Tag Archives | Christmas

The Lost Ads of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” Of Yesteryear

The first Peanuts TV special followed six years of animated advertisements selling Ford motor cars, and originally, even "A Charlie Brown Christmas" featured two scenes advertising Coca-Cola! One of the deleted scenes still appears in a YouTube video, which shows Snoopy tossing Linus into a sign which reads "Danger." (According to Wikipedia, that sign originally read: "Coca-Cola" — and the hymn at the end of the program was interrupted by a voice-over thanking "the people in your town who bottle Coca Cola.") Maybe "A Charlie Brown Christmas" was ultimately the cartoonist's own silent protest against the commercialization of his work...
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Mall Fever: Will Christmas Shopping Revive The Economy This Year As It Hasn’t In Years Past?

Funny how, back in 1929, we had a black Thursday and then a Black Friday as the market crashed, plunging the country into a depression. Now we have every retailer in every mall in America on their knees praying for a prosperous black Friday the day after Thanksgiving.

The Shops at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel, Florida. Photo: Wdwic Pictures (CC)

The Shops at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel, Florida. Photo: Wdwic Pictures (CC)

If you read this argument before, it’s because I have been making it since 2007, year in and year out.  That’s on account of the reality that our economy is driven more by consumption than production, and most consuming takes place during the holidays.

So once again we are being asked to join a global ritual even if we are broke.

Get in gear people, and get your wallets back to the mall: do your duty for Santa and Wall Street. It will be difficult for the economic recovery to make much headway without a pick-up in consumer spending as it accounts for two-thirds of the economy.… Read the rest

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Christmas With A Capital C Trailer

The weather's growing a little colder, and before we know it, the holidays will be upon us. One of the seasonal highlights this year will be Christmas With A Capital C, starring a Baldwin brother and the Bundys' neighbor from Married With Children, an insane film about spiteful atheists attempting to hijack Christmas. This is going to be big among the tea-partier crowd in three months.
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Tesla Christmas Tree

Are you a lover of a weird science with a knack for holiday decorating? Next year you might want to try creating a Tesla coil Christmas tree.

Amateur physicist Peter creates jaw-dropping Christmas displays using Tesla coils. I don’t understand how these work, but I’m guessing they may be semi-dangerous.

He comments:

This year I did another Xmas tree based on the success of the one I did in 2007. I made it bigger (30 ft) and more spectacular by using a different technique. It still uses a long exposure and a rotating colored filter but the tree shape is outlined by sparks from a rotating rod on top of the Tesla coil. This gives the “Eye of Sauron” effect. Imagine then if that rotating rod is able to be raised from horizontal to vertical while still rotating.

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Santa Bank Robbery

Authorities in Nashville are reporting that a man dressed as Santa Claus committed a gunpoint bank robbery on Christmas Eve. A witness says that Santa was "actually jovial, which was scary. He explained that he was robbing the bank because Santa had to pay his elves." There have been a number of infamous crimes in U.S. history involving Santa Claus; perhaps the worst occurred when a "Santa" shot dead six people during a bank robbery in Texas in 1927.
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Only a Game: The Joy of Swik

DiscordiaVia Only A Game:

Among the many Winter Festivals that are practised, none is stranger than the Discordian festival of Swik, pronounced ‘swik’ or ‘christmas’ — although not to be confused with the Christian festival with the same pronunciation and dates. An ancient Discordian tradition, dating back at least twenty years, states “the joy of Swik is Getting, Shouting, and Passing out”, but it is widely recognised that Swik is a festival to be endured rather than enjoyed (much like a Klingon rite of passage). One does not have to be a Discordian to be participating in Swik … most people are simply trapped in the festival through no fault of their own.

No-one is really sure when Swik piggybacked onto Christmas, although it happened a long time after Christmas piggybacked onto the Pagan Solstice celebrations, which also fall at this time each year. Perhaps it was the Victorians who began to ignore the religious aspect of Christmas and focus instead upon the sale and purchase of an unnecessary profusion of gifts, which has now escalated to such a violent spectacle of intense consumerism as to make the shops utterly impassible to anyone not comfortable with someone’s elbow stuck in their nose.

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Woman Knocks Down Pope at Christmas Eve Mass

Vatican Pope ChristmasARIEL DAVID writes on the AP via Yahoo News:

VATICAN CITY — A woman jumped the barriers in St. Peter’s Basilica and knocked down Pope Benedict XVI as he walked down the main aisle to begin Christmas Eve Mass on Thursday.

The 82-year-old pope quickly got up and was unhurt, said a Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Ciro Benedettini. Footage aired on Italy’s RAI state TV showed a woman dressed in a red jumper vaulting over the wooden barriers and rushing the pope before being swarmed by bodyguards.

The commotion occurred as the pope’s procession was making its way toward the main altar and shocked gasps rang out through the public that packed the basilica. The procession came to a halt and security rushed to the trouble spot.

Benedettini said the woman who pushed the pope appeared to be mentally unstable and had been arrested by Vatican police. He said she also knocked down Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, who was taken to hospital for a check up.

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Sweden’s Bizarre Donald Duck Christmas Obsession

Slate has a report on Sweden’s bizarre Christmas tradition: watching Donald Duck cartoons.

Every December 25th, approximately half of the nation sits down in front of the television to watch Kalle Anka och hans vänner önskar God Jul (“Donald Duck and his friends wish you a Merry Christmas”). The special has been aired on TV1, Sweden’s main public television channel, each Christmas Eve since 1959 without commercial interruption:

The show’s cultural significance cannot be [over]stated. You do not tape or DVR Kalle Anka for later viewing. You do not eat or prepare dinner while watching Kalle Anka. Age does not matter—every member of the family is expected to sit quietly together and watch a program that generations of Swedes have been watching for 50 years. Most families plan their entire Christmas around Kalle Anka.

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