Christmas Links #16

The Most Earth-Shattering Local Newspaper Stories Of 2017:
"Have you lost your teeth?"

Eight reasons to love reindeer (even more!)
"As Brett Westwood discovers in Radio 4’s Natural Histories, their role as beast of burden for Father Christmas isn’t the only reason to love reindeer."

No Miracles Here: Emotional Labour at Christmas:
"If Christmas is a time for sharing, then what’s the deal with emotional labour?"

Richard Burton's Christmas Story:
"All Richie wants for Christmas is a toy farm – simple. But the world is complicated, disturbing. Happily, he gets more than he bargained for!"

RU alt-right, hun? Spare a thought this Christmas for Britain’s political unholy trinity:
"Unloved, unwanted and with no lucrative media jobs to go to, Nigel Farage, Milo Yiannopoulos and Katie Hopkins are sure to be finding this time of year particularly difficult."

The Beatles’ Christmas Records: A Feat of Fan Appreciation and Devotion:
"The band recorded a season's greetings message yearly."

Black Teen's Gift From Girlfriend's Family Sparks Racial Backlash:
"Duke said her parents wanted to gift Hunter a car because he's a "genuine and caring person""

Christmas Links #15

Liberace’s Little-Known Cookbook:
“Food and music are the two best things in life.”

Airbus A380 draws giant Christmas tree over Germany:
"An Airbus pilot in Germany has delivered an early festive present by tracing the outline of an enormous Christmas tree during a test flight."

You asked for it so here it is: Christmas With The Hammonds:

"JEAN ANDERSON as Mary Hammond, PATRICK O'CONNELL as Edward Hammond, RICHARD EASTON as Brian Hammond, ROBIN CHADWICK as David Hammond, JENNIFER WILSON as Jennifer Hammond, DEREK BENFIELD as Bill Riley, MARGARET ASHCROFT as Gwen Riley, COLIN BAKER as Paul Merroney, LIZA GODDARD as April Merroney and KATE O'MARA as Jane Maxwell." [via]

This Christmas, don't give books to non-readers:
"For bibliophiles, it is tempting to buy books as presents to ‘fix’ people who don’t read – but this is snobbery of the worst kind."

“A wheelchair in the grotto just doesn’t work”: when children are excluded at Christmas:
"New research finds tens of thousands of children with disabilities will be turned away from a Christmas activity. We hear from parents struggling this year."

Seasonal deliveries: hay on a sleigh and milk from Ma (1960):
"There’s hay for horses in Welshpool snow, and more is used in springtime round chilly lambs, when mothers’ milk is flowing for the new-borns."

‘Greatest Showman’ Cast to Perform Live Trailer During Fox’s ‘A Christmas Story’ Musical:
"Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron and Zendaya are all participating in a one-of-a-kind marketing experiment from 20th Century Fox, staging a live trailer for their new musical “The Greatest Showman.”"

Has Christmas dinner had its day?
"Zoe Williams and Henry Dimbleby argue over whether Christmas dinner is a grand old tradition—or a bland meal that should be relegated to the past."

Christmas Links #14

2017 National Film Registry Is More Than a 'Field of Dreams':
"Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden today announced the 2017 selections to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. Selected for their cultural, historic and/or aesthetic importance, these 25 motion pictures range from an early film of the New York subway in 1905 and the musical biopic “La Bamba” to the holiday action thriller “Die Hard” and “The Goonies,” the adventure tale of a band of misfits."

Can Christmas music make you ill?
"It's thought that repeated exposure to seasonal songs can be bad for your brain, but is there any truth to the belief?"

‘Layaway angel’ pays for Christmas gift orders at Leominster toy store:
"A “layaway angel” paid off thousands of dollars of gift orders at a Toys R Us in Leominster Saturday, making the holiday season a little more joyful for about 35 local families, a company spokeswoman said."

what we’ve got here is… failure to communicate:
"Who’s done their Christmas list to Father Christmas yet? Have you sat down, put on a bit Band Aid, poured the sherry? Crayon poised to spell out in no uncertain terms what it is you want?"

Christmas at King’s College, Cambridge:
"Every Christmas Eve King’s College, Cambridge holds its famous annual ‘Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King’s.’ Andrew Hammond, Chaplain of King’s College, takes us behind the scenes of this year’s service."

Talking turkey: the best culinary hacks for Christmas dinner:
"Bake Off judge Prue Leith had said she freezes a stuffed bird to get ahead on the big day. Here are some other tips to stop you winging it on 25 December."

Christmas tree used to decorate sinkhole:
"No matter what part of Jackson you live in, you've experienced effects from the capital city's crumbling infrastructure. Residents in Belhaven are now showing their creativity in decorating one sinkhole for the Christmas season."

Christmas Links #13

Candy cane crisps, a brioche snow globe, and pudding smoothie: The ultimate Christmas lunchbreak guide:
"If, like the conscientious elves in the New Statesman office, you’re working until the bitter festive end, you’ll need a lot of high street Christmas food to get you through those long lunchbreaks. Here are our picks – and warnings."

18 Christmas Food Quirks That British People Don't Realise Are Weird:
"1. Buying a tub of Celebrations and stealing all your favourites before anyone else can have them."

Snow Ain’t the Only Thing White During Christmas, so I Give You the Top 10 Blackest Holiday TV Shows and Movies:
"My son Quinn loves Christmas. Like—he loves it in a watch-How the Grinch Stole Christmas-on-the-Fourth of July kind of way."

Gaumont’s French Christmas Comedy ‘Santa & Cie’ Set for Big Rollout in China:
"After smashing the French B.O. with an estimated €3.5 million in five days, Alain Chabat’s fantasy-filled Christmas comedy “Santa & Cie” will be getting a wide release in China on Dec. 15."

London Euston to become Christmas Day homeless shelter:
"London's Euston station will be turned into a shelter for the homeless on Christmas Day. The station concourse will be filled with decorations and tables set for a full festive dinner on 25 December. Rail workers and charity staff will serve food to 200 rough sleepers invited to the event."

C7 bulbs or C9s? How Christmas lights became a nerdy obsession:
"Adorning trees with electric lights has been common since the early 1900s. Whether you love them – or love complaining about your neighbours’ – this year their ubiquity and inventiveness has become undeniable."

Christmas Links #12

Maritime town may have inspired well-known Christmas carol:
"The sights and sounds of the holidays are everywhere, and as residents of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia embrace the spirit of the season, one Christmas classic is likely playing in the background."

Here’s a Video of President Obama Saying “Merry Christmas” Over and Over and Over:
"One of the more bizarre paranoias of modern U.S. political culture concerns the so-called War on Christmas, in which liberals are alleged to seek the elimination of Christianity from the public sphere via a political-correctness campaign against (among other things) the phrase Merry Christmas. Liberals won't let you say Merry Christmas, it is believed, because they look down their noses at Christians and/or are too sensitive to the potential hurt feelings of minority groups like Jews and Muslims."

Where To Find Vegan Christmas Sandwiches On The High Street:
"More than half a million people in the UK now follow a vegan diet and retailers are finally cottoning on to the fact that there’s more to Christmas than turkey."

The 30 Weirdest Christmas Songs:
"Christmas songs are pretty fucking weird by definition. Whether praising the infant Jesus or celebrating the sounds, smells, and/or meteorological trends of late December in the Western Hemisphere, Christmas songs tend to warp our reception through simple repetition alone. Who among us hasn’t wanted to tear out their hair at the umpteenth dental-office rendition of “O Come All Ye Faithful,” “Jingle Bells,” or even Bruce Springsteen’s “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town”?"

What’s It Like to Wear the Big Red Suit?
"If a child asks me if I’m the real Santa, I usually ask, “What do you think?” This sort of puts them on the spot, because they don’t want to say I’m not the real Santa and jeopardize their wish list."

Christmas Links #11

Christmas celebrations fuel huge public demand for new carols:
"As many as 300 new carols have been written this year, the result of enduring public affection and a boom in competitions and commissions from choirs, churches, schools and broadcasters."

Fanny Cradock Cooks for Christmas is on the BBC iPlayer.
"A collection of traditional recipes, together with Fanny's practical know-how, make for a successful Christmas."

How you can have a cooking-free Christmas:
"The company Cook prepares frozen ready meals at its kitchen in Kent and you can buy Christmas lunch for two for £35. Or for 12 people it's £175. Last year they sold 18,000 prepared turkeys and this year they expect to sell a third more. Pam Keene runs their shop in Tunbridge."

How To Not Spoil Your Kids This Christmas:
"Holidays mean one thing to many kids: presents. You've probably heard a parent of young children say something along the lines of: "It's all worth it to see their smiling faces.""

Why Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas” is the most addictive holiday song ever:
"It’s that time again! Mariah-Christmas is upon us, and it doesn’t care if you observe the holiday in the Judeo-Christian-ugly-sweater way. Or in the agnostic-consumer tradition. Or if you’re just trying to buy groceries in a store with a PA system."

Christmas Links #10

Mr. Dickens First Reading:
"Mr. DICKENS gave his first reading in NewYork last evening at Steinway Hall. The hall was filled, of course, but, thanks to the admirablo arrangements, it was not crowded nor made in the least uncomfortable by the pressure of those who were unprovided with tickets for seats." (from: NYT, December 10, 1867)

30 years of Fairytale of New York: 10 true tales behind the Pogues' Christmas favourite:
"For 30 years the bells have been “ringing out” for one of our favourite Christmas songs. Ironically, it is anything but warm and fuzzy. We all know the lyrics to the beloved Fairytale of New York, but how much do you know about the song and its legacy?"

I’m easy to buy for, just put the Christmas presents of my teenage years on repeat:
"Christmas again. Shopping again. Trying to fill up a stocking again. I wonder when I’ll stop doing these for the kids. Not for many years, I suspect. Not till the shops have run out of mini bottles of nail polish, and glittery false eyelashes, and bath plugs in the shape of an actual pug. Yes, I’ve been looking at the “stocking filler” suggestions again, which are only partially helpful, but not as completely insane as the “gifts for men” lists."

31 Awesome Gifts Every Early-'90s Girl Wanted For Christmas:
"1. This Barbie Corvette that would totally allow you to drive around your neighborhood while talking on the ~cool~ carphone."

'A Christmas miracle': heavy snow falls in southern Texas for first time in years:
"Snowfall has blanketed parts of the Deep South, including southern Texas, delighting schoolchildren and knocking out power to thousands."