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Showing content with the highest reputation since 04/09/2019 in Posts

  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. 10 points
  3. 8 points
  4. 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. 😄
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 7 points
    People Are Putting Their Christmas Lights Back Up as a Sign of Hope Amid Coronavirus Fears NATHALIE KIRBY (House Beautiful) MAR 17, 2020 EXCERPT: In the midst of a global pandemic, people are looking on the bright side of life–literally. As COVID-19 continues to spread and the need for social distancing increases, Twitter users are calling for people to put their Christmas lights back up. With school and work closing, restaurants shutting down, and events being cancelled, many people are feeling the scary effects of the Coronavirus. And for parents with kids home from school for an indefinite period, the need for a light at the end of the tunnel is especially significant, which is why a call to get the Christmas lights back out is taking the internet by storm. I mean, if you're going to be stuck in your home, you might as well make it look pretty, right? (More) Source: https://www.housebeautiful.com/lifestyle/fun-at-home/a31699230/christmas-lights-for-coronavirus/
  10. 7 points
    I wanted to share this poem that I wrote on Christmas day 2019, a response to multiple requests from children asking on social media, why they did not receive a gift. I did not have a response that I felt touching enough in my heart and I grabbed a piece of paper and began to write this poem to share with them. I received many responses, so many touching comments stating that they were so excited that they were not forgotten. Some of you may have something special that you could say and share, this was my initial response. As always, may we see the opportunities that are around to comfort, love, spread cheer, nurture imagination, and remind everyone that they matter and that they belong. It is not a simple job...it is a calling. How blessed we are. “I thought u didn’t come to my house but u did tysm for the gift ily.” ”you made me cry Santa! Thank you thank you.” ”I told them Santa didn’t firget me!!” Not Forgotten: Santa’s Special Christmas Gift A little child asked me, “Santa, why did you not bring me a Christmas present?” This broke my heart in every way and I want to explain what I’ve sent. Some children chose not to believe and that is the choice they make, others choose to not be kind, they do not give and only take. But there are good children on Christmas morning that will not find a box from me, there gift, most precious and pure, was not wrapped you see. For a few children across the world will receive that which I hold so dear, the gift of Christmas magic to help throughout all the year. This special feeling you now have, will help when you’re feeling blue, you can find a bit of comfort, when you just don’t know what to do. This, my friends, is my gift, it’s more than a simple toy, I give you a part of my heart, filled with Christmas joy. This is a gift that will last forever, as long as you believe, please know, my special friend, a gift you did receive. © All Rights Reserved
  11. 7 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 2020 is Santa Randall! Santa Randall Featured ClausNet Member – March 2020 Profile: bllwnkl Real Name: Randall Location: Canton, Ohio USA ClausNet member since: March 19, 2019 Community Reputation (as of today): 2,000 – Darn near Santa himself! Our March 2020 Featured Member hails from Canton Ohio. Santa Randall first donned the red suit a year ago. He joined the ClausNet community in March 2019 and has been a regular contributor ever since. We caught up with Santa Bill a few days ago, and here is what he had to say... ClausNet: How long have you been portraying Santa Claus and how did you get started? Randall: "I have portrayed Santa for one entire season! I watched a Santa work a nursing home. I was amazed. I wanted to talk to him about what it was like to be Santa." ClausNet: What or who are your influences on your portrayal of Santa Claus? Randall: "The longevity of Santa and the fact that just about everyone knows Santa Claus! When my curiosity got to me, I started to research. Listening to the men and women who have so much to share is something that I can't get enough of." ClausNet: What do you enjoy most about being Santa Claus? Randall: "I am a mall Santa. I love happy, excited children! But I must say that when an excited family brings an infant or young child to get the child's first picture with Santa...well, I feel so honored and blessed to be that Santa! Just think about how your image is spread throughout the world as these photos are shared." ClausNet: What do you enjoy the LEAST about being Santa Claus? Randall: "It really gets to me when a child is so afraid of Santa. They just don't want anything to do with him/me. And then there are the parents that don't want to be there. Sadly, some parents are harder to deal with than unruly children." ClausNet: What is your most memorable visit? Randall: "A young family came up to me and I could tell that something just wasn't right. A lady holding a young child and two older children standing close. It turns out that the children lost a brother that week. I asked them if it would be okay with them if Santa prayed for them. I meant afterwards but the lady said they would love for Santa to pray for them and they reached out to me and grabbed my hands! So right there in the mall we had prayer! The lady thanked me, they turned around and walked away. They didn't care about a candy cane, they needed comfort." ClausNet: Do you have a favorite gig? Randall: "Like I said, I'm a mall Santa and for now, I want to be the best Santa I can be for the community." ClausNet: What is your dream gig? Randall: "Really just being the Santa that children need. Children are forced into the adult world way too soon. Children need to be children. That being said, I want to be a positive influence in their lives." ClausNet: What keeps you busy when you are not being Santa? Randall: "Well, I'm retired. And married, so…" ClausNet: What are your hobbies / interests? Randall: "I like to work with my hands. I've always been mechanical. I have two vintage Cub Cadet tractors that are working tractors that I use on my property. They are over 40 years old, but so far, I've kept them running. I love to shoot. There's something about hitting or trying to hit that bullseye." ClausNet: What is your favorite color? Randall: "Growing up it was blue. And although I still like blue, as I've gotten older, I'm favoring red for some reason!" ClausNet: What is your favorite food? Randall: "BBQ! Pulled pork, ribs, etc. plus all the sides. My family is from the Blueridge Mountains of Virginia. Can't beat that comfort food! But then there's Italian, Mexican..." ClausNet: Coke or Pepsi? Randall: "Between the two, Pepsi. But if someone asked me if I would be the Santa in a Coke commercial then "Coke is it!" (Pun intended)." ClausNet: What is your favorite cookie? Randall: "Oatmeal raisin. But you can't leave out cut-out cookies with icing, chocolate chip, well almost any homemade cookie." ClausNet: What is your favorite movie? Randall: "I really like the Alex Kendrick faith-based movies Facing the Giants, War Room, Courageous." ClausNet: Do you have a favorite Christmas movie? Randall: "I'm reintroducing myself to Christmas movies. But recently I have been caught up with Santa Claus documentaries. "Becoming Santa" "Believe: The True Story of Real Bearded Santas" and "They Wore the Red Suit" I've watched them over and over again soaking up all that I can." ClausNet: What is your favorite Christmas song? Randall: "O Holy Night sung by David Phelps." ClausNet: What was the last book that you read? Randall: "You may find this odd, but I don't read much. I've read through the entire New Testament and some of the Old testament. My problem is that when I'm reading, my mind goes somewhere else and I don't retain what I just read." ClausNet: What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Randall: "As a child, I wanted to be a heavy equipment operator. I thought it was the neatest thing to watch bulldozers, backhoes and front end loaders in action." ClausNet: What profession would you not like to attempt? Randall: "I totally respect the men and women that have to work outside. But that's not me. I was cold working in the shop for 44 years." ClausNet: What were some of your favorite toys as a child? Randall: "Tinker toys, erector sets, simple science projects." ClausNet: What is your most memorable experience of Santa while growing up? Randall: "I really don't have one. I remember Santa but I don't remember talking to him. It could just be my memory, after all, that was 60+ years ago!" ClausNet: What is the hardest question you have gotten as Santa Claus and what was your response? Randall: "I had a young man ask me if I will live forever. I told him that was a complicated question. I asked him if he had seen movies that made him wonder and he said yes. So I proceeded to tell him that Santa will just keep going. Somehow it works out that one day I will kind of disappear and another Santa will take my place and it all just keeps going on like that forever. It's kind of hard to explain. I asked if he sort of understood and he shook his head yes. I said just remember, there will always be a Santa." ClausNet: What is the strangest request you have gotten as Santa Claus? Randall: "The fellow was embarrassed to ask me and I asked him if he wanted me to guess. The adults tipped me off so I played along. He wanted a stapler." ClausNet: How did you find ClausNet? Randall: "I ran into a guy at a restaurant that had a "Santa" beard. I complimented him about his beard and asked if he wears a red suit at Christmas time. He did, we talked, and he gave me his business card. Later we exchanged emails. He gave me suggestions of places to go to gather information. One of them was ClausNet." ClausNet: And what do you like most about ClausNet? Randall: "Everything! The willingness to share. The stories. The suggestions. So many have been there for this new guy. I can't thank you enough." ClausNet: Is there a Santa or Mrs. Claus over the years that you admire or has inspired you? Can you tell us a little bit about him/her? Randall: "I mentioned earlier that I wanted to talk to the Santa that I was watching at the nursing home. Well, while on ClausNet, Santa DBC saw that I was from Ohio as was he. He invited me to a Buckeye Santas meeting and who do you think was there? The Santa I wanted to talk to! This Santa, Santa Tom Shilling, took me under his wing and has been a great mentor/friend. Santa Tom is well thought of and respected as a Santa portrayer. He's the one that told me about the mall position being available. He lives close to the mall and came to check on me a few times during the season." ClausNet: What advice can you give to a first time Santa or Mrs. Claus? Randall: "Research. There are tons of things regarding Santa out there. But there is one piece of advice that was drilled into my head. I was told over and over to just be yourself and have fun with it. Interact with the children. So, when I had my first visitors as Santa, I really didn't think about it, it just happened. I had a wonderful first year." ClausNet: Anything else you would like to add? Randall: "Yes! Thank you! Thank you Michael for providing this. Thank you Felix, Eileen Strom, Drosselmeyer, TamaleClaus, Santa Johnny Boy, Schwindy, et cetera, et cetera... Too many to list. God bless you all!." Thank you Randall! Everyone, please join me in congratulating Santa Randall, our ClausNet Featured Member of the Month for March 2020!
  12. 7 points
    Hardly...do you shave your beard to protect yourself from the flu or common cold? Thought not. So why would you do it for this? More people die in this country every year from the regular flu, then have died from this new bug...quit listening to screwed up politicized news companies and use some common sense.
  13. 7 points
    As one of my last acts as Chairman of NORPAC SANTAS, I asked the Executive Board for a Suggested Motion to make a donation to ClausNet from the organization's treasury. The motion was carried by the board by unanimous vote and the donation has been made. I know that ClausNet has been a valuable tool for many of our members in making themselves the best Christmas Performers they can be including myself. Trever Waltos NORPAC SANTAS Chairman
  14. 7 points
    Mayberry town drunk Otis Campbell was also Santa Claus for a generation of kids July 17, 2019, 10:16AM By MeTV Staff Otis Campbell eventually found his redemption. Throughout The Andy Griffith Show, the hiccuping sot repeatedly found himself behind bars in the Mayberry jail. Heck, he often let himself into the cell. In "The Case of the Punch in the Nose," we learn that ol' Otis was first arrested for drunkenness on way back in 1941 (at the Mayberry Garden Club, at 2 p.m. on a Tuesday). But in Return to Mayberry, the 1986 reunion movie, Otis is working as an ice-cream man, having been sober for years. (Though, five years later, Otis turned up in an Alan Jackson music video, drunk as ever.) The irony is that Hal Smith, the actor who portrayed Otis Campbell, never had a drink in his life, at least according to Andy Griffith himself in a 2003 interview with Larry King. Smith has quite the range, especially behind the microphone. The character actor voiced dozens of cartoon characters, from Owl in Winnie the Pooh to Flintheart Glomgold in DuckTales. But his most recurring role might be that Jolly Old Elf from the North Pole. Source: https://metv.com/stories/mayberry-town-drunk-otis-campbell-was-also-santa-claus-for-a-generation-of-kids?fbclid=IwAR25TMPIXdAubnKePvn6qaWqRMusAYkg1C9b8U1I_hroJI6__1ngKqxqCww
  15. 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!
  16. 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.
  17. 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)
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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!"
  22. 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.
  23. 6 points
    this editorial caught my eye - and while I understand what the pastor was trying to convey, not quite sure I agree with the way it was said . . . Jeannie Cunnion: Why we shouldn't keep Christ in Christmas By Jeannie Cunnion | Fox News 12/25/2019 He was born in a manger in Bethlehem to fulfill God’s perfect and pure law on our behalf so that we might walk in freedom from trying to do enough and be enough to secure God’s love and welcome. My son, along with his 3-year-old classmates, lined up at the back of the church, nervously awaiting their procession down the center aisle to take their place on the stage. It was the annual Christmas concert at his Christian preschool, and after weeks of practice, it was finally time to perform “Feliz Navidad” and ”Jingle Bells” for the proud parents. But first, the head pastor of the church that hosts the preschool took the stage to welcome the families and offer a few thoughts on why we celebrate Christmas. “Welcome! It’s wonderful to be together today to celebrate the birth of Christ. But before the children perform, I’d like to offer a brief word of encouragement, which is this: Parents, please don’t keep Christ in Christmas.” I’ll admit the preacher didn’t have my complete attention until that moment. I had a full day ahead of me, and my mind was on how I was going to get my older kids to all the places they needed to go and still navigate all the things I needed to do. While the pastor continued on about the bumper stickers we often see on cars at this time of year that say “Keep Christ in Christmas” I turned to my husband and asked, “Did the pastor really just say “Don’t keep Christ in Christmas?” Before he could respond, the pastor answered the question for me. I can’t remember his precise words but his message clarified my confusion. “When parents pack up the Christmas decorations, they tend to put away Christ as well,” he said. “We tend to keep Christ in Christmas day alone. The invitation is to take Christ beyond your Christmas celebration and into your everyday lives.” As the pastor concluded his message, I nodded my head in agreement and whispered a prayer of gratitude for a God who wants to go with me and chooses to dwell in me by His Spirit. It’s the “wants to” that gets me. He loves us so much that He chose to enter our fallen world and broken lives in the humble form of a baby, His Son. But this is no ordinary Son. He is both God and man. He is Jesus, and every longing of the human heart finds its fulfillment in Him. In John 10:10 Jesus said, “I came so you might have life, a great full life. My purpose is to give you a rich and satisfying life.” Life! This is Christ’s gift to us. Source: https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/jeannie-cunnion-why-we-shouldnt-keep-christ-in-christmas
  24. 6 points
  25. 6 points
  26. 6 points
    Each month, our Featured Member section profiles a ClausNet member. Members are chosen totally at random by me and the staff. Once selected as Featured Member of the Month, we interview the candidate and post the interview here. This is a wonderful way to get to know your fellow ClausNet members! We are happy to announce our ClausNet Featured Member for January 2020 is Jerry Nebel! Jerry Nebel Featured ClausNet Member – January 2020 Profile: Jerry Nebel Real Name: Jerry Location: Lake Bay, Washington USA ClausNet member since: September 21, 2009 Community Reputation (as of today): 1,007 – Darn near Santa himself! Website: SantaInSeattle.com Our first Featured Member of the Month for 2020 has been a member of ClausNet since 2009. Jerry Nebel started down the path of portraying Santa Claus not far from the North Pole. Jerry’s first time in the suit was back in 1975 in Valdez, Alaska! We caught up with Santa Jerry a few days ago, and here is what he had to say... ClausNet: How long have you been portraying Santa Claus and how did you get started? Jerry: "In 1975 in Valdez, Alaska I was asked to be Santa for the residents at the State Mental Hospital. I don’t remember much about that actual gig. I took advantage of the suit and visited with friends with children and the pictures are fun to compare with my present day look. One family had a big St. Bernard and when he saw Santa, he charged ready to tear him up only stopping dead in his tracks when he recognized the voice. In April 2008 I went to work for a tug and barge company. We delivered refined petroleum products up and down the West Coast from Los Angeles, California to Barrow Alaska, August of that year the General Manager asked if I would be Santa at the company Christmas party. At the time the company had over 250 employees and at Christmas at least half were at sea. The company put on a huge party at a large venue. Many activities for children and presents for them all. The manager had been the Santa previous years he explained. He had a suit I could use and over and over told me it was something he was sure I would enjoy. He couldn’t do it now because of his new responsibilities and it was easy to tell he was kind of sad he wasn’t going to be able to be Santa. After much deliberations and discussions with my wife Patti I decided to say yes. I stopped shaving and let my beard grow out. The handlebar stash I had been sporting for years. Patti added some touches to the suit which was a very inexpensive costume shop outfit. I had a pair of black rubber muck boots that I cleaned up with tire cleaner/polish to replace the plastic spats. At the venue there was a long staircase that Santa would come down to enter the party. I stood at the top of the stairs. Gave a hearty Ho, Ho, Ho and descended. When I reached the bottom, I was immediately surrounded by children. One little guy put the teddy bear hug on my leg and had to be pried off by dad. When I was departing I had him in my arms and asked if he wanted to come with me to the North Pole. A rookie mistake because of course he did and was most upset when he learned that Santa really didn’t mean it. I was hooked. Patti is an excellent seamstress and she made me a Victorian Santa suit the following year and encouraged me to develop my character and get an agent. Sound advice. Based on a Santa from a Judi Jensen painting, Patti then made me a Woodland Santa outfit. It is very unique and almost always when I ask a client which suit they would like me in the Woodland Santa is it." ClausNet: What or who are your influences on your portrayal of Santa Claus? Jerry: "ClausNet. I discovered it almost immediately soon after saying yes to the boss ‘I will be Santa’. A fantastic resource I had found. So much sound advice and members of the community sharing information. On ClausNet I learned that there were schools and I attended one of Santa Tim’s school in Portland, OR. In recent years I have learned much from Robert Seutter, aka Santa True. NORPAC our local Santa organization have brought him to the Northwest twice and we have all learned a lot. Many of the founding members of NORPAC have been influences in my portrayal also." ClausNet: What do you enjoy most about being Santa Claus? Jerry: "Receiving the unconditional love from children. I find it a true expression of Grace." ClausNet: What do you enjoy the LEAST about being Santa Claus? Jerry: "Being away from home during the Christmas season and the cold I seem to have been putting off for weeks laying me out for the week following Christmas." ClausNet: What is your most memorable visit? Jerry: "Domestic Violence Shelter on Christmas Eve. The joy and love from children who, worried that Santa wouldn’t know where they were on Christmas Eve and Mothers overcome with emotion seeing their children so filled with cheer and joy provided by Santa. I wasn’t ready for the love given and received by Santa that evening. It was a real tearjerker." ClausNet: Do you have a favorite gig? Jerry: "I truly enjoy my time in portrait photographers’ studios. I’m very fortunate to work with some amazing folks who their sessions special. I really enjoy putting the magic in a picture. A smile that is not generated by someone saying, ‘say cheese’. Seeing the same children and family’s year after and sharing the joy of Christmas with them. For a few years I worked for an outfit in Dublin as their Skype Santa. Was a great opportunity. Bedtime in Ireland is morning on the West Coast. It was so much fun looking into the Irish homes as the children had a visit with Santa." ClausNet: What is your dream gig? Jerry: "As Santa, raise the 12th Man flag at the start of a Seattle Seahawks home game." ClausNet: What keeps you busy when you are not being Santa? Jerry: "I recently joined Toastmasters. I have found that it is a great way to develop and practice backstory with an appreciative audience. Members enjoy it and their evaluations help to fine tune my portrayal of Santa. I also joined a writers group where I’m working on writing about my experiences while in character. I teach guitar classes from time to time. We retired to a 2 and half acre spot in the country a couple years ago and there is always something that needs tending." ClausNet: What are your hobbies / interests? Jerry: "I’m a member of a plein air painters group working with watercolor and acrylics. I enjoy playing the blues on acoustic and electric guitar. I play from time to time in a jam band at a local wine bar. Patti and I enjoy international travel also. Greece being one of our favorite locations." ClausNet: What is your favorite color? Jerry: "Toreador Red." ClausNet: What is your favorite food? Jerry: " Greek, Italian, and some Japanese." ClausNet: Coke or Pepsi? Jerry: "Pepsi." ClausNet: What is your favorite cookie? Jerry: "Russian Tea Cake. My mom called them Russian Rocks." ClausNet: What is your favorite movie? Jerry: "I don’t have one. I have never developed an interest. I think ADHD as a child I never had the attention span to sit thru a complete movie and when older Sleep Apnea put me asleep as soon as the theater went dark. In the past year I have enjoyed the movies about Elton John and Eddie Mercury." ClausNet: Do you have a favorite Christmas movie? Jerry: "Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale. I even have the T-shirt." ClausNet: What is your favorite Christmas song? Jerry: "The First Noel." ClausNet: What was the last book that you read? Jerry: "Ken Follett, ‘Winter Of The World’. Presently listening to ‘Edge of Eternity’ on CD as I go about my seasonal rounds." ClausNet: What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Jerry: "I did a tally the other day. I have received pay for my services or labor from 27 different sources since the paper route which was first. Most of my working life I was happy doing what I was doing and didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about how green the grass might have been on the other side of the fence. Growing up I wanted to be a National Park Ranger. Liked the uniform." ClausNet: What profession would you not like to attempt? Jerry: "Changing light bulbs on the top of radio towers. I am glad that there is someone that will go up and do it. Would be a real catastrophe to run into a dark tower on Christmas Eve." ClausNet: What were some of your favorite toys as a child? Jerry: "Lionel train, Lincoln logs, BB gun." ClausNet: What is your most memorable experience of Santa while growing up? Jerry: "Making the trip from our home in Port Townsend, Washington on the Olympic Peninsula (requiring two ferry rides at the time) to Seattle where the ‘real’ Santa was holding reign at the big Bon Marche Department Store. In Port Townsend the Santa an easily identifiable fake beard, black plastic spates over his shoes, and usually had the odor of cigarettes and or liquor. There was magic in Seattle at the department store." ClausNet: What is the hardest question you have gotten as Santa Claus and what was your response? Jerry: "The questions asking for healing from serious health issues or the return of a parent from service or incarceration are always hard. I try and answer with understanding, compassion and love." ClausNet: What is the strangest request you have gotten as Santa Claus? Jerry: "As I made my way thru a busy downtown crowd to present the ring for a marriage proposal, I was asked, ”Santa, please a pimp who doesn’t beat me”. And once in the grocery store, while out of character, a young woman came up and whispered in my ear, ‘Santa I would like a fireman’." ClausNet: How did you find ClausNet? Jerry: "Google Search for resources when I was starting out." ClausNet: And what do you like most about ClausNet? Jerry: "The open sharing of experiences and knowledge. I tell Santas I mentor that one of the first things you should do is join ClausNet. There you will find answers to your questions and where to find anything you might need. I tell them that if they have a question regarding anything, post it up and there will be answers almost instantaneously!" ClausNet: Is there a Santa or Mrs. Claus over the years that you admire or has inspired you? Can you tell us a little bit about him/her? Jerry: "From the start, I have been inspired by the ClausNet community. Santas, Mrs. Clauses, and contributors who have been so gracious and warm sharing their experiences, advice, and knowledge. I have learned much from them. From Santa Ron Kearns, a founding member of ClausNet, I have learned much about the ‘reason for the season’." ClausNet: What advice can you give to a first time Santa or Mrs. Claus? Jerry: "As you start your path, always try and remember that your smile and direct eye contact with a child are your greatest assets. The fancy suit, latest accessories, fantastic magic tricks, etc., are not what it’s about. When a child looks you back in your eyes and they can feel that ‘Santa cares and he is listening to me’ that is bringing." ClausNet: Anything else you would like to add? Jerry: "Thank you Michael Rielly and everyone associated with ClausNet for this recognition. I am honored to be joining the ranks of ClausNet Member of the Month club. I would encourage others to become active in their area or regional Christmas Performers group(s). Offer to be a mentor if you can. I have found it is a very rewarding activity. As you plan for the new year try and pick one thing each month to work on that will improve your portrayal of Santa. Strong backstory is important. Pick a subject for a month and work on it. Happy New Year to one and all. I’m wishing that the year 2020 is your best ever!" Thank you Jerry! Everyone, please join me in congratulating Jerry Nebel, our ClausNet Featured Member of the Month for January 2020!
  27. 6 points
    As for advice, keep the desire to improve. And "Just be Santa."
  28. 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...
  29. 6 points
    This is assuming that the decorations were taken down and put away!
  30. 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.
  31. 6 points
    I'm trying to keep each season and live in the moment, but thinking about basic decorating plans for Christmas does perk me up. It's good to see that we are celebrating Labour Day Weekend; I'm looking forward to the fall and resuming classes and rehearsals but also the all the fall traditions that lead up to Christmas. It make me feel better about life and myself.
  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. 5 points
    I'm with you, Doug! My neighbors dared me to put up my Christmas lights. HA! My lights will be on all night, every night until these crazy corona virus days have past. God bless America! Anyone with us? Santas?
  35. 5 points
  36. 5 points
    I love, love, love this picture! Thanks for sharing.
  37. 5 points
    I had a great time at the Red Suit Conclave. I hope you will be able to attend next year. It was a wonderful time of learning, encouragement and fellowship.
  38. 5 points
    Patrick! LOVED IT as I watched it for a second or third time ...... maybe even four or five now. BUT most recently absolutely NOT ....... Not in today's crazy times & Days. They'd (Hollywood) or so it seems ......... They would never allow such things to be said! So very nice to have seen it again and NOT @ Christmas time! And I'm surprised they ended it that way instead of a "Nicely said Arthur!" Because though simple, so right on the button!
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