O, Tannen-bomb: the Christmas tree controversy in Rhode Island

Trouble is taking root, and spreading: Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee unwrapped a Christmas conundrum when he erected a “holiday” tree in the Statehouse, incensing the Roman Catholic Church, many residents and even the tree farmer who donated the 17-foot-tall spruce. The holiday hubbub comes to a head Tuesday evening when Chafee presides over a [Read More...]

A prayer to St. Nicholas — UPDATED

Good St Nicholas, Help us prepare for the miracle of the coming of Jesus. Help us not to be blind to the gifts of getting ready. Help us be sincere in the greetings we send and receive, with love and prayer. Kind St. Nicholas, protect us from shoppers’ fatigue, stress, overspending, yet help us to [Read More...]

What happens when Santa gives $100 to needy strangers?

For some, it’s a gift of hope and an answered prayer.  From the Reading Eagle in Pennsylvania: Sitting in Reading’s Inter-City Bus Terminal on Tuesday night, Thomas Coates Jr. was out of work and out of hope. Then, out of the blue, a stranger sat next to him and restored his faith in human kindness. [Read More...]

Have an ice Christmas

Once again, they’ve erected a stunning nativity scene in Graz, Austria, sculpted from ice: The life-size sculptures of Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the three kings have been handmade by Gert J. Hoedl and his international team, using 54 tons of ice. The scene shows the Virgin Mary cradling baby Jesus, while Joseph looks on. The [Read More...]

And now, a nativity scene for the Jetsons

It will be on display at the cathedral in Los Angeles this week, according to The Tidings: The U.S. debut of “Haute Sphere,” a contemporary interpretation of the Nativity scene conceived by architect Sylvain Dubuisson and crafted by French porcelain manufacturer Bernardaud, will take place Dec. 7 at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the [Read More...]

“You’re never too old to sit on Santa”

Here’s a nice palate-cleanser for you.  The latest bit of inspired weirdness from the folks at Improv Everywhere: a production number about Santa’s lap staged at a New Jersey mall. With the stress of the holidays, who couldn’t use a little song and dance? [Read more...]

The cost of Christmas? 12 days, 6 figures

For the first time, the tally of everything in that famous Christmas carol has now crossed the $100,000 mark: If you’ve ever thought about actually purchasing all the items (though we assume you’d need to rent the lords a-leaping, maids a-milking, and all the ladies dancing to the drumming drummers and piping pipers) listed in [Read More...]

Worth a thousand words

One way to cut costs this Christmas season: [Read more...]

Waiting for Christmas

A British department store has come up with a sweet commercial for the Christmas season (and, in fact, Advent) that will resonate with anyone who has ever been 8 years old. [Read more...]

A peek inside the "Harvard of Santa schools"

I wonder what they do for gym class.   Chimney climbing? Details: The Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School in Midland, Michigan takes the coveted position very seriously and just wrapped up its 75th (75th!) year of the country’s finest Santa Claus training. The Los Angeles Times reports on the school’s storied history and why it’s considered the [Read More...]


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