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ClausNet Gazette: News from the Santa Claus Network

February 2011

Volume 3, Issue 2

Happy Saint Valentine's Day!

By Michael Rielly

February on ClausNetWell here we are the middle of February and another busy month on! We've had a few new features added to ClausNet and some major announcements!

First, in case you missed it, ClausNet Television will be back on the air! Look for exclusive content and programming coming next month only available on!

Next, the Santa Claus Oath Foundation and the producers of the upcoming Nicholas of Myra movie issued a press release on how they are now working together to promote the message of St. Nicholas of Myra. You can read the press release in this issue of the ClausNet Gazette.

Lastly, if you are in need of some Christmas Spirit, check out the year round Christmas programming from Merry Christmas Radio. Just click on the Radio button at the top of ClausNet!

Oh and I almost forgot. While putting together this month's newsletter I noticed that we hit another milestone -- the discussion forums on reached 150,000 posts a few days ago!

As always, please feel free to contact us with your comments, suggestions, or gripes; and if you have a product, event, or a story you would like to include in an upcoming issue, let us know!

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In The News

Breaking News on ClausNet

Nicholas of Myra LLC Film Group Aligns with the Santa Claus Oath Foundation -- St. Nicholas of Myra LLC, currently in production with the motion picture Nicholas of Myra (NOM)-The Story of St. Nicholas, has announced an alliance with the Santa Claus Oath Foundation.

Dan Argenas, Director of Communications for NOM, LLC thinks the alliance will help spread the word to St. Nicholas aficionados on a global basis. ?Oath author Phil Wenz and the Santa Oath Foundation are committed to helping us keep the various Santa Claus organizations up to speed on the progress of the film and how they can create buzz about NOM in their own part of the globe,? shares Argenas.

The Santa Claus Oath (SCO) Foundation is an establishment specializing in the preservation and perpetuation of the Santa Claus Oath, the ?Santas? of the past, Santa history, and Santa artifacts as a chronological part of the Legend of Santa Claus. Their goal is to educate the current and future generations of those who would be a Santa Claus in the tradition of St. Nicholas the gift giver of Myra.

The SCO Foundation works with many of the St. Nicholas and Santa groups throughout the US and in many other countries. These groups work to promote and expand the message about Nicholas, the man who ultimately became St. Nicholas, an immortal symbol and the cornerstone of many of our present Christmas traditions.

The Santa Claus Oath Foundation looks forward to helping spread the film?s message to the over 3,000 Santas, Mrs. Clauses, and helpers whom have signed and pledged the Santa Claus Oath. The entire Foundation takes the historical events surrounding the life of Nicholas very seriously as the Oath principle states, ?I pledge myself to these principles as a descendant of Saint Nicholas, the gift giver of Myra.?
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Santa Claus may be Russia's Winter Olympics mascot

USA Today -- Thought it was a joke when I saw this story, but Santa Claus really is in the running to be the mascot of Russia's 2014 Winter Olympics, to be held in Sochi.

"Father Frost" is the Russian Santa Claus, and you can see the version of him that's under Olympic consideration by clicking here. So what's he going to do? Give everyone gold medals as stocking-stuffers?

Also in the running among 11 mascot candidates is a dolphin, which makes no sense at all for a Winter Olympics.
Read More »

Santa spirited away from Whittlesea front yard -- Thieves left festive Whittlesea resident Paul Lewis shaking his head in disbelief last month. About $250 in lights and decorations were stolen from his Lorikeet Cres front yard - just three days before Christmas Day.

A candy cane was uprooted from his garden and a neon rocking Santa Claus was stolen from his front veranda, despite being under sensor security lights and sitting just metres from his front door.
Read More »

Retiring won't stop VonDolteren from donning his Santa suit

Jacksonville Online -- When Mike VonDolteren first grew a beard, looking like Santa Claus was the last thing on his mind.

It was 1969. The beard was just a way for VonDolteren to express his inner hippie.

Now, 41 years later, VonDolteren is 60 years old. Last week, he officially retired from his job as regional general service manager for the state Department of Children and Families.

His career includes two stints at the University of North Florida beginning in 1972, before UNF had even opened its doors.

?I worked my way up from the loading dock to director of purchasing,? VonDolteren noted proudly.
Read More »

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Featured Member - February 2010

Each month, our Featured Member section profiles one ClausNet member.

Members are chosen totally at random by myself and the staff. Once selected as the ClausNet Featured Member of the Month, we interview the candidate and post the interview on This is a great way to get to know your fellow ClausNet members!

This month our featured ClausNet Member is Merry Claus!

I am happy to announce that our February 2011 ClausNET Featured Member of the Month is Merry Claus!

I first met Merry Claus aka Dianne a few years back at one of our Northeast Santas Get Togethers! Unlike most Mrs. Clauses, Dianne is a "free agent" when it comes to Mrs. Claus appearances. She works with several Santas and often appears solo! She is a wonderful Mrs. Claus and I hope one day top have the honor to accompanying this Mrs. Claus on an appearance or two!

ClausNET Featured Member of the Month

I caught up with Diane a few days ago. Here's what she had to say...
Read the entire interview »

Missed an interview? Visit our Featured Members of the Month section to read past interviews!

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The Magic of Childhood Never Changes

The Life and Times of Santa Claus WV

Posted by Santa John in WV

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 and sundry electronics - some of which this Santa had never heard of. In fact, the more I listened I noticed that it was coming from children of all ages. I would have expected it from the pre-teens or beyond, but a four year old little boy? Very curious.

One night during a rather busy line-up, I was asked by a seven year old girl for one of these new fangled gizmos. I just had to ask her. "What is it about this new gadget that interests you?" I asked. "It does everything," she said and smiled. Then I rather jokingly said, "But what will you children think when we go back to wooden toys?" She shrugged her shoulders and smiled.

This put my mind to thinking that imagination was disappearing. I remember the Christmases of my youth and how all that the children ever asked for were toys that required this feature. Many was the time that my sister, my cousins and I would sit and use our imagination to play games for hours. We were residents of the "Imagine Nation" as Edmund Gwenn called it. But after my conversation with that young one (among all of the other gadget requests) I was beginning to think that kids had changed. They had no use for imagination or its fruits. If a toy can play with itself, then all the better.

Of course, I was stopped in my tracks come Christmas Eve. I have always spent that night of nights in my red suit. I had done some deliveries and had made my way to my family gathering. Of course, Uncle Ho Ho (as the nieces and nephews call me) had to hand out the presents. All of them had made out like bandits, and that was just from what their aunt, Michelle, and I had given them. Toys galore all over the living room. As the hours of Christmas Eve ticked away I sat in an easy chair with my nieces and nephews playing intently together. Then it happened. instead of the toys they so wanted for Christmas, the young ones had found something better to pass the time with. They had discovered the wrapping and the boxes.

New conclusion, the magic of childhood is here to stay. Children are always going to be the product of their times, ie in their wants and in their words and actions. However, deep down they will always be children. Though they might ask Mom and Dad (and Santa) for the gadget they saw on television or the one that their little friends are talking about, deep down they will always be children and have more fun with the boxes. That is why coloring books, modeling clay, dollies, and trains never go out of style. I would never wish it any other way, and as Santa I am proud to be a part of that magic. It is what makes all of us real in their eyes. May we adults relearn a few things from the children in our lives, and may we remember and never lose the magic
Leave a comment »

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Creation of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Compiled by Santa Dennis

The modern Santa Claus and his eight tiny reindeer were first brought together in Clement Clark Moore?s 1822 poem ?A visit from Saint Nicholas.? First printed anonymously in a local New York newspaper the Troy Sentinel in 1823. Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder and Blitzen became household names after the formal 1837 publishing of the poem giving authorship credit to Moore.

By the 1860?s most home libraries had a copy of Moore?s work. No other major modern day characters were added to the group with the exception of Mrs. Claus and the North Pole Elves for nearly 50 years.

Then as the story goes in 1938, as the Great Depression was winding down and even as the prospect of better times loomed on the horizon, Robert L. May was looking toward another bleak Christmas. An advertising copywriter for Montgomery Wards living on meager salary, May was on the brink of bankruptcy and exhaustion. After fighting cancer for two long years, his wife, Evelyn, was losing the battle. Staring into each other?s eyes, they both knew she wouldn?t last long. Their daughter knew something was wrong too.

On a cold December night after visiting her bedridden emaciated mother, their four year old, Barbara, climbed into her father?s lap. She asked, ?Why isn?t my mommy just like everybody else?s mommy?? How could he explain to a small child that her critically ill mother wanted to play with Barbara, read her stories and more than anything in the world ? be with her for every important moment in her life? How could he tell an innocent girl that illness and death were a part of life?

Evelyn wanted to be like other mothers, but illness had excluded her from all the activities that children and their mothers normally enjoyed? How could he give her the answers she needed without breaking little Barbara?s heart in the process.

In their drafty, two-bedroom Chicago apartment, with the cold north wind rattling the windows, Bob May held his daughter in his arms and struggled to answer the child?s simple question. He recalled the pain and he has always felt growing up because he had been considered different.

May had been a small, thin child, constantly picked on by other children, called ?sissy? and other names he didn?t want to remember. Even in college he was so slightly built that he was often mistaken for a boy.

Despite having a college degree, the country?s sorry financial state had made it almost impossible for May to find any other job than the position at Wards that was far beneath his skilled level. Yet, he found Evelyn and they fell in love and married, Bob suddenly felt like a king. Their daughter?s birth seemed to assure the man that good times were just around the corner. But then Evelyn got sick and the cost of fighting the cancer stole not only his wife?s energy but the family?s savings as well. Bob sold everything of value and they lived in what amounted to a slum.
Read more »

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Santa Claus Hall of Fame

Each month we feature an inductee of the Santa Claus Hall of Fame. This month we profile Raymond Joseph ?Jim? Yellig.

Raymond Joseph YelligOne of the most beloved and legendary Santas of all time, Raymond Joseph Yellig (better known to his friends as Jim), was known as the ?Real Santa? from Santa Claus, Indiana.

Born in the small village of Mariah Hill, just a few miles north of Santa Claus, Yellig would become the face of Santa Claus, Indiana, for 54 years.

Yellig appeared at Santa?s Candy Castle and Santa Claus Town, the nation?s first themed attraction, in the late 1930s. He answered children?s letters sent to the Santa Claus Post Office. A World War I veteran and an active Legionnaire, Yellig added to his fame by appearing in American Legion Christmas parades in New York City, Miami, Los Angeles and Philadelphia.

In 1946, Yellig became the resident Santa at Santa Claus Land, the world?s first theme park. A position he held for 38 years. No Santa before or since has had as many children visit him in person as Santa Jim Yellig.

"Remember to always be kind and true to your family and friends, honor and respect the elderly and have faith in God...then Santa Claus will always keep your name in his Good Book"

Raymond Joseph Yellig
The Real Santa from Santa Claus
February 18, 1894 - July 23, 1984

Want to learn more? Check out the following:

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