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ClausNet Gazette: News from the Santa Claus Network

May 2012

Volume 4, Issue 5

Happy Birthday ClausNet!

By Michael Rielly

May on ClausNetThis month we celebrate our Fifth Anniversary!

In May 2007 we launched the ClausNet Santa Claus Network -- an online resource and social network for the Santa Claus community! Since then, we have been growing exponentially!

The idea for ClausNet came to me on my way back from my first time at the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School. After meeting so many wonderful Santas and Mrs. Clauses, I wanted to create a way to connect to others in our community. We must have been on to something because as of this month, ClausNet now has over 1,360 registered members!

This month is also the three year anniversary of our first edition of the ClausNet Gazette! Our monthly newsletter has grow some too since then! Take a look at the inaugural issue.

Last month I had the honor and privilege of meeting a good number of you. There were so many folks I did not get a chance to speak with. There were so many people there and as usual, I never have the luxury of sitting in the audience with the rest of you. Anyway, for those of you that I missed, please don't hesitate to connect with me on the forums or through the contact us page!

We're Hiring!I also want to mention that we are still looking for help around the Workshop!

We are looking for a few good Elves to help out around the site. If you like to write, have a nose for news, or have good organizing skills, please contact me!

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

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In The News

Breaking News on ClausNet

Santas turn out by the hundreds for Santa Claus Workshop

NBC 14 News -- We may be months away from Christmas, but right now, hundreds of Santa's helpers are in Santa Claus, Indiana.

They're all in Santa Claus for the Jim Yellig Santa Claus workshop. The Executive Director of the workshop says its meant to honor Yellig, who for decades, captured the Christmas spirit as a legendary Santa there, and teach about his history.

Santa may normally ride a sleigh, but to get to Heritage Hills High School Friday, jolly old elves from all over North America traveled mostly on four wheels.

Santa's helpers, who, by the way, all seem to have their own unique style in the off-season are getting lessons on everything from picking the right suit to getting the best beard, even how to perfect those famous rosy cheeks.
Read More »

Calgary Santa inducted into hall of fame

Toronto Sun -- There will never be closure to the life of her Santa Claus, says Jennifer Andrews, and that's exactly how he would have wanted it.

Andrews is in Santa Claus, Ind., this weekend, accepting an induction into the Santa Claus Hall of Fame on behalf of her friend and mentor, Santa Victor Nevada.

She's been carrying on his legacy for the Calgary Santa and teacher of Santas in the last few years since he died.

"It's a very big deal and I think it's well deserved," Andrews said. "For him it wasn't just some suit, but it was research and deliberation and choice ? he recognized that Santa was bigger than life.

"If he gets a choice to be able to look down on his ceremony (Saturday), he'll take it, and I think he'll be really pleased."
Read More »

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 »

April showers dampen consumer demand

ToyNews Online -- January and February were slow trading periods for many retailers, yet the warmest March since 1997 and the sunniest on record since 1929 brought the footfall national average up by 6.4 per cent on the previous month, but down 3.4 per cent year-on-year.
Read More »

Do children prefer animals to toys?

ToyNews Online -- Children have been shown to be more attracted to children than animals, a study has suggested. When put in the same room, children were seen to gesture towards and speak about animals more than toys. This was even true when the toys replicated live animals.
Read More »

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Featured Member - May 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 Spice!

I am happy to announce our ClausNet Featured Member of the Month for May 2012 is Santa Spice!

Russell aka Santa Spice joined the ClausNet community back in 2008. You can usually find Santa Spice in the Sports forum cheering on University of Michigan's Wolverines.

What I love about doing these interviews is how much I learn about each member. For instance, Russell and I have something in common. We both love to cook and we both love Vernors!

ClausNet Featured Member of the Month

We caught up with Russ 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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The Santa Documentary is in production

Every year, tens of thousands don the Red Suit for parties, parades, family and community events. But only a few have devoted their entire lives to actually being the Old Elf.

They Wore the Red Suit is the story of those rare individuals who bring the living magic of Santa to us every day of the year. Paying tribute to the original career-Santa, the legendary Jim Yellig of Santa Claus Land, IN, we'll discover how his portrayal of Santa helped to define the American Santa Claus image we know today.

This film will examine the legend, the vocation and the industry of Santa Claus. We'll visit Santa conventions, Santa schools and hear tales from the only man who learned the Art of Being Santa directly from the master, Jim Yellig. You'll hear stories from Santas across the nation that will bring laughter, tears and awe.

To learn more, visit our website and Like us on Facebook

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Santa was a Magical Figure

By SantaCraig

I will preface this post by stating this is food for thought. Just my opinions, right or wrong it is once again just food for thought.

When I was a child back in the 70's Christmas was a Magical time. Santa just added to the magic with a ringing crescendo of hohoho and a glimpse of the red suit. Now it seems as if "Christmas time" just goes on and on...starting in summer just after the Independence day celebrations you will find the decorations out and many times already on sale. Back when I was a child, Christmas thoughts didn't really begin in earnest until after Thanksgiving. Sure as soon as Halloween was finished up and the last candies eaten the toy books and wish lists would begin to appear.

All of this added up to Christmas time being a memorable event. As a child it seemed as if Christmas day would NEVER get here. The old saying goes "Slower than Christmas" held true. It seemed like the week before the 24th took 3 months. How must it feel now for a child? I can remember the anticipation of Christmas lights going up on houses, cookies being baked and the arrival of Santa. Back then I would visit Santa at the mall like most Americans did. Although the lines were often long and seemed like they took forever, the time actually spent with the man in the big chair went by quickly. Just like in "The night before Christmas" he went straight to his work, asking if I had been good and what I wanted for Christmas. It was a pilgrimage that became traction each and every year, one that is still cherished to this day.

My dad was a innovator in Christmas light displays long before it became popular. This was the mid to late 70's and our nearly 100 ft long ranch style home was lit from head to toe. C-9s hung from the roof, encircled every window and ridge on the home. All the bushes were illuminated with tiny bulbs and there were plywood cutouts of Santa and his 9 reindeer perched high on the roof...Rudolph even had a shiny nose that blinked on and off. As a kid my pop would tie a rope around my belt loops and the other end around the chimney so I couldn't fall off the roof.

Many a night we would gather in the large bay window of the dinging room and watch the lines of cars make their way slowly past our picture perfect house. Nearly every year we would run to the nearest paper stand and there on the front page would be our house on the front page...later years in color. MERRY CHRISTMAS from the Imbodens it would read if you looked closely at the "Christmas card" sign we had made from 3 4x8 sheets of plywood all painted up with a scene right out of something you would see from Courier and Ives.

One night, later in the evening I can distinctly remember watching "Santa Claus is coming to town" (Remember when it only came on once a year) there was a knock on our door. Being curious, I nosed around and left the attention of the TV to see who it was. HO HO HO, it was Santa! Santa Claus was actually at my house! He said "Merry Christmas, I was in the neighborhood and I wanted to stop and tell you how beautiful your house is" I ran into the mud room and peered at him, but I do not recall if he even noticed me or said a word to me...but I still cherish that visit from him to my house. It seems today that perhaps the magic and mystique of Santa and Christmas is but a memory.

I think that we are so bombarded with Christmas sales and over exposed to Santa that it takes away from the aura of the perception of the being. I am not sure how all children perceive Santa, but I have an idea from playing him myself that some of the magic is gone for many of the children who see me. I think that is due to the over stimulation of Santa. Many times I notice that children loose the attention or focus of what I am doing.

Often it seems that I am playing the part to fewer and fewer children while the others begin to play or totally ignore that Santa is in the room. Maybe it is just me, but if Santa came to my house I would be I was and give him my full attention like I did. But alas, it pains me to see that the interest wains the longer I am at a place for a lot of the children. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of the kids who you can't shake no matter how long we are at an event, and there are more children who pay attention than who do not.
Read More »

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Santa-America News


By Santa Lou Knezevich

As I was driving past one of the local elementary schools my eyes were drawn to the coming events announcement board.

The board read; ?This month?s character building word, Resilience.?

I thought to myself this was an unusual word for elementary kids but it peaked my interest to find out more. When I brought up my computer I did a on line search for the word and found this definition.

re·sil·ience noun
1. the power or ability to return to the original form, position,etc., after being bent, compressed, or stretched; elasticity.
2. ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like; buoyancy.

The word resilience brought to mind the children to whom Santa America brings love, hope and joy.

Many of these children face serious illness or terminal health conditions but they are resilient. Children who have been through disasters such as tornados or hurricanes are frightened but they in time recover to accept the world around them. Children have a buoyancy which permits them to recover or return to their natural form.

You can help these Children in the form of love, hope, joy plus the encouragement to overcome adversity helping them to become resilient. You can do this by becoming a Santa Volunteer for Santa America.

Santa America has many programs to benefit children and families in need. Although we are noted for our work with children in hospice we have many other programs. We are always looking for hospice volunteers but this may not be your first choice. ·

We offer a program to visit returning service personnel and their families. Many times the sight of Santa making a hospital visit or entertaining children of military personnel puts a smile on everyone?s face.

Autistic children are a neglected part of the Christmas experience. These children may not have the patience to wait in line to see Santa or behave differently seeing Santa. Santa America provides Santas who are comfortable visiting these children and have knowledge regarding Autistic children.

Santa America is presently forming Disaster Relief for Children Teams to help deliver toys and aid to those lives which have been uprooted by calamity. Imagine the joy in children?s eyes when Santa appears to deliver presents and hope to children who have been through a disaster. We need Santas who would be ready to react by visiting a disaster area.

Maybe you can?t participate but we do need your help. We need donations. If you can?t actively participate please send a donation to help the work of Santa America. Santa America is 100% funded by private donations ? like yours. You can make a donation in two ways.

Please send your check, payable to Santa America, to:

Santa America
308 Belrose Avenue, Suite 200
East Daphne, AL 36526

Or visit our website at and choose a credit card type for your donation.

For more information contact:

Santa Bob Elkin
Vice President Santa Relations
Vice President Disaster Relief for Children
Tampa, FL

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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 honor Charles W. Howard.

Charles W. HowardMay 1, 2011 was the 46th year since the passing of Charles W. Howard.

As a reminder of Mr. Howard's contributions to the Santa vocation, it is only fitting that this month's quote come from him. Please take a brief moment this month to remember Charles W. Howard, "Dean of Santa Clauses."

Charles W. Howard was truly an American original. His legacy and inspiration that he left behind in the "Santa World" may not be in a class by itself, but it does not take long to take role call.

"To say there is no Santa Claus is the most erroneous statement in the world. Santa Claus is a thought that is passed from generation to generation. After time this thought takes on a human form. Maybe if all children and adults understand the symbolism of this thought we can actually attain Peace on Earth and good will to men everywhere."

Charles W. Howard
Dean of Santa Clauses
June 15, 1896 - May 1, 1966

Want to learn more? Check out the following:

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