whatever name you choose to give the legend) should embrace every single day. I am fairly certain I know who owns the site. From the text below, you can tell you they do not want to be identified. And that (being unidentified) is the purpose. "The real Santa Claus worked in secret. And he worked to remain anonymous, too. His interest was in giving — not taking. He had nothing to sell. Money was the furthest thing from his mind. Many people have tried to change that over the years. But Santa — the REAL Santa — has not forgotten where he comes from." - Anonymous When you dress as Santa for every day public view and it is not as a contracted/scheduled appearance, you do this for yourself. You may say that you do it for the children, but that is a passive aggressive way to boost your own ego. We are ruining the legend when we do this. Seeing Santa everywhere in every possible location makes him so much less than special. It dilutes the mystery tremendously. And hundreds if not thousands of men are doing it daily with no respect or regard for that legend. Its all about them. And it does nothing more than drive people away from the real reason for the season, too. And He is why we have this celebration. The sacrifice of His Son is also disrespected when we push ourselves on others. The ego in men's hearts and minds is killing the legend. What a shameful lot we have become. I am to the point where I know where Jesus came from when he drove the money changers out of the temple. I feel like I should pick up a stick at get to clearing out the temple myself.
  5. 10 points
    It wasn’t a deliberate decision, but for the past two years I’ve been on Santa sabbatical. It’s felt a little weird, especially this year; kind of like the feeling an active church-goer gets when they’ve missed worship for a few Sundays. It’s like the rest of the week feels a little off when you’ve missed church. Stress has been a factor, along with my wife’s health struggles, and a recent transition from care center chaplaincy to serving a new church in a new town. I did some of my best “Santa-ing” at the care center, but also felt the biggest push-back I’ve ever experienced, from people whose strongly-held religious beliefs had convinced them that Santa was an inappropriate person to appear there (and that a pastor-type person had no business portraying him). There’s a lot more tolerance at my new setting, and health concerns aren’t nearly as big as they’ve been. So let’s raise a toast to the New Year, 2019, with the hope that it’s going to be a great year for all us Jolly Old Elves, Mrs. Clauses, elves and reindeer! Peace! Health! Love! Santa Dan
  6. 9 points
    I can appreciate that in studying my bearded-ness they used monkeys as a control group - that is probably reasonable. and my wife too - HATES the beard - but I am stuck with it . . . . . do you understand what I would look like if I shaved ????? or even......
  7. 9 points
    I absolutely loved the movie. Maybe not my all-time favorite Christmas movie, but definitely near the top. I loved Kurt Russell's take on Santa. The coat was very close to what I originally planned (attempted & so far failed) to make for my outfit. As far as "I don't HO HO HO, that is a myth!" I just took that as the writer's way of saying: get ready-- this is NOT the Santa you think you know! I also may steal the line - I agree - HO HO HO never sounds genuine. But seeing Santa as a man of action, with style and attitude, and more than a little mischievous...HECK YEAH! The movie certainly wasn't perfect. I, too, hated the elves...but, I get it. It's a family movie. They had adult dialogue; stuff for the teens, tweens, and YA crowd, and hey - it's about Santa! They had to get something in there for the little ones. Familiar enough, yet different enough, to hold their attention (and probably market some toys, too). I don't have any little ones in my household right now, so I don't know if it worked; but I get it. The "big fight scene" in the chop-shop was ridiculous as well - that scene flopped, IMO. But there was so much that did work! The characters were relateable (ok - in a Hallmark movie kind of way). The chase scene, restaurant, police interrogation scene, etc. were genuinely fun. And the unexpected musical in the holding cell? That is now one of my all-time fave scenes in any movie, ever! Was the plot sappy, predictable, hackneyed; and did it over-do the pulling at the heart-strings? Sure - but isn't that de rigueur for Christmas movies, anyway? The big question though - did it work? And I gotta say: Yeah, it worked. It managed to warm this crusty ol' cynics heart a little and wake the Christmas spirit up. Can't wait for it to come out on disc - this one is going in my collection
  8. 8 points
    6'4" and 320. Never will be accused of being a skinny Santa, but I certainly have more up top than I do around the middle. When I'm in shirt and vest, I hear quite often that Santa is looking fit. Especially if I'm standing. Ok, now I'm just showing off but it's the best picture I have that really shows how I'm built. 😄
  9. 8 points
    Yes , Santa Claus should be fat , Santa can have a robe or shirt and or vest but some things are essential, fat , plump , a belly , a beard, a red and white suit with belt. Should Santa Claus have beard? YES Lets Move it up a notch and ask can Santa Claus be a woman? NO Here are the answers for the confused , Santa Claus is fat, now if he decided for health reasons to change his appearance they still sell belly suits , does he have to have a beard ? Yes and can Santa Claus be a woman NO but I am old fashion , believe in God , I believe in right and wrong, and penalties if you do wrong however I am becoming a Dinosaur.
  10. 8 points
    Polar Express is pulling into mid-Michigan 22 August 2019 by WILX Excerpt: OWOSSO, MI. (WILX) -- "All aboard...the Polar Express." The Pere Marquette steam locomotive No.1225 will make it's official appearance the first weekend of October, which will commemorate with the steam railroading institute celebrating 50 years. **** On October 4, in the afternoon, the train will leave Owosso and travel with Santa Claus and his elves on an excursion. But not just one Santa Claus - many from the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School of Midland will be on board. The school trains Santas, Mrs. Clauses, and elves from around the world, according to a press release. SOURCE Picture is from the 2018 CW Howard school that I attended.
  11. 8 points
    What can I say...when I think of Clausnet and the help and support I have received through the years, I often also think of Eileen. She is certainly a Clausnet star and the time she has taken to help and offer advice is a blessing in the lives of many individuals. There is not one event that I attend during the Christmas season, where I am not wearing at least one item that Eileen has created for me and she certainly, is aware of every stitch and detail. I am excited for you to hear a little about Eileen and I hope you enjoy this episode of the podcast. Let's get this party started! Happy Friday! We are back and excited to continue our second season with another great interview for our listeners to enjoy! Introducing another very special guest to the podcast, one of Mrs. Claus' special helpers, Eileen Strom! We hope you enjoy the podcast as much as we enjoyed recording it, Eileen is a great asset to the Christmas community. For the best experience, download the podcast via iTunes, Stitcher for Podcasts App., or Google Play Music App. on your personal device. Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review. We could use your help to promote our message to the Christmas community! Please share this post with your friends, family, and Christmas groups! Listening on the computer? Follow the link below: http://santaclauspodcast.com/episode-28-its-all-in-the-details-with-mrs-claus
  12. 8 points
    Mom whispers to Santa that son is ‘blind and autistic,’ and his response is amazing Inspired June 24, 2019 Excerpt: Santa Claus is the embodiment of Christmas cheer for many a young boy or girl. One eve each year, they willfully part with cookies and milk to pay tribute to him, whist dreaming of presents appearing magically under the tree while they sleep. Those children, if they are lucky, might even get a chance to sit on Santa’s lap while Christmas shopping with Mom or Dad in a shopping mall. Of course, there’s no better time to deliver one’s Christmas wish list in person, ensuring no crisscrossed lines of communications when the big night finally comes. Mathew was one such boy whose interest in Santa brought him face to face with jolly Old Saint Nick while out with his mom one day. This would be no ordinary lap-sitting for Santa, though, as Mathew was somewhat different from other young boys: he was blind, and he was also autistic. Mathew’s blindness, of course, meant that he could not see the world or other people around him. Meanwhile, his autism meant that he had difficulty communicating or interacting socially with others—and this required some special treatment during his meeting with Santa. **** “I whispered to Santa, ‘He is blind and autistic and is very interested in Santa,’” Misty recalled afterward. “He said, ‘Say no more,’ and immediately got down on the floor to greet my little man.” Santa knew that rather than asking Mathew to join him on his lap, the jolly, bearded man would have to join Mathew where he was comfortable, even if it meant sitting on the floor with him, and communicate in a way that he understood—not just with his voice but also through touch. Not only did Santa talk to Mathew for a long time, but he also let him feel his beard, hat, and soft red suit. [Santa] asked Matthew if he wanted to feel anything and Matthew said, ‘Your eyes that twinkle,’ (from the poem ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.) So, Santa let him touch all over his eyes for as long as Matthew wanted. Santa treated Mathew like someone truly special. He also brought him over to pet a life-size reindeer prop surrounded by fake snow and other Christmas decorations. “It was great,” Misty wrote. “My heart was full seeing Matthew so interested. Best Santa ever!” SOURCE
  13. 8 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 April 2019 is Santa Dan! Santa Dan Featured ClausNet Member – April 2019 Profile: Santa Dan Real Name: Daniel Location: La Porte, Indiana USA ClausNet member since: December 5, 2017 Community Reputation (as of today): 199 – Excellent! Facebook: Santa Claus of New Carlisle Our Featured Member of the Month for April was chosen by our members. When we asked the community for suggestions on Member of the Month, several members contacted us and suggested Santa Dan. Dan is from the great State of Indiana. And he first put on the red suit 25 years ago. We caught up with Dan 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? Santa Dan: "It has now been 25 years since I first wore my “Red Suit”. I was having a hard time dealing with some issues while in the military. I was leaving the Commander’s Office for the second time in a week when my First Sergeant turned to me and asked if I would be interested in being Santa for the base Christmas party for the children on Kadena Air Base in Japan. I told him I didn’t think it was a good idea. I have had developed anger issues I couldn’t get rid of and being around children hanging on me, it would end badly I told him. He kept asking me until he came up one day and pointed to this arm and asked how many stripes does, he has on his shoulder and how many strips do I have (a clear reference that he out ranked me). He said he would ask me one more time… I decided to volunteer. I remember being in the felt (yes, actual stiff felt for art projects) ”suit” as I was being driven to the event and thinking this was so ridiculous. Everything changed when I walked through the double doors and saw that everyone there (adults and children) had a look of excitement, happiness and a pure joy. Here I was in a stiff fabric costume with a cotton ball beard and everyone was allowing themselves to believe and enjoy the moment. After that event, I ordered a suit from Sears I believe and have used it every year. I bought two suits this year but still wore the original for part of an event because it has been like a friend to me. A friend that has shown me how to allow myself to feel more than just the grayness and anger I lived with for 3 years. Being Santa was as huge for me than it was for the people I met wearing this magical suit." ClausNet: What or who are your influences on your portrayal of Santa Claus? Santa Dan: "I was kind of thrown into this by circumstances out of my control. I didn’t really think of using someone as an influence. I just wanted to touch the people I met in the most loving way I could. I have always loved Santa from the Miracle on 34th street. He had this quality about him as playful and almost childlike but still had an inner strength that came across with the feeling you know he had everything in control, even when it didn’t look like events were controllable. I can say now that I look to many of you on this board and enjoy reading the past topics and posts. I have also enjoyed the Professional Santa Claus podcasts. It brought many of you to life as I could hear the passion and drives on the various subjects that were talked about." ClausNet: What do you enjoy most about being Santa Claus? Santa Dan: "Making a difference in this world. I don’t know any other way to affect so many lives in a positive way and to be blessed to take part in the positive memories of families is so humbling. Families will be talking about a photo, video or experience they had with Santa for years! How awesome!" ClausNet: What is your most memorable visit? Santa Dan: "So many that touched my life in various ways. It could be my first event I got volunteered and discovered this wonderful path. It could also be a visit I had at a local hospital where I saw this child of maybe 4 years old that had tubes going in and out of him. He had opened his eyes just enough to see me and reached out to hold my fingers as he fell back asleep. The mother was the one I remember to most. She was tired, stressed obviously distraught. After I gave her a hug, she looked at me and made the cross symbol over her heart and asked if I was a Christian. I told her yes and she asked, through my wife’s interpretation if I would pray for him. I told her I would pray for them both. Afterwards, she was so thankful. Being Santa gave me a chance to pray for them and give her the encouragement she needed." ClausNet: Do you have a favorite gig? Santa Dan: "LOL, shortest answer to a question here; The gig where I am wearing the red suit." ClausNet: What is your dream gig? Santa Dan: "Hmmm… That’s a good question. I just truly love being wherever I am at. Being Santa at Santa Claus Indiana… Yeah… That would be amazing." ClausNet: What keeps you busy when you are not being Santa? Santa Dan: "I am working on my North Pole, developing stories for the people and my amazing reindeer. Fixing up my suits, researching what outfits I want to add along with why I want to add them. Working on basic vocal and speech exercises, etc... I have enough for several lifetimes of work and I am happy of that." ClausNet: What are your hobbies / interests? Santa Dan: "I enjoy sandblasting/etching as an art. I have also started carving into wood. Also love to go camping with my family." ClausNet: What is your favorite color? Santa Dan: "Seems to be a battle between blue and purple. I had to look in my closet and I do seem to have a lot of blue shirts. Purple I like because of how it sounds in Japanese, Murasaki (Muda-socky). I liked that word so much, I almost named my eldest son Murasaki. Murasaki Trent has such a powerful ring to it, however I thought I would be staying in Japan while raising my children and thought better of naming my child Purple Trent… One of my better choices naming him Johnathan." ClausNet: What is your favorite food? Santa Dan: "With traveling to so many parts of the world it’s hard to come up with a short list (anyone looking at me would instantly know that this guy is a lover of food. I do love some Okinawa Soba or actual Raman noodle soup! I can do some serious damage to Tacos! BBQ, southern, Northern, Eastern, Korean, Mongolian… All good. Cooked meat = meaning of life." ClausNet: Coke or Pepsi? Santa Dan: "More of an uncola guy myself. I can take or leave either choice." ClausNet: What is your favorite cookie? Santa Dan: "The one within arm’s reach or freshly baked." ClausNet: What is your favorite movie? Santa Dan: "I do not really have a standout favorite. Most of the time, a movie I like will be due to other factors such as Lord of the Rings because of my childhood friends and I made our living room into a “Movie Theater” by turning off all the lights and placing bedsheets over all the windows and ate popcorn. All of the Harry potter movies my daughter made me watch over and over until the DVDs quit working ." ClausNet: Do you have a favorite Christmas movie? Santa Dan: "Yes." ClausNet: What is your favorite Christmas song? Santa Dan: "Another tough question to answer. I would say Silent Night or Away in a manger. I love to sing Christmas songs. I live by the Bible verse saying, “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord” So glad it says nothing about singing in tune." ClausNet: What was the last book that you read? Santa Dan: "Autobiography of Santa Claus by Jeff Guinn – I have been enjoying this interesting take on Santa." ClausNet: What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Santa Dan: "Is there a profession where I can sit by a campfire near a river and or lake doing little crafts?" ClausNet: What profession would you not like to attempt? Santa Dan: "Atom Bomb drop malfunction inspector. I remember hearing about how the scientists were studying the effects of “Atom Bomb” and how they had a guy whose job it was to go out and inspect the bomb if it didn’t drop." ClausNet: What were some of your favorite toys as a child? Santa Dan: "Erector sets that let you snap together girders to frame out your building and then had plastic rectangles that had various looks to them to finish your building. Also liked the Lincoln Logs. Always enjoyed building a town or city." ClausNet: What is your most memorable experience of Santa while growing up? Santa Dan: "I don’t have any Santa memories other than what was on TV. I do remember one year where my mother was dead tired from working that she asked me to wrap and bring the presents down. I had a red robe that I was wearing and after I brought down all the presents, I was filling the stockings with candy and some pennies I had when my youngest brother half woke up and said “Hello Santa” and drifted off to sleep again. I knew that he was going to tell the other brothers that he saw Santa and they would tease him. I went out with two chairs which I used to stand on one while moving the other in from so I could make it out to the yard and eventually made sleigh and reindeer tracks. I even took chocolate morsels and warmed them in my hands until they looked like something left behind by the reindeer. I got some big boots and left one track going to the house and leaving the house. I remember making sure each step to move the boots so that it appeared to be bigger than any boot my other brothers may try to show may have been made from someone other than Santa. I even left tracks in the kitchen with the boots and some dirt. I even made sure to cover the holes made by the chairs using a broom to smooth the area. I do tend to over think things. I youngest brother did tell the others that he saw Santa and I was right in the fact that they teased him about it. He noticed the foot prints and eventually they saw the landing and takeoff area of the Sleigh as well as a knocked over trash can (I didn’t do that) that must have been knocked over during Santa’s take off. I haven’t thought of that Christmas in many. Many years. Thank you for these questions." ClausNet: What is the hardest question you have gotten as Santa Claus and what was your response? Santa Dan: "I have been lucky to not have many questions that have been hard to answer. What did I get last year would be one that I hear the most. I get excited and ask them how they like their gifts and which one the enjoyed the most. That usually gets them to tell me and I have a follow-up question on a color or some detail I wanted to make sure was the right one and they are happy." ClausNet: What is the strangest request you've gotten as Santa Claus? Santa Dan: "I was asked to break into a house when no one was home, drop off some presents, eat a sandwich, leave the sandwich on the counter and then leave. The family was gone for the weekend and when they returned, the parents found the food on the counter and yelled at the kids for leaving food out, worried about bugs and mice, how could they leave food out, etc.… When the children state that they didn’t do it, the parents ask them “Then who did?”. Eventually they see the presents and the parents talk to each other saying that the alarm was on so how anyone can get it. Then they check the video from the house cameras (it was a real high-end home) with the children and they see Santa bringing in presents, trying to get the TV to work (my idea. LOL), make and eat a sandwich and then leave. The family loved the video and said it will be special for many years. I did enjoy this visit with no one to visit." ClausNet: How did you find ClausNet? Santa Dan: "I was looking at possibly buying another suit and found this amazing site during my web search. Didn’t buy a suit but gained many new friends and an endless supply of useful knowledge." ClausNet: And what do you like most about ClausNet? Santa Dan: "Seeing so many different ways to share joy, love and magic of Santa and his gang with others." 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? Santa Dan: "As of right now it is a Santa Co-Op type of inspiration. All of you who have posted, commented or otherwise given of themselves on this board have been incredibly helpful to my growth and development as Santa." ClausNet: What advice can you give to a first time Santa or Mrs. Claus? Santa Dan: "It would be nice to have the best suit, the best beard and all the props you could possibly dream of. All these things will do nothing without having the heart and mindset of Santa. I have been Santa in a suit that a nice lady made from felt in that Military Arts and Craft center with cotton balls as a beard. Some could say that this was an insult to Santa and broke the realness of the great man in red. All I can say is that first, I saw Santa touch the loves of children and adults in a positive way and second, most likely it saved me from going down a dark path I may not have made it out of. You be Santa in the best way you can with all of your heart, and you will make the difference." ClausNet: Anything else you would like to add? Santa Dan: "I just want all of you to know that you are appreciated. I appreciate every thumbs up, every word of advice and every post made. All of you make this board alive. Without the interaction off all of you, this site would not be here, and I would of missed a huge chance to be a better Santa. Thank you from the bottom of my heart and know that all of you are loved! Also, Michael Rielly for President! You are amazing and truly are an inspiration to me." Thank you Dan. I'll settle for benevolent dictator. Everyone, please join me in congratulating Santa Dan, our ClausNet Featured Member of the Month for April 2019!
  14. 8 points
    Neighbors Keep Christmas Alive for California Man Who Woke From Coma NBCBayArea.com By Artie Ojeda and Monica Garske February 7, 2019 Residents of the famously festive “Christmas Card Lane” community in Rancho Penasquitos kept their holiday decorations on display to welcome neighbor Ryan Caine home from the hospital Wednesday since he missed Christmas due to illness It may already be the first week of February, but on Christmas Card Lane in San Diego's Rancho Penasquitos neighborhood, it is still Christmas – and with good reason. Each year, the homes in the famously festive community along Ellingham Drive go all out with holiday light displays and decorations. The displays typically stay up through the end of the holiday season but, this year, many residents kept their decorations up well into the New Year for one simple reason: to bring happiness to a neighbor who missed Christmas due to severe illness. On Dec. 12, 2018, Ryan Caine, 24, was rushed to a local emergency room with flu-like symptoms. He was diagnosed with pneumonia. Ryan Caine's illness quickly took a turn for the worse. His pneumonia turned septic, and he went into cardiac arrest. Ryan Caine slipped into a drug-induced coma that lasted six-and-a-half weeks. He was placed on life support, with his chance of survival meager. SOURCE: https://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/national-international/Rancho-Penasquitos-Christmas-Card-Lane-Late-Holiday-Party-Ryan-Caine-505457271.html
  15. 8 points
    I haven't seen the articles, so I can't comment. My guess would be that my comments would be unprintable anyway.
  16. 7 points
    I am not a fan of colorized movies that were originally shot in B&W, but some of these colorized vintage Christmas time photos are quite interesting. There is a LINK HERE and I pasted a few examples below...Enjoy!
  17. 7 points
    Maine humorist Tim Sample tells a Christmas story about his uncle’s little general store in Eastport, ME. I can’t tell the same story, certainly not like he does, but here’s the overall gist of it. Tim says he spends a lot of time at Unc’s store up to Eastport. It’s beautiful there. Unc says if you could buy a Greyhound bus ticket with a food stamp, we’d all be up there. His Unc has a reputation for snappy answers. He says its nothing special, and it wouldn’t be so easy if folks didn’t ask such dumb questions. In Eastport, they get two TV stations. One from Bangor has all the old movies and Slim Whitman ads. I’d like to know how Slim Whitman sold 40 million hits before I ever heard of him. The second station is a public access cable station in East Millinocket. They mounted a video camera in a corner of one of the local paper mills that shoots down at the floor, so you can see who’s working what shift. If you don’t come from that town, its probably not very interesting. Tim generally turns it off after three or four hours. One day a rock and roll band came into Unc’s store rather late at night around 7-8:30, dressed up in performance costumes and makeup. They poked around awhile looking at everything. Finally one of them came up to the counter and asked if they had any live entertainment in this town. Unc looked at him for a moment before saying: “Well, I guess it looks like we do now.” Unc didn’t go all out over Christmas the way some stores do. His idea of the holiday season was a string of lights around the beer sign that he turned on at Christmas time. But one day he was looking at a Sunset House catalog and on the very last page he found something he just had to have. It was a semi-life sized display made of genuine reinforced durable Styrofoam of Santa Claus and eight reindeer, plus one with a flashing red light on its nose. Well, Unc placed his order right away. Some months later it arrived in a large package from the “ups” man, complete with brackets and instructions. Unc immediately set about assembling it on the roof of the store. When it was all put together, it looked wicked good, just marvelous, slick as a cup of custard up there. It got to be quite a hit in the area. Folks would pull into the parking lot, line up their pickups side by side and sit there eating cheese nabs for hours talking about it. One night he was restocking the Slim Jims and pickled eggs—you know the pickled eggs. Aint they some nasty? Every general store seems to have them on the cashier’s counter in a large half jar of murky water. You stamp your foot on the floor and those eggs jiggle! Tim always wonders who ate the rest of them? And what did they use to fish them out with? He also says if he was starving to death on a desert island and crawled up a hill to find a jar of pickled eggs there, he’d keep right on crawlin. It was busy that night in the store when the commotion started: Bang, bang, bang! Everybody hit the deck. Unc knocked over a whole rack of Christmas tree air fresheners that had probably been there since the war (not saying which war), right on top of Tim. When the shooting stopped, they heard a big car pull up and it later appeared from tracks in the snow that all four doors of the car had opened and somebody had gotten out of each of them. Unc suspected it was some out of state hunters up to Maine looking for deer. From the meandering of their tracks in the snow, it appeared they had found a good deal of beer instead. Apparently they had seen the beer sign in the store window, and pulled into the parking lot. Then they saw the eight deer on the roof. Unc doesn’t usually hold things against anybody, especially if they’re loaded, but what happened next kinda ticked him off. The hunters blasted those Styrofoam deer on the roof all to pieces, climbed up on the roof, dragged down the pieces, strapped them on the fenders of the car and drove off. Santa remained unscathed. Tim told Unc he could console himself with the knowledge that somewhere in New Jersey there was a freezer load of Styrofoam. A funnier version of this story is available on a recording by Tim Sample entitled “Back in Spite of Popular Demand” from Bert and I, Dept. C, P.O. Box 666, Ipswich, MA 01938. Used by permission.
  18. 7 points
    The senior care facility where my in laws are had a Christmas dinner and a visit from Santa about a week before Christmas 2018. I was blown away with the Santa! It was amazing watching him work with the residents and families, and the staff. I wondered then what this guy's story was? I'd love to get a chance to talk to him and hear his story. What is it like to be Santa? Fast forward four months. My wife and I were at a restaurant and in walked a couple, the guy had a great white beard. As we were getting ready to leave, I asked my wife where "Santa" got to? She said he's right behind you. I leaned over and complimented him on his beard and asked if he happened to wear the red suit? Turns out that he did and we had quite a conversation before leaving the restaurant. He had given me his business card that had an email address on it. I emailed him and thanked him for talking to us. He answered back with some suggestions in case I wanted to look into the world of Santa. One of the websites that was in the email was ClausNet. I joined ClausNet and before too long a member saw that I was from Ohio as was he and he invited me to a meeting of The Buckeye Santas which was two hours from me. I went and low and behold, who was there, none other than the Santa that was at the senior facility back in December of 2018! I met him, and one thing led to another and he has been a mentor to me as I was seriously thinking about pursuing this adventure. Well, Tim Connaghan was going to be in Columbus with his Schools4Santas in June of 2019. But my mentor found out that a mall near me was in need of a Santa. Should I or shouldn't I? I made a phone call and ended going through the online hiring process. I was hired in June! What? How did this just happen? Now, I was keeping this quiet. I wasn't sure what was going to happen, so I wasn't making this public. I went to the School4Santas in Columbus. While there their local newspaper did an article. I thought at the time, how neat. No one knows me down here so no big deal, right? Well the article went to the Associated Press and was featured in over 144 newspapers, including the front page of our local paper with a picture of me on the front page! So much for keeping it quiet! So I've done a ton of research, and especially watched and listened to many, many topics on ClausNet, and had many of my questions answered. Thank you all by the way! I've visited the mall where I'll be appearing, met the set manager and district manager. I also saw my break room and tried on my two suits. I've heard it said that it's not so much that I chose to be Santa, Santa chooses me. A lot has happened to me in a relatively short period of time. I went from observing a Santa to portraying Santa in less than a year! As I write this, tomorrow is November 1st. My first day ever in the chair is November 22nd. Wish me luck, and if you have any advice I more than welcome it! Thanks! Santa Randall Reed (bllwnkl)
  19. 7 points
    Though NOTHING has changed or did I miss an update to Twas the Night B/4 Christmas? It is what the many of us try to emulate to a point, that being said I would understand NOT wanting to be smoking a pipe in today's day and age. His eyes how they twinkled His cheeks were like roses His nose like a cherry His beard on his chin as white as the snow He had a broad face, and a little round belly that shook when he laughed like a bowl full of jelly you guys and girls know the rest So I would say YES we should try to look like what has been written but as many have said THEY MAKE PADDING for those of us whom may need it and make up for the rosy red cheeks and the cherry nose. BUT THE ONES WHO NOTICE THE MOST I HAVE FOUND TO BE THE ADULTS! And they use there heads NEVER and say what they are thinking and expect an answer while trying in my opinion to "trip up Santa". Boy Santa looks a little under weight or boy what happen to Santa he looks lighter this year. I have seen and heard it here for quite sometime from the many here. I would try to pad up and out and to make it look believable but a 6' tall man weighing in around 200 lbs I would think isn't skinny so anything over 200 I think could be seen with being jolly and I know me personally @ 6' 210 I will be wearing padding ... a little bit just so the belly appears to shake and jiggle. BUT that's just me. If your a big guy I believe it's easier to pull it off, but for the guys whom might be shorter and in shape or just a little heavy I believe they would have more trouble pulling it off without the padding.
  20. 7 points
    I don't think the portrayer necessarily has to be fat, but the character is "chubby and plump." So I agree with @Santa Phelix in that he should be padded out to look that way. But...the other side of that is the smoking of a pipe that has almost completely disappeared if not all the way disappeared. And THAT...perception...is what we are dealing with. Children's perception of the world is formed by their parents/guardians. And parents/guardians are ultimately our target audience.
  21. 7 points
    I have come to believe that, perhaps, children do not pay that much attention to Santa's girth. Now, if Santa was a super slim fellow, I am sure a child would say something. yet, as long as he's not super slim, I just don't think kids mind much. I remember when we lived in New York, there was an African American Santa one year. Any idea what children said when they saw him? "Santa Claus". If children do not see color, I just don't think they'll see a slimmer version of Santa as an issue.
  22. 7 points
    This might not fit here but I had a good talk with a little "feller" today when I went to pick up my dog at the groomers. He seemed so happy to have someone to talk to. He was there with his mom at work, so he was young enough not to be in school. But boy could he talk, and very good, too! He told me his dad had a mustache like me. And he had a beard, too. Santa was never brought up but we went back and forth for a while as his mother peeked around the corner from time to time with a big smile on her face. But the kicker was, she came into the room to answer the phone and he looked up at her and said "He's listening to me!"
  23. 7 points
    When my youngest daughter was 9, she wanted to videotape Santa delivering gifts. She set her little camera up and the old man made sure she got her video. Kept the magic alive for 4 more years.
  24. 7 points
    I don't know if this topic has been done before. I"m not asking about Christmas specials like "The Grinch..." or "A Charlie Brown Christmas," I mean episodes of favorite television series. I have so many but right up at the top has to be the Andy Griffith holiday episode titled, "Christmas Story," which aired on December 19, 1960. This is the one where Scrooge-ish store owner, Ben Weaver, demands that Andy lock-up moonshiner, Sam Muggins, on Christmas Eve. Andy then hatches a plan to arrest Sam's wife and kids on conspiracy charges so they can spend Christmas with him in the jail. Then he brings Aunt Bee, Opie, Ellie, and Barney (who plays Santa) into the courthouse for a Christmas party. Ben’s heart is finally melted and he wants to be part of the festivities, so he tries to get himself arrested too… I won’t be a spoiler and tell the end, just in case someone hasn’t seen it.
  25. 7 points
    Bethlehem aims to upgrade Christmas decorations WFMZ News By Josh Rultenberg March 26, 2019 EXCERPT: The city of Bethlehem prides itself on being the Christmas City, but some are worried the decorations may be out of touch. The city is hosting a public meeting next week along with a consultant they've hired in preparation for a multi-year plan to reinvigorate the holiday spirit. City of Bethlehem officials say the holiday season is "a major economic driver of the city's economy." Even though they anticipate expensive renovations, they say it's worth it. "Christkindlmarkt had 89,000 people in 2017 alone," Allyson Lehr, Bethlehem's Housing & Community Development Planner, said. "We're welcoming that amount of people into the city each year. We need to make a really good first impression," she said. Officials are looking to upgrade to the overall decor and lighting over the next five years. "Which could be everything from the trees that you see on the poles to the trees that you see, the static trees around on Payrow Plaza," Lehr said. The city has contracted David Weiner Design to create a proposal. Weiner typically works with music festivals, but has experience with Christmas and large-scale installation. He's got already got some ideas on how to beautify Bethlehem. "There is something about nostalgia and something about the history of Bethlehem and its history with Christmas and Christmas decor and the way it draws people to the city that's something that we want to explore," Weiner said in a phone interview. Lehr is impressed with the designer's direction so far. "He's found historical postcards from Bethlehem, actually in a Boston library, watercolor postcards and it depicts the city at Christmas," Lehr said. "He's looking at those and seeing what elements were used and trying to draw on that." Officials are hoping Weiner can find a theme to tie in the entire city while accentuating its uniqueness. "We have very different feels on both sides of the river. This is the very traditional historic Moravian District and the south side's a little arts district, a little funkier and interesting so there's a way to have a cohesive identity through the city but yet bring out the two distinct feels," Lehr said. Lehr says the city paid for the planning study with a grant from Northampton County along with private donation and money from the general fund. The city hopes to pay for the installation of these modifications in a similar fashion.
  26. 7 points
    While I'll be a monkey's uncle... Not so sure about this one - my wife hates the beard! Would be great at my age though, if people looked at me and thought "hipster" instead of "hip replacement."
  27. 7 points
    The 2018 Christmas Eve edition of the ClausNet Gazette is now online! Download your copy today! DOWNLOAD
  28. 7 points
    For this topic, I have verbiage that cannot be posted here. The short answer is NO to their PC BS.
  29. 6 points
    I usually go full tilt boogie and set up everything the day after Halloween. There's not much time until my season starts, and it does make me ridiculously happy. Of course, there are some Christmas decorations that are worth keeping up all year long...
  30. 6 points
    This is assuming that the decorations were taken down and put away!
  31. 6 points
    Last night, before I went to bed, I remembered "Be still and know that I am God". Alone, I sat, for 45 minutes and pondered this verse. The result was a moment to reflect on how blessed I have been my whole life and how each event has rolled into the other. I have really tried, this year, to do just that: take one moment at a time. While I am a Christmas fanatic, I am looking forward to the changing of summer into fall and the wondrous beauty and smells that come with it.
  32. 6 points
    Last week, I closed a musical in my theatre (The Fierce and Fabulous Women of Broadway) and I just got word from the producer that they want to stage a Christmas Cabaret in December. It will be a mix of old and new Christmas Classics, choreography, scenery, and lights and a limited 2 week engagement. Looking forward to planning the details.
  33. 6 points
    Children prefer simple objects over toys because they’re “not limited” to being a single thing For kids, versatility might be the way to go — as far as toys are concerned, anyway. Zime Science May 2, 2019 by Alexandru Micu EXCERPT: I have it on reasonable authority that kids are very likely to ignore a particular toy and make a starry-eyed beeline for the box it came in. I haven’t got any of my own, so I can’t attest to the accuracy of that, but I do have a cat — so I can relate to how confusing such an experience might be. But fret not, parents around the world, for science comes to the rescue. A new study from the University of Alabama reports that children, particularly those at preschool age, are probably attracted to generic objects because they make for more versatile toys. “The inclusion of generic objects like sticks and boxes may allow children to extend their play because the generic objects can be used as multiple things,” said lead author Dr. Sherwood Burns-Nader, UA assistant professor of human development and family studies. “Pretend play such as object substitution has so many benefits, such as increased socialization and problem solving.” A cardboard box can become virtually anything in the mind of a child, the researchers say. In contrast, a spaceship or unicorn toy — despite being much more visually appealing — is doomed to remain a spaceship or unicorn for as long as you play with it. And therein lies the reason why children, especially younger ones, would generally prefer to play with the box. Children often substitute one object for another during play. A stick can become a sword, a rifle, or a pen. But such substitutions aren’t made lightly — the object has to have a passable resemblance to the one it’s being substituted for. As such, an object’s features such as shape or markings can disqualify it completely for a certain play-task. ... SOURCE: https://www.zmescience.com/science/children-toy-simple-objects-2353545/
  34. 6 points
    Calgary Herald Christmas Fund 2018 campaign raises close to $750,000 March 15, 2019 Yolanda Cole - Calgary Herald Excerpt: Twelve local charities are receiving more than $60,000 each as a result of the 2018 Calgary Herald Christmas Fund campaign, the agencies learned at an announcement Friday. The total raised through the campaign launched in November was $746,465, translating to $62,205.41 for each of the organizations. The 12 charities also received support from the Calgary Firefighters Charitable Foundation through a New Year’s Eve event that raised $15,516 for the Christmas Fund campaign. *** In the 28 years that the Calgary Herald Christmas Fund has been operating, it has raised more than $27 million for local charities. SOURCE
  35. 6 points
    My mother’s father was a wiry old cuss, more elf than Santa but for one thing: he was a story teller. I guess he had to be, raising ten kids on an old dairy farm in the rocky hillsides of middle upstate New York during the Great Depression. He had an amazing ability to sit down with children and spin a bedtime story out of thin air on the spur of the moment, sometimes starting with something mundane that had happened the same day, but never telling the same story twice. We kids were spellbound as we listened quietly—probably the only quiet time during the day—to Granddad tell his bedtime tales. Ah, what I would give for a book of those stories today! This was no sentimental softy charming the children. He had a grip of iron when he squeezed your knee, and his word was law when settling squabbles. He had been a lumberjack, a plumber, a furniture re-upholsterer, and eventually a dairy farmer to feed his kids while others stood in bread lines. Skinny as a rail and tough as nails, none of my larger uncles would stand up to him. But he had a soft spot for kids, and an imagination to rival Mother Goose. He also had an old red dog named Fritz. Nobody knew what kind of dog Fritz was, but he was about the size of a border collie, covered head to toe with long rusty red hair, and his tail held up like a flag. This was a farm dog: twice a day Granddad would make a small hand motion telling Fritz to go get the cows. That sleepy red dog would suddenly tear out of the yard like a tornado, streaking down the hill, across the creek and up through a distant pasture. A half hour later, he’d bring 60 dairy cows slowly into the barn for milking. Fritz was an amazing dog, quick to find the cows, but never rushing them to the barn, so they never lost their milk. And he never left one out to pasture, bringing in every stray. One cold, stormy Christmas Eve, Granddad told a bedtime story about his forgetting the cows had been shut in the barn all day due to the weather, and sending Fritz out to bring them in for milking by mistake. Fritz was off like a flash, skidding around the corner of the barn to find the cows. He was gone an unusually long time. After awhile, Granddad remembered the cows were still in the barn. He began to wonder what was taking Fritz so long to figure it out and started milking, when suddenly there was a loud commotion at the barn door, which remained open about a foot. Granddad looked up to find a mob of every goose, chicken and barn cat on the farm squeezing through the door opening, carefully herded by that red dog Fritz. Not finding any cows in the pasture, Fritz had done the best he could, bringing everything else he could find into the barn. Apparently Fritz had a rather strong herding instinct, and wanted everyone to be included. We kids all laughed and marveled at this story of the red dog with a determined but gentle Christmas spirit. Then we went quietly to bed.
  36. 6 points
    Hallmark Channel showing Christmas movies all year long WTOL By Claudia Seibert February 7, 2019 It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but it is acceptable to watch Christmas movies all year long? This year, the Hallmark Channel says yes. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the channel’s Countdown to Christmas, they will be airing holiday movies every Friday night all year round, according to their Countdown to Christmas Facebook page. Hallmark could basically be dubbed the Christmas Channel, so if they say it’s okay to watch Christmas movies when June rolls around, they’re probably right! It’s lovely weather for a sleigh ride together, from January to December! SOURCE: http://www.wtol.com/2019/02/07/is-it-acceptable-watch-christmas-movies-all-year-round-hallmark-channel-says-yes/
  37. 6 points
    If You Have the Post Christmas Blues You’re Doing Christmas Wrong MyMerryChristmas.com B. Francis Morlan December 27, 2018 EXCERPT The post-Christmas blues are a very real thing. Once the date of December 25th has passed the specter of December 26th is an ominous marker to many. It sits there on the calendar like the Ghost of Christmas Yet-to-Come. Silent and foreboding, the very image of the hooded Angel of Death it seems to be. And why not? Just about anywhere you look Americans are tossing trees to the curb, ripping down lights from rooftops and radio stations are flipping back to everyday music. What took months to build gets deconstructed in a matter of a couple of days. It does not have to be like this. You do not have to take down your tree. You do not have to kill your lights. You do not have to turn off your music. You can, instead, stand up to the madness around you and let Christmas linger a little longer. The secret to avoiding the post-Christmas blues is deconstructing it much the way you built it in the first place. For me, Christmas often gets started in July. It is easy then, in the heat of summer, to imagine the frosty glow of our Christmas windows, the frothy foam of our cocoa, and the homey warmth of the decorated tree. Of course, we can’t GET those things in July…but it’s fun to think of them as we sit in a darkened room and watch Christmas movies when it is blazing outside. This is classic, hardcore denial. And it is good for you. SOURCE: https://mymerrychristmas.com/christmas-blues/
  38. 6 points
    There are some Christmas decorations that are just worth leaving up all year long...
  39. 6 points
    Well, the Christmas Season doesn't end in the Catholic Church until the Baptism of the Lord, which is on January 13th this year so we still have a week and a half until the season is officially over. plus I keep a small tree up year around, so I always have a little bit of Christmas going. SO MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!
  40. 6 points
  41. 6 points
    I was not keen on watching this movie, yet I ended up enjoying it. Too modern? In some ways. Hip? Yes. However, in a pure entertainment sense, it was entertaining. It seemed to stimulate my fantasies about Santa and all he stands for. When I was 12, Santa Claus the Movie came out. Although it would have been better had it not focused on the kids and Dudley Moore, the beginning stimulated the fantasy side of the viewer. Kurt Russell's movie seemed to do the same. The kids trying to catch Santa reminded me of my son's desire at 3 to catch one of Santa's reindeer. The car chase was entertaining, the elves were just plain odd, and as a firefighter I could relate to the anger a child feels when a parent is killed in the line of duty. Occasionally people and/or Hollywood seeks to bring a new aspect to Santa and all he stands for. The Santa Clause changed how kids think of Santa's workshop and Tim Allen's life upon becoming Santa. Edmund Gwenn taught my mother's generation that one must believe in Santa. My generation had Santa Claus the Movie and was a little disappointed but at least could see how Santa got his start. My 20 year old and 13 year old thought it was "Cool". My wife loved it and thought Goldie Hawn's appearance was fantastic. Of course she and I grew up watching Overboard. As in everything, there was good, there was bad, and at least it was a movie that a family could watch without a load of immoral things trotting across the screen.
  42. 6 points
    The first thing I said to my wife after we finished watching the film: "I'll bet you any money, there will be a flood of Santas asking to have a suit made like his..."
  43. 6 points
    I didn't know anything about this, so I of course had to see how the world just might be going crazy. And in fact it is doing just that. How would they rearrange the past?! I guess Hollywood would be pushing this change though it didn't say that yet. But they try to push everything else down our throats. World is going crazy here is the proof Does anyone remember on a Monday night football broadcast, one of the men bringing the game said something LIKE "You can take me now Lord I've seen enough" I forget who said it, when it was said, but I do remember it. I feel the same way after so much of the things seem to be going sideways in LIFE. Everybody in the media as well as people who say we need to think of everybody else, yet the rules that started this country, the laws to protect this country, the traditions that help form this country, ALL SEEM TO HAVE BEEN OR ARE TRYING TO BE REMOVED from this country from the inside out?! If this happens, the Santa thing, I truly do feel, it's time to kindly ask for a ride home. Where I hope things will make more or better sense, instead of the way this crazy world is heading.
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