Showing posts with label Christmas Related. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas Related. Show all posts

27 October 2017

NewPCgadgets Introduces The 2017 Trump Tweety Bird Christmas Tree Ornament

Trump Tweety Bird Christmas Ornament 2017
NewPCgadgets introduces the 2017 Trump Tweety Bird Christmas Tree Ornament, just in time for the Holidays.
With the combined silhouettes of a Bluebird and the current President, NewPCgadgets has created a one-of-a-kind Christmas tree ornament sure to be a conversation starter this Holiday season.

The new Trump Tweety Bird Ornament is designed to appeal to the disgruntled Democrats, demoralized Republicans and frustrated Liberals. Or, as NewPCgadgets says "About 85% of the population."

Priced at $7.95 each, the laser cut acrylic shape is made from 3/16" clear acrylic and stands 4 ½" high. NewPCgadgets also includes a red, white and blue ribbon to prominently hang the new ornament on the Christmas tree.

As an impulse, under $10 Holiday gift item, the Trump Tweety Bird Ornament provides a little levity in a highly charged political climate. 

  • In addition to the Trump Christmas Tree Ornament, NewPCgadgets also offers the Trump Mousepad and the Trump Commander-in-Tweet Smartphone Stand, all for under $10.

The Trump Commander-in-Tweet Smartphone Stand
Political statement and convenience stand all-in-one
  • For ordering details and additional information visit NewPCgadgets today.

SOURCE: NewPCgadgets

Bonus Pictures:
(via NewPCgadgets)
Make America Great Again - Impeach Trump smartphone stand
Make America Great Again - Impeach Trump smartphone stand
Donald Trump Mousepad
Donald Trump Mousepad

Bonus Videos:

13 October 2017

Epic Records & Sony Pictures Animation Announce The Star Official Soundtrack Album Available October 27

The Star Official Soundtrack Album - Cover
The Star Official Soundtrack Album
In anticipation of the worldwide release of Sony Pictures Animation's animated motion picture The Star, in theaters November 17, 2017, Epic Records and Sony Pictures Animation will release The Star: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack in stores and online October 27, 2017. 

  • The album, featuring new music from Mariah Carey, is available for pre-order here
The soundtrack assembles new music from a bevy of powerhouse superstars befitting of the cast's blockbuster pedigree. Leading the tracklisting, Mariah Carey performs the film's theme song "The Star."

  • The first track for instant grat is "Life is Good" by A Great Big World. 
  • Following that, on October 17th, Fifth Harmony will release "Can You See".

In addition, Kirk Franklin, Kelsea Ballerini, Zara Larsson, and more serve up new tracks recorded specifically for The Star. Each artist got into the spirit with show-stopping and standout performances.
Spring Aspers, Head of Music for Sony Pictures, commented, "The filmmakers of The Star have delivered a funny but faithful turn on the nativity story, and Mariah Carey's soulful performance of the film's theme song adds a layer of depth and emotion that will have audiences feeling the spirit. This compilation is full of covers of Christmas classics old and new that not only perfectly fit the film, but make the perfect soundtrack for the season."
  • Check out the full tracklisting below.
  • Get ready for The Star to shine on stereos and big screens everywhere this year.

  • Mariah Carey – "The Star"
  • Kelsea Ballerini – "Children Go Where I Send You"
  • Kirk Franklin – "We Three Kings"
  • Fifth Harmony – "Can You See"
  • A Great Big World – "Life Is Good"
  • Zara Larsson – "Mary, Did You Know"
  • Yolanda Adams – "O Holy Night"
  • Saving Forever – "What Christmas Means to Me"
  • Jessie James Decker – "Breath of Heaven (Mary's Song)"
  • Casting Crowns – "His Eye Is on the Sparrow"
  • Jake Owen – "What Child Is This?"
  • Pentatonix – "Carol of the Bells"*
*digital-only bonus track

The Star - Poster
The Star - Poster

In Sony Pictures Animation's The Star, a small but brave donkey named Bo yearns for a life beyond his daily grind at the village mill. One day he finds the courage to break free, and finally goes on the adventure of his dreams. On his journey, he teams up with Ruth, a loveable sheep who has lost her flock and Dave, a dove with lofty aspirations. Along with three wisecracking camels and some eccentric stable animals, Bo and his new friends follow the Star and become unlikely heroes in the greatest story ever told – the first Christmas. 

The film stars the voices of Steven Yeun, Gina Rodriguez, Zachary Levi, Keegan-Michael Key, Kelly Clarkson, Anthony Anderson, Aidy Bryant, Ving Rhames, Gabriel Iglesias, Patricia Heaton, Kristin Chenoweth, Christopher Plummer, and Tracy Morgan and Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey. Directed by Timothy Reckart, the screenplay is by Carlos Kotkin, with a story by Simon Moore and Carlos Kotkin. The film is executive produced by DeVon Franklin, Brian Henson, and Lisa Henson, and produced by Jennifer Magee-Cook.

SOURCE: Epic Records
Bonus Video:

21 December 2016

Flying Santa And His Reindeer Spotted Nightly Over #WinterFestOC

Santa and his reindeer flew for the first time ever at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa during Winter Fest OC's opening weekend. Now through Christmas Eve, Santa is the star of a not-to-miss holiday celebration.
Winter Fest, Southern California's largest winter experience, kicked off with a record-breaking opening weekend, where Santa and his reindeer flew for the first time ever at the OC Fair & Event Center. Now through Christmas Eve at Winter Fest, Santa is the star of a not-to-miss holiday celebration.
Flying Santa is just one of the 15 ALL NEW attractions at Winter Fest OC, which also include a two-million-light Festival of Lights walk-through, Snow Play area with real snow blown in daily, an outdoor ice skating rink with VIP cabanas, live shows with kid's favorite characters, fun educational games for kids, the world's largest rocking horse, snow globe photos, Santa's petting zoo and story time with Mrs. Claus.
The nightly Winter Fest celebration begins with a parade of winter characters, featuring Mayor Frost, Mrs. Claus, the Ice Princess, Penny the Penguin, carolers, Toy Soldiers on stilts, and elves. With the Winter Fest characters circled around the 30-foot-tall Christmas tree, Santa will wave from over the fairgrounds thrilling the crowd and spreading enough holiday spirit to light the holiday tree. 
The nightly pre-Christmas celebration includes fireworks from the top of the Christmas tree and concludes with additional fireworks, falling snow, and a surprise Santa appearance for pictures to conclude the celebration. Parents are encouraged to bring their kids in pajamas on Christmas Eve to catch Santa's last flight of the season.
During the day, Winter Fest features live shows and meet and greets from kid's TV and movie favorites including Barbie, Bob the Builder, Octonauts, Thomas and Friends, Angry Birds, Sid the Science Kid, Care Bears, Buddy from Dinosaur Train, Caillou, plus Jack and Annie from the Magic Tree House. In addition, Winter Fest has partnered with MIND Research Institute to provide fun, educational activities for kids. 
There are plenty of memorable photo opportunities for the entire family, including the world's largest rocking horse, inside a giant snow globe and of course in Santa's cabin.
New this year will be a New Year's Eve celebration featuring all the magic of Winter Fest plus three additional indoor stages with 11 different tribute bands covering everything from classic rock to today's hits and alternative bands. 
Entertainment will also include magic shows and dueling pianos.  New Year's Eve will be celebrated in New York time and local time with a 3,000 beach-ball ball drop.
Winter Fest is a giant wonderland of immersive wintry fun. Back by popular demand is a 130-foot, eight lane Snowflake Summit ice-tubing slide, strolling carolers, live bands, personal visits in the cabin home of Mr. and Mrs. Claus, trackless train rides, more than 30 carnival rides and games, arcade games, Little Elves Workshop with crafts, bounce houses, and VIP Cabanas to host the perfect holiday party.
Winter Fest takes place now through Jan. 1. Tickets are available online starting at only $10. For more information, visit and for the latest updates on entertainment, food and fun, follow them on FacebookInstagram and Twitter or with #WinterFestOC.
SOURCE: Winter Fest

A Short History Of Three Very Famous Christmas Carols

Carolling wasn’t just for Christmas back in the day. Easter, New Year, and even political events such as battles were occasions for carol singing.
1000 Words/
By Peter Roennfeldt, Griffith University

Singing and Christmas seem to go naturally together, like plum pudding and custard. Even those who would not normally attend a choir concert or church service throughout the year might happily participate in a civic Carols by Candlelight or a Midnight Mass. In these settings, the carols come thick and fast, and everyone joins in, almost involuntarily. But what is the origin of the choral music which adorns these settings?

The tradition of carol singing dates from the Middle Ages, and was not restricted to the Christmas season. There were carols for Easter, for New Year, and sometimes even for political events such as the Battle of Agincourt.

The poetic form was simple: a succession of stanzas with different texts, interspersed with a recurring refrain. In more recent times, the term “carol” has come to mean any song associated with Christmas.

Medieval carols from England and elsewhere have survived, though much transformed. Good Christian Men, Rejoice dates from the 14th century, though only its text has been reliably attributed, to the Dominican friar Heinrich Seuse (Suso). The melody is known in Latin as In dulci jubilo (in sweet joy), and has been frequently used as the basis of extended instrumental or vocal compositions.

This song found its way into English through the 1853 publication Carols for Christmastide by J.M. Neale. This and other volumes of carols contributed materially to the Victorian era’s wholesale adoption of seasonal trimmings, along with royally sanctioned Christmas trees and greeting cards.

During the centuries between the first iteration of a carol tradition and the Dickensian revival of the Christmas spirit in the mid-1800s, there was comparatively little in the way of English composition of new works in this genre. A few pieces that are more appropriately termed Christmas hymns were, however, produced during the 18th century.

One of these is Adeste fideles or O Come, All Ye Faithful. Its authorship is disputed, but the most likely source is the 1751 volume Cantus diversi, published by John Francis Wade. Like most other Christmas carols, its text has clear Christian references.

Interestingly, it is also thought to contain covert Jacobite symbolism, with the phrases “all ye faithful” and “to Bethlehem” referring respectively to the supporters of Bonnie Prince Charlie and England itself. Wade fled to France after the failure of the 1745 Jacobite uprising, but his hymn soon came into regular use, particularly amongst English Catholics.

An indication of its wider adoption is the inclusion of O Come, All Ye Faithful within the Service of Nine Lessons and Carols, a familiar modern day tradition inaugurated at Cornwall’s Truro Cathedral in 1880. In the age of mass media, this most renowned Christmas ceremony, as practised in King’s College Cambridge has become universally familiar, firstly on radio and then television. Choirs around the world also perform their own Lessons and Carols programs every December, and most often conclude with this piece.

The most famous Christmas carol of all time is undoubtedly Silent Night, Holy Night. The original words for Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht were written by Joseph Mohr in 1816 and the melody two years later by Franz Xaver Gruber, when both were living in villages near Salzburg.

The German version was published soon afterward, and the familiar English translation in 1859, since when it has become known in nearly 150 languages. Due to its universality, Silent Night was in 2011 designated by UNESCO as an intangible item of cultural heritage.

With its stereotypical overlay of European winter costumes and snow-covered fir trees, the translation of Christmas traditions around the world is problematic. In Australia, there have been several attempts to develop parallel traditions of carols that eschew northern hemisphere references, in favour of local culture.

The best known are those composed by W.G. James, former federal controller of music for the ABC, to texts by John Wheeler. Outback images of drovers, summer heat, red dust and red-gold moon, dancing brolgas, mulga plains, Christmas bush, gully creeks and grazing sheep recur throughout these songs.

They were published in several sets, commencing in 1948. Despite several recordings by major ensembles, their familiarity and popularity has fluctuated greatly. However, two of James’ carols recently made it into a “top 10” list of Aussie Christmas songs by the Australian Times, whose target audience is expats living in the UK.

The tradition of singing Christmas carols is embedded in the season, even though the contexts where they are performed may differ widely from that where the words and music originated. We happily ignore the obvious disconnect between the imagery of some familiar carols and our hot Australian summers, and there is something reassuring about hearing and singing them once again, with feeling, every Christmastime.

The Conversation
About Today's Contributor:
Peter Roennfeldt, Professor of Music, Griffith University

This article was originally published on The Conversation

13 December 2016

Santa's Reindeer Cleared For Flight After Annual Veterinary Exam [Video Included]

"Twas a month before Christmas, and at the North Pole, Dr. Tom Meyer was about to play his most critical role." As AVMA president, Dr. Meyer is responsible for making sure Santa's reindeer are ready to fly.
Following a thorough veterinary exam at the North Pole, Rudolph and all of the other reindeer have been given the green light to guide Santa's sleigh once again this year.
Dr. Tom Meyer, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and official veterinarian of the North Pole, examined the reindeer earlier this month to ensure that Santa's team of nine were up-to-date on their vaccinations, free of disease and healthy enough to make their annual trek around the globe.
"After thorough examination, I can tell you that Santa's reindeer are perfectly healthy, in great shape and ready for their upcoming flight," Meyer said.
The Video:
The reindeer's annual exam includes a health check about a month prior to their Christmas Eve flight to make sure they're healthy and not showing any signs of disease—such as brucellosis, tuberculosis or chronic wasting disease—that can be transmitted to other animals around the world.
"Santa's reindeer need to be in tip-top shape to complete their Christmas Eve flight on time, so it's vital that they receive a pre-trip veterinary exam to make sure they are free of any injuries that might slow them down," Meyer said. "Because the reindeer will be visiting all corners of the globe, we need to make sure they are up-to-date on their vaccinations and free of disease so they don't pick up or spread any infections to other animals around the world."
In addition to presents for children around the world, Santa is required to bring with him an official "North Pole Certificate of Animal Export" that allows him to freely cross borders and ensure health officials that his reindeer are no threat to animal or public health.
Meyer will make a follow-up trip to the North Pole on Christmas Eve to provide a pre-flight checkup and to inspect the reindeer upon their return on Christmas morning.
For kids who want to help the reindeer on their journey, Meyer recommended leaving a plate of graham cracker reindeer cookies, their favorite snack, for Santa to feed them between stops.
Meyer's work is consistent with the role veterinarians play every day to ensure the health of animals, people and the environment around the globe. Far from just being "dog and cat doctors," veterinarians work with all kinds of species, in all types of environments, to make the world a healthier place for all forms of life.
While only one veterinarian can be official veterinarian of the North Pole, every veterinarian can help the cause by volunteering to be part of Santa's emergency veterinary staff on Christmas Eve. AVMA members can download a badge to let their clients know they are part of Santa's Emergency Landing and Veterinary Expert System (E.L.V.E.S.) support team. Veterinarians are invited to help spread holiday cheer by displaying their official E.L.V.E.S. badge on their clinics' social media channels and educating clients on the various ways that veterinarians help keep all animals healthy—even reindeer.
While unavailable for comment due to his busy work schedule, Santa issued a statement, saying, "Without my reindeer, there simply would be no Christmas. Proper veterinary care ensures that, year in and year out, my team and I are able to deliver presents to boys and girls around the world. It's safe to say that Dr. Meyer is on the "Nice List" this year."
For more information on Meyer's role as official veterinarian of the North Pole, including answers to kids' questions about reindeer, visit

12 December 2016

Office Christmas Party: A Glimpse Into The Joylessness Of Contemporary American Life

E One
By Andrew Dix, Loughborough University

Tis the season to be jolly. Few institutions insist upon this more than Hollywood, which traditionally includes among its December releases a number of films designed to induce seasonal merriment. Yet viewers of a new comedy, Office Christmas Party, may find themselves in a mood more sombre than cheery. Not so much because of the film’s manifest flaws (including jokes that are only sporadically funny, with some resembling bad crackers in their failure to detonate), but because of what, beneath its tinselly visuals and raucous soundtrack, the film tells us about the condition of the United States this Christmas.

Many reviewers of Office Christmas Party have already pointed out the excesses of its plotting. What could have been a modest vehicle streamlined for the season is bedecked with multiple, clashing genre accessories: at times we’re watching Bill Murray’s Scrooged (1988), in other moments an episode of the Fast and Furious franchise.

But essentially, the film’s premise comes down to this: the Chicago branch of internet company Zenotek is failing, and Carol (Jennifer Aniston), corporate CEO and Scrooge-like sister of local manager Clay (TJ Miller), arrives in the snowy city to downsize or even close it. In desperation, the hippy-ish Clay decides to throw an office Christmas party of sufficient lavishness to win over a wealthy client (Courtney B Vance). Most of the film’s running time is taken up by the riotous party itself. But as the guests descend into intoxication, the corporate carnival that ensues is likely to sober the attentive viewer by revealing glimpses of a badly damaged America.

Christmas cheer at full throttle. E One

Work and play
You would not assume that a silly festive comedy such as Office Christmas Party and a Russian scholar of Dostoevsky and Rabelais would have much in common. But Mikael Bakhkin’s research on the theory of carnival, especially as elaborated in the monumental Rabelais and His World (1965), offers a fruitful resource by which to assess the politics of fun in Office Christmas Party.

Carnival, at its epitome in the medieval Feast of Fools celebration, holds out the prospect of a “utopian realm of community, freedom, equality, and abundance”, according to Bakhtin. Hierarchy is inverted, with the high made low; stuffy decorums are violated by irreverent laughter. What Bakhtin calls “the lower-bodily stratum” liberates the participant in carnival from rigid mental disciplines and initiates a radical reimagining of the world. And, certainly, the lower-bodily stratum is on abundant display in Office Christmas Party: pelvises gyrate in frequent dance sequences, while, more daringly, penises appear and naked buttocks wait their turn to be lowered onto the photocopier.

The aftermath. E One

Yet we should be cautious about endowing these particular bodily excesses with carnival’s most subversive potential. Instead we find on display throughout the film the limited form of liberation that Bakhtin criticises as “a mere holiday mood”. Under Clay’s management style, in fact, every day at Chicago’s Zenotek office resembles a holiday. The film aims to convince us that, unlike in Carol’s austere corporate fiefdom, daily work here has the character of play (with evidence extending from a relaxed dress code through to a regular delivery of doughnuts).

Yet the grim corollary of this is that play is always work. Ultimately, the film cannot imagine an alternative to the rule of hard-lined, business-driven corporate mentality (however disguised that regime might be by executives wearing Christmas jumpers or fellating a novelty eggnog dispenser).

Family Christmas
The assembled family is crucial to the iconography of the American Christmas. Think, for example, of James Stewart’s tearful reunion with his wife and children at the end of It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), or of benevolent generations gathered together in illustrations painted by Norman Rockwell for the Saturday Evening Post. Or even recall the ending of The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992), in which Kermit and Miss Piggy as the Cratchits preside over a table groaning with both food and children.

But in Office Christmas Party, families are largely absent (a deficit not satisfyingly redressed by Clay’s attempts to build a sense of “family” into life working for his company). The film begins, unseasonably, with one character’s divorce. The few children present are peripheral but in disadvantaged situations: a baby rented for the party’s Bethlehem manger, for example, or a child who suffers Carol’s wrath for stealing her cinnabon. Where a child’s discourse with its mother is heard, it proves disturbingly to be a lovelorn worker’s expression of a “mommy fetish”. The prevailing sense is more of atomisation than Christmassy connection.

In letting slip the American experience now of economic and social precariousness, Office Christmas Party is, in the end, surprisingly lacking in festive cheer. And as a final reason not to be jolly, we might reflect that the US Christmas we see here on-screen is the last before the coming of President Trump, a potential Bad Santa if ever there was one.

The Conversation
About Today's Contributor:
Andrew Dix, Lecturer in American Studies, Loughborough University

This article was originally published on The Conversation.

28 December 2015

US: Injured Veterans and Families Enjoy North Pole Christmas

Christmas in Ice gave wounded veterans and their families a chance to bond in North Pole, Alaska
From frozen water carved into shapes to hot chocolate shared in mugs, wounded veterans and their families experienced a memorable day in North Pole, Alaska, recently. Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) brought the injured service members and families out to spend the day together and build camaraderie.
WWP sees engagement as a key pillar to an injured veteran's recovery. Through gatherings, sporting events, and outings, wounded service members can bond with one another and build a larger support network. WWP offers 20 free programs and services to wounded veterans to help their mind, body, engagement, and encourage economic empowerment.

23 December 2015

How The Nazis Co-Opted Christmas

A postcard depicts Adolf Hitler posing with a child and a Christmas tree. Author provided
By Joe Perry, Georgia State University

In 1921, in a Munich beer hall, newly appointed Nazi party leader Adolf Hitler gave a Christmas speech to an excited crowd.

According to undercover police observers, 4,000 supporters cheered when Hitler condemned “the cowardly Jews for breaking the world-liberator on the cross” and swore “not to rest until the Jews…lay shattered on the ground.” Later, the crowd sang holiday carols and nationalist hymns around a Christmas tree. Working-class attendees received charitable gifts.

For Germans in the 1920s and 1930s, this combination of familiar holiday observance, nationalist propaganda and anti-Semitism was hardly unusual. As the Nazi party grew in size and scope – and eventually took power in 1933 – committed propagandists worked to further “Nazify” Christmas. Redefining familiar traditions and designing new symbols and rituals, they hoped to channel the main tenets of National Socialism through the popular holiday.

Given state control of public life, it’s not surprising that Nazi officials were successful in promoting and propagating their version of Christmas through repeated radio broadcasts and news articles.

But under any totalitarian regime, there can be a wide disparity between public and private life, between the rituals of the city square and those of the home. In my research, I was interested in how Nazi symbols and rituals penetrated private, family festivities – away from the gaze of party leaders.

While some Germans did resist the heavy-handed, politicized appropriation of Germany’s favorite holiday, many actually embraced a Nazified holiday that evoked the family’s place in the “racial state,” free of Jews and other outsiders.

Four Films That Capture The Nightmare Of Christmas

By Bruce Bennett, Lancaster University

Forgive me, I’m about to go all Scrooge. Christmas, you see, is a particularly grim time of year. Rolling around with grinding, Groundhog Day relentlessness, it is an interval of dark days and long nights, bad music, kitsch clothing and decor, enforced jollity, stilted family gatherings, hyper-commercialism, over-consumption and tiresome end-of-year round-up articles.

But there’s no escape. As is demonstrated by Christmas with the Kranks (2004), in which a couple decide to avoid Christmas by going on a Caribbean holiday only to find themselves shunned by their appalled neighbours and children, participation in this ritual is mandatory.

And it drags on, too. As folk-singer, Loudon Wainwright III observes in Suddenly It’s Christmas, the joy lasts for weeks:
When they say “Season’s greetings” They mean just what they say:
It’s a season, it’s a marathon,
Retail eternity.
The Christmas film is almost as old as the medium of cinema itself – there are hundreds of them. Perhaps the first, by Brighton film-maker George Smith, dates from 1898. Few truly capture the real spirit of Christmas, but here are four that do.

17 December 2015

UK: Give A Lost Teddy A New Home This Christmas For Charity

Airport launches campaign to rehome lost and unwanted teddies to help raise money for charity.
(PRNewsFoto/London City Airport)
Teddy bears give their owners unlimited love and hugs, but who's there to hug them when they get left behind?
People travelling through the airport often forget things such as belts, laptops and mobile phones, and sometimes their furry friends too. Some make it home, but some get forgotten. 
When staff at London City Airport found Ted in lost property, they started a campaign to get him home. The response they received from the public led them to create Adop-TED, a website for rehoming lost and unwanted teddies.

7 December 2015

Can Christmas Tree Lights Really Play Havoc With Your Wi-Fi?

Very pretty, but could they be ruining your connection? Chris_J/flickr
By Andrew Smith, The Open University

Ofcom, the UK’s independent telephony regulator, has recently released a Wi-Fi checker app for your smart phone. At the same time, it warned in its press release that your Christmas tree fairy lights could affect the quality of your Wi-Fi connection.

Before the terrible jokes start and we all declare that this is a fit of “Bah Humbug!” from the telephone regulator, the warning is correct – your fairy lights could indeed be a Wi-Fi downer. But then so could many other devices. Ultimately, it is a matter of how much of a problem they actually cause.

5 December 2015

Frankenstein Or Krampus? What Our Monsters Say About Us

By Natalie Lawrence, University of Cambridge

Two new monster movies are being released in the lead-up to Christmas, and each sports a very different kind of beast. There’s the man-made creation of Victor Frankenstein in the latest rendition of Mary Shelley’s gothic tale, a grotesque creature cobbled together from “the dissecting room and the slaughter-house”. And then there’s Krampus, an American re-working of the evil Austrian counterpart to Father Christmas.

28 February 2015

Banned Beer Labels and Santa's Butt

Santa's Butt - Banned Beer Label

Winter is an important time for micro- and craft-brewers. The colder months mean that the heavier beers sell better, and beer aficionados love their holiday-themed beverages. The heavy ales and porters — beers that warm the drinker — lead to sales spikes in the winter. For one of their special holiday beers, Ridgeway brewers had Gary Lippencourt paint them a Santa.

29 December 2014

The History of Icicle Lights


The beauty created from the sun illuminating the frozen water left behind during the winter season can now be enjoyed indoors by hanging icicle lights this holiday season. Whether one’s winter wonderland desires are more eccentric and desire shining artificial ice creations to gleam purple and pink through the holiday night, or prefer the natural glow of real ice, all these needs can be met with the huge selection of bulbs available in different styles.

The use of lighting has been employed as one of the most extravagant areas of holiday decorations for many decades. However, it was not until the 1990’s that this style of lamps joined the other available decorations.

22 December 2014

The British Christmas

Like most countries we begin planning for this holiday season well before the beginning of December. This includes making dinner plans with the extended family, collecting decorations, cleaning our houses from top to bottom, buying gifts for our friends and family, and sending Christmas cards to those across the globe. The atmosphere of love and joy is regenerated at Christmas time as old feuds are forgotten and family ties strengthened. 

19 December 2014

Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future: How Christmas Has Changed Over the Years


Contrary to what you might think when listening to older relatives recount stories of past Christmases - you know the ones, where they tell you about the good old days and explain that things are not quite like what they used to be - the festive season has indeed changed. Things are not the way they used to be, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. After all, wouldn't it be terrible if things always stayed the same?

Celtic Advent Blends Cultures


Celtic Advent in the pre Nicene church, early Christianity that pre-dates the Nicene Creed, the roadmap of what Christians, Catholic and Protestants believe. was very different than what we celebrate in the modern time. First Celtic Christianity participated and flourished in this period right up though the middle ages and had its own unique way of celebrating the season of Celtic Advent.

The Celtic Church was given this name to describe the period before the missionaries arrived. St. Patrick a famous saint arose out of the Celtic Christianity era for Ireland Wales and Scotland. He was a British missionary, maybe the most famous of all the Saints to rise out of this time approximately the 5th century. Although, from a historical perspective ironic, Ireland was evangelized and converted by the British Missionaries of which St. Patrick was a participant.

18 December 2014

Where Did It All Start And Why Do We Do Christmas Gifts?


Christmas is, for many people, their favourite time of the year. Taking away the fact it is a time of rampant Christmas gift giving and stress, it is also the time of year when families most often come together and see each other. For others, it is the joyous occasion of celebrating Christ's birth, and as Christmas has been overtaken by the commercial side of the season, this religious basis for the celebration is often overlooked. However, many people wonder about the origins of Christmas, and especially how the tradition of Christmas gift giving came about in particular!

17 December 2014

Exclusive! The A-Listers of Christmas - Baby Jesus, Santa, Rudolf, Frosty - Reveal Their Stories


When it comes to the biggest characters of the Christmas season, you might initially think of all of your television favourites. After all, what Christmas would be complete without at least the possibility of sitting down in front of the TV - post-lunch - and enjoying a repeat of ET, James Bond, Indiana Jones or - shock horror - perhaps even Mary Poppins? There's Rambo too, but not until after the kids have gone to bed. Or perhaps the Queen comes to mind when one thinks of the most important faces of Christmas. After all, who hasn't tuned into to Her Majesty's afternoon slot, and - filled with a sense of pride - listened to what the Queen considers to be the most important highlights of the year that is now drawing to a close? There really are few Christmas Gifts more magical than that.

But, Christmas would not be complete without a few more heavy-hitters; the real A-List celebrities of the festive season. And the Big Daddy of them all is little Baby Jesus. Also known as Jesus of Nazareth and Jesus Christ, Baby Jesus is a central figure of Christianity and a prophet of Islam.

Advent Tradition Circles Around a Wreath


If you ask any Catholic, they will tell you the season of Advent is a period of penance and preparing their heart for the coming of the Baby Jesus. But although not part of the Holy See’s opinion on Advent, the advent wreath, advent season and the family activities helps families stay focused on the real meaning of the season, Jesus, and not the commercialism Christmas has become. 

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