Well, it's the first week of June 2010 and here in New England the weather has been absolutely beautiful! Not too hot. Not too cool and just enough rain to keep me from turning on my sprinklers!
Normally June is a slow month for us on ClausNet. But we have actually seen a steady increase in visitor traffic and registration requests on ClausNet. And I am happy to announce that we had our 900th new member register this month!
We also had some exciting news regarding the Santa Claus Oath! Last month we announced that the Santa Claus Oath original signing ceremonies will officially come to a close. There will be three officially sanctioned Closing Santa Claus Oath Ceremonies in July, September, and November. For more information on how you can add your signature to the Santa Claus Oath book, visit ClausNet.com.
We hope you enjoy this month's edition of the ClausNet Gazette! As always, if you have a product or a story that you would like to share with your fellow members, please feel free to contact us!
Courier News -- The rides are back at Santa's Village in East Dundee. But not the Snowball, the Himalayas or the carousel with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer bobbing among the horses.
Instead, earlier this month, there was a Ferris wheel, some teacups and the Screamer in the parking lot.
There also is a flea market. And teams are playing in the Polar Dome, now the United Sports Arena. It's home to the Lake County Tsunami -- a semi-pro soccer team -- and to a new restaurant.
"One by one, we're kind of reopening things," said Patrick O'Connor of property owner Sterling Bay Companies LLC..
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BlueRidgeNow.com -- It rained and it poured Friday afternoon, but that didn't stop 11-year-old Daniella Correa-Zamudio at Camp Merry Times from zipping across the lake on a zip wire.
?It was scary,? the Waynesville girl said, still smiling in the cafeteria at Camp Ton-A-Wandah, where Merry Times is held every May.
Correa-Zamudio has cancer, and like the other 69 children with serious medical problems, she spends four days at Camp Ton-A-Wandah trying out fishing, canoeing, arts and crafts, archery, golf, tennis, horseback riding and more.
This is Correa-Zamudio's first visit to Merry Times, and she is looking forward to her favorite activity, canoeing, and plans to play games all weekend and meet new friends.
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WWAYTV3.com -- With Memorial Day two weeks away you probably don't expect to see Santa Claus walking around, but St. Nick made an appearance in Downtown Wilmington for the opening of a new Christmas-themed store.
Jingle Bells on Market Street sells everything Christmas, from ornaments to toys and even surf Santas. The owners of Jingle Bells say though the economy is tough right now, they believe opening a new store is the way to get the ball rolling once again.
"I think if you can open a store now to help the economy, I think it's the perfect time to do it," Ann Endres said. "We see a lot of store closings, not a lot of store openings, but in this area, in the downtown historic area, right now there are a lot of store openings, and that makes it very exciting."
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DefendChristmas.com -- It is becoming more and more a common practice for a school district to change the word ?Christmas? to ?Winter? on calendars.
Even though the holiday is federally recognized, school boards cite political sensitivity while never exposing just who is offended by the use of the word Christmas.
The latest to do so is a school district in Tewksbury, a community near Boston. Officials insist it is not a case of political correctness run amok. It is a simple name change in the Tewksbury school calendar from ?Christmas vacation? to ?winter vacation.?
Some residents see it differently.
?It is a way to be more inclusive and more reflective of 2010, where you have so many people from so many walks of life who don?t necessarily observe Christmas,? said former School Committee member Richard O?Neill, who in March brought forward the change, which was approved unanimously.
?There was a brief discussion about changing the identification. Political correctness had nothing to do with it.? Superintendent of Schools Christine McGrath said it was a simple matter of giving the traditional holiday break a more generic designation, just like February vacation or April vacation.
?The School Committee thought it was a bit more sensitive to the diverse needs and cultural traditions of our community,? McGrath said.
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WFSB.com -- Anyone willing to dish out some money so that their teddy bear can go on a vacation on their own?
Teddy Tours Lapland, a Finnish company, is offering to bring anybody?s teddy bear for a trip to Finland?s northern tourist spots. The trips cost 110 to 170 Euros (140 to 200 USD).
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MerryChristmasRadio.com -- One of the best selling female groups of all time, Wilson Phillips is back together and releasing their first ever Christmas album this October 2010 on Sony MASTERWORKS / DRW Entertainment.
The award-winning trio consisting of Chynna Phillips, Carnie Wilson and Wendy Wilson will be reuniting with their original music producer Glen Ballard on this Christmas-themed album, kicking-off the pop group?s overall return.
Best known for co-writing Michael Jackson?s hit single Man in the Mirror and producing Alanis Morissette?s Jagged Little Pill, Glen Ballard was also the main producer behind Wilson Phillips? self-titled 1990 debut album, which sold over 10 million copies worldwide and included three #1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 (?Hold On,? ?Release Me,? and ?You?re in Love?).
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PlayThings.com -- The Jim Henson Company has announced that several new licensees have boarded the ?Dinosaur Train? over the past year, bringing the total number of licensing partners to 23 in the United States.
Most recently joining the Dinosaur Train domestic partner line-up in 2010 are DecoPac for cake toppers; Anagram for balloons; Cranston for fabric; Kidz World Inc. for upholstered furniture; Pacific Play Tents for tents, slumber bags and folding animal chairs; Publications International for sound books and look and find books, and VM Global Manufacturing for scooters, skates and bikes.
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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 Featured Member of the Month, we interview the candidate and post the interview here. This is a great way to get to know your fellow ClausNet members!
This month our featured ClausNet Member is Santa Dennis Blanden!
Dennis joined our merry group back in October 2008. He has been a key contributor to ClausNet ever since. I met Dennis recently at the 2010 Northeast Santas Get Together. Dennis drove all the way from Ohio!
I spoke with Dennis a few days ago. Here?s what he had to say...
Read the entire interview »
Visit our Featured Members of the Month section for past members!
I belong to Facebook. Mostly, so I can connect with old friends and stay in touch with them. It has proven to be a valuable resource in that area despite the bad press it has gotten recently. The games and all the applications are fine for some, but they're just not my cup of tea. Generally I will scan over Facebook once or twice a day for about 10 minutes each visit. Today I saw a very disturbing entry by one who poses as Santa Claus year around.
This is not the first time I've seen a disturbing entry by a portrayer of Santa on Facebook and this particular fellow isn't the first one that has posted such garbage. His entry on Facebook was quite distasteful, sexual in content, and right next to the person that wrote it was his smiling face in a photo wearing a Santa Suit.
This Santa was called to task, privately and mildly for posting such nonsense in the first place but much less while wearing his Santa Suit to which he replied that I needed to "lighten up".
Gentlemen, I know that the majority of you would never dream of doing such a thing, especially you older, Seasoned Santas, but we seem to have a new breed of Santa out there that seems to think it's ok to 'lighten up' and 'anything goes', even when they're wearing their Santa Suits.
What they don't seem to understand, or perhaps haven't thought about are the multitude of children that read Facebook. Imagine what they think when they see 'Santa' saying such distasteful things? It makes my heart hurt.
Over the last couple of decades, we've seen the ever increasing rapid descent of morality and all things good and decent in our Country and it's like an out of control freight train, I'm afraid. Now we see "Santa" on Facebook making distasteful jokes, sexual in nature and he tells me to 'lighten up?' I think not!
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Santa is ?the guardian of childhood dreams.?- You are the guardian of Santa. One of the most persuasive attributes you have as a real bearded Santa is your beard! You need to take care of that white beard as it has elevated your credibility.
My name is Deborah Beeson. I have been a hairdresser for 20 years and a ?Santa? hairdresser since 2002.
Your beard is the coveted identifier! Shampoo your beard daily. The hairs hold dirt, odors and perspiration. Liquids dripped form various drinks and a vast array of crumbs. There is a 75% chance that you will find a chocolate chip in there too! Use a mild shampoo and work your beard and mustache in circles. This will help to clean the skin under the beard. Shampoo the beard and mustache thoroughly. Rinse well.
Condition the beard and mustache. Soap curds can remain behind even after rinsing away the shampoo. This can cause the skin to dry and become itchy and flakey. A conditioner will help to rinse soap curds from the hair and skin under the beard. Apply as directed and rinse thoroughly.
Towel-dry your beard as soon as you get out of the shower. Do not scrub or ruffle the beard as this can irritate the face and cause tangles or damage to the beard. Dry your beard quickly but gently. Moisture is drawn out of the skin as water evaporates. This results in unwanted dry skin. For this reason, I recommend using a leave-in conditioner that is good for the hair and skin.
A wild unruly beard takes no effort and can leave a permanent impression of a scruffy old man. You need a wide tooth comb to help keep your beard tangle free. Good sharp scissors are a must if you are going to trim your beard and mustache at home.
Always trim your beard when it is dry. Wet hair stretches and your beard will appear longer. For the Santa that trims their own beard and mustache it is imperative to have someone else check to see that you are even. This is also a good idea for any area that you might shave. You use one hand and have to cross over to reach the opposite side which can throw off your symmetry. This detail is as important as the hem of coat being even!
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Each month we feature a quote from a famous Santa Claus of the past. This month's quote comes to us from James D. "Jimmy" Rielly.
Mr. Rielly began is Santa Claus career in 1928 at the age of 20.
Over his 60 plus years portraying Santa Claus, Jim Rielly was featured in more than 100 newspapers and appeared on several national television shows.
He received letters of commendation from two US Presidents; President Dwight D. Eisenhower and President Richard M. Nixon.
Jim Rielly also received multiple letters from His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, thanking him for his work with children and the needy.
In 1979 Mr. Rielly's work as Santa Claus was honored in the United States Senate when his name was recorded in the Senate Congressional Record as "James D. Rielly ? A Truly Remarkable Santa Claus From Rhode Island".
"I am not a wealthy man by no means. But I love doing Santa Claus and I'll go anywhere the children need me. This is what I can give to the children."
James D. Rielly
May 1, 1908 - November 26, 1991
Want to learn more? Check out the following: