Tomorrow, newscasters across the country will share information about the whereabouts of Santa Claus, usually based on data from NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command), the military entity that monitors aerospace above the United States and Canada. This Santa-tracking effort is now celebrating its 60th anniversary, and its origin story is a feel-good Cold War fib. [More]
A new holiday season ad from PayPal aired across the UK during “The X Factor,” peak family-viewing time. Its premise is simple: two brothers wait to sneak glances at their Christmas presents as their parents bring them in the house. The ad has drawn hundreds of complaints to the national ad watchdog because it ignores the existence of Santa Claus. No, really. [More]
You can buy just about anything on Amazon, but do you know what you can’t find on the mega-retailer’s site? Santa. That’s one of the reasons why Walmart is trying something new and bringing Santaland to Wally World. Stores also plan to have more decorations than in the past––no, not just on the shelves for you to buy, but on the walls, decorating the place. [More]
Last week, we ran a post with advice for families bringing kids to visit Santa, written by a former mall Santa who got the job despite being skinny, thirtyish, and Jewish. He explained how to keep your children from melting down on Santa’s lap. One former elf, who we’ll call “Holly,” took offense at one of that particular Santa’s tips for saving money, and wrote in to explain how things worked at the mall where she served as “elf,” or manager of the Santa set. The main thing she wants our readers to know: if you don’t buy any photos and insist on only taking your own, you’re a Grinchy jerk who is figuratively yanking money out of every employee’s pockets. [More]
Disappointed because your children became hysterical once they were seated on Santa’s lap and the cameras came out? In this post, you will learn how to prevent Santa meltdowns. One winter, Brandon was unemployed and ended up working at the local mall, seated in the Santa throne. So if you take your kids to have their photos taken with Santa and file their last-minute gift requests this weekend, keep these tips in mind. [More]
Dealing with throngs of little kids, parents, and holiday shoppers must require a high annoyance threshold, but one mall Santa in Maine is without a job because he apparently missed the memo mandating that Old Saint Nick be “jolly.” [More]
Santa is, as of this posting, heading towards Mount Everest. We know this because NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command), tracks Santa. Apparently, they started doing this because Sears accidentally printed the phone number to the CONAD (Continental Air Defense Command) Commander-in-Chief’s operations “hotline,” as a number to call Santa. [More]
New security rules have proven too complex for Alaska’s post offices to bear, so they’re ending their participation in Operation Santa, the 50-year-old program where letters addressed to “Santa Claus, North Pole” are answered by volunteers. The program will continue elsewhere, reports the Associated Press, but when I called the USPS to find out where letters should be addressed I was told parents should contact their local post offices for information.
On September 27, 2009, there were 89 days until Christmas. But not at the Target in Peoria, Arizona. Reader Chris noticed that the twin phenomena of Christmas Creep and Target’s creeping insanity converged on one glorious, confusing, Santa-filled point where there were suddenly only 53 days until Christmas.
Christmas Creep may be more out of control than ever this year (Were Veterans Day sales always Christmas-themed?), but that doesn’t mean that these are happy holidays for professional Santas. Yes, according to the Amalgamated Order of Real Bearded Santas, an organization that actually exists according to the Wall Street Journal, Santa bookings are down. Way down.
Department store Santas sent out by a staffing agency in Australia have been instructed to say “Ha ha ha” instead of “Ho ho ho” because “Ho” is demeaning to women. A 70-year-old Santa claims he was fired for sticking with the traditional “whore” Christmas verbiage; the department store says it was because of the man’s attitude. [Reuters]
Oh noes! The children! Microsoft released a Santa bot on its Windows Messenger network that had a surprising predilection for swinging the conversation to oral sex.
Is Billy Bob Thornton available? For the first time ever, every single Walmart will feature Santa. Also, there will be free 5″ x 7″ photos to be had while supplies last.