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By Michael Rielly
The star atop Rockefeller Center’s Christmas tree is getting a makeover
May 21, 2018
By Jennifer Picht
Pardon our interruption on things to do in summer updates, but we need to share some news for all you Christmas fanatics. The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree—the nexus of the holiday season in New York—is getting a new Swarovski star this year.
The crystal brand is working with accomplished architect Daniel Libeskind to design a stunning tree topper set to debut on November 18. Like most stars, this new reiteration is inspired by the cosmos and includes dramatic architectural lines and geometries in true Libeskind fashion.n
Libeskind says, “The new Swarovski Star for the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is inspired by the beauty of starlight—something that radiates meaning and mystery into the world. The Star is a symbol that represents our greatest ambitions for hope, unity and peace. I am tremendously honored to collaborate with Swarovski on the Star, and with the entire design team, to bring cutting-edge innovation and design to crystal technology.”
We can’t wait to see it. Except, we’d really like to enjoy the warm weather, drinking outdoors and visiting beaches in NYC first.
By Michael Rielly
Tis the Season for Christmas Movies
May 22, 2018
A new survey commissioned by MyMerryChristmas.com has determined that 46 percent of annual Christmas movie watching happens between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
The survey, conducted over a three day period offline in 7 American cities, reveals some surprising facts about summer Christmas movie watching in America.
More than 1 in 3 Americans will see something Christmas-related at home during the dog days of summer and of those a whopping 82 percent watch a Christmas-themed show on purpose.
The primary reason people watch so much Christmas during the off-season? Simple. There just isn’t time to see it all when it is Christmas in December.
MyMerryChristmas.com has conducted regular surveys since 1998 and this survey actually stemmed from another that wanted to determine if President Trump had actually affected how people were saying “Merry Christmas”, as he has claimed (he hasn’t, by the way).
But one of the ancillary questions on that survey, asked many times before in the past, was about Christmas movies. In studying those results a curious trend emerged that caused us to commission another survey just about Christmas movies.
Perhaps most revealing in the survey was not the fact that Christmas movies are watched but rather which Christmas movies were viewed during the summer months. Of more than 1800 respondents, here is the compiled top-ten of Christmas movies of summer:
Bad Santa The Muppet Christmas Carol The Polar Express Scrooged The Santa Clause While You Were Sleeping Home Alone Die Hard Christmas Vacation Elf This is a vastly different list than you traditionally see about Christmas movies in December. Some of these movies traditionally never make the top 25 much less the top 10 in December.
But where are the customary classics like It’s a Wonderful Life?
Those movies, the survey says, are seemingly reserved as must-watch, during the season.
The summer top ten tends to be movies that respondents claim they just didn’t get time to watch the previous year.
The Hallmark Channel made a splash in the news early this year for their announcement of the production of 34 new Christmas movies in 2018.
That heavy production schedule is indicative not only of how popular Christmas is as a movie theme but also of the appeal of year-round Christmas movies. Hallmark famously airs Christmas movies of the past to terrific ratings during the months of summer – a counter-trend to traditional television viewing habits in America.
Another interesting tidbit revealed by the summer Christmas movie survey is that the decline of Hollywood’s traditional summer blockbuster has seen the gap filled by the tried-and-true Christmas movie. 76 percent of respondents said they spend more time watching Christmas movies during the summer and less time watching the latest release at the local theater simply because old Christmas movies are more reliably entertaining.
For more information about our Christmas summer movie survey, please take a listen to the latest episode of the Merry Little Podcast.
By Carlo Klemm
Santa Claus-themed letter wins national UPU contest
May 11, 2018
by Vietnam Plus
Excerpt: Hanoi (VNA) – A letter about Santa Claus written by an eighth grader in Hai Duong province has won the first prize of the 47th International Letter-Writing Competition for Young People in Vietnam.
Nguyen Thi Bach Duong, an eighth grader at the Nguyen Trai Junior High School in Nam Sach district, Hai Duong province, won the top prize of the contest, which was launched globally by the Universal Postal Union (UPU).
This year’s contest is themed "Imagine you are a letter travelling through time. What message do you wish to convey to your readers?"
In her letter, Duong imagined herself to be a real letter which was written by an editor of The Sun newspaper of the US in 1987 to reply to the question “Is there a Santa Claus?” asked by an eight-year-old reader.
With a natural, pure and humane writing style, the letter combined messages calling for love and respect for children along with attention to disadvantaged and unprotected children. It makes readers think about a world free of wars, violence, poverty and injustice.