Looking for a gift under $20? $15? $10?
Maybe you just want to know where all the shit you can afford on Amazon
is hiding. We've all been there: a birthday
coming up and no clue what gift to buy. Maybe your family disowned you after the last Secret Santa
(and you were so sure that Heifer International donation
was the way to go!), but 2014 is your year to shine.
Shaylee is four years old, a native ASL signer, and an amazingly expressive raconteur. Here's a bilingual link to her version of A Visit from St. Nicholas
(a.k.a. The Night Before Christmas
), with a breakdown analysing her storytelling technique: Why This Young Girl Is a Masterful Storyteller in Sign Language [more inside]
With AWESOMeFEET you have to warm up to the idea that you will look like an idiot.
Detroit resident Marty Stano, minimalist, filmmaker, oddball, makes a joyous video in celebration of winter. [more inside]
As the Christmas season winds down, but before New Year plunges a stake into its Dracula Corpse to end it, enjoy Matt Fraction
, Maggie Serota
and the War Rocket Ajax crew challening each other to create the worst Christmas mixtape
. Not interested in audio format banter and such? There is a Youtube Playlist
. WARNING: Mostly offensive for aesthetic reasons but there are some other terribles in there as well.
Yesterday morning, fans all around the world woke up at the crack of dawn to eagerly open their gifts on the most important day of the year. ...Wait, what, I have to go do this "Christmas" thing? Sorry, I'm busy reading this year's new creations for the Yuletide Fanfiction Challenge
). [more inside]
According to statistician Aki Vehtari
of Aalto University in Finland, there is diminished 20%
chance that today, December 25th
, is your birthday. There is a 5% higher likelihood than chance that your birthday is actually February 14th. [more inside]
Since 1955 NORAD has been tracking Santa Claus on his annual trek around the world delivering presents (previously
), but do you know why and how a grim, uber serious military organisation like NORAD, at the height of the Cold War started doing this? It turns out it's all because Sears used the wrong phone number in a Christmas advert and the officer on duty at NORAD had the presence of mind to play along
Presenting A Christmas Garland
woven through with festive stories and essays by H*nry J*m*s, R*dy*rd K*pl*ng, Th*m*s H*rdy, H.G. W*lls, G**rg* B*rn*rd Sh*w, and many other worthies from the Edwardian literary c*n*n! [more inside]
Bklyn legend Jonny Sierra
and B-More titan Spank Rock
bring to us a most glorious parody
of a most glorious titanic legend.
"... and it was on that day I made the snowman."
In 1982, the film adaptation of Raymond Briggs
1978 children's book The Snowman
was released on British television. The original release begins with a short narration by the Briggs, but a later version replaced him with David Bowie
gently rocking a toy horse in an attic. Besides the opening narration, the film is without talking and is accompanied by a score by Howard Blake
. It yielded the hit We're Walking in the Air
which peaked at #5 on UK pop charts when Aled Jones covered it in 1985 (here he is
many years later on This Morning Programme
singing along with a video of himself as a boy).
Last year, a sequel called The Snowman and the Snowdog
was released to mixed reviews.
Now listen dear children, and you will hear,
A story fantastic, a story so queer,
It's all about Santa, and his helpers three,
there's Hardrock, and Coco, and Joe.
Ooh dee-o laadee I laa-dee I-a,
Donner and Blitzen, away, away
Ooh dee-o laadee I laa-dee I-oh,
It's Hardrock, and Coco, and Joe.
- Frosty the Snowman (original)
Chicago Kids TV
Nearly 200 years after "A Visit from St. Nicholas
" was written, the authorship is still in dispute
. In the years since, there have been quite a few parodies and variants of the poem written, recorded and performed, including at least two different versions of a Cajun Night Before Christmas (a recording
of the version by Te-Jules
, and Trosclair's version
[Google books preview], read by Larry Ray
, recorded from WLOX
). Snopes tracked down the history of The Soldier's Night Before Christmas
, Fifties Web collected 21 tame versions
(with auto-playing music), and Dirty Xmas
has a number of "adult" versions. Yuks 'R' Us has a large collection
, including some dated computer-related stories. Speaking of dated, you can view a vintage '98 "enhanced" version of the original poem
plus more variations from Purple Lion
(a member of the Merry Christmas Webring from 1998
). But for the ultimate collection of variants and parodies, you might recall this thread from 2002
. The link is dead, but Archive.org caught the site
around that time, with 581 versions. That was over a decade ago, and now Alechemist Matt is up to 849 versions, parodies and variants of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas
About the only place this book hasn't been is in my hands, open and upright, with my eyes pointed at it. But that's about to change. Because I'm going to read this book in 20-minute bursts over the next eight hours. Why 20-minute bursts? Because that's how long it takes for a batch of my mother's Slog-famous Christmas Snowball cookies to bake. I'm going to put a tray in the oven, read, swap trays out, read some more. And I think it's fair to say that by the end of the day today—after all my Christmas cookies are baked—I will have read more of this book than Sarah Palin wrote.
- Dan Savage reviews Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas.
Brenda Schmitz wrote a letter to STAR 102.5′s Christmas Wish in August of 2011 – one month before she passed away from ovarian cancer at the age of 46. She asked her friend to send us her wish once her husband David had found someone else to love him and to help take care of their four boys.
David has found someone and Brenda's Christmas wish has been granted.
There's a slight problem with Brighton's Christmas Lights
. (SLV, Probably NSFW)
Sometimes it's hard to remember that there are Holiday songs that aren't about being jolly, rocking around Christmas trees, and drugging your girlfriend's drink
. From the dirgelike
to the hopelessly obscure
, here are some Christmas carols you probably won't hear on Black Friday. [more inside]
Bill Adler's Xmas Jollies 2013, via LAtino USA this year.
Christmas music. It is bad. There is no escaping it. This playlist might help. [more inside]
Every year the British Medical Journal publishes a special Christmas edition
A Christmas Boner
is a complete retelling of A Christmas Carol, with the added wrinkle of Scrooge's constant erection. Completely puerile, completely giggle inducing.
, consisting of Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer and James Dean Jay Byrd, first surfaced
in New York city in 1992, touting themselves
as the first openly gay country music act. That same year, they preformed Y'all's First Xmas Xtravagaza: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
. [more inside]
...They have got up among themselves a periodical called THE LOWELL OFFERING, "a repository of original articles, written exclusively by females actively employed in the mills," -- which is duly printed, published, and sold; and whereof I brought away from Lowell four hundred good solid pages, which I have read from beginning to end...Of the merits of the Lowell Offering as a literary production I will only observe, putting entirely out of sight the fact of the articles having been written by these girls after the arduous labours of the day, that it will compare advantageously with a great many English Annuals. It is pleasant to find that many of its Tales are of the Mills, and of those who work in them; that they inculcate habits of self-denial and contentment, and teach good doctrines of enlarged benevolence.
On an early leg of his 1842 American tour
, Charles Dickens paid a visit
to Lowell, Massachusetts, where he toured the famous river-powered textile mills and met some of the thousands of young women employed there
. The literary journal he carried away, the Offering
, inculcated certain of its benevolent doctrines through stories about Christmas, ghosts, mystic journeys through time and space, and mystic journeys through time and space with ghosts. Soon after his return to England, Dickens published A Christmas Carol
. Coincidence? [more inside]
The Festive Funk Machine
is a fun little Incredibox
-esque christmas music making website. [more inside]
, purveyor of strange and historical modern Victorian show-tunes, has released a typically cello-creaky/creepy version of God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen
If that's not enough, Melora
has another Christmas song for you!
"Cult of the Virgin touches on born-again virginity, but at it's core it examines some of the misconceptions around immaculate conception, and I know whereof I speak."
Like sending out Christmas cards but prefer something light on the Santas and Jesuses? The Hubble Telescope is here to help you out with a whole line of free-to-download-and-print holiday-themed greeting cards
You probably know of Paul Dini
as the guy who, over the past 20 years brought to television Batman, the beloved DC's animated universe
(with Bruce Timm) and Duck Dodgers (among many other things).
He's now working at Marvel after 20 years with Warner Brothers.
Speaking recently on Kevin Smith's podcast
he claimed that executives are spurning female viewers because they believe girls and women don't buy superhero show related toys
, which may go some way to explaining the Wonder Woman decision (previously
Dini's comments come at a time
when many feel
that the gender segregation
of toys is regaining strength.
Let's sing some Christmas carols! We'll start with the great "Reno Erat Rudolphus,"
then we can move on to favorites like "Frigus Vir Nivis," "Avia renone calcabatur,"
and of course, "Tinnitus, tinnitus."
Then let's read that classic Dr. Seuss story, Quomodo Invidiosulus Nomine Grinchus Christi Natalem Abrogaverit
)! As they say, Hoc mirandis est temporis anni
Make presents for everyone in the world and save Christmas!
Making Of The Bear and The Hare
- For the John Lewis Christmas advert Hornet/Blinkink directors Elliot Dear and Yves Geleyn took the two most traditional and time-honored animation processes – stop-motion and traditional hand-drawn 2D animation – and combined them to create something innovative and unique.
The Gävle Goat
is a house-sized Swedish Yule Goat
made of straw erected at the start of Advent each year and sponsored by merchants from the southern half of Gävle. While the 2013 incarnation is currently unharmed
, the goat is a magnet for vandalism and 22 of 37 goats since 1966 have been destroyed, usually by burning. Some burn just days after construction even with ice coats and fire-proofing. The event is frequent enough that there are bookmaking odds
on whether this year's goat will survive. [more inside]
Christmas Cats TV
is "an eight-hour streaming video of a 'cat lady' and an elf hanging out with cats — some of them in holiday sweaters." (Direct link to site
- autoplaying music)
Forget the pony, forget the teddy bear -- this kid wants a little thing that can turn into anything at anytime
"Yule Log 2.0
re-imagines the traditional Video Yule Log* through a collection of short videos by illustrators, animators, directors, and creative coders (66 collaborators making 55 segments). With the controls in the upper-right corner, you can fit a continuous loop of one or all of the videos in a browser window or full-screen.*First televised in 1966 by New York's WPIX-TV to provide its audience with some pleasant, noncommercial viewing on the holiday (and most of the broadcast crew some time off)