What makes a Santa Claus representative isn't his personal beliefs or ideologies, but rather what he does. One must look the part, yes, but no amount of money can substitute for kindness and a loving heart. It seems, especially in this walk of life, it really does hold true that one can discern the type of person another is "by their fruits."
It seems like a few of the older generations of Santa Claus representatives have their boots stuck in the mud and struggle to accept the changing times and - along with it - the multitude of newer and younger men and women who have taken upon themselves the mantle of the red suit.
I've had some negative feedback for the way I do things from men who have made it into the Santa Claus Hall of fame. At the same time, I have had some positive experiences and feed back from members of the Santa Claus Hall of fame. It's so interestingly that these hall of famers can be great Santa Claus representatives and yet so willingly to be scroogey on the interwebs. I don't want to fall into that grumpy group.
It seems (and I could be wrong on this one) that the strongest argument that divides Santas from one another is the preference over Real v. Traditional/Designer beards. Along with this, the knowledge of the different ways of caring for and styling these different types of beards. But are they really so much different? After all, isn't the important thing that Santa has a nice white beard? It shouldn't matter how one achieves that item on the checklist, only that it is met and looks magical.
Then again, are yak hair and human whiskers so much different that this divide should be encouraged? Should secrets from one side be hidden from the other? If a Santa loses his beard to bleaching, should he not (by virtue of his red suit ambassadorship) be entitled to access to his contingency plan (a Traditional/Designer piece)?
Though there are differences, they are small. If one desires to style a beard hairspray is usually used. For mustaches, the same products can also be utilized. For yak v. human hair the yellowing may happen quicker, but blue/purple shampoo is used to remove the brassiness. What bad things could happen from sharing knowledge?
I can think of none. But I can think of something good that could happen; something amazing. The image of Santa Claus as we portray him would be lifted to a higher standard. Those with awful scraggly traditional or real beards would have a better chance of knowing of what resources are out there and what they have to offer. Are we not all fellow passengers in this life? Should we not try to help and better each other in this endeavor we have?
Those who wish not to improve upon their appearance and skills will simply be left in the dust. We have seen or heard of those who throw on a suit and an awful beard and call it good. At the same time, there are those yearning for more, waiting to drink from the firehose of Santa Claus knowledge.
I am of the opinion that by taking down the barriers that exist between amateur and professional and Real Bearded and Traditional, the Santa Claus community would provide more miracles than it currently can.
My own actions do not validate this belief though. I have lead others to believe there is a divide between RBS and TBS that I need to address today. I have a very difficult decision to make, and this one is one I have given a lot of thought on.
The Jr. Claus Workshop website offers two main plans (and there were a few others in years past) the only distinction between them was the addition of a series of videos on traditional beard care. Because of this, I felt uncomfortable charging RBS registered members the same amount for their plan because they wouldn't need access to those videos.
This has led to the opposite of what I hoped it would.
See, I don't believe there should be separation due to what one Santa wears and what one Santa grows. And yet, here I am encouraging that belief. In the Santa Claus community, I have observed that there is this divide. There is negativity on both sides, and they both shout their beliefs from the rooftops. Is it not ridiculous?
Santa Claus needs a nice beard. Use whatever resources are out there to get one. Put away (or shave) the scraggly beard that may look great out of season, but isn't up to the standard that Santa Claus deserves.
As such, come Season 02 of the Jr. Claus Workshop, there shall not be a distinction between Real Bearded Santas and Traditional/Designer Santas. With a freedom to learn beyond the boxes and boundaries that we have believed existed, I hope to encourage the unification of all Santa Claus representatives no matter what type of whiskers they wear.
Yours as always,