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ClausNet Gazette: News from the Santa Claus Network

October 2013

Volume 5, Issue 10

Happy Halloween!

By Michael Rielly

Welcome to our October newsletter!

Well, here we are October already and like many of you, my December is already booked! Seems like my schedule fills up much sooner than it used to these days. I only have a few weekdays left open in December and am even booked a couple of weekends in November!

Also, if you haven't already signed up for our ClausNet Christmas Ornament Exchange and the ClausNet Christmas Card Mailing, there are only a few weeks left to enter. For details, check out the ClausNet Contests and Happenings forum.

Oh and don't forget to stop by on Halloween! I think you might find a spooky treat or two!

I hope you enjoy this month's issue of the ClausNet Gazette. As always, please feel free to contact us with your comments and suggestions.

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In The News

Breaking News on ClausNet

Santa parade to try new format

Canada Times -- Organizers will be trying out a fresh concept for this year's Christmas Parade: a stationary one.

Instead of being a procession that would go down Scott Street after sunset, the Parade, which has been set for Saturday, November 30th, will see a series of floats parked along there during the day.

The idea is that people would come downtown that day, and be able to view all the floats at their own leisure. Furthermore, a series of activities will be organized around each float in the stationary parade.
Read More »

Saskatoon Buses Can Say Merry Christmas -- In a story that just will not go away in Canada it appears the fight over whether public buses in Saskatoon can now say “Merry Christmas” is over. The Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission says there isn’t enough evidence to move forward with a complaint against having “Merry Christmas” signs on Saskatoon city buses.

The commission says it has declined to file the complaint made last December by Saskatoon resident and professional anti-Christmas protestor Ashu Solo.

Solo went to the commission alleging the programmable message on the buses violated separation of religion and state and discriminated against non-Christians. Solo said he was offended and angered that his tax money funded city buses that promote a religion he doesn’t believe in.
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Pennsylvania School District Refuses to Say Winter Instead of Christmas

Defend Christmas -- Another school district is standing their ground on the whole debate of whether or not to call it “Winter Break” versus “Christmas Break”. Greensburg Salem School District, located in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania near suburban Pittsburgh, decided to retain the words “Christmas” and “Easter” on calendars after a complaint registered by resident Nina Lewis.

Lewis, who requested the changes after meeting with Superintendent Eileen Amato, said she has sought similar revisions from the district for decades.

“We’re of the Jewish faith and we don’t celebrate Christmas and Easter,” she said on Thursday. “There’s Muslims in the school district, nonreligious people. It should be called winter and spring. … There’s supposed to be a separation of church and state in the schools.

“I don’t care about the overtones it has,” she added. “I don’t celebrate any of these holidays. I want it to say winter and spring.” Director Lee Kunkle defended using the terms, saying to many people, Christmas and Easter are celebrated but have no religious overtones.
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LEGO Batman: The Movie - DC Super Heroes Unite teaser trailer

ToyNews Online -- LEGO and Warner Brothers have united once again, this time to present non other than LEGO Batman: The Movie - DC Super Heroes Unite. Keeping its cards close to its chest for now, LEGO has released a teaser trailer for the new film, expected to be released this month.
Read More »

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Featured Member - October 2013

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 Laureate!

I met this month’s Featured Member of the Month and his wife, Bestemor Claus at the Jim Yellig Santa Claus Workshop in Santa Claus Indiana. Santa Bill joined us only a few years ago, but since then he has become a key contributor to our community. Many of the stories and poems you read here were authored by our very own Santa Laureate.

ClausNet Featured Member of the Month

Aside from a talented poet, Bill is also craftsman and woodworker – not unlike the real Santa Claus We caught up with Santa Bill 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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What you can do the rest of the year using the skills learned to play Santa

By Santa Gordon

What can a Santa do the rest of the year?

So you have invested a great deal of time and money into your Santa presentation. That is Great! But you sit there with nothing to do for 10 months out of the year as there is very little for a Santa to do outside of the Christmas season.

Oh sure, there is the odd "Christmas in July" events and you might get into doing advertising work with video or film but those are rather few and far between. So, what to do?

You can take the experience you gained from learning the role of Santa and apply it to other "Characters". You have learned how to research a character to gain both background and depth for the personality you are trying to play. You have also learned where and how to put together a authentic looking period costume. Now you can use that knowledge to develop new characters you can perform the rest of the year.

This Blog will help you do just that with character and venue suggestions.
Leave your comment »

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Santas 7 Deadly Sins

By Santa Craig

This is a topic I have been pondering for some time. I am sure it is a topic that is going to face an awful lot of scrutiny, but I think it is really some good "Food for thought" on how we conduct ourselves as "Santas". I think it is something that each of us can delve into and learn from. I know that I am guilty of many of these myself and by meditating and studying I hope to prevent myself from succumbing to those not crossed yet. With a little self restraint, and a lot of willpower I hope to curb the enticements that go along with the portrayal of Santa. Hopefully, you can too.

1. Pride: Dictionary definition: “inordinate self-esteem”. For a Santa portrayer it is the inability to control his ego. To go on and on about how special they are when it pertains to anything in the Santa world. To be unable to control their self importance in the hierarchy of a make believe being and or to abstain from self indulgence as it is related to the character being portrayed.

2. Gluttony: Dictionary definition:” an emphasis on over-indulgence”. For a Santa portrayer this can encompass several things. The most relevant of which is simply doing things in excess. Too many suits, too many jobs, too many hours away from family. It could also be seen as spending too much time on message boards or advertising of ones self image to the point of being glutinous.

3. Envy: Dictionary definition: “painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage”. For a Santa portrayer Envy could be excess jealousy of another “Santa portrayers” material items. Props, suits, job status, Looks etc etc. One could even suggest that one could be envious of anothers portray.

4. Sloth: Dictionary definition: “disinclination to action or labor”. For a Santa portrayer sloth would be the lack of study into the character that one is portraying. It could also be interrupted that one be to lax in perusing opportunities to carry out a right and just portrayal of the character on is portraying.

5. Wrath: Dictionary definition: “strong vengeful anger”. For the Santa portrayer wrath is the extreme anger manifested as out of control anger. It could be physical but more than likely be carried out verbally through online conversations or accusations towards others who do not agree with in solidarity with your own beliefs.

6. Greed: Dictionary definition: “a selfish and excessive desire for more of something (as money) than is needed”. For those Santa portrayers greed should be pretty self explanatory. Pure excess of any and all things related to Santa in a negative way. Trying to take over as a supreme portrayer, to inhibit others for self-indulgence.

7. Lust: Dictionary definition: “intense or unbridled sexual desire”. While lust for a Santa portrayer is not “unbridled sexual desire” , it does have an intense or unbridled desire for power, money, greatness. To want something, material or otherwise so much that it takes control of your portrayal to the point of being overwhelming
Leave your comment »

Santa's Wisdom

The Forgotten Group of kids

By Santa Lou Knezevich

In the hustle and bustle of the holidays, we Santas think of spreading joy to every child we see. Our greatest thrill is to see the expression of a wide eyed child who has climbed upon our knee, and rambled through a list of electronic games and technical gadgets. We pose for photographs which make Grandma “Ooh and Ouw” over their grandchild’s lasting memory of their Santa visit. It doesn’t make a difference if you are a mall Santa, make house visits or just make one appearance, you want to put a smile on each child’s face. That's our job.

But wait a minute! What about the forgotten group of kids? I’m not referring to kids living in shelters, hospitalized or without parents. Every child is extremely important and every Santa should try to address their needs.

I’m taking about “Big Kids.”

“Big Kids” are over age 60 and for many of us, in our age group. They are the individuals who fought in wars, raised children and held a variety of jobs making this country so great. They have watched the amazing growth of electronics from a 7 inch screen TV screen with a test pattern to theater type, large screen viewing TV’s in color and 3D. We have seen propeller driven airplanes evolve into jet power, and soar into space with a landing on the “Moon.” These “Big Kids” have seen it all and pretty much, done it all.

Ponder with me these few thoughts.

“Big Kids” believe it or not, were once “Little Kids.” Each had the same fundamental type of expectations kids have today. Each has memories of their Christmas’s and if asked will describe the presents Santa Brought them. Look closely and you will see a sparkle in their eyes reliving a memory of the past. “Big Kids” are really “Little Kids” masquerading in grown up bodies. Unfortunately, during the Christmas season "Big Kids" are the forgotten ones. Many are in retirement homes or assisted living facilities, many without family or the means to celebrate Christmas. Santas, we need to remember these "Big Kids" and bring a smile to their faces. Hopefully, I have made the point that our elder citizens need to be included in all our Santa activities.

Each year, I visit a luncheon for elder citizens provided by a local church’s outreach program. The food and volunteers for the luncheon is provided by a mortgage company. Warm blankets, grocery gift cards, food staples, etc are their presents which are voluntarily donated by one of the church’s congregations. About 35 seniors attend this luncheon and for almost all of them. This is the only Christmas they will have. They love Santa and they love to be called “kids” or “boys and girls.”

One 94 year old girl flirts with me and tells me, ‘Santa you get more handsome each year!” This gets a laugh from the crowd especially when Mrs. Claus gives me that, “what did you do now looks.” My counter parts from the mortgage company and other volunteers are visibly moved by making these “Big Kids” happy and providing the spirit of Christmas for them. You will find seniors lovable and eager to relive in these few moments the joys of Christmas they have known.

My hope is some of you, Santas and Mrs. Claus, will through outreach programs or with senior citizens homes, etc. bring the spirit and memories of Christmas past to the “Big Kids” of your community. “Remember it’s for the kids, not about you.”


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 Jay Long.

Jay LongFor over fifty years Jay Long has been portraying Santa Claus for children of all ages around the Kanawha Valley of West Virginia.

As an employee of the City of Nitro, West Virginia, (a World War I boom town) Long began visiting more than 100 families in their homes per week. On weekends he would visit hospitals, churches, and senior care homes.

Accompanied by his wife, Viola, Jay Long has been in thirty regional Christmas parades, visited countless businesses and organizations, helped with many charities, and even brought Christmas cheer to the Governor’s Mansion in Charleston, West Virginia. Everywhere he has gone he has left the love of Christmas and what it truly stands for, the birth of Jesus, with every child both young and old.

Today, he is active in the Nitro Church of the Nazarene along with other local charities to help the needy all year round. Jay Long, as Santa Claus and as himself truly embodies the spirit of Christmas all year long.

Jay Long
The Boom Town Santa
1938 - Current

Want to learn more? Check out the following: