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ClausNET Gazette: News from the Santa Claus Network

January 2011

Volume 3, Issue 1

In this issue

Happy New Year!

By Michael Rielly

January on ClausNet! Happy 2011 everyone and welcome to the ClausNet Gazette's third year online! May this new year be both happy and healthy for you and your loved ones!

First off I would like to thank you all for being part of this community! With over 2,400 subscribers to the ClausNet Gazette, 770 Facebook Fans, and over 1,000 registered members on ClausNet.com, we are by far, the world's largest Santa Claus community!

This past year we have added many new features to ClausNet! We also reached a major milestone! Just before Christmas, we welcomed our 1,000th registered member to ClausNet.com!

But we're not done yet! For 2011, we have several new things planned and in the works as well as a couple of surprises throughout the year! You might even have noticed a few new things right here in our monthly newsletter. ;)

I hope you enjoy this month's issue of the ClausNet Gazette! Thank you again, for being part of our community!

As always, please feel free to contact us with your comments, suggestions, or gripes; and if you have a product, event, or a story you would like to include in an upcoming issue, let us know!

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In The News

Breaking News on ClausNet

Santa Banned from Nursery after Muslim Family Complains

OpposingViews.com -- Christmas has come and gone, but there is still lingering anger in Minnesota after Santa Claus was banned from a children's nursery because a Muslim family complained.

For the past four years, Dennis Jackson dressed as Santa and handed out presents at the St. Peter's Head Start Program. But this year a Somali family complained, and Jackson was told his services would not be needed.
Read More »

Air base families remembered through Christmas presents from local firms

Oxford Times -- Service personnel at RAF Benson and their families were “overwhelmed” by Christmas gifts from local companies. The servicemen and women of 78 Squadron are currently part of Operation Herrick in Afghanistan and had to be away from their families over the festive period.

But, thanks to the firms’ donations, every child with a parent serving in the war-torn country was given a present.

The gifts were handed out at a Christmas party for the children aged between four months and 14 years
Read More »

Frankenmuth's Bronner's president: Christmas Day vandalism was 'sacrilegious'

mlive.com -- The president of Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland said he doesn’t intend to let the still-at-large Grinch — or Grinches — who caused $40,000 in Christmas Day damage at the world’s largest Christmas store ruin his business’ holiday spirit.

Wayne Bronner said he plans to replace many of the 74 pieces that were destroyed between 1 a.m. and 8 a.m. on Christmas Day.

“It will take a long time, but that’s the plan,” Bronner said. “It will take a long time because this is not an ideal time in these frozen conditions because we have to anchor some of the displays (in the ground). We don’t want bad apples negatively influencing what so many people have enjoyed.”

Bronner said police continue to investigate the vandalism. The store president said the store features “limited” video surveillance, and because of the night-time setting of the crime, he expects such footage will provide little help to authorities.

Hoping to aid the investigation, Bronner is offering an undisclosed-but-”substantial” reward to those who share information leading to the prosecution of the vandals.

“It’s just a sad commentary on whoever did that,” he said. “For somebody to do that kind of destruction is just despicable, especially on Christmas. It’s sacrilegious.”
Read More »

From Nick to Saint Nick: Local man becomes Santa Claus at Christmastime

Chillicothe Gazette -- When your name is Nick and your beard is white, becoming Santa Claus might as well be a requirement.

Nick Rose, 51, likes to say his parents gave him the name and he grew into the part.

Rose first donned a Santa suit in 1980. At the time, he had a red beard and blondish-brown hair, so he relied on a fake beard and a wig to complete his look. He was helping friends whose children had grown suspicious of Santa Claus' authenticity, and with good reason.

Every time Santa appeared, the kids' grandfather was nowhere to be found. "When I walked in they didn't show much emotion, but when Grandpa walked in from the other side ..."

Recalling the moment, Rose's words trail off and he smiles. The moment of joy he witnessed from Santa's perspective planted a seed, he said. But it wasn't until 2008 that Nick would become Saint Nick.

It was a year of transition. He had lost his job and gone back to school in hopes of starting a second career. He finally had the time --and the real white beard --to be Santa. He thought of it as a type of ministry. He started by going into churches as Santa Claus and telling kids the story of Christmas.
Read More »

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Featured Member - January 2011

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 Oliver!

I am happy to announce that our January 2011 ClausNET Featured Member of the Month is Santa Oliver!

Santa Oliver has been a member of ClausNET almost since its launch! Oliver joined us back in June 2007. He is a wonderfully talented artist and has, in my opinion, one of the greatest jobs ever!

ClausNET Featured Member of the Month

I caught up with Santa Oliver a few days before Christmas. 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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2011 A Year of Reconciliation

The Life and Times of Santa Claus WV

Posted by Santa John in WV

Wow, 2010 has been an interesting year in the Santa Community. Drama after drama, with most being provoked over the smallest word or mistyped phrase. Then there are the national problems such as Celebrate Santa. Ego upon ego being trampled, and it doesn't stop. It does get nauseating.

What I want to take away from 2010 are the good things. Mrs. Claus and I had a wonderful Christmas Season to beat all else. Every smile that was created by seeing this Santa will be forever cherished. As a community, we saw the final signings of the wonderful Santa Claus Oath, which I was graciously allowed to be a part of as committee member. Those principles I still pledge to uphold. I wonder if others will. We had a wonderful, though small, gathering of Santas here in WV. What a great day. And throughout the year many friendships were made and are very cherished.

As I write this I am looking toward 2011. What can I do that will truly help me grow as a Santa and as a person of faith and character? This question has been rattling around with me since early this morning. My thought is this, love others. Is this not what Santa does? Is this not the lesson that Saint Nicholas learned from the life of Jesus that caused him to begin a ministry that we continue today?

In doing so, we cannot ignore that even in our community there are those who are loveless or have forgotten what it means to show brotherly love, even after pledging it.

Therefore I am welcoming and initiating a reconciliation in the spirit of Santa and beyond with those who have offended me or whom I have offended. I know it will take work, but in the interest of our Santa community I am willing to do it.

My only prayer is that my effort will grow in the minds of others and that they too will do the same. Perhaps when we forgive and begin again to act as we should we can change things and bring finality and peace to problems. When we can act as men and go to one another in private with a grievance instead of using an open mike to tell everyone else too just maybe strife will end.

So, in short, I challenge everyone in this community to let go of past strife. Start clean. Be the Santa that is in you, 24/7/365. And this is something that we can do in costume and out. Just be Santa and may God bless you.
Leave a comment »

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Is Santa Real?

An original poem by John Gable

One night in December, my child came to me “My friends say there’s no Santa, dad. How can it be?

Please tell me the truth, so I may understand.” He sat in my lap, held tight to my hand.

I looked in his eyes, and thought for a while, Then told him these words, with a difficult smile,

“A long time ago, a man walked this earth. They say he was special, from the day of his birth.

Born in a manger, for you and for me, One day he would die, to set the world free.

His name was Jesus, the Son of God Well you know the story?” He smiled with a nod.

“Well many years later, another man came, He, too, kind and caring, St. Nick was his name.

He was born into fortune, and his money he spent To give to the needy, wherever he went.

He loved this man Jesus, and so he tried To be a good Christian ‘til the day that he died.”

My child seemed confused, so I skipped all the history And tried to get right to the point of this mystery.

“Each Christmas we celebrate Jesus’ birthday, And giving a gift is just one special way

To remember the gift that was born on that night Midst angels and shepherds and bright starlight.

We also remember St. Nick once more, Because of the way he gave help to the poor.

So Jesus and St. Nick still live in our heart, And the world only knows them if we do our part.

We all can be Santa, wherever we go, And we all can share Jesus, with all that we know.”

He gave me a hug, and ran off to play And I knew that more questions would be coming some day.

But for now I could rest, enjoying the season, Content my child knew that Jesus is the reason.
Leave a comment »

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Santa Claus Hall of Fame

Each month we feature an inductee of the Santa Claus Hall of Fame. This month we profile Charles W. Howard.

Charles W. HowardCharles W. Howard’s professional career is that of a legend. He first played Santa as a boy in a classroom play.

As an adult he found himself asked to help out a friend and play Santa in a store front window in downtown Albion. This experience helped Howard’s urge to perfect the role of Santa Claus as much as he could.

In his early career Howard caught the train next to his farm in Albion and commuted to Rochester and then Buffalo to be Santa in department stores. It was about this time he started to develop the idea for a “school” for Santas. Howard’s first school was in the fall of 1937.

Howard also appeared in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from 1948 through 1965. Oddly, he never worked as Santa in the New York City flagship store. From 1948-1964, Howard flew from New York City to Kansas City, Missouri to be the Santa at the Macy’s store there. In 1965, his last Christmas season, Howard worked at Nieman Marcus in Dallas, Texas.

"To say there is no Santa Claus is the most erroneous statement in the world. Santa Claus is a thought that is passed from generation to generation. After time this thought takes on a human form. Maybe if all children and adults understand the symbolism of this thought we can actually attain Peace on Earth and good will to men everywhere."

Charles W. Howard
Dean of Santa Clauses
June 15, 1896 - May 1, 1966

Want to learn more? Check out the following:

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