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Published: 12/18/10

Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays? Americans Divided on That, Too

By  David Gibson - Politics Daily
Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays? Americans Divided on That, Too

As if Americans weren't divided enough, even in this season celebrating peace and good will, the public is split over whether shops should greet customers by saying "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays." Related Stories Poll: Americans Prefer 'Merry Christmas' Just under half (49 percent) of those surveyed in a new poll said stores should have a "Merry Christmas" greeting policy, while 44 percent say businesses should opt for the more generic "Happy Holidays" or "Season's Greetings" out of respect for people of different faiths. Robert Putnam of Harvard, a leading scholar of relig...

Published: 12/24/09

Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus -- and Here's What He Looks Like

By  David Gibson - Politics Daily
Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus -- and Here's What He Looks Like

Is this the real Santa Claus? By tradition, no one is supposed to see the actual Saint Nick. Come Christmas night, as the song has it -- and even the Boss sings it -- he sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake. So you'd better be snoozing as well as pretty darned good, or else. Besides, we all know what he looks like. Since the advent of Clement Clark Moore's "Night Before Christmas" in 1823 and his invention of that "jolly old elf," we have become so conditioned by the kid-friendly version of the roly-poly guy with dimples and cheeks like roses that we stopped wondering who ...

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Published: 12/18/09

Is Santa's Famous Forebear Buried in Ireland?

By  Theunis Bates - AOL News
Is Santa's Famous Forebear Buried in Ireland?

(Dec. 18) -- Just about now, the Santa Claus loved by children everywhere is busy wrapping up presents at his home in the North Pole. But if some historians are correct, the figure who inspired everyone's favorite portly gift-giver lies buried in a moss-covered Irish graveyard. At issue isn't the white-bearded reindeer fan, but St. Nicholas of Myra, the philanthropic fourth-century Bishop of Lycia, now part of modern-day Turkey. According to Philip Lynch, chairman of a historical society in the Irish town of Callan, the original St. Nick's remains are interred under the ruins of Jerpoint Abb...

Published: 12/18/09

Who Really Made Us Dream of a White Christmas?

By  not in system - AOL News
Who Really Made Us Dream of a White Christmas?

(Dec. 18) -- Every Christmas song sings wistfully of snow falling sleigh rides, and delightfully frightful weather. Every movie is filled with large and fluffy flakes that turn stark villages into magical white kingdoms but somehow never interrupt the joyous green- and red-clad travelers. We marvel at Christmas lights and decorations as they sparkle in a fresh covering of snow, and even adults are often seen frolicking and building snowmen. We reminisce about how winters used to be much snowier when we were kids – those were the days. Snow is beautiful, and everyone loves it – at least on Chr...

Published: 12/14/09

Naughty & Nice: We're Making a List

By  Sphere Staff - AOL News
Naughty & Nice: We're Making a List

(Dec. 14) -- The big guy at the North Pole is very busy this month. He even needs volunteer "elves" in Alaska to answer his mail. So the Sphere crew is pitching in to help Santa by making a list of who's naughty and who's nice. We'll update it during December and we hope you'll check it twice -- or more -- and pass it along to your friends. Everyone is invited to post comments nominating naughty or nice boys and girls for Santa's list. AP NAUGHTY: Mark Sanford -- The other shoe has dropped for South Carolina's "Love Gov." A panel of lawmakers decided this week that Sanford didn't deserve to...

Published: 12/11/09

11 Things: This Week's Big List of Lists

By  Steve Pendlebury - AOL News
11 Things: This Week's Big List of Lists

(Dec. 11) -- Perhaps you've noticed as you cruise around the Internet that lists are a) overused gimmicks b) still incredibly popular. Put together a "Top 10" or "5 Best" and, it seems, people can't resist clicking on it. And with 2010 just a few weeks away, everyone is taking a look back and making lists that say something about the past year and decade. Here's a seasonal selection from the buffet of list-o-mania that's online this week. 7 Stories Barack Obama Doesn't Want Told Politico tells them. No. 2: Too much Leonard Nimoy. Huh? Click and understand the logic. Barbara Walters' 10 Most ...

Published: 12/9/09

Dear Santa: What Kids Really Want

By  not in system - AOL News
Dear Santa: What Kids Really Want

SCRANTON, Pa. (Dec. 9) - A microscope. A new puppy. A mother. And absolutely, positively NO CLOTHES. From the humorous to the heart-wrenching, children's wish lists to Santa reveal that children aren't as toy-centric as parents think - and that they're not as polite as perhaps they should be. Carole Slotterback, a psychology professor at the University of Scranton, analyzed nearly 1,200 letters sent between 1998 and 2003 to the central post office in Scranton, a struggling former coal city in northeastern Pennsylvania. The missives were scrawled or painstakingly handwritten on every type of...

Published: 12/18/08

Will Bush Bailout Miracle Save Christmas For Auto Industry?

By  David Knowles - Politics Daily
Will Bush Bailout Miracle Save Christmas For Auto Industry?

This certainly is a nail-biter. After Chrysler announced yesterday that it would suspend operations at all of its 30 production plants after shifts ended tomorrow, the whole notion of a Merry Christmas seemed pretty remote. But now, wait, what's that sound? Is it the tapping of reindeer hoofs? Is that George W. Bush in a Santa suit, ready to come to the rescue? Via ABC:The White House said today it is "very close" to a decision on providing emergency loans to Detroit automakers, but said it couldn't say yet whether that decision will come by week's end.Elfin Dana Perino went on to say that doi...

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Published: 12/14/08

War on Christmas: Teacher Fired Over Santa Revelation

By  Tommy Christopher - Politics Daily
War on Christmas: Teacher Fired Over Santa Revelation

Day Eight of Tommy and Caleb's Twelve Days of the War on Christmas.Day Eight in the War on Christmas clearly has my amused detachment soundly defeating Caleb Howe's sober outrage, but today's story threatens my entire thesis. The London Daily Mail reports that a substitute teacher was fired for telling students that there is no Santa Claus:When excited youngsters became rowdy as they talked about Santa, the supply teacher blurted out: 'It's your parents who leave out presents on Christmas Day.' The class of seven-year-olds at Blackshaw Lane Primary School, Royton, near Oldham, Greater Manchest...

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