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ClausNet Gazette: News from the Santa Claus Network

November 2010

Volume 2, Issue 11

Gobble Gobble!

By Michael Rielly

November on ClausNet!Welcome to November! Well, 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! Many of us have already begun making appearances.

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

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

Last month we also reached a major milestone! In October 2010 we welcomed our 1,000th member to ClausNet!

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!

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In The News

Breaking News on ClausNet

Santas finding their way to Candy Castle for oath event -- Dozens of Santa's helpers from across the country are coming to Candy Castle here at 1 p.m. Saturday for a public unveiling of a permanent exhibit ' the Santa Claus Oath Book ' signed by 3,000 Santas and Mrs. Clauses around the world.

The site is a mile south of Holiday World and Splashin' Safari on Indiana 245.

Saturday's event will include a time capsule and an honor guard made up of the Palm Tree Santas Drill Team from Florida. Santas Jerry Owens of New Albany, Ind., and Gary Isaacson of Santa Claus will represent the National Santa Claus Oath Committee.
Read More »

Peak of Fort Riley soldiers gone this Christmas -- This Christmas, a peak of Fort Riley soldiers will be deployed. Wednesday, the post kicked off Operation Santa Claus to help those families who may have to do without this holiday season.

The military is a family and its times like that when soldiers and families know that they can turn to their own in the military,

SFC Bernadette Carr, who oversees Operation Santa Claus says. "They can turn to us for help if they need it and it also basically brings everyone together." Operation Santa Claus provides toys to families who can't afford them. Toys are donated and a parent can get two free toys for each child. Last year, Operation Santa Claus raised $42,000
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Hong Kong 77-year-old to compete in Santa Claus Winter Games 2010 -- Hong Kong's representative to the Santa Claus Winter Games 2010 emerged yesterday: Tong Bing Kwong, known as "Santa Tong Tong," is the 77-year-old winning contestant of the Hong Kong heats.

Last year's champion at the Games was Hong Konger Jim Chan, much to the surprise of everyone. The Games are held in temperatures 30 degrees Centigrade below freezing, in the town of Gaellivare, Sweden, located some 60 miles within the Arctic Circle. It draws professional Santa Claus impersonators from all corners of the globe.

Not only did Chan have to adapt to the harsh conditions, he also had to win in such exotic games as reindeer racing and porridge eating, without understanding a word of Swedish or English.
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Budget-friendly toys a hit for holidays

Toronto Sun -- Creepy crawly bugs, a video camera Barbie and a plastic guitar that plays music are among some of the hottest toys at this year's Hot Toys for the Holidays.

The eighth-annual event this year focuses on high-tech toys and many are priced less than $30. Kids and parents played with the 110 new toys on display at the Santa Claus Parade headquarters on Wendell Ave. Monday.

"We recognize that the economy continues to play a big role in Canadian families' everyday lives," Canadian Toy Association president Jeff Hurst said.
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Top toy list released -- Furry toy pets, Barbie and talking Toy Story 3 toys are among the top 12 items on Mississauga-based Walmart Canada's list of "must-have toys" for the 2010 holiday season.

With 321 outlets nationwide, Walmart has a toy-buying team review thousands of toys to select the top 12 list each year. Featured online at, the list this year features toys that are innovative and fun, company officials say.
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At 100, Holiday World's 'flower lady' is still blooming -- At 14, in 1924, Frieda Foertsch was learning to drive her dad's Model T Ford on Evansville streets, "but not until I could change a tire and clean the spark plugs," she recalls.

That was when her parents lived on Oregon Street off Heidelbach Avenue, "one of the first streets in Evansville to be blacktopped," she says. Foertsch was known as the "flower lady" at Holiday World & Splashin' Safari, where she took a job as a cook's assistant in 1954 ' when the park was known as Santa Claus Land ' to help pay some farm bills and because, she says, she was "feeling lost" as her girls grew up.

She wound up staying and becoming a fixture for 55 years, right up there with the jingle of reindeer bells, the chug of the Mother Goose train and the screams of the Voyage roller coaster riders.

She ran the admission hut, made repairs in the wax museum, sewed Santa's suits, mailed kids their pictures taken with Santa, took care of the park's macaws and eventually nurtured the greenhouse plants before they became part of the rolling landscape's 191 flower beds.
Read More »

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Featured Member - November 2010

Jeff WestoverEach 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-J!

I am happy to announce that our November 2010 ClausNET Featured Member of the Month is Santa-J!

Santa-J joined us back in February of 2009. He is a 2008 graduate of the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School and a member of the Michigan Association of Professional Santas.

ClausNET Featured Member of the Month

I spoke with Santa-J last month. Here's 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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One Thousand

Posted in A Right Jolly Old Elf on

Jessica StromThis week we reached a major milestone on On October 21, 2010 we welcomed our 1,000th member to our community.

Now you may not think this is such a big deal, but consider the fact that unlike other online communities, I personally approve each and every request to become a registered member.

When I launched, I had just returned from my first time attending theCharles W. Howard Santa Claus School, in Midland Michigan. As a first time student to the school, I was struck be the comrade and the overwhelming feeling of being part of this community. I so much enjoyed my time at the school, that I felt I needed to give something back. So as a Christmas gift to the Dean and his wife, I created a new website that year for the school.

But just building a new website for the school didn't seem quite enough for some reason. I wanted to give back even more. So I started researching how I could build an virtual community online, that would replicate in some way the fellowship that had I felt at while the school. At the time there were a few Yahoo and MSN group "Santa" sites where fellow Kringles could exchange emails. These sites were essentially bulk email mailing lists and I realized early on that threaded mass emails with attachments was not the way to go.

A big part of the CWH school is meeting others and learning from them; exchanging ideas, and improving your Santa Claus persona. I knew early on that ClausNet would have to be much more than these group sites. It had to be a "destination"; a place that you wanted to check in often; a place where you could "meet" and discuss ideas. It had to be a community.

In my career as a marketeer, I have created and managed several customer focused user groups, online forums, company blogs, and social media sites. All of these things have something in common -- people with a common interest -- and THAT is what ClausNet is -- a community of men and women dedicated to the faithful the portrayal of the legend of Santa Claus and who devote their time to bringing joy to children of all ages.

Thank you all for being part of this experience!
Read More »

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Best He Ever Had

By Storytelling Santa

First of all, I have to tell you my Grandpa Cecil was actually my step-Grandpa. I didn't know that when I was a little boy, it didn't matter when I was a man.

Grandpa Cecil was part German, His Daddy came over to the USA when he was young. He married my Grandma when my Mama was an older teen. For that reason there were times when Grandma mixed "down home in the hills" cookin' with hearty German foods. Most of the time it was a pretty good combination... both were a lot of wonderful comfort foods.

Holidays were wonderful times for my Mama's family. She has two brothers and one sister. Add to that some Aunts, Uncles and in laws and we had some pretty big to-dos. Christmas was filled with wonderful food and Grandma's aluminum tree. It was in a revolving stand, covered with different colored ornaments each year. There was a spotlight that had wheel with 4 colors that revolved, making the tree red, then blue, green and yellow. We lived only a block away, so little brother Mike and I got to see it more than any of our cousins.

The tree went up on the Sunday before Thanksgiving so all the family could admire it.

Now, Mama never did drink - don't think she ever took a sip even. Before Daddy settled his account with God he had a beer or two. I reckon Grandpa Cecil's family grew up on beer, part of their German heritage and all. They could sure put it away.

Grandpa was small, lean and dark. His brothers were big, meaty but dark like Grandpa. Them fellers could out drink anyone. Holidays were always a party for them. Thanksgiving was filled with drinks, roast turkey and tons of food.
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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 Jim Yellig.

Jim YelligBorn on February 18, 1894 in the small village of Mariah Hill Indiana, Raymond Joseph "Jim" Yellig was known as the "Real Santa" from Santa Claus, Indiana.

Jim Yellig appeared at Santa's Candy Castle and Santa Claus Town, the nation's first themed attraction, in the late 1930s. As an active Legionnaire, Yellig added to his fame by appearing in American Legion Christmas parades in New York City, Miami, Los Angeles and Philadelphia.

In 1946, Yellig became the resident Santa at Santa Claus Land, the world's first theme park. At Santa Claus Land, Yellig was the main attraction. He was in costume over 300 days a year and his deep voice and hearty "Ho, Ho, Ho," is remembered fondly by all who met him. He wrote his own book in the late 1940s called, "It's Fun to be A Real Santa Claus." Yellig also appeared on numerous radio and television programs, from "What's My Line" to "Good Morning America," and in many print ads.

"Remember to always be kind and true to your family and friends, honor and respect the elderly and have faith in God...then Santa Claus will always keep your name in his Good Book."

Raymond Joseph "Jim" Yellig
February 18, 1894 - July 23, 1984

Want to learn more? Check out the following:

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