Sinterklaas is coming to town.
Christmas comes early for Dutch children. Or rather, Sinterklaas does, having brought his gifts this weekend. While many Anglo-American Christmas traditions owe much to marketing schemes
, the Dutch attachment to mulled wine and spiced biscuits harks back to earlier times. Perhaps too much so: with ongoing racial tensions following the murder of Theo van Gogh, the annual debate over 'zwarte piet'
, Santa's blackfaced little helper, has been especially heated. (One advantage of artificial traditions is that they tend to avoid such messy questions.) Nevertheless, here's the motherlode of Sinterklaas links, including songs, recipes and background.
posted by holgate
on Dec 5, 2004 -
A Singular Christmas.
You know how you're so busy during the holidays that you don't have time to listen to all that Christmas music you love some much? Brian Whitman
and his Eigenradio
have taken all the hassle out of holiday music-listening for you by "play[ing] only the most important frequencies."
posted by soplerfo
on Dec 1, 2004 -
Rare Exports, Inc.
They deliver the extremely rare original Finnish product to nearly 150 countries every Christmas, exclusively. It's a big download (the small version is 35.5 MB) but that's nothing compared to the patience these hunters must have to catch their prey. [NSFW, via MonkeyFilter
posted by homunculus
on Dec 26, 2003 -
Have a merry, sex and gadget filled hyper-commercialized Japanese Christmas. "Well it all started when a Spanish Jesuit missionary named St. Francis Xavier brought Christmas to Japan in 1549...."
The Jesuit bid
Japan was a flop though, and now - while Jews in the West, for example, tend to go out for Chinese food on Christmas Eve, the Japanese had little connection to the Christian version - so they invented their own! Syncretistic Japan pulls in random elements of Western "Christmas" and recombines in pleasing new ways! ( shocking only to Christians ). Santa Claus on the Cross and more!
A proper Christmas in Japan - for singles - involves a hot date and visit to a "Love Hotel" where "you might be directed by scantily-clad female elves to rooms complete with Christmas trees and life-size reindeer watching the proceedings with interest.
" and "Grope Free Commutes"
, for Japanese women tired of having their asses grabbed on the subway by drunk salarymen returning from "Forget the Year" parties. This fine blog
chronicles it all: " the Dolphin-and-fish-surrounded Christmas tree", Ukelele Christmas parties - "I wandered into a score of middle aged Japanese ladies wearing Hawaiian shirts and plastic lays, tuning up their ukuleles" and more. And don't forget to buy some cool
. "...a tiny robot helicopter weighing less than 9 grams... "
posted by troutfishing
on Dec 25, 2003 -
Some economists debate
why we can and if we should give gifts for Christmas. Because a gift is likely to be valued less by the recipient than for the giver, Christmas has been considered by some to be a "deadweight loss" equivalent to tearing up banknotes. To get around this, other economists propose that the value of the gift for the recipient comes from the process of finding a rare gift. On the other hand, perhaps this is one case where we should rethink
the basic rationality assumption that economic decisions can be explained by models that maximize individual wealth.
posted by KirkJobSluder
on Dec 24, 2003 -
A quick flash movie,
to help relieve the stress and tension of last minute holiday shopping. In with the good air, out with the bad air, rinse and repeat. After all is said and done, you can get back to enjoying the holidays in the company of your friends and/or family.
posted by jcterminal
on Dec 24, 2003 -
is one of the most enduring (and arguably one of the hippest) Christmas songs of the past twenty years. Though a quintessential keyboard-and-sax driven New Wave
tune, the endearing singleton's account of the year in dating on Christmas Eve tops the Christmas charts every year, and has survived reinterpretations by the Spice Girls
and Save Ferris
. This year, the eclectically-talented Chris Butler
reflects on its inception
posted by pxe2000
on Dec 23, 2003 -
Santa lays off elves "Something will definitely be missing this Christmas." said Milja Vilmila, who was told her job as an elf helping Santa no longer existed.
posted by drezdn
on Dec 20, 2003 -
Too much politics today, not enough Christmas fun. Here's a drunk Santa game from b3ta. Pretty tough once you get going.
posted by Stan Chin
on Dec 12, 2003 -
A Cappella Holiday
is a refreshing alternative to the tired, workaday holiday fare that may be piped into your office. All holiday tunes, but all a cappella
, with some real gems you've never heard before. If your ears have been malled by Muzak and it's making you anything but merry, this free, streaming radio station might be the tonic. (There's a non-holiday a cappella
station too, if you're just fa-la-la'ed out.)
posted by bradlands
on Dec 10, 2003 -
Are you miffed that Christmas just isn't about Jesus anymore? Annoyed that is all seems to be about commercialism and spending money? You Christians can now empathize with the ancient pagans who were miffed that Christmas just wasn't about Mithras
anymore. But don't feel bad about jacking Christmas
from them, Mithras jacked it from Apollo, who borrowed it from the Etruscan god Sol.
posted by Tryptophan-5ht
on Dec 9, 2003 -
Scrooge was onto something.
"'At this festive season of the year, it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the poor and destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time.' Oh? And they don't suffer in January or February? They don't feel hungry in July and August? Why should it not be just as 'desirable' to help out these wretches in those months? Why not go further, in fact? Why not make some 'slight provision' for the poor and destitute every single day of the year?"
posted by ed
on Dec 8, 2003 -
Having a bad day? Work off some aggression by disrupting the lives of the snowglobe dwellers! (Flash and a somewhat obnoxious soundtrack)
posted by Orb
on Dec 4, 2003 -
Happy Xmas (War is over)
This year marks the 30th Anniversary of the UK release of John and Yoko's perennial Christmas classic.
A very Merry Xmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear
War is over, if you want it
War is over now.
posted by thedailygrowl
on Dec 25, 2002 -
Merry Christmas from Scandinavian Airlines!
Scandinavian Airlines has offered a special online-only deal for each day of December. You go to the site and open the day's date (like an Advent calendar) and a new European city is offered--you can then fly to that city roundtrip from the US for about $250 US. The catch? You have 24 hours to book, you must travel between January and mid-March, and you must depart from Seattle, Newark, DC or Chicago. It's a neat deal, but today's the last day, and so as a great holiday surprise they've opened up all the past cities. Pick any of the previously offered destinations, get thee to one of the four departure cities, and enjoy a great airfare deal! London, Paris, Madrid, Oslo, Stockholm, Milan and other cities are offered. (Not a plug--I don't work for or have any connection to SAS.)
posted by GaelFC
on Dec 24, 2002 -
The world's most wanted man
has embarked on his annual breaking-and-entering spree! Stop him before he reaches your house, using the power of NORAD. Track him as he wends his way around the world...(see! Missile-defense technology IS good for something!)
posted by amberglow
on Dec 24, 2002 -
King William's College Christmas Quiz
- Pupils at King William's college on the Isle of Man have suffered its annual general knowledge quiz since 1905. Until 1999, it was compulsory and the average score was two (out of 180). Nowadays the questions, set by an unidentified islander, are posted to parents with the end-of-term report. See how you fare. Answers will be posted in the new year. (last year
, last years answers
posted by BigCalm
on Dec 24, 2002 -
Twas the night before Xmas and all through the net,
The geeks would be googling the ascii character set;
Metafilter refreshed on their PCs with care,
In the hopes that their FPP soon would be there;
Then up in the blue there arose such a clatter,
Mathowie sprang up to see what's the matter;
When, what to my wondering eyes there should be,
The canonical list of "Twas" parodies.
posted by Wet Spot
on Dec 22, 2002 -
Wherever and whoever's celebrating, no matter what your religious beliefs are, Xmas (in the Christian-dominated world at least) means over-indulgence and conspicuous consumption. The standard fare and behaviour, however, vary wildly. Here's a standard Christmas menu
for Portugal and a glimpse into one of Barcelona's less savoury traditions
to start the ball rolling. Just how different are MeFi Xmas experiences? Hey, do they have anything in common at all?
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Dec 17, 2002 -