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Unread Content

Showing articles, topics, blog entries, calendar events, files, videos and links posted in for the last 365 days.

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  1. Yesterday
  2. Star Wars Toy Sales Fall in 2017 as Movie-Tie Fatigue Sets In

    Disney has certainly milked this cash cow dry...or almost. My biggest concern is SO much Star Wars that people are sick of it. I love Star Wars but they should be producing content like a reserve label fine wine...not an all-you-can drink fountain drink.
  3. Last week
  4. Mick Foley Releasing New Book in Late 2017

    I am reading this book now. It is a good read. I am interested in how it will turn out as it seems his original intention after getting into Santa work was to be a Santa to the millions on TV for WWE and to do high profile events for his own selfish purposes. The book definitely highlights his love of Christmas and of Santa and how both were/are highly important to him and in providing great Christmas memories for his children. He does respectfully write about the Santas that he worked with and came to know as well, several of which we all know such as Cliff Snyder, Steve Gilliam, Phil Wentz and others. So those are positive aspects of the book. I am waiting/hoping he grows the heart needed to be Santa and grows to do the work for the children and not for himself and his wallet. I have 75 pages left, so I will report on the last 1/4 of the book when I finish it.
  5. M.O.M.M.S. The Mountain of Mis-matched socks

    We are working on finding an illustrator and publisher. Hopefully by next year we will have something. Thanks for asking.
  6. Christmas Was A Win For Costco And Kohl's, And A Disaster For Sears January 15, 2018 by Walter Loeb - Forbes Excerpt - Most of the nine-week sales results have been reported for the 2017 Christmas selling season. There are quite a lot of performance variations. At one end, we see Costco with a 10.4% comparable store gain, Kohl’s comparable store sales increase of 6.9% and Target and J.C.Penney’s respective gains of 3.4%. On the other hand, there was the disastrous sales decline of 16% to 17% at Sears Holding. The weather was much colder than last year, so winter wear was in strong demand and that helped boost sales. Plus, the calendar was favorable for shopping – there were 4 weekends after Thanksgiving, and the season ended on a Sunday. And, with the Jewish holidays being very early, that gave sales a bump during the slowest selling time. Probably of little surprise to anyone, Amazon captured 89% of the online business. Overall, I estimate that online sales accounted for 15% of total sales for the industry. **** As I discussed in an earlier blog, the 2017 Federal tax reform is going to give most retailers an earnings boost. While Walmart has indicated that they will raise entry-salaries and generally boost wages, most other retailers have not yet indicated formally what they will do with the extra cash, whether it will support an extra dividend, higher earnings, investment in R & D or a bonus to the staff. They are all possibilities and will essentially hide the fact that merchandising earnings will be disguised in the windfall profits. However, it is likely to stimulate sales, and I believe that the outlook for retailers is more favorable in 2018. Retailing needs innovation and a steady flow of fresh, new ideas that will spur customers to shop, and spend, and return to experience the next great concept. SOURCE
  7. Bagpiping Santa

    I've often considered bagpipes as a side line in the off season. Then I met a professional bagpiper and he was showing me what it takes to learn to play. It is NOT as easy as you might think and I admire anyone who has gone the distance!
  8. 'Edmonton Project' finalist pitches plan for Christmas village

    These Holiday Markets are becoming more popular year after year, and are great for revitalizing a downtown shopping district. I've been working the same one since it started in 2011 and it gets more popular every year. It's ironic that years ago Malls have done away with downtown store shopping, and now with events like these, people are skipping the Malls and are going back downtown. Great opportunity for a Santa to get involved on the ground floor!
  9. Proud of ya, Sonny Boy!
  10. I kept it simple as the content of our hearts guides everything else on us.
  11. Earlier
  12. Welcome UK Members!

    Will do 😊😊👍👍👍👍
  13. Beards and Mustaches

    Yes there not bad prices I’m going to order another one soon. 😊
  14. Seeking recognition

    I am coming into this late, but Felix, I completely agree! I keep my beard and much of my persona year around as it brings opportunities everywhere you go to speak into people's lives. I encourage them in their faith in God, in their keeping their eyes open to look for ways to help and bless others and to be quick to be secret givers themselves. I came to see many years ago that St. Nicholas was the dynamic person he was simply because he early learned how to put other peoples interests above his own, a very Christ like life. We Santas have a very important and blessed role to fulfill. And though I am not in easy access to working with Lone Star Santas right now, it is a very important role fulfilled in bringing hope to others devastated by some disaster. Yet I continue to associate myself with it and promote it wherever I can. God bless you my friend! I am sorry I was not able to get together with you this past season... Santa Kevin
  15. Each month our Featured Member section profiles one ClausNet member. Members are chosen totally at random by myself and the staff. Once selected as Featured Member of the Month, we interview the candidate and post the interview. You can view this year's interviews in Features ClausNet Members section or read through past interviews below. 2018 January - Steve Fletcher
  16. Best Christmas in decade will still leave some retailer behind January 4, 2018 AdAge.com Excerpt - The good news for U.S. retailers is that the just-ended Christmas shopping season was probably the best one in a decade. The bad news? Some chains are still struggling to benefit from the industry's upswing. Consumer confidence is high, unemployment is low, and Americans are increasing spending -- with some third-party data showing holiday purchases up about 5 percent. But what Christmas 2017 may end up crystallizing is that a rising tide doesn't lift all boats. A few major retailers, including Amazon.com Inc., Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Home Depot Inc., are expected to reap an oversized share of the gains. For department-store chains and apparel sellers, it may be harder to please investors -- leading to more doomsday talk for the brick-and-mortar sector. "The money and the sales are gravitating toward fewer and fewer players," said Ken Perkins, president of research firm Retail Metrics Inc. "There are a lot of tailwinds behind these retailers, but they aren't generating a whole lot of profit growth." The uncertainties have kept Wall Street analysts from fully feeling the Christmas cheer. They estimate that retail earnings will rise a tepid 2.7 percent in the fourth quarter, according to Retail Metrics. The forecast has climbed half a percentage point over the past month, but it's still far from the 11 percent profit gain expected for the entire Standard & Poor's 500 Index. The question now is whether companies can exceed those low expectations. Macy's Inc. and J.C. Penney Co. saw their shares plunge last year, leaving room for upside if their holiday seasons were a pleasant surprise. **** Americans are still shying away from conspicuous consumption, according to Sarah Quinlan, senior vice president at Mastercard Inc., which tracks purchasing patterns. People are spending on their homes, because values are going up and they see it as an investment. They're also purchasing more experiences, like travel and activities, she said. "They don't overbuy," Quinlan said. People are avoiding "stuff they don't need." One variable is how much the recent tax overhaul figured into shoppers' decisions. Though the legislation might not have made a big difference for holiday consumers, it could help fuel retail spending in 2018 if Americans find more money in their paychecks, Johnson said. "These are all the ingredients for a sustained retail boom over the next year, and possibly into 2019," he said. SOURCE
  17. Tracking down a child letter writer — 87 years later Jan 4, 2018 by Dale Brumfield - News Leader Excerpt - What are the odds of finding a girl who wrote to Santa in 1930? We did, though. Not only is one of our history article subjects still alive but also she still lives here. Staunton woman Millicent Hall Brubek’s childhood letter to Santa Claus was published not once in the Staunton News Leader, but twice — and 87 years apart. “I was rather surprised to see it,” the 97-year-old retired psychiatric nurse says of finding her letter (first published Dec. 24, 1930) republished on Dec. 19, 2017, in the same paper in a feature on letters to Santa from the past. **** Like most children at the time, Millicent asked Santa for nuts, candy and oranges at Christmas, in addition to small, utilitarian articles, such as gloves and dishes. “I had a stocking but I don’t remember where I hung it, because the stove was in the middle of the tea room,” she says of her early Christmases at the inn. She pauses in thought. “That’s why I warned Santa [in the letter] to not come down the chimney!” Today the Tumble Inn is long gone and Millicent is surrounded in her Staunton home with childhood memories and memorabilia of her life there. SOURCE:
  18. Please join the group all UK Santa Claus , Mrs Claus , Elfs and all helpers. So that we can organize a get together
  19. Featured ClausNet Member of the Month - January 2018

    Congratulations!
  20. Here’s how to cure your Christmas debt hangover January 2, 2018 Scott Terrio - Macleans Excerpt- It’s January, otherwise known as the month of holiday-spending regret. You know the feeling. Despite making a deal with your family—again—to stick to a scaled-down, old-fashioned Yuletide, you couldn’t resist. There were just too many Star Wars things! You’re not alone. The average Canadian adult spent an estimated $1,500 on Christmas in 2017. About 41 per cent of that was slated for gifts, with the rest going to holiday travel and entertainment, according to a report from PWC Canada. Other studies tell us that two-thirds of Canadians do not save a penny in preparation for their Christmas spending. So how did they do it? You guessed it: credit. Canadian households were already stretched before the holidays, with the pace of debt growth far outstripping wages over the last decade or so. And every holiday season many reach their debt limit. Licensed insolvency trustees typically see a big uptick in filings around the fourth week of January. That coincides with credit card bills rolling in to Canadian households. Call it the Great Christmas Reckoning. Having worked with around 4,000 clients over close to a decade, I have assembled an approach to getting excess holiday spending under control. **** So, if you overspent at Christmas, what can you do about it? Let’s talk holiday debt repair. Step 1: Assess the damage Step 2: Put your credit cards away Step 3: Make an austerity plan Step 4: Pay your debts first Step 5: Stay out of shopping zones Regardless of your situation, now is a good time to start putting aside some money for next Christmas, and avoid another post-Christmas debt hangover. SOURCE:
  21. Why do Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas Day on January 7 and how does the date differ across the world? January 3, 2018 by Josie Griffiths - The Sun Excerpt- IF YOU'RE gutted that Christmas is over, try not to feel too jealous of these Orthodox Christian countries - who haven't even celebrated yet. From Russia to Israel, scores of countries celebrate Jesus' birth in January. Here's why... Christmas is still to come for the Eastern Orthodox community, who will be celebrating on January 7 Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas on January 7 - which this year falls on a Sunday. The celebrations tend to begin at midnight on Christmas Eve, by which we mean January 6. It's all down to a difference in calendars. In the West we use the Catholic-created Gregorian calendar, which was introduced by Pope Gregory in 1582. But, in much of the Soviet bloc and Middle East, they still use the Julian calendar - which was created by Julius Caesar in 45 BC. Germany didn't accept the Gregorian calendar until 1775, and Bulgaria followed suit in 1917. There's a 13-day gap between the two calendars, meaning Christmas Day falls on what we now know as January 7. Nowadays, most Orthodox countries follow the Georgian calendar, but still observe religious holidays on the Julian dates. The Orthodox Epiphany, for example, is on January 19 - instead of the 6th. SOURCE:
  22. Warren family gets Christmas surprise

    What a wonderful way to contribute to your community and still have some control over how the funds are used. So many charitable organizations are so top heavily salaried, and expenses are high, so a small % of the charitable gifts actually reach those in need. Thanks Micheal for your example and hopefully your foundation can and will continue to function beyond our generation and onto those generations following your grandfather’s inspiration. Congratulations and best wishes for continued success.
  23. Backlash Building Against The Man Who Invented Christmas

    Went a couple nights ago. It was great to have a "date night" after being away for a couple weeks up in Seattle. The movie was OK.
  24. Santa Gathering in Pigeon Forge, TN

    until
    Santas & Mrs. Claus.....the Palmetto Santa group of South Carolina would like to invite any and all to our gathering in Pigeon Forge, TN. We will gather and stay at "The Inn at Christmas Place" from April 5-8, 2018. This is a gathering to visit and enjoy fellowship & food. There is no specific agenda, no classes, nothing organized, simply to gather and relax. If you plan on joining us, we recommend you call the hotel directly to make your reservation, as some web sites show the Inn at Christmas Place to be booked solid, which was not the case as I posted this. They do offer a military discount, but currently we do not have a group rate (that could change if we have enough people book). If you are planning on joining us, please email us at: coastalsanta@gmail.com. We look forward to seeing everyone and hope everyone had a wonderful season!
  25. U.S. department store stocks jump on holiday spending record Reuters By Richa Naidu December 26, 2017 EXCERPT: CHICAGO (Reuters) - Shares of U.S. department stores jumped on Tuesday as Mastercard Inc said shoppers spent over $800 billion during the season, more than ever before, boosted by growing consumer confidence, rising employment and early discounts. Sarah Quinlan, head of market insights for Mastercard Advisors, disclosed the figure after the payments processor's analytics arm published its SpendingPulse retail report. The report said holiday sales in stores and online between Nov 1 and Dec 24 rose 4.9 percent, the fastest year-on-year pace of increase since 2011. Mastercard, which tracks spending by combining sales activity in its payments network with estimates of cash and other payment forms, excluded automobile sales from its figures. Most U.S. retail stocks have tumbled this year as they continued to lose sales to online stores, mainly Amazon.com Inc. Traditional players have also been hurt by heavy investments in technology and discounting, made to keep up with online and off-price competition. Shares in J.C. Penney Co Inc rose 7.6 percent on Tuesday, while Kohl's Corp shares were up 5.8 percent, Macy's Inc rose 5.1 percent and Nordstrom Inc increased 2.8 percent. SpendingPulse said the moderate sales increases seen in apparel and department stores were particularly impressive given this year's slew of store closures. Online sales rose 18.1 percent during the holiday season, thanks to a late rally in sales, according to Mastercard. "But that's probably only 11 or 12 percent of total retail sales ... the bulk of sales still is very much in stores," said Quinlan. "There's growth, don't get me wrong, but we still love that experience of being in store." The biggest winner of the holiday season was likely to be Amazon.com once again, however, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll conducted this month. Amazon.com said on Tuesday that it had topped its worldwide holiday sales record this year, with more than 4 million people opting to trial Amazon Prime in one week during the period. SOURCE: https://ca.news.yahoo.com/u-department-store-stocks-jump-holiday-spending-record-195126015--sector.html
  26. First Year Reflections

    Tonight, I will be making my final appearance as Santa Claus for 2017. As I come to the end of my first year as a professional Santa Claus, I have been giving much thought about what my motivation to take up this calling is. The reason is certainly not the money that can be made. While Mrs. Claus and I have earned a fair amount of dollars, it doesn’t really cover all of the expenses I incurred to get ready for the Season, and may not next year. It certainly didn’t last year, when I made one unpaid costumed appearance, and well as several informal “out of costume” appearances, all on my own time. My motivation wasn’t really clear to me until recently. As we drifted into the holiday season, I purchased the usual Christmas gifts, including some for my wife. The gifts I purchased for her were fairly mundane items that I knew she would appreciate, but just things that I had seen. What relates to Santa Claus is that she kept asking me what I wanted for Christmas. There are a lot of things that I want, but none of them are appropriate Christmas gifts. My desires for new electronic goodies (high end Computer, HF Ham rig, etc.) are more than I could reasonably expect someone to buy for me. The little things that would be appropriate for a gift… well, if I wanted it, I already had it. It was that kind of situation. My usual response was "I'm Santa Claus now. I give presents. I don't need to get presents." We resolved the problem by going down to the local shopping area and hitting some of the stores… first Best Buy, and then Bed Bath and Beyond. We finally agreed to get a useful kitchen gadget which could then be wrapped as my “Christmas present”. Last night, as I was falling asleep, the reason I enjoy being Santa occurred to me. As the Jolly Old Elf, I get to give gifts to people, and don’t need a gift in return. Sure, the physical gifts that I hand out at home appearances are provided by the parents who hired me, but the gift that I actually provide are the memories that I create for those families. If I can entertain with a song, a joke, or a story, I consider my efforts successful. When I bring joy to a child through interaction with Santa Claus, wonderful. That I provide myself as a prop for a parent to snap a photo of their child with is good too. (And you may be surprised at how many adults want a picture of themselves with Santa!) If I can make the children… and more importantly, the adults… understand that Christmas is about the happiness of giving to others, it will better help them come to understand the true meaning of Christmas. Do I consider accepting payment for me efforts as Santa contrary to this spirit of giving? Not in the least. If I did not receive this remuneration, I wouldn’t be able to be the best Santa that I can be, and wouldn’t be able to maintain the role for long. As I feel my way into being Santa Claus, I have determined that I will continue to make the free appearances that first introduced me to the role, while charging the market rate where appropriate. To bring the topic back around to Christmas, this is the time when we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, son of God, gifted to us by God to forgive us of our sins. God is the Father that already has everything that He wants. There is nothing that we can provide to Him that He needs. God has given us what we need. If we could only learn to follow His example we would be better for it.
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    • Every New Year’s Eve at the stroke of midnight, millions around the world traditionally gather together to sing the same song, “Auld Lang Syne”. As revilers mumble though the song’s versus, it often brings many of them to tears – regardless of the fact that most don’t know or even understand the lyrics. Confusion over the song’s lyrics is almost as much of a tradition as the song itself. Of course that rarely stops anyone from joining in.
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