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ClausNet Gazette: News from the Santa Claus Network

JUNE 2015

Volume 7, Issue 6

Happy Father's Day!

By Michael Rielly

Hello everyone! Welcome to our June 2015 newsletter and Happy Father's Day to all the Dads and Granddads out there!

In last month's issue I wrote about the origins of a Mother's Day. So to be fair to all the dads out there, here is a little bit about Father's Day.

Unlike Mother's Day, Dads have only had their own day for a little over 100 years. The first Father's Day celebration was held in Spokane, Washington on June 19, 1910 by Sonora Smart Dodd. This first celebration was held in the Spokane YMCA. After hearing a sermon about Mother's Day in 1909, Dodd told her pastor that there should be similar holiday to honor fathers.

In 1913, a bill was introduced in the U.S. Congress to accord national recognition of Father's Day. But it wasn't until 1972 when the day was made a permanent U.S. national holiday when President Richard Nixon signed it into law.

Today, Father's Day is recognized in countries all around the world. In Italy Father's Day is celebrated on Saint Joseph's Day, March 19. It is also a great day to eat zeppoles.

I hope you enjoy this month's issue of the ClausNet Gazette. If you missed an issue, you can view all our past issues online in the ClausNet Gazette newsletter archive.


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In The News

Breaking News on ClausNet

Massachusetts Mulls Opening Stores on Thanksgiving and Christmas -- For years the state of Massachusetts has declared all stores in the state closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day so that employees at least get those two days off every year. And for years they have debated whether or not that is a good idea.

With active commerce transacted online and across state lines supporters of changing the law say the state is losing big tax revenue dollars on these days. The new bill would allow opening on such days while giving employers options to provide days off for workers on other days.

It is an interesting debate in light of new trends in recent years for retailers nationwide to kick-off “Black Friday” sales events on Thanksgiving Day. While there has been widespread criticism of the practice retailers have gained huge sales from the effort. Some feel it keeps Massachusetts completely in the cold.

State Representative Tackey Chan (D-Quincy) said that there would be competition regardless of whether retail stores are open or closed.

“Competition of Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont or New York, it’s going to occur regardless of whether we’re open on those days or not,” Chan said.

The bill would need approval from both the House and the Senate, and then a signature from Gov. Charlie Baker before retailers can open on these holidays. This legislation has been stuck on Beacon Hill for years.
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$1,250-a-day electric bill and 19 more facts about Bronner's Christmas Wonderland -- Tens of thousands of holiday trims and gifts. A few hundred decorated Christmas trees. More than 700 animated and fiberglass figurines.

Bronner's Christmas Wonderland, founded by Wally Bronner in 1945, is a Christmas retailer unlike any other. One longtime customer calls it "a whole new world."

Bronner's, which bills itself as the world's largest Christmas store, attracts millions of guests each year. For some, it's a family tradition passed on by one generation to the next. Some customers return every year.

Here are some more facts about the mega-store, located in Frankenmuth:

1. With as many as 100,000 lights illuminating the salesroom, the store's electric bill averages $1,250 a day.

2. Artists on staff personalize more than 400,000 ornaments each year.

3. Bronner's stocks "Merry Christmas" ornaments in more than 40 languages.

Wally Bronner -- Photo courtesy of Bronner's Christmas Wonderland.

4. Shoppers can find decorations and gifts from 50 nations.

5. The store carries more than 150 styles of nutcrackers.

6. More than 500 nativity scenes are on display.

7. About half of the glass ornaments Bronner's sells are the store's own designs.

8. Bronner's sells more than 400,000 feet of garland each year.

9. More than 2 million people visit Bronner's each year.

10. Up to 19,000 children visit Santa between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve.
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Oddbods toys on the way from RP2

ToyNews -- One Animation has joined forces with RP2 to launch a range of toys based on recent childrens' animation, Oddbods. The plush toys and figurines from master toy partner RP2 will directly mirror physical comedy storylines from the show, which airs on Disney XD in the US and Télétoon+ in France. The Oddbods range will be launched in early 2016.

“This is an animation and licensing agreement like no other," said Simon Cox, managing director of RP2.

"With RP2’s unique collaborative relationship with One Animation, we have produced a range of toys so that kids can play out their favorite scenes from the series and of course create their own adventures.

“We were drawn to the high-production values, outstanding creativity and great storytelling in Oddbods showing these qualities are no longer the preserve of Hollywood. It’s something that everyone at RP2 is very excited about."

One Animation CEO, Sashim Parmanand, added: “Oddbod’s consistently growing fan base was a huge motivator for us to bring the show to life with a toy range focused on the European market.

"Our team strives to push the boundaries in delivering high quality animation with fun storytelling and lots of laughs. In RP2 we have a partner that matches our aspiration in creating and delivering high quality, and engaging products to our growing fan base.”
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Featured Member - June 2015

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 Mississippi Elf!

This month’s featured member is from the great State of Mississippi. Mississippi Elf aka Santa Larry joined us back in 2009. Santa Larry has been portraying Santa Claus for over six years now.

ClausNet Featured Member of the Month

We caught up with Santa Larry 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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There’s Nothing a Cookie Can’t Fix

By Santa John Gable

Grandmas all know, there’s some kind of magic Maybe it’s there in the mix. For scratches and scrapes, bruises and bumps, There’s nothing a cookie can’t fix.

Keep some on hand, they ought to be fresh ones, A dozen, or maybe just six. When friends treat you mean and your feelings get hurt There’s nothing a cookie can’t fix.

You get in an argument, with that sweet someone, Try this approach just for kicks, First say you’re sorry, then find out her favorite, There’s nothing a cookie can’t fix.

When Christmas approaches, and you have been naughty, Just write down, “These are St. Nick’s” By a mug of cold milk and some fresh chocolate chips, There’s nothing a cookie can’t fix!

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Santa's Wisdom

This birthday made me think

By Santa Lou Knezevich

During the past month I had cataracts removed from each of my eyes. What a revelation to see without my bifocals! Of course, my very expensive prescription Santa eye glasses are now useless except, the frames may be adaptable to new lens. It seems this Santa takes one step forward and two steps back an awful lot lately.

I also just turned the corner on a very important birthday which I’ll confide to my readers: “did bother me.” It reminded me of the many things I want to do, however, some items must be shelved due to health plus, my physical ability to do them. This birthday also made me think of my life which in these declining years, I strive to better live each day. My mind has replayed many things which happened in my past and for the most part, I’m content with what I have done. In my younger years I was quick to temper and stubborn to forgive. I have “mellowed” with age however; I still have a few things I need to work upon.

Wearing the “Red Suit” is a great way to show love, compassion and caring. In or out of the “Red Suit” we need to make every second of our lives fruitful and rewarding. What is written below is offered to make us all think about our lives and how we are using the precious time given to us each day! You may be surprised to find who carried this article in their wallet.

Imagine that you had won the following *PRIZE* in a contest: Each morning your bank would deposit $86,400 in your private account for your use. However, this prize has rules:

1. Everything that you didn't spend during each day would be taken away from you.

2. You may not simply transfer money into some other account.

3. You may only spend it.

4. Each morning upon awakening, the bank opens your account with another $86,400, for that day.

5. The bank can end the game without warning; at any time it can say, "Game Over”. It can close the account and you will not receive a new one.

What would you personally do? You would buy anything and everything you wanted right? Not only for yourself, but for all the people you love and care for. Even for people you don't know, because you couldn't possibly spend it all on yourself, right?

You would try to spend every penny, and use it all, because you knew it would be replenished in the morning, right?

ACTUALLY, This GAME is REAL ... Shocked ??? YES! Each of us is already a winner of this *PRIZE*. We just can't seem to see it.

The PRIZE is “TIME.”

1. Each morning we awaken to receive 86,400 seconds as a gift of life.

2. And when we go to sleep at night, any remaining time is Not credited to us.

3. What we haven't used up that day is forever lost.

4. Yesterday is forever gone.

5. Each morning the account is refilled, but the bank can dissolve your account at any time without warning.

SO, what will YOU do with your 86,400 seconds? Those seconds are worth so much more than the same amount in dollars. Think about it and remember to enjoy every second of your life, because time races by so much quicker than you think.

So take care of yourself, be happy, love deeply and enjoy life! Here's wishing you a wonderful and beautiful day. Start "spending" your seconds in a good way! Enjoy your day.

Always remember, “It’s not about you, it’s about the children.”

Santa Lou Knezevich
Creator Legendary Santas Mentoring Program

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The world's first commercially produced Christmas card, designed by John Callcott Horsley in 1843.

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Santa Claus Hall of Fame

Each month we feature an inductee of the International Santa Claus Hall of Fame.

This month we honor J. Paul Raines!

J. Paul RainesIt has been decades since J. Paul Raines first donned the red suit at a church program. He was hooked. Eventually he began making numerous appearances each Christmas Season.

As the requests grew, he realized he could not keep up with them all and founded Santa Claus and Company to fill the demand.

Raines began teaching Santa students a four hour course dubbed “Santa’s Workshop 101” and supplying Santas to Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Denver.

Besides his duties with Santa Claus and Company, he is very active in the world-wide Santa Claus Community, serving on many group boards, and is a mentor to many of the new Santas that join.

He also appears many times a year for special events such as Christmas in July promotions. And as in the many years before, each Christmas Season, Raines dons the red suit for major holiday events with many local and state officials for tree lighting ceremonies, parades, and organizational appearances.

J. Paul Raines
Claus Himself
February 17, 1948 - January 26, 2015

Want to learn more?
Visit the International Santa Claus Hall of Fame website.

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