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ClausNet Gazette: News from the Santa Claus Network

March 2011

Volume 3, Issue 3

Nollaig Shona Daoibh!

By Michael Rielly

March on ClausNetSeeing we are so close to Saint Patrick's Day, I thought I'd open this month's newsletter with a traditional Gaelic phrase.

In Ireland, the most commonly used Christmas greeting is "Happy Christmas". If you were to say Happy Christmas to just one person, you would say: Nollaig Shona Duit. However, if you were addressing more than one person you would say: Nollaig Shona Daoibh, which literally translated means: You have a Happy Christmas.

This month I am happy to announce that we have added a new feature to our monthly newsletter. ClausNet and Santa-America have teamed up to provide the Santa Claus community with news updates from Santa-America. Santa-America News will include announcements, event information, press release, and more! Special thanks to Santa Bob Elkin for pulling this all together!

For those of you unfamiliar with their work, Santa-America is a national volunteer service organization with a very special mission. Over one hundred Santas across America visit children and families in crisis. Santa Claus visits when a child or family needs him?twelve months a year?bringing love, hope and joy to special needs children in a loving visit of about an hour at home, hospital, or hospice. Please join me and thanking them for all their efforts!

If you haven't visited ClausNet in a while, you may want to drop by. We've been making a few changes and additions lately! Be sure to check out Christmas Radio and Merry Podcasts from the Merry Network -- all now linked through to!

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

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In The News

Breaking News on ClausNet

Indiana amusement park official injured in crash -- The general manager of Holiday World & Splashin? Safari amusement park in Santa Claus Indiana, was critically injured Monday in a car crash while driving to work.

Matt Eckert, 37, who has worked at the park for 11 years and served as general manager for more than three, was driving south on Ind. 162 in Spencer County in front of Nancy Hanks Elementary School just before 7:30 a.m. when a school bus that had just dropped off students made a left turn onto the highway, pulling in front of him, according to a police report and Paula Werne, spokeswoman for the park.
Read More »

4 of 5 Bronner's vandalism suspects plead guilty

Saginaw News -- Four of the five suspects in the Christmas Day vandalism of Bronner?s Christmas Wonderland in Frankenmuth have pleaded guilty to their roles.

Now, they must wait until March 31 to see if a judge will follow the terms of their plea agreements and sentence them to probation and seal their records.

The four men ? Ryan S. Buchler, 20; Branden K. Dean, 21; Caleb G. Quintanilla, 17; and Samuel D. Quintanilla, 20 ? appeared this morning before Saginaw County Circuit Judge James T. Borchard and pleaded guilty to malicious destruction of more than $1,000 but less than $20,000 worth of personal property and conspiring to commit that crime.
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Lapland fantasy Christmas park owners found guilty -- It was a place, trumpeted the publicity, "where dreams really do come true!" Lapland New Forest, which opened in winter 2008, promised "a multi-featured snow-covered Lapland village" featuring real reindeer, a bustling festive market and a "magical tunnel of light".

The reality, however, was less Christmas cracker than stuffed turkey. After paying up to £30 a ticket, visitors were confronted with a few miserable tethered huskies, a broken ice rink and a collection of cheap garden sheds dusted with fake snow.

The two brothers behind the under whelming theme park are facing possible jail terms after being convicted on eight counts of misleading commercial practice, after a 10-week trial.
Read More »

Toy Fair 2011: The Coolest Toys -- Toy land is a happier place these days. After logging its first sales gains since 2006, the toy industry is heading into 2011 more optimistic about the year ahead.

The upbeat tone was felt at the 108th annual American International Toy Fair, the largest toy trade show in the Western Hemisphere, which took place at the Javitz Center in New York City. Attendance at the show was up quite a bit both in terms of the people walking the booths and those showing their wares.

The coming year will bring a number of toy-friendly movies such as ?Cars 2?, the new Smurfs movie, and a number of superhero flicks that will help drive interest in licensed products.

But other toy trends are expected to continue from last year, according to Reyne Rice, a toy trend specialist for the Toy Industry Association. Rice expects to see kids continuing to gravitate to low-priced collectible toys as well as to games that get them up and moving.
Read More »

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Featured Member - March 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 Santa Guy!

I am happy to announce that our March 2011 ClausNET Featured Member of the Month is Santa Guy!

Santa Guy joined our community only a few months ago on New Years Day 2011! Guy and I have something in common too! Both Guy and I are generational Santas. Guy's Dad was Santa before him!

ClausNET Featured Member of the Month

I caught up with Guy 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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Christmas of the Past

Santa Stewart's Blog

Posted by Santa Stewart

It's hard to believe that another season has come and gone. Besides the Mrs.C and myself having to recover from colds and in need of a extended rest, things didn't turn out to badly for us. Thank God!

One amusing tale from the past season was a child with her mother. I asked the general questions. The child was three so I asked if she could count numbers yet. She answered in the affirmative. The Mother chirped in ,"Oh Yes she can count to twelve". So I added well let's start! Putting up my Gloved fore finger I asked "What is this? The Child immediately answered, "A finger!"

What was really puzzling was I had few "doubters". Most were asking where my reindeer were? Even the older children (8 and older) were very much in the Christmas spirit. Though this year, many children only asked for one gift!

Our Pet Night which is in its second year was a success! In fact, anyone can go to my Gallery and see some of the pictures from our pet night.

Well that is about it for now. Hopefully, I will be able to add more as my memory will allow!
Leave a comment »

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Santa-America News

March 2010

Posted by Santa Bob Elkin

Thanks to the support of so many of you, Santa-America reported a banner year in visiting more children in every one of our major initiatives under the new ?Team Management? concept initiated in 2010. This month we will focus on the progress of our Military Support Programs!

Our Military Support Programs led the way in accomplishments under the guidance of National Director Santa JR ?Jack? Arthur, Lieutenant Commander, USN, Retired. Over 15 separate Santa visits were recorded at 11 of the 23 Army Garrisons contacted. Santa Jack reports all Army Garrisons receiving visits sent very favorable reports and those contacted who were not participating in 2010 are anxious to be involved with Santa-America in 2011.

Santa Jack already has plans underway to not only expand to more Army Garrisons in 2011, but also to the Navy, Marines, Air Force and National Guard programs. Santa Jack?s goal for 2011 is to exceed 60 Military Bases being provided with Santa-America Santa Visits!

In addition, Santa Jack plans to engage Santa-America?s Drill Team (aka Palm Tree Santa's Drill Team) to participate in ?Welcome Home The Troops? ceremonies at various Military Bases during the ensuing year.

Santa Jack is a proud participating member of Santas Drill Team. Santa Jack will be assisted in developing our Military Support Programs with the recent announcement that Lieutenant General Steven Whitcomb, USA, Retired, has accepted a position with Santa America as a member of the Board of Directors.

If you are interested in joining our Military Support Program Initiative or would like to learn more, please contact Santa-America.

Santa-America, Inc.
Santa Jack Arthur (
Santa Bob Elkin (

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Santa Claus Convention History

By Legendary Santa Claus

The first Santa Claus Convention, held in 1939 in New York City, New York, was a 2 day affair that brought more than 40 Santas to the Hotel St. George. It was held in November by the Benevolent Order of Santa Claus, which was founded two years earlier on December 14, 1937, to promote a positive image of Santa with guidelines such as clean costumes, personal hygiene, and knowing the reindeers? names.

The convention was to organize Santas and present to department stores an ever endearing code of conduct and the proper appearance of the profession. The slogan of the convention was ?Santa Claus is a living cause.?

During the conference portion of the convention discussion, a foundation was laid for the code of conduct that included; Santa will never smoke, drink alcoholic beverages, or use any language unbecoming of a saint, be physically and mentally healthy, never break character, incorporate folklore and legend, and use the best available costuming.

After the convention, the Benevolent Order of Santa Claus continued for a few more years. In 1942 the Order was dissolved. There would not be another convention until 1950 that was held by the newly organized, Ancient and Mystic Order of Kris Kringles in St. Louis, Missouri.

The Ancient and Mystic Order of Kris Kringles was organized in 1949 for the purpose of ?Placing Santa Claus on a Higher Plane and to Promote Good Will, Fellowship and the True Christmas Spirit in the Hearts of All People.?

Santa Sam Caress, President of AMKK, was very instrumental in laying out a 2 day conference that held seminars taught by Santa Frank Lais of New Orleans, Louisiana and Santa Charles W. Howard of Albion, New York. In the convention?s symposium, 12 important topics were open for discussion. The symposium used ?Roberts Rules of Order? and was presided over by Santa Francis A. Kirby of Silver Springs, Maryland.

There would be a couple more conventions in US in the 1950s and 60s. Then not another until 1985?but that is another story.
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 William "Bill" Strother.

Bill StrotherMiller & Rhoads Department Store hired former Hollywood stunt man Bill Strother to fill Santa?s big red suit in 1942. Strother brought with him many techniques from Hollywood and made the Miller & Rhoads Santa Claus a symbol of the Christmas season.

His makeup, designed by the famous Max Factor, took Strother about two hours to put on, and he was, without a doubt, the most realistic Santa Claus ever seen.

In addition, he devised a special Santa act. After appearing out of a chimney, he received children on his lap and by use of a concealed throat-mike on an assistant, was able to address each child by name. No act at any theater in Richmond ever drew the crowds, adults as well as children that flocked to see this Santa Claus appear out of a chimney.

Bill Strother not only became the most famous Santa Claus in the history of Virginia, he was also the world?s highest paid Santa Claus according to an article in the Saturday Evening Post in 1951.

"The role of a department store Santa is to entertain the children, but here at Miller & Rhoads we strive to create an experience that will last a lifetime."

William "Bill" Strother
Miller & Rhoads Legendary Santa Claus
1896 ? 1957

Want to learn more? Check out the following:

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