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ClausNet Gazette: News from the Santa Claus Network

June 2013

Volume 5, Issue 6

Happy Father's Day!

By Michael Rielly

June on ClausNetWelcome to June everyone!

With Father's Day just around the corner, I thought I would include a couple of my favorite quotes on fatherhood from Bill Cosby.

Fathers are the geniuses of the house, because only a person as intelligent as we could fake such stupidity. Think about your father. He doesn't know where anything is. You ask him to do something, he messes it up. That's a genius at work! Because he doesn't want to do it! And he knows someone will be coming soon to stop him from doing it!

Every father says the same thing: "Where's your mother?"

I've been accused of both of those but I also whole heartily agree with the following:

Nothing I've ever done has given me more joys and rewards than being a father to my children.

Happy Father's Day to all you Dads, Granddads, and Great-Grandads!

We're Hiring!We are still looking for help around the Workshop! 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

Rockefeller Christmas Tree Used to Build a House

Christmas Newswire -- The 2012 Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, once the star of Christmas 2012 in New York City, has returned home to New Jersey where it has continued to spread good cheer. The tree has been used by the Morris Habitat for Humanity to build an entire home for a mother and her two sons over the May 18-19 weekend in Mount Olive, New Jersey.

Pieces of the tree were used to build the home, according to Blair Schleicher Bravo, Morris Habitat’s executive director. The wood is also expected to be used to build a Madison home later this year, she said.

The 80-foot tall Norway spruce that grew at Joseph Balku’s Budd Lake home illuminated Manhattan throughout the Christmas season. The tree — 10 tons and 50 feet in circumference — was then donated to Habitat for Humanity.
Read More »

Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade Theme Announced

Christmas Newswire -- The 105th annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade and Ring of Lights will be themed “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” an idea submitted separately by residents Judy Candelaria and Michelle Stranak, the chamber announced Wednesday.

More than 160 submissions were received by chamber officials, so Candelaria and Stranak were both surprised to find out their ideas were the winners.

“Oh my, we love the parade,” Candelaria, who has lived in Newport with her husband for 22 years, said. “It’s a family tradition.”

Candelaria said she thought the theme made sense because it was something everyone could recognize.

Stranak, who spent her first Christmas as a Newport Beach resident last year, came up with her idea last year while watching the parade and hearing the original song coming from a passing boat.
Read More »

Israeli University Recognizes Christmas

Defend Christmas -- Haifa University will become the first Israeli university to give days off to the student body for Christian and Arab holidays.

The University of Haifa has become the first Israeli university to declare Christmas Day a holiday for students. The university senate voted Sunday to give off for Christmas; Eid al Fitr, the end of Ramadan; and Eid al Adha, the Druze Feast of the Sacrifice, Haaretz reported.

A special committee with student representation had recommended the action. Arab-Israelis make up about 20 percent of the student body at Haifa University, according to its Jewish-Arab Center.
Read More »

Virginia Christmas Book Wins National Award

Christmas Newswire -- “Hope springs eternal in the human breast,” wrote Alexander Pope, and such is the hopefulness of authors and publishers for their newly created books.

The annual springtime announcement of the Independent Publisher Book Awards has been made, and the medal-winning books will be celebrated on May 29th during the annual Book Expo America publishing convention in New York.

Conducted each year to honor the year’s best independently published books, the “IPPY” Awards recognize excellence in a broad range of subjects and reward authors and publishers who “take chances and break new ground.”

“A Very Virginia Christmas,” compiled and edited by Wilford Kale of Williamsburg, Va. and published by Parke Press of Norfolk Virginia won the Gold Medal in the Holiday Book Division.
Read More »

Star Trek Action Figures Return to Toys'R'Us

Toy Mania -- With Star Trek on everybody's mind again, thanks to the latest blockbuster film, Diamond Select Toys is bringing back Star Trek toys in a big way, to comic shops, specialty stores and even Toys "R" Us!

In addition to the previously announced TRU-exclusive assortment of Star Trek Legacy Minimates, DST is happy to announce that the iconic toy retailer will have their own exclusive edition of the two newest 7-inch action figures, Kirk and Spock!
Read More »

Mezco Toyz Reveals 6th Summer Exclusive: Man Of Steel Mez-Itz Three Pack

Cool Toy Review -- As the world of fandom collectively counts down to the July 18th start of San Diego Comic-Con International 2013, Mezco adds fuel to the flames of excitement by revealing the details of one of their Summer Exclusives: Man Of Steel Mez-Itz Tri-Pack.
Read More »

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Featured Member - June 2013

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 SantaMikeUK!

Santa Mike joined us only a couple of years ago but he has been an active contributor to our community. Portraying Father Christmas in the UK is a little different than what we here in the States are used to as you will learn in our interview with Mike.

ClausNet Featured Member of the Month

We caught up with Santa Mike 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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Even Santa Bends His Knee

By Santa John Gable

I carry on a tradition that started years ago, Bringing gifts to everyone I see. But when folks think I am the reason for the joyous time, I tell them, “Even Santa bends his knee.”

You see it started long ago in Bethlehem one night, A babe was born to set all people free. He lived an honest life and died, my sins forever gone, And that is why old Santa bends his knee.

Oh, bells are nice, and reindeer too, and magic little elves, And Christmas lights for everyone to see, But nothing holds a candle to this man called Jesus Christ, The One to whom old Santa bends his knee.

This Christmas when you give a gift to someone that you love, Remember why you do it, won’t you please? Thank the One whose life and death gave freedom to us all, Join old Santa, down upon your knees.

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School Daze

By Santa Nana

Greetings. My name is Ms. Santa Nana and I am Santa’s SISTER. Did you know the average Santa is 60 years old, between 180-220 pounds, and between 5’8” and 6’? I’m all that - - and more! Now I have a degree in Santa Clausology.

This last weekend, I attended School 4 Santas, presented by world-renowned Santa Timothy Connaghan, at a clubhouse in Lakewood Colorado. I got off to a rocky start early Saturday morning. Here, I must confide to you that my technology is fickle. The minute I start depending on it, it dumps me like a bad boyfriend. For example, over the past few years I have come to rely heavily on the navigation system on my cell phone. GPS services have been an incredible blessing for me, allowing me to go places and see things I never would have ventured to go and see.

Unfortunately, my Google maps service has gone bonkers lately. Instead of the kind lady telling me what street or highway to take, some bossy broad just screams “turn right! Turn right! Turn right! Go forward! Turn right!” This is not helpful to me. In fact, it caused me to call the direction’s lady a very bad word - - in front of my grandson. He thought this was hilariously funny. I guess this is what Santa says three times to his GPS, too - - HO HO HO!

So, getting to Santa school was a series of pulling over to the side of the road every fifteen minutes to read the real map and then getting back into traffic to turn right, turn right, and go forward. The address given for the school was wrong, so I sat in front of somebody’s condo for a few minutes looking about for Santa cars. You know the ones. They have bumper stickers that say, “My other vehicle is a reindeer sled,” and license plates that read “Big Red.” Some have magnetic side panels proclaiming “Santa Bob, call 1-800-JINGLES” or the PT Cruiser shrink wrapped in candy cane colors. I finally called my buddy, Santa Jerry, and he gave me the right address and I rushed into class, apologetic about my tardiness.

Santa Tim Connaghan is a right jolly old elf. He worked the front of the room with great ease and confidence and had a practiced lecture, accompanied by videos and text projected onto a screen, and lots of bells and whistles. Ha, ha - - yes really, bells and whistles. Tim is a highly sought after Santa and has wonderful stories about his jobs all over the world. He also shared his dos and don’ts and lots of funny clips of Santas through history. I loved a short film called “Boot Camp for Santas.”

There was a donut break, and a lunch break, and then a nap break. Professor Tim did not schedule the nap break, but it happened organically. Santa Paul fell asleep on my shoulder and snored loudly. Santa Jerry nodded and twitched in and out of his snowy white beard. Other Santas closed their eyes prayer-like or snuck out to their trucks for a snooze. This is not to say that Santa Tim’s lecture was boring, it is just to say that Santas need a siesta mid-afternoon, and unless you want unruly, grouchy Santas, you’d better let them sleep!

So, what's the newest thing in the Santa World? LADIES! Women are coming out to help their husbands in Santa performances, and to create their own independent Christmas characters. This opens up new markets and target groups for everyone in the industry - - which we should all celebrate. Technology is also revolutionary.

On Sunday, Santa Steve was scheduled to teach us about the use of Facebook, Twitter, blogs and websites to promote our businesses. Unfortunately, he was sabotaged by pixies in his PowerPoint presentation. While the search went out for a fifteen year old to assist Santa Steve with his computer, other Santas worked in a short naptime and I downloaded a new navigation app. Luckily, Santa Steve had some handouts to give us with his program information.
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Santa's Wisdom

It’s an honor to be called Santa. Don’t violate the honor.

By Santa Lou Knezevich

Isn’t it rewarding to be in public and have someone call you “Santa?” The greeting not only comes from children who recognize you but from adults. I always have a goose bump especially when a burly looking workman says, “how are you doing Santa?” Santa is known the world over, in fact he is one of the most recognized faces in the world. Because we are so well known we have a tremendous responsibility to uphold the image people have of us.

Walking down the isle of the super market one never knows if a child or adult will exclaim, “that’s Santa!” We must be ready at all times to make the eyes which saw us believe we really are Santa. We aren’t going to accomplish our goal with a scowl on our face or possibly being caught picking our nose. You may laugh at these comments but it doesn’t take much to inconsistently let your guard down. Playing Santa is a full time job and if you play at it as a part time job it will show.

Many Santas have bragged to me about their hair or beard didn’t need to be dyed and they were recognized as Santa. Yes, I’m sure that is true, however, I have a hunch you were discussed as one of the helpers not the “real” Santa Claus. Some children will call you Santa but are you the real image of santa. Call me a puritan but when it comes to playing Santa, I fully admit; I am. Basically I feel the public deserves to see the real santa portrayed anytime you are among them. I think it also comes down to some simple facts.

If you are going to be Santa Claus 24/7/365 then act the part 24/7/365! If you are Santa Claus in November and December then act the part every day you can.

I bleach my hair and beard frequently so they are white. In fact, two salesman visited us the other night and they parked in front of the house. It’s a bit of a hike to come up the driveway and when we exchanged greetings, one said, “ I knew it! when I saw you from the street, I knew you were Santa!” That was an adult in whom I stirred some child hood memories because I looked like Santa. During the evening he mentioned he had two young nephews and he asked if I would take a picture on his cell phone for them. I asked him if he could take a video and I said we would do better than a picture.

I put on one of my Santa Shirts and hat, then I recorded a video telling the boys to keep being good and to listen to their parents, etc. Both of these men were so happy to see Santa. Sometimes the best fun is with adults who for a few minutes are able to relive cherished moments of the past. These too are a few reasons why we are Santa and why we must be ready to fulfill the expectations of everyone we meet. Some of you Santas have a big ego and feel you only need to do things to get you by. I think your only fooling yourself and that guy in the mirror.

For more information on the Legendary Santa Mentoring Program, please contact Santa Lou Knezevich.


Santa Lou Knezevich
Creator Legendary Santas Mentoring Program

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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 Cliff Snider.

Cliff SniderIn his real life, Cliff Snider assists hundreds of artists in the production and marketing of their talents. But there is more than meets the eye.

This husband, father, and grandfather has spent over forty-five years making spirits bright as Santa Claus. For Cliff this is a doubly important mission, for though he holds it important to bring smiles to children of all ages he also makes his true mission bringing the love of Christ to all he meets.

Known internationally as the “Praying Santa”, Cliff Snider has been seen in countless articles and news interviews about his portrayal of a truly Christian Santa Claus. These include CBN television’s 700 Club and in Our State magazine (North Carolina publication).

He has authored the book “Santa’s Journey”? which tells all about his life, adventures, and faith.

A 2012 winner of the “Keep Christ in Christmas”? award, Cliff is one of the most recognized Santa portrayers in America with his image being used by many notable artists..

Cliff Snider
High Point, North Carolina
1947 - Current

Want to learn more? Check out the following: