Happy St. Valentine's Day everyone! It took me a little longer to get this month's newsletter out thanks in part to all the snow we've been having here in the Northeast. I feel like I've been spending all my free time shoveling out my driveway!
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who help support our community. It is the spirit of friendship and camaraderie that keeps this community thriving. Your support is greatly appreciated!
The Heart of a Friend
by Henry W. Longfellow
I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.
I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the flight of song?
Long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.
I hope you enjoy this month's issue and as always, if you have any comments, suggestions or even complaints, please do not hesitate to contact us!
San Bernardino County Sun -- Flashback to spring 1955. “The Ballad of Davy Crockett” was a hit song on the radio, gas was 23 cents a gallon, and the Dodgers were still in Brooklyn. On Memorial Day weekend, what would become billed as the world’s first franchised amusement park opened in this tiny San Bernardino Mountains community.
Disneyland’s opening was nearly two months away. On a weather-perfect weekend, with clear skies and mountain temperatures in the high 60s and low 70s, one mountain resident said the line of cars going up the mountain to this new theme park attraction — called Santa’s Village — extended nearly to the San Bernardino city limits, some 20 miles below.
Those days are long gone. But despite being closed for some 17 years, the village’s buildings look remarkably good, with many of its 18 structures having fresh paint and new roofs. Interest in this once beloved destination is perking up again. Although it has been closed since 1998, a developer wants to revive Santa’s Village and reopen it perhaps as early as Aug. 1 — with greatly updated twists and attractions.
The original Santa’s Village was “a family friendly, beautifully set entertainment center,” said Allene DuFour, curator of Lake Arrowhead’s Mountain History Museum, which is open from Memorial Day weekend to October.
Located about a mile southeast of Lake Arrowhead and 80 miles east of Los Angeles, Santa’s Village “was appealing to kids of all ages,” DuFour said. “And who doesn’t like Santa?”
Tickets from Santa’s Village on display in the Santa’s Village room of the Mountain History Museum show admission prices as low as 30 cents.
It was a place where Santa was equally at ease hanging out with the Easter Bunny or a Hollywood celebrity, like Alan Ladd, an actor and producer.
And it was a first job for many mountain teenagers. But most of all, it was a place where children could indulge their fantasies.
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BT.com -- A family has received a battered package of Christmas presents in the middle of February after bungling post staff mistakenly sent it on a 12,000-mile round trip.
Most of us have probably already forgotten what we received for Christmas but one family have only just received their gifts after bungling posties sent a parcel to Cambodia instead of Cambridge.
The Carys assumed the festive package had been lost in the post after their friends from Paris phoned up in January to ask if it had arrived from France.
But last Saturday - just in time for Valentine’s Day – the battered parcel was delivered with a sticker saying “missent to Cambodia” – and the Carys guessed because the French for Cambridge is Cambodge – their hometown must have been misread.
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ToyNews.com -- Following a successful campaign launched via the crowdsourcing page, LEGO Ideas, the firm has revealed that it will now be producing a LEGO Doctor Who set.
After over 40 years of commanding our television sets, Doctor Who is finally making his leap to LEGO.
Following a successful campaign launched via the crowdsourcing page, LEGO Ideas, the firm has revealed that it will now be producing a LEGO Doctor Who set.
The Doctor Who concept, designed by Andrew Clark received the 10,000 votes requisite for The LEGO Group to consider it for production.
Calls for a Doctor Who LEGO set have been a constant focus of Whovians and LEGO fans for some time however due to various licensing restrictions, have until now been left unanswered.
Now, a licensing agreement between BBC Worldwide and The LEGO Group will see the new set available in all of The LEGO Group’s key markets before the end of the year.
Clark’s initial idea featured a range of Doctors, companions and monsters across the show’s history, however fans will have to wait until later this year to find out what will be included in the upcoming set.
Marcus Arthur, MD of BBC Worldwide UK, said: “Both Doctor Who and LEGO enjoy a particularly close relationship with their fans and I can’t wait to see what LEGO produces.”
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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 the ClausNet Featured Member of the Month, we interview the candidate and post the interview on ClausNet.com. This is a great way to get to know your fellow ClausNet members!
This month our featured ClausNet Member is Cykeitha!
This month’s featured member is one of our newest members to join our community. Cykeitha is relatively new to the role of Mrs. Claus. She and her Mr. Claus have been visiting with children and passing out cookies since August 2013.
We caught up with Cykeitha a few days ago and here is what she had to say...
Read the entire interview »
Missed an interview? Visit our Featured Members of the Month section to read past interviews!
This past weekend my husband and I had the pleasure of being Santa and Mrs. Claus at Pick Wick once again. My husband has been Santa for them since they began Pick Wick in the park 10 years ago. We have always had such a wonderful time and have been so blessed to participate in this event. Jason (Savannah Santa) has always taken his job as Santa very seriously, always looking for ways to become better. To me he is the perfect Santa.
Every year things have went along so smoothly, very busy, but an awesome way to spend the weekend. This year, however, there was an issue.
There was a man and his wife staying at Pick Wick Inn, he was doing Santa elsewhere. On Saturday this couple checked out, but instead of leaving, he sat down in the lobby with his Santa hat on, while his wife went in the Holiday Mart and bought him a Santa Apron. He put the apron on and began being Santa, in the same area where my husband was.
My husband being the wonderful, awesome Santa he is moved out of the area, because he was worried about the children. I am not sure who this man is, but he did a NO NO as a representative of the Santa brothers.
Never, ever are you to do what he did. We attended a Santa class several years back and that was one thing we learned, never have 2 Santa's, portraying Santa where children can see both. I do not know if this gentleman is a member of ClausNet, but I am betting he is not. If he happens to be a member I hope he reads this and realizes what he did was wrong.
Most of you who know my husband, know that he is a younger Santa than most and works so hard as a bearded red head, to prepare each season. His feelings were hurt and he second guessed himself and his look, due to the fact that the much older, already white haired man, had a real Santa look. I tried to reassure him that the children absolutely love him and many believe in him.
So whoever this man might be, Shame on You for doing such an awful thing to the children and their Santa.
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Old Santeclaus with much delight His reindeer drives this frosty night, O’er chimney-tops, and tracks of snow, To bring his yearly gifts to you.
The steady friend of virtuous youth, The friend of duty, and of truth, Each Christmas eve he joys to come Where love and peace have made their home.
Through many houses he has been, And various beds and stockings seen; Some, white as snow, and neatly mended, Others, that seemed for pigs intended.
Where e’er I found good girls or boys, That hated quarrels, strife and noise, I left an apple, or a tart, Or wooden gun, or painted cart.
To some I gave a pretty doll, To some a peg-top, or a ball; No crackers, cannons, squibs, or rockets, To blow their eyes up, or their pockets.
No drums to stun their Mother’s ear, Nor swords to make their sisters fear; But pretty books to store their mind With knowledge of each various kind.
But where I found the children naughty, In manners rude, in temper haughty, Thankless to parents, liars, swearers, Boxers, or cheats, or base tale-bearers,
I left a long, black, birchen rod,
Such as the dread command of God
Directs a Parent’s hand to use
When virtue’s path his sons refuse.
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By Santa Lou Knezevich
I happened to reach back into some of my early writings and ran across the following story which always makes me chuckle.
I had been a Santa for about three years and my wife Loretta, had accompanied me as chauffer, confidante and overall companion. During this time she witnessed the joy and love that Santa brings to young and old. I, in the meantime tried my best to do everything and anything to convince her to be Mrs. Claus. Now I admit I’m prejudiced, however I knew she would make a great Mrs. Claus.
Over the years I have talked with many Santas and their spouses about portraying the Mrs. Claus character. When a husband decides he wants to be Santa no obstacle can stop him. I will admit he also has a history of the character to draw from, Santa Schools and a wealth of costuming. Santas have been around for a lot of years.
There are not many women who want to be Mrs. Claus and I have talked to so many who reluctantly assumed this role. Most women have many objections. Many times, wives have told me the reason maybe a reluctance to wear a white wig because of dark hair.
“What do I do?” or “I don’t know what costume I would wear?” All are real concerns and need to be addressed so that Mrs. Claus has the confidence and knowledge to play her role. Mrs. Claus is becoming more popular and is being seen as Santas companion more than ever. Santa Schools are devoting exclusive instruction for new and present Mrs. Clauses with informative sessions devoted to playing and costuming for the role. I am a firm believer in Mrs. Claus and the immense benefit she brings to the Santa Experience or as a sole performer.
Back to my story about Mrs. Claus’s Cape. Loretta was to accompany me as “Mrs. Claus” which would be her first time in this role. She had learned to sew in high school when “Home Ed Class” was the preparatory course for a women’s role in life. She had found a pattern and from it She fashioned a long dress of red, green and gold fabric with puffy long sleeves. Then added a large white apron with lace trims to go over the dress and upon her head she wore a mop hat. She found some shoes that looked like old fashioned lace up’s to complete the ensemble.
Her Mrs. Claus costume was so much better looking than the ones sold by costume stores. The only thing she lacked was a coat or cape to ward off the chill which Loretta decided she would make. However, little did we know I would soon be the one to solve this problem in a most unusual and comical way.
While walking in local clothing store I was browsing among the Christmas items when I spotted some women’s capes all arranged on a circular clothing rack. I was thrilled with my “Find” as some had buttons while others could be pulled over your head. In fact, there were two racks of capes in various festive colors, fabrics and designs of the Christmas Season.
I traversed the store and spotted her, blurting out my excitement over my “Find”. I proudly guided her to the rack of capes however; I wasn’t prepared for her laughter. Surveying the racks of capes she pointed out a sales sign describing the products. It read “Christmas Tree Skirts” and the prices. What I had thought to be capes were in fact, Christmas Tree Skirts. In my Excitement it never dawned on me I was looking at some “High End” Christmas Tree Skirts!
It did seem odd when I thought about it and I too laughed over my discovery of “Tree Skirts.” Loretta started to look them over and said, “Maybe you are right and this could be my cape.”
She found one in colors to compliment her outfit; it even had buttons down the front which made it look very Victorian. Later she found a fur collar which she sewed on the tree skirt which was the perfect touch to her “Cape.” Her cape is still used and on a chilly evening it is a warm addition to her Mrs. Claus Costume. We have both had many a good laugh over this exceptional “Find” which became a cape for “Mrs. Claus.”
I am a firm believer in the role of Mrs. Claus. I encourage any wife and woman to take the step to portray Mrs. Claus. You can make this role your own and what you are comfortable doing. Yes, Santa does get the attention however; I have witnessed Mrs. Claus being the center of attention more and more. I am always pleased when we hear people say, “Look there’s Mrs. Claus and the adoration from children, especially young girls.
There’s a lot more under that “Mop Hat” then meets the eyes.
Always remember, “It’s not about you, it’s about the children.”
Santa Lou Knezevich
Creator Legendary Santas Mentoring Program
Saturday Evening Post (cover) February 16, 1928
by J.C. Leyendecker
Each month we feature an inductee of the International Santa Claus Hall of Fame. This month we honor James F. Martin.
The first post office in Santa Claus, Indiana, opened in 1856. However, the town became famous under the direction of its fourteenth postmaster, James F. Martin. In 1914, Martin began to answer the letters addressed to Santa Claus that were received from children.
Because of this act of kindness, people began to flock to this little Indiana town – so much so that in the early 1930s the United States Postal Department unsuccessfully sought to change the name of the town. Martin and the town of Santa Claus even caught the attention of cartoonist Robert Ripley and appeared in his “Believe It or Not” column in the 1930s.
In the early days, Martin would sometimes dress in the famous red suit to the delight of post office patrons who flocked in for that special postmark. Today, a non-profit organization called Santa’s Elves, Inc. carry on the wonderful tradition; keeping James F. Martin’s and the town of Santa Claus’ historic legacy alive.
James F. Martin
Santa Claus, Indiana
1874 – 1935
Want to learn more?
Visit the International Santa Claus Hall of Fame website.