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ClausNet Gazette: News from the Santa Claus Network

October 2012

Volume 4, Issue 10

Happy Halloween!

October on ClausNetWell here we are -- the October issue of the ClausNet Gazette. The leaves are starting to turn here in New England and the grocery store aisles are stocked with Halloween candy! Soon we will be visited by pint-sized ghosts and goblins. Which reminds me. Be sure to visit on Halloween...

A few weeks ago we reached pretty significant milestone on On September 20th we welcomed our one thousand four hundredth registered member! Thank you all for making this the greatest online community for Santas, Mrs. Clauses, Elves, Reindeer Handlers, and Helpers!

If you haven't already done so, make sure you sign up for our annual Christmas Card Mailing and Ornament Exchange! This is our fifth year organizing these events. To participate you just need to be a registered member of ClausNet. Open enrollment for both events ends on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 @ Midnight (EST). So be sure to send your information by then!

We hope you enjoy this month's issue of the ClausNet Gazette! As always, if you have any comments or suggestions, please don't hesitate to contact!

Enjoy your the rest of your summer!

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In The News

Breaking News on ClausNet

Reopened Santa's Village feeds nostalgia

Chicago Tribune -- It is probably not accurate and certainly not provable to say Phil Wenz willed Santa's Village back into being. But it's not a crazy thing to believe either.

After the northwest suburban amusement park closed in May 2006, Wenz helped organize the auction of the assets. He kept an office on the premises and served as administrator of the property, which quickly maneuvered to rejoin the wild prairie, plants growing around and into those assets ' rides, vehicles, the vaguely Seussian buildings ' that hadn't been sold.
Read More »

Kansas City Passes New Ordinance Effectively Killing Popular Light Displays -- Gawkers come by the busload to see the Prairie Village house that owner Mike Babick has turned into a Christmas spectacle over the past 47 years. Children gape at the thousands of twinkling lights. Grownups stare with joy and amazement at the hundreds of holiday figures and the robotic elves toiling away.

'Elves with hammers,' Babick said. 'Elves with saws. Elves with candy canes. Elves with'' Elves aplenty. Reindeer out the wazoo.

Yet Babick's house at 7611 Falmouth St. may no longer be a must-see stop on the unofficial holiday lighting tour of Kansas City.

This week the Prairie Village City Council passed an ordinance that, Babick says, might make it unaffordable for him to carry on the tradition this Christmas. And he's mighty bitter about it.
Read More »

Toys R Us Guarantees Availability of Hottest Toys of Christmas

Christmas Newswire -- Toys 'R' Us Wednesday unveiled a new weapon in its strategy to win the holiday toy wars ' a 'hot toys reservation' program that will give parents a guarantee that they can get a sold-out toy in time for Christmas, as long as they reserve it by Halloween.

Succeeding during the fourth quarter is a particularly high stakes game for Wayne-based Toys 'R' Us, one of North Jersey's largest employers. Not only does it have to hold its own against tough rivals such as Walmart and Amazon, but it needs to have robust holiday sales to convince investors that it has a future as a public company.
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LEGO Friends Sets -- The LEGO Friends is a collection of construction toys that are designed for girls ages 6 to 12. You'll have a blast playing with the five Friends' characters: Olivia, Emma, Andrea, Stephanie, and Mia. Each of these characters is presented as mini-dolls that have been designed very realistically.

Plan to spend hours with the dozens of scenarios available in the colorful pink and purple landscape of Heartlake. From the downtown and suburbs of Heartlake to the scenic mountains, beach area, and campgrounds, the Friends collection highlights all of these areas.

Check out the awesome convertible that seats two mini-dolls as they cruise to the retro diner. Or take the mini-dolls and their pets to the veterinary clinic before they get all dolled up at the beauty salon. There's even a swimming pool included in this collection.
Read More »

New Air Swimmers adverts appear

ToyNews Online -- A series of video clips promoting the new range of Air Swimmers have emerged on Wow Stuff's YouTube channel. 2012 sees the launch of new Piranha and Killer Whale designs.

The 'Mark 2' Air Swimmers also have Turbo Boost and Auto Fly modes. Wow Stuff has also produced a teaser for its Angry Birds Air Swimmers.
Read More »

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Featured Member - October 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 Santa Bruce Geron!

Santa Bruce Geron joined us back in December of 2009. It's always amazing to me how similar many of our backgrounds are. Like Bruce I got my start as Santa in Elementary School and like Bruce I have a background in music. Unlike Bruce however, I have never been a big fan of borscht. Hee! Hee!

ClausNet Featured Member of the Month

We talked with Santa Bruce a few days ago. 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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Show us YOUR Christmas!

By Jeff Westover

Over at My Merry Christmas we want to see as much Christmas as possible from every corner of the world. It has become our merry tradition as the world's largest Christmas community online to share Christmas as it happens with each other. And this year we want to do it bigger and better than ever!

We want to see lights from London, trees in Tallahassee, surfing Santas from down under, and smiling faces from everywhere! Do you put up a tree? Send us a picture of it! Do you hang your stockings with care? Show us! Do you have a project for Christmas you're working on? Share it!

Do you bake goodies? Let us see it! (Scratch 'n sniff if possible) Do you visit a local Christmas pageant, festival or market? Take your camera and show it off! Do you take your family to visit with Santa? Take pictures and post them! Are YOU Santa? Show us your jolly!

For more information, visit:
Show us YOUR Christmas »

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You are not the REAL Santa Claus

By Michael Rielly

Normally I don't pay much attention to any of the Santa Facebook groups. Wading through all the egos, tantrums, and prima donnas is nothing less than exhausting. There is so much chest thumping going on over there it won't be long before one Santa climbs to the top of the Empire State Building. Of course as soon as the first one starts his climb, it wouldn't be long before others joined in ' all claiming to have thought of the idea first. And instead of Faye Wray, the Santas would be carrying their business cards ' stuffing them into every window as they all raced to the top of the building. But I digress.

There is a Santa on Facebook, let's call him 'Santa Munchausen', who compares what he refers to as "fake bearded Santas" to 'fake hamburgers'. Not surprisingly his logic is difficult to follow, but it seems what he is trying to say is that anyone hiring a traditional bearded Santa is somehow being cheated out of the 'real' experience. He compares it to someone ordering a hamburger, but is disappointed when they are served a soy-burger instead.

Nice job Santa Munchausen. Not only have you managed to insult me and my fellow 'fake' bearded Santas, but you've also managed to insult countless vegetarians who prefer veggie-burgers over hamburgers.

And as if his insult to the millions of vegetarians around the world wasn't enough, he continued his rant, boasting how he could easily unseat any 'fake bearded Santa' from any gig because he is a 'real Santa'.

Quick! Someone check the top of Empire State Building. I think we have a winner.

Sorry Santa Munchausen, but portraying Santa Claus is a lot more than just hair growing on your face. Just because a guy looks like Jerry Garcia, doesn't automatically make him Santa Claus. Any 'real Santa' will tell you that.

I've been a 'fake beard' Santa for 21 years now and proud of it! Unless of course I do the creative counting like some who include all the years since first putting on a Santa Claus suit. That would be 41 years by the way. And although my beard is very realistic, I don't rely solely on the whiskers to pull off being Santa Claus. It takes a lot more than that to convincingly portray Santa Claus. Any real Santa will tell you that too.

As a 'fake bearded Santa', I'd say I'm in pretty good company: Jim Yellig, Charles Howard, Edmund Gwenn, Phil Wenz, Tim Allen, not to mention the entire 2010 Inaugural Class of the Santa Claus Hall of Fame. I would like to see you pull a gig away from any of them.

My grandfather was Santa Claus for sixty two consecutive years. And we're not talking about 62 years of one or two appearances a season. This man made appearances all year round. During the busiest times of the year he would make over 30 separate appearances in a DAY! My grandfather was a 'fake bearded' Santa Claus who SHAVED his real beard to portray Santa Claus.

Isn't interesting, that in all the letters to him from United States Presidents, Members of Congress, celebrities, and even His Holiness Pope John Paul II, there is never mention of a 'fake beard'; only words of praise, sacrifice, and gratitude. Maybe it's because the 'beard', only matters to those who have nothing else but a beard.
Leave your comment »

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Santa's Wisdom

The Christmas Season is just around the Corner

By Santa Lou Knezevich

We have closed the book upon another month and the Christmas Season is just around the corner.

Santas are busy preparing their costumes and adding to their wardrobe. Social activities, local and State organizations will have their final meetings until after the New Year. Contracts with organizations providing Santas for Malls, special events are being completed and the Santa Community is on high alert to have fun! We are getting close to the time of year we all live for.

Somewhere among us are Santas who are venturing into our world for the first time. They aren't too sure of what to do, or say, or maybe what costume is best. At one time you and I were brand new and the Santa world was a mystery to us. Learning the 'ropes' was an adventure in itself because no one was available to share their knowledge and help us succeed. With this thought in mind the Legendary Santas Mentoring Program was created. It is designed to aid new Santas in their journey to becoming professional enactors and renew a spark in seasoned Santas. It also is the foundation to educate Santas in the ethical principles and heritage of the jolly old elf.

The Legendary Santas Mentoring Program consists of six modules in about 90 pages of illustrated material. The program covers many aspects of being Santa from the myth and history to posing for photographs. Each module has conversational questions so the Apprentice and Mentor interact about Santa. There is no time limit and the material may be completed at a pace convenient to the participant's circumstances. One of the features of the program is it is absolutely free.

When I created the program I wanted to 'give back' to the Santa Community for the enjoyment and heart rendering experiences I have had. I also hoped the program would set a standard for ethical behavior and professionalism. The last few years we have seen far too many 'Bad Santa' behaviors and an element of thievery and profiteering. It is my hope this program will be the basis for a new santa to develop the ethics expected of him, in and out of character.

If you are a new Santa or feel you need ideas about your Santa career, please contact us and we will try to match you with a Mentor. Or if you are an experienced Santa and would like to help mentor others, let us know! We will be happy to match you with a new Santa.

And if you're a Santa organization, we are happy to furnish the program to you for use within your membership. It's great to be a Santa and rewarding to help a fellow Santa with his career.

For more information on the Legendary Santa Mentoring Program, please contact Santa Lou Knezevich.


Santa Lou Knezevich
Creator Legendary Santas Mentoring Program

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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 Victor Nevada.

Victor NevadaJohn Hubenig, also known as Victor Nevada, began portraying Santa Claus in 1985 by first visiting the children of his real estate clients.

Realizing there was more to portraying the Jolly Old Elf than putting on a suit, traditional beard, and saying 'Ho, Ho, Ho!' Nevada began to hone the role and research extensively all aspects of being Santa Claus. Through his efforts, Nevada was able to become what the Canadian National media entitled him ' 'Canada's Top Santa.'

Nevada began the Santa School Inc. in 1998, designing it as a place where 'would be' Santas could come for an extensive study of the basic fundamentals they would need to be Santa's regional representatives. Nevada represented Santa in Canada, the United States, Mexico, Hong Kong and could be seen in both media and print as well as entertaining children of all ages at commercial and charitable events alike.

Victor Nevada passed away in 2009, leaving a legacy that is truly legendary in the history of Christmas.

Victor Nevada
Canada Santa Educator
1943 - 2009

Want to learn more? Check out the following:

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