Since this is the June newsletter and June is the month we celebrate Father's Day, I thought I would share this quote from Mark Twain:
"When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years."
As the Dad of two teenagers, I certainly hope this is true!
Normally June is a slow month here on ClausNet. But we have been experiencing a record number of registrations!
We can hardly keep up with all the registration requests! In fact, we're hiring! We're looking for a few good elves to help out around the site. Interested? Send me a message for details.
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!
Variety -- French toon studio Gaumont-Alphanim is prepping "Santa's Apprentice 2," a sequel to its successful 2010 feature that plays in competition at the Annecy Animated Film Festival this week.
The sequel, which reunites helmer Luc Vinciguerra and scribe Alexandre Reverend, is skedded for delivery at Christmas 2012.
The original centered on Nicholas, an Australian boy chosen by Santa Claus to be his successor.
"Santa's Apprentice 2" sees Nicholas in charge of Santa's toy factory. But he learns there's a whole lot more responsibilities than he imagined.
" 'Santa's Apprentice 2' is really about learning to be yourself and dealing with things in your own way and rediscovering the magic of Christmas," Heath Kenny, Gaumont-Alphanim creative director, said at Annecy.
Read More »
CD989FM.com -- Planning has begun for Simcoe Christmas Panorama and a few different ideas were brought forward at the Annual General Meeting.
Executive President of the Simcoe Christmas Panorama, Bryan Zilkey says they are working on a number of different ideas for this year including a couple ways that high school students can get involved.
Zilkey says one idea they want to introduce is a design competition to build displays for the Panorama and they will also need help this summer.
Read More »
ToyNews -- Activision, the publisher of games such as Call of Duty, has announced a new IP ? Wappy Dog. Developed by Sega Toys, Wappy Dog is a robotic toy that communicates with a DS gaming console.
It marks Activision's second foray into the toy sector following the announcement of Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure in February.
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ToyNews -- Bluw toys will roll-out the popular boys licence alongside the new Transformers range.
The initial line-up includes Ben and aliens Eggmungosaur, Eggrath and Ultimate Big Egg Chill.
?Being able to associate your products with these well established licenses is like getting a seal of a approval for your toys and allows you to get a step closer to achieving your targets, and more,? says Bluw?s creative director Brian Turner.
Read More »
ToyNews -- VTech?s full-year financial report shows sales of $1.71 billion and net profits of $333 million.
The Hong Kong technology firm?s electronic learning range also grew in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.
Revenue from electronic learning in Europe was $274 million, a 13.4 per cent increase, with VTech products being most popular in the UK and France.
Read More »
ToyNews -- The Cars 2 festivities will kick-off in the US on June 1st and will open internationally with the release of the Disney-Pixar sequel in each country.
As in the film, the racetracks will invite children to ?Race Around the World?, visiting locations like London, Paris and Tokyo.
The retailer will offer money-off deals and exclusive product lines, aiming to make itself the ?ultimate destination? for Cars 2 fans, carrying the ?broadest and most differentiated selection of toys.?
Read More »
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 John in WV!
I am happy to announce that our June 2011 ClausNet Featured Member of the Month is Santa John in WV!
Santa John joined us back in 2008 and has been a key contributor to ClausNet ever since! One of the great things about doing these interviews is learning more about each member and how much many of us have in common with one another. Santa John started off playing Santa Claus like a few of us at an early age -- myself included!
Among Santa John's many talents, he plays guitar, banjo, Autoharp, base, and lap dulcimer. I had to look that last one up -- and I was a music major! I interviewed Santa John a few weeks ago. 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!
Posted by Kevin Haislip
This afternoon, about a dozen of us Santas from Texas left for Joplin, MO to take up 2 trailers full plus RV's and pickups full of toys. They will be passed out to the children in Oklahoma City and Joplin whose families were devastated by the recent tornados. We took up about 1000 toys plus about 10 cases of children's books and evangelistic booklets as well. We may well run out.
This whole effort has grown a great deal from an idea last week, and most of us (probably all of us) want to see this as a regular effort of Santas here in Texas. As natural disasters occur in our region, we want to be prepared to take caravans to these locales to bless the children and families. This is an effort that is part of our 'Lone Star Santa' organization here in Texas. It will mean that we will need to begin toy drives immediately on our return.
The reason I bring this up here is two-fold. First and most important, it is an effort that completely is in character with Santa. It is who we are that we look out after the needs of others and try to bless them in as many ways as we can. It is almost more important for us to do these kind of things as it is for the children and families that will be blessed by it.
Second, there is something to be said for forward thinking. We got going on this quite late and still came up with about 1000 gifts plus books and things. But with more planning and preparation, we will be able to better meet and bless others. I don't know how many states and regions have regional Santa groups, but this is something that has been great fun for all of us.
We have learned some important short cuts and resources that I will attempt to write up and provide to anyone who wants to run with this in their own area.
This is Christmas all year around! Merry Christmas!
"Consider others above yourself!"
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By Santa Lou
I never thought too much about my family health history until recently. It all started when I had acute appendicitis just as the Santa Season was about to start. It wasn?t fun and I spent six days in the hospital recuperating.
One day before being discharged I awoke to a young Doctor by my bedside who wanted to talk to me. He told me not to be alarmed but the CT Scans before my surgery had disclosed some growths on my kidneys which were baffling him and his colleagues. He was quick to say it wasn?t cancerous but he would like to take more comprehensive scans. Subsequent CT Scans since my operation have not revealed any activity of these growths and I will continue to be monitored on a regular basis.
My youngest son is in his late thirties and developed a Kidney Stone. While his Doctor was reviewing his Scan he noticed some growths on my Son?s Kidneys. My Son?s Wife is a nurse and hearing we both had growths on the Kidneys started her connecting the dots on the Family Health Tree. We don?t have a solution why the growths appeared but we have started a record which may become invaluable in the future for other family members. My personal situation led me to investigate the idea of a Family Health History and the article which follows is provided by the Center for Disease Control.
Family members share genes, behaviors, lifestyles, and environments that together may influence their health and their risk of chronic disease. Most people have a family health history of some chronic diseases (e.g., cancer, coronary heart disease, and diabetes) and health conditions (e.g., high blood pressure and hypercholesterolemia). People who have a close family member with a chronic disease may have a higher risk of developing that disease than those without such a family member.
Family health history is a written or graphic record of the diseases and health conditions present in your family. A useful family health history shows three generations of your biological relatives, the age at diagnosis, and the age and cause of death of deceased family members.
Family health history is a useful tool for understanding health risks and preventing disease in individuals and their close relatives. Some people may know a lot about their family health history or only a little. It is helpful to talk with family members about your health history, write this information down, and update it from time to time. This way family members will have organized and accurate information ready to share with their health care provider.
Family health history information may help health care providers determine which tests and screenings are recommended to help family members know their health risk.
To help individuals collect and organize their family history information, CDC?s Office of Public Health Genomics collaborated with the U.S. Surgeon General and other federal agencies to develop a Web-based tool called, ?My Family Health Portrait.? You may download the form by going to www.CDC.gov Enter, My Family Health Portrait in the search box which will put you at the site to download the information.
Santa America is looking for Santa?s to be Calendar Art.
Are you a Santa who has shed 15, 30, 70 or more pounds? Do you have a before and After picture? Would you pose for a Santa Calendar promoting good health habits.
We want to have your picture as one of our Santa Models who in the interest of good health have shed a few pounds. We would like one picture of you ?before? and one picture ?after?
For consenting to have your pictures As part of our calendar you will receive a quantity of calendars for family and friends.
The Calendars will be sold as a fund raiser with the proceeds going to Santa America, Inc. Participating in the Calendar Art will enable Santa America, Inc to continue its work with Children?s Hospice Care, visits to Autistic Children, programs for the families of returning service personal and addressing children?s health needs.
Please contact me at:
Santa Lou (firstname.lastname@example.org)
National Director, Santa?s Health Programs
In the heart of Downtown Brooklyn, across the street from the renovated headquarters of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, there stands MetroTech Center, headquarters of the New York City Fire Department.
MetroTech is also home to what used to be known as the Brooklyn Union Gas Company. There was a time, you see, when Brooklyn Union shared a very special holiday gift with the people it served. They were called the Brooklyn Union Festival Chorus. They were not your average choir from Brooklyn.
Each and every member of the Chorus was also an employee of the company. They had cemented their reputation by singing for public officials on both local and national levels. But each year, just before Christmas, the Brooklyn Union Festival Chorus made the lobby of their headquarters building their own, by staging three different sets of concerts, one for the morning, one for the early afternoon, and the third for the 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. visitors, every day, five days a week, right up to Christmas Eve.
These concerts were special because local schools from all across Brooklyn would spend time in the lobby, listening to Skip, the Chorus' energetic music director, leading his singers in traditional carols and pop-style arrangements of holiday favorites. Though all they had to accompany them were a simple piano and drum set, the Chorus never failed to enchant the visitors.
The 3 to 5 concerts were of extremely special significance, because they culminated in a visit from Santa Claus and his faithful Elf. I should know. For several years, I attended these concerts --- partly to listen to the Chorus sing, and especially to visit Santa and his Elf. They, too, worked for Brooklyn Union: Mike portrayed Santa; Anna dressed up in the Elf costume, complete with pointy ears (and no, you were not allowed to touch those pointy ears!).
For two hours after the Chorus' last set of the day, Mike and Anna had the Brooklyn Union lobby all to themselves! Mike would sit on Santa's throne, ringing his trusty set of jingle bells, while Anna would hand out candy canes from a huge glass jar. And of course, photos were more than welcome --- they were encouraged! As time wore on, Mike and Anna and the Festival Chorus kept the magic coming. Even when Brooklyn Union changed its name to KeySpan, everybody continued to look forward to those magical December afternoons, when the now KeySpan Festival Chorus made their lobby come to life for the season!
Post-9/11, though, things started changing. Budget cuts forced the Festival Chorus to limit their annual holiday performances to a single week during December (they did, happily, retain the five-day-a-week format). And Mike and Anna as Santa and his Elf always made the visitors welcome and kept everyone laughing.
Alas, after the company once again changed its name --- this time to National Grid --- nothing more was heard of the Festival Chorus. Last I heard, Mike and Anna were no longer employed by the company. As for the singers themselves, I haven't been able to determine their status for quite some time now.
There's a lesson to be learned from this saga: Take pride in the Santa Claus that you grew up with, kids. The memories will last forever; staying in touch with your fellow Kringle --- well, let's just say you can sometimes, but not necessarily forever
Read more »
Each month we feature an inductee of the Santa Claus Hall of Fame. This month we profile Robert George
Robert George was Santa Claus to six U.S. Presidents and his year-round Christmas display charmed thousands of disadvantaged and disabled children at his home in Southern California.
George started life as a barber from Columbus, Nebraska. He started to play Santa in 1949 to disadvantaged and needy children. After retiring from cutting hair, he moved to Los Angeles in 1962 where he bought a home and decorated it as a permanent display called ?Santa?s Dreamland.?
He became the nations official Santa Claus in 1956 for President Dwight D. Eisenhower. He subsequently accepted similar invitations from Presidents John F. Kennedy, Richard M. Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush.
A movie based loosely on George?s life called ?A Different Kind of Christmas? aired on the Lifetime Channel in 1997
"Santa is for everyone. He?s for your grandmother; he?s for a little two year old. He?s innocence, he?s beautiful and he has human emotion. Santa is not God, but is a man made symbol for the Christmas Spirit. Most importantly Santa exists for all of us that look for him in our hearts and souls."
May 18, 1924 - July 1, 1998
Want to learn more? Check out the following: