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ClausNet Gazette: News from the Santa Claus Network

July 2012

Volume 4, Issue 7


By Michael Rielly

July on ClausNetWelcome to the July issue of the ClausNet Gazette and Happy Birthday America!

Well believe it or not we are halfway through the year with only 6 months left until Christmas! At this point many of us have already started booking events and are preparing upgrades for the season.

I've been upgrading a few items for this year. I purchased a few of my upgrades while at the Jim Yellig Santa Claus Workshop in Santa Claus Indiana in April.

I picked out a new Cola Suit from Santa & Co., and upgraded my Belt and Boot Buckles from Santa Richard. I also purchased a new set of gloves and about a gallon of spirit gum! I still have a few other things to get before the season starts though!

We're Hiring!We're still looking for a help around the site. If you are interested in helping out, please contact me.

As always, please feel free to contact us with your comments and suggestions!

Enjoy your summer!

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In The News

Breaking News on ClausNet

It's time for Christmas beer! -- It's July and for Ohioans that can mean only one thing: Christmas beer.

Ohio has an insatiable appetite for holiday beers and every brewery seems to put its own spin on the yuletide style.

That's especially true in Northeast Ohio thanks to Great Lakes Christmas Ale ' a beer that has a crazy, cult-like following.

I put out a call to breweries to find out their Christmas in July plans. Here's a rundown of Christmas beer releases and events.

-- Black Box Brewing Co. in Westlake made a new batch of Cleveland's Own Christmas Ale for Ross Deli in Lakewood. The beer is available now in both bottles and on draft. The label features the famous leg lamp from the movie A Christmas Story.

-- Chardon BrewWorks in Chardon will release The Third Gift Christmas Ale at 7 p.m. July 11. The release will take place prior to "Suds 'n Science" at 8 p.m. featuring Alex Massiello, senior principal research engineer for The Cleveland Clinic. He will give a presentation on biomedicine and mechanical hearts.

-- Rocky River Brewing Co. in Rocky River will have a fresh batch of its Christmas ale on draft by July 13. The brewpub also is having a Christmas in July celebration the next weekend.
Read More »

Planning has begun for holiday market donations, displays

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette -- Thinking about Christmas in the middle of summer may seem odd, but the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership just can't get enough of jolly old Saint Nicholas.

In fact, the city's inaugural European-style holiday market, which will run from Nov. 24 to Dec. 23 in Market Square, will showcase a different country's Santa each Saturday.

And Santa will get his own home, complete with chimney and an elf-sized door. But visitors can do more than take a photo with him; his house will be the center for holiday donations to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.

Morgan O'Brien, president and CEO of People's Natural Gas, the titular sponsor of the event, said he hopes it brings people from across the region into the city where they can "enjoy the excitement [of the market], but also help people in the community" through donations to the food bank.

The holiday market, modeled after similar ones in Europe and the United States, will feature European-style booths -- called chalets -- selling handcrafted ornaments, wood carvings, wines and other seasonal trinkets.

International, national and local vendors from all heritages were invited to reflect Pittsburgh's diverse population, said Ida D'Errico, event producer for the Downtown Partnership
Read More »

60-Year Nativity Tradition Dies in Santa Monica After Atheist Assault -- For more than 60 years Palisades Park in Santa Monica has showcased nativity scenes at Christmas without complaint.

At a hearing that we assume did not include a spirited rendition of John Lennon's 'Happy Christmas (War Is Over),' the Santa Monica City Council decided to discontinue the tradition after last year's fiasco of atheist displays created a holiday media firestorm and placed the city smack in the middle of a 'church-and-state' debate.

The controversy arose last year when atheist groups bested the lottery system used to assign the limited available spaces for the installations, commandeering most of the spaces for pronouncements of a more secular quality.

The city council struggled for weeks over the issue, punting on a vote at an earlier hearing and exploring some very creative worst-case scenarios for the future of the tradition including a gigantic sign refuting the events of the holocaust or a picture of Texas Chainsaw Massacre's Leatherface standing over the wee baby Jesus.

The city council hearing leading to the ban was a contentious affair: 30 speakers from both sides of the issue debated the implications on the separation of church and state and the First Amendment.

In the end, the city council chose the ban over several alternatives, including a request by the Santa Monica Nativity Committee to reserve 14 spots every year for Christian representation.

City Attorney Marsha Jones Moutrie said that the First Amendment prohibits from picking and choosing between displays. The city council also reported receiving physical threats in response to the ban.

'I'm saddened to be at this point. For one, I enjoy the nativity scenes,' said Councilman Terry O'Day, who took his children to see the displays, calling them a great teaching opportunity.

'But in staying with the current [lottery system], I feel like we are setting up a ring for a competition ' one that is getting nasty, and that is certainly not in the Christmas spirit. ' There are other ways to celebrate faith or non-faith.'

Those opposed to the nativity scenes spoke about the hassle and cost of administering the lottery system.
Read More »

Google Android robot heads to toy retail

ToyNews Online -- A remote control Google Android robot will hit UK shelves in time for Christmas. Bladez Toyz showed off the 65cm-high inflatable product at the 'Christmas in July' media event in London today.

The robot will be available to Google employees in the US and UK first, before arriving in retailers around October. It will go on sale in the UK, US, Europe, UAE, Australia and New Zealand.

It's the latest in Bladez' Pump and Play radio-controlled inflatable range, and comes with a modular underside.
Read More »

In pictures: Disney's Brave toys

ToyNews Online -- A new range of toys and merchandise based on the upcoming Disney Pixar film Brave has been revealed.
Read More »

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Featured Member - July 2012

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 RIP!

I am happy to announce our ClausNet Featured Member of the Month for July 2012 is RIP!

Santa Mark aka RIP joined our community back in 2009. What I love about doing these interview is learning how much in common we all have. For instance, Santa Mark and I both love The Ten Commandments and we both have the same favorite childhood toys. Of course in my case I still play with these toys!

ClausNet Featured Member of the Month

We caught up with Santa Mark 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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Christmas Remembered

By Santa Brian of SC

Soon be time to turn our attention to Christmas. The tree will go up, the house will be decorated and the yard will be all a glow with Christmas scenery. It is my favorite time of year.

Each year we drag out a thousand lights, drop cords and spend a few good hours setting up the yard for passer's by the kids and us to enjoy.

Each year I think back to how magical those Christmases were when I was a kid and how Christmas eve getting together with family seemed perfect just like in the movies.

As you get older though sometimes the movie seems more like 'National Lampoons Christmas Vacation'. I remember those years when I woke up at 1:00, 2:00 or 3:00 AM and could not go back to sleep or waking up and sneaking to the living room and not seeing anything under the tree where Santa had come. But never fear when we woke up the next morning there were seemingly ton's of toys under the tree.

I remember the first football uniform, the first bike -- It was a Jaws bike with a banana seat. And of course the Atari game system. I played that thing all morning and into the night. Boy how games have come a long way now.

Also remember back to past Christmas Eves and the fun had with Family that have long since past away and sometimes wish we could go back and soak in those nights around the dinner table and opening presents.

I don't remember the presents from back then but I do remember the good times we had. Not only was that time magical but family and parents made it more special. Now I try my best to make this time of year just as magical or more for my kids.

After all this is Christmas that's right CHRISTmas not Xmas. The reason for the season was the baby in the manger we celebrate at this time of year. Jesus' birthday.

When I got married years ago my wife's grandmother had a birthday party every year for Jesus and would let off balloons and the whole nine yards. I know the world wants us to not offend any one and call it a holiday tree or year end celebrations.

But as for me I am thankful there are still some out there that refuse to give in and still celebrate Christmas. So from my family to your's MERRY CHRISTMAS.
Comment »

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When did the suit find you?

By Santa John in WV

We have heard about how some Santas became Santa. How did you become Santa?

Thought this would be an interesting and an inspiring thread to add to our forums.

I for one never get tired of seeing how the Suit finds another Santa. For me, it was in the first grade. I was chosen to be Santa for our school Christmas pageant. This was also at a time of severe family struggle. My parents had divorced a couple of years before.

As my father went on hiatus from my life for several years, I felt unwanted. The suit captured me then and stuck to me. I still remember my mother sewing my first suit, and the itchy cotton ball beard she also made me.

While growing up I was chosen to be Santa for many other things and would be Santa for family, neighbors, and friends throughout my childhood and teens.

As an adult nothing changed, I have been a professional Santa now for the past 14 years and have loved every minute of it. And you know what, over these precious years the suit has allowed me to share more love than I ever imagined possible.

For me Santa has become a calling and a ministry, let alone an extension of myself.

Now, what about you?
Leave your comment »

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Santa-America News

Wounded Warriors. They Need Us.

By Santa Lou Knezevich

Sometimes we forget the tragedy of war and as well armed and protected as our soldiers are, we lose lives.

A local Atlanta soldier was killed in Afghanistan and his body was flown back to our city for burial. The local news showed the plane arriving and the grief upon the families faces as the burial detail carried his coffin. He was 21 years old and had but a brief taste of life. I was numbed by seeing this thinking of my own sons and also what a sad Fathers Day for both of this young man's parents.

The sacrifices of this young man for freedom cannot be forgotten and we need to remember all who have served our wonderful country.

We also must remember the returning warriors who have given up a part of their lives to insure we maintain our way of life. Many of these individuals are returning home changed forever physically and/or mentally by seeing the 'Hell of war.' One can barely imagine the terrifying situations they have experienced and the images which haunt them. They have looked into the eyes of death and now return to us as 'Wounded Warriors.'

Santa America stands ready to serve major military bases in the USA and overseas with a committed, trained and uniformed Santa Clauses.

Santa America began visiting our Wounded Warriors, Disabled Veterans and their families in 2009. We developed special Military Santa Claus attire based upon the current military fatigues with a Santa Claus name tag, United States, Elfs branch designation and a unique Santa America unit patch along with a Special Services patch.

We would be pleased to have you join our ranks. Santas are assigned to a specific base or facility. Once assigned, Santa is available to visit 12 months a year at special events with deploying and returning units, base hospitals, schools, family services and post exchange events.

This past year we had Santas visit Survivor Support Groups (surviving spouses and children of deceased service members). Additionally one Santa was requested to attend the last Christmas of a dying service member. The visits are not always easy, but they are forever rewarding!

In addition, We are identifying Santas for each of the 32 Wounded Warrior Battalions and Warrior in Transition sites in the USA. Santa may also make a 'one on one' visit with Wounded Warriors and their families, coordinated by the local base medical staff. This builds on our founding 'Core Mission' of visiting hospitals and hospices.

Additional support opportunities exist to visit VA hospitals, USOs and to participate in Veterans Day events and as many events as your local MWR and USO desire.

Our military and their families deserve The very Best Santa to serve their special needs. We're looking for those 'Special Santas' and you may contact me at:

Santa Jack Arthur
J.R. Arthur, LCdr, USN, Ret.
Vice President, Military Support Program
Santa America
(850) 316-1335

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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 Joseph Marquis.

Joseph MarquisFr. Joseph Marquis is a Catholic priest of the Byzantine Rite. As Santa Claus, Marquis has had a career that has spanned over 40 years.

He is an Emmy Award winning Santa and is perhaps best known for his work in Detroit's Thanksgiving Day Parade from 1977 through 1989.

Marquis's work as Santa also received the 'Go-4-It! Award' from WDIV-TV in Detroit along with the title 'Best Santa in the land ' Super Santa' from the Detroit News.

He can be seen and heard through his extensive appearances in media and print. However, through it all Marquis has tried to share with everyone the story of the true gift-giver, St. Nicholas.

Marquis is also an accomplished portrayer of St. Nicholas, who is truly a completely different character than Santa. He created, co-authored, illustrated, and portrayed St. Nicholas in 'How St. Nicholas Became Santa Claus' video and book.

Marquis is also the founder of the St. Nicholas Institute; a Santa and St. Nicholas training seminar.

Fr. Joseph Marquis
Detroit's Super Santa
1949 - Current

Want to learn more? Check out the following:

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