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ClausNet Gazette: News from the Santa Claus Network


Volume 6, Issue 8

Yes, it's already August!

By Michael Rielly

August on ClausNet

Welcome to our August 2014 newsletter!

Well, it's hard to believe that August is already here. Soon it will be Fall and kids will be going back to school. And from some of the discussions on the ClausNet Forums, it sounds like many of our members have already kicked off the season! I started my Santa season early this year as well; making appearances in April and June.

This month we kicked off our annual ClausNet Christmas Card Mailing and Christmas Ornament Exchange. These events have become a tradition and are always a huge hit with our members! For more information on how you can participate in either of these events, visit

Speaking on, we have some exciting new features coming to the site soon. Look for a newly revamped user interface and several brand new features! I don't want to give away too much, but if you want a sneak peek, there are a few screen captures posted in the Forums.

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

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In The News

Breaking News on ClausNet

Children spending the summer in the hospital get surprise visit from Santa

23ABC -- It may say July on the calendar, but a group of volunteers is making it feel more like December. Old Saint Nick is taking a break from his vacation to visit some lucky kids today at San Joaquin Community Hospital.

Families forced to spend their summer behind hospital doors are getting one big surprise from Santa.

"It's something nice. It makes me feel happy to know that there are people out here that care for other families and take time out of their day to do stuff like this," said Marco Vasquez who was paid a visit by Santa. Santa Claus decided to leave the North Pole and spend some time in Hawaii, but soon decided he wanted to spread some holiday cheer in Bakersfield.

"We enjoy watching the kids cheer up when they are in the hospital and their minds are taking away from why they are here,” he said.

"Christmas in July" is a partnership between San Joaquin Community Hospital and Toys for Tots. Together with volunteers, U.S. Marines helped pass out gifts and toys to several children.
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Caring for others is not just an illusion

Cherokee Tribune -- It amazes me at the change in priorities of different generations. Things that seem important today to so many didn’t seem to be as important to my parents’ generation or my grandparents’ generation.

The status symbols of today are unbelievable. The different social classes that have developed over the years are quite sickening if you dwell on it. And this is being passed on to another generation. Many believe success is measured in dollars.

But when I was growing up, it didn’t seem as if anyone had a whole lot. Maybe some had more than others, but it didn’t separate them. People who may have had a little money were just as friendly to those with nothing as they were to those who also had a little.

There is a quote that many of you have heard I want to share. It says, “A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in or the kind of car I drove … but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.”

When reading this quote this week, someone came to mind who fits this saying as well as anyone I know. His name is Tim Cavender.

Tim is the public information officer for the Cherokee County Fire Department. But he has many talents away from his daytime job. Tim is well known to have a special relationship with someone kids of all ages know and love; Santa Claus.

He has given a countless number of hours to assisting the jolly old man during the holidays in bringing smiles to the faces of boys and girls far and near. This job has put him in touch with some very important people with high powered positions throughout the state. But if you were to ask Tim about the important people he has come across, I will bet the house he will tell you about some child he has met.

I have heard him speak several times about the blessings associated with his holiday job and his stories always revolve around the life of some precious child.
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Play Different -- Here's a question for you - when was the last time your kids begged you to play a board game? Or with a construction set, a play-set, or any other traditional toy?

Now, when was the last time your kids begged you for five minutes with an iPad, smartphone or any other mobile device?

Whether we like it or not, these new devices are capturing children’s interest and motivation to play, which accordingly takes up somewhat of the traditional play time. This is the new world.

Most children love traditional toys as well, it’s just easier to tap a button.

There’s a widespread debate about the new tech toys - whether kids are having too much screen time or if it’s detrimental to their development.

Each household deals with this differently, and while almost no one will stop their kids from playing with traditional toys, there’s a second thought when handing over an iPad. Balancing play and making sure kids get a healthy ‘diet’ of both traditional and tech toys is extremely important.
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Featured Member - Jerry 2014

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 Jerry Miller!

Our August 2014 Featured Member of the Month joined us in March 2013. Santa Jerry Miller, aka “O’l Santa”, has been portraying Santa Claus for malls, shopping centers, parades, tree lightings, and private homes for the past 13 years.

ClausNet Featured Member of the Month

Jerry is a wonderful Story teller and a regular contributor to ClausNet. We caught up with O’l Santa 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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I'm Old!

By Santa John Gable

It happened the night of one cold Christmas Eve Delivering presents, she tugged on my sleeve.

“I know you are busy, but still I must know, How old you are Santa, and then you can go.”

“My dear,” I whispered, “I am so old. I don’t know what you think, or what you’ve been told But I knew your parents, when they were just small, And their parents before them, I knew them all.”

“I’m old,” I said, “I delivered a boat To a boy named Christopher, which he loved to float. It sparked his interest, and he went to sea, Found a whole new land, whilst looking for tea.”

“I’m old,” I laughed, “I once gave some paints To a boy named Leo, I got no complaints. He learned how to use them, he did it quite well And his work is now famous, or so I’ve heard tell.”

“I’ve known kings and princes, presidents too, All when they were little, and young just like you. Actors and doctors, and some would agree Many a life was inspired by me.”

“My gifts sparked ideas in many young minds Inventors, musicians, jobs of all kinds. There isn’t a person alive now today, Who is older than me, I can safely say.”

“I was there for them, and I’m here for you, And I’ll be here for your kids and grandchildren too. Whatever you think, whatever you’re told, The best answer I have is I’m really, really old.”
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Santa's Wisdom

Santa, may I take your picture?

By Santa Lou Knezevich

I’m sure you have heard this request many times and like me; I’m also sure you’re flattered to oblige. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, when people see Santa they want a picture with you.

Most folks already have their phone or tablet in their hands ready for the shot. With the technology of today’s phones and tablets, most people are using them in place of bulky cameras. The technology of cell phones, tablets and other devices allow you to take pictures and videos to another level. It’s quick, easy and makes a lasting memory.

A while back I happened to do a cellphone video for a couple celebrating their anniversary here in Atlanta. Their daughters were left at home and the couple was disappointed the children were not here to see Santa Claus. I don’t remember who had the idea to have me video a message to the two girls but the parents were delighted with the results.

Since then, I have done numerous phone videos and to the people around me it is always a pleasant surprise, although sometimes it is an emotion experience too. I was hired by a corporation to help represent them at a trade show here in Atlanta. Their showrooms were on the 10th were nearby, I decided this would be a better route. I might add this was a “Christmas in July” event so as I rode the escalator I stood out like the proverbial “sore thumb.”

At about the third floor four ladies behind me began yelling to me “Santa, Santa please stop, we want a picture!” I waited for them and they were so excited I would pose for a picture.

I quickly found out the picture was for “Charley” who lived in Jacksonville, Florida. “Charley” couldn’t attend because he is physically challenged and has special needs, so they wanted a photograph for him.

I asked who had the camera and would it record a video? The bewilderment at my request quickly turned to excitement when I explained I would make a special video for “Charley.” I asked a few questions about “Charley” and found out I was standing next to his grandmother whom he calls “Ma Maw.” I had “Ma Maw” stand next to me throughout the video so “Charley” would know she was really with Santa Claus.

I mentioned sometimes the video also brings an emotional response and this one did. The ladies were all crying over how much this was going to mean to “Charley” plus, how happy he was going to be to see Santa. They could not get over what I had done and never expected how Santa could reach out by video to bring joy to their loved one.

As I left them I too was moved as I am constantly amazed by the wondrous things which happen when we don the Red Suit of Santa Claus. I have said many times, “It’s not about you. It’s about the children.”

Give this idea a try. Ask a few questions about the children you’re going to be speaking too so you can put together a little story about them. Personalize your conversation as much as possible. Don’t be afraid. You can always stop the video and start over! Try it a few times and you’ll quickly become a pro. People will remember this and it is a great way to show you’re a “Special Santa.”

Santa Lou Knezevich
Creator Legendary Santas Mentoring Program

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Barefoot On The Beach by Tom Browning, depicts Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus on the beach

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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 Tim Connaghan.

Jim MorrisonFrom his first appearance in a GI camp during Vietnam in 1969 to the Sleigh of the Hollywood Christmas Parade, Tim Connaghan has become one of the World’s most prolific Santas.

As a model, Connaghan has been seen on both television and in print. As a writer, he has written “Behind the Red Suit” which has inspired many Santas to aim for higher standards in their profession. As an educator, he has taught countless Clauses through his International University of Santa Claus. As Santa, he has appeared at many commercial and charitable functions throughout the United States.

Connaghan is an entrepreneur and has built through his company, Kringle Group LLC, an extensive network of services and information for the professional Santa.

He was organizer of the “Discover Santa” convention held in Branson, Missouri, in 2006. To sum up his career we share Tim Connaghan’s own words, “Santa has truly blessed me.”.

Tim Connaghan
Hollywood, California
1948 - Current

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

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