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ClausNet Gazette: News from the Santa Claus Network


Volume 8, Issue 10

Happy Halloween!

By Michael Rielly

Bronner's CHRISTmas Wonderland: Halloween Nightscape Glass Ornament

Welcome to our October newsletter!

October is here and even though most will say it’s too soon to start talking about Christmas, now is the time Santas, Mrs. Clauses, and Elves, seriously start preparing for the season. October is when many of us start checking off items on our ToDo Lists; cleaning and maintaining wardrobe, polishing belts and boots, stocking up on supplies, and bleaching whiskers – or in my case, cleaning and styling hair goods. The sooner you get started, the better you will be prepared for the upcoming season.

How do you get ready? What’s on your checklist? Post your comments in the ClausNet Roundtable Discussion Forum.

Speaking of counting down the season, our 2016 Countdown to Christmas thread is underway. It is always fun to read back through these daily posts. If you are new to ClausNet, you may be interested in reading through past countdowns. We have archived past years’ threads since our founding in 2007, in the Past Contests and Countdowns forum.

Also, there is still time to enroll in our ClausNet Christmas Card Mailing and Christmas Ornament Exchange events. These annual events are open to registered members of These events have become a much anticipated tradition on ClausNet!

We hope you enjoy this month’s issue of the ClausNet Gazette. As always, if you have a suggestion, comment, or even a complaint, feel free to contact us! We would love to hear from you. Well maybe not so much on the complaints…

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An Update on

The world of Santa Tracking is evolving. While will never be Norad it still gets millions of visitors each year and its growth has continued unabated. Kids and families come because they are drawn by a compelling story line that features Santa and what he is all about while providing a safe, commercial free educational experience they enjoy.

We invite Santas everywhere to join in the fun by learning the features offered and participating in projects such as voicing parts for the Kringle Radio broadcast tracking Santa around the world. We also invite your feedback and ideas in helping to craft this ongoing project. It's a fun way to share Christmas!

If you're interested in participating or learning more, please contact Jeff Westover at the Merry Forums of My Merry Christmas.

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In The News

Breaking News on ClausNet

Santa is on the rise

WAVE-TV / WFIE-TV -- Santa Claus is ho-ho-holding up traffic this morning.

A local man salvaged the iconic Evansville statue a year ago. And now that the restoration project has been completed, Santa has been transported to his new home along Highway 41.

Image: Road Side America

One year has passed since local painter Ron McKeethen salvaged the big fella and sculptor Bob Zasadny helped with the reconstruction phase.

A special procession is scheduled to escort St. Nick to his new location, just outside Peckenbaugh's Plumbing Store, on Highway 41 and Old State Road.

The statue was a well-known town landmark, waving and welcoming motorists and other visitors to Evansville.

Now, say neighbors who live along Highway 41, it's about time that they saw an old friend back up there!
Read the entire article on »

Veteran Hospitals May Allow Christmas Carols and Trees

Defend Christmas -- Christmas in veteran hospitals has been an issue for a couple of years now. From Georgia to Arizona VA hospitals have been in the news for banning Christmas carols performed by visiting high school choirs and in some cases for refusing the use of a Christmas tree in the facility because they viewed it as a religious symbol.

Now the VA is working in advance of the holidays to skip the controversy this year by outlining the rules for Christmas in VA hospitals.

Photo: Defend Christmas

The new rules allow for Christmas in designated areas and local VA officials are instructed to remain neutral regarding what is presented there.

“No one should try to water down Christmas for our veterans just because they object to any religious references or items. I am most grateful that the VA has clarified their policy prior to the upcoming holidays,” Chaplain Ron Crews, a retired Army Reserve colonel, said Sept. 21.

“This should make clear that churches may sing Christmas carols and distribute Christmas cards at VA hospitals,” Chaplain Crews continued. “The guidelines state that hospital administrators may allow this and provide reasonable guidance as to where displays may be set up and where and how long a church choir may sing.”

At play here, once again, is a misguided interpretation of the Establishment Clause of the Constitution, which forbids a state sponsored religion. Past local officials viewed any type of Christmas singing, displays or decorations as a violation of that clause.

Of course, it is a gross exaggeration. No way does a Christmas tree establish a religion. And no way does the VA represent Congress nor the ability to pass a law “establishing” a religion.

The VA incidents are nothing more than yet another assault on Religious Freedom. The goal of progressives is to write religion completely out of the public dialogue by banning it altogether. By extension, they “establish” a “state religion” of atheism.

Of course, there will be those who call that an extreme view. But forcing belief is forcing belief — even when they DON’T use a tree to do it.
Read the entire article on »

It's only 11 weeks until Christmas

The Guardian -- Small businesses can start planning for the festive season today by learning lessons from last year, planning for rising demand and looking after faithful customers.

Photo: Dreamstime

It may seem a bit early to be breaking out the ol' tinsel, let alone the turkey, and the tins of tasty chocolate, but with just eleven weeks to go before the big day, it's time for small business owners to start making their plans for the festive season. The average British household spent around almost 800 pounds on Christmas in 2015, and that number is expected increase this year.

London's big retailers start planning their annual Christmas promotions, oddly enough, in February, whereas small businesses are unlikely to have the lavish budgets, making the beginning of October the perfect time to start making really serious plans.

So, how can small businesses approach their Christmas? There are a few important areas to keep in mind.

One of the best ways to prepare for a really big event is to review everything that happened the year before. Take a look at all your takings from October to January, and then make a note of when all the peaks in sales occur. Ask yourself if there were any unforeseen issues that cropped up; did you not run out of stock, for example; did you not have enough staff during the pre-Christmas rush? Has anything changed in your business since?

Once you have a good overview, try to develop a strategy that can make improvements where they're needed, and then consider how you'll roll it all out in tandem with all that efficient stock flow.
Read the entire article on »

Featured Member - October 2016

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 of the Month is TampaSanta!

October’s Featured Member of the Month has been a member of our community for almost 10 years now. TampaSanta aka Santa Jim joined us soon after we launched back in 2007. Santa Jim is also the creator of Seats For Santa, a line of fold-up, portable Santa Claus chairs. The chairs are sturdy, lightweight, and are available in various sizes.

ClausNet Featured Member of the Month

We caught up with TampaSanta a few days ago and here is what he had to say...
Read the entire interview on »

Missed an interview? Visit our Featured Members of the Month section to read past interviews!

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The Story of Little Piccola

By Michael Rielly

Known as the Island Poet, Celia Laighton Thaxter (1835-1894) was one of the most published American authors of the 19th Century. Thaxter lived much of her life on White Island off the coast of New Hampshire.Thaxter is best remembered for her non-fiction books “An Island Garden” and “Among the Isles of Shoals”. She also published a volume of poems, many of which are favorites with children, including the Christmas themed poem entitled, “Piccola”. The poem is about a poor French girl on one Christmas morning.

In 1914, Francis Jenkins Olcott (1872-1963) published a book of stories for young children entitled, “Good Stories for Great Holidays”. In the book, Olcott wrote a Christmas story based on Celia Laighton Thaxter's poem entitled, "Little Piccola".

By Cellia Lalghton Thaxter

As fell to this little maid of France.
'T is seldom Fortune such favor grants
What happened to Piccola, children dear?
Poor, sweet Piccola! Did you hear

Only to live till summer again.
Striving with poverty's patient pain
Could hardly drive the wolf from the door,
'T was Christmas-time, and her parents poor

St. Nicholas nothing would bring to her!
Their little darling no joy might stir,
When dawned the morning of Christmas-day;
No gifts for Piccola! Sad were they

And so she slept till the dawn was gray.
Every child upon Christmas-day,
That something beautiful must befall
But Piccola never doubted at all

'T was plain St. Nicholas had been there!
Such sounds of gladness filled all the air,
She stole to her shoe as the morning broke;
And full of faith, when at last she woke,

And mother and father must peep inside.
See what the good saint brought! she cried,
Never was seen such a joyful child.
In rushed Piccola sweet, half wild:

Had crept into Piccola's tiny shoe!
A sparrow, that in at the window flew,
There was a little shivering bird!
Now such a story who ever heard?

And danced with rapture, she was so charmed.
While the starving sparrow she fed and warmed,
She cried, as happy as any queen,
How good poor Piccola must have been!

Children this story I tell to you,
Of Piccola sweet and her bird, is true.
In the far-off land of France, they say,
Still do they live to this very day.

Read the entire article on »

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Santa's Wisdom

On my Soap Box

By Santa Lou Knezevich

I was looking at my calendar and saw my reminder about getting a Flu Shot.

Every year I mark my Calendar for October 1st to visit my local pharmacy for a Flu Shot. It’s my own particular quirk to make the date October 1st rather than some scientific reason. I have heard there is close to a two week period after the shot is administered; for it to be fully effective, so it’s my head start on the season too.

The CDC (Center for Disease Control) has a website; with loads of information and interesting articles about a variety of medical issues. Flu Season activity can begin as early as October and continue to occur as late as May. Flu is a respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus which produces fever and/or feeling feverish/chills, coughing, sore throat, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue and other symptoms.

“People with flu can spread it to others up to about 6 feet away. Most experts think that flu viruses are spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Less often, a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth or nose.”

“To avoid this, people should stay away from sick people and stay home if sick. It also is important to wash hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. Linens, eating utensils, and dishes belonging to those who are sick should not be shared without washing thoroughly first. Eating utensils can be washed either in a dishwasher or by hand with water and soap plus you do not need to clean separately. Further, frequently touched surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected at home, work and school, especially if someone is ill.”

“The Flu Is Contagious and most healthy adults may be able to infect other people beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. Children may pass the virus for longer than 7 days. Symptoms start 1 to 4 days after the virus enters the body. That means that you may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick. Some people can be infected with the flu virus but have no symptoms. During this time, those persons may still spread the virus to others.”

I think it’s safe to say we Santas are very susceptible to the Flu, pneumonia, whooping cough and other illnesses. Santas during the season on the average, see more children per day then most of the rest of the general population. I encourage all Santas to take care of your health now, before seeing children and adults.

Oh yes, don’t forget about shingles. I have seen the pain and rashes caused by this disease when my Mother had it. Most pharmacies or your physician can administer the vaccine if you give them a heads-up to obtain the dosage. If you are putting this one off and you’re susceptible to getting Shingles, you better think about your decision.

I have been fortunate to be healthy through the past few seasons. I attribute much to my ritual of immediately spraying my costumes with Lysol and hanging the jacket and pants to dry. I also use Fabreeze to freshen things up but my secret to eliminate odors is Vodka. You read that right! Apparently this is attributed to Russia’s, Moscow Ballet Company. The claim is their costumes are sprayed after each performance with a mixture of Vodka and water to eliminate odors. It’s said, “The cheaper the vodka the better it works.” I haven’t verified the origins of this story, I only know it works. Oh yes, don’t forget gloves and changing them often.

Take good care of your costume it’s a major part of character portrayal.

Always remember, It's not about you, it's about the children.

Santa Lou Knezevich
Creator Legendary Santas Mentoring Program

Read the entire article on »

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TV Guide, December 21, 1974, Ray Ameijide

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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 Nate Doan!

Nate Doan’s generosity, kindness, and warmth were manifested for over 50 years in what many have called his true persona, Santa Claus.

His dedication to the community of Bay City, Michigan is evidenced by his long role as Santa at Goddeyne’s Sporting Goods and Hardware Store from 1954 until the store closed in 1987.

Doan, along with his wife Mary Ida, became an institution in the region as one of the first Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus teams. Together they appeared at many civic and private Christmas events in Michigan and across the nation.

Doan was a 1953 graduate of the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School and would become the Dean of the School in 1966 after Howard’s death. In 1967, Doan and his wife taught special Santa classes in Australia. In the early 1990s, the Doan’s founded the Santa Claus House in Bay City for the children of the area.

Nate Doan’s Santa and community work was honored in the Congressional Record of the 103rd Congress.

Nate Doan
Bay City, Michigan
1919 – 1997

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

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