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  1. Mick Foley makes donations to Santa's Elves October 2, 2017 by DuboisCountyHerald.com Excerpt - SANTA CLAUS — WWE Hall-of-Famer and New York Times bestselling author Mick Foley gifted Santa’s Elves with an early Christmas present this year. Emily Thompson, director of the Santa Claus Museum & Village, says Foley’s donation to the Elves program will help offset the cost of postage required to send response letters from Santa all over the world. Santa’s Elves and the Santa Claus Museum & Village is a non-profit organization that relies on donations and volunteers to keep the tradition of answering letters sent to Santa Claus alive and well. The Elves have been helping Santa answer letters for over one hundred years. **** Foley, a wearer of the red suit and author of the upcoming book Saint Mick: My Journey from Hardcore Legend to Santa’s Jolly Elf, will also donate a portion of the proceeds of his book to Santa’s Elves and the Santa Claus Museum & Village. Foley will be at the Santa Claus Museum & Village on Tuesday, November 7 at 6 p.m. CDT for a book reading and signing. Saint Mick will be available for sale in the museum gift shop in mid-October. Admission to the event is free, though seating will be limited. “We are so grateful to have Mick’s support,” said Thompson. “He truly embodies the spirit of Christmas and we look forward to hosting him at the Santa Claus Museum in November.” SOURCE:
  2. Carlo Klemm

    Troops will get a Kiwi Christmas

    Troops will get a Kiwi Christmas September 29, 2017 by Ruby Spink - NZ Herald Excerpt - A slice of Kiwiana is being packed up for every New Zealand soldier, sailor and Air Force personnel deployed on overseas operations this Christmas. The 300 parcels are stuffed with Christmas gifts including Marmite, chocolate, biscuits and cards made by primary school students. They have been packed in Upper Hutt today in an assembly line of military personnel, RSA members, Mt Cook students and local business people. NZ Joint Forces Deputy Commander Kevin McEvoy said he received similar packages at Christmas in the past and they made him feel less alone. **** Year 8 Mt Cook School student Alyssa Ta said two years ago a woman from the Air Force received a card from her and then came to visit when she returned to New Zealand. "She said that it reminded or her of home, and that people were thinking of her back at home, and that it was the most amazing feeling ever." Once the boxes have been packed they will be sent to six different continents to arrive in time for Christmas Day. SOURCE:
  3. Popular event will feature 35 designer Christmas Trees September 28, 2017 By Ellwood Shreve - Chatham Daily News Excerpt - Chatham, Ontario - It may not feel like it these days, but Christmas is just around the corner and with it comes the annual Christmas in Muskoka fundraiser. The Chatham Armoury will be filled with 35 spectacular designer Christmas trees, many including multiple gifts, to be won from Nov. 28-Dec. 2. The popular event, which is a fundraiser for the St. Clair Catholic District School Board to help send more than 330 Grade 7 students and 120 high school students to the Muskoka Woods Leadership Camp next May, attracts thousands of people during its five-day run. “Christmas in Muskoka has received a very positive and overwhelming response from the Chatham-Kent community,” said committee member Gerri Brown. “The Armoury will be transformed into a Christmas wonderland that will feature something for everyone.” Committee member Shawn Moynihan said the big attraction is the chance to win one or more of the 35 designer Christmas trees. The trees have featured a wide range of themes from Stars to Barbie and Hot Wheels and Candy. There have also been angels, kitchen devices, tools and sports equipment featured on some trees, he said. **** Moynihan said trees have also featured incredible gifts, including canoes, barbecues, gift certificates and toys. This year, he added, the Catholic School Principal's tree will feature a 50-inch flat-screen TV donated by Teppermans. “We have had tremendous success with corporate sponsors,” Moynihan said. SOURCE:
  4. 'A very merry Mobile:' Mayor's office lists Christmas-season events September 26, 2017 by Lawrence Specker - Al.com Excerpt -Mobile, AL - Following discussion of Christmas-season plans during last week's city council meeting, Mayor Sandy Stimpson's office has released a list of events it says add up to "A Very Merry Mobile." "Mobile was born to celebrate the holidays and this year will not disappoint," Stimpson said in a release summarizing the events. "The holiday season is an important time to come together as a community. I encourage all of our citizens to take part, and even take it one step further, and reach out to anyone you know who is feeling lost or alone. There truly is something for everyone this year. Be on the lookout for more to come!" **** Lighting of the Tree - 5-7 p.m. Nov. 17 in Bienville Square. Elf-A-Palooza - 5-7 p.m. Dec. 8, Bienville Square. Winter Wonderland - 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 16, Bienville Square and Cathedral Square. Holiday Movie Nights - Dec. 15 and 21, time and location to be announced. Tuba Christmas - 2:30 p.m. Dec. 17, location TBA Christmas Jubilee - Nov. 9-11, Arthur R. Outlaw Mobile Convention Center. "A Christmas Carol" - 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6. Playhouse in the Park Christmas on the River Lighted Boat Parade - 6 p.m. Dec. 2, Dog River. Magic Christmas in Lights - Nov. 24-Dec. 31, Bellingrath Gardens. Christmas Night in Lights - Nov. 10-Jan. 1, Hank Aaron Stadium. Home Free "A Country Christmas Tour" - 8 p.m. Dec. 20, Mobile Saenger Theatre. Dollar General Bowl - 6 p.m. Dec. 23, Ladd-Peebles Stadium. SOURCE
  5. Great Lakes Brewing Co. sets Christmas Ale First Pour party September 26, 2017 by Marc Bona - cleveland.com Excerpt - CLEVELAND, Ohio - It may be an unofficial beginning, but few things mark the holiday season in Cleveland better than Great Lakes Brewing Co.'s annual First Pour party to launch Christmas Ale. The annual seasonal ale's celebration will be Thursday, Oct. 26, at the brewpub in Ohio City. This marks the 25th year Christmas Ale has been released. Doors will open at 11 a.m., and the ale will be tapped at 11:30. Each year the brewery holds a creative contest for those hoping to be the first person to sip the spicy ale. To enter this year's photo contest, go to greatlakesbrewing.com/MerryChristmasAle. Entries will be judged on creativity, composition and story, and you have to be 21 or older. Photos should be tagged #MerryChristmasAle. The contest is open through Monday, Oct. 16. **** The seasonal suds - brewed with honey, ginger and cinnamon - are out for about eight weeks each year. Beginning Oct. 26, it will be on tap exclusively at the brewpub in pints; no growlers or crowlers will be filled. Then Monday, Oct. 30, bottles and kegs will be available in the gift shop and in the brewery's distribution markets. SOURCE:
  6. Merry Christmas at Walmart in September? September 27, 2017 by Tom Eglehof - KMMS Excerpt: I’ll admit it. Christmas is my favorite holiday. However, taking our weekly stroll through Walmart today I couldn’t believe that Christmas stuff is already filling the shelves. Guys — Its September Could we at least get Halloween and Thanksgiving out of the way first before forcing Christmas down my throat? Being a business guy, I understand the methodology. The sooner you get people thinking about Christmas the more you’ll probably sell. I’d like to at least get through Labor Day before you spring Christmas on me. **** Some Final Thoughts Even high-end Christmas tree ads have hit American TV screens. For most people the logic of bringing out Christmas before Halloween makes no sense. They don’t want to think about it yet. We have candy and costumes to purchase. I guess one of my etched-in-stone advertising rules applies here: When logic and emotion come into conflict — emotions always wins. I have a great idea for a new business. I’m going to sell hats with blinders on the sides so I don’t have to be exposed to holiday fare until I’m ready. How many hats can I put you down for? SOURCE:
  7. James D. Rielly Foundation Receives 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Status Rhode Island based charity helps the children and families of veterans, active military, and first responders. Providence, RI (PRWEB) August 29, 2017 The James D. Rielly Foundation is proud to announce that it has been formerly granted tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code. Contributions donated to the James D. Rielly Foundation are fully tax-deductible retroactive to the founding of the organization. The James D. Rielly Foundation is also now eligible to apply for government and foundation grants, which will further broaden its access to resources and strengthen its ability to serve the members of the community. Funded entirely by private donations, The James D. Rielly Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, volunteer organization founded by Michael Rielly to honor the life and legacy of his grandfather, James D Rielly. The Foundation provides charitable support to the children and families of veterans, active military, and first responders. Born in 1908, James (Jim) D. Rielly was a lifelong resident of Bristol Rhode Island and well known throughout New England for his kindness, generosity, and countless charitable acts. Over the course of his lifetime, Jim Rielly was the recipient of numerous awards and received letters of recognition from celebrities and dignitaries from all over the world; Eleanor Roosevelt, Senators Theodore Francis Green, Claiborne Pell, and John Chafee, Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon, and even his Holiness, Pope John Paul II, just to name a few. Jim Rielly was best known as Rhode Island’s own “Santa Claus”, where he portrayed the role of Jolly Old St. Nick for over 60 years. Much of his time in the red suit was spent bringing joy to the children and families of servicemen and women and first responders. “In honor of my grandfather’s dedication to the community and those less fortunate, we established the James D. Rielly Foundation in his name”, stated Michael Rielly, James D. Rielly Foundation President. “Our mission is to preserve his legacy by providing charitable support to the children and the families of military and first responders hindered by economic status, physical or mental challenges.” The IRS letter granting James D. Rielly Foundation its 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status is available upon request. For donation inquiries, please contact info(at)jdrfoundation(dot)org or visit http://www.jdrfoundation.org. About James D. Rielly Foundation, Inc. The James D. Rielly Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, organized exclusively for charitable, religious, fraternal organizations, and educational purposes, including, the distribution of funds primarily to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under 501(c)(3). The James D. Rielly Foundation believes in giving back to the community both locally and nationally. We believe helping those in need will inspire others to do the same and in turn, improve the quality of life for all. To learn more, visit: www.jdrfoundation.org. Follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn. SOURCE: http://www.prweb.com/releases/prweb14586186.htm
  8. Alaska Airlines Passengers Will No Longer Share Planes With Reindeer & Sled Dogs September 26, 2017 by Laura Northrup - Consumerist Excerpt: Do you like reindeer? Have you always wanted to fly with them? No, this has nothing to do with Santa Claus: Next month, Alaska Airlines will retire its last combi-planes, jets that carry both passengers and cargo to communities across the state. That cargo could include food, consumer goods, or live animals like dogs and reindeer. **** Cargo planes are important in Alaska, where there isn’t much of a highway or railway network for distributing goods. Instead, items from the combi-planes or cargo jets gets loaded on smaller cargo planes and distributed to remote areas. Planes have even carried dogs that have just completed the Iditarod race back to the starting point so they can take a well-deserved nap. Those passengers board the aircraft using the back door and stairs, not a jetway, and the wide variety of cargo meant in-flight problems that make a tuna sandwich eaten in flight seem pretty minor. One traveler recounted a trip she took with a shipment of baby reindeer in the cargo hold. A horrible smell filled the passenger cabin after takeoff, and the crew apologized: The animals must have reacted in fear to how taking off in a jet feels, especially without a seat belt. SOURCE:
  9. This is the reason Coca-Cola cans are red September 24, 2017 by contributor- buzz.ie Excerpt: It's not just about the marketing - there's a very good, and very practical reason for Coca Cola cans being their signature red. If you've ever woken up in the middle of the night and couldn’t get back to sleep because you were too busy wondering why Coke cans were red, here’s your answer. The distinctive can’s trademark red isn’t just a random choice – and doesn’t have anything to do with Christmas. It’s all to do with taxes. When the popular fizzy drink first came to fruition in the 1890s, it was served out of large barrels in shops across the US. Fizzy drinks weren’t taxed unlike alcohol which was stored in similar barrels. To tell them apart, Coca-Cola decided to paint their barrels red for tax officials. The colour stuck and became the brand’s signature – something that has been confirmed by the company. **** While Coke didn't take their signature red colour from Christmas, most will have heard that Santa Claus got his appearance as we know it from the Coke commercials. Up until 1931 Santa was usually green and was often depicted as being tall and skinny, or a creepy-looking elf. It is true that Santa's current look was popularised by Coca-Cola but he had been appearing in red for a few years before that. Before Coca-Cola started using Santa for commercials in 1931, he had appeared in red, but was also regularly seen in green or brown or other colours SOURCE:
  10. Renfrew Santa Claus parade is a go with a new twist September 22, 2017 by Tiffany Lepack - Renfrew Mercury Excerpt :Renfrew, Ontario - Santa Claus is coming to Renfrew! After longtime parade organizers the Renfrew Lions Club announced they were stepping aside earlier this year there was some speculation whether it would go on. However, a subcommittee of the Renfrew Business Improvement Area (BIA) will be organizing the parade, set for Saturday, Dec. 2, with a new start time of 5 p.m. “This is excellent news for sure because it's been going on forever,” said Renfrew Coun. Arlene Jamieson, who is the chair of the tourism committee. “It was real scary when we thought we had no one to take the reins.” **** The theme of the parade is ‘Christmas 150 Wishes’, and they hope to bring Canada’s 150th birthday into the event too. There will also be some changes to the parade. “We are going to have an evening parade with lights starting at 5 p.m.,” said Miller. “It (a night parade) is more modern. It's beautiful with all of the lights and it changes it up.” Jamieson says it’s a great time to try a night parade. “It’s always been thought of, to have a night parade so this is the perfect time to do it,” said Jamieson. **** Kids will still have a chance to see Santa after the parade. “Santa Claus will be at town hall in the gazebo at Low Square to visit with the kids,” said Miller. “We are also looking for entertainment, and roasting marshmallows.” SOURCE
  11. White House Christmas tree picked in Shawano County September 26, 2017 by WMTV Excerpt - SHAWANO COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - This year the official White House Christmas Tree is coming from Shawano County. White House Chief Usher Timothy Harleth and White House Superintendent of Grounds Dale Haney were at Hanauer's Christmas Tree Farm Monday morning to pick out the perfect one. Jim, Diane and David Chapman of 'Silent Night Evergreens' will present the tree to the First Family for the third time. The Chapmans won the National Christmas Tree contest last month, but are getting some help because of tree height requirements. The tree comes from Hanauer's Christmas Tree Farm in Shawano County. "It's a gorgeous tree, I mean it's not one of our trees, but I have tree envy when I see it, because I couldn't do any better, nobody can do any better," said Jim Chapman. The tree will be placed inside the White House Blue Room. The Blue Room is the home of the feature tree of the White House. **** White house officials picked a 19.5 ft. Balsam Fir to be the 52nd tree presented by the National Christmas Tree Association. A horse and wagon will deliver the Balsam Fir to the White House on November 20, 2017. SOURCE:
  12. Carlo Klemm

    Celebration of a Kenora Christmas

    Celebration of a Kenora Christmas September 26, 2017 By Kathleen Charlebois - Miner and News - Excerpt: Kenora, Ontario - The leaves just started falling off the trees, but preparations are already underway for an annual Christmas charity gala. Dressed in flannel, reindeer antlers and Santa hats and holding miniature fishing poles, the organizing committee for the 14th Festival of Trees announced the theme of “A Kenora Christmas” on Wednesday, Sept. 20. The Festival of Trees, which will be held on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 1 and 2 at the Seven Generations Education Institute Manidoo Baawaatig Campus event centre, is the major fundraiser for the Kenora and Lake of the Woods Regional Community Foundation. **** The Community Day portion of the festival will feature pictures with Santa, musical entertainment and holiday treats, as well as the seniors’ tea. According to a press release, the festival attracts more than 500 guests on average, and has raised more than $335,000 for the community foundation over the years. SOURCE:
  13. Carlo Klemm

    Space needed for Christmas Bureau

    Space needed for Christmas Bureau Sept 26, 2017 by staff - Sherwoodparknews.com Excerpt: Sherwood Park, Alberta - It’s a Bureau without a home. Christmas decorations haven’t even entered the stores just yet, but the conversation surrounding needs for the holiday season is in full force. The Strathcona Christmas Bureau — a group dedicated to collecting and delivering gifts to low-income families in Strathcona County — doesn’t have a permanent year-round location for its depot. As such, the group hits the pavement each fall in search of a suitable space for its upcoming Christmas campaign. “So far, 2017 is looking very challenging and the group has no solid leads, despite many weeks of searching through normal channels,” said Sarah Geisler, communications coordinator with the Christmas Bureau. That was all fine until the realization settled in that the campaign season starts in only five weeks, with Geisler noting, “that’s making us a bit nervous.” “The space required is about 10,000-square-feet, but in previous years, the group has made do with two close-together small spaces of about 5,000-square-feet each,” she explained. “The depot space does not need to be within Sherwood Park itself, but does need to be within Strathcona County’s borders, as that is the region that the charity serves.” **** Finally, Geisler explained, the space needs to accommodate the loading and unloading of large trailers, “so a loading bay area with overhead door access is a must.” The group is now “urgently asking” the community if residents or business owners could supply any space that fits the criteria, in anticipation of the quickly-approaching Bureau season. SOURCE:
  14. 2017’s Most Popular New Toys for Kids This Christmas September 4, 2017 by Jennifer - Brostick.com Excerpt - You better watch out…because, let’s face it, Christmas is around the corner. It’s never too early to get a jump start on the coolest gifts for kids. There’s nothing worse than being under the gun, while people continually post the countdown to Christmas on social media (the stress is real!). We’ve scoured some of the top toy wish-lists and all-around great gift ideas . As a result, we’ve uncovered the best selling toys and games from the top toy retailers and found the best prices so you don’t have to. Shop 64 of the best toys below! SOURCE:
  15. U.S. Christmas Carols set of four to be issued Oct. 5 at ASDA show in New York City September 14, 2017 By Michael Baadke - Linn's Stamp NBews Excerpt:- The United States Postal Service will issue a four-stamp set celebrating popular Christmas carols on the opening day of the American Stamp Dealer Association’s Fall Postage Stamp Show in New York City. The nondenominated (49¢) forever stamps each depict a scene and a phrase evoking one of four Christmas songs: Deck the Halls, Silent Night, Jingle Bells, and Jolly Old Saint Nicholas. The issue date is the first day of the ASDA Fall Postage Stamp Show, taking place at the hotel Oct. 5-7. Admission to the show and the Thursday first-day ceremony is free. Among those participating in the ceremony will be USPS director of Stamp Services Mary-Anne Penner, USPS brand marketing executive director Christopher Karpenko, and American Philatelist editor Jay Bigalke, who is leaving the American Philatelic Society staff in October to begin work as Linn’s Stamp News editor-in-chief. The four stamps in the new set feature original artwork by Steve McCracken, whose previous stamp projects include the 1993 Circus set of four 29¢ stamps (Scott 2750-2753), the 44¢ Snowboarder stamp for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games (4436), and the 34¢ Community Colleges stamped envelope issued in 2001 (U648). SOURCE:
  16. Capitol Christmas Tree to Tour Northwest Montana September 16, 2017 By Patrick Reilly - Daily Inter Lake Excerpt: - As lawmakers, dignitaries, journalists and tourists make their way to the U.S. Capitol this December, they’ll all pass a tree from Kootenai National Forest. The forest has been chosen to provide this year’s Capitol Christmas Tree. On Friday, the Forest Service announced dates and locations for the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Tour. Since 1970, the “People’s Tree” has been plucked from national forests and other protected areas around the country. Kootenai has had this honor once before, sending an Engelmann Spruce to the nation’s capital in 1989. The only other Montana forest to provide the tree has been Bitterroot, which sent a sub alpine fir in 2008. This year’s not-yet-selected evergreen will be cut Nov. 8. Kootenai National Forest, with support from nonprofit Choose Outdoors and various state and national corporations, will then send it on a 3,000-mile cross-country journey. SOURCE:
  17. 'Holiday Express' train coming to 3 Arkansas towns before Christmas September 15, 2017 by Brandon Riddle - Arkansas Online Excerpt - Santa Claus is coming to three Arkansas towns around Christmastime aboard the festively adorned Holiday Express as part of a multi-state route. The route includes a stop Dec. 6 in Ashdown at Main Street and U.S. 71, another Dec. 7 in Mena at 524 Sherwood Ave. and a final Arkansas visit Dec. 10 in Siloam Springs on Jefferson Street. The stops are set for 4 p.m. each day. The six-car train affiliated with Kansas City Southern allows guests of all ages to board three cars that are filled with holiday displays, according to a statement Wednesday. **** The Kansas City Southern Holiday Express was created in 2001 when volunteers transformed a retired freight train into the Christmastime spectacle for use in the company’s service territory. Twenty-two communities in six states are part of this year’s schedule. Over its 16-year tenure, the project has raised more than $1 million for gift cards that are then donated to The Salvation Army at each scheduled stop. SOURCE:
  18. ‘Santa Claus’ pleads guilty to marijuana-growing charges September 14,2017 by Guillermo Contreras - MySA Excerpt: Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, will have one fewer Papá Noel (Santa Claus) this year. James Earl Bailey, 69, a self-proclaimed hippie who had been on the lam for 14 years, pleaded guilty Thursday in San Antonio to charges of manufacturing more than 100 marijuana plants. Since skipping bail in 2003, he’d settled in the northern Mexico town that borders Laredo and lived in a modest home there with the earnings he got from playing ol’ St. Nick. “Everybody knew him as Santa Claus in Nuevo Laredo,” said his lawyer, Tom McHugh. “He’d go into shops there and charge to take pictures with people and kids. He’d use that (money) to survive the year.” **** McHugh said his client began using pot as he followed the hippie lifestyle; he was in California in 1967 during the “Summer of Love” but moved to Texas. Had he remained there, Bailey could have legally grown marijuana — albeit fewer plants — in recent years when laws there changed, McHugh said. “The pot was for himself, and he got good,” McHugh said. “He had a good product. People began buying it from him.” But Bailey is no big-time dealer, and he’s not violent, McHugh argued. Indeed, Bailey stood out among the much younger, heavily tattooed, mean-mugging drug defendants in federal court. Dressed in a blue jail jumpsuit, Bailey’s locks were gray, he had to use glasses to read his court documents and he was given amplified headphones so he could hear U.S. Magistrate Judge Henry Bemporad. The judge asked him if everything was correct in his plea documents, which contain a portion that says Bailey is a hippie. “Yes your honor,” Baily replied. “The only thing that’s different is I’m an older hippie.” Bailey faces up to 40 years in prison when Chief U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia sentences him on Dec. 14. “He hopes the court isn’t going to be a grinch,” McHugh said. SOURCE: -
  19. Auditions for Chatham Community Players' 'Christmas Cards: Letters to Santa' September 13, 2017 by Community Bulletin - NJ.com Excerpt: Chatham - The Chatham Community Players is excited to present a holiday offering that will surely get your entire family into the holiday spirit. Open auditions for "Christmas Cards: Letters to Santa" by G. David Post will be held on Saturday, Sept. 23, at 2 p.m. and Wednesday, Sept. 27, at 7:30 at Stanley Congregational Church, 94 Fairmount Ave., Chatham. Children only will be seen on Sept. 23 from 1-2 p.m. at the church. This production will be a variation on the very successful original "Christmas Cards", which was a creative collaboration of John AC Kennedy, Leslie G. Williams and G. David Post produced in 2013. **** Director Amy Sellars is looking for three men ages 30 to 60, one man 60-plus who can play Santa, four women ages 20 to 60 and three children ages 8 to 16, mix of boys and girls who are able to play a wide range of characters. Each actor will portray multiple characters in a variety show of holiday sketches. The diverse roles range from mothers to children, elves to animals, silly to serious. Auditions will start with cold readings from sides provided in small groups. The Chatham Players have an open call casting policy. All roles are open, none are precast and everyone is encouraged to audition. Any questions, call Gus Ibryani at 201-563-0362 or email casting@chathamplayers.org SOURCE:
  20. Charisse Jones, USA TODAY Wednesday, 06-Sep-17 04:07:42 PDT Walmart says these 25 toys will rule the holidays Parents who came up short hunting for a Hatchimal, the hottest toy of the last holiday season, are about to get a second chance. A newer version of the toy egg that hatches a host of magical creatures is expected to be in-demand again this year when it comes to gifts under the holiday tree, says Walmart in making its predictions for the top 25 toy picks for 2017. ... Ultimately, holiday shoppers will have more than 1,000 new toys from which to choose. "This list is just beginning,'' says Kehoe. "It doesn't stop until the doors close on Christmas Eve.'' A few of Walmart's choices were in line with the predictions of Amazon, which for the first time released its own top 25 holiday toy picks last week. Both retailers included the Cars 3 Ultimate Florida Speedway and Paw Patrol My Size Lookout Tower. Walmart's Top 25 Picks o Hatchimals Surprise (*Coming soon, details to be released on Oct. 6) o Fingerlings o littleBits Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit o Num Noms Nail Polish Maker o FurReal Friends Roarin’ Tyler The Playful Tiger o Barbie DreamHorse and Doll o Fisher-Price Zoom ’n Crawl Monster o L.O.L. Surprise Fizz Factory o Soggy Doggy Board Game o Mayka Toy Block Tape o Frozen Sleigh (*Walmart exclusive) o Adventure Force Light Command Light-Up Motorized Blaster (*Walmart exclusive) o Monster Jam Grave Digger (*Walmart exclusive) o Huffy Electric Green Machine Trike o Nerf Rival Nemesis MXVII-10K o RECOIL Starter Set o New Bright Radio Control Tumblebee o VTech Pop-a-Balls Drop and Pop Ball Pit (*Walmart exclusive) o Radio Control DashCam (*Walmart exclusive) o Dusty the Super Duper Garbage Truck o Imaginext DC Super Friends Batman Batbot Xtreme o Paw Patrol My Size Lookout Tower o Disney/Pixar Cars 3 Ultimate Florida Speedway o Mickey and the Roadster Racers Transforming Hot Rod Mickey o Disney Junior Doc McStuffins Baby All in One Nursery SOURCE
  21. Bath Christmas market set to be biggest yet September 4, 2017 BY HARRIET NOBLE - Bath Chronicle Excerpt: Bath, UK. - This winter’s Bath Christmas Market is set to be the biggest yet with 200 wooden chalets selling an assortment of gifts and produce in Bath’s city centre. The festival, which will run from November 23 to December 10, is set to have 30 more chalets than last year. It is well and truly a South West market, as over 80 per cent of the produce comes from Bath and the surrounding areas. Vicky Bunt, Head of Events at Visit Bath says; ‘We’ve really listened to local businesses and residents and moved chalets into South Gate Street and Union Street to improve the flow and access for visitors as well as implementing a programme of community engagement activities in other corners of the city. The market will see an addition of only 30 extra chalets with more than 60 of the 200 hosting completely new businesses keeping the offer fresh and interesting for returning visitors. What sort of things are on offer at the market? Local artwork, handmade Christmas decorations, bespoke jewellery, homewares, festive food and drink, toys, accessories and gifts for pets. There will be plenty of street food and artisan markets. The Lodge will be making a welcome return as well. Located on Stall street, locals compare the venue to a cosy snow lodge. SOURCE:
  22. Santa set for early appearance at Houston flood relief shelter September 3, 2017 by ABC 13 Excerpt: - HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) --It may be September, but Santa Claus is set to make a special appearance in Houston to visit with children staying at the shelter at NRG Center. One day after a visit by President Trump and other dignitaries, St. Nick and Mrs. Claus will be on hand today with nearly 900 stuffed animals for children affected by the flood. Santa sightings are rare during this time of year, but not unheard of events. SOURCE:
  23. Challenge to uplift troops at Christmas August 14, 2017 by Boni Holmes - Fraser Coast Chronicle Excerpt: - Maryborough, Australia. A CHRISTMAS care package filler will become the community challenge for this year's CraftFest. Maryborough Artisans who host the CraftFest in the City Hall in November each year decided in the last few years to add a challenge. "Last year was Sew An Apron and we got over 120 entries which we donated to the Royal Flying Doctors who sold them as a fundraiser,” artisan Lesley Mason said. "This is aside from our major beneficiary who receives our profits. "It was such a success last year we decided to give the community another challenge.” So members decided with it getting close to Christmas they would do a Christmas stocking. Lesley said they saw an article in the Maryborough Herald where Tam Geritz was organising care packs for the troops. "So we contacted Tam and the idea was born,” Lesley said. Lesley spoke with her friend and RSL promotions manager Siona O'Regan and asked her to sew a stocking. **** "We have a good following of sub-branch members and we have a very rich military history in Maryborough,” Jason said. "I think a lot of the public and our patrons in particular are getting right behind it. "We hope to smash Tam's record of 250 last year and double that. "When I was overseas we got a small washing bag sent over, which were handmade - I still have mine at home. "So I know that these little mementos like the stocking will be something the soldiers will keep from their deployment.” SOURCE:
  24. Londonderry Mall Santa feels the Christmas love while in hospital September 1, 2017 by CATHERINE GRIWKOWSKY - Edmonton Journal Excerpt: Edmonton, Alberta.- When Cecil Hawley looked at photos of himself as Santa posing with kids at Christmas, he smiled for the first time in two months. Hawley, 68, has been Santa at the Londonderry Mall for years, but has been in the University Hospital for two months with an undiagnosed illness. His granddaughter, Nicole Hawley, put out a request on social media for photos with her grandfather to offer him a little early Christmas cheer, expecting a dozen or so photos. “At this point, we could probably wallpaper a house with all the photos we’ve gotten,” she said. Since her request Wednesday, she has received hundreds of photos, videos and stories. Family from Ingonish, N.S., that she had never met began reaching out. “Just to see the change in him, that smile, when we read him the letters and show him the pictures and some of the videos, it really lifted our hearts,” said his wife, Dana Hawley, who portrays Mrs. Claus. The couple started doing Santa photos by donation for the Stollery Children’s Hospital. Then they were approached by Londonderry Mall, where they have been ever since. **** In a quiet moment at the mall one day, a man walked by and Cecil Hawley said to come sit with Santa. When he asked the man what wanted for Christmas, he said he needed to change his life. Cecil Hawley told the man the power to change your life comes from within your heart and your mind. Before he left, he told Cecil Hawley he had given him the best thing. “He said, ‘I was leaving here to end my life,’ ” Dana Hawley recalled. Since that Christmastime, he has come back every year, thanking him for giving him his life. The family said they have been shown the power of love in all the responses coming from people who have sat with Santa over the years. “With everybody’s support that we have, we know we’re going to get through this,” Dana Hawley said. SOURCE:
  25. Christmas decorations in August spark online backlash August 23, 2017 by Krista Thurrott - Yahoo Style Excerpt: If you’ve visited Costco recently or perused the seasonal aisles of Walmart, you’ll note that Christmas decorations are already hitting the shelves. Surely you’ve had thoughts about the holidays when presented with Christmas lighting displays while you’re still seeking out end-of-summer sales, but one mom took it a step further. Mumsnet, a U.K.-based online forum for parents, is a place where people ask questions and seek support from fellow parents, with topics ranging from wedding planning to childcare. One user took to the forum to express her disgust with Christmas in August after seeing cards for the holiday lining a display. **** “I love Christmas and am not averse to a bit of early planning/present buying. I do wish we could wait for the last thing to finish before moving on to the next thing… Last year I was all Christmassed out by the time we got to it!” wrote a forum frequenter. “Christmas is my absolute favourite time of year but even I agree with you. I don’t want to see any of it until November,” added another. The topic was aflame with a number of users admitting to taking advantage of the summer bargains to get some of their holiday shopping done. Lack of holiday hysteria and dispersing the cost of Christmas were just two of the reasons mentioned to get holiday shopping started in the summer months. “I started my Christmas shopping a couple of weeks ago! It’s the only way to avoid the manic shops during the holidays,” admitted one forum poster. “Not a good time to say I’ve bought all but six Christmas presents then. I love Christmas and shop early to ensure I can spread costs and take advantage of summer sales,” adds another commenter. SOURCE:
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