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Showing content with the highest reputation since 01/23/2018 in all areas

  1. 13 points
    Today is the day! I have a gift for you, something that has been in the works for a while and I am so excited to finally share it with you! Introducing, The Professional Santa Claus' Podcast, available on many platforms and all entirely free for you. Why a podcast? You can consider a podcast like a contemporary radio show that individuals can download and listen to via a personal device or computer. The goal of this podcast is to uplift and inspire the Christmas community through our interviews. We hope that our guests share with the Christmas community the heart of Santa. There is so much focus on the business side of things with various workshops and classes, and while there is nothing wrong with learning, sometimes this focus comes ego, too much focus on money, and at times a loss of why this work is so special. The podcast will be a heart to heart; inspiring others to want to be better. The podcast is not a business, there will be no focus on creating a podcast for monetary reasons and should be considered entirely a gift to the Christmas community. Clausnet has been a wonderful place for me and I support and share often to gem that is Clausnet to the Santas that I meet. In all avenues of this community, we see the good and the bad. Sadly, the bad seems to get so much more traction way too often. I guess this project is my way of highlighting what I love about this community, in particular the gift we have to do what we do. I have been fortunate enough to focus on some individuals that have made a difference for me in some way and whom I think, or my previous guests think could add something special. There are some wonderful guests coming up that I look forward to talking with and I look forward to possibly visiting with Clausnet’s Wizard behind the curtain, Michael. Here is our starting lineup, beginning with none other than our dear, sarcastic, and deducated Marty! Subscribe to the podcast and enjoy! It’s a little rough around the edges but I truly am working hard to help give back something very special.
  2. 12 points
    Last year, my daughter and grandson called to invite me to join them for a local Christmas parade in their town. This town really knows how to celebrate Christmas! Even though I am a real bearded Santa, I still went and we had a great time watching all the wonderful floats go by, decorated with lights and tinsel and all manner of design. But when Santa and his sleigh came by, Santa just sat there, nary a wave, barely a smile. Then recently, I was paging through a talent agency website looking at various Santas represented by that agency. I’ve got to say, there are a quite a few of us I would not hire if I was looking for someone to appear at my party. I’ve been a Santa now for 10 years and every year have worked hard to improve my appearance and talents. I was a commercial photographer for 37 years before I retired. In that job, I not only had to learn to use a camera and design a photograph, but since I also worked with models (often amateurs), I had to learn how to direct them to get the best shot. When I photographed someone in a shot that demanded a mood of ‘excitement’, I studied what other artists and photographers had done to show that. I directed and worked with the models to get gestures and moods and expressions like happiness, joy, sadness, depression, anger and so on from them. I was prepared for what looks I needed to inspire when I walked into my studio or on set. And over time, it became second nature to me to coax various expressions from my models to even get images that were not planned but still became great shots. I use those skills I learned as a photographer and director. As Santas, we too need to do this. We need to look at what photographers and models have done with expression to get such wonderful shots. And I don’t mean just Santas photos either. The best sources I have had through the years was Lucille Ball and Dick Van Dyke. These two actors had rubber faces and knew how to engage their audiences. They could instantly transform their faces and gestures from that of someone who was being sneaky to one of laughter to embarrassment. I encourage you to create a file of fabulous faces and practice them in the mirror yourself! Think through the kind of engagements you have had with children and what great expression would have made the visit for them AND the picture even greater! Of particular note, practice and learn facial expressions such as joy, surprise, a great laugh, empathy, and even sadness and compassion. Learn them and use them regularly even in the off season. It isn’t just about facial expression either. Learn to use your hands and gestures to further enhance your look! Again, watch what the great pros have done. Perhaps most important is pay close attention to your visitor and learn to give a great Santa expression that meets the situation. I’ve learned to do that even when I am in the same chair for 5 to 8 hours visiting with hundreds of children. I even tell my photographers to be ready to shoot because the interactions come fast. I want those parents to leave with a picture of Santa and their child that they will really cherish and say, “That was the best Santa we ever had!” Now I realize that facial expressions and gestures are not really the ultimate goal. The real goal is to fully engage with the child or visitor if even for just a minute. Several years ago, I had an 11 year old girl come to visit me. She was a delight in every way: beautiful and bubbly and every bit engaging. She wore an absolutely beautiful Christmas dress of red velvet and white fur. We talked for a couple minutes. I complimented her on her beauty and dress and she told me how she was doing and what she wanted for Christmas. Mom took several pictures with her camera of us just talking and my reactions to what her daughter was telling me (surprise, joy and happiness and laughter…). A few days later, Mom came back by the set to get my email so she could send me some of her pictures (she loved them!). As I gave it to her, she was telling me more about her daughter and I learned her daughter was dying of leukemia. I didn’t have to put on a expression at that point. It was truly there. A couple of days before Christmas, Mom and Dad brought their daughter to visit with me again. I recognized her immediately. We had a delightful time together that time as well. But I believe what brought her back was her first visit with Santa. I had made the first visit such a delightful time and Mom had taken so many fun pictures that this time, they wanted the whole family photographed with Santa. This past year, I have been mentoring a man who decided to become a Santa. He is a great fellow and our friendship has deepened significantly. He has a truly great chuckle and very white hair and long beard. He has spent a small fortune having a custom suit, belt, buckle, boots and such made. All well and good. The man who becomes Santa is all about giving of himself to bless those who come to him. My friend will make a great Santa! All things considered, it isn’t the suit, it’s the man!
  3. 11 points
    U.S. Postal Service to Issue Classic Santa Stamps this Christmas Art Features Images from 1950s Coca-Cola Ads PRNewswie-USNewswire June 26, 2018 EXCERPT: It's beginning to look like a classic Christmas! This October, the Postal Service will ring in the 2018 holiday season with four Sparkling Holidays stamps featuring character-rich close-ups of Santa Claus. The Santa images are from Haddon Sundblom paintings created for The Coca-Cola Company holiday advertisements that ran from the 1940s through the early 1960s. Sundblom, a famed commercial artist, depicted a rosy-cheeked, smiling, grandfatherly man in a red suit that came to embody the very essence of "Santa." The Sparkling Holidays stamps will be issued as Forever stamps. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail 1-ounce price. Additional details will be announced before the stamps' release. The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. SOURCE: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/us-postal-service-to-issue-classic-santa-stamps-this-christmas-300672388.html
  4. 11 points
    The following was posted on January 11, 2009 in Santa Rielly's blog, A Right Jolly Old Elf Well, it was bound to happen. Christmas 2008 will be the year I remember as the year I told my daughter that I was Santa Claus – or rather, to be exact, one of Santa Claus’s Ambassadors. I guess I should be thankful I got this far. After all, Meghan is almost 11. My son made it to 12! He only found out it was me after reading a newspaper article that mentioned my name. Back in 2006 she was wavering. I decided to see if I couldn’t get at least another year out of her. So I appeared in Meghan’s bedroom at midnight. I woke her up and handed her an American Girl Doll that she really wanted. I told her she had been doing really well in school lately and I wanted to give her something extra special for working so hard. She really wanted that particular doll and they were sold out everywhere, so handing her the doll made me feel especially like Santa Claus. I sat next to her on the bed for a while and we talked about school and her friends. After a few minutes I said that I had better be getting on my way and told her to go back to sleep. I wished her Merry Christmas and told her that I loved her. Meghan said good night and told me that she loved me too. The whole visit lasted maybe 10 minutes. But those 10 minutes got me another 2 years. Fast forward to Christmas 2008 - a few days before Christmas my daughter was looking at a few pictures. Meghan noticed that Santa Claus’s eyes are the same blue as Dad’s and that Santa Claus has a tiny birthmark on his cheek – also just like Dad. She then decides to interview (more like interrogate) everyone in the family. With a pen and notepad she starts jotting down her “clues” and after a thorough investigation, she comes to the conclusion that I must be Santa Claus. Although she cannot explain how I go from whiskers to clean shaven and back again, Meghan was convinced that I was Santa Claus. But Christmas Eve was the clincher. During the Homily at the Christmas Vigil Mass at our Church, Santa Claus made an appearance. Santa came out and greeted Father and wished all the Parishioners a Very Merry Christmas. He went on to discuss the true meaning of Christmas. Meghan and her brother were Altar Servers for the Mass. They sat only a few feet from where Santa delivered his Christmas Eve message. Later at the end of Mass after Meghan changed back into her street clothes, she and her brother met me at the back of the Church. As parishioners exited, a few of them would wink at me or thank me as they exited the Church. At one point my daughter was standing beside me when one of the Parishioners said to me “nice job”. Meghan immediately gave me a look and said; “I know why she said that!” I was caught. But I had a backup plan. Later in the evening, Meghan put out cookies and milk for Santa and carrots and lichen for the reindeer. She also wrote a very sweet note to Santa. In the note she invited Santa take a little break cookies and milk break and to please give the carrots and lichen to the reindeer. In the note she also mentioned that she thought that her Dad looked like him and left a little area for a reply. Her note to Santa was very cute and Santa’s reply was perfect! I’ll have to post that next time. Christmas morning came and Meghan ran down from upstairs. The cookies and milk were half eaten and the carrots and lichen were gone. She read the reply to her note that Santa had left on the coffee table next to empty plate of cookies. From there she went over to her stocking. As she reached for the stocking, she noticed something near the hearth of the fireplace. It was a heavy gold button with “SC” in the center and “North Pole” over the top. Attached to the button was some red thread. She reached down and picked it up. She recognized it immediately. "It must be one of Santa's buttons!; she said, “It must have gotten caught on the fireplace! I'm going to take it to school and show it to my friends that don't believe in Santa!” As you can imagine, at this point, I am thinking that I may have just gotten past another Christmas. But by December 26, the little wheels in her head started turning again. She decides to re-open her “investigation”. After several attempts to get me and her brother to admit that I am Santa Claus, she starts to get upset that we won’t tell her what she knows must be true. I can tell she is getting frustrated. So I decide to tell her the truth – that I am one of Santa’s Ambassadors. I tell Meghan that I have something very important to tell her. But before I tell her I make her promise that she cannot tell any of her friends and especially not her younger cousins and that this is our secret. She agrees. I hand her the letter to me from Santa Claus. I tell her to open it and to be careful because it is very old. As we roll it out her eyes widen. It smells old. It looks old. Clearly this was written a very long time ago. It’s dated December 24, 1974. It’s practically a relic! After she reads the letter, I explain to her how Santa Claus has a few men stand in for him when he can’t be there in person and that it is our job to spread joy and happiness to children. I told her that now that she knows, she could come along with me as one of my Elves. She loves the idea! I asked her what she thought. She told me that it was “cool” that I was Santa Claus. She asked me if I had my own sleigh or if I had to borrow Santa’s. She also asked me if I get to go to the North Pole every once in a while to see Santa. Apparently she thought that, that’s where I was going on all these business trips. That one caught me off guard a bit. When I was a boy, I only knew one Santa Claus – my grandfather. My parents never took me to see Santa at the mall or to a party where Santa was appearing. Every year, Santa would visit me and my brothers a few days before Christmas. We always felt honored that Santa would make a special visit to our house. After all, he always arrived with a police car and fire engine escort. Lights flashing and sirens blaring, Santa was usually accompanied by a policeman and my Dad (also a policeman). Santa sat with us for no more than 15 minutes and he was whisked off to another appointment. To this day, my parents never sat down with me and said, “ya know there is no such thing Santa Claus.” In fact, when I moved out of my parent’s house at 19, there were still gifts under the tree and presents in my stocking from Santa Claus. No one ever told us there was no Santa Claus.
  5. 11 points
    ClausNet has, in my opinion, has always been an informative resource to Santas of all levels. In comparison with other social media, FB and other inter web Christmas enthusiasts sites and groups I get the perception that ClausNet is much kinder. Sure, we have spirited and vastly divided topics that are discussed. Some of which become very passionate and polarizing and emotionally driven. Let’s face it, as a Christmas enthusiast, we have certain levels of passion. Without that passion, I would not be motivated to blog, and you would not take the time to read it. Recently (not on CN) I have noticed an upsurge in what appears to me to be a bunch of old guys hanging around waiting for Christmas again and since its not here yet, have become grumpy or perhaps that is their natural tendency. I doubt they would participate in a poll or survey on my assumption but that if neither here nor there. On FB, in the last few weeks I have noticed Santa posting photos or their new suit, new boots, or something trade related. In variably someone chimes in with criticism. Blasting the poster photo, what he bought, how it fits, how they should NEVER wear boot spats, never this beard or that. Yes, granted some are asking outright for thoughts on the photo. This is good, its how we learn, how we make the best of what we got. To see someone (supposedly a brother in red) tear into their photo with a vengeance. There are ways that constructive criticism can and should be offered. Destructive criticism however, can suck the spirit right out of someone. It can cause hurt feelings, and in the very least not help. By using constructive criticism you can say the very same thing as a destructive critic without sucking the spirit out of someone. I am very glad that ClausNet offers more information than any school provides, the knowledge base is huge and growing daily. The information is here, you do have to work to seek it out it is not spoon fed and it is like finding that golden nugget that gives you that “aha” moment. ClausNet is so much Kinder and Gentler than most places but, it can only remain so by those who participate who keep their minds on being helpful and not hurtful. Thanks for reading. Santa Marty santaforhonolulu.com
  6. 9 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
  7. 8 points
  8. 8 points
    “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" has been a popular Christmas carol for nearly 150 years. Originally a poem by Henry Longfellow titled “Christmas Bells”, the text was set to music by composer John Baptiste Calkin (1827-1905) in 1872. Born in Portland, Maine on February 27, 1807, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) was a 19th century scholar, novelist, and poet, known for works like 'Voices of the Night,' 'Evangeline' and 'The Song of Hiawatha.' On the morning of Christmas Day 1863, Longfellow was inspired to write a poem as he listened to church bells ringing throughout the town. The poem titled “Christmas Bells”, addresses Longfellow's deep despair at the time over the loss of his wife years earlier, his son who was wounded in the American Civil War, and the horrors of war. However, despite his sadness, in the end, Longfellow expresses his belief in God and innate hope that: God is not dead; nor doth he sleep The Wrong shall fail; The Right prevail, With peace on earth, good-will to men! Christmas Bells by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow I heard the bells on Christmas Day Their old, familiar carols play, And wild and sweet The words repeat Of peace on earth, good-will to men! And thought how, as the day had come, The belfries of all Christendom Had rolled along The unbroken song Of peace on earth, good-will to men! Till ringing, singing on its way, The world revolved from night to day, A voice, a chime, A chant sublime Of peace on earth, good-will to men! Then from each black, accursed mouth The cannon thundered in the South, And with the sound The carols drowned Of peace on earth, good-will to men! It was as if an earthquake rent The hearth-stones of a continent, And made forlorn The households born Of peace on earth, good-will to men! And in despair I bowed my head; “There is no peace on earth," I said; “For hate is strong, And mocks the song Of peace on earth, good-will to men!” Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: “God is not dead, nor doth He sleep; The Wrong shall fail, The Right prevail, With peace on earth, good-will to men.”
  9. 8 points
    I saw the FB group posting some new guy gets himself a new suit and is attacked rather than helped. Then some guy calls him a fake Santa because he did not have a real beard. This happens all the time on Facebook. When do they realize we are portraying a fictional Character. No one is Santa and just because you grow a beard does not make you real. Work on your best image when portraying Santa, If you can't grow a reasonable real beard then look for the best designer beard yo can afford. Give the best portrayal you can leave those who see you with a memorable experience seeing the character of Santa Claus.
  10. 7 points
    Thank you for all of the very kind comments. This has been on my mind and heart for a while. I am going to try hard to maintain a weekly episode upload. I’m working now to bank quite a few episodes for when my schedule just gets too busy. Between the artwork, contact, interview, cleanup, edit, upload, and sharing, these episodes equal about 7-8 hours of work each. I’ve been blessed to work on this and I’m motivated by the response. We have many guests lined up in the coming months. Today we have the first interview after the initial announcement, Clausnet’s own Tom Sheerin! Quite a few of the interviewees have mentioned the gem that is Clausnet. I hope we all get to hear from Michael on the podcast! http://santaclauspodcast.com/episode-7-santas-beard-stylist
  11. 7 points
    I saw the Christmas trees and decorations up in Walmart today, so it's just a matter of time before the Christmas Creep Complainers start in...
  12. 7 points
    As the Public Information Officer of a Fire Department in Georgia, I ask that each one of you take a moment to remember all the firefighters and police officers who lost their lives on September 11th, 2001. It is a day that I will never forget and it was a time when our nation came together united as one. It didn't matter that day what the color of our skin was, or what political party that we belong to or what church you were a member of. We came together as Americans in one nation whose common purpose was love of country and our freedoms. Take a moment to remember and let us never forget!
  13. 7 points
    NORPAC SANTAS is very excited to announce that we are bringing True back!! Last fall we brought Santa True's CPW to our 8th Annual Northwest Santa Workshop and it was a great success! True left our attendees wanting more. So, we are so happy to have him back June 9th & 10th in the Seattle area ( Sumner, WA ) for two full days of intense training only True can do! Make your plans now to Join Us. NORPAC SANTAS Members and Non-Members welcome to attend. Go to our website NORPAC-SANTAS.ORG for registration form and to pay via PayPal.
  14. 7 points
    Marty -- I am sorry this has happened. I will check our logs and respond in an email to you. Everyone -- Let me be perfectly clear on this... Any attempt to hack into this site will be taken very seriously and violators will be blocked from ClausNet.com and reported to authorities. When we first launched ClausNet, we had a few instances where members were logging in using someone else’s credentials for nefarious reasons. Ten years ago, our back-end server tools for detecting this activity were not as sophisticated as they are now. Today, our server records every single device, operating system, browser, IP address, and other information when someone (or something) attempts to access this site. This includes successful and unsuccessful logins. Even with all the tools at our disposal here, I still recommend that you change your password often. I change my passwords about once a month. When creating your password, be sure to make it difficult to crack yet, easy to remember. And be sure to use different passwords for different sites. If you feel like someone may be accessing your ClausNet account, please contact me or Felix immediately. We are here to help. We can block IP address, change your password, and even your username if necessary. I have never understood why people do this. Maybe it’s because they have too much time on their hands. Or perhaps they have a poor self-image and spoofing accounts makes them feel better about themselves. I don’t know. But if a person's life revolves around hacking, spamming, or trolling, I feel sorry for them. Obviously, there is something going on in their lives that drives them to this behavior. In my opinion, anyone who does this, does not deserve the title of Santa or Mrs. Claus. As I mentioned we have taken steps to greatly reduce this crap here on ClausNet. Sadly, a lot of this is still happening on Facebook. I think you would be surprised to learn how many “Santas” and “Mrs. Clauses” you may be interacting with in the various Facebook groups are not who they appear to be. This is one of the reasons why I have stepped away from most of these groups on Facebook. With all the recent news about Facebook, it should be obvious that Facebook Group admins do not have the same level of control or the tools to monitor this activity – nor will they ever. Facebook Groups are the property of Facebook, not you. As always, if you have any issues, concerns, questions, comments, or complaints, please do not hesitate to contact me.
  15. 7 points
    As a Financial Advisor I also often get questions this time of year about what is deductible. Although I will mention things in broad terms, it is always best to ask your tax advisor about your specific items. Here is a good rule of thumb: If it cannot be used for other purposes and is purchased specifically and exclusively for your Santa business, it is usually deductible. Some examples: Santa suit - yes, can't be worn to work or church or anything "normal" Santa belt - yes Wig and beard - yes Boots - this one is tricky - do you wear them to ride your motorcycle? Do you wear them everyday? With Jeans? Might not be deductible. If they are exclusive to Santa then yes. Bells, toys, stickers or candy to give away - yes Eyewear - another tricky one. Do you use them exclusively for Santa? yes if exclusive, no if you wear them everyday. Santa's chair - yes, if it is decorative and not used for other purposes. Memberships to Santa organizations - yes Books for Santa or your Santa business - yes Here are some tricky ones: Domain name and hosting - yes if exclusive for Santa Internet service - usually you can deduct a portion. Speak with your tax advisor Home phone or cell phone - same as internet service Mileage - a qualified yes. Speak with your tax advisor, keep good records. It can get a little complicated - donated time as a volunteer, for example can count as a donation. Get advice. KEEP RECORDS Hair care products, bleach, etc - complicated. If you bleach year round it may not be deductible. Storage containers - yes, if used only for Santa stuff. Software, computer equipment, cameras, electronics - mostly no, but qualified. You must prove the equipment is dedicated and cannot be used in every day life. Talk to your tax advisor. Most of all, with everything, keep good records! I often recommend that clients buy a 3-ring binder and fill it with paper. Tape receipts to the pages and make notes beside the receipt as to what was purchased and the use. I also recommend that business purchases be made separate from personal purchases. Keep the receipts separate; it is easier that way. Keep your mileage in a small notebook in your car - or even better, if possible do a MapQuest directions printout for your mileage and place in the same 3-ring binder.
  16. 6 points
    Raymond Joseph "Jim" Yellig Santa Claus, IN February 18, 1894 - July 23, 1984 One of the most beloved and legendary Santas of all time, Raymond Joseph Yellig (better known to his friends as Jim), was known as the Real Santa from Santa Claus, Indiana. Born in the small village of Mariah Hill, Indiana, just a few miles north of Santa Claus, Yellig would become the face of Santa Claus, Indiana, for 54 years. He served in the United States Navy prior to and in World War I. While aboard the U.S.S. New York in 1914, Yellig started the career for which he would become world-famous. While docked in Brooklyn, New York, the crew of the ship decided that they would like to do something nice for the underprivileged children of the area. A Christmas party was planned and since Jim was from the Santa Claus area, he was selected to be the jolly old elf. Yellig was so touched by the children’s happiness that he prayed, “If you get me through this war, Lord, I will forever be Santa Claus.” Yellig stayed in the Navy after World War I for a short time, serving over 17 years. After leaving the service, Yellig married his childhood sweetheart, settled in Chicago briefly, and worked for Commonwealth Edison. He returned to Mariah Hill in 1930 to open a restaurant. During this time Yellig would drive the short distance over to Santa Claus and talk with his old friend, postmaster James Martin. Over the years, Martin had begun answering the letters of children addressed to Santa Claus; he soon enlisted Jim's help. In 1935 Yellig organized the Santa Claus American Legion Post to act as Santa's helpers. He also started to dress the part of Santa Claus and became a fixture in and around the town of Santa Claus. Yellig appeared at Santa's Candy Castle and Santa Claus Town, the nation's first themed attraction, in the late 1930s and continued to answer letters from children who wrote to Santa. As an active Legionnaire, Yellig added to his fame by appearing in American Legion Christmas parades in New York City, Miami, Los Angeles and Philadelphia. In 1946, Yellig became the resident Santa at Santa Claus Land, the world’s first theme park. At Santa Claus Land, Yellig was the main attraction. He was in costume over 300 days a year and his deep voice and hearty "Ho, Ho, Ho," is remembered fondly by all who met him. He wrote his own book in the late 1940s called, "It’s Fun to be A Real Santa Claus." Yellig also appeared on numerous radio and television programs, from "What's My Line" to "Good Morning America," and in many print ads. Yellig spent 38 years at Santa Claus Land. Even into his late 80s, Yellig would drive over to Santa Claus Land from his home in Mariah Hill to spend four to five days a week visiting and greeting children of all ages. Even in the months prior to his passing at the age of 90 on July 23, 1984, Yellig was still Santa at the park and continued to answer letters from children. Without a doubt, no Santa before or since has visited so many children in person as Jim Yellig. To many a generation he is simply Santa Claus. Source Phillip L. Wenz See also... Santa Claus Museum Holiday World Town of Santa Claus, IN Santa Claus Oath Map of Santa Claus, IN
  17. 6 points
    Mixed feelings... Elves: Reindeer, explaining the way Santa could travel all over the globe, general overall storyline: Costuming: Santas snarky behavior: But his overall view of Christmas spirit: Do I feel it ranks up there with other Santa based Christmas classics: Would I watch it again: Having Goldie as Mrs. Claus as a surprise at the end:
  18. 6 points
    Went with the Senior Adults of my church to a Hymn Sing today. During the program, we stood to our feet and sand "God Bless American" and "America the Beautiful." It was a truly moving experience to hear over 400 Senior saints lifting their voices together singing these songs as we remembered all these people.
  19. 6 points
    After multiple hacks, clones, excessive drama, I have closed my FB accounts. There is an element of freedom in doing so, and I am glad it is done, fine', over, quit, outahere. Mainly, I am frustrated with FB's lack of interest in controlling cloning accounts. It is as though they simply don't care, or perhaps they are producing the clones themselves to have Billions of accounts, and boost their advertising revenue. What ever the case may be, I'm done playing the game and taking my marbles and going home.
  20. 6 points
    I could care less about where your beard comes from. If that’s the only reason that you joined IBRBS, for the name? that’s just makes me sad and I don’t know why the board is working so hard to volunteer and to try and provide something more. This is not a move being pushed by the traditional bearded Santas, they are not knocking on the door. Why would they? Not when they do not feel welcome. This move is a moment for the Christmas community to come together. It’s no surprise that some of the most respected Santas in the community are wanting this change. I want a group that has the best of the best or at least welcomes them. I was a traditionally bearded Santa and later grew a beard; my heart is the same, my dedication is the same, my love for doing this is the same. I am not a better Santa in my heart for having a real beard. At some point does this international group evolve to work together for all Santas and truly become international for all those that take on this vocation? I certainly hope so. Take a look at the Santa Claus Hall of Fame, take a look at our history, IBRBS can mean more and I’d love to see a time when we welcome all that take this work seriously. “Real Bearded Santas” are primarily a contemporary US novelty and a marketing move. If we are truly to be an international group, we need to vote “YES” on the bylaws change. Six years ago, this was voted with the majority wanting to include and redefine IBRBS. Six years ago, the majority of IBRBS members did not see the change they wanted because a super majority was not reached. It should be time now. I find all talk on conspiracy theory and financial gain rediculous and insulting, people put too many selfless hours in behind the scenes for that. This change for me, and as a board member, is all about coming together and it should be time. Our historic Santas like Jim Yellig and Charles W Howard defined this work, both traditionally bearded, the Charles W Howard School’s Dean, traditionally bearded, writer of the Santa Claus Oath, traditionally bearded, the founder of Clausnet, traditionally bearded, just about every famous Santa seen in film, traditionally bearded. Personally speaking, any Santa Group that thinks these individuals would not bring value to our organization and not want to do whatever possible to welcome them and learn from them, just to keep things outdated exclusive and solely based on a beard...this is just sad and I pray that this community can be better at making the right decisions for the future of IBRBS. I celebrate all Santas and Mrs. Claus. We stand on the shoulders of the men and women before us when ego was not a big deal and when social media played no part. I’m working on a future podcast, a historica series. They cared about the vocation...not their facial hair...not how much their beard cost...and not their gender. They cared about children and the tradition. Today I cast my vote. When you cast your vote, think of them...not yourself. Look through the eyes of a child. Santa and all Christmas performers should look at it from their perspective...not our own. Is this about me and my ego...or about the tradition and what this is really about? Santa is for everyone, all believers and All Santas are for children, that is my hope. IBRBS has the potential to mean more, we just need to take the necessary steps to do that. I believe this with all my heart and I have thought long and hard about this vote. We move forward regardless and I will look towards finding ways to improve each day and be a support to this community. I am grateful for IBRBS and I am so very grateful that some in the world humble me by calling me “Santa Claus.”
  21. 6 points
    As the gatekeeper here on who gains access to ClausNet, I get a lot of emails from folks who want to be members. As part of the screening process I ask why they want to join. I can't tell you how many times people say that they are finally a real Santa because they are growing a beard. Not a great first impression -- especially for this "fake" Santa. I think part of the problem is there are too many Santas now. And too many are doing this for, in my opinion, the wrong reasons. In the past 10 years there has been an "explosion" of new Santas on the scene. Everyone thinks they are going to get rich -- or famous. That's why you see all the sniping and negativity. They are all competing with one another.
  22. 5 points
    Santa for Awhile Unpublished © 2018 Douglas Billings I didn’t ‘officially’ don the red suit until last year, after I returned from the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School. I had portrayed Santa Claus for a small local country church for a few years before, but I had to borrow the cheap and tacky suit they owned, which did not fit me very well. It had seen too many volunteers stuff themselves into it over the years and the poor thing was flawed in spots. Thinking about it, the kids that I saw at that church didn’t see the problems and issues of the suit that I saw. They were just thrilled seeing Santa in the building; with no regard, as to how his wardrobe appeared. The years have slowly and methodically transformed me into whom many perceive as Santa Claus. I had achieved the long beard years before, but Father-Time has added the white to the thing. He has also increased the girth of my mid-section, so subtly, I never realized it was happening. At some point, the necessary combination of white beard and belly became my new trademark, my calling card, if you will. When the transformation was complete, the public began to see me and treat me differently. It was the children who reacted first, and it was happening anywhere, any time of the year, no matter how I was dressed or where I was at the time. One day, I noticed small children pointing at me and whispering to each other as I walked by them. I didn’t think anything about it at first, but then one day I overheard what one was saying to the other. “Psst, look, look, it’s Santa Claus.” I stopped in my tracks and turned to face the informant. His lower jaw dropped open and his eyes seemed to grow out of their sockets. When his eyes met my stern stare, I grinned really big and gave him a wink, then I continued on my original course. It’s been like that for many years now, only today I have to add the adults as well. I work in a middle school in West Tennessee. I started there in 2007. Back then, I had a lot of color still in my hair and beard. In those days, a lot of people called me ZZ-Top and a few years later, the students referred to me as Duck Dynasty. Eventually the colored follicles were replaced by the white I now sport and along with it came the references of Santa Claus. One of my colleagues at the school is raising her granddaughter, whose name is Alicia. I have known her since shortly after her birth. Granny would bring her to after school functions and everyone would do what we do around a little bundle of baby—we would oooh! and aaah! the precious child. As the years continued on, Lil’ Alicia started to walk on her own and then one day she was old enough to start kindergarten. One day, I was in our gymnasium after school, supervising some kids playing on the court. Granny walks in and following her was Lil’ Alicia fresh off the bus from her school. When she saw me in the distance, she screamed, “S-a-n-t-a!” and began running towards me, as fast as her little legs could carry her. I turned toward her and threw out my arms and she buried herself in me. I gave her a gentle squeeze and she looked into my eyes and never broke contact. She began to study every feature I had, constantly fixated on my eyes. I felt a glorious warmth run through me, and I’m convinced she felt it too. From that moment on, I AM Santa Claus to Lil’ Alicia. I’m still teaching at that same school and Lil’ Alicia still comes over every afternoon to meet up with her granny, only now she is not so little anymore. She is getting to that age where she is questioning the true existence of Santa Claus. She walks by my classroom every day on her way to her granny’s locale. I always meet her in the hallway and she still runs up and gives me a hug. She tells her friends that I am Santa Claus and just recently a few of them started telling her that Santa isn’t real. Luckily, she doesn’t believe them and I am still the lucky recipient of heartfelt and loving hugs from my biggest fan. The other day, I spoke with Alicia’s grandmother and told her that I dread the day she no longer believes in Santa Claus. I have cherished the opportunity to be hers and no matter what, she will always be ‘Santa’ Doug’s most special fan. The inevitable is just around the corner with Lil’ Alicia and there is nothing anyone can do to stop nature’s course. But, the spirit of Santa Claus will never be lost in the grown child, as long as Lil’ Alicia keeps the thought and memory of her Santa in her heart and soul, for always. I will only be a Santa Claus for a short while, but Santa Claus will be forever. ‘Santa’ Doug’s Biggest Little Fan!
  23. 5 points
    Mrs. Claus just got a new hat. This is one of the "tall hats" from Tall Toad hat company. It's an Elizabethan style hat. It may not suit some, but I think it will go great with my wife's dresses. Speaking of dresses, my wife's new dress from Plus Size Costume Shop should be arriving tomorrow. Unfortunately, she is out of town until Tuesday.
  24. 5 points
    Trying to talk my Mrs. into this one:
  25. 5 points
    Crazy to hear that things like this happen! The Bible says to "guard your heart". For me, I love everybody but I don't trust anybody. There's a Santa in my business area who is trying to lead people into thinking that I'm him, trying to lead customers his way. It actually worked in reverse, and his efforts led to more people finding me, some of who were his longtime customers. Who would want to hack into Marty's Clausnet account? Probably someone who wanted to take him down a notch, even try to curtail his involvement. Hey! Wait a minute...
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