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Showing content with the highest reputation since 10/25/2020 in all areas

  1. Listen to the January edition of The ClausNet Podcast! Click the link on the main page or the side link...or below to give a listen. There is an extra special surprise just for you! Thanks to everyone for all your input. It makes for a great show.
    9 points
  2. I love the hypocrisy: respect all people but not the homeowner. Classic hatred being spewed by someone who can do nothing but see bad in everything and seeks to destroy anything or anyone they do not like. If I received this letter I would put up more lights. If this was my neighbor who got the letter I would put up more lights. Meanwhile I would now blast Xmas music in the neighborhood. Chastise me for celebrating Christmas? Kiss my mistletoe!
    9 points
  3. BBC News. 12-11-2020 A community has rallied together to honour a man who has raised thousands for charity with Christmas light displays ahead of what is expected to be his final festive period. Dave Edwards is known as Mr Christmas for his extravagant displays at his home in Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, over the past 42 years. His family said due to ill health, this year's event would likely be the last. In response, residents have erected a banner to thank the 86-year-old. Locals have also been putting up their own festive displays in honour of the fundraiser. Mr Edwards started his light display as a competition with a house across the street, his daughter Sharon Markham said. Over the years, the display grew in size and in recent years has seen celebrities attend to switch on the lights in front of thousands of spectators. He was invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace for his fundraising efforts but the event did not go ahead due to coronavirus restrictions. Read full story here - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-54891983
    9 points
  4. Toys"R"Us is making another comeback and this time it will do it with help from Macy’s. WHP Global, which acquired a controlling stake in the beloved toy retailer in March, has partnered with Macy’s, Inc. to bring Toys"R"Us shops into the department store’s brick and mortar and online locations, according to a Thursday press release. The deal between the two retailers comes seven months after Toys"R"Us shuttered the two locations it had in New Jersey and Texas due to the coronavirus pandemic. Both locations had been opened in late 2019 and were the only Toys"R"Us stores in the country following the company’s chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in 2017 and its U.S. and British store closures in 2018. For the article -> Macy’s, Toys'R'Us partner to bring the toy store back into physical locations WWW.FOXLA.COM Toys"R"Us shops will be opened in 400+ Macy’s stores.
    8 points
  5. Being country boys, my two younger brothers and I found ourselves outside 365 days a year. Each morning during the school year, before we would head off to school, we had to water and feed the animals before a quick breakfast and then departure on the school bus. When we returned home it was another trip out to the animals, dinner, and then that country landscape opened to us for adventure. On the weekends and summer vacation that landscape was open for business all day long and we took full advantage of it. Some days we would be fighting Soviets and other days we would be reliving WWII, either fighting in the Pacific or Europe. Sometimes we would be traveling through the area on our way to the Rockies to search for beaver pelts that would make us rich. Quite often we would construct ramps that would rival those jumped by the great Evil Knievel and we would patch each other up with words of confidence and lots of band-aids. The field across the gravel road that ran by our house was our baseball and football field, competing with the majestic beauty of Wrigley Field or Lambeau Field. To my youngest brother, though, that land became Texas and our home was the Alamo. Jeremy lived, loved, dreamed, ate, and slept all things to do with Davy Crockett. It didn’t matter he was a Tennessean and we were Kentuckians. Oh, no. Jeremy could feel in his very fibers that he was Davy Crockett and Buddy Ebsen’s character George Russel was right alongside of him. When Jeremy would go feed and water the chickens he could see Santa Ana wondering why Davey was sent to feed the chickens. Occasionally he would wave at old Santa Ana, just to let him know he knew he was watching him. Beginning in the fall of 1986, Jeremy, a wiry six years old, began to hound my folks about what he wanted for Christmas. Our father had been out of work from the coal mines for almost two years, but he and Mom would do their best to see that Santa Claus came to visit their three boys. Jeremy produced a short simple list: a buckskin jacket, buckskin pants, a coonskin cap, and a rifle: just like Davy Crockett’s. It was a short list for sure, but not an easy one to come up with. Deer season didn’t start until late in November and to kill a deer then cure the skin, then to sew the outfit before Christmas? That was almost impossible. During the fall my brothers and I would tramp through the woods that bordered our home and as possible we began to stock the freezer with rabbits. The were plentiful and we boys could scare them out in the open in a heartbeat. My dad had told me after Jeremy produced his list that I needed to keep my eyes open and if, during the evening while I was out roaming the grounds, if I happened to see a raccoon, I needed to shoot it. When I found out why, raccoon hunting became my newest and most sought-after adventure. About two weeks later I was looking into the woods from our front porch and thought I saw a rather big squirrel mosey down a tree and land on the ground. He looked like the fattest squirrel I had ever seen and upon closer inspection I saw his black mask horizontally crossing his face. I went inside the house and grabbed my .22 rifle and my brother was no where around. Dad looked up for his newspaper and asked, “What’s going on?” “Coon”, I replied. Dad’s curiosity got him, and he was on my tail as we progressed through the yard. The coon was walking around the outer edges of the woods and had stopped by our walnut tree to have a small meal on the leftover walnuts laying around. I carefully pulled up the .22 to my eye and went down to one knee. I breathed gently and placed my finger on the trigger, ready to bag my quarry. Crack! One flip-flop, a stutter, and a slump were all the coon had in him. “Ya got ‘em”, Dad exclaimed, happy as a lark. Now, my old man could skin a rabbit in about 1-minute flat, and I’ll be danged if that coon’s skin wasn’t nailed to a board and drying in about 5 minutes flat. There would be at least a coonskin cap under the tree in 1986 for my little brother. My mother, the female version of Columbo, who could sniff out a lie faster than a speeding bullet and who could track down a need item better than any scavenger in Kentucky, was on a mission. She kept out rotary pone burning hot from morning to night, asking everyone in a tri-county radius if they had any buckskin they weren’t using. Now the chances of her being successful were about as remote as the chance of a polar bear and a grizzly bear teaming up to have high tea at our house on a Thursday afternoon, but Mom was persistent. Finally, about three weeks before Christmas, tensions high that the buckskin outfit was not to be under the tree, Mom struck gold. An old man who ran a store catering to hunters in our area, that had closed shop in the 1970s had a complete deer hide that had been tanned and he would part with it…for free. Now, my mother is 5’ tall. Her legs are short, and I only remember her running twice: once playing a baseball game with us kids for fun and when she grabbed her purse, cigarettes, and keys to jump into our land yacht: a 1976 Chrysler Cordoba. With Bel-Airs in hand, my mother shot down our gravel road like the Devil himself was chasing her and about forty-five minutes later she returned with a dark buckskin and a smile from ear to ear. For two weeks Mom wore her fingers to the bones. She used a pair of my brother’s jeans and one of his shirts as a pattern and finally, just a few days before Christmas, sewed the last piece of fringe onto the jacket. It was complete. My father had sewed the coonskin cap, complete with a plaid lining taken from one of his old shirts. Jeremy’s gifts were ready, yet there was no rifle, a gift my dad had already tended to. I wondered how the old man was going to pay for such a thing, but he said, “Don’t worry about it”, so I tried not to. Unbeknownst to me my Dad's brother had taken a 1”x2” board and had carefully cut, sanded, and molded it into an official long rifle, just like the one Davy Crockett used. On Christmas morning my brother was beside himself with joy and glee. I can still see his face, his eyes wide and mouth agape as he held up his buckskin shirt and pants. It was the greatest Christmas gift my brother had ever or would ever receive. For the next four years my brother gave Santa Ana the toughest fight he had ever had. On some days my brother died as one of the last men defending the Alamo and other days he and the Texans managed to whip Santa Ana. Some days, though, the battle just kept going for hours and hours and hours. The cries of “We've got ‘em on the run, boys” and Pew! Pew! Pew! echoed throughout our home and yard from sunup to sundown. Today my mother’s cedar chest sits in the bedroom she and Dad have shared for over 40 years. No one opens the chest or would dare to do so without the presence of my mother. That chest holds items worth very little on the open market and most items hold no real-world value. However, if you were to crack it open and disperse the contents upon the floor, there, neatly folded with love and care, would be a buckskin outfit with patched elbows and knees and a coonskin cap with worn-out plain lining, the dreams of a young boy, Davey Crockett, and Christmas 1986.
    8 points
  6. A dive into the surprising history of the Christmas carol Classic FM December 3, 2020 By Rosie Pentreath EXCERPT In 1928, the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge’s Christmas Eve carol service was broadcast over the public airwaves for the very first time. The same year saw The Oxford Book of Carols – edited by Percy Dearmer, Ralph Vaughan Williams, and Martin Shaw –published, aiding the wide enjoyment of festive hymns throughout the population. But what are the origins of the Christmas carol? What actually is it to “sound Christmassy”? And why don’t we just sing Christmas carols all year round? It’s not as obvious as you might think, so do indulge our festive feelings, and join us on a journey through the history of the Christmas carol. What was the first Christmas carol? It’s generally accepted that one of the first Christmas carols ever to be recorded was the 129 AD ‘Angels Hymn’, according to The New Daily. Around this time, Christianity-themed hymns started taking over the previous pagan songs celebrating Winter Solstice. More and more slow, solemn hymns started to emerge in the fourth century, and by the 12th, songs referring to Nativity themes and creatures had emerged. According to Oxford Dictionaries, one of the oldest printed carols is the ‘Boar’s Head Carol’, which dates from 1521. Apparently, it was traditionally heard annually at Queen’s College, Oxford as Christmas lunch was carried in. ... What makes Christmas music so Christmassy? There are several elements that go into something seeming to sound unquestionably Christmassy. Stirring melodies are usually sprinkled with minor and diminished chords – think of the mix of major and minor melody lines in ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’ – in popular Christmas carols and songs. This all underpins lyrics that are nostalgic, and often as sombre as they are uplifting and inspiring. Centred around the miraculous story of Jesus’s birth, of course, the overall message of the Christmas carl is one of awe, humility, hope and abundant joy. In more modern Christmas music, you can rely on a stick of ‘sleigh bells’ or similar to guarantee a Christmas auditory association. ... Today, lots of new choral Christmas music is often commissioned by leading choirs like The Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, and lots of leading living composers, including Arvo Pärt, Eric Whitacre and Bob Chilcott, have written beautiful contemporary carols. Full Article: https://www.classicfm.com/discover-music/occasions/christmas/carol-history-origins/
    8 points
  7. Planets Will Align Causing Rare 'Christmas Star' to Appear in the Sky This December John Paluska | ChristianHeadlines.com Contributor | Tuesday, December 1, 2020 On December 21, Saturn and Jupiter will align into a beautiful bright star. This will be the first time they align like this since the Middle Ages. According to Forbes, the two planets will look like a "double planet" and provide an extraordinary amount of light. The last time these two planets aligned like this was on March 4, 1226, according to astronomer Patrick Hartigan at Rice University. "Alignments between these two planets are rather rare, occurring once every 20 years or so, but this conjunction is exceptionally rare because of how close the planets will appear to be to one another. You’d have to go all the way back to just before dawn on March 4, 1226, to see a closer alignment between these objects visible in the night sky," Hartigan said in a statement. The spectacular sighting will be viewable from anywhere on earth. “The planets will appear low in the western sky for about an hour after sunset as viewed from the northern hemisphere, and though they’ll be closest on December 21, you can look each evening that week. Although the sight will be sinking towards the horizon, it will be bright enough to be viewed in at twilight. All you need is an unobstructed view to the southwest, and to look to the southwest from about 45 minutes after sunset where you are," Forbes states. To catch it in the night sky, you'll need a regular telescope at a minimum. But for a brighter view, an astronomer's telescope or a university telescope feed would work better. Alignments like these, called "conjunctions" are not necessarily rare, but some of them are impossibly rare or only come around once in hundreds of years. Astronomers speculate that the Star of David written of in Matthew was an exceptionally rare triple conjunction between Saturn, Jupiter, and Venus. One such astronomer was Johannes Kepler, one of the greatest astronomers of all time. Source: https://www.christianheadlines.com/contributors/john-paluska/planets-will-align-causing-rare-christmas-star-to-appear-in-the-sky-this-december.html
    8 points
  8. The point is, no one, including the government can keep you 100% safe, let alone safe from an airborne virus. This WHOLE thing is about gov't control, and people giving up up their freedoms, for a false belief in safety. We are allowing the government to strip away our rights, try to monitor our every move, and allowing the media to control our fears and emotions. This isn't about them caring for us, this is about them abusing the Constitution. And we are seeing how many sheep there are.
    8 points
  9. Reindeer - Rangifer Taranadus Taranadus (R.T. Taranadus) They are cervids from the root group Rangifer Taranadus that included ten species of Reindeer and Caribou. Two of these species are extinct and several of the Caribou such as the North American Woodland Caribou are currently on the watch list for species at risk. REINDEER ARE NOT CARIBOU! although they are cousins. Of the ten species of Rangifer Taranadus, generally three types inhabit continental North America. Two of these are native being the Woodland Caribou and the Barren Ground Caribou. The third is the Eurasian Tundra Reindeer that was introduced by the government to the North American continent in the late 1800's to replace lifestyle losses to the Inuit people of the North. The original influx of Reindeer were brought into North America across the Land Bridge from the USSR. Slightly more than 400 head made up the original group of animals that were walked into the North as part of this project. Reindeer in North America can be DNA matched to the original herd thereby confirming that they are in fact reindeer. While there are many reindeer in the North that live under feral conditions, there are no wild reindeer. Reindeer are acknowledged to be one of, if not the oldest, domesticated animals in the world with history of domestication tracing back between 5000 and 8000 years (depending on the source) They are listed in the Lesser Nine of the fifteen domesticated animals along with camels, llamas, alpacas and elephants. They were once referred to as the "First Meat of Man" and the animals is unique in that both in life and death, the animal is completely useful. As a live animals they provide transportation, haulage, velvet antler for medicines, and milk to name a few. In death, they provide meat, hides for clothing along with products that can be made from the bone and antler. Adult Male reindeer will weigh in at approximately 500 lbs while females top out around 400 lbs. On average they will stand between 8 and 10 hands high (1 Hand = 4 Inches) Both the male and Female produce antlers and they along with the caribou are the only cervid that does this. Antlers regrow each year with the previous years antler being shed from Late November through early May depending on a variety of factors. Male reindeer that are intact breeders will drop the antler anytime after breeding season once their need to establish dominance and attract females has passed. Once the antler has been shed the dominant male will usually become the most subservient member of the herd until the breeding cycle begins again the following year. Steers will usually keep their antlers longer into the New Year but not as long as the females. Bred females usually retain their antlers until the babies are born ensuring them preference to the best feed and leaving them with a level of defense. Antlers will begin to regenerate almost immediately but generally show a growth phase that lasts approximately 4 months. Antlers will grow at a rate of anywhere from 1/2" per day to 1 1/2" per day. Remember that the growth the you see on an animal ALL grew this year. Antlers, while in the growth phase are live tissue and are soft (think Fingernails). They look much like a padded coat hanger and are susceptible to injury. Significant injury to growing antler can result in death from hemorrhage if not attended to. Antlers are never the same but may have a general consistency of style from animal to animal they are rarely symmetrical. The antler grows from pedicules in the skull that firmly anchor the antler until its time to shed. Antlers can be broken or fall off prematurely but there is no real way to determine when and antler will fall. In feral conditions the reindeer along with other animals will normally eat the antler to recapture lost mineral. What is the difference between Antlers and Horns? Generally Antlers are annual ornaments while horns are permanent. Antlers grow from the tip and an injury to the antler at the tip, or involving the tip, may stop all growth for that season. Horns are permanent and not shed each year. They also grow from the base therefore an injury to the end of the horn, or removal such as blunting as used on rodeo bulls, does not affect growth. While there is often a visual difference between the structure and weight of antlers between male and female, that doesn't always prove to be true. Some sources say that only the males will grow a shovel which is a significant protrusion of flat antler off one branch pointing forward. The animals use this to break into heavy crusted snow when foraging for food.
    7 points
  10. The Christmas Chronicles 3 Reportedly In Development At Netflix Scott Campbell WeGotThisCovered.com December 2020 This week, Netflix confirmed the long-held fan theory that there’s in fact a Christmas Cinematic Universe exclusively on the streaming service, connecting A Christmas Prince, The Princess Switch, The Holiday Calendar, The Knight Before Christmas, Christmas Inheritance and Holiday in the Wild. No offense to any of the cast and crew members who no doubt worked very hard on all of those respective titles, but for the most part, they’re absolute garbage. Instead, the brightest jewel in Netflix’s festive crown is without a doubt The Christmas Chronicles, starring Kurt Russell as possibly the most twinkly-eyed Santa Claus that’s ever been seen in live-action. The first movie was viewed over 20 million times in a week when it arrived two years ago, and the recently released sequel is poised to do even better and play like gangbusters over the holiday season. Co-writer and director Chris Columbus recently revealed that Russell wants Santa to be the last role he ever portrays, which is why it’s good news that we’ve heard from our sources today – the same ones who told us Netflix were developing a prequel to The Witcher long before Blood Origin was officially announced, and that an Extraction sequel is happening – that The Christmas Chronicles 3 is reportedly already in active development. Of course, there’s always the chance that Russell may have been kidding when he told Columbus that he was planning to ride off into the sunset after playing Santa for the last time, but then again, the 69 year-old actor has been working pretty much solidly ever since he made his screen debut all the way back in 1962, so he’s more than earned a break. That being said, The Christmas Chronicles series has proved massively popular so far, and there could be at least a couple more stories left to tell before the legend calls it quits. Source: https://wegotthiscovered.com/movies/christmas-chronicles-3-reportedly-development-netflix/?fbclid=IwAR0XRQPuxr2t5n1IzTsQX8pM7XhKcTTI1ZSFcoP7D4n87ZB-jqNw4W07bts
    7 points
  11. He said it a tad more tactful than I stated...but the point was no way that fragrant package was coming near him! Which also goes to show what some parents think is ok to hand off to Santa. On the day we did the interview, my allergies were off the chart...Dec thru Jan we have cedar pollen that pretty much drives the whole area to the breaking point. I felt like I had pillows stuffed in my head. So sorry that I sounded so stuffed up. 🤧 ...never had any real allergies til we moved here and now I semi live with Kleenex boxes literally everywhere I turn, but Dec and Jan they are attached to my hand! At least I managed to not have a sneezing fit during it! One thing I did forget to mention tho when hanging your coat when in use and storing it during the long off season is to make sure that not only is the hanger strong enough to support your coat, but that the ends of it are curved and don't poke out/deform the tops of your sleeves...not a good look and bad for the fabric.
    7 points
  12. When similar situations arise whether guns, pet tigers etc, I will generally tell the child, that I cant promise to bring everything they wish for, but I promise they will be happy with the gifts they do receive. In essence, as you say, leave the option where it should be, with the parents.
    7 points
  13. As I'm getting ready for the new podcast I ask you to answer a question from the big chair but this month I'd like you to call my toll-free, 24-hour answering machine and first off tell me who you are and where you are from...then give me a brief over-view of whether you are doing in-person visits this year or virtual...or a combination of the two. If you have a new event on your calendar, please include that but try and be as brief as possible. BELOW IS A SAMPLE: "Hi, this is Greg Martin from Washington State and this year I will be doing all live, in-person visits including the tree lighting ceremony in Anytown. I do have a few virtual visits planned for some special people as well. Merry Christmas!" Call my 24-hour number at: 509-392-6072. That's 509-392-6072. Thank you in advance! - Greg
    6 points
  14. I've told that for years. And in the past, concluded it with, "How else would an old, fat elf get around the world safely in 1 night without a bunch of females telling him where to go?" It usually gets a TON of laughs from the adults.
    6 points
  15. In this episode... Santa News Santa Advocates for Vaccinations…Vacationing Santa Makes News…Disney Teams With Santa…& a new book on the history of Santa and gift givers from author Tom Jerman (and a special deal for Santa’s!) Answers from the Big Chair A great discussion on how Santa gets down the chimney each year or how does he get in if there isn’t a chimney! Feature Interview We talk to Chris Parada about the business of being Santa. Get a load of great advice on how the approach being Santa and the business end of it. Chris’ years of theatre management and his 12-year stint at the Christmas Cottage puts him in a great place to talk about hiring Santa’s and more. Sponsors Santa’s Tailor - Bespoke clothing to look like the best Santa Claus you can be. Wear clothing, not a costume with SantasTailor.com
    6 points
  16. Author of Christmas letter to Santa found by chimney sweeps revealed Source: BBC News - By Liam Barnes Published 29-07-2021 A man whose letter to Santa, written by his father, was stuck up a chimney for 60 years says he hopes to be reunited with the note. Chimney sweeps in Worksop found the singed Christmas missive, and turned to social media to find the writer. Robert Crampton confirmed he was hoping for "a cowboy suit and guns and a hat and everything", though his father wrote the festive epistle. Despite the postal problems, the retired policeman received his gifts. Mr Crampton said the letter dates back to just before Christmas in 1961, when he was five years old. Born in nearby Retford but now living in Surrey, the 65-year-old said it was written on his behalf by his late father, a sergeant with the Royal Army Service Corps based at the time at Ranby. After being alerted to the letter, a telltale clue in the neat blue ink identified the senior Robert Crampton as the man holding the pen. Mr Crampton hopes he can be reunited with the letter so his daughters have a memento of his father, who died in 1996. He can also say his Christmas wish came true, as he completed 30 years with Surrey Police before retiring in 2013. "I always wanted to be the sheriff, and I suppose I was in a way," he said. The letter is currently with the present owners, who said their family has lived at the home for decades and did not know the previous occupants. "I spoke to my mum, and she said 'it must have been your dad's handwriting because if it was yours you'd probably have got a doll's house'," he said. "[She] reminded me I did in fact get some of the kit - I got a cap gun which was like a cowboy six-shooter and a holster, and I remember getting a sheriff's badge." Cheryl Thorne, officer manager at Sweeps Chimney Services, said she was thrilled to see the original author tracked down. "I'm a sentimental person, and when we set this business up I told my husband I always wanted to find a Christmas letter," she said. "It's chimney treasure - it's precious when you find something like this."
    6 points
  17. Hope everyone's 4th went well and you are all staying cool. I'm in the pre-pre prep mode for the podcast and if you listened to the end of the July podcast you heard me mention the topic for August was about Santa's that bring something else to the table...like singing, balloons, magic, etc. I'd love to hear from you so we can discuss this on the podcast. (I promise it won't hurt...much!) SO PLEASE!!! Reach out. podcast@clausnet.com If you know of someone that fits this...call them...tell them to reach out. Or better yet...email me and I'LL call them!!
    6 points
  18. In this episode... Santa News Michael Rielly updates us on more of the recent changes the ClausNet.com website has been seeing including the all new landing page for the podcast and a new reward system. Then Greg looks at: a new film project that will be coming to theatres starring Duane Johnson; a woman who is reconnecting families with long-lost photos and a story about Don Duga and his importance to the Christmas season. Answers from the Big Chair We look at several questions like where does Santa go to the bathroom and the real tough question and tragic events and then we hear from other Santa’s when kids ask about visiting the North Pole. Feature Interview This month we have an in-depth chat with our main sponsor, Bill Dendy with Santa’s Tailor all about the process that he and his team of elves go through to create an incredible look for Santa. Sponsors Santa’s Tailor - Bespoke clothing to look like the best Santa Claus you can be. Wear clothing, not a costume with SantasTailor.com Patron Donations SantaFredNY - Fred Bulmer Black Hills Santa - Jason Yeary
    6 points
  19. Yes, please. Do call in and give your input on any number of issues for the ClausNet Podcast! Heck...just leave a general greeting to be played on the Podcast, like, "Ho, Ho, Hello! This is Felix Estridge all the way from Wide Awake Wylie, TX! And you are listening to the ClausNet Podcast!"
    6 points
  20. June 4 (sorry - a couple days late) Jun 4: The American Christmas comedy-drama film "Miracle on 34th Street" premiered in NYC on this day in 1947. It was written and directed by George Seaton based on a story by Valentine Davies. It stars Maureen O'Hara, John Payne, Natalie Wood, and Edmund Gwenn. The story takes place between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day in New York City and focuses on the effect of a department store Santa Claus who claims to be the real Santa. The film has become a perennial Christmas favorite. It won three Oscars: Best Supporting Actor (Gwen), Best Writing-Original Story (Davies), Best Writing-Screenplay (Seaton). It was nominated for Best Picture, losing to "Gentleman's Agreement". [source: Wikipedia]
    6 points
  21. Louisiana man fulfills Kansas twins' Christmas list after finding balloon message KMBC.com April 20, 2021 EXCERPT: Most of the time when someone sends a message in a bottle or a letter to Santa, they're not really expecting the universe to reply. This is a story about a set of twins from a small town in Kansas who not only got an answer returned, but made a new friend for life -- a wonderful stranger who found a letter to Santa Claus from two little girls living two states away. It all began with a moment just before Christmas in the town of Liberal, Kansas, when 4-year-old twin sisters wrote letters to Santa, tied them to red balloons, and released them from their home. Their mother knew better. It was like a message in a bottle. But, Luna and Gianella Gonzalez were truly hoping it might make it to Santa's workshop at the North Pole. "It was a windy day," said mom Leticia Gonzalez. "I just thought it was going to get lost, get caught up in the tree." But the message didn't get lost. One of those balloons traveled more than 600 miles in the wrong direction and into the hands of Alvin Bamburg near Shreveport, Louisiana, who decided he's going to be Santa's helper. "I opened it and it was a Christmas list," he said. "I just had to do something for them." Bamburg said the note melted his heart, so he and his wife posted it to Facebook, where the internet helped them find the mother of the twins. And, with donations from family and friends, he shipped the girls almost every present on their list. "We did not expect it," Leticia Gonzalez said. "It was a big surprise to us." But there's one present the girls really, really wanted. And Bamburg just couldn't ship it in the mail -- a new puppy. Bamburg and his wife drove with a new furry friend, Max, for several hours to meet the twins in person for the first time, and with the biggest surprise yet. A new puppy of their very own. "We are very blessed," Leticia Gonzalez said. She told Bamburg, "Thank you. Thank you for making my girls so happy. You will forever be part of our family."
    6 points
  22. I hear that Brother !!! I play Christmas music in the background all year long - drives my wife nuts. But I too am a junkie - there is too much good stuff to cram into one short month - especially when I end up on the road so much in December. Gotta take the time to savor all the nuances of Christmas to get hyped for the big day!!! BUT - since our home party was cancelled this year she is already on board to go nuts next year - so we hope to start decorating in September !!! (I call that a win ! )
    6 points
  23. If the first thing you need to do is learn to spell CLAUS, then I guess the second thing you need to learn to do is spell SANTA!
    6 points
  24. Shopping centre staff fail to spot massive mistake in their Christmas display Staff at a shopping centre decked the halls for the festive season, but when putting up their Christmas display it seems they made a rather awkward blunder Source: The Mirror. By Courtney Pochin Audience Writer 10 DEC 2020 When it comes to Christmas decorations, shopping malls and department stores usually go all out, putting up epic displays and over the top trees. One shopping centre in the US has put up their magical display, complete with trees and cute animals playing musical instruments. The animals are each stood on colourful blocks, the kind children might play with, that have letters on each side. It seems the letters were meant to spell out the word Santa, but staff who put the decorations up have made a rather unfortunate mistake. Instead of saying Santa, the festive message actually reads Satan. Awkward! Full storey: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/weird-news/shopping-centre-staff-fail-spot-23145203 What a terrible error!
    6 points
  25. It is not Santa's place to be pro or con guns. It is his job to listen to the child, communicate with the child, and to allow the parents to dictate whether firearms of any sort are proper for the child. It's that easy. This Santa became an advocate and violated a behavior code. I am just mad about this. This behavior makes us all look bad.
    6 points
  26. Santa first in line for new Covid vaccine Source; National News.com 03 Nov. 2020 England’s deputy medical chief Jonathan Van-Tam has promised children that Father Christmas will be first in line to receive the coronavirus vaccine. Mr Van-Tam made the remarks on BBC Radio 5Live where he sought to allay fears about the upcoming Pfizer/BioNtech shot which will be rolled out across the country in the coming weeks. Government guidance states that NHS workers and the most vulnerable groups, including the over-80s, will be first to be inoculated against the virus. However, Mr Van Tam has pledged Santa Clause will jump to the front of the queue for the vaccine, further cementing his cult status amongst the British public. Jennifer in St Albans: "I’ve got three children and they were asking about Father Christmas and wanting to know whether he will be front of the queue to get the vaccine." JVT: “Absolutely, the JVCI made a special case for Father Christmas, and he is going to be top of our list.” Full story: https://www.thenationalnews.com/world/europe/santa-first-in-line-for-new-covid-vaccine-says-jonathan-van-tam-1.1122521
    6 points
  27. It is the same situation when parents bring their child to Santa and ask Santa to admonish them for their bad behavior. Santa is NOT their disciplinarian. The parents are. Just because they have failed to reign in their behavior and be stern with their child doesn't mean that Santa should be.
    6 points
  28. On this day ten years ago (11/6/2010), I had the privilege of gathering with many distinguished Santa Claus portrayers in Santa Claus, IN for the Final Santa Claus Oath Ceremony. The Santa Claus Oath is a set of principles that promote brotherhood and the highest ideals for portraying Santa Claus. The oath is the brainchild of Santa portrayer and Christmas archivist, Phillip L. Wenz. During its signatory period, the oath garnered over 2,500 original signers from around the world. The final oath ceremony marked the end of the signatory period, and the book of signatures was placed in a plastic time capsule. The capsule is on display at Santa's Candy Castle (Santa Claus, IN) where it can be viewed by the public. The oath itself is viewable online at santaclausoath.webs.com. The Santa Claus Oath is held in high esteem by Santa groups everywhere.
    6 points
  29. Not cancelling anything here. According to the CDC's own Data, TOTAL Deaths in the US (all causes): 2017: 2,813,503 (234,000/Mo) 2018: 2,839,206 (237,000/Mo) 2019: 2,855,000 (238,000/Mo) 2020: 2,130,000 (Jan - Sept) (236,000/Mo) So if you take the 2020 monthly average (236,000) and multiply by 3 for the remainder of the year, and add that into the year's total so far you get a projected: 2,130,000 + 708,000 = 2,838,000 Or in other words, less total deaths than 2019! Some other stats, again provided by the CDC... Annual deaths in the US due directly to cigarette smoking: 480,000, with 41,000 of those being second hand smoke related. So about 1,300 deaths daily. (Mar 23, 2020 data) Deaths in the US blamed on Covid-19 for 2020*: 242,861 So almost 2x's as many people will die in 2020 due to smoking than Covid. Average #'s of some other deaths in the US: 95,000 deaths due to excessive alcohol use 48,344 (2018 data) suicides 606,520 from all cancers * this # is more than likely inflated as it counts covid deaths in people that had other heath related issues such as diabetes, congestive heart problems and other life threatening health issues
    6 points

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