When I was a little boy I thought (as many little boys do) that my Dad had the greatest job in the world. He was the sergeant of police for a little town in West Virginia called Nitro. My Dad would drive down our street and would turn on the sirens for my friends and I who ran out to wave at him as he passed - such an Opie-like thing to do. But at Christmas my Dad had a very important job to perform. He was the chauffer of an international celebrity. When things were calm in Nitro my Dad would d
I usually wait quite a while before posting to my blog. But this subject is one that I find myself constantly thinking of these days and I feel that it is important to get my thoughts across. If they can be a provoker of thought, then please read on. I hope you leave this entry with a deeper perspective and appreciation for the subject matter.
Since the days when a man named Nicholas of Myra walked upon this Earth there has existed a sacred nature to the role of Santa Claus. That bond has bee
One day, through events that are unique and special to you, you decided to become a Santa Claus. Maybe the mantle was passed to you or maybe you just wanted to try on the suit and the idea stuck. Maybe you were a middle aged man of girth with a beard whom neighborhood children pointed at with a certain familiarity. If you were like me, you were asked as a child to perform the role in a Christmas pageant and it stuck with you. In many ways the suit can call. Because you are here it is a good assu
It has been quite a while since I have written about anything regarding Santa Claus for our community. That I am going to try to remedy with this article that I hope will be found to be light hearted, yet thought provoking. This is to be the first of many of these types of items that I am going to tentatively title “Mistletoe Musings.” In many groups such as ours (whether historical, theatrical, or literary) there are those who seek higher learning and understanding of what the subject is abo
It's funny, but I can still remember the first time I ever put on a beard to perform as Santa Claus. I was six at the time and my very first beard was made of cotton balls glued to a back made from a white t-shirt. Mom made a whole suit and beard for my first grade pageant. The beard had a large rubber band that, when put on, pulled the beard tight under my nose. I remember that feeling of a tickle under my nose as plain today as when I first put it on, along with the smell of the cotton.
Several months ago I had a conversation with my wife that had become pretty intense. "Just once," she said, "I would like to have dinner with John and not Santa." Between her words and so many eye opening events and lessons throughout 2012 I learned that not only did I want to do more in my life in other areas that perhaps I had neglected, but I also learned and felt how important it is to maintain and keep the magic of Santa sacred and somewhat secret.
Now, based on the response of my last
I have been away for a while from ClausNet. For that I am sorry, as I notice that a few of my friends have messaged me here and I have not answered them. Of all the Summers I have had thus far, this has certainly been one of the most interesting. I should say this has been an interesting year, as much of it began for me right after the Jim Yellig Workshop.
You see, I left that event on a very high note. It was a note that I still feel today. Think of it, those who were there really and t
As I sit and ponder this holiday of Christmas and what it means, my mind often returns to the very root of what it is all about - love. I recall that that first Christmas brought the greatest gift of love ever given, the only Son of God who would later die on the cross for the wrongs of all mankind now and forever. I like to think of the love of a mother, Mary, as she wrapped her new born in swaddling clothes. I like to think that she was overfilled with pride as the shepherds came to see her
In one of his most memorable holiday recordings, Elvis asks a poignant question. “Why can’t every day be like Christmas?” It is a good and valid question as we look at the times in which we live. These are tough times for many, and some would even go as far as to say that these are faithless times at that. This writer would disagree, and I would venture to say that Christmas is here to stay as long as we allow it to.
The message of Christmas is riddled with the theme of peace on Earth
Each Christmas Season that goes by has its share of interesting events. Some are sad, some are happy, and some are down right funny. Also, as the years go by it seems that everything starts earlier and earlier. I always guage the time of year by my birthday, November 5. Usually I begin the week after. However, this year I began the day before. So, my birthday found me sitting in the Picture Me Studio of my local Wal-Mart. For the sake of the following story alone I was happy to be spendin
Friends, I know that many of you have missed me here on Clausnet. How do I know? By all of the nice private emails and such, which I really appreciate. I thought I would let everyone know why I have been gone for so long. Well, the truth is simple - I have been busy.
As many of you know I have a Bluegrass band named Hominy Falls. Our music has taken us many places in a short period of time and across four states so far. We even had the honor of playing the International Bluegrass Music
Living in these hills can be very interesting, especially when you hear all of the tales that go along with them. There are ghost stories, there are stories about the War Between the States, there are stories about feuds (Hatfields and McCoys occurred an hour and a half from my door), there are old ballads. But the stories that I am going to share for the sake of this blog are the Christmas stories, as mountain culture still has a peculiar way of celebrating this day every year.
First, I ha
Have you ever climbed a hill or mountain? I sure have, living in the Mountain State. My Dad and I used to visit our state parks. At one such park, on top of a large mountain and overlooking what a sign said was five states, was a large log tower. I can remember visiting this with Dad. Now, when I reach the top I often look back to see what obstacles and terrain I have passed over to get to that spot. I try to recall every large rock on which I have stumbled and where it is so that I don't
When we think of Santa, we should ultimately come away with this truth: Santa Claus = benevolence. He is the supreme example of selfless giving, next to the Meaning of Christmas. We all know that Santa gives and gives to all people with the truest of love and good will.
As Santa Clauses in our own right we too are called to give to the children of all ages that we serve as well. In the short time that we come into contact with them, we give the children something to believe in. Perhaps
Just got back from a lovely trip, travelling from my home in Saint Albans, West Virginia, across the state of Kentucky and to Santa Claus, Indiana. To me, this town is the cradle for most of what we as "modern" Santas do today. A good part of the protocols of being Santa began in that wonderful place.
As he has told me before in conversation, Phil Wenz reiterrated what could be referred to as "Yellig's Rules of Being Claus" to the attendees. For the sake of this entry I want to dwell on
As most of the Santas here know, I am a fellow who is in favor of getting along. I am for peace in our community and for anything that will promote peace. I love anything that makes 1. children believe and 2. makes Santa a positive as opposed to a negative.
Truthfully, I had my doubts about a national or even a regional convention when the original thread was posted. I even voiced my opinions not only here but also in private chat with a few other Santas. I remember well the turmoil of 2
Alfred C. Gilbert was a great toy maker. In fact, he is responsible for many of the classic toys of the early twentieth centuries, including the erector set and personal chemistry sets. He made everything from toy planes to toy trains and beyond. However, at the start of World War I all of this would change.
Gilbert's factory had been singled out to become a war munitions plant, a need that meant his Country before his beloved toys, a sacrifice made more dear as his own brother was draft
During a conversation with another Santa over the last year, the question was raised about whether or not children were changing with the times. This brought on some interesting discussion to say the least. At that time I truly doubted that children would ever totally change, and I affirmed that the simplest gifts would always be the most played with.
Then began the 2010 Season. I will admit that I was a bit discouraged when day after day I was asked for Ipads, Iphones, and other various a
Wow, 2010 has been an interesting year in the Santa Community. Drama after drama, with most being provoked over the smallest word or mistyped phrase. Then there are the national problems such as Celebrate Santa. Ego upon ego being trampled, and it doesn't stop. It does get nauseating.
What I want to take away from 2010 are the good things. Mrs. Claus and I had a wonderful Christmas Season to beat all else. Every smile that was created by seeing this Santa will be forever cherished.
Boy, I didn't realize how long it has been since I have written a blog entry here. Well, things have been rather busy, and it seems that are beginning to again for this year. However, as I have been busy doing various things my wife, Michelle, had me cleaning out a closet here in my workshop. I came across a real treasure there. In a frame that I had forgotten about was a photo of my first "real" outing as Santa Claus. I was flooded with memories. I have included it in my gallery for you t
I have often heard it said by many of my peers in the red suit that the hardest things to do as Santa is visiting the children's hospitals and hospice house. Well, this year was my third visiting the children at our local hospitals and my first to visit a hospice house. Each year, Wells Fargo Third Party Administrators (Santa's Day Job) donates teddy bears to two of our local hospitals, Thomas Memorial Hospital and Charleston Area Medical Center's Women's and Children's Hopsital. These are th
"Christmas came and Christmas went; Christmas this year was Heaven sent."
- Johnny Cash
As I sit here thinking back on perhaps my greatest Santa season yet, I am reminded of several events which helped to shape this year in particular. These are the memorable moments with children of all ages that each Santa is very accustomed to experiencing. It seems that this year I was blessed to have
I know it has been quite a while since I have written in this blog, and for that I am sorry. I do so enjoy spending this time with all of you. Santa has been very busy over the last month or so. Today, I would like to tell you a little about what I have been doing, share a few stories, and impart some small amount of Santa wisdom.
Well, my wife Michelle (Mrs. Claus), Toby (our dog), and I first went on vacation to Myrtle Beach SC. Before each Season we find it helps to f
Over the past few weeks I have thought a great deal about my father and how he inadvertently has influenced me in my becoming Santa. Yes, Dad had a loving heart for all people, especially children. A devout Christian, Dad relished in the celebration of Christ's birth. He loved to give and to watch the faces of those he gave to. I guess it was this early image of my own father that has drawn me to the role I now occupy as Santa.
But there are other men, too, who wore the suit that I rem
Well, all of the things that I had planned for the past week have either been cancelled or postponed. I was hit with terrible sadness over the past week as I learned that my father, John William Johnson III, had passed away due to complications of a massive heart attack and two large strokes. He remained unconscious through it all, having suffered a fall that had sent him to the hospital to begin with. He was 54.
My father was a great man in my eyes. Though he and my mother had divorced w
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