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I could have had a stable of white elephants

Looking for a gift under $20? $15? $10? Maybe you just want to know where all the shit you can afford on Amazon or ThinkGeek is hiding. We've all been there: a birthday or wedding 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.
posted by misha on Jan 9, 2014 - 13 comments

Homer was blind

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]
posted by Joe in Australia on Jan 6, 2014 - 17 comments

You have to warm up to the idea that you will look like an idiot.

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]
posted by QuakerMel on Dec 28, 2013 - 12 comments

A Gift To You

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.
posted by Artw on Dec 27, 2013 - 34 comments

Yuletide 2013

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 (previously). [more inside]
posted by capricorn on Dec 26, 2013 - 53 comments

Christmas is Winning the War on Christmas

Christmas is Winning the War on Christmas
posted by Golden Eternity on Dec 25, 2013 - 136 comments

I shiver when I see the falling snow

It's gonna be a blue Christmas: Merle Haggard - If We Make it Through December [more inside]
posted by byanyothername on Dec 25, 2013 - 22 comments

Santa? Let me tell you about Santa.

The Blade Runner Holiday Special (SLYT)
posted by Aznable on Dec 25, 2013 - 36 comments

For unto us a child is born

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]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Dec 25, 2013 - 27 comments

'just pretend you're Santa.'

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.
posted by MartinWisse on Dec 25, 2013 - 24 comments

A Very Beerbohm Christmas

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]
posted by Iridic on Dec 24, 2013 - 6 comments

Peace on Earth. Good will toward men.

Bklyn legend Jonny Sierra and B-More titan Spank Rock bring to us a most glorious parody of a most glorious titanic legend.
posted by Slap*Happy on Dec 24, 2013 - 2 comments

The Snowman

"... and it was on that day I made the snowman." In 1982, the film adaptation of Raymond Briggs 1978 children's book The Snowmanwas 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.
posted by Corduroy on Dec 24, 2013 - 25 comments

Have yourself a Chicago Christmas

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.


Suzy Snowflake - Frosty the Snowman (original)
Chicago Kids TV
posted by JHarris on Dec 24, 2013 - 12 comments

Christmas is Go

Christmas Control to Thunderbird 3 [more inside]
posted by philip-random on Dec 24, 2013 - 11 comments

A Visit from St. Nicholas to Usenet groups, the by-you, and beyond

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.
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 24, 2013 - 5 comments

Who wouldn't go?

Special Santa! Special Santa! Special Santas!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Dec 23, 2013 - 27 comments

Happy Holidays

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.
posted by Artw on Dec 22, 2013 - 91 comments

When you wish upon a star...

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.
posted by NoraCharles on Dec 22, 2013 - 51 comments

Christmas? Bah, humbug!

There's a slight problem with Brighton's Christmas Lights. (SLV, Probably NSFW)
posted by PeterMcDermott on Dec 22, 2013 - 27 comments

Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume

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]
posted by Sara C. on Dec 21, 2013 - 95 comments

Christmas music that won't make you want smash the stereo.

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]
posted by vrakatar on Dec 21, 2013 - 4 comments

DO YOU WANT TO SING CHRISTMAS CAROLS WITH AMY POEHLER?!?!

Watch as Billy on the Street's Billy Eichner and his Parks and Recreation pal Amy Poehler terrorize people on the streets of Manhattan by forcibly conscripting them into an ad hoc caroling group.... (Begins at 1:25)
posted by The Whelk on Dec 21, 2013 - 67 comments

BMJ Christmas Edition

Every year the British Medical Journal publishes a special Christmas edition. [more inside]
posted by alby on Dec 21, 2013 - 12 comments

Hang a shining star upon the highest bough

Christmases around the world: Children Dancing to《铃儿响叮当》at 2008 Christmas Party, Xiangxiang North Gate Church, Hunan (China; 1:13); "Gloria in Excelsis Deo," Blind Musician on the Side of the Road (Benin; 1:28); Performance by Companhia de Dança de Aveiro at the Portuguese Institute of Oncology Francisco Gentil (Pediatric Section?), Lisbon (Portugal; 3:28); "Aldi's Surfing Santas" Advertisement (Australia; 1:35); Danza de Música Folclórica por la Navidad, Riobamba (Ecuador; 3:18); "A Very Vancouver Christmas," Dan Mangan (Canada; 3:17). [more inside]
posted by Monsieur Caution on Dec 21, 2013 - 6 comments

“My time, unlike your schlong, grows short."

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.
posted by yellowbinder on Dec 20, 2013 - 27 comments

Christmas Time in the Trailerpark

Y'all, 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]
posted by 1f2frfbf on Dec 20, 2013 - 8 comments

"This is crazy, man, I love it."

International students in Toronto get a heartwarming first Christmas
posted by 256 on Dec 20, 2013 - 56 comments

A Christmas Offering

...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]
posted by Iridic on Dec 20, 2013 - 13 comments

Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown

Live action Peanuts Christmas dance (SLYT)
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Dec 20, 2013 - 26 comments

Lil Bub for Your Home

Lil Bub in front of a fireplace. For an hour! It's the new Fireplace for Your Home.
posted by cjorgensen on Dec 19, 2013 - 44 comments

Sitting On Knees

For 34 Years, two brothers have had thier picture taken with Santa.
posted by The Whelk on Dec 19, 2013 - 28 comments

Do you love robots, and christmas music? You're in luck!

The Festive Funk Machine is a fun little Incredibox-esque christmas music making website. [more inside]
posted by DigDoug on Dec 19, 2013 - 8 comments

"What a spooky song for Yuletide!"

Rasputina, 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."
posted by Bourbonesque on Dec 19, 2013 - 5 comments

Hope your holiday is [sunglasses] out of this world!

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!
posted by phunniemee on Dec 18, 2013 - 7 comments

Mary! Did you hear that?

Ship My Trousers(SLYT, PepsiBlue) Previously
posted by donut_princess on Dec 17, 2013 - 29 comments

Frosting has more integrity than your ex-boyfriend.

Christmas Cookies For Singles [SLYT]
posted by NoraReed on Dec 17, 2013 - 22 comments

"O Pruney Night, the stars are slightly wrinkled"

Presenting Will Vinton's Emmy-award winning A Claymation Christmas Celebration (1987) [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor on Dec 16, 2013 - 19 comments

What do you care about a leggy dame in nylons?

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). (via) Dini's comments come at a time when many feel that the gender segregation of toys is regaining strength.
posted by Mezentian on Dec 15, 2013 - 104 comments

Vidi mammam osculari Sanctum Nicolaum

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 (backstory)! As they say, Hoc mirandis est temporis anni!
posted by Cash4Lead on Dec 13, 2013 - 11 comments

The War on Christmas Lasted Until 1870

Ten Things You Might Not Know About Christmas. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on Dec 12, 2013 - 45 comments

Basically the Clicking Bad Christmas Special

Merry Clickmas! Make presents for everyone in the world and save Christmas!
posted by Elementary Penguin on Dec 12, 2013 - 139 comments

Yule Logs

Yule Log. Yule Log on TV. Yule Log '83. Yule Log on YouTube. Yule Log with Music. Yule Log on Netflix. Yule Logs for Designers. Yule Log with Bacon. Previously, previouslier, previousliest.
posted by Sokka shot first on Dec 11, 2013 - 20 comments

Hey it's Tuesday, again.

"I don't think you're an angel! I think you're a smelly man in a smelly coat!" A very special Supernatural Christmas parody.
posted by The Whelk on Dec 10, 2013 - 90 comments

Stop Motion

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.
posted by Wolfdog on Dec 10, 2013 - 13 comments

Oregon Christmas Tree Harvest With Helicopter

Oregon Christmas Tree Harvest With Helicopter. [more inside]
posted by SpacemanStix on Dec 9, 2013 - 46 comments

The illuminating history of the Gävle Goat

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]
posted by Alison on Dec 6, 2013 - 74 comments

Amazingly, the Christmas tree is still standing.

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)
posted by desjardins on Dec 5, 2013 - 36 comments

One Kid's Insane Christmas List, Annotated by Dad

Forget the pony, forget the teddy bear -- this kid wants a little thing that can turn into anything at anytime.
posted by flyingsquirrel on Dec 5, 2013 - 166 comments

No Relation to Ren & Stimpy's Log

"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)
posted by oneswellfoop on Dec 4, 2013 - 13 comments

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