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ClausNet Gazette: News from the Santa Claus Network

JUNE 2016

Volume 8, Issue 6

Please remember our fallen heroes

By Michael Rielly

Welcome to our June newsletter!

Normally in the June issue, I write something about Dads, Grandads, and Father's Day. But as I write this on Memorial Day, I am reminded of my Dad and his service to the country.

My dad was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. He served during peace time -- in between the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Dad loved his time in the service and he often spoke fondly of his years in the military. He was a true patriot.

Dad passed in 2013. Sadly, he spent the last months of his life at the VA Hospital; in fact he passed away there. During those last few days of his life he was surrounded by his family; but also by fellow veterans; patients at the VA; some of who had no family members of their own to visit with. Dad, and the other patients were their family.

As we reflect on this Memorial Day, let us not forget all the fathers-- and mothers, sons, and daughters -- who put their lives on the line and paid the ultimate price for our freedom.

And to all the Dads and Grandads out there, happy Father's Day!

We hope you enjoy this month's issue. As always, if you have any comments, suggestions or even complaints, please do not hesitate to contact us!

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In The News

Breaking News on ClausNet

Santa Claus Land, the first theme park, opened 70 years ago -- In 1941, Louis Koch, a retired man living in Evansville, Indiana, took a road trip 50 miles east to the small town of Santa Claus. Having fathered nine children, Koch was disappointed to discover that the tiny enclave offered Santa Claus in name only. There was no Santa Claus, the man, to see there. What would kids think if they traveled there in hunt of the jolly fat man?

Koch dreamt up a place where people could visit Santa Claus at any time of the year. Indiana only had one amusement park at the time, Indiana Beach, up the road a bit in Monticello. Thus, Santa Claus Land was born. The park opened its gates on August 3, 1946. It was the world's first amusement park to have an overriding theme.


Visitors would not find roller coasters on day one. Instead, there was a House of Dolls, a choo choo, a restaurant and Santa Claus, of course. The first ride constructed was the Santa Claus Land Railroad, a one-eighth-scale train modeled after a Baltimore and Ohio locomotive.

Eventually, a paddock for deer and peacocks, as well as a Jeep-go-round, were added. The House of Dolls was home to over 2,000 dolls, curated by Koch's sister, Helen Robb. (Take a look at the map below.) Admission was free until 1955. Over the years, the park added the Willie Bartley Water Ski Thrill Show, the Santa Claus Choir and more reindeer-themed rides.

Eventually, the park branched out to include other holidays — Halloween, Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July. Since 1984, the amusement park has gone by the name of Holiday World. The train was eventually retired in 2012.
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New organizers of Lindsay Santa Claus Parade already looking forward to the big day -- Collins Barrow Kawarthas LLP is delighted to announce that it will be spearheading this year's Lindsay Santa Claus Parade, with the assistance of members of the 2015 Parade Committee.


"The Santa Claus Parade has been so successful these last 60 years because of the hard work of its dedicated community volunteers, and we're so delighted to have the opportunity to pick up the torch from our immediate predecessors and help to carry on the tradition," said Mark Mooney, Senior Partner at CB Kawarthas, in an official Press Release.

The Parade Committee was formed to rescue the event when longtime organizers the Lindsay & District Chamber of Commece was forced to step aside.

"The Parade is a much-loved event that contributes to the vibrancy and spirit of our community," added Junior Partner Erik Ellis. "And we're so pleased that we've got the chance to make this year's Parade a festive success."
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Featured Member - June 2016

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 of the Month is MzSantaClaus!

Our Featured Member of the Month for June 2016 has been Mrs. Claus for 22 years and a former U.S. Marine! Trish aka Mz.SantaClaus hails from South Carolina but is originally from Virginia. Trish has been a member of ClausNet since 2008. I think one of the coolest gigs she and her Santa get to do is greet folks from all over the world at the Reagan National and Dulles International Airports!

ClausNet Featured Member of the Month

We caught up with Trish a few days ago and here is what she 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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Papa Panov's Special Christmas

By Michael Rielly

In 1881 Baptist minister, Ruben Saillens (1855-1942) wrote "Le Père Martin" (“Father Martin”) a short story about a cobbler who learns a lesson in faith after the death of his son. The story was later republished in Russian without attribution in 1884 under the title "Diadiu Martyn" ("Uncle Martin").

In 1885, Lev (Leo) Nikolayevich Tolstoy (1828-1910) perhaps best known for his novel War and Peace (1869) came across the uncredited short story. Assuming the story was an anonymous English work translated into Russian, Tolstoy adapted and republished the story as "Where Love Is, God Is" (also published as "Where Love Is, There God Is Also" and "Martin the Cobbler").

Years later Ruben Saillens came across Tolstoy's version of the story and recognized it as his work. Saillens wrote to Tolstoy asserting that he was the original author of the story.

Tolstoy wrote back apologizing for his "unintentional plagiarism." Unfortunately around that same time, Tolstoy renounced the copyright of all his works written after 1881 and could no longer control the story’s accreditation. And although Tolstoy had continually credited Saillens since then, over the years the story had been retold so often that it has now become a part of Tolstoy anthology.

Today, there are multiple adaptations of Ruben Saillens short story, "Le Père Martin". Versions of the story entitled: “Papa Panov’s Special Christmas”, “Papa Panov’s Special Day”, “The Old Shoemaker’s Christmas”, and others are usually found attributed to Tolstoy; yet often lack any attribution to Saillens.
Read the short story on ClausNet »

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Santa's Wisdom

A Partridge in a Pear Tree!

By Santa Lou Knezevich

I’ve been laid up for a few days recovering from a Lower Lumbar Laminectomy. I feel great and I can’t wait to resume my normal activities. With time on my hands I was going through some articles I’ve snipped and I came across the piece below.

We sing this frequently during the holidays however, there is an interesting story (or made up story) behind the verses. I thought I’d share it with all of you. By the way, I am not attesting to the meaning of the verses or their historical, and if any, authenticity.

Did you ever wonder why “Ten Lord’s a leaping” and other odd sayings were incorporated in a Christmas Carol? This one Christmas Carol that has always baffled me. What in the world do leaping lords, French hens, swimming swans, and especially the partridge that won't come out of the pear tree have to do with Christmas? Well, today I found out.

From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics.

It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.

The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ

Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments

Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love

Four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John

Five golden rings speak of the Torah or Law, recalling the first five books of the Old Testament

Six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation

Seven swans a-swimming represented the seven-fold gift of the Holy Spirit, Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy

Eight maid’s a-milking were the eight beatitudes

Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit--Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control

Ten lord’s a-leaping were the Ten Commandments

Eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples

Twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed

So there is your history for today. This knowledge was shared with me and I found it interesting and enlightening. and now I know how that strange song became a Carol we sing during the Christmas Holidays. So pass it on if you wish. Merry (Twelve Days of) Christmas Everyone!

Always remember, It's not about you, it's about the children.

Santa Lou Knezevich
Creator Legendary Santas Mentoring Program

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#44 Santa's Book Of Children, by Susan Comish -- purchase

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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!

It 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
Phoenix, Arizona
1948 – 2015

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

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