Welcome to the November 2012 edition of the ClausNet Gazette!
I have to say, this year has really flown by! Looking at last November's issue I remember putting it together last Halloween. It seems like it was only a few weeks ago. And just like last year, I have a ton of leftover Halloween candy. I need to remember next year to dump whatever is left in the last kid's bag.
For those of you participating in our annual Christmas Card and Ornament Exchange, hopefully you have received your mailing list by now. If not, be sure to contact me as soon as possible! If you are new here and missed out on either of these events, no worries! We hold these events every year!
As a reminder, next month we'll be sending out our Annual Christmas Eve Edition of the ClausNet Gazette. Check out the Newsletter Archive for past editions!
We hope you enjoy this month's issue of the ClausNet Gazette! As always, if you have any comments or suggestions, please don't hesitate to contact us!
Defend Christmas -- Shoppers Drug Mart in Vancouver, BC, started playing Christmas music late last week ' just as the calendar turned over to November 1st. Within a few hours the company reports that customers complained and that due to those complaints they killed off the Christmas music.
That's right. November 2, 2012 the Christmas music died at Shoppers Drug Mart. Evidently the store has had a years-long tradition of playing Christmas music after Halloween.
Spokeswoman Tammy Smitham says some customers had complained that it was too soon to be playing Christmas music in the stores.
Read More »
Christmas Newswire -- Just days before an anticipated record breaking East Coast storm the National Park service planted a new National Christmas Tree to replace the one toppled by high winds during a storm last winter.
The National Christmas Tree that stood on the Ellipse near the White House since 1978 fell after a windstorm in February 2011. The replacement tree did not survive in the warm, dry weather in the spring and had to be removed last May.
But this time, John Stanwich, the National Park Service liaison to the White House, says he is optimistic that the 28-foot-tall Colorado blue spruce will stay standing, even as gale-force winds approach the East Coast.
Read More »
Lancaster Online -- Someone might be getting coal in his or her stocking after making off with a small and valuable version of Santa Claus' sleigh.
The theft of the antique Miniature Swell Body Sleigh took place when a thief or thieves entered Lapp's Coach Shop, 3572 W. Newport Road, Intercourse, overnight Wednesday.
The burglars entered through an unlocked side window.
The small red sleigh is valued at several thousand dollars.
Anyone with information on the theft is asked to contact Pennsylvania state police.
Read More »
The Daily News -- Charlie Howard ran out of time in 1933. He was asked to set up a Christmas window display for an Albion furniture store. But at the last second, with the deadline approaching, he instead put on a Santa suit and stood in the storefront.
That launched a career with Howard becoming the nation's most famous Santa Claus. He wore the red suit for television shows and appeared as Santa in the Macy's Thanksgiving parades from 1948 to 1965.
'When he got bit by the Santa bug, he got bit hard,' said Phillip Wenz, a professional Santa in Illinois and a historian of Santa Claus lore. Howard researched the Santa legacy and developed standards for Santa Claus characterization and costumes.
In 1937, he started a Santa school in his Albion home. He wasn't done. He dreamed even bigger, turning three barns on Phipps Road into a Christmas park and training grounds for Santa Claus. He ran the school until 1965, a year before his death. He taught Santas from all over the country, and major department stores sent students to learn from Howard.
The school stayed in Albion until 1974, when it was moved to Michigan. It continues to bear Howard's name and teaches his principles, 36 years after his death. This week the school in Midland, Mich., is celebrating its 75th anniversary.
Read More »
ToyNews Online -- Disney rocked the world this week by announcing it will acquire Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion and launch a Star Wars Episode 7 movie in 2015.
Episodes 8 and 9 will follow, with a long term plan 'to release a new Star Wars feature film every two to three years' ' the perfect opportunity for Disney to plan and launch fresh toy lines for a new generation of Skywalkers.
Read More »
ToyNews Online -- Demand for Christmas gifts and accessories - including toys - rose heavily last week.
Discount website Flubit.com reckons demand for these products rose to 20 per cent of all items last week. This is three times higher than the demand was in early October.
Sales of toys, books and consumer electronics 'rose sharply' last week, and Flubit says Lego is proving to be the most popular toy for 2012. Lego's 2012 Christmas range includes the Lord of the Rings Helm's Deep play-set.
Read More »
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 ClausNet.com. This is a great way to get to know your fellow ClausNet members!
This month our featured ClausNet Member is Santa Forbey!
Santa Forbey aka Jay, is a relatively new member to ClausNet. He joined us a little over a year ago, but has fast become a regular contributor to our community. Jay began his career clowning and later added Santa Claus to his set of characters.
We spoke with Jay a few weeks 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!
Over at My Merry Christmas we want to see as much Christmas as possible from every corner of the world. It has become our merry tradition as the world's largest Christmas community online to share Christmas as it happens with each other. And this year we want to do it bigger and better than ever!
We want to see lights from London, trees in Tallahassee, surfing Santas from down under, and smiling faces from everywhere!
Do you put up a tree? Send us a picture of it! Do you hang your stockings with care? Show us! Do you have a project for Christmas you're working on? Share it!
Do you bake goodies? Let us see it! (Scratch 'n sniff if possible) Do you visit a local Christmas pageant, festival or market? Take your camera and show it off! Do you take your family to visit with Santa? Take pictures and post them! Are YOU Santa? Show us your jolly!
For more information, visit:
Show us YOUR Christmas »
What makes a Santa? It's not whether you have a real beard or a designer beard. It's not whether you're plump or a skinny right jolly old elf. It's not whether you have the suit that cost hundreds of dollars or the economical suit right out of the box. It's not based on how many appearances you make each year. It's not based on how much money you make or charity organizations you help. It's not based on how many Santa groups or organizations you belong to or if you can sing and carry a tune.
The true making of a Santa, Mrs. Claus or an Elf is in the heart. That's right it comes from the heart. It does not matter when it happened, whether just this year or many many sleigh rides ago. At some time we all got the calling to become a Santa helper.
For those of you that have the true gift in your heart you understand what I am talking about when I say you got the calling.
I still have the very first letter given to me as Santa from a child. Still remember the smiles and the twinkle in the children's eye's the first time I portrayed Santa. And I still remember the first heart tugging request that was made by a little girl that I knew could not be fulfilled by a mere mortal in my Santa outfit.
There is a reason why we do what we do. From playing Santa Claus or the supporting roles of Mrs. Claus and elves all the way to even reindeer costumes. And that my reader is simply what comes to each of us in sharing and giving the simple gift we bring of joy.
As the season approaches I say a prayer for each and every one of you. For a safe trip if your traveling away from family to support a mall or just a few miles to do some smaller visits.
I pray for your safe travels and that the true meaning of Christmas been seen through you in each and every child from 1 to 92 and beyond.
Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!
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By Santa Lou Knezevich
I have to confess. Many times a child will tell me what they want for Christmas and I don't understand a word they have said! I know that isn't a nice thing for Santa to say but I just don't understand them.
I wish I could understand every child because the parents don't understand their own children and ask me, 'What did they ask for' I'm embarrassed to tell them. 'I don't know.' I usually get a disgruntled 'you're supposed to know everything' look from them.
The main problem is some children become very quiet and barely talk loud enough to be heard, let alone understood. Oh yes, I try to listen intently and ask them to speak up but many will not.
With some children their speech and pronunciation is confusing, so it is extremely difficult to make out what they are saying.
There are some children who are so excited to be in Santa's lap, that they cannot or will not say a thing. I always acknowledge what the child says by nodding my head or saying 'and what else?' I do this even if I don't understand them. It is very important to me that the child leaves me knowing Santa heard their wishes. Santa has heard them and isn't that what counts?
Those of us fortunate enough to work with Mrs. Claus have a powerful ally. Mrs. Claus quickly gains the trust of children because of her non-threatening appearance.
Children readily confide their Christmas wishes to Mrs. Claus while they wait in line to see Santa. Many times Mrs. Claus has brought a whimpering child to me who she has helped find the courage to talk to Santa. I know I would have never talked to that child until Mrs. Claus soothed their fears and helped them with their courage.
Mrs. Claus is a very important feature of the Santa experience and deserves acknowledgement. Talking to children is very unpredictable. I've found 3 year old girls love you one minute and have a meltdown the next. They laugh and giggle while in line but when they're about 3 feet away from you; Santa suddenly becomes the monster of their dreams.
Experience has taught me there isn't much you can do to right the situation. The meltdown will continue until they are led to a safe place -- away from you.
At times, parents compound this fear, by their lack of sensitivity. Too many times, I've heard the parent say, 'Santa is not going to bring you any presents unless you stop crying!' Threatening the child only worsen the situation. I wouldn't be happy either if you told me, I wasn't getting a Christmas present. What are parents thinking? All of this and more is rolled up in the Santa experience.
I hope you enjoy every minute of being Santa and bringing joy to the eyes of children, big and small!
Santa Lou Knezevich is the creator of the Legendary Santas Mentoring Program which furnishes free a 90 page instructional manual to new and seasoned Santas.
For more information on the Legendary Santa Mentoring Program, please contact Santa Lou Knezevich.
Santa Lou Knezevich
Creator Legendary Santas Mentoring Program
Each month we feature an inductee of the Santa Claus Hall of Fame. This month we honor Jimmy Lomax.
It is said that Santa enters through the heart. Perhaps no other Santa has brought more heart to the red suit than Jimmy Lomax.
Diagnosed at age 7 with a lung disorder, Lomax had a visit from Santa that encouraged him to don the suit. Beating the illness, Lomax donned the red suit at age 15 and took candy to children in area hospitals.
In 1958, he began his life's work by founding a charity known as 'Operation Santa Claus' that served the Hamilton area. Lomax and his wife, Susan, worked hard each year giving all they had to the children and families the charity served. Living the life of Santa both in and out of the red suit, Lomax did all he could to give to others which exemplifies the character of Santa.
For his heart-filled service, he was awarded the Order of Canada, the Ontario Medal for Outstanding Citizenship, Hamilton's Distinguished Citizen of the Year, and the Queen's Jubilee Medal.
Jimmy Lomax sadly passed away in 2011..
Hamilton's Special Santa Claus
1943 - 2011
Want to learn more? Check out the following: