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ClausNet Gazette: News from the Santa Claus Network

November 2009

Volume 1, Issue 7

Pass The Gravy!

By Michael Rielly

November on ClausNetWell here we are -- November! The last few remnants of Halloween candy are in a candy dish on my desk and if you didn't stop by ClausNet on Halloween, you missed out on a few spooky surprises.

Now it's time to get ready for turkey, family, and for many of us, the official start of the season!

I read a post on ClausNet this morning that a few members were putting up their Christmas trees and kicking off their holiday shopping this weekend! Many of us have already begun making appearances.

Soon those of us here in the States will be sitting down with family and friends and passing turkey and gravy - or meatballs, lasagna, turkey, and gravy -- if you grew up in my house. ;)

Our Second Annual ClausNet Christmas Ornament Exchange was a big hit! A big thank you to Santa Dave for organizing and running it this year.

There are still have a few more days left to enroll in the ClausNet Christmas Card Exchange! For more information, check out the ClausNet Events section.

Last month we also launched ClausNetMedia on YouTube. Welcome to ClausNet is the first of several original videos planned for the ClausNetMedia Channel. Feel free to subscribe to the ClausNetMedia Channel and check back often for new videos coming out each month!

I hope you enjoy this month's issue of the ClausNet Gazette! As always, please feel free to contact us if you have a product, event, or a story you would like to include in an upcoming issue!

Merry Christmas!

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In The News

Breaking News on ClausNet

Macy's books Santa for national tour

The Boston Globe -- As tour buses go, it looks as snazzy as anything that's whisked about Willie Nelson or John Madden. Only this bus is booked for a 25-cities-in-25-days Santa tour, and it includes several stops in New England.

The Santa tour is part of a larger effort by the department store chain Macy's to get folks cranked up for the holidays. The overall campaign reprises the "Believe" theme that Macy's used last year. "Believe" includes an honorary "National Believe Day" (also known as Dec. 11), a TV ad featuring pop chanteuse Queen Latifah, and a letter-writing effort that seeks to evoke the famous "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" editorial of more than a century ago, Macy's said.

Meanwhile, Macy's stores will feature “Believe Stations,” where a kid can drop off a "Dear Santa" letter," with Macy’s making a $1 donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation for each letter deposited, up to $1 million, the chain said.

The Santa Tour includes New England stops South Portland, ME, Warwick, RI, and Hartford, CT, Macy's said. The photo that appears with this post was provided by Macy's.
Read More »

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Kentucky Won’t Call it a Christmas Tree -- The state of Kentucky raised eyebrows through a letter sent from the governor indicating this year’s Christmas tree will, in fact, be called a holiday tree.

The letter immediately drew the ire of local Christian leaders.

Beshear administration spokeswoman Cindy Lanham says the holiday tree reference is meant to be inclusive of Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s. People found out about it Tuesday when the state sent a letter looking for someone to donate a tree.
Read More »

Local mother determined to save Santa Parade

The Chief -- A local mother and active volunteer has stepped up to make sure the Santa Claus Parade goes on this year, despite organizational glitches.

A wave of disappointment ran through the community last week when it was revealed the annual Santa Claus Parade could be cancelled. But perhaps no one was more disappointed than Shanda Dosanjh and her two little girls.

Dosanjh said she was shocked by last week’s reports that the Chamber of Commerce was handing the parade organizing duties over to the downtown Business Improvement Association (BIA), whose president reacted by saying the group could not take it on with such short notice.

“I just said: ‘What? No way! There has to be a Santa Claus,’” said Dosanjh.

Dosanjh has years of experience organizing and volunteering for kids’ events, perhaps most notably as coordinator of Kids Loggers Sports. In 2009, she decided to hand those reigns over to other volunteers, promising her daughters they’d “go big” for the Santa parade.

So the possibility of the parade’s cancellation came as doubly disappointing, she said.
Read More »

Mattel unveils new online store

Playthings -- Mattel has launched a new parent-friendly, direct-to-consumer online store, is designed to be “easy and intuitive for every shopper,” according to the toymaker.

Its features include: ShopTogether, a social shopping tool from DecisionStep that allows people to browse the site together from separate computers and chat to each other while doing so; ConciseClick, a rollover-and-click technology that provides a description, price and opportunity to drop products immediately into a shopping cart while watching videos (the shop has its own YouTube channel); and the ability to search for products based on play pattern, such as “heroic play” and “competitive play.
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The Claus of Fu Manchu

News of The World -- Welcome to the real Lapland - the secret city that puts the sparkle into Christmas.

The sprawl of workshops here supply a staggering seventy percent of the world's Christmas trees, dancing Santas, baubles and tinsel.
Read More »

Pennsylvania Lights Enthusiast Sues City -- A Pennsylvania man who has thrilled Christmas light seekers with a huge display on his home since 1987 is fighting back against those trying to shut him down. William Ansell named 18 defendants in a lawsuit including Ross Township, several police officers and the Allegheny County jail. Ansell said Ross police routinely harassed and intimidated him since 2006 for violating local ordinances.

According to the 38-page complaint, Ross police have engaged in a pattern of “harassment, intimidation and punishment” against Mr. Ansell.

He alleges that since March 2006, township police have unfairly targeted him for violating local ordinances — mostly for parking inappropriately on the cul-de-sac where he rents a house from his brother. When he has tried to complain to the police chief or commissioners about the treatment, he said, he has been ignored or cut off.
Read More »

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Featured Member - November 2009

LaffoEach month, our Featured Member section profiles one ClausNet member. Members are chosen totally at random by myself and the staff. Once selected as Featured Member of the Month, we interview the candidate and post the interview here. This is a great way to get to know your fellow ClausNet members!

This month I am happy to announce that our ClausNET Featured Member of the Month for November 2009 is everyone's favorite Bigfoot, Laffo!

Laffo joined us in the early days of ClausNET. I have never had the pleasure of meeting him, but I certainly hope to one day.

Laffo is an amazing person and I am very happy to have him as part of our community! I love his sense of humor and his creativity and after doing this interview I just realized that he and I have a lot more in common than I knew; aside from the fact that he about a whole foot taller than me.

ClausNET Featured Member of the Month

Member of the Month for this lovable bigfoot is long overdue. Here’s our interview with Laffo, our ClausNET Featured Member of the Month for November 2009.
Read the entire interview »

Visit our Featured Members of the Month section for past members!

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My Coming Season!!

Posted in Santa Stewart's blog by Santa Stewart

Santa StewartWell it appears I'll be heading back to South Dakota for the next Christmas season.

It took a while for my agent to negotiate the contract. The issue in this case was lodging,and salary compensation. I hoping that I'm not going back to a half empty mall. We, meaning photo company and set crew and myself made our seasonal goal five days before the 24th of December, when we closed!

I've been informed that there will be changes from last season.What they will be is unknown at this time! I was reading online that the mall stores like Scheel's had left,and that Eddie Bauer was in bankruptcy. The old Target building (two levels) is being occupied by JC Penney. JC Penney originally was in the wing where our set was located.

Hopefully, our season will be a good one an while some of the set crew will not be returning,parts of the crew will. It's always good to have an experienced crew but it's also good to have a good crew period.

In closing this blog entry, the economy is still pretty flat and nothing our rulers in Washington can do much about that. Hopefully,the impact will limit itself and all Santas, Mrs. Cs and elves will have one more reason to be joyful!
Read More »

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A Modern Fable for Our Times

A story by Santa Rob Figley

Magic Santa Michael Once upon a time there lived a man who had a dog. There was nothing particularly special about the dog, but because the man loved the dog so much, he felt it was the most special dog in the entire world. The man named his dog Opinion. The man thought very highly of Opinion, and took great care of grooming, feeding and exercising Opinion very often.

The man was so proud of Opinion that he would take him on many long walks through the neighborhood so that Opinion could get a good workout, but also so his neighbors could see Opinion and heap praise on him for taking such care with him.

One day during their walk, they came on another man with another dog. This man had named his dog Reputation, and was just as proud of him and thought him just as special as the first man was of Opinion.

Sadly, the two dogs, which were both used to being pampered and told how special they were, did not get along. Each dog felt the other dog to be a threat. They soon began to fight.

But rather than help each other separate the two dogs, the two men began to argue as to who started the fight, who was at fault, who should act first and so many other things that the two men soon began to fight as well.

The police were called. Opinion and Reputation were taken to the vets, where they both recovered. The two men, however, were soon standing before the town judge.

Reputation’s owner claimed that Opinion was no better than a street dog, was out of control, had started to fight and had caused great damage to his very special and beloved pet.

Opinion’s owner said that dogs fight all the time, that Opinion would never hurt anybody unless provoked first, and that Reputation’s owner was greatly overstating the value of Reputation and the damage done to him to gain sympathy.
Read More »

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Santa Voices of the Past

Each month we feature a quote from a famous Santa Claus of the past. This month's quote comes to us from Doug Mellor.

Santa Doug Mellor

Doug Mellor played Santa Claus professionally for 50 years for commercial purposes only. Very rarely did he perform for children.

During the late 1970s through the early 1990s, Mellor’s career took off. He appeared in advertisements and commercials for Sears, Jell-O, Archway Cookies, McDonalds, and several other top companies. Mellor also appeared numerous times on the cover of the Christmas issues of McCall’s magazine.

At 5’5” tall, clean shaven and naturally slender in real life, Mellor padded his 155 pound frame up to a size 62 inch waist along with wearing “lifts” in his boots. His yak set hair goods completed the perfect commercial Santa look.

"Physical characteristics are not important to be Santa Claus. That’s what the wardrobe is for."

Doug Mellor
June 10, 1929 - October 13, 2004

Want to learn more Santa Claus history? Check out the following:

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