Christmas Links #4

Mona Shore Singing Christmas Tree:
"The person at the top of the Tree is known as “The Tree Angel” and is always a high school senior, selected by the director. This student is always one who accurately represents the hard working choir students, and exemplifies the spirit of the Mona Shores Choir."

Michigan students ascend 5-story Singing Christmas Tree:
"The Mona Shores Singing Christmas Tree combines the usual elements into an unusual show that will draw thousands of spectators this weekend. The 67-foot-tall tree features 25,000 lights, 5,000 linear feet of greenery, and 15 tiers on which about 220 choir members stand. About 50 other students sing from positions near the base of the tree."

New Doctor Who clothing line coming to Hot Topic:
"Hot Topic is partering with the BBC to debut a limited-edition fashion collection inspired by Doctor Who. The new line includes dresses inspired by the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors, a knit cardigan featuring Weeping Angels (if you dare), a sweater inspired by the Fourth Doctor’s scarf, and, of course, plenty of TARDIS apparel. Check out the video above to start planning which Sonic Screwdriver you’ll match with each outfit, then get an up-close look at a few of the offerings below."

A Very Murray Christmas Director Sofia Coppola: I Wanted To Do Something ‘Joyful’:
"A Very Murray Christmas is not your average holiday film. Starring Bill Murray, it’s directed by Sofia Coppola and co-written and produced with Mitch Glazer — reuniting the trifecta for the first time since Lost in Translation. Taking inspiration from 1970s TV variety specials, the film boasts classic musical numbers and an all-star cast, including George Clooney, Miley Cyrus and the New York Dolls’ David Johansen. Filmed at New York City’s historic Café Carlyle, the romantic atmosphere radiates with holiday spirit. TIME caught up with Coppola to discuss the film’s cast, working with Bill Murray,and how Paul McCartney almost ended up in the film."

Getting Home Safely This Christmas Season Is One Big Mission We Can't Get Right:
"As Christmas nears, we begin to cut loose and celebrate. Replacing the dullness of months’ worth of grey skies with booze and merriment is such a deeply ingrained tradition; it’s existed long before Christ even turned up. Parties, overeating, awkward itchy jumpers, and thick red wine laced with spices have festered over thousands of years to become that old reliable departure from the constant ‘feeling really cold’ and ‘getting a bit mopey’ of winter."

The Simpsons: 25 years ago today: 20b. The Simpsons Sing the Blues:
"Two weeks after Do the Bartman, its long-playing parent appeared. Everything about The Simpsons Sing the Blues smacked of a rushed job flung together in lunch breaks and late nights. The front cover looked like it had been knocked up in less time than it took to play the entire album. Fully half of the 10 tracks were cover versions with little or nothing added. Another comprised a reworking of a scrap of a song from an episode in season one. This left just four genuine originals – only two of which merited repeated listens."

'Nothing Else Tops This': Oldest Full-Time Park Ranger, Betty Reid Soskin, to Light National Christmas Tree, Meet President Obama:
"When Betty Reid Soskin, the oldest National Park Service Ranger in the United States, lights the national Christmas tree and introduces President Obama on Thursday, the 94-year-old California woman will be carrying a special photo in her pocket."

Kansas City Symphony hosts annual Tuba Christmas concert:
"The sounds of the holidays will vibrate through the Kauffman Center Friday and Monday. The Kansas City Symphony is hosting a Tuba Christmas. More than 700 tubas, euphoniums and baritones performers will play holiday music."

The Big Chop, and the power of a haircut:
"“Don’t freak out,” says hair stylist Subrina Kidd as she takes her scissors to my afro. I’m in the chair at the Aveda Institute, Holborn, and no amount of calming liquorice root and peppermint tea can distract me from the fact that there are suddenly huge chunks of my hair on the floor. The appointment has been in my diary for over a month, so why is it so shocking seeing big fat clumps of my curls on the floor?"

'Tower of Pisa' Christmas tree removed from town centre over safety fears:
"A 35ft Christmas tree in Beeston, Nottinghamshire, was removed by authorities because it leaned “more than the tower in Pisa” and was raising safety concerns. Severe winds had caused the tree to tilt and news of its removal caused almost immediate concern there wouldn’t be another one in time for Christmas."

KitKat's Christmas Commercial Is 30 Seconds of Blankness, the Ultimate Ad Break:
"It takes a lot to stand out among the glut of Christmas ads in Britain, where brands jockey like nowhere else to have a hit commercial. KitKat and J. Walter Thompson's strategy this season is to cut through the clutter by uncluttering completely."

The town of women:
"A place where wives don't see their husbands for years."

Kermode Uncut: Harry, Sally and Nora:
"The BFI Love season is reviving all sorts of brilliant films including a real classic - When Harry Met Sally - featuring a script by the late great Nora Ephron."

11 best Christmas cake alternatives:
"Marzipan and icing covered fruitcake is a staple of the festive season – but it’s not for everyone. The good news is that it doesn’t have to mean missing out on a yuletide cake, thanks to the impressive array of alternatives on offer this Christmas. Ranging from an intricately designed Christmas Madeira cake to wreath-shaped chocolate biscuit cake, we’ve brought you the best of them."

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