holidays

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Most Terrible Place to Have Thanksgiving? Ohio

Based on odds of political arguments, binge drinking, and more

(Newser) - We're all aware of the many potential pitfalls of Thanksgiving: the political arguments, the drunk-uncle factor, the football losses. Now, the real-estate blog Estately has figured out, based on the confluence of such factors, just which states have the highest risk for terrible turkey dinners. The site looked at... More »

Your Turkey Is Probably From Minnesota

State has way more turkeys than people

(Newser) - Minnesota has about 5.5 million people—and has produced about 45 million turkeys this year. In fact, almost one in five of the country's turkeys comes from the state, Vocativ reports. The total number of turkeys forecast to be raised in the US this year, according to the... More »

Md. County Wipes Holiday Names From School Calendar

Move follows push to recognize Muslim holidays

(Newser) - When Muslim community members sought to have their holidays recognized by a Maryland school district, board members decided instead to stop identifying any holidays at all. On next year's Montgomery County School District calendar, you won't see Christmas or Yom Kippur, the Washington Post reports. Kids will still... More »

Lowe's Holiday Help: Robots

But chain says high-tech OSHbot is there to help human workers, not displace them

(Newser) - Retailers typically hire more workers to help out around the holidays, but Lowe's is taking an especially novel approach to this year's seasonal staff: putting robots to work. The OSHbot will be available for customer service tasks at the company's Orchard Hardware Supply store in San Jose,... More »

What Went Wrong at UPS This Christmas

Last-minute online sales were bigger than expected

(Newser) - Just how did UPS manage to leave many would-be gift recipients empty-handed on Christmas? The company says it's too soon to know for sure. The Wall Street Journal , however, notes that there was a lot more last-minute online shopping this year than last. Online sales the weekend before Christmas... More »

Fla. Cops Give Xmas Speeders Tickets—and Gifts

In Melbourne, FL, speeding tickets came with lotto tickets yesterday

(Newser) - Sir, I'm going to need to give you a ticket … a lotto ticket, that is. In an attempt to add some cheer to the presumably fairly miserable job of pulling people over on Christmas, police in Melbourne, Fla., were handing out scratch-off tickets to the people they stopped... More »

Christmas Is for Jews, Too

Two Jewish writers say they celebrate the holiday

(Newser) - People often try to tell Charlotte Alter that she shouldn't celebrate Christmas because she's Jewish. Her response? "First, mind your own business and leave my gingerbread house alone," she writes at Time . For many, this holiday is about Santa, not Jesus—and who's to say... More »

Merry Christmas: Can We Cut the Power Struggle Already?

Free-speech wars are about power and not very Christian: Michael Gerson

(Newser) - Christmas has become the most wonderful time of year ... for heated political debate, especially of the "War on Christmas" or First Amendment variety. It's "when all the ideologues get a little extra outrage or victimization in their stockings," writes Michael Gerson in the Washington Post . This... More »

Gifts Also Rule Animal Kingdom

They offer piggyback rides, share food

(Newser) - Many species of animals are just as into gift-giving as we are, though they may be better at avoiding that last-minute shopping rush. Often, the New York Times explains, the presents are tied to mating. "This is an incredibly cool and important topic in sexual selection that we’re... More »

Tree-Munching Bugs Wage War on Christmas

Adelgids deplete fir tree population

(Newser) - Talk about a war on Christmas: It's happening right now in southern Appalachia, and the aggressors are freckle-sized bugs with no natural predators. The balsam woolly adelgid, as the creature is known, is wreaking havoc on Canaan and Fraser firs, famed as Christmas trees. The onslaught is leaving trees... More »

Radio Station Grants Last Wish—2 Years After Death

Brenda Schmitz wanted best for remarried husband, kids

(Newser) - A month before she died of ovarian cancer in September 2011, Brenda Schmitz wrote down a few wishes for her family—her husband, her four boys, and the special woman she hoped they would find. They weren't to be read until after her husband had remarried. This year, a... More »

Airline Gives Fliers the Gifts They Want for Christmas

WestJet passengers receive gifts—some pricey—after flight

(Newser) - These may have been the best plane flights of all time: Passengers on two WestJet flights last month got a chance to talk to Santa via video before boarding—and by the time they arrived, the gifts they had asked him for had been bought, wrapped, and were on their... More »

War on Christmas Was Very Real— in the 1600s

Boston Puritans banned the holiday

(Newser) - The War on Christmas existed long before Fox News. In the 17th century, it was an indisputable fact: Boston Puritans canceled Christmas for 22 years, and those caught celebrating were hit with a fine, Mental Floss explains. A court order in 1659 warned against "observing any such day as... More »

Fla. Capitol Gets Festivus Pole— Made of Beer Cans

Pabst Blue Ribbon cans, specifically

(Newser) - It's a "Festivus for the rest of us" in Tallahassee this year: The Florida Capitol will likely today see the installation of an almost 6-foot-tall Festivus pole (yes, the invention of Seinfeld) in its rotunda. And it's not the traditional plain aluminum pole, but one made out... More »

Thanks So Much for Your Holiday Card! It Stinks

Friends, family don't even bother to write a note: Eric Hoover

(Newser) - Notice how impersonal and self-promotional holiday cards are these days? "Today’s cards may appear more personalized—with photos of spouses, kids and pets," Eric Hoover writes at the Washington Post . Yet on the backside of each card, "I usually find no trace of ink, no original... More »

Grinchy County to Neighborhood: Take Down Your Xmas Lights

Strung across the street, they pose fire hazard: officials

(Newser) - A neighborhood in Orange County, Calif., is brightly decorated with Christmas lights strung across the street—and that hasn't exactly put county officials in the holiday spirit. The lights pose a fire hazard and could prevent emergency vehicles from getting through, officials say, calling the decorations an "unpermitted... More »

Why Christmas Should Be on January 25

It gives us more time, less stress: Erin Gloria Ryan

(Newser) - Face it: Nobody likes the end of the year. You spend a ton of money on gifts and travel, plus you have to shove so many Christmas activities into the few weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, you barely get to enjoy any of them. Which is why, on Jezebel , Erin... More »

Today Is the Last 'Thanksgivukkah' for 78K Years

Thanksgiving, Hanukkah in rare alignment

(Newser) - Happy Thanksgivukkah! And enjoy it while it lasts, because we’ll have to wait nearly 80 millenia for the next one. This year, Thanksgiving happens to fall on the first day of Hanukkah, pitting the turkey against the dreidel for the first time since 1899. The once-in-a-lifetime combination has spurred... More »

Thanksgiving: The Holiday We Haven't Ruined

It's America's best holiday, Michael Schaffer argues

(Newser) - America is obsessed with holidays, most of which kind of annoy Michael Schaffer at the New Republic one way or another. But not "our greatest holiday," Thanksgiving. "There's no annual slog of parties to get through," no "mistletoe or kiss-at-midnight rituals that leave the... More »

Hallmark: Sorry We Edited 'Gay' Xmas Lyrics

Tree ornament says 'Don we now our fun apparel'

(Newser) - Hallmark is apologizing after some altered Christmas carol lyrics landed the company in hot water. A sweater-shaped tree ornament bears the words, "Don we now our fun apparel"—rather than the traditional "gay apparel" celebrated in "Deck the Halls." The item prompted CNN anchor Carol... More »

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