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ClausNet Gazette: News from the Santa Claus Network


Volume 6, Issue 10

Welcome to October!

By Michael Rielly

Welcome to our October 2014 newsletter!

Autumn is my favorite time of year! The temperatures are cooler, the colors of the leaves are brighter, and on ClausNet, it's time for us to kick off our official countdown to Christmas! If you are a registered member of, you can add your comments to the countdown.

While you are there, don't forget to sign up for our Seventh Annual ClausNet Christmas Ornament Exchange and ClausNet Christmas Card Mailing. These events are open to all registered members of If you would like to participate, there is still time. For more details, check out the ClausNet Contests and Happenings forum.

We're Hiring!We are still looking for a few good Elves to help out around the site. If you like to write, have a nose for news, or have good organizing skills, please contact me!

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

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In The News

Breaking News on ClausNet

St. Nicholas Institute celebrates awardees in Livonia -- Several Detroit-area celebrities will be recognized for their charitable deeds in the true spirit of Christmas on Wednesday, October 8, in Livonia.

Former Detroit Tigers and Domino’s Pizza owner Tom Monaghan, WJR Radio personality Paul W. Smith, and former Detroit Red Wing Joe Kocur will join Livonia’s Debra Bonde as honorees at the St. Nicholas Institute’s third annual Awards Banquet at the Sacred Heart Banquet and Conference Center.

Actress Maureen O’Hara, famed for her portrayal of Doris Walker in the 1947 Christmas classic Miracle on 34th Street, and Padre Gerardo Cioffari, considered a historical expert about St. Nicholas, also will be honored.

The awards dinner is part of the graduation ceremony of the St. Nicholas Institute, a four-day course teaching the values and history of St. Nicholas (and the modern Santa Claus) for would-be professional Santas and Mrs. Clauses. This “master’s class” was created by the Rev. Joseph Marquis of Sacred Heart Byzantine Church, a professional Santa whose 43-year career includes 12 years at the Detroit Thanksgiving Day Parade and at Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland in Frankenmuth. He is also a member of the International Santa Claus Hall of Fame.

This year, at least 20 individuals will enhance their Santa skills in the professional, faith-based St. Nicholas course from Oct. 6-9 at St. Paul of the Cross Retreat Center in Detroit. Those participants will receive certificates of achievement at the awards banquet.

“This banquet gives metro Detroiters a chance to meet these exceptional people and express our gratitude for their work in bringing Christmas joy to everyday lives,” Father Marquis said.
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Anti-Christmas Protests to Launch Thanksgiving Morning -- As news begins to trickle in of retailers planning to open in the wee hours of Thanksgiving Day we’re hearing that anti-Christmas protesters are planning to be there, too. It begs the question: Will Thanksgiving Day become the ultimate battleground in the War on Christmas?

The media is already in a tizzy each holiday season over “Christmas creep” — the selling of anything Christmas before Thanksgiving. But when major retailers shifted Black Friday specials before and after Thanksgiving dinner last year the chorus of anti-Christmas voices blossomed in defense of retail workers forced from their families on Thanksgiving.

Unions organized and in parts of the country Black Friday morning protesters marching against low wages and working on holidays made headlines coast to coast.

Social media campaigns and online petitions were launched to seek out supporters who would not shop those Thanksgiving sales events.

But is all this upset of the shopping frenzy-before-the-feast really about Christmas?
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No coal here: Holiday forecast calls for 4% growth

CNBC -- After a year of sluggish demand and never-ending promotions, things may finally be turning a corner in the retail industry.

In the first of many holiday retail sales forecasts to be released over the next few weeks, Deloitte on Wednesday predicted the improving overall economy will translate into a retail sales increase between 4 percent and 4.5 percent from November through January.

That represents a modest improvement over last year's 2.8 percent gain to $944 billion, according to U.S. Commerce Department data that excludes auto and gasoline sales.

Still, experts predict the season will once again be riddled with discounts that come early and often, as retailers compete for shoppers' dollars.

"We're really optimistic and there are a few reasons for that," said Alison Paul, vice chairman and U.S. retail and distribution leader at Deloitte. "There are some good economic fundamentals in place this year that weren't as strong last year."
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Toys R Us Reveals Hot Toys List For 2014 Holiday Season -- The list parents either love or dread is out. Toys R Us has released its 2014 Hot Toy List and Fabulous 15. These are likely to be the ones your kids pester you about over the next three months.

The Fabulous 15 -- the ones TRU is predicting to be huge -- have several of the usual suspects, from LEGO to 'Frozen' to 'Transformers.' (Coincidentally, all related to recent hit movies.) The newest version of 'Skylanders' -- its fourth -- is here, as are familiar brands Hot Wheels and LeapFrog, though in new forms.
Visit for the full list »

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Featured Member - October 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 Santa Morgan!

Our October Featured Member of the Month hails from North Dakota. Santa Morgan joined our community back in 2012 and has been a valuable contributor to the site ever since. What I like most in doing these interviews is learning how much many of us seem to have in common; aside from being Santas.

ClausNet Featured Member of the Month

We caught up with Santa Morgan last week 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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Recipe for Christmas All Year Long

By Joanna Fuchs

Take a heap of child-like wonder That opens up our eyes To the unexpected gifts in life— Each day a sweet surprise.

Mix in fond appreciation For the people whom we know; Like festive Christmas candles, Each one has a special glow.

Add some giggles and some laughter, A dash of Christmas food, (Amazing how a piece of pie Improves our attitude!)

Stir it all with human kindness; Wrap it up in love and peace, Decorate with optimism, and Our joy will never cease.

If we use this healthy recipe, We know we will remember To be in the Christmas spirit, Even when it's not December.
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Santa's Wisdom

Look behind us, there's Santa

By Santa Lou Knezevich

Mrs. Claus and I were walking down the gangway leaving the airplane when the little girl’s Mother said, “Look behind us, there’s Santa.”

I had quickly said “hello” when we entered the plane and gave the little girl and her brother some “I met Santa Claus” stickers. Mom and the kids had seats up front very near the First Class section. They were about ten rows in front of us and I could see their little heads popping up to wave at me throughout the flight. Of course, waving back and forth put smiles on a lot of passengers but I’m sure I detected a “Grinch” among the smiling faces.

I replied to the mothers remark, by telling both children, “be good now, it’s getting close to Christmas.’’ To my surprise the little girl said. “I will, I promise not to bite anymore!” I wasn’t quite prepared for her remark, however, the mother standing behind the kids was giving me thumbs up and mouthing the biggest “thank you” I have ever seen. I had to chuckle as they happily made their way to the outstretched arms of relatives.

When things of this nature happen I am reminded of the powerful influence Santa has with children. We are drawing close to the most magical season of the year and maybe we need to start polishing our Santa persona. The child on your knee deserves a memorable Santa experience that can be recalled throughout his or her life.

Do you ever give any thought to what you look like, say or do which will be remembered for a lifetime? Children are impressionable; what kind of impression is that child going to have of you? You’re charged with an awesome responsibility which should not be taken lightly. I am very disappointed when I am hired for a social function and the client elaborates “We were so disappointed in last year’s Santa, He hardly talked to the children, and He wasn’t at all what we expected.” I have also heard of Santas who could not interact with the audience which made for a quiet party.

Think about your performance as Santa. Do you quickly go through the motions with one child after another? If you are a reluctant Santa who is uncomfortable in a crowd, you may need to consider some improvisational or acting lessons.

Portraying Santa is a fun job and if you’re not having fun you need to find out why. Putting on the Red Suit doesn’t automatically make you Santa Claus. It is the person in the suit who brings “Santa” to life and makes believers of all who see him.

There has been a rush of men who wish to portray Santa, many for the reason they will make a lot of money. Yes, there are a number of Santas who make a nice income however, I feel there are a majority who just cover expenses while some do this for the love of children.

There is an art to being Santa acquired through experience, being observant and attending the offerings of Santa schools or Mentors. When I say “Santa Schools” I’m referring to established offerings of educational and professional instruction. I don’t mean some of those “Charlatan’s” promising how to mine the riches without learning the basics or ethics of portraying Santa.

If money is your motive you have put the proverbial “cart before the horse.” Santas who are in demand have developed a clientele; they have made the Santa experience one to remember.

In doing so they have earned new and repeat business, commanding fees readily paid for their services. This season, let us be the best Santas the public will see. Let’s make every child’s visit a memorable experience, one they will fondly retell to their children and grandchildren. Each of has the ability to do this.

Let’s make this the best season you have had in terms of joy brought to children; not in terms of how many jobs you can do.

Santa Lou Knezevich
Creator Legendary Santas Mentoring Program

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My hat's off to the pause that refreshes, by Haddon Sundblom, 1931

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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 Jim Morrison.

Jim MorrisonJim Morrison has spent most of his life collecting and preserving the history of Christmas.

A gentle man with a gentle nature and a deep love of Christmas past as seen through the eyes of a child, Jim is a true treasure. An expert on Christmas past, his National Christmas Center houses some of the most priceless Christmas treasures ever brought to light and is a must see to all who truly love Christmas.

From Tudor Towne to the North Pole to the Nativity, visitors are able to see things and experience exhibits that truly capture the Christmas Spirit as a child would see it.

Be assured that every visitor is made welcome by “Santa Jr.” Jim has been seen in countless publications and in documentaries.

He has been seen in Christmas specials on both the History Channel and the Travel Channel.

He was the 2012 recipient of the "Through The Eyes of a Child" award. Jim Morrison truly is the embodiment of the true Spirit of Santa Claus.

Jim Morrison
Paradise, Pennsylvania
1934 - Current

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

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