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ClausNet Gazette: News from the Santa Claus Network

April 2012

Volume 4, Issue 4

Happy Easter!

By Michael Rielly

April on ClausNetHappy Easter everyone and welcome to the April 2012 edition of the ClausNet Gazette!

I am writing this very early in the morning on Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday, and especially Easter, always reminds me of my Mom. Every Palm Sunday Mom would fold palms into decorative crosses and other shapes. It's a tradition I've tried to continue each year. Unfortunately, her's were always a lot nicer than the ones I make. She always had a lot more patience than me.

What's New on ClausNet?

New this month on, is a new! We've completely revamped the site new functionality, more features, and more resources!

One of the more popular new features, is Christmas Radio. Now you can listen to Christmas Music 24/7 with occasional shout outs to various ClausNet members. ClausNet members can post requests in our Christmas Radio discussion forum.

We have a few more features planned for the site this year and HOPEFULLY a very special offer for ClausNet Members only. Stay tuned for more on this in the next coming weeks.

We're Hiring!With all the new additions to ClausNet, we could really use some help around the Workshop! We are looking for a few good Elves to help in and around the site. If you like to write, have a nose for news, or are good at herding cats, please contact me!

Last month, we held our 2012 Funniest Picture Contest. The winners were announced a few days ago and we have them here in this newsletter.

Later this month, many of us will gather in Santa Claus Indiana for the Jim Yellig Santa Claus Workshop. I am really looking forward to this event! I will be teaching a workshop there and also helping out at the event. I am looking forward to seeing old friends and putting faces with, er um avatars!

As always, please feel free to contact us with your comments and suggestions.

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In The News

Breaking News on ClausNet

Christmas Amongst Words Requested to Be Banned on Standardized Tests -- Christmas is a controversial word. Or so says the New York City Department of Education.

Divorce. Dinosaurs, Birthdays. Religion. Halloween. Christmas. Television. These are a few of the 50-plus words and references the New York City Department of Education is hoping to ban from the city?s standardized tests.

The banned word list was made public ? and attracted considerable criticism ? when the city?s education department recently released this year?s ?request for proposal?

The request for proposal is sent to test publishers around the country trying to get the job of revamping math and English tests for the City of New York.
Read More »

Woodland, California Residents Complain About Christmas Lights in March -- Residents of Woodland, California have taken to complaining to a local television station about neighbors who still have their Christmas lights up in March.

?Our neighbor insists on leaving his christmas lights up until now, it?s March 7,? says Jacque Young who lives in Woodland and is tired of seeing her neighbors light strands strung up on his house and on his front lawn.

?He looks lazy and it detracts from our neighborhood and it?s a nice neighborhood and I love living here and I don?t like to have to see that every time I walk out of my door.?

Christmas lights didn?t seem to detract from the neighborhood during the merry season. But with spring upon us it appears to be Bah Humbug time in Woodland.
Read More »

New Spongebob toys available from Five Element

ToyNews Online -- Licensed figurine specialist Five Element Distribution has taken the wraps off a new line of Spongebob SquarePants toys.

There are two series? of minifigures, with the Series 1 collection featuring the most popular characters from Bikini Bottom.
Read More »

Outdoor toys worth £363 million in the last year

ToyNews Online -- Outdoor and sports toys is the second largest super category within traditional toys by value and worth over £363 million in the latest 12 months, which is up ten per cent (source: NPD Consumer Panel).

While outdoor and sports has always been reliant on the British weather, 2011 was an extremely mild year which helped the category show growth for ten months out of 12.

Unlike other toy categories, there were two peaks for outdoor sales last year ? in April where the weather was warm and dry, which lead to a surge of sales in ride-ons, and in December when Nerf was very popular as a Christmas present.
Read More »

Two Christmas albums up for Best Album Juno

CBC News -- In the past, Christmas albums were viewed as little more than a way to cash in on the Yuletide buying season. But this year?s Junos may signal a change.

Justin Bieber?s Under the Mistletoe and Michael Bublé?s Christmas are both contenders for the Album of the Year.

Are Christmas albums now considered as legitimate an artistic offering as any other album? Deanna Sumanac finds out if it is a sign of desperation for the music industry, or if Canadians just really dig the sounds of the season.
Read More »

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Featured Member - April 2012

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 Mike Liquori!

I am happy to announce our ClausNet Featured Member of the Month for April 2012 is Santa Mike Liquori!

Long Island based Santa Mike Liquori will mark his fifth season this year as Santa Claus this year! He joined the ClausNet community back in 2008 when he first donned the red suit.

ClausNet Featured Member of the Month

We caught up with Mike 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!

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A Sleigh Ride Through Our History

By John Johnson

For an adventurous pioneer of aviation, it began as a way of saying thanks to the men who served in the lighthouses and Coast Guard stations of the New England Coast.

Captain William Wincapaw was known for his daring flights in less than perfect conditions. Transporting sick and injured members of his island community were stock and trade to the overseer of the Curtis Flying Service.

Photo courtesy

Many times he used the lighthouses to guide him on his flights, and over time the keepers of the lights would learn to watch for his plane and its safety.

Legend has it that on December 25, 1929, Wincapaw loaded his plane with gifts of coffee, newspapers, magazines, and other goods and made his way from lighthouse to lighthouse to deliver them.

This was his way of saying thanks for their help. He didn?t think too much about it and went home to spend Christmas with the family. Little did he know that a new tradition had been born.

Those tending the lights were appreciative and word soon came back to Wincapaw that he had done a good thing. The next Christmas he did it again. Over the years the area of the visits grew.

Captain Wincapaw even donned the familiar Santa suit complete with beard. He would fly over the locations and drop the box filled with what was needed for the families in the lighthouses. There was often a small toy, reading materials, coffee, and candies as well for the keepers and their families.

By the mid 1930s sponsors were found to help the cause. A few years later the Christmas mission was split in two. Captain Wincapaw would take the northern part and his son and another man would take the southern.

That man, named Edward Snow, would become the successor of Captain Wincapaw for the next forty years.
Read More »

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Contest Winners

Funniest Picture Contest

Contest WinnersBack in February we kicked off our Funniest Picture Contest. We had 30 entries! ClausNet Members voted for their favorite pictures during the month of March!

As you might expect, many of the best pictures we received featured kids and babies! Our First, Second, and Third Place Winners of the 2012 Funniest Picture Contest were, Sarasota Santa Claus, Santa Bill, and Laffo. Honorable Mention Winner, goes to Gator Claus.

First Place: Sarasota Santa Claus

Second Place: Santa Bill Third Place: Laffo Honorable Mention: Gator Claus

Click on over to ClausNet Contests and Happenings on to view all the entries.

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Santa Claus Hall of Fame

Each month we feature an inductee of the Santa Claus Hall of Fame. In honor of the Jim Yellig Santa Claus Workshop later this month, this month's issue we we profile Mr. 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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