christmas

Santa's Board Meeting

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It might be the off season but it looks like Santa Claus is already gearing up for the busiest month of his year.

With just five months until Christmas 140 Santa’s from around the world recently gathered in Copenhagen for the annual world Santa Claus congress. The three day event gathers Santa’s from twelve countries to network, meet the public and get into shape for the busy month of December.

One Santa from the United Kingdom says the congress, which began in 1957, is a way to spread the joy of the season and to share ideas to keep the spirit of Christmas alive. They also have the opportunity to discuss issues such as presents and weight regulations for Kris Kringle.  read more »

Pictures With Santa

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For some parents in New Jersey, Christmas just got a lot merrier.

One of the Christmas traditions that most parents hate and children wait all year for is the trip to see Santa. So with list in hand, family’s line, plop their little one on Santa’s lap and get the annual picture taken.

A couple weeks ago a New Jersey mall announced it was going to charge $35 to $50 per child to wait in line and get their picture taken. Obviously that decision sparked a lot of anger in people who said locking up Santa pushed away lower income families and was ruining the spirit of the season.  read more »

Holiday Lights

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If you feel like your world is looking a little brighter; you're probably right.

According to NASA nighttime lights around U.S. cities shine 25 to 50% brighter during Christmas and New Year’s when compared to the less festive months. And of course the reason for this is the holiday light displays that in some cases can actually be seen from space.

NASA scientists say that typically lights start getting brighter on black Friday and continue the high power illumination through New Year’s Day. But this year the grid got an early boost. Because the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas was a week shorter people started decorating before the turkey had its big day.  read more »

Santa's Salary

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It’s the week before Christmas and this year children aren’t the only ones scoring a gift.

According to a consumer insurance information website if Santa was a paid employee he would make more than $139,000 this year. That’s a 1.5% raise from last year. To figure out Santa’s salary the company takes a list of his tasks and finds the closest occupations.

For example Santa’s highest hourly wages come from running the workshop, a job similar to an industrial engineer; or piloting the sleigh like an airline pilot. His lowest paying jobs are working as a packer by wrapping gifts or a farm worker for taking care of reindeer.  read more »

Unwanted Gifts

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Did you end up with a few Christmas gifts that aren't exactly you? Unwanted gifts are almost as much a part of the holidays as jingle bells. But you may be able to turn those unwanted gifts into cash.

According to past surveys done by the online auction site eBay, nearly 60% of Americans receive unwanted or un-needed gifts during the holidays. Returning it is one option, but can be difficult if you don't have a gift receipt. And re-gifting can be tacky and embarrassing if you get caught.

An increasingly popular option is to turn unwanted gifts into cash in a safe and anonymous way by place them up for sale on the internet. Buyers gain from this practice too, as sellers who paid nothing for the gift items are usually willing to let them go for highly discounted prices.  read more »

Amazon Elves

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It's the busiest time of year and the internet's version of Santa Claus is hiring some extra helpers.

For cities in Kentucky, Nevada and Kansas the sights and sounds of the season mean camper vans, tents and a crowd of people. Dubbed the camper force they make up the seasonal workers hired by the biggest online retailer; amazon dot com.

In order to keep orders flowing and make sure packages are shipped to the right places amazon hires the campers and assigns them jobs at company warehouses. Each year about 70,000 people are given a little extra work. In exchange their campsites are paid for, they earn 94% of what full time employees make and in some cases are eligible for company benefits.  read more »

Tracking Santa

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This year Santa Claus is getting an escort; but not everyone is happy to see his high flying security detail.

Since the 1950's NORAD has sponsored a Santa tracking mission. It helps kids locate Santa and determine how close he is to their chimney. This year for the first time NORAD is adding a twist to its tradition of tracking an animated Santa Claus and his reindeer around the globe.

Now it shows two military fighter jets escorting Santa; something NORAD says gives a realistic feel to a popular feature. NORAD spokesman, Navy captain Jeff Davis says it wanted to let people know that tracking Santa is a military mission and one that it takes very seriously. But not everyone is excited for the change.  read more »

Christmas Controversy

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It wouldn't be the holiday season without a little festive tension.

The tree farms are barely in business but Hallmark is already apologizing for a Christmas tree ornament it recently released. It is a miniature Christmas sweater with the words “don we now our fun apparel.” Problem is the correct lyrics are “don we now our gay apparel” from the popular Christmas song “Deck the Halls.”

On Twitter Hallmark is apologizing for the change saying they have received a lot of angry comments from people. It says it never intended to offend or make political statements and in hindsight should never have made the switch.  read more »

Gifts From Twitter

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Twitter is hooking up with Starbucks and making it even easier for you to be social.

The Seattle based coffee company recently launched a program called “tweet-a-coffee.” Here's how it works; first you link your Starbucks and Twitter accounts and set up a payment plan. Then anytime you're feeling generous you tweet “@ tweet-a-coffee” along with the recipient’s Twitter handle. That person will then be notified that they have a $5 Starbucks gift card which is redeemed with a smart phone.  read more »

Ditto

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Tis the season to over-do everything; but one Arizona woman has found a way around it.

Every year Kristina Green's neighbor puts up an elaborate light display right after Thanksgiving. This year he used 22,000 twinklers to light up the neighborhood with Christmas spirit. Not to be outdone and knowing she couldn't compete Green asked the flashy neighbor to decorate her house. So with just 600 lights he spelled out the word "ditto" with an arrow pointing back at his winter wonderland.  read more »