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  1. Sharing the Christmas season for half a century November 8, 2017 By Tim Meeks - Trentonian Excerpt - BELLEVILLE, Ontario - The spirit of Christmas is alive and well on the second floor of Century Village. And it’s all made possible by the incredible generosity of the residents of the Friendly City, says Pam Smith, co-ordinator for the Christmas Sharing Program. “The Christmas Sharing Program exists due to the generosity of this community and the need for this program is substantial and continues to grow on an annual basis,” said Smith. Now in its 50th year, the Christmas Sharing Program began helping Belleville families in need in 1967 when 354 families were assisted. Fast forward to last year and more than 1,300 families and individuals were registered for help. **** In addition to applying for a nutritious hamper of food, applicants with children under the age of 10 can also register their children for the Belleville Fire Fighters Toy Drive. As well, the Christmas Sharing office registers and helps to sponsor those who want to attend the Community Christmas Dinner on Christmas Day. This dinner is generously hosted by the Salvation Army and staffed by volunteers. Meals are also delivered to folks who are unable to attend the dinner due to health issues. And rides are available for anyone wanting to attend the dinner in the City of Belleville. “Last year we served 106 people at the Christmas dinner and also delivered 60 meals to shut-ins and people who couldn’t attend,” Smith said. SOURCE:
  2. Retiree who portrays Santa Claus now facing drug charges November 7, 2017 by WPXI.com Excerpt - SOUTH HACKENSACK, N.J. - A retiree who volunteers as a Santa Claus is facing drug charges alleging police found a crack pipe in his vehicle during a New Jersey traffic stop. South Hackensack police say 66-year-old Charles Smith, of Pompton Lakes, was arrested Monday after a traffic stop on Route 46. They say an officer saw the crack pipe next to a Santa Claus costume. Authorities say a subsequent search of the vehicle turned up more drug paraphernalia, including empty bags of crack and heroin alongside a hypodermic needle. SOURCE:
  3. Carlo Klemm

    Santa Claus is coming to (Old) town

    Santa Claus is coming to (Old) town November 8, 2017 by Erin Udell - The Coloradoan Excerpt - He's making a list. He's checking it twice. And he's coming to Fort Collins this month. Santa Claus will ride into Old Town and his Old Town Square workshop will be open on various days through Christmas Eve. His grand entrance into Old Town will be at noon on Nov. 18. He and his musical elves will arrive by horse-drawn carriage to the corner of Walnut and Linden streets. The public is welcomed to greet him at the event. Holiday costumes are encouraged. Visiting Santa at his Old Town Square workshop is free throughout the holiday season. Professional photos are optional and cost a fee. Santa is multilingual and knows sign language SOURCE:
  4. Garden City ‘Santa’ arrested, charged with child molestation FOX4KC November 6, 2017 by Megan Dillard EXCERPT: He was trusted by many and is part of many holiday memories for families in Garden City, Mo. Because the town population is less than 2,000 people, Garden City Chief of Police Thomas Alber said there's a real possibility 36-year-old Anthony Hall has come into contact with many children in the town. Officers arrested Hall Monday morning at his job at Auto Zone in Harrisonville. He's charged with child molestation. The victim is a six-year-old girl. Hall is known for dressing up like Santa Claus around the holidays and can be seen in photos on social media, even in a 2014 Christmas picture on the police department's Facebook page. Chief Alber said, "People with these tendencies gravitate toward areas where children are accessible and available. They’re tough cases; they’re cases that hit many people right in the heart." Investigators said when the girl told her mother, she told the victim not to tell and continued living in the same home as Hall. Court documents said both Hall and the victim's mother denied everything at first but changed their stories after they were shown illustrations the girl gave investigators. Chief Alber said besides the police department, other investigating agencies are involved, like the Missouri Department of Social Services. He said, "Children go through special interviews with specially trained forensic investigators." The chief said working the case took months, but Hall's arrest was timely. "Especially being the beginning of November where people would begin to book Christmas parties that might be employing this individual and allowing him access to more children," Alber said. With four daughters of his own, Chief Alber said he's glad a man facing these types of charges is off the streets. "When the child’s a victim, it’s especially difficult," Chief Alber said. "We take a great deal of time and care in investigating these cases." Hall admitted to investigators he's been accused in the past of inappropriate sexual contact with each of his own three children. SOURCE: http://fox4kc.com/2017/11/06/garden-city-santa-arrested-charged-with-child-molestation/ ### This is what we don't need! Every year we seem to get this and it does get old, I know what I would like to do to this guy! http://fox4kc.com/2017/11/06/garden-city-santa-arrested-charged-with-child-molestation/
  5. Hier lernen Weihnachtsmann & Co. (Here Learns Santa Claus & Co.) November 6, 2017 by BILD Translated via Google. Celle - In just over seven weeks time has come: Christmas! Clear that then the famous beard bearer may not be missing. But to be Santa Claus is really not child's play ... For a convincing performance at the Christmas market or on Christmas Eve, it takes more than a red costume and a sticky beard. Willi Dahmen (65) teaches participants how to behave properly as Santa Claus in his seminars. In Celle he dedicated 27 men and women from all over Europe to the high Christmas art. In the seminars, the participants learn that they are never allowed to drink or make phone calls in their missions. Dahmen also says how to behave in different families. Very important: the right costume! Thin felt, cotton wool? For a 5-euro wardrobe, there's the rod! Correct: red wool or velvet coat, beard at least of fine synthetic hair, white gloves, boots - never sneakers! SOURCE:(in German)
  6. The Original Santa Claus Parade brings wonder and joy to everyone November 2, 2017 Press Release -The Santa Claus Parade Press release: TORONTO, Nov. 2, 2017 /CNW/ - Today at his secret workshop, Santa Claus himself announced the exciting details of The Original Santa Claus Parade, including a new logo celebrating the parade's unique position as the first Santa Claus Parade in Canada. This year the parade will feature 25 floats and 21 marching bands, including a float celebrating Canada's appearance in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, Other floats will feature the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Toronto Raptors, as part of the continuing partnership with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. "All the world is happy when Santa Claus arrives," said Peter Beresford, Santa Claus Parade President and CEO. "We are excited to be celebrating the magic and happiness that Santa brings to the City of Toronto." This year's Parade will take place on Sunday, November 19 at 12:30 p.m., when children of all ages will line the streets waiting for a chance to see the jolly old elf himself. Now, in its fifth year, the Holly Jolly Fun Run, a 5km run, will kick off the parade starting at 11:45 a.m.on parade day. Last year there were over one thousand runners in attendance. The run will follow the Parade route and end at Maple Leaf Square. All proceeds raised will support the Santa Claus Parade. "I am so excited to see all the smiling faces along the parade route," said Santa Claus, who flew into town from the North Pole to offer a preview of this year's magic. "The parade celebrates this amazing season and brings happiness to everyone involved, from volunteers to celebrity clowns, but especially to the spectators. It's what the holidays are all about." The Parade starts at Bloor and Christie Streets; travels along Bloor Street to University Avenue, travel south on University Avenue to Wellington Street, then travels east on Wellington. This year the parade will head south on Yonge Street before heading east on Front Street, finally ending at the intersection of Front and Jarvis Streets at the St. Lawrence Market. The Original Santa Claus Parade airs Sunday, November 19 at 4:30 p.m. ET/PT on CTV and 5:30 p.m. AT on CTV and CTV GO. About the Santa Claus Parade The Santa Claus Parade is the largest children's parade in North America and the largest outdoor entertainment event held in Canadaevery year. More information on the Parade at thesantaclausparade.com About the Santa's Elves This year, a very special group of companies have stepped forward to make a long-term commitment and a substantial financial investment to ensure the Parade continues to bring smiles for years to come. Santa's Elves: McDonalds Canadian Tire Metro RBC CIBC Scotia Bank TD BMO Indigo MLSE SOURCE
  7. Carlo Klemm

    Christmas in the metro

    Christmas in the metro November 4, 2017 By: Ana Roa, Kathleen de Villa - Philippine Daily Inquirer Excerpt - Filipinos are big on Christmas. It’s probably one of the most celebrated holidays that kick off as early as September or, in local parlance, the so-called “-ber months.” Now that the Halloween decors are out, expect to see more of the bright, flashy lights, the colorful displays of tinsel, garlands, and the traditional parol (lanterns), as well as the “belen” and the Santas of varying shapes and sizes—all of which make for a highly festive atmosphere that Philippine Christmas celebrations are widely known for. Over the years, some areas—be it a household or a mall—have become crowd favorites given their plush, ornate holiday displays, which have since provided sightseers the perfect Instagram post. **** Policarpio Street, Mandaluyong The 700-meter street in Mandaluyong City has become an attraction every Christmas for its dazzling display of holiday decor using lights, lanterns, Santa figures and a majestic “belen” (Nativity scene). Rockwell Complex The lit silhouettes of Rockwell buildings have welcomed every Rockwell resident and traffic-weary motorists every Christmas as the lights have been a signature image during holidays. Ayala Triangle Gardens The 20,000-sqm garden becomes the venue of the annual lights-and-sounds show dubbed “Festival of Lights” every Chrismtas season. Miniature “Christmas village” Fashion businessman and landscape artist Rene Tiongco sets up in his house in Malate, Manila every December a miniature “Christmas village.” The village is complete with snow-covered hills, quaint houses, children building snowmen and a choir tirelessly belting out “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing” in the town square. SOURCE
  8. What’s in the Santa Claus Fund box? November 4, 2017 By FATIMA SYED - Toronto Sun Staff Reporter Excerpt - For 45,000 underprivileged children in Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Ajax and Pickering, the Star’s Santa Claus Fund gift boxes are joy wrapped up — and the only present many of them will receive this holiday season. The contents — which are age-specific and gender neutral — are classic holiday gifts: books, toys, warm clothes, cookies, to name a few. The gifts are chosen with care, to meet children’s basic needs and so much more. Like last year, our goal this year is to raise $1.7 million, with 100 per cent of your donations funding the contents of the gift boxes. It’s been this way since 1906, when the fund first provided gifts to more than 350 children in Toronto. **** Clothing Every child aged 5 to 12 gets a warm shirt that is manufactured locally and is designed specifically for the Santa Fund Outdoor gear Some of the families receiving the gift boxes are new immigrants or refugees experiencing their first Canadian winter, unprepared for just how cold it can get, and how quickly. Cookiesr Three kinds of cookies come in the boxes this year — coconut flavoured, teddy bears (chocolate or honey) and digestive biscuits. A toy The toy for each age is carefully selected to reflect the child’s abilities and interests. Toothbrush and toothpaste Children aged 4 to 12 receive these — an essential need for a child’s growth and development. Socks You can never have too many pairs of warm socks during a cold Canadian winter. Books The joy of reading comes in every box. The box Manufactured in Toronto, the gift boxes themselves exude the holiday spirit. This year they feature snowmen, reindeers and penguins. Many children love to keep their treasures in the boxes for years to come. SOURCE:
  9. Santa Claus Indiana Selects 2017 Special Postmark For Holiday Season November 3, 2017 by WBIW.com Excerpt - (SANTA CLAUS) - The Santa Claus, Indiana, Post Office has selected the 2017 special picture postmark for the upcoming holiday season. On Friday, December 1, the post office will begin offering the picture postmark to cancel the postage stamps on holiday mail again this year. This famous small-town post office is the only one in the world with the Santa Claus name and receives over 400,000 pieces of mail in December - compared to only 13,000 pieces of mail per month the rest of the year. This special picture postmark has been offered every Christmas season since 1983. Each year, the holiday postmark is designed by a local high school art student as part of an annual contest. **** Santa Claus, Indiana, will host a celebration of family fun on the first three weekends of December. Santa Claus Christmas Celebration events include Chestnut Roasting, Christmas Dinner with Santa, Writing a Letter to Santa, and more each weekend. In addition, special events include Dancer's Dash 5K on December 2, Santa Claus Arts & Crafts Show and Santa Claus Parade on December 9, and the Christmas Lake Village Festival of Lights on December 9 and 16. SOURCE:
  10. The World's Largest Christmas Lights Display Is Coming To Vancouver Next Month October 27, 2017 by Dora Leung -NARCITY Excerpt: Last year, the world's biggest Christmas lights display wasEnchant. With over 55,000 square footage of dazzling lights and holiday cheer, Vancouver didn't think it could get any bigger. But my dear Vancouverites, you thought wrong. This year, Glow is hosting a Christmas display that's going to be bigger and better than EVER! We will be getting 103,000 sq. ft. of beautiful Christmas lights, with over 500,000 twinkling bulbs and Christmas spirit that's overflowing. This magical winter wonderland will feature four Christmas-themed light gardens and a 210 ft. long musical light tunnel where you can experience the warmth and wonder of the holiday season. Not only that, but they will also be hosting food trucks to fill your tummies, a bar to get your seasonal glüwhein (of course), and an entire Christmas market with over 40 vendors! The best part, it's going to be indoors! So regardless of Vancouver's emotional weather forecast (talk about rainy winters 🙄), you'll still be able to experience Christmas cheer to the fullest without having to worry about fumbling around with an umbrella. SOURCE:
  11. Santa Claus to skip Whitehorse this year unless funding found October 20, 2017 by Lori Fox - Yukon News Excerpt - Barring a Christmas miracle, Good Saint Nick will be skipping his annual stop at the Whitehorse Santa Claus parade this year. Unless money comes through, the parade will be cancelled, said Dean Tower, the president of Unlikely Events Yukon (UEY), the non-profit group that puts it on. UEY has been putting on the parade since 1994 and usually gets the majority of its funding for the event through the arts fund, which is managed by the Department of Tourism and Culture. This year the group did not get funding, Tower said. **** UEY officials received a letter from the Department of Tourism and Culture at the end of August, informing them that the parade would not be receiving arts fund money this year. They were instructed to apply again in September, which they did, Tower said. But the money wouldn’t be available until December, too late for the parade, which usually takes place the last week of November or the first week of December, he said. UEY met with Mayor Dan Curtis Oct. 12, to ask for more funding. “We were told no,” said Tower. **** Tower said UEY had submitted all the proper paperwork, and didn’t understand what was different about their original application. “That was curious,” he said. “We provided all the same information we have in previous years.” Parker said there might be other funding sources for the parade available from the department. “We are happy to talk with them,” he said. Bottom line, Tower said, is that UEY needs a minimum of $7,500 before “they can even approach” potential corporate sponsors for the parade. “That’s our minimum, our basic, what we need from blanket government funding.” Tower said if funding were to come from somewhere by Oct. 31, UEY would be able to host the parade. But the organization hasn’t hired anyone yet, and it would be “a bit of a panic.” SOURCE:
  12. Smokey Robinson Preps First Solo Christmas Album October 27, 2017 by Elias Leight - Rolling Stone Excerpt - Smokey Robinson plans to release a new album, Christmas Everyday, as an Amazon exclusive on November 10th. The LP contains three originals from the Motown stalwart: "Christmas Everyday," which first appeared on the Christmas With the Miracles album in 1963, "The Night That Baby Was Born" and "You're My Present." Robinson will also tackle standards like Charles Brown's "Please Come Home for Christmas" and Donny Hathaway's "This Christmas." "I love the feeling of Christmas, what I call 'the Christmas aura,' and these are some of my absolute favorite songs," Robinson said in a statement. "Folks are going to be surprised by some of the arrangements." Robinson is a veteran of Christmas records. In addition to releasing a pair of holiday albums with the Miracles, he also contributed four tracks to the 1973 compilation A Motown Christmas. Christmas Everyday marks the singer/songwriter/producer's first solo foray into Christmas fare. Listeners can pre-order Christmas Everyday on Amazon. Christmas Everyday Track List 1. "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" (feat. Trombone Shorty) 2. "This Christmas" 3. "The Christmas Song" 4. "White Christmas" 5. "Silent Night" (feat. Mindi Abair) 6. "The Night That Baby was Born" 7. "Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)" 8. "Christmas Everyday" (feat. Us The Duo) 9. "You’re My Present" (feat. The Dap Kings) 10. "O' Holy Night" (feat. Take 6) SOURCE:
  13. Christmas helpers attend Santa school in Midland October 27, 2017 by wnem.com Excerpt - Santa needs some help before the big day. His helpers are training right now in Midland as the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School celebrates its 80th year. Santas from all over the country have come to Mid-Michigan to hone in on their skills. Although it's still October, it's never too early to start your training as Santas helper. “It's just the feeling you get as you're gearing up near the end of October. It just really gets you to be in the spirit to be ready and excited about Christmas,” said Sherry Jones, Mrs. Claus’s helper. At the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School, looking the part of Santa is very important - right down to the makeup, hair, and outfits. “It's the blush and the red you don't want to overdo it. Cause like they said if you overdo it, it doesn't look real. You want to be as realistic as possible,” said Greg Puskar, one of Santa’s helpers. Some are newcomers and others have been doing it for a few years, but the jolly feeling they get as Santa’s representatives never gets old. At the North Pole, or anywhere, how they treat the children is key. “I think it's really important and visiting with the children and interacting with the families you have that spirit because if you don't if they can't see you really enjoy and love what you're doing then they're not going to walk away feeling they really did see Santa Clause and Mrs. Clause,” Jones said. Becoming a Santa is not easy and that's why the three-day program well equips these people to give them all the tricks of the trade. SOURCE:
  14. Air Force plays Grinch, briefly denies the existence of Santa Claus October 25, 2017 by Laura Koran - CNN Excerpt: (CNN)The US Air Force shattered the magic of Christmas for millions of children Wednesday by publicly denying the existence of Santa Claus on its official Twitter account, before eventually retracting the controversial statement. A full two months ahead of the winter holiday, the Air Force invoked Santa Claus -- a magical figure who runs a toy factory from the North Pole -- in an attempt to mediate a Twitter feud between two of its bases. Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri and Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota had been trading barbs over the merits of their respective fleets when the official Air Force Twitter account stepped in with a stern warning. "We didn't want to have to do this, but if you 2 can't get along we must...Santa will bring you nothing this year...becuase [sic] he isn't real!" the Air Force tweeted. **** Several US government agencies have previously acknowledged the existence of Santa, including the Department of Transportation, which approves his flight plans. In 2013, a spokeswoman for the State Department reassured journalists that Santa has a visa waiver in the United States, allowing him to visit the country every year without issue. The US Postal Service has similarly acknowledged Santa's existence and has been delivering letters to him for over 100 years. And while the current commander in chief, President Donald Trump, has yet to weigh in on the Santa issue, he has been vocal in his support for the Christmas holiday, urging people to reject the "happy holidays" greeting in favor of saying "merry Christmas." SOURCE: FOLLOW UP....by NY Daily News Excerpt... The follow-up tweet is referencing the Air Force’s annual tradition of tracking Santa and his gift drop-offs on Christmas Eve. The tradition dates to 1948, when communication from the Air Force claimed an “early warning radar net to the north” had detected “one unidentified sleigh, powered by eight reindeer, at 14,000 feet (4,300 meters), heading 180 degrees.” The memo made its way into the hands Associate Press Reporters, who played along and ultimately sparked the decades-old Christmas tradition, The Hill reported. NORAD or the North American Aerospace Defense Command is behind the fun, and it relies on satellites, radar and fighter jets to follow Santa on his magical journey. SOURCE:
  15. Canadian tree farmers gift hundreds of Christmas trees to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico October 24, 2017 by CTVNews.ca Staff Excerpt - As Puerto Rico continues to grapple with the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Maria, Nova Scotian Christmas tree farmers are hoping an old tradition will help inspire hope and optimism among those reeling from the damage. Scott MacKinnon has been sending Christmas trees to Puerto Rico for 15 years – a ritual he was sure would come to an end after Hurricane Maria hit the island in late September. The hurricane left Puerto Rico almost entirely in the dark, ravaging power lines, cellphone towers, roads, and ports in its wake. “After the hurricane we hadn’t heard from our customer,’ MacKinnon told CTV Atlantic. “We kind of thought that was it, like there’s no power, they won’t be ordering trees. So we just kind of put it in the back of our mind.” **** The trees were transported from St. Andrews, N.S., to Halifax on Tuesday. They’re expected to arrive in Puerto Rico on Nov. 13 – just in time for American Thanksgiving. “They have a long history of trees in Puerto Rico,” MacKinnon said. “They love Christmas and the ceremony around it and the tree being the central part of it.” Gifting Christmas trees internationally is not unbeknown to Nova Scotia. For decades, the province has been sending a Christmas tree to Boston as a thank-you for the city’s help during the Halifax Explosion in 1917. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the disaster. SOURCE:
  16. Anthem Outlets kick off holiday season with arrival of giant tree October 24, 2017 By azfamily.com News Staff Excerpt - ANTHEM, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -Anthem is gearing up for the upcoming holiday season with the arrival of its giant Christmas tree! For the 16th consecutive year, the Outlets at Anthem placed the state’s largest fresh cut Christmas tree in its place of honor. The tree was delivered on an enormous flatbed truck and then was hoisted into place with a heavy-duty construction crane. Santa Claus and carolers were on hand to bring a festive feel to the tree delivery. This year's tree is 80 feet tall, about 22 feet wide and weighs 3 tons. It will weigh 4 tons when it's all decorated. Decorations will include about 10,000 bulbs, 5,000 ornaments and bows. The tree-lighting ceremony will take place Saturday, Nov. 18. SOURCE
  17. Vancouver Santa Claus Parade back on with new sponsor October 24, 2017 by CTV Vancouver Excerpt - After months of uncertainty, a major telecommunications company has stepped in to make sure this year’s Vancouver Santa Claus Parade is a go. Earlier this month, organizers said the parade wouldn’t be coming to town unless they could fill a $150,000 hole left in their budget after one of its biggest sponsors pulled out. “When TELUS learned the parade was at risk of cancellation and in need of a presenting sponsor, the company stepped up to cover the shortfall, ensuring that the parade will go on,” the parade society said in a statement Tuesday. **** The cost of staging the parade is about $400,000, which a number of other sponsors, including Toys "R" Us and the Fairmont Hotel, help pay for. Since it started, the event has raised a total of $157,000 for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank and helped collect 35,000 kilograms of food. This year’s parade will begin at 12 p.m. on Dec. 3. The route starts in the West End and moves towards downtown along West Georgia Street before turning down Howe Street at the Vancouver Art Gallery. The parade has been drawing tens of thousands of families to downtown Vancouver for the past 13 years. SOURCE:
  18. Cheap Trick rocks on new holiday album 'Christmas Christmas' October 22, 2017 by MARKOS PAPADATOS - Digital Journal Excerpt - On October 20, Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Cheap Trick released their first-ever holiday album "Christmas Christmas" on Big Machine Records. Cheap Trick co-produced this new holiday collection with their longtime collaborator, Grammy winner Julian Raymond, who has worked with the late Glen Campbell.The holiday album opens with their upbeat original tune "Merry Christmas Darlings" and it is followed by the jubilant "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day," which instantly puts the listeners in the holiday spirit. "I Wish It Was Christmas Today" is a great deal of fun, with nostalgic lyrics. **** Overall, Cheap Trick has a released a rocking new holiday project with Christmas Christmas. It is highly eclectic, upbeat and fun. They still prove to be at the top of their game, vocally and instrumentally. This CD garners an A rating. Well done guys. SOURCE:
  19. The picturesque town that will pay you to move there October 21, 2017 by New Zealand Herald Excerpt - You wouldn't think the charming medieval Italian town of Candela would have a problem attracting people, but the mayor is offering up cash and tax incentives in a bid to get people to move there. Once a buzzing hub of more than 8000 residents and known to tourists as "Little Naples", the town's population is now dwindling. It currently stands at just 2700 residents. To recover the town's lost grandeur, mayor Nicola Gatta is offering up to 2000 euros ($3,387) to encourage people - including foreigners - to relocate, CNN Travel reports. **** "Up until the 1960s, travellers called it 'Nap'licchie' (Little Naples), for it streets full of wayfarers, tourists, merchants and screaming vendors." Now, the maze of winding picturesque alleys, Baroque buildings and arched passageways is all but a ghost town. Many young people who once called Candela home have fled the village in search of a brighter future elsewhere, leaving behind an ageing population. The mass exodus of Italy's smaller historic towns has been a matter of national concern for decades. Many people emigrated to these villages in the post-war years but since then, a combination of ageing populations, economic squeeze and lack of opportunities has seen an exodus from the countryside to the cities. **** The biggest attraction being the House of Santa Clause which tells the story the inspiration behind Saint Nicholas, whose remains are believed to be entombed in the nearby town of Bari. Mr Gatta's council pays actors dressed as Santa Claus and his elves to take over a 1600s three-storey building for an entire month. SOURCE:
  20. Christmas shoppers are starting early to save time and money October 22, 2017 by Anthony Keane - news.com.au Excerpt - Australia -IF you haven’t started your Christmas shopping yet, you’re a minority. While many shoppers complain about festive season decorations popping up in stores several months early, new research by Beyond Bank Australia has found that 20 per cent start their Christmas shopping during the midyear sales and another 42 per cent start by the end of October. Beyond Bank’s general manager of customer experience, Nick May, said shoppers were becoming more savvy. “Most of us are watching our money very carefully and would rather spread the spending out over two or three months rather than one big blow,” he said. **** Mrs Iannone also starts Christmas shopping early. “I started a month ago — I’ve found in the past when I have left it to the last minute I didn’t have a lot of money left. You tend to go a bit over in the excitement of Christmas,” she said. “I have started putting aside $100 a week since the middle of this year so I can have that money there.” Mozo director Kirsty Lamont said starting early could help consumers save money. She said social deal sites could be a quality source of discounts. “In a two-minute browse of one discount site, Mozo found up to 66 per cent off a dozen bottles of Chardonnay, which had an original price of $159,” she said. “Take the time to review supermarket specials catalogues well ahead of the festive season, and shop for your Christmas essentials when they pop up on sale. SOURCE:
  21. What's a good age to tell kids mum and dad are Santa? October 23, 2017 by Valerie Horton - Fraser Coast Chronicle Excerpt; - ON THE Fraser Coast Chronicle's Facebook page, one of the age-old debates raged this weekend. What is a good age to tell a child that mummy and daddy are Santa Claus? People gave many different responses on the Chronicle's post. Marlie Lovelock questioned whether parents needed to tell their children anything. "We all need some magic in the this," she wrote. **** "And as we are all smart enough to know, kids read Facebook so this is where you tell the truth." Juanita Howard wrote "if you don't believe, you don't receive". She said her 18 and 11-year-olds both still believed in Santa. SOURCE:
  22. Professional Santa Claus asks for help recovering stolen ‘sleigh’ October 18, 2017 by Jenn Boneza - khon2 Excerpt - Adrian Rumsey, known to many as Santa, is not so jolly today. Thieves stole his truck, and a special part of the holiday spirit along with it. Rumsey, a professional shopping mall Santa Claus, says his truck was taken early Tuesday morning. Rumsey says his neighbor saw his truck parked in the lot at 12:30 a.m., but when Rumsey got up to drink water at 2 a.m., he looked out his window and it was gone. Rumsey said no one saw or heard anything. He called police, but they told him he’d just have to wait and see. He’s worked as Jolly Old Saint Nick for the last several years at Windward Mall, Kahala Mall, and the Navy Exchange. But he’s been decorating his gold 1989 Dodge Dakota for Christmas for more than two decades. **** This isn’t the first time a Grinch tried to steal something from him. He caught someone trying to break into his truck just last month, but the person ran off when Rumsey spotted him. With his truck missing. Rumsey said the holidays won’t be the same. “I always decorate it right before Thanksgiving,” Rumsey said. “But this year, well, we’ll just have to see. … I’d just like to get the truck back so I can decorate it for Christmas, so people can enjoy it.” SOURCE:
  23. HGTV’s ‘Santa HQ’ Experience Brings Festive Family Fun to 15 Macerich Malls This Holiday Season October 9, 2017 Press Release NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--HGTV and Macerich today announced that a classic holiday tradition returns with HGTV’s popular Santa HQ experience—an event that has reinvented the traditional Santa Claus visit at malls across America since 2014. HGTV and Macerich mall properties will host this year’s merrymaking at 15 sites in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Washington, D.C. Santa HQ will welcome guests seven days a week beginning Thursday, Nov. 2, through Sunday, Dec. 24 (closed Thanksgiving Day). Santa HQ connects the HGTV brand with millions of targeted consumers in markets across the country, thrilling guests of all ages with a 21st century immersive journey that features state-of-the-art digital technology. In addition to a custom photo opportunity with Santa Claus inside his modernized sleigh, mall guests can take an Elfie selfie to star in their very own holiday video, use Elf-Ray Vision to explore Santa’s Observatory and find out how they rank on the Naughty or Nice O’Meter. Visitors also will enjoy a synchronized holiday light show featuring over 10,000 individual lights orchestrated to the tune of Carol of the Bells. While visiting Santa HQ, guests can customize their individual experience by using augmented reality to view Santa’s Workshop and Observatory in a magical way. Visitors are encouraged to download the Elf-Ray Vision app or use a provided tablet to discover the enchanting world of Santa HQ in stunning 2D and 3D digital scenes. “For the past three years, Santa HQ has been an unforgettable holiday experience for tens of thousands of HGTV fans,” said Shannon Driver, general manager, U.S. brand marketing, Scripps Networks Interactive. “The network is thrilled to partner once again with Macerich to offer this interactive event full of wonder and fun that makes the season even more special for families.” The unique attraction offers a powerful HGTV brand experience at each of the high-performing, market-dominant Macerich properties that host Santa HQ. “This holiday season, Macerich properties are set to unwrap great experiences for shoppers, including the incomparable Santa HQ,” said Petra Maruca, Vice President of Business Development, Macerich. “This one-of-a-kind interactive attraction, created in partnership with HGTV, has become a well-loved tradition at top Macerich centers across the country. We are delighted to again offer this exciting Santa experience that families can share.” Santa HQ will be featured at the following 15 Macerich properties: Arizona: Chandler Fashion Center, Chandler, opens Nov. 10 Scottsdale Fashion Square, Scottsdale, opens Nov. 10 California: Fresno Fashion Fair, Fresno, opens Nov. 10 Los Cerritos Center, Cerritos, opens Nov. 10 Lakewood Center, Lakewood, opens Nov. 10 The Oaks, Thousand Oaks, opens Nov. 10 Vintage Faire Mall, Modesto, opens Nov. 2 Colorado: FlatIron Crossing, Broomfield, opens Nov. 11 Connecticut: Danbury Fair Mall, Danbury, opens Nov. 3 Illinois: Fashion Outlets of Chicago, Rosemont, opens Nov. 10 New Jersey: Deptford Mall, Deptford Township, opens Nov. 2 Freehold Raceway Mall, Freehold, opens Nov. 10 New York: Queens Center, Elmhurst, opens Nov. 10 Oregon: Washington Square, Portland, opens Nov. 10 Washington D.C. area: Tysons Corner Center, Tysons, Va., opens Nov. 11 Reservations for each location can be made in advance at santa-hq.com. HGTV knows the holiday season is a memorable time for the network’s audience, so fans are encouraged to share their Santa HQ experience on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using #santahq. Santa HQ was conceived in collaboration with HGTV, Macerich and Pop2Life, a New York-based experiential marketing agency. ABOUT HGTV HGTV delivers the superstar experts, fascinating families, compelling renovations and stunning transformations that make all things home fun. America’s favorite way to get entertaining, relatable and inspirational home and lifestyle content, HGTV offers: a top 10 cable network that is distributed to more than 91 million U.S. households; a website, HGTV.com, that attracts an average of nine million people each month; social media platforms that engage nearly nine million users; HGTV Magazine, a monthly publication that reaches more than one million readers and exclusive collections of home-oriented products through the HGTV HOME™ consumer products line. Viewers can become fans of HGTV and interact with other home improvement enthusiasts through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, HGTV is owned by Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc., which also owns and operates Food Network, Travel Channel, DIY Network, Cooking Channel and Great American Country. ABOUT MACERICH Macerich, an S&P 500 company, is a fully integrated self-managed and self-administered real estate investment trust, which focuses on the acquisition, leasing, management, development and redevelopment of regional malls throughout the United States. Macerich currently owns 54 million square feet of real estate consisting primarily of interests in 48 regional shopping centers. Macerich specializes in successful retail properties in many of the country’s most attractive, densely populated markets with significant presence in the Pacific Rim, Arizona, Chicago and the Metro New York to Washington, D.C. corridor. Additional information about Macerich can be obtained from the company’s website: www.macerich.com. ABOUT POP2LIFE Pop2Life is an award winning, Condé Nast brand experience agency based in New York. Founded by Eric Murphy in 2003, the company offers ideation and strategy, environmental design and creative services, full-service event production, talent procurement and event concierge services. Clients include Scripps Networks Interactive, Capital One, AMC, DreamWorks, Macerich and iHeart Radio, among many others. Contacts HGTV Chelsey Riemann, 865-560-4896 criemann@hgtv.com or Macerich Karen Maurer, 602-953-6471 Karen.maurer@macerich.com
  24. ANCIENT TOMB OF SANTA CLAUS DISCOVERED BENEATH TURKISH CHURCH BY CALLUM PATON ON 10/3/17 AT 10:54 AM Archaeologists in Turkey may be on the cusp of solving a mystery thousands of years in the making after they stumbled on a tomb beneath the ruins of an ancient church they believe contains the remains of Saint Nicholas—known popularly as Santa Claus. A portion of the site believed to contain the undamaged grave was discovered in St. Nicholas Church, located in Turkey’s southern Antalya province. The Demre district in which the church is found is known to be the revered Christian saint’s birthplace. http://www.newsweek.com/santa-claus-tomb-discovered-beneath-ancient-church-turkey-676598
  25. Santa Claus needed for ‘best seasonal job in the Highlands’ as hotel launches nationwide appeal October 4, 2017 by Daily Record Staff Excerpt - A holiday resort in the Highlands is on the hunt for a jolly Santa Claus to fill a very special festive role. Macdonald Aviemore Resort has launched a nationwide appeal for the perfect person to don the famous red and white suit to help spread the Christmas cheer . The chosen Father Christmas will be based at his exclusive Highland Home on the Resort - which comes complete with elves and reindeer - and will play a starring role during themed breaks and for guests staying over Christmas. The ideal Santa must be magical, nimble and quick, project a robust and heart-felt ho-ho-ho, have a proven track record in discerning who has been naughty or nice and of course, he must have rosy cheeks and a twinkle in his eyes. **** “The Resort really is synonymous with Christmas and it’s hard to think of another setting that would be more fitting for Santa’s Highland Home than Aviemore.” Camille Craig, marketing manager at Macdonald Aviemore Resort, commented: “Our previous Santa Claus created so many magical memories for families over the years and, now he has retired, we’re looking to continue this tradition by appointing a new head of the household at Santa’s Highland Home.” SOURCE:
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