Well for those of you here in the States, Happy Thanksgiving! I don't know about the rest of you, but I feel like this year is just flying by!
As I get older, life seems to pass more quickly. When I was around 6 or 7, I remember my mother commenting on how each year seems to go by faster and faster. I didn’t really understand what she meant by that. Back then a year was an eternity! Birthdays, summer vacations, and Christmas – all seemed like they would never come!
Today of course, I fully understand what my mother was trying to tell me. It seems like I just sent out the 2012 November newsletter. Yet here we are only 48 days away from Christmas; 28 days away from Saint Nicholas Day, and in case you are counting, 59 days away from the Epiphany
As we wrap up this November newsletter, Phil Wenz and I are working on the Special 2013 Christmas Eve Edition of the ClausNet Gazette. If you are new to ClausNet, you are in for a treat! You can view past Christmas Eve editions in our ClausNet Gazette Newsletter Archive.
In truth, Phil does 99% of the work on the Christmas Eve Edition. All I really do is upload it and hit the Send button. I am not exactly sure when he finds the time actually. If anyone works as much as the real Santa Claus, it has to be Phil. The man is a machine.
I hope you enjoy this month's issue of the ClausNet Gazette. And don't forget to keep an eye on your inbox for our Special Christmas Eve Edition of the ClausNet Gazette!
Defend Christmas -- That was fast. The Bordentown Regional School District quickly backtracked and then rescinded their declaration of a ban on religious Christmas music in public schools — after seeing the (Constitutional) writing on the wall. They made national headlines just last week for their ban.
On Friday, Superintendent of Schools Constance J. Bauer posted a notice to parents on the district’s website that states, “In reviewing additional legal considerations and advice on this matter and the expressed sentiments of the community at large, I have reconsidered the decision on the musical selection for the upcoming winter programs so that pieces with traditional and historical religious origins will be permitted. Concurrently, the Board will continue its review of the larger policy implications for the future.”
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Illawarra Mercury -- Berkeley Santa Claus Ronald Taylor remembers the year he started giving out carrot seed to the children who sat on his knee.
"Go home and plant them," he'd always tell them. "For the reindeer next year."
Hordes of children came and went, and then Christmas would be over for another year. When Mr. Taylor returned to his throne the following November, he noticed some very familiar faces. They were all carrying carrots.
"They said, 'We grew these for Rudolph,' " Mr. Taylor recalled. "It just brings tears to your eyes." Today marks the start of Mr. Taylor's busiest time of year, as he attends his annual refresher 'Santa School' in Sydney.
Unfortunately, the season hasn't begun with as much fervour as Sydney-based Santa recruiters Bluestone Recruiters would like it to be. Bluestone's National Operations Manager Kelee Palmer has accordingly declared a Santa shortage, and issued an all-out call for possible applicants.
"We are calling on anyone interested in becoming Santa to help us brighten Christmas for kids everywhere," Ms. Palmer said. "You don't need to be a certain age to apply, nor do you have to look like Santa."
Mr. Taylor, a retired cabbie, became a professional Santa about 10 years ago, when his wife Maureen saw an advertisement in the local newspaper and suggested it, adding: "Well, you won't need any padding!"
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ToyNewsOnline -- Michael Bay's production company Platinum Dunes and Blumhouse Productions are looking for actors to play the lead roles in a film based on Hasbro's Ouija board game, reports Acting Auditions.
The thriller, from Universal Pictures, will follow a group of teens who attempt to make contact with a recently deceased classmate. Ouija was initially a big budget family adventure but Universal Pictures put the project in turnaround back in August 2011 due to budget concerns.
But the project is now back in production with a streamlined budget and new screenplay.
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ToyNews Online -- For several years, LEGO has never failed to bring wonderful memories to a child’s experience.
LEGO is a world-famous brand for its top-notch collectible toys and action figures, with a goal to develop sense of creativity among younger children. The craftsmen of LEGO turn popular characters into a tangible reality in the form of well-crafted toys such as Ninjago, Transformers, Star Wars, Chima, among many others. So, enter the world of superheroes and their villains with the best-selling LEGO toys this year by far.
DeLorean Time Machine
You can re-live classic bricked-based structure in the form of DeLorean Time Machine.
This model, which was made famous by Marty McFly and Doc in the Back to the Future trilogy, is a must-have for those who grew up watching the series.
Thanks to the CUUSOO members who requested to make the DeLorean Time Machine toy figure a dream come true for collectors. CUUSOO is the new initiative by LEGO that started last year.
This initiative allows a voting competition to take place whenever the members wish for a custom made toy models. To consider the voting successful, the number must reach 10,000 and above.
With this LEGO Minecraft 21102 set, you will no longer have to use your electronic devices to play the game.
You can now have something tangible and more interactive as you can play it with your friends.
In this set, you can build and destroy sets of blocks until you win the game. You can select your own avatar; destroy blocks in a 3D environment; and take advantage of the feeling as if you are within the Minecraft virtual world with the toy’s excellent design.
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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 Warren!
Santa Warren joined us on Christmas Day back in 2010! What I love about doing these interviews is learning how much we all have in common. For example, Warren and I both studied music and we both like to golf.
Santa Warren was clean shaven when he first joined us. Check out his gallery to view his transformation. We caught up with Santa Warren a few days 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!
A month ago I had a doctors office approach me for promotion of their annual Boutique they hold each year.
They were interested in displaying my chair in their office to create a buzz about their boutique. I have not ever left my chair anywhere for more than a few hours, so I was/am a little reluctant about the situation.
Today we installed and here is a pic.
The more thought that goes to this, I think more about the advantage for potential bookings.
The framed sign attached to the front of the stanchion reads:
Santa's elves are watching.
If you want Santa at your home,
be a good kid for your parents.
And leave his chair alone!
Please Don’t Touch!
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Every year about this time the common feeling of anxiety, excitement, depression, and so forth sets in.
Will I have enough jobs? How can I book more visits? I am so excited as the time grows near, yet I fear if I can actually keep up with the grueling schedule...that I hope to have, that I don't quite have yet. Will anyone call or email me today? What am I doing wrong? What am I doing right.
It is very difficult for me to be "Content" with what I have or achieved. It is a constant battle in my mind of success vs. familiar. I guess you can call it greed...One of those 7 deadly Santa sins I have wrote about in the past. I want EVERY job I can possibly do. That is my thinking currently in Early November when my schedule is not 100% booked. What is 100% booked anyway? Well to me it is when I have absolutely no time what so ever to fit in another visit. I strive to be as present in my advertising and my performance to the point I often dream about things to improve my "visibility."
But then on the other hand I feel like that dog a friend once had. His dog, well it chased cars all the time. One day he caught one and he didn't know how to drive it. If I achieve 100 % success and have zero time to fit anyone else in, how will I do all these jobs in 23 days? I actually have scheduled DEC 19th (My Birthday) off..so that leaves me 23 days with at least 1 visit. So here is my scenario...if I am going to go through the paces of getting dressed and going out, I might as well see as many people as I can right? This will make me happy right?
Success is defined by what? It is each persons individual achievements that determine what is successful to them. To me, it is working to the best of my ability for as many people I can in a given year. It also means that I have exhausted all means to me to achieve the most reach to let people know that I portray Santa. But, is this really success? I think I really miss the point a lot of times each and every year about what really is success. Success should be just being content with the jobs I have, and to be thankful that I am busy...even if I am not as busy as I think I should be.
Success should be appreciating the kind words and smiles that my very presence often leave with those I have visited. We often get in a rut of "Being Santa" and "Spreading Holiday cheer", that we lose sight of the success we really are a part of. We are the merry makers, we are the ones that often get others in the Christmas Spirit! But we sometimes are so narrow minded that we can't see the forest from the trees. I am VERY guilty of that and sometimes the emotions just boil over to the point that I get a dose of reality and then begin my journey again.
So my goal is to be content with my success I will have this year, regardless if it is up to my expectations or not.
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By Santa Lou Knezevich
When I was in high school, one of the subjects I hated the most was English. Not only were adjectives, prepositions, conjunctions and interjections, a mystery to me, but my teacher, Mrs. Pera Campbell was the most feared instructor in 3 counties. She was tough! In fact, one day she sent me home to bring back a theme I claimed I had started. In those days teachers could do things like that and she knew I lived close enough to return within the class period. Oh, yes, I had thankfully started the assignment which probably saved me great embarrassment and being sent to the dreaded detention period!
Over the years I’ve become a bit more comfortable writing but the parts of a proper sentence are still mysteries. Thankfully, I have people like Mrs. Claus to look over my shoulder to make me look good. Maybe you have had the same experiences and trying to write a letter from Santa brings back those school memories.
It will be hard to escape it, but some time in your career you will be asked to write a Santa letter to a child either for a special reason or perhaps you want to offer it as a part of your Santa Service. Let’s explore writing a Santa Letter, which I guarantee you is not going to be as distasteful as high school English and it’s going to be a lot more fun.
Don’t worry about your grammar or what to say. By easily utilizing some resources you already have, you can become a pro and getting started is relatively cheap. Basically you will need:
There are numerous websites which offer free downloads of blank decorative stationary to use for your letter. You can find these by entering “Free Santa stationary” or “Santa letters” into your browser and doing a search. You will find numerous sites listed and with a bit of exploring you should find blank stationary to your liking. There are some websites offering paper designs, sample letters for different situations, fonts and clip art for a fee, usually $29.99
One of the easiest methods to write a Letter from Santa is to format a series of questions which fit a letter template. These questions are completed by parents, grandparents or someone who has information about the person receiving the letter.
The questions are basic information such as: The name and address to whom you’re writing. Is it a boy or girl? Some information that only Santa will know such as: a recent achievement, favorite sport, favorite toy, friends, and family information, etc.
When you compose your template keep a few things in mind. Write the letter in a conversational tone and avoid using words that are not usually in a child’s vocabulary. Keep things simple and don’t overdo descriptions or explanations. Be respectful and complimentary. Remember don’t tell all of Santa’s secrets as a little mystery is expected.
Let’s practice composing a letter to put some of these idea’s to work. You asked Emma’s parents to fill out the questionnaire and here is what is given you. Emma, age 6, was in a dance recital, Ms. Jones is her teacher, she loved the Jasmine princess doll left last Christmas, her brothers name is Davis, they sing and dance together.
Greetings, from the North Pole. I’m writing to you from my desk in the workshop. It’s very cold outside my window and snow is falling. Mrs. Claus just brought me a cup of hot chocolate and a few of her delicious cookies to warm me up. I wish you were here to enjoy this with me.
I heard Elf Holly, talking about your dance recital and your fancy costume. She told me you danced beautifully. Good job, Emma, I’m so proud of you. This morning, I looked in my big book of Naughty and Nice Children, and saw your name is right on the top of the Nice list. Davis is right there on the nice list too.
The Elves are very busy in the workshop making lots of toys. Yesterday, they were making American Girl dolls and Thomas the Trains. I asked them to make a very special toy just for you, and to put a pretty bow on the package. I’ve also requested a wonderful toy for Davis. Sometimes the Elves sing Christmas Carols together, and that reminds me of you and your brother, singing and dancing together. Ho ho ho, what fun that must be.
I remember that I surprised you last year with the Princess Jasmine doll and now that you’re 6 years old, I think you’ll enjoy some of the “Big Girl” gifts I’ve put in my bag for you. Please tell Davis not to worry, I have some great surprises for him too. This is going to be the best Christmas ever.
Now, remember to listen to Mom, Dad and your teacher Mrs. Jones.
Your Special Friend,
I try to use a number #10 envelope which has the same designs as the paper. To make things look “Official” I use red wax, sealing the envelope and stamping the letter with an “S” into the wax. I also buy postage that depicts Santa or Christmas, plus my return address reads Santa Claus, actual street address, North Pole, USA and my zip code.
Children love getting letters from Santa; I hope you will bring excitement and smiles to their faces by writing a Santa Letter!
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 Tim Connaghan.
From his first appearance in a GI camp during Vietnam in 1969 to the Sleigh of the Hollywood Christmas Parade, Tim Connaghan has become one of the World’s most prolific Santas.
As a model, Connaghan has been seen on both television and in print. As a writer, he has written “Behind the Red Suit” which has inspired many Santas to aim for higher standards in their profession. As an educator, he has taught countless Clauses through his International University of Santa Claus. As Santa, he has appeared at many commercial and charitable functions throughout the United States.
Connaghan is an entrepreneur and has built through his company, Kringle Group LLC, an extensive network of services and information for the professional Santa.
He was organizer of the “Discover Santa” convention held in Branson, Missouri, in 2006. To sum up his career we share Tim Connaghan’s own words, “Santa has truly blessed me.”.
1948 - Current
Want to learn more? Check out the following: