Hello everyone and welcome to our September 2015 newsletter!
Well today is Labor Day, the unofficial end of summer. But for many of us it marks the the beginning of our countdown to the Christmas season! This month we kick off two of our most popular annual events: the ClausNet Christmas Ornament Exchange and the ClausNet Christmas Card Mailing! This will be our eighth consecutive year for these events! For details on how to sign up for either or both, check out the discussion forums on ClausNet.com.
We are also looking forward to launching our new site. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, we hope to have the new site up and running before the end of September. Without giving too much away, the new site will include several new enhancements and a few brand new features.
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.
Yahoo! News -- A Charlie Brown Christmas has been a holiday TV tradition for five decades now. So it’s only appropriate that the U.S. Postal Service has decided to give the animated special an early 50th birthday present that doubles as a holiday gift to the public. On Oct. 1, a special booklet of 20 Peanuts stamps, featuring 10 still frames from A Charlie Brown Christmas, will be dedicated at the Charles M. Schulz Museum in California. You can order your booklets now at USPS.com in advance of the holiday rush, thus ensuring that you’ll get stamps rather than Charlie Brown’s regular present: a rock.
And this is just the start of the birthday celebration for A Charlie Brown Christmas. ABC, which airs the half-hour cartoon every year in December, will also premiere an all-new Kristen Bell-hosted special on Nov. 30. Entitled It’s Your 50th Birthday, Charlie Brown, the tribute will feature Hollywood stars describing how much the special means to them, as well as live performances of the much-loved music, composed by Vince Guaraldi.
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WKRN -- A Virginia school board has voted to use the words “Merry Christmas” on school marquees later this year. Risking lawsuits and bad publicity the Powhatan County School Board in Virginia made the decision after residents approached them three times in the past year to say Merry Christmas.
Christopher Smith of Powhatan came before the board at meetings in October and December 2014 and then again in May 2015 to make the request. He spoke alone at first, but in the subsequent meetings, he brought an increasing number of supporters.
Board members had agreed in earlier meetings that for the sake of inclusiveness, having the message on school marquees presented too many potential pitfalls and was an opportunity for some group to be left off. But the superintendent of the school board took a straw poll after checking with attorneys and recent case law on the use of “Merry Christmas”.
Even still — just to be sure no one is left out and the chances of a lawsuit is minimized — the school district declared the marquees will say “Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays”.
The world breathlessly awaits the public outcry over this bold decision.
The state of Virginia has not passed a “Merry Christmas” bill protecting schools from litigation on this matter so the stakes are quite high.
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ToyNews -- Star Wars: The Force Awakens merchandise sales could hit as much as $5billion within its first year, according to analysts.
Assuming the new title outperforms Cars 2’s $3billion, it has been estimated that Star Wars: The Force Awakens could net Disney around $500million in licensing and retail revenue.
Macquarie Securities analyst, Tim Nollen made the predictions in a report published yesterday (Monday, August 31st) on Walt Disney and its stock.
Disney will be unveiling Star Wars: The Force Awakens consumer products over an 18-hour period in a global, live-streaming YouTube special. Sales of the new line will officially start at midnight at select Disney Stores, as well as other major retailers.
“[Star Wars] could generate $5billion in consumer merchandise sales in its first year of release, assuming it does better than Cars 2’s $3billion,” Nollen said via The Hollywood Reporter.
“Looking at another successful Disney franchise, Cars 2 sold more than $2.8billion worth of merchandise in its fist year alone in 2011, and the original Cars movie sold approximately $10billion worth of merchandise in its first five years of release.
“Taking into account the strength of the Star Wars franchise, which has altogether sold over $20billion worth of licensed goods in its lifetime, we estimate that Star Wars: The Force Awakens could bring in merchandise sales of $5billion in the first year.”
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ToyNews -- After a successful first year, The Bananagrams Challenge is returning once again this year.
Open to twice as many schools this year, the Bananagrams Challenge is a nationwide search for the UK’s Top Banana.
Aiming to attract 1000 competing schools, the free-to-enter Challenge will see around 30,000 children aged seven to eleven years old play a series of Bananagrams games with classmates.
Through a simple process of elimination, each school finds its champion, who then competes in a range of online word-based games – built around the Key Stage 2 spelling lists – for one of 12 places at the grand final in London, in April 2016. The eventual winner will be crowned Top Banana 2016 and will win £1000 for their school, while all finalists receive a Banagrams Goodie Bag crammed full of fun.
Bananagrams has launched the Challenge to help boost vocabulary and spelling skills in classrooms and after-school clubs across the country. Each school that registers receives a free Bananagrams Challenge Welcome Pack worth over £40, which provides teachers with everything they need to run their school’s Challenge, including two Bananagrams games.
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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 ClausNet.com. This is a great way to get to know your fellow ClausNet members!
This month our featured ClausNet Member is Hogfather!
This month’s Featured Member is from down under. Santa Steve aka Hogfather joined ClausNet back in 2013. Steve has been a Santa Claus for the past 24 years.
He is also the first person I’ve ever met whose favorite color is Silver! Anyway, we caught up with Steve 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!
On a night like tonight, with a star shining bright Not a whisper of wind in the air. On a hill, some asleep, taking turns, watching sheep Nothing different, just an average affair.
When the sky came alive, did the darkness deprive With a strange and unusual light. Scores of angels appeared, heavn’ly bodies, revered Filled these men with confusion and fright.
But their message was grand, would bring joy to the land Of a Savior they’d long waited on. He was born for all men, in an animal pen, Hallelujah! And then they were gone.
Then the shepherds made haste, and quickly they raced To see this most glorious thing Left their troubles behind and they went to go find him, Their Jesus, their Savior and King.
Now centuries later, no goal could be greater
Than to do as the shepherds have done
Let us go and tell all, of this babe in the stall
Born for us, He is God’s only son!
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By Santa Lou Knezevich
I have been very fortunate to be associated with the ClausNet Santa Claus Network for a few years now and I am honored to be put in the category of “Minions” who contribute to this outstanding resource.
I am also an avid reader of the various posts which I thoroughly enjoy. On the verge of showing my partiality; I believe ClausNet is the best resource and informational guide for Santas and those in the Santa community. I’m hard pressed to find any other resource which covers so many subjects and in such detail.
When I started out portraying Santa, resources and Santa information were very limited by today’s standards. I bought my first Santa Suit from a company specializing in party supplies. I just happened to see it hanging up in the store with a “for sale” sign, as it was a costume rental return. My first boots were a pair of “waders” found in the garage, which cleaned up pretty good. Of course they were so hot water just dripped out of them when I took them off. All of us are so fortunate that now within the pages of ClausNet; we may find costumes and accessories to fit every budget and taste.
When you open ClausNet you open the world of Santa Claus and everything related. Just post a question and the Santa community will respond with solutions and advice. For the new Santa, ClausNet is a virtual treasure chest of information. For myself, I often learn something new and practical, which I can put to use. I’ve learned a lot when Santas reply how they handle the “tough Questions” and other “how to” answers. I’ve enjoyed hearing other Santas point of view or practical experience.
Michael Rielly, plus some of our tech savvy Santas, have been diligently working to improve ClausNet with added features and improvements to our navigation of the site. My Santa Hat’s off to Michael and all the work that goes into producing such a versatile publication. Let’s all help make ClausNet read around the world. Encourage your Santa friends and others to join the mailing list by sending a copy to them. I’m sure they will enjoy it as much as you and I do.
By the way, ClausNet.com arrives daily in your inbox and it’s free! You can’t find bargains like that in today’s economy. Behind the scenes it does take money to keep the wheels turning to provide a quality publication. ClausNet is funded by donations and relies on contributors just like you. We don’t have fund or pledge drives, just a nudge your way to open your wallet, as way of appreciation for all that can be found on ClausNet.com
Always remember, “It’s not about you, it’s about the children.”
Santa Lou Knezevich
Creator Legendary Santas Mentoring Program
Harper's Weekly, December 14, 1901; "Making Up For The Part", W.A. Rogers
Each month we feature an inductee of the International Santa Claus Hall of Fame.
This month we honor Tim Cavender!
Georgia native Tim Cavender first put on the red suit when he was fourteen years old. Since then, Tim (whose wife Pam is ever by his side as Mrs. Claus) has devoted himself to an authentic and loving portrayal of the Jolly Old Elf.
Every year he devotes much of his time to local charities, Toys for Tots, and a canned food drive for a local television station. From parades and work with photographers to the annual tree lighting at the Governor’s Mansion, Tim carries two integral traits with him – his love and concern for children and a deeply rooted faith in the Reason for the Season.
Tim is not only a giver to the children and community that he serves as Santa but he is also a giver to the brotherhood of Santa Clauses as well. Driven by his own childhood experience with a less than magical interpretation of Santa, Tim has a desire to share the best possible image of the Jolly Old Elf. The need for preserving and defending the image of Santa Claus is something that he also shares with fellow Santas and has brought him many admirers within the brotherhood.
Ball Ground, Georgia
1958 – Current
Want to learn more?
Visit the International Santa Claus Hall of Fame website.