Greetings and welcome to the March 2012 edition of the ClausNet Gazette!
Well, Leap Day 2012 certainly ushered March in like a lion. Sadly, severe storms cut a path of destruction across the Midwestern United States between February 29 and March 4. Now, as communities across the Midwest begin cleaning up from the devastating storms, many are asking how they can help.
See our Santa-America News for an update and how you can provide help and support to the victims.
On a lighter note, there are a few days left to enter our ClausNet 2012 Funniest Picture of the Season Contest. Visit the ClausNet Happenings and Contest section for more information.
As always, please feel free to contact us with your comments and suggestions.
DefendChristmas.com -- Over the past four weeks DefendChristmas.com has received a steady stream of threats about anti-Christmas protests and activities in 2012. This is the earliest such threats have been received. The threats center around some of the most noteworthy events in the media?s declared ?war on Christmas? from last year from nativity scenes on public lands in California and Texas and to Christian-themed displays in Warren, Michigan.
?We receive word of planned protests all the time,? noted Jeff Westover of My Merry Christmas.com, a sister site to DefendChristmas.com. ?But what makes these notices unique is that they are coming so early in the year, they appear to be coordinated and we?re receiving them through multiple sites in our network. Someone out there wants people to know Christmas 2012 will be anything but peaceful.?
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BBC -- At St Mary's Church in Portsmouth, Callow read from David Copperfield, a coming-of-age story about an orphan boy that is largely considered to be Dickens's most autobiographical work.
"I really made the strong decision to come to the place where he was born rather than to Westminster Cathedral where he never wanted to be," actor Callow said, referring to Dickens's desire to be buried at Rochester Cathedral, instead of Westminster Abbey, where he was interred following a public outcry.
Celebrations in Portsmouth began earlier in the day at a ceremony outside the writer's birthplace, where his great-great-grandson, Ian Dickens, laid a wreath.
Ahead of the Westminster Abbey service, Prince Charles and Camilla visited the Charles Dickens museum in Doughty Street - which opened in 1925 in the house where the novelist lived from 1837-1839.
The Westminster Abbey service was attended by a large gathering of the author's descendants and also included readings from actor Ralph Fiennes, biographer Claire Tomalin, and another great-great-grandson, Mark Dickens.
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ToyNews Online -- Reuters has reported that Wayne Charness, a spokesperson for Hasbro confirmed that 140 of the redundancies will be in the US, with around 55 in Rhode Island.
Charness went on to explain that each of the employees affected will get competitive severance packages, including outplacement services.
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ToyNews Online -- For the eighth consecutive year running the Lego Group has seen an increase in market share in a 'sluggish' toy market. The company's share of the global market is now 7.1 per cent. Sales rose to £2,181 million.
The figures show that the high growth rate in 2010 has continued into 2011.
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ToyNews Online -- Nickelodeon has renewed its global licensing partnership with Fisher-Price to develop toys based on its pre-school properties.
Product categories including infant and pre-school toys, plush, figures, vehicles and play-sets are all covered in the agreement.
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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 Cayman Claus!
I am happy to announce our ClausNet Featured Member of the Month for March 2012 is Cayman Claus!
Cayman Claus, aka Wayne, joined us back in 2008 and it's easy to see why he is always so positive. After all, just look at where his lives! There are not a lot of Santas that get to take pictures with pristine beaches and breathtaking scenery for a backdrop!
We talked with Wayne a few days ago and here is what he had to say...
Read the entire interview »
Missed an interview? Visit our Featured Members of the Month section to read past interviews!
Last week, thousands of families in states in the Midwest and Southeast were affected by the horrific storms and tornados that ran from Illinois through Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Alabama, and Tennessee. It is at a time like this that the Santa community needs to pull together and help children and families across the region. Please help if you can.
Santa Larry Shaw of the Hoosier Santas in Indiana in working on a toy drive for Indiana and adjoining states to organize a toy drive. He has approached the Jim Yellig Santa Claus Workshop in Santa Claus, Indiana to help and we will. We also encourage the organizers of the upcoming Clausfest in Gatlinburg, Tennessee to be a part of this regional toy drive.
It is our hope that the two events will be centers where the collection of toys can take place, along with any other groups or events (FORBS, Illinois Santas, MAPS, AORBS, Buckey Santas, etc?) that might want to be involved. I know that the Lone Star Santas have been involved in efforts like this before and their input would be a great help.
We are also asking that Santa America get involved with their disaster relief team to help. I will be talking to Santa Larry Shaw today on this topic and will put a call into Cindylu and Charlie Thomas at Clausfest, along with some other leaders of Santa groups.
Together, the hundreds of Santas, Mrs. Clauses, and helpers can help a child. Together we can bring a little magic into a child?s life. Together we can show the Spirit of Christmas to a child in need.
Thank You Santa Larry Shaw and the Hoosier Santas for approaching us with this concept.
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By Santa Bob Elkin
The Santa community has seen an awesome ?working together? ethic created this last week in the face of the ?Leap Day Tornadoes? that created havoc in our communities.
Phil Wenz asked folks coming to Santa Claus Indiana for the Jim Yellig Santa Claus Workshop to bring a $10 Toy with them! Santa Jim Fletcher and Santa Doug Portwood of the Lone Star Santa's jumped in with the offer to bring Toys to ClausFest in Gatlinburg they had left after their successful ?Convoy of Toys? to Joplin Missouri and Bastrop Texas in 2011. Cindy Lu?s ClausFest then invited folks to bring Toys!
The Hoosier Santa's, led by Santa Jim Holliger, Santa Larry Shaw, Santa Jerry Owens, Santa Owen Davenport and others have concentrated their efforts in a common goal to raise funds and collect toys and by April 1st be poised to take their Hoosier Santas Convoy of Toys to the hard hit areas of southern Indiana, and possibly into Illinois. The Hoosier Santas will be poised to take possession of Toys brought to Santa Claus Indiana
The Tennessee Santas, led by Santa Nick Kuykendall and others are busy getting organized to raise funds, collect Toys and prepare for a possible ?Convoy of Toys? to disaster areas in Tennessee and Kentucky. The Tennessee Santas are hoping to have sufficient temporary storage space to take possession of the Toys brought to Gatlinburg.
The Northeast Santas, led by Santa Scott Calkin and others are looking to collect toys and raise funds to support these Regional Teams and the Santa America National Fund.
Santa America, with their new mission, ?Disaster Relief for Children? (DRFC) already in high gear with a significant grant in January from an insurance company, accelerated to sleigh speed!
By helping to organize and coordinate the efforts and help bring some degree of order and direction among the Santa groups.
The Santa America initial goal from January has been to help organize ?Regional Response Teams? (like the Lone Star Santa's Convoy of Toys) in all areas of the USA!
These Regional Response Team Members will (as soon as possible) be trained through Hospice, The Red Cross or FEMA, they will be background checked, TB tested, fully credentialed, uniformed, Santa Volunteers on ready able stand by to respond to a disaster in their region of the country. However Mother Nature rarely cooperates with allowing us to complete man?s plans!, hence the ?Leap Day Storms?.
Santa America had already appointed Regional Coordinators for the Lone Star Santa's as the first DRFC Regional Response Team.
Santa America has now appointed the Hoosier Santas DRFC Team, the Tennessee Santas DRFC Team, the Northeast Santas Team, the Palm Tree Santas Team with Santa Larry Porter, Santa Rex Ray and Santa Dennis Pollard, and the Virginia Santa's DRFC Team with Santa Leon McBryde. We are also working with The Minnesota Santas, Washington State Santas, the California Santas, the Georgia Santas and other groups.
All of these Santa America DRFC Regional Response Teams will share in our National Disaster Relief for Children Fund for disaster team expense reimbursements.
All of these SA DRFC Regional Response Teams will be authorized to also collect ?Charitable Tax Deductible Donations? for the National Disaster Relief For Children Fund. Non-charitable donations will be retained in the Team?s local account.
Toys, being the feel good, warm fuzzy they are, and with Santa added in, are the easiest to collect and with all the combined efforts, we are well on our way to surpassing our ?Toy Collection Goal? for the ?Leap Day Tornadoes?. However these Regional Teams will also need funds to pay for storage, truck or trailer rentals, gasoline, lodging and many other related expenses.
In a unified voice for Santa America and all these SA Regional Response Teams we ask you to consider, instead of buying a new Toy to donate, send a check for $10, $20 or whatever to one of these Regional Teams, or to the Santa America National DRFC fund. To donate, please visit www.santa-america.org.
Please mark all your donations for ?Disaster Relief for Children? DRFC monetary donations will also be accepted by Santa Jim Fletcher in Gatlinburg and by Santa America in Santa Claus Indiana.
We have been advised that Santa Jim Fletcher (LSS Convoy of Toys) will hold a DRFC workshop during ClausFest. (check for time schedule on arriving). Anyone who is interested and planning on attending ClausFest, we urge you to attend his workshop. Santa Jim has been there, earned his stripes and has a lot of valuable information to share.
Santa Doug Portwood (LSS Convoy of Toys) has volunteered to assist the DRFC Team?s workshop during the Santa America Clinic at the Jim Yellig Santa Claus Workshop. Santa Doug was there in Joplin with Santa Jim. We welcome Santa Doug to Santa Claus Indiana. Additionally, Santa Jim Fletcher said he might be able to come! That would be awesome to have both of these Santas who have earned their stripes in the Disaster Relief for Children trenches sharing with us during the Santa America Clinic!
If you are a Santa and want to participate in ?Disaster Relief for Children? and to help build this nation-wide network of Regional Response Teams, please contact me. If you are interested in helping Santa and assisting Santa America with suggestions, comments, pledges, donations or questions, please contact me.
On behalf of, all our DRFC Santa Teams who bring Love, Hope, Joy and Toys, all delivered by Santa and wrapped in a big Santa HUG,
Santa Bob Elkin
Vice-President, Disaster Relief for Children
For more information about these programs and about Santa-America, please contact:
In one of his most memorable holiday recordings, Elvis asks a poignant question. ?Why can?t every day be like Christmas?? It is a good and valid question as we look at the times in which we live. These are tough times for many, and some would even go as far as to say that these are faithless times at that. This writer would disagree, and I would venture to say that Christmas is here to stay as long as we allow it to.
The message of Christmas is riddled with the theme of peace on Earth and goodwill to men. These are not concepts that must be lived once a year. These are life principles that can not only follow our lives every day but can also enrich both mind and heart throughout every time we face. Again, as we look at the meaning of Christmas and the first true Gift of Christmas we find that another key element is love. This is an unconditional love that spreads from the Baby of the Nativity to the entirety of mankind. This, too, can walk with us and empower us to carry out the task of creating peace.
Ultimately, if we truly want Christmas to last every day in the hearts of those living in these times it is up to each and every one of us to live by the principles set forth. To make it happen requires us to only do one thing ? a good and caring deed for another. And then it becomes a chain reaction as one good deed deserves another and another and another.
Elvis finishes the song with the statement, ?What a wonderful world this would be.? Indeed this is correct. If we can put aside so many of the negative things in life and can pick up and retain the messages of Christmas we can learn of peace and if we can learn of it we can obtain it with some hard work.
They are timeless and they are correct in every particular. As we walk day by day may we be challenged to not only remember the message of Christmas, but also to live it to bring the wonderful back to a world that needs it.
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Each month we feature an inductee of the Santa Claus Hall of Fame. This month we profile Carl Hansen
Carl Hansen, a native of Denmark, was the official ?Santa Trainer? for Santa?s Village Corporation?s three theme parks in the 1950s and 1960s.
As Santa, Hansen opened up the Skyforest, California Santa?s Village in 1955 and the Scotts Valley, California?s version in 1957. He also trained the Santas for the Dundee, Illinois Park.
Hansen is credited with creating a year round persona that was original and is still used today. Most children of the day only saw Santa in a department store, but at Santa?s Village, Hansen was seen in Santa?s House, in the reindeer barn, in the Candy Kitchen with Mrs. Claus, and in the Mill Wheel Workshop building toys. Hansen used the props available to create a startling realism to the role.
In 1956 Hansen wrote training manuals for the parks on how to be a year round Santa which included what Santa does on a day-to-day basis and what his life is like when it is not the Christmas Season.
1904 ? 1998
To learn more Santa Claus History, please visit the International Santa Claus Hall of Fame.