It's 2010 - a brand new year and a brand new decade!
Normally, I like to get the newsletter out sooner, but like all of you, the last couple of weeks of December are my busiest time of year!
Now that we are past the busy season though, I will be scheduling a few online tutoring sessions on some of the new features of our brand new site. Look for an announcement and a sign up list coming soon.
In addition to continuing to build out our new and improved site, we are planning several new activities and events on ClausNet this year. So if you haven't visited in a while, why not take a few minutes to check out the new digs?
I hope you enjoy our first issue of the ClausNet Gazette for 2010! As always, don't hesitate to contact us if you have a product, event, or a story you would like to include in an upcoming issue!
Lastly, I would like to take this opportunity to wish your all a happy, safe, and healthy New Year!
Good News Network -- With gold prices more than $1,100 an ounce, it’s "like visions of sugar plums" when gold coins are discovered by the ringing bell Santas who count their donations after a long day of volunteering at shopping malls and on street corners. With the season only two weeks old, thousands of dollars in gold has already being dropped anonymously into the Salvation Army charity's red kettles across the country.
In Florida, the annual "Miracle on Palm Beach Boulevard" appeared once again: The Salvation Army says that for the fourth year in a row a 1908 gold coin was dropped into one of the charity's famous Red Kettles. And as in the previous instances, had a small label affixed to its case with the words “In memory of Mimi” written on it. The one ounce St. Gaudens Double Eagle collectible coin could fetch at auction even more than the price of gold, which hovers today at $1,200 per ounce.
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DefendChristmas.com -- How rich is this irony? ABC aired “A Charlie Brown Christmas” — the iconic 45-year-old animated Christmas special that decries the commercialism of Christmas — and edited it severely to make more room for commercials. It is not the first time the aged Christmas special has made headlines this holiday season.
When President Obama pre-empted the national airing of the special for a speech a city mayor (named Wiseman, of course) accused the President of trying to hide its clearly Christian messaging.
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The Baltimore Sun -- We got some good news and some bad news on the ethics front at City Hall on Monday. The good news: The city has decided to discontinue the ill-advised Holly Trolley event, a thinly disguised and poorly managed taxpayer-funded Yuletide tradition of political aggrandizement for Mayor Sheila Dixon.
The bad news: City officials are claiming that this decision has nothing to do with the revelations about the event in Mayor Dixon's recently concluded theft and embezzlement trial. That means either they're lying or completely oblivious to reality
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DefendChristmas.com -- Sheriff Joe Arpaio – the self-proclaimed “toughest sheriff” in America – likes Christmas music, especially “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and anything by Alvin and the Chipmunks, and apparently he thinks the 8,000 inmates inside his Phoenix jail should, too.
So it was with some glee that his Maricopa County office announced Thursday in a red-and-green press release that the “sixth and perhaps final lawsuit” brought by inmates to stop the sheriff from playing the holiday songs all day, every day, during the holidays had been dismissed in federal court.
“We keep winning these lawsuits. Inmates should stop acting like the Grinch who stole Christmas and give up wasting the court’s time with such frivolous assertions,” it read. “But chances are they’ll keep suing and we’ll keep winning.”
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The Bay City Times -- Meet Santa, of the North Pole, of course. A jolly old elf, he spends his days coming up with new ideas for toys and checking on whom is naughty and/or nice.
With the big night over, what are you and Mrs. Claus doing today?
Mrs. Claus and I spend a lot of our time relaxing. We then have a big Christmas dinner. Afterwards, we drink lots of hot chocolate and eat some cookies while we discuss ideas for new toys for next Christmas. Mrs. Claus loves to write new recipes for Christmas cookies.
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Playthings.com -- Toys R Us stores this week is touting “incredible values on hundreds of items” as the retailer looks to drive its immediate post-holiday sales. Through Saturday, Jan. 2, 2010, TRU is running a “Buy One, Get One Free/Half Off” sale on a wide variety of products.
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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 here. This is a great way to get to know your fellow ClausNet members!
I am happy to announce that our first ClausNET Featured Member of the Month for 2010 is Santa Barry!
Since they work together often I decided to interview both Santa Barry and his wife Lesa Claus. Maybe we can talk Lesa Claus in joining our merry group!
I loved doing this interview. It reminded me of the cut scenes in When Harry Met Sally, where the married couples would finish each others’ sentences in the interviews. You can tell they love working together!
I caught up with Santa Barry and Lesa Claus a few days ago. Here's what they had to say...
Read the entire interview »
Visit our Featured Members of the Month section for past members!
Now here it is Christmas night with several more visits under my belt. This first visit, though, was special, because the children belonged to the daughter of my best friend since 6th grade. I'd known Nicole since she was just an infant growing up in the small apartment of my friend Danny and his wife, Sandra.
Now here I was some 30 years later visiting her house and her children as Santa Claus. The girls are both special needs children and have a special innocence about them. The little boy has a sweet face, but also a bit of a mischievous streak making him a chip off the ol' block. I sat in a chair by the Christmas tree as each child came to sit on my lap to tell me what they wanted for Christmas.
I found myself still trying to find the appropriate level of voice for Santa and caught myself a couple of times dropping my voice to a low register. In theory, a good idea, but as I heard myself it didn't sound authentic. The girls both were excited to show me their artwork. Little Toler brought me a small, ornament-sized, plastic nativity.
Pointing to the little figure of the baby in the manger, I asked him, "Who is this?" He looked intently at the baby then looked up at me and then replied, "His name's Warren." (One of a couple of Ho Ho Ho moments.) The children all wanted to know about the reindeer. Where were they? Could they see them? They gave me a little plastic container of "reindeer food" to give to the reindeer. Later inspection revealed this to be instant oats with green and red colored sugar. After some 45 minutes it was time to leave. The kids got gift bags as they again wanted to take me by the hand and lead me out. Nicole did a good job screening them from the door, so they wouldn't see me walk out to the truck.
This visit was the first visit to reveal the real magic of Santa Claus, which is found in the wonderful, loving energy of believing children. As someone who has gone on into the field of pastoral ministry it is a helpful reminder that these qualities also work magic in adults as well.
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Well, I'm in my middle-40's, as you can plainly tell. I'm a low-budget New York Santa who has yet to do too well. How I've managed to survive all this, I'll never fully know. But I just love to give good pointers and to make a decent show.
Information is my forte, and I expect it to be used for good. Because someday, there'll be another Santa out there, doing as he should. New York's a real tough place for Santa to rely upon his brain, For it takes more than proper Elf magic to get me back to my Workshop again.
Once when I was younger, my intellect I used For a visit to Santa's Kingdom at the New York Daily News. This was in my pre-teen years, I think, and I was rather hooked When the Daily News' resident Santa gave me a very special book.
It was filled with tales and stories gathered from all over the world --- And I soon wished I could be Santa for all New York's boys and girls. Well, it took a while for me to believe, and to become a Santa for real. After I saw The Movie, though, 'twas easy to seal the deal!
Now I'm a New York Santa --- one who's truly in the know!
And I'm also a member of ClausNET, dear Santa Rielly's all-Kringle show.
I hope that this Christmas season I can do what I have to do
To tell my fellow New Yorkers, "A very Merry Christmas to you!"
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Each month we feature a quote from a famous Santa Claus of the past. This month's quote comes to us from LeRoy Scholtz aka Santa C. Claus.
LeRoy Scholtz made personal appearances across the country and worked from 1970 to 1979 at the Santa's Workshop theme park in North Pole, NY.
In 1980 Scholtz legally changed his name to Santa Christopher Claus.
"The irony of playing Santa Claus is that a child sits on your knee and asks you for a gift. In reality the gift is already sitting on your knee in the love of a child."
Leroy Scholtz, aka Santa C. Claus
May 18, 1924 - July 1, 1986
Want to learn more Santa Claus history? Check out the following: