Deck the brawls (A Christmas tale…sort of)

image If you think trying to explain to your child why there are two Santas on the same city block is hard…

You see, dear, there is a thing called the space-time continuum….

Or,

You’ve never heard of Santa’s twin brother…?

…try explaining why those same two Santas are in a back alley, jabbing red-mittened fists at each other.

That was my job one Christmas Eve many years ago as my daughter and I did a little window gazing in Portland. We’d come to see the lights and shop displays in the hope of starting our own holiday tradition. Instead, we stumbled onto a pair of brawling Santas as we crossed an alleyway in downtown.

“Hey Dad, LOOK!” my daughter exclaimed, pointing her tiny finger at them.

We both froze; her out of confusion, me out of fatherly fear.

This is going to be one of those life-altering parental moments, I thought to myself. My answer could either comfort her in later years, or gradually transform her into a serial killer. Continue reading

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Santa Summit prompts Greenland ‘No-Fly Zone’

Santa's Christmas Eve will go a little quicker now that he can skip Greenland.

Santa’s Christmas Eve will go a little quicker now that he can skip Greenland.

What makes email great is that it’s so darned easy to use. For example: If you come across something that absolutely HAS TO BE SEEN by everyone you know — like say a picture of a cat doing chin-ups — you can simply click a button and send it to 100 people. Or in the case of my favorite aunt who still hasn’t mastered this process, you can send that very same knee-slapping picture to one person — such as your favorite nephew — 100 times.

The reason I bring this up is because, if not for email, I sincerely doubt someone from Midland, Mich., would’ve gone to the trouble of sending me a photo of 176 Santas standing on the deck of a fishing boat off the coast of Greenland (And YES, this is primarily the kind of email I get.) Continue reading

Santa Summit prompts Greenland ‘No-Fly Zone’

(There are only THREE SHOPPING DAYS LEFT before Christmas! But HEY! it’s also Flashback Sunday! That means you have a decision to make: You can either leave now and ensure the happiness of those you love by joining the hordes of desperate shoppers fighting over the last copy of Battlefield 4, OR you can stay here and read this week’s Flashback, secure in the knowledge that your back-up present — Beyonce’s new album — will be available as a free gift with any purchase of a Happy Meal starting Christmas morning. Whichever you choose, please be careful…)

Santa's Christmas Eve will go a little quicker now that he can skip Greenland.

Santa’s Christmas Eve will go a little quicker now that he can skip Greenland.

What makes email great is that it’s so darned easy to use. For example: If you come across something that absolutely HAS TO BE SEEN by everyone you know — like say a picture of a cat doing chin-ups — you can simply click a button and send it to 100 people. Or in the case of my favorite aunt who still hasn’t mastered this process, you can send that very same knee-slapping picture to one person — such as your favorite nephew — 100 times.

The reason I bring this up is because, if not for email, I sincerely doubt someone from Midland, Mich., would’ve gone to the trouble of sending me a photo of 176 Santas standing on the deck of a fishing boat off the coast of Greenland (And YES, this is primarily the kind of email I get.)

I should mention that we were one of 50 newspapers that received the photo, which was part of an announcement letting people know that classes at the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School had come to an end. Continue reading

Still looking for that special gift? These products won’t help

Maybe even Santa is feeling stressed by the fiscal cliff?

Maybe even Santa is feeling stressed by the fiscal cliff?

Warning: This column contains gift ideas of an explicitly stupid nature and may not be suitable for some readers. Particularly anyone who might actually consider buying one of these items for a friend or loved one.

That’s right! It’s time once again for our annual holiday feature: Gifts That Say Santa is Getting Senile.

As always, we spared no expense when it came to assembling a team of journalists with the talent necessary for this assignment. And, as always, we wasted those talents by spending our entire operating budget of $32 on lottery Scratch-Its. As a result, our plan to provide you with exciting Christmas gift ideas quickly deteriorated into this list of stupid products that, if given as gifts, will surely lead to more than one hospitalization this holiday.

Let us begin. Continue reading

Santa Summit prompts Greenland ‘No-Fly Zone’

Santa's Christmas Eve will go a little quicker now that he can skip Greenland.

Santa’s Christmas Eve will go a little quicker now that he can skip Greenland.

What makes email great is that it’s so darned easy to use. For example: If you come across something that absolutely HAS TO BE SEEN by everyone you know — like say a picture of a cat doing chin-ups — you can simply click a button and send it to 100 people. Or in the case of my favorite aunt who still hasn’t mastered this process, you can send that very same knee-slapping picture to one person — such as your favorite nephew — 100 times.

The reason I bring this up is because, if not for email, I sincerely doubt someone from Midland, Mich., would’ve gone to the trouble of sending me a photo of 176 Santas standing on the deck of a fishing boat off the coast of Greenland (And YES, this is primarily the kind of email I get.)

I should mention that we were one of 50 newspapers that received the photo, which was part of an announcement letting people know that classes at the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School had come to an end. Continue reading