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September 15, 2019

What Santa Really Does While You’re Asleep

Did you pass out early on Christmas Eve? Feel bad about not getting to see Santa putting your presents under the tree? Well, that’s not all he did. This explains why he is always so jolly

Created by Matthew Inman

Definition of Santa from Wikipedia:

Santa Claus, also known as Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas, Kris Kringle, or simply “Santa“, is a figure with legendary, historical and folkloric aspects who, in many western cultures, is said to bring gifts to the homes of the good children during the late evening and overnight hours of Christmas Eve, December 24. The modern figure was derived from the Dutch figure of Sinterklaas, which, in turn, may have part of its basis in hagiographical tales concerning the historical figure of gift giver Saint Nicholas. A nearly identical story is attributed by Greek and Byzantine folklore to Basil of Caesarea. Basil’s feast day on January 1 is considered the time of exchanging gifts in Greece.

Santa Claus is generally depicted as a plump, jolly, white-bearded man wearing a red coat with white collar and cuffs, white-cuffed red trousers, and black leather belt and boots (images of him rarely have a beard with no moustache). This image became popular in the United States and Canada in the 19th century due to the significant influence of caricaturist and political cartoonist Thomas Nast. This image has been maintained and reinforced through song, radio, television, children’s books and films. In the United Kingdom and Europe, he is often depicted in a manner identical to the American Santa Claus, but he is commonly called Father Christmas.

A well-known folktale associated with Santa Claus says that he lives in the far north, in a land of perpetual snow. The American version of Santa Claus says that he lives at his house on the North Pole, while Father Christmas is often said to reside in the mountains of Korvatunturi in Lapland Province, Finland. Santa Claus lives with his wife Mrs. Claus, an unspecified but large number of magical elves, and at least eight or nine flying reindeer. Another folktale, popularized in the song “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town”, says that he makes a list of children throughout the world, categorizing them according to their behavior (“naughty” or “nice”) and that he delivers presents, including toys, candy, and other gifts to all of the good boys and girls in the world, and sometimes coal to the naughty children, on the single night of Christmas Eve. He accomplishes this feat with the aid of the elves who make the toys in the workshop and the reindeer who pull his sleigh

New Racy Miley Cyrus Photos Leaked

Racy new photos of Miley Cyrus were leaked online last night including a shot of her assistant pretending to love Miley because, suck it, Demi Lovato, that’s why. There’s also a shot of her flashing her  tattoo next to Gay Tron – I knew he was real. – and some other dancers which will probably be the most damaging to her fanbase. I mean, the stuff is just girls being girls and how you attract kin, but fraternizin’ with homo s0xuals before Jesus’ birthday? You’ll fry in hell for that one. Why can’t she stick to making them  videos? It was only baking goods anyway and not full of no Hollywood agenda. I sense the Aunty Christ at work here. I truly do.

The Worlds Wackiest Christmas Dinners

In Britain we love our traditions and have adopted many superstitious traits. It would even be fair to say that we have become creatures of habit. We would never dream of walking under a ladder with fear it would bring us bad luck, we are forever touching wood to prevent good luck turning and we love throwing salt over our left shoulder to ward off demons! Add to this divulging chocolate eggs at Easter, pancakes on Shrove Tuesday and of course Turkey and all the trimmings at Christmas, we seem to know exactly how our year will pan out.

But could you imagine no Turkey, Roast Potatoes, Brussel Sprouts or even Stuffing on your Christmas Day? We as a country seem to forget that our way of life is not the only way and that there are many different traditions around the world for this holiday. Perhaps if we looked beyond our own Turkey dinner and Christmas pud fixations who knows, we might even find ourselves swapping some Thai food or Pork Chop recipes for a Christmas dinner with a twist next year!

Ok, so some Christmas dinners from around the globe may seem quite normal but be assured others just down right unimaginable! There is definitely some different Christmas meals out there that will make you appreciate your Christmas dinner!

Japan

In Japan it is customary to go and eat Kentucky Fried Chicken for Christmas dinner from the fast food restaurant KFC of course. This seems bizarre that we spend all day in a kitchen cooking up our monster feast for the Japanese to pop round to get some quick, greasy fix! However, it is now a tradition. Thousands of people flock to KFC to enjoy some finger licking chicken and the Christmas rush is so huge that some branches take table bookings. Now that is successful advertising for you!

Bulgaria

Now I don’t know about you but for me a Christmas dinner without any Turkey, Ham, Beef or meat at all would just not feel right! Cooking a massive joint for a ridiculously long period of time is all part of the fun so to speak! In Bulgaria they cook 12 dishes to represent the 12 months of the year (certainly a tradition I could get used to) but they don’t eat any meat. A typical feast consists of nuts, dried plums, cakes and Banitza (a pastry). Walnuts are a necessary component of the meal as each family member cracks one in order to determine their fate for the next year.

France

Now I certainly wouldn’t mind adopting the French Christmas dinner philosophy. Traditionally the French dine on a starter of fresh oysters served with rye bread and butter and lemon juice or shallot vinegar, certainly a bit fancier than our prawn cocktails!

Some households may also eat smoked salmon or escargots (snails). This dish is then followed up by a second starter of coquilles St Jacques (Scallops with mushrooms and white wine). The main course however can vary greatly from venison, wild boar or pigeon to duck, goose or capon. But perhaps the best part is the fact that vegetables never seem to grace the table! Expect chestnuts, wild mushrooms and gratin dauphinois in their place.

Expect the main to be followed by a cheese course as is always the way in French eating. The one constant in the Christmas Dinner menu is the bûche de Noël for dessert.

Sweden

Swedish Julafton (Christmas Eve dinner) typically consists of a smorgasbord (buffet) with julskinka – a type of christmas ham – pickled pigs feet, lutefisk – dried codfish – sliced gravlax (raw salmon cured in salt, sugar and dill), pickled herring and many different kinds of sweets.

Apparently, the dried codfish is not served “dried” at all and the supposed slimy texture simply adds to the repulsive taste of this Swedish and Norwegian delicacy! And just don’t get me started on the pigs feet as I am beginning to feel slightly queasy…..

Norway

At first glance, the idea of a Christmas dinner in a Norwegian household sounds OK. Looking at the types of foods they eat it seems as though their customs are very similar to our own at this time of year. They enjoy Pinnekjøtt which is salted lamb ribs for the main course – nothing out of the ordinary with that. To compliment the meat they tend to eat Mashed rutabaga (also known as swede) which is kind of like our mashed potatoes. Hence, you may think you would enjoy the festive season in Norway.

Yep, I would be surprised if that photo does not have you recoiling in horror and feeling a little sick! I thought it best to let you know that another fond of meat at Christmas is the Lambs head to go along with the lamb ribs! This is boiled and salted (Minus the brains) and the head is eaten from front to back with the tongue and eye muscles being particularly yummy cuts!

Czech Republic

Christmas is a very religious and peaceful time in the Czech Republic and everyone fasts for one day in the run up to the Christmas meal. They then divulge in to fish soup to begin which is followed by the tradition of carp. This is often accompanied by a potato salad including onions, cooked carrots, pickled gherkins, cooked eggs and mayonnaise. This is prepared on Christmas Eve and allowed to ‘mellow’ for a day. I’m pretty sure I can smell the combination of egg, pickles and mayonnaise now! Think I would rather my roast turkey any day of the week.

Lauren can be found dishing out lots of healthy eating facts in her regular blogs.

The World’s Meanest Christmas Gift

Give your girlfriend the priceless gift of hating you forever. It’s all about the presentation.

Why We Hate Snow

Snow, i think we all have a love hate relationship with it as drivers. People’s reactions to snow always amuse me, mainly because of they vary so much. From kids praying for a white Xmas, to the foreign students who had never seen snow, to London commuters ditching work to making snowmen on the beach, and then those drivers who think ice and rear wheel drive city cars are a match made in heaven

Getting to work or just going about your day in the snow is a task and a half, normal families don’t all have 4×4 s or the new All Wheel Drive cars, so are left to the mercy of the blizzard and underlying frost, panicking every time the wheel spins on a lump of ice or the person in front skids over a junction. In many countries snow is part of everyday life, but in those countries that are not used to arctic conditions, snow can bring its dangers as well as its amusements.

None drivers also have their share of problems in the snow, from snowdrifts that go over the tops of your wellingtons, to ice covered pavements that make every step a potential broken bone. This collection of photos show both the hazardous and funny side to our winter visitor for drivers and none drivers alike.

A snowman seeks safety behind a tree from a snow blower

A tiger decides to help out clearing a parking space

Perhaps this guy will take the bus next time

The Mailboxes are shocked at how late the post van is

This is called the Coke slider

Not the best place to park

Bad parking or art

This can’t be a mistake

How did they get up there?

This is what you need in the snow, something with HUGE wheels

Take more than a ice scraper to move this ice

Takeoff… whoooops!

Forgot where we parked the car, i can hear the alarm

Turn up the car heater, its a bit nippy

I don’t think I’ll take my bike today

Think I’ll leave the missile at home today

Stormtrooper Christmas Card

Christmas cards don’t come much geekier than this. This adorable stormtrooper couple succeeded in making their Christmas cards a little more interesting this holiday season.

Steampunk Etch-A-Sketch

Reddit user HaloKitty put together this fully functional steam punk etch-a-sketch. I wish I had one of these when I was a kid.

Etch A Sketch is a registered trademark for a mechanical drawing toy manufactured by the Ohio Art Company.

An Etch A Sketch is a thick, flat gray screen in a plastic frame. There are two knobs on the front of the frame in the lower corners. Twisting the knobs moves a stylus that displaces aluminium powder on the back of the screen, leaving a solid line. The knobs create lineographic images. The left control moves the stylus horizontally, and the right one moves it vertically.

The Etch A Sketch was introduced near the peak of the Baby Boom, and is one of the best known toys of that generation. In 2003, the Toy Industry Association named Etch A Sketch to its Century of Toys List, a roll call commemorating the 100 most memorable and most creative toys of the 20th century. It remains popular to this day.

Mythical Creature Found In Kentucky

Mark Cothren shot and killed an animal on Dec. 18 because he said he feared what it was, since he did not recognize it. Rumors are it’s the Chupacabra – also known as the “Goat Sucker”.

15 Insane Xmas Traditions

Have you ever wondered how the rest of the world celebrates Xmas, and whether their  traditions are very different to that of the U.S or U.K? Well i have tracked down a whole host of these Global Christmas traditions for you, feel free to share them with your relatives over the Yuletide and “thank god” your Xmas is pretty normal. First lets take a look at the origins of Christmas, before the Christians adopted the end of year Celebration it was actually only known for being the winter solstice – 25th of December, and pagans would celebrate the return of the sun, that’s sun .. not son. It was to bare witness to the suns return and rejoice that it had not been conquered by the dark nights and in many ways its return from the dead. They called this the ‘Birthday of the Unconquered’ and it bares many similarities to the birth of Jesus on Christmas day.

Austria – Krampus

In Austria they celebrate the legend of Santa’s helper Krampus, Krampus would accompany St Nicholas as he delivered his presents to children, it was his job to scare, hit and punish children who had been bad and therefore did not deserve gifts from St Nicholas. Krampus is represented as a demon creature, very similar to the first depictions of the devil with his almost goat like appearance. In modern day Austria young men dress up as Krampus and roam the streets scaring children and shaking bells and chains.

Portugal – Zombie Xmas Dinner

In Portugal the dead are respected at Xmas and extra places are even lain out for the dead as Xmas dinner, the plates are also filled as a gift to the dead and they believe that by welcoming these souls that their own new year will be happy and blessed.

Ukraine – Spiders Web

The tradition of the spider in the tree comes from an old legend of a poor widow and her children who could not afford to decorate their Xmas tree, as they had only enough money to feed themselves. The tale goes that the children wake up their mother on Xmas morning so excited that the tree is decorated, the widow finds that a spider has covered the tree in a web that is glittering in the light. The web then turned into gold and silver and the family were no longer poor.

Modern tradition is to hide a plastic spider in the tree to signify the coming of a fortunate year.

Norway – Hide the Brooms

In Norway they believe that on Christmas eve, witches and evil spirits try to steal your broom, and so they hide all the brooms in the house. Not sure why witches choose this night to nick a broom, but beware Harry Potter.

Latvia –  Mumming

They love dressing up in Latvia, and the most famous tradition at Xmas is called Mumming. This is where locals wear really unusual costumes and masks, ranging from animals like bears and goats to zombies and haystacks. Not sure how you would exactly create a haystack outfit, but i guess they manage to pull it off.

Czech Republic – Shoes for love

Women who are single in the Czech Republic go through a rather strange ritual on Christmas eve, they face away from their front door and throw a shoe over their shoulder. If the heel lands facing the door then she will remain single in the coming year, if the shoes toe faces the door then she will marry within the year.

Greece – Kallikantzaroi

In Greece to guard against evil spirits called Kallikantzaroi that live deep underground, some traditional families will hang a pig jaw inside the chimney to keep the evil spirits from descending into their homes.

Greenland – Eating rotten Auk

A food that is traditionally eaten at Christmas in Greenland is Kiviak, or rotten Auk. Yes something that would gift quick weight loss if presented as the only Xmas fare to most people. The whole dead Auk (bird) is wrapped in a seal skin and buried under a rock and left out in the snow and frost for a few months. Then at Christmas is is dug up and all the rotten guts removed and the skin eaten, it is said to taste very tangy and smells of Stilton cheese.

Spain – The Catalan or the pooping log

Hers one for all the family, in Spain family’s buy a Catalan log, this is a hollowed out log with a smiling face on it. They generally look like a dog or deer, with funny little constructed legs. The family then begin filling or feeding the log until it is full of candy and toys for Christmas day. The children then beat the log until it literally poops out gifts and sweets. The song the children sing is particularly catchy “Poop log, poop turron, hazelnuts and cottage cheese, if you don’t poop well, I’ll hit you with a stick, poop log!”

Catalonia – El Caganer (the great defecator)

Yes, this is a little defecating statue that appears in the Nativity scene, just perhaps not any that you have seen. He is generally a tiny monk or peasant that is placed in the corner of the Nativity scene. It might sounds rather unpleasant having a man pooing just across from Jesus being born, but El Caganer is actually representing fertilization and a good coming harvest.

Itlay – La Befana the witch

This is a funny little legend of a kindly old witch, that on their way to Bethlehem the wise men from the East ask La Befana for shelter. which she grants. The next morning they ask her to join them in their search for the special baby boy born to god. Befana refuses saying that she has cleaning to do, you have got the admire the tenacity of a witch. By the time Befana finally follows the Margi, she is too late and cannot find the baby, it is said that from now on she searches each Xmas for the baby Jesus in peoples homes. Italian children put out wine and food for the witch and in turn Befana leaves a present for them, not knowing which one of them is the baby Jesus.

Amsterdam – Black Peter

I remember seeing this when i visited Amsterdam last year, there were 100’s of children dressed up as Black Peter with blacked-up faces, which was pretty bizarre. Black Peter is associated with St Nicholas in much the same way as Krampus is, he is the sidekick of Santa Claus, and would give out coal and beat children who had been naughty through the year. It is also thought that St Nicholas is the representation of god and Back Peter was his servant the devil.

Wales – The Grey Mare

In Wales a Xmas tradition is for making money using a horse skull, hummm. Basically people find an old horse skull and stick this on a pike, cover this in a old sheet and go out in the streets. If they make the skull bite someone, then this person must give them money.

Germany – The pickle ornament

Although most families finish decorating their trees with a Christmas star, but in Germany they have a tradition of adding a pickle ornament last. The first child to find the pickle on the tree gets an extra present and is blessed with luck for the coming year.

Sweden – Burning the goat

In the Swedish town of Gavle, they build and erect a giant goat made of straw the celebrate Xmas, and is lit on Christmas Day. Although vandals almost always get to the goat before Xmas as set it alight.

Lilly normally blogs about weight loss diets and special food planning for dinner parties such as all meat and no carb diets. Don’t think she will be offering the rotten Auk on her plates though.

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Total Lunar Eclipse

Yesterday, December 21, was a unique day – the winter solstice and the amazing longest night of the year. In addition, at night you could watch a total lunar eclipse (a combination of all these circumstances, only comes once in 400 years). This video was shot in Geynsville (Florida) from 1:10 to 5:03. Posted it on Vimeo user Kastelmen William (William Castleman) to the music of Claude Debussy’s “Nocturnes: Sirens. ” In Russia, a total lunar eclipse seen the residents of Vladivostok.

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