This month ClausNet celebrates six years online!
Way back in May of 2007, we launched the ClausNet Santa Claus Network -- an online resource and social network for the Santa Claus community! That first month, we had about 10 or 12 members. Today, we have over 1,500!
The idea for ClausNet came to me on my way back from my first visit to 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!
This month is also the four year anniversary of the first edition of our monthly newsletter, The ClausNet Gazette! Readership for the newsletter has grow some too! We are now over 3,000 subscribers!
Last weekend, I attended the Northeast Santas get together in Cape Cod. It was so nice to see so many of you there. We had Santas and Mrs. Clauses there from as far away as Michigan! On Saturday evening, we held a private screening of They Wore The Red Suit. DVDs of the Screening Edition and the Bonus Clips Edition are still for sale. If you would like a copy, please contact me.
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.
Variety -- Infinite Entertainment is developing Christmas comedy "Aloha Santa" and has tapped Adam ("Tex") Davis to re-write the script. The live-action film will be produced by Mark Bakshi, Jonathan Yudis and Eric Gilliom.
Yudis is directing, and he penned the original script. Story centers on a newly-appointed Santa Claus crash-landing his sleigh on Hawaii, forcing him to enlist the locals to help get his powers back and save Christmas..
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NBC News -- On the brink of summer, defending Christmas is on the wish list of the Texas Legislature. The House on Wednesday approved a bipartisan bill that aims to remove legal risks of saying "Merry Christmas" in Texas public schools.
Traditional holiday symbols, such as a menorah or nativity scene, would also win a nod of state support so long as more than one religion and a secular symbol are also reflected..
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Stereoscopy News -- RGH Entertainment is starting work on Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, a stereoscopic animated feature film directed by Anthony Bell, known for its Alpha and Omega and Rugrats.
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Toy News Online -- We may only be half way through 2013, but next year's Toy Fair is already taking shape. Hasbro and Bandai have confirmed they will have high profile 'anchor' stands in the Upper West Hall of Olympia for the 2014 show.
The 61st show will occupy the complete Upper West Hall, creating an extra 1,500m2 to accommodate the increasing demand for exhibition space..
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Toy News Online -- Iron Man toys, figures and costumes are off to a flying start. Disney says the official products are already proving a hit in Disney Stores.
Kids can learn the moves of Iron Man by attending the Marvel Training Academy in Disney Stores, or join the Marvel Super Hero Takeover running on Disney’s Club Penguin virtual world.
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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 Santa Jim of RI!
I've known Santa Jim Clarke for quite some time now. Jim is a fellow Rhode Islander. He and Santa George were the first two Santas I ever met other than my grandfather.
Jim was one of our first Santas to join ClausNet. For a while there, it was just Jim, George, and myself on ClausNet! But it didn't take long before the site started to take off.
Jim usually gets to one of our Northeast Santas meetings each year and he always has some wonderful stories to relate. Not surprisingly, he has a few in this interview.
We caught up with Santa Jim 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!
One Christmas Eve many years ago, I received a request to perform my magic show at a family home in Kalihi, here in Hawaii. A little girl there was very ill with cancer and they wanted to make this Christmas special for her.
December is my busiest month and I was tired from working overtime. Even so, her Uncle was persistent and phoned me day after day. I offered them an affordable price and tried to figure out how to present a portable version of my stage show.
When I got there, no one was ready ("local time" the Uncle told me), there were 9 children and adults coming. The more I thought about it, the more I tried to figure a way to do as much of my show in this small downstairs room as I could. Why not, it was Christmas Eve.
My screens were brought in and set up. It was very tight. The people came in with a beautiful little 9 year old girl, not even in a real wheelchair, just a regular wooden chair with caster wheels attached. Bald from Chemotherapy and with an oxygen tube to help her breath.
Her eyes were very pretty, wide and attentive. She seemed as excited as the other children though less active. I did my regular show with energy and a smile on my face though inside my heart was sinking. I was just wishing there was something more I could do. I felt like I was on autopilot, part of me standing back and watching. I did all the jokes and bits of business that make people laugh that I'd learned over my lifetime.
These people needed joy. They responded heartily and with tremendous warmth. For a moment everyday reality was less important, (that is the gift of the entertainer I guess.) For once, I was not just "Happy to get everything to work," but very humbled.
Afterwards as they went to food and conversation, I packed everything away to get back and close down the house for my folks who had their own physical issues to deal with. Here it was Christmas Eve and I was surrounded by mortality, yet I think God let me share what I could do and showed me sometimes it really makes a difference.
I could have used the money I suppose, but they certainly needed it more. The last gift was pressing the $100 in loose bills back into the smiling Uncles' hand and saying "That's ok, I have nieces...Merry Christmas." His face lit up and he said "Oh! An honest man!" and went to tell his incredulous relatives.
Maybe to him it seemed like a minor miracle. I had to turn away and leave quickly so he wouldn't see the tears in my eyes. Seeing how you can do something that counts, isn't that the best gift someone can get? For me, it was the best Christmas gift I can remember.
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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.
With recent passing aways of some Santa's it come to me do we have anyone that we pass along our knowledge or our Santa "stuff" and suits?
After all we spend so much time and money in some cases on our Santa persona it would be a shame to have our suits and all just hang in a closet and waist way.
For me I am on of the lucky ones who has a son that I could pass along my "stuff". I use the word could assuming he would have the calling in his heart to be a second generation Santa. He is only six years old right now so he is a long way from taking over should he want to.
First step will be an elf some time down the road. But should he not get the calling do I find someone to pass along to or does the family sale the items I have acquired over to year to a stranger somewhere who hopes that they would use it wisely?
So now the question IS, should we start a "connection group" of sorts to pass our goods along to so that we know we pass it along to a Santa with the true calling.
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By Santa Lou Knezevich
The question I have been asked many times is; “what should I wear for a Breakfast with Santa” or Christmas in July, a parade, or a summer benefit? All of these venues pose some special considerations. You may however, be surprised to know how many items of apparel are already in your Santa wardrobe.
The traditional Santa Costume may be always used however, for some of the events a more leisurely look is more comfortable and lends itself to the occasion. Let’s explore some costuming ideas. One of the easiest things to do is to use your Santa Suit trousers with your boot cuffs and tuck them in your boots. This quickly gives you a “Santa look” and apparel to customize your costume.
Most Santa Suit trousers don’t have belt hoops so if you’re going to keep your pants up, invest in some red or festive holiday suspenders. My suggestion is to buy from a costume shop or have a seamstress make you a puffy sleeved shirt. This style shirt was worn by pirates and renaissance men. It’s also referred to as a poet’s shirt. I prefer white shirts as they go well with all color combinations. Top off your look by wearing your Santa hat and be sure to wear your gloves.
You may build upon this look by adding a vest. Patterns for vests are readily available on line or perhaps a seamstress would be of help. Stores such as JoAnn’s and Hancock Fabric carry all kinds of holiday fabric which you may wish to have made into a vest. I’ve also seen some very stunning Brocade fabric made into a vest. There are many possibilities for style, fabric and trims to make your vest eye catching.
In March I was asked to attend a “No more Chemo” party for a young man who also had “Down’s Syndrome.” I didn’t feel it appropriate to wear my Santa Suit so I put together a casual costume. I wore one of my vests over a white puffy shirt which also sported a “Jabot.”
I have a red velvet Santa vest and matching trousers. The vest is a bit tight so I used the trousers along with white cuffs tucked into my boots. I topped it off by wearing a traditional Santa hat. I think for this time of year the look was appropriate and worked well in a casual setting.
If you have leggings or are about to purchase enactors leggings you will be able to use them as a “workshop” look. I bought a pair from Jas. Townsend and Son, Inc., (green) and a seamstress made a red pair for me. I wear a black low quarter shoes with gold “Santa” buckles plus striped red or green stockings purchased from the soccer supply store.
I can wear different vests with these leggings to give a different appearance. This is a very comfortable look for me and I receive many compliments on the outfit. On occasion I also wear a Red Apron upon which is embroidered “Santas Workshop.” This outfit works very well for “Breakfast with Santa.”
I appeared in a very large July 4th Parade in my hometown here in Georgia. The 4th of July in Georgia is always a scorcher! The parade I appeared in is one of the largest in the country and it meant being in the sun for quite awhile. I came up with some item’s that made life a bit more bearable. I bought a pair of “Dickies” Red Workman’s shorts and wore my white puffy sleeved shirt.
Robbie Hite, a local seamstress made a vest for me out of patriotic red, white and blue flag fabric. I knew my Santa hat would be way too hot so I used a straw hat I had. I exchanged the hat band with some white faux fur and a pom, pom over the brim attached to some light cord. The shorts were comfortable and I wore Red and White knee high soccer socks with my Santa shoes. I looked very patriotic sitting on a crocheted American Flag atop the trunk of a vintage Corvette.
My red shorts and a colorful vest of Santa Faces fabric came in handy for appearing at a golf tournament benefit. I also used the straw hat I had made which was great blocking the sun and keeping my head cool. I haven’t had the opportunity to appear at a water park but Santas I have seen wear a Hawaiian shirt and red or colorful swim shorts. Costuming possibilities are only limited by your imagination!
It is my hope many of you will think of expanding your Santa performances at functions throughout the year. A little bit of thought about the look you want to achieve and contacting the proper people may just get you into the parade or venue you want. Be creative but; by all means have fun.
For more information on the Legendary Santa Mentoring Program, please contact Santa Lou Knezevich.
Santa Lou Knezevich
Creator Legendary Santas Mentoring Program
Each month we feature an inductee of the Santa Claus Hall of Fame. This month we honor Mary Ida Doan.
It is said that behind every great man is a great woman. Truly, behind Santa is Mrs. Claus.
For Charter Hall of Fame member the late Nate Doan that woman was his wife, Mary Ida Doan.
For over 50 years she has been bringing Mrs. Claus to life. With an unstoppable Christmas Spirit and a deep passion to help others she has made her mark as one of the leading Mrs. Clauses in the world.
The Doans were the first couple to graduate from the Charles W. Howard Santa School in Albion, New York. Together they would work nearly 380 events every Christmas season.
Mary Ida is a co-founder of the Nate and Mary Ida Doan Santa House in Bay City where thousands visit each season to talk with Santa and Mrs. Claus.
Even today she continues to make the hearts of children of all ages happy and is fully deserving of her title Michigan’s Mrs. Santa Claus.
Mary Ida Doan
Michigan’s Mrs. Claus??
1938 - Current
Want to learn more? Check out the following: