Carp? What carp?

If You Lived In Slovakia, You’d Have A Christmas Carp In Your Bathtub Right Now

Tis the season for holiday traditions — and for finding out about other countries’ treatment of the season so we can marvel at how different we all are on this big blue marble. Let’s head to Eastern Europe, where apparently there are bathtubs filled with carp right about now.

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Retailers Extend Hours, Enable Last-Minute Christmas Shopping

Retailers Extend Hours, Enable Last-Minute Christmas Shopping

If you celebrate Christmas, yet aren’t done with your shopping yet, don’t feel bad: the nation’s retailers are here to help you spend your money as the business days count down to the holiday. Some department and big-box stores are open around the clock, and online retailers will help you avoid human interaction while using express shipping to order gifts. [More]

UPS Will Conquer Its Biggest Shipping Day With Temps And Automation

UPS Will Conquer Its Biggest Shipping Day With Temps And Automation

While the second-to-last Monday before Christmas is usually the busiest shipping day of the year for the U.S. Postal Service and FedEx, for UPS the biggest day is today, the last Monday before the holiday. The company has invested a lot of money and technology in making sure that there isn’t a repeat of last year’s massive delay caused by bad weather and a flurry of last-minute shopping. [More]

(improbcat)

Kmart Apologizes For Layaway Debacle, Says Some Cancellations Were “Inadvertent”

UPDATE: Sears Holding Company has now posted a new entry on its blog with instructions for customers affected by the layaway fiasco.

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(Thomas Hawk)

Kmart Ruins Christmas By Canceling Layaway Orders, Holding Onto Refunds

UPDATE 12/18: Kmart says it’s finished processing all refunds, and customers should be receiving them “soon.”

UPDATE 12/17: Kmart has apologized for the debacle, saying some contracts were “inadvertently” canceled but people still might not get the item they ordered in time. [More]

(SchuminWeb)

Another Layaway Angel Swoops In, Pays $50K Worth Of Bills At Pennsylvania Walmart

In a season where there can be Grinches around every corner and bah-humbuggers just waiting to get ya, it’s always fun to hear about those layaway angels who go around paying off other shoppers’ bills all in one fell swoop. We’ve landed a big one today, folks — someone’s just paid off $50,000 in layaway items in Pennsylvania. [More]

Today Is The Biggest Shipping Day Of The Year

Today Is The Biggest Shipping Day Of The Year

Today is it: traditionally, December 15 is the highest-volume shipping and mailing day of the entire year. The U.S. Postal Service will process 640 million cards, letters, postcards, periodicals, catalogs, and packages today alone. FedEx is doing its part, processing 22.6 million packages today. UPS says that its busiest day will be next Monday, as people try to get last-minute Christmas gifts to their destinations. [More]

(CBS Los Angeles)

Enough Already: Thieves Take Off With 50-Year-Old Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer Statue

While it’s understandable that where there is good will and cheer toward man, there’s also going to be those grumpy, awful, bah-humbugging Grinches out there who want to ruin anything nice about the holiday season. Already today we’ve heard of Christmas tree thieves, and now comes the news that not even 50-year-old Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer statues are safe, despite the giving nature of the season.

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Babies “R” Us Is Already Over Christmas, Moves On To Valentine’s Day

Babies “R” Us Is Already Over Christmas, Moves On To Valentine’s Day

It’s not often that we find a retailer that’s over Christmas before it even starts — on the contrary, we usually find Christmas Creep to be the creepiest of all the holiday creeps, sometimes starting as far back as July. But they’re not having it over at Babies “R” Us. In fact, Christmas might as well be over, for all this store cares.

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(frankieleon)

Tell Us About The Best Gift You’ve Ever Received

It was Christmas morning/eve. It was the best night of Hanukkah. There was that one gift, the thing you received from your mom/dad/sister/brother/spouse/whoever, that stood out from all the rest as the best thing you could have ever gotten.

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(lindacat)

Which Popular Holiday Gifts Are The Worst To Get?

The moment of dread has arrived: You have to open gifts in front of your loved ones, and pretend you like what they’ve given you, no matter if it’s a bottle of peppermint schnapps or a candle shaped like a Christmas tree that smells like a car air freshener. But this year, perhaps if we reflect upon the gifts people hate getting the most, we can avoid those items and bring more cheer than fear.

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Tokyo Restaurant Banning Couples On Christmas Eve So Singles Don’t Have To Remember They’re Lonely

Tokyo Restaurant Banning Couples On Christmas Eve So Singles Don’t Have To Remember They’re Lonely

Are you in the mood for love? Simply because you’re near the reason for that pitter-patter of delight and that longing ache to caress the face of your significant other, as if you could soothe the worries of the world from his/her dear brow? Well cut it out. No one needs to be reminded they’re single, especially on Christmas Eve, and one Tokyo restaurant wants none of it this year.

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(YouTube)

Couple Tired Of Holiday Package Thefts Fills Box With Excrement, Sets Up Camera

A warning to those among you who might be tempted to swipe a package from the piles covering doorsteps right now, at the height of the holiday shopping season: You might not open it to find anything you’ll like, and that includes a box filled with poop.

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(Andrew Speers)

Survey: 4-In-5 Consumers Say They Won’t Be Spending More This Holiday Season

Consumer spending this holiday season got off to a rather slow start last month when fewer people hit up retailers over Black Friday weekend. And that trend of spending less likely won’t change in the final few weeks of 2014 if a new holiday spending survey is to be believed. [More]

(Wisconsin Rapids Tribune)

Why A Village With 500 Residents Mails More Than 10,000 Christmas Cards From Its Post Office Every Year

How is it possible that in a village that boasts a population of only about 500 people sends more than 10,000 Christmas cards from its post office every year? Is it because each person in town has 20 friends? Or is it because the town has something special to do with Christmas?

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(City of Lowell)

Michigan Cops Playing Sneaky Santa Pull Over People To Give Them Gifts Instead Of Tickets

What’s the worst thing you can see in the rearview mirror? Police lights flashing as a cop tells you to pull over (that or an avalanche/tornado/mob of goblins chasing you). So for Michigan drivers who stopped for the long arm of the law realized they were getting a treat instead of a ticket from sneaky Santa police, Christmas came extra early. [More]

(JeepersMedia)

Kohl’s Stores Will Stay Open For 100 Hours Straight Leading Up To Christmas

Nothing says Christmas spirit like the constant neon glow of an open department store’s lights: Starting Dec. 19, Kohl’s says most of its stores will remain open for 100 hours straight leading up to Christmas.

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(MeneerDijk)

Most Of The Stuff You Want For Christmas Will Be Cheaper After Christmas

What’s on your wish list this holiday season? Without even looking, we’re guessing that clothing, home electronics, fitness equipment, and computers are on lots of folks’ lists. But if you’re looking to actually save money on these items, maybe it’s best to wait until after Dec. 25 to open your gifts. [More]