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ClausNet Gazette: News from the Santa Claus Network

July 2010

Volume 2, Issue 7

Christmas in July !

By Michael Rielly

Summertime SantaWell here we are halfway though the year already! For those of you reading this above the equator, July means summertime fun and outdoor activities; beaches, cookouts, pool parties. The last thing most people are thinking about this tie of year is snow and icicles! But for us July is the half way point through the year with only 6 month until Christmas! No doubt many of you have already started booking events and are preparing upgrades to your persona!

We reached a few milestones here on ClausNet this month. The total number of posts on is now over 120,000 and we welcomed our 920th new member!

This month also marks the 26th anniversary of the passing of Santa Jim Yellig. Please take a moment this month to remember this extraordinary Santa and the legacy that he has left to the Santa Claus Community and the Community of Santa Claus, Indiana.

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!

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In The News

Breaking News on ClausNet

Feds Refuse to Let Principals Off the Hook in Candy Cane Case -- A federal appeals court has ruled that two Plano elementary school principals can be held personally liable in a lawsuit over a student's distribution of religious Christmas candy canes.

Principals Lynn Swanson and Jackie Bomchill wanted to be dismissed from the suit, claiming qualified immunity, but a lower court denied their request. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans affirmed that ruling on Thursday.

The principal's attorney, Tom Brandt, says his clients will appeal. He says the principals didn't't practice religious-viewpoint discrimination against any students as is alleged.

Four families with students in Plano schools sued, alleging their children had been banned from handing out pencils saying 'Jesus is the reason for the season,' candy canes with cards describing their Christian origin, and other religious materials.
Read More »

Neighbors Oppose Massive Light Display -- Michigan ' Some Spring Lake Township residents are saying ho ho 'no' to the Holiday Road Christmas light show.

The future of the show, whose organizer says is the second largest of its kind in the nation, will be the subject of a mediation meeting Tuesday between residents who support the holiday event, and those who feel the excessive traffic it attracts are an imposition on the neighborhood in the area of Heather Court.

Neighborhood resident Brad Boyink, who organized last year's Nov. 26-Dec. 26 show, invested $35,000 of his own money to help decorate all 14 houses on the quiet cul-de-sac. More than 200,000 LED lights and holiday props were featured in the show, which Boyink synchronized to music.

The show ran seven evenings a week last year, and Boyink said it raised $33,500 in donations from attendees for the Spread the Music Foundation, Harbor Humane Society and Habitat for Humanity.
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Fisher-Price's Bigfoot heads to stores -- Bigfoot was recently spotted in North Carolina and is now thought to be headed toward the headquarters of Fisher-Price, a subsidiary of Mattel in New York.

This is not the first time that the legendary monster has sought refuge with the toy company.

Though Bigfoot continues to evade the public, rumor has it that the creature secretly set up meetings with toy designers in an effort to change his misunderstood image. So be on the look-out this summer for the friendly monster with lots of personality as Fisher-Price sets the record straight with the new Imaginext Bigfoot The Monster.

Unlike the legendary Bigfoot, the Imaginext Bigfoot The Monster is a life-like remote controlled monster friend for kids ages 3 to 8, with lots of personality, fun facial expressions, interactive phrases like "Wanna Play?" and much more.
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Who really invented Monopoly? -- A rare and unique early version of Monopoly, used as evidence in a controversial, 10-year legal copyright battle over the iconic American game's true inventor, has been acquired by Strong National Museum of Play - home of the National Toy Hall of Fame.

The museum has announced that second oldest known version of the world's most popular board game ever has been added to its world-renowned collections of play-related objects: a folk-art Monopoly game created by a member of the Heap family between 1910 and 1917 when the family lived in Altoona, Penn.

The Heap board game also has the distinction of being the oldest Monopoly game with all its playing pieces intact including hand-made money, property cards in color groupings, and houses and other "improvement" buildings.

The Heap game was an important piece of evidence in a Monopoly copyright dispute that began in 1974 and spanned a decade. To briefly summarize the copyright disagreement: Pennsylvanian Charles Darrow claimed to have invented the game of Monopoly and in 1935 sold the rights to Parker Brothers.

In 1973, Ralph Anspach, a professor of economics, invented a game called Anti-Monopoly; and, in 1974, became embroiled in a lawsuit for trademark infringement brought against him by the General Mills Fun Group
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The Emotional Connection of Design and Toys -- Hunches are good things, and sometimes they reveal themselves as things we may already know. Here are a few thought processes I have picked up over the years when designing and inventing toys that have showed me how emotional energy or a connection can translate into retail sales.

What makes us fall in love with a toy? Is it a look, feel, shape, color, smell, sound, taste, or a texture? It is all of the above, and is about where you come from. It starts with the idea.

Everyone's tastes are different, but there are some similarities. Familiar smells, surroundings, colors, what is cool, patterns, etc. it is basically what is familiar to you in some way. Whether it's a car, a toy or a person- there are subtle clues that make you have an emotion connection.

Good toys have these attributes in them. We fall in love with toys that remind us of our childhood, play patterns, friends, colors of rooms, toys, etc. It is very important when designing or selling a toy that you really think about the end user and where it will be. This is what sells toys. I tell this to both my toy design students as well as my design teams.

There have been a lot of psychological and philosophical studies that show how things are cathected and loved (emotional energy). What can be the next hot toy may be as simple as mixing a few things we love, and combining it with things we want and need in our lives.
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NINTENDO: Epic Mickey due this Christmas -- Wii exclusive showcased and dated at Nintendo's E3 conference Disney's upcoming Wii adventure game Epic Mickey will be released in Q4 this year.

The announcement was made at Nintendo's E3 conference by president Reggie Fils-Aime and head of Junction Point Studios Warren Spector.

Epic Mickey was showcased live by Adam Creighton, producer of the game. Fils-Aime said: 'We grew up with Mickey Mouse, and our kids and grandchildren will grow up with him.
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Mattel unveils new monster-themed franchise -- For the first time in company history, Mattel will roll out a new intellectual property, Monster High, across a number of diverse consumer products categories simultaneously at launch.

This new franchise targeting tween and teen girls brings together the hip teenage descendants of the world's most famous monsters to brave the trials and tribulations of high school.
Read More »

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Featured Member - July 2010

Santa TreverEach month, our Featured Member section profiles one ClausNet member. Members are chosen totally at random by myself and the staff. Once selected as Featured Member of the Month, we interview the candidate and post the interview here. This is a great way to get to know your fellow ClausNet members!

This month our featured ClausNet Member is Santa Trever!

Santa Trever joined us back in July of 2008 and he has been a key contributor to our community ever since.

ClausNET Featured Member of the Month

I spoke with Trever a few days ago. Here's what he had to say...
Read the entire interview »

Visit our Featured Members of the Month section for past members!

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My Most Vivid Christmas Memory

Posted in 'Cullinary Musings From One Heavy Dude' blog by Santa Felix

Santa FelixThe magic of Christmas was a major thing for me when I was a small child.

It was a feeling that never really went away during the year but hibernated for periods until I would get a comment from my GrandDaddy about how being good was important and that Santa Claus was always watching.

My GrandDaddy was the sheriff of our county for many years until he passed away. He used to pick one of us (between my brother, sister, and I) each week to take to work with him at the courthouse for a day. I think he took my sister more than my brother and I, but that was okay. Whenever you were with him, he made you feel like the most important person on the face of the planet. My mother commented many times after he passed away that you would always see him running around the county with someone's child, if not with his own grandchildren. He even had extra diapers in his car and back pocket...that's how much he loved children.

Now...about that most vivid memory. On Christmas Eve, my parents would always host a dinner for both sides of their family. My mother's side would come every single time...Grams and GrandDaddy were always there, no matter the situation. My father's side would be there for either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, but not both. Ma'maw and Papaw weren't as outwardly loving. The dinner was always our favorite goodies...nothing elaborate at all. Finger foods, snacks, and sweets as the next day we'd go all out with the big meal. We'd start serving and talk while we mingled throughout the kitchen, dining room, and living room. The Christmas tree always was put in the corner of the living room where it met the hallway that led to my parent's and my bedroom. I'd sit down on the floor by the tree to consume my goodies, anticipating what surprises were in store for me after we were finished eating.

You see, our family always opened their gifts to each other on Christmas Eve. My parents did this because both of their parents did, but, amazingly enough for the same emphasize a line of demarcation as to what gifts came from family and what gifts came from Santa Claus.
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Get ready for your season!

by Deborah Beeson

Deborah BeesonTis the season for change, renewal and adaptation. Try a new style, product or look. Spring makes us feel young and willing to try new things. If you haven't already tried your new best look, now is the time! Get ready for your season; a time that will be documented forever by each child that has their photo taken with you. It is time to take a good look in the mirror.

Some of you have a nice rosy tone naturally. Some of you might need a touch of makeup. Your skin and hair are just as important as your suit - you should take just as much care of them.

Start a new routine with your skin. Protect your skin form the sun. Santa should have rosy cheeks but not from skin damage. Sun block ,moisturizers and exfoliates are your friend. Swimming in chlorine pools can be a problem when you have white hair. If your hair is chemically lightened it can be even worse.

Red and green may be Christmas colors but not when it comes to Santa's hair. Before you get into a chlorine pool get your hair wet with tap water Use the water inside or from a hose so your hair will absorb the non chlorine water. This will stop most of the absorption of the 'color changing' chlorine water. For those of you that enjoy outdoor activity remember the sun and wind can be harsh on chemically treated hair. Be sure to use a good conditioner.

Check out a new look that might add to your Santa. There is always something that we need to improve. Try a new shape for your beard or mustache. Now is the time! Don't wait until the season is near. This is the season for change! Take time to prepare. There are many things that add that little 'extra' to each Santa. A new suit, boots or hair style should be carefully selected and prepared in a timely manner. Simply styling your hair and beard or adding a little makeup can all be practiced and perfected. Try new things. With color enhancing shampoos start by following the recommended time to leave in the hair before rinsing.
Read More »

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Santa Voices of the Past

Each month we feature a quote from a famous Santa Claus of the past. This month's quote comes to us from Jim Yellig.

Jim YelligBorn on February 18, 1894 in the small village of Mariah Hill Indiana, Raymond Joseph "Jim" Yellig was known as the "Real Santa" from Santa Claus, Indiana.

Jim Yellig appeared at Santa's Candy Castle and Santa Claus Town, the nation's first themed attraction, in the late 1930s. As an active Legionnaire, Yellig added to his fame by appearing in American Legion Christmas parades in New York City, Miami, Los Angeles and Philadelphia.

In 1946, Yellig became the resident Santa at Santa Claus Land, the world's first theme park. At Santa Claus Land, Yellig was the main attraction. He was in costume over 300 days a year and his deep voice and hearty "Ho, Ho, Ho," is remembered fondly by all who met him. He wrote his own book in the late 1940s called, "It's Fun to be A Real Santa Claus." Yellig also appeared on numerous radio and television programs, from "What's My Line" to "Good Morning America," and in many print ads.

"Remember to always be kind and true to your family and friends, honor and respect the elderly and have faith in God...then Santa Claus will always keep your name in his Good Book."

Raymond Joseph "Jim" Yellig
February 18, 1894 - July 23, 1984

Want to learn more? Check out the following:

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