Welcome to the June issue of the ClausNet Gazette and Happy Father's Day to all you Dads and Grandads!
Well the ClausNet community continues to grow. This month we passed a major milestone on ClausNet -- 200,000 total posts!
Reading through a few past issues of this newsletter, I noticed in the June 2009 issue there were 29 members celebrating a birthday in June. In this issue, we have 75 members listed!
We also added a new feature to ClausNet. Actually it's a old feature that we brought back. Back by popular demand is the ClausNet Arcade! Long time ClausNet members will find their favorite games and several new ones. If there is a game you would like us to add, just let me know. We'll do our best to get it added to the Arcade!
Also be sure to check out our Christmas Radio player. Listen to Christmas music and replays of the Christmas Podcasts 24-hours a day! If you listen long enough you may hear a shout-out to you or your fellow ClausNet members!
Just a reminder, we are still looking for a help around the site. If you like to write, have a nose for news, or fancy yourself an artist, we want to talk to you! We also have a couple of special projects we'd like to get off the ground. If you are interested, please contact me.
As always, please feel free to contact us with your comments, suggestions, or even gripes! We don't mind. :)
The Commercial Appeal -- Many families host reunions during the summer months, but few families can boast that they have "Christmas in July." But for the family of Donna Christmas, those words hold true. The second "Christmas in July" family reunion will be held in Santa Claus, Ind., on July 21.
Donna Christmas explains, "The first Christmas in July Family Reunion was held on July 22 and 23, 2011, in Warrenton, N.C.
The town of Warrenton was selected as the location for the reunion because the town was laid out by surveyor William Christmas in July of 1779. Christmas was also hired by Daniel Boone to lay out Boonesborough, Ky."
Read More »
Broadway.com -- A musical adaptation of the hit holiday movie A Christmas Story will open on Broadway this fall.
Featuring a book by Joseph Robinette and score by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, A Christmas Story will begin performances November 6 and play a limited engagement through December 30 at a Broadway theatre to be announced.
Directed by John Rando, the production will open officially on November 19. No casting has been announced.
Based on the classic 1983 film of the same name, A Christmas Story follows Ralphie, a boy who has only one wish for Christmas: a Red Ryder BB gun. As Ralphie tries to obtain his dream gift, he encounters a wacky leg lamp, outrageous pink bunny pajamas, a mean-spirited department store Santa, a freezing flagpole and more.
The production played a five-city tour with during the 2011 holiday season.
Read More »
TheHotToys.com -- If you are looking for the best toys on the market in 2012, then the Toy of the Year categories are the place to go. Categories of the year?s Top Toys range from best overall to age-appropriate toys.
You?ll also find the best toys by gender and the greatest toys for special purposes, including educational toys and outdoor items.
Choosing the best toys from any of these categories assures you?ll pick toys that have withstood the rigors of shoppers worldwide.
Boy Toy of the Year
Hot Wheels Wall Tracks All-In-One Track Pack If you are looking for the ultimate in Hot Wheels racing tracks, the Wall Tracks All-In-One Track Pack is ideal for you. Turn tricks, make flips, and zoom at top speed around this dizzying race track, which has taken Hot Wheels car racing to a new height.
Girl Toy of the Year
Cute and cuddly, what?s not to love about the FIJIT Friends Willa? Every girl wants to snuggle and squeeze the plush skin of the Fijit, and when they do, they are in for a real treat. The Fijit Willa features tactile skin that responds to touch through lifelike movements and voice recognition. Willa can even speak!
Activity Toy of the Year
A part of the LEGO Ninjago collection, the LEGO Ninjago Fire Temple set is one of the most interactive from the Spinjitzu series. Featuring 7 mini figures including Spinjitzu Master Sensei Wu, Nya, Kai, Zane, Lord Garmadon, Kruncha, and Samukai, you?ll have plenty of characters for battles.
Read More »
ToyNews Online -- With Explorer software sales tripling over the year to date, LeapFrog UK MD Chris Spalding has told ToyNews that he wants to boost the offering even further in 2012.
The electronic learning specialist is set to announce its next big hardware launch shortly and wants a big software range to match.
Read More »
ToyNews Online -- A new range of toys and merchandise based on the upcoming Disney Pixar film Brave has been revealed.
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 SCSanta!
I am happy to announce our ClausNet Featured Member of the Month for June 2012 is SCSanta!
SCSanta aka Patrick joined us back in January of 2010. Since joining ClausNet, Patrick has been a key contributor to our site.
Patrick has been portraying Santa Claus for 30 years. Perhaps it?s not surprising then that he was born adjacent to a reindeer farm!
We caught up with Patrick 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!
As I sit and ponder this holiday of Christmas and what it means, my mind often returns to the very root of what it is all about - love. I recall that that first Christmas brought the greatest gift of love ever given, the only Son of God who would later die on the cross for the wrongs of all mankind now and forever.
I like to think of the love of a mother, Mary, as she wrapped her new born in swaddling clothes. I like to think that she was overfilled with pride as the shepherds came to see her child, and then seeing that pride overfilled and mixed with wonderment as the Magi came with their gifts.
Then my mind moves forward about thirty-three years to a time when that same baby, now a man, hung on that cross and died to raise again the third day. No greater love has there ever been nor will there ever be again. Then, along the same theme of love, I recall a man about three centuries later who loved his fellow man enough to give secretly to take care of their needs. This man suffered persecution in his lifetime for his personal belief and ministry to the cause of that Savior. But he overcame his obstacles by simply giving. What an example of love for all of us was that man, Nicholas.
Today, both events are wrapped each year into one package as Santa Claus delivers gifts to the children of the World each and every Christmas. And why does he do this? Because of love, the same timeless message that started it all.
We in this Santa Claus community, or Christmas Industry, have joined into something that we often do not realize is greater than ourselves. We are the ones who bare the example, ideals, and principles of Santa Claus to the entire World, and even though we only seem to do it for a short time each year we really do it all the time. The children of all ages are our main focus, but there are others that we often forget. They are the ones who do the same thing that we do - the brothers and sisters of the red suit.
You may think that this is not true, but there is too much evidence. When we allow our egos and personal arrogance to get in front of an encouraging word to a brother or sister who might really need it, we are ignoring the very fabric of what it means to be Santa. We are forgetting love which is the very basis for what we do.
When you love your fellows it seems that the whole mind set changes. Instead of the thought of someone stealing another's high dollar appearance one can turn it around to being that the children in that area will receive the love from Santa that they deserve. Love, understanding, compassion, and pride in our collective selves is what will make us better Santas - brotherhood.
When I think of the Santa Claus Hall of Fame I see the men and why they are truly deserving of the honor of being there. They were the best Santas they could and can be. Why are they? Because they made it their legacy and did their utmost to share and spread love. They should be inspirations to all of us to do the same. Yes, they did some awesome things in the suit. But when you learn to truly be Santa by learning to first and foremost love others including your brethren, all of the other things will instantly follow along.
All the success that a Santa can have is not genuine unless there is true love of others. As we walk down this road of life, occasionally taking the ol' sleigh for a spin, let us try with our utmost sincerity to just be Santa and to love one another.
We are a family after all, and even though a family has ups and downs they come out on top. With love in our minds and hearts, may the Santa family always share the true Spirit of Christmas with both the children of the World. But may we always share that same Spirit of Love with our peers - our Claus Family.
Remember these words. It is not the fancy costume, the real or traditional beard, the fraternal organizations, the events, or the most extensive resume that makes the Santa. It is the heart. Share it.
A week before Christmas. Now that?s been said. Here I am in a hospital bed.
I?d rather be with my friends and family so dear it ain?t gonna happen, I ?m stuck right here.
I wonder what to do to cheer myself up. Nothing to drink but water in a cup. Then all the sudden to my surprise Ole santa stood there right before my eyes.
He said Ho! Ho! Ho! And then with a grin handed out gifts not all from him. It wasn?t not much just a small token. And a smile from him made my christmas spirit unbroken.
Dog tags on his neck I soon knew he was a brother. We shared stories and scars. We hugged each other.
Although his visit was short a minute or three. He had more veterans he wanted to see. He thanked me for my service. He made me feel proud.
Merry christmas soldier he hollowed out loud. As fast as he came he then disappeared. I am grateful to my brother in the snowy white beard.
?I was not forgotten?
By Santa Lou Knezevich
The elementary school I pass by posts a saying of the month on their announcement marquee. Last month it inspired me to write an article and again this month.
School is out for the summer and I am going to miss my saying of the month. Driving by this month they had posted a new word which is ?Commitment.? I couldn?t get this word out of my mind and I found it popping up in so much of my life. I thought about the commitment our young men and women are making far from home in some very dangerous conditions. They made a huge commitment which for some has been the sacrifice of their lies for our freedom. Think about that.
I just had a wedding anniversary and it made me think about the commitment of marriage. We have been married over 40 years and I think it?s safe to say we have a commitment to each other.
Whenever I see the statistics of failed marriages I know the commitments made by long lasting partner?s takes effort and undeniable love. I also thought about the commitment we make when we put on the ?Red Suit? and become Santa Claus to adoring children. Each of us commits to playing a role acceptable to those who have in their minds the image of Santa.
Our commitment is rewarding to the soul especially when we see in a child?s eyes the wonderment of the Christmas Spirit. There is a charity where the words Love, Hope and Joy are the commitments to providing the Christmas Magic for children who are ill, in stressful circumstances, autistic, terminally ill, displaced by disaster plus returning veterans and their families. Santa America is that charity.
Santa America is looking for a few good Santas to be committed to providing, Love, Hope and Joy within the various programs we offer. Many Santas feel we are only involved with hospice work. Hospice work is a very important part of work but it is not something for every Santa.
We offer and we are looking for volunteers to deliver toys for children displaced or affected by natural disasters such as tornado victims.
We provide Santa visits to military personnel and their families. We provide Santa visits to autistic children who may need special ?one on one time? with Santa These are just a few of the programs we offer and we need volunteers in every state so we may truly bring Love, Hope and Joy to each hand we touch. Won?t you make a commitment and contact Santa Bob Elkin? We need you!
For more information contact:
Santa Bob Elkin
Vice President Santa Relations
Vice President Disaster Relief for Children
Each month we feature an inductee of the Santa Claus Hall of Fame. This month we honor Brady White.
The New York Times once called Brady White ?the Ultimate Santa.? White is one of the World?s top and most sought after Santas, portraying the Jolly Old Elf in films, television, commercials, print advertisements and live appearances. He has truly experienced one of the most spectacular careers in the history of Christmas.
With his beard insured with Lloyds of London, White?s Santa has become a true legend in the professional Santa Claus industry. Since 1969, White has perfected his Santa persona and maintains a year-round appearance schedule that takes him to many international clients.
In all his appearances, White shares his philosophy reminding children of all ages to ?be good, obey at home, and be kind to others.?
He has entertained many Hollywood celebrities, the White House, and has even been given audience by Pope John Paul II who called him ?Sante Claus.?
Today, White carries on making glad the hearts of childhood.
Santa to the Stars
1949 - Current
Want to learn more? Check out the following: