Christmas Eve

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Priest Suspended Over Christmas Eve Hoverboard Stunt

'That was wrong'

(Newser) - A priest rolling around his church on a "hoverboard" while singing May the Good Lord Bless and Keep You on Christmas Eve earned a round of applause from his congregation and a quick suspension from his diocese, NBC News reports. It's unknown how the birthday boy felt about... More »

Sock-Clad Girl, 3, Sneaks Off on Xmas Eve Adventure

Precocious American kid wandered away from family in Austria

(Newser) - Perhaps she was out looking for Santa. A 3-year-old American girl wandered away from her family's hotel in Salzburg, Austria, around midnight Christmas Eve and investigated the city streets on her own, wearing only a nightshirt and socks. A receptionist at another hotel brought her inside. Police guessed she... More »

The Surprising Traditions of Jewish Christmas Eve

Toilet paper, abstinence, and persecution

(Newser) - For many people—religious and non-religious alike—Christmas Eve means hot cocoa with family, watching Love Actually, or furiously wrapping last-minute gifts. But for centuries of Jews, Christmas Eve was all about abstinence, tearing toilet paper, and the occasional poker game. Slate has a fascinating look at the little-known—even... More »

As Christians Celebrate, Pope Laments 'Culture of Indifference'

Francis' Christmas Eve homily calls for simplicity, balance in face of excess

(Newser) - In his Christmas Eve homily Thursday, Pope Francis noted the simplicity of Jesus' birth as he rebuked what he called societies' intoxication with consumerism, pleasure, abundance, and wealth. Christians around the world joyfully prepared to recall the birth of Jesus. But in his only public Christmas Mass, in the splendor... More »

1 Dead as Shots Fired at NC Mall on Christmas Eve

Police responded when argument broke out, man with gun killed

(Newser) - One man is dead after an argument broke out at a North Carolina mall on Christmas Eve, ABC News reports. There are conflicting accounts of how many shots were fired. According to WCNC , a witness reported hearing dozens of shots fired shortly after 2pm local time. At the time the... More »

Why a Christmas Eve 1955 Death Still Matters

Jacqueline Smith's abortion was performed illegally in an apartment

(Newser) - In the 1950s, when abortions were rarely sanctioned and only when a committee of doctors approved them, somewhere between 200,000 and 1.2 million illegal abortions were performed every year. One such case in particular grabbed grim headlines across the country: A young woman by the name of Jacqueline... More »

NSA Xmas Gift: Decade's Worth of Declassified Docs

Reports show numerous instances of 'unintentional technical or human error'

(Newser) - While many people were wrapping presents and prepping for holiday dinners, the NSA did its own holiday sharing on Christmas Eve: The agency released 10 years' worth of declassified documents, Mashable reports. The materials, which covered a period from the middle of 2001 through early 2013, are the heavily redacted... More »

Restaurant: No Couples Allowed on Christmas Eve

PiaPia in Tokyo deems it too painful for single people

(Newser) - Couples seeking a romantic Christmas dinner in Tokyo better avoid PiaPia restaurant, if a sign in the window is for real. "We will be refusing entry to all couples on December 24, with no exceptions!" the handwritten message reads, the Telegraph reports. The note—which includes images of... 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 »

Francis Cheers Jesus' Humble Start

Pope celebrates first Christmas Eve mass at Vatican

(Newser) - The Vatican's popular new guy is celebrating his first Christmas Eve mass at St. Peter's Basilica, and Pope Francis took the occasion to continue to draw from his themes of humility and charity toward society's poor and vulnerable. Emphasizing Jesus Christ's quite humble beginnings, he said,... More »

Nigerian Blasts Kill at Least 39

Muslim extremists Boko Haram thought to be responsible

(Newser) - Terror attacks across Nigeria by a radical Muslim sect killed at least 39 people today, with the majority dying on the steps of a Catholic church after celebrating Christmas Mass as blood pooled in dust from a massive explosion. Authorities acknowledged they could not bring enough emergency medical personnel to... More »

O Little Town of Bethlehem, Packed With Tourists

Faithful flock to Church of the Nativity

(Newser) - There wasn't any room at the inns today as thousands of faithful thronged the streets of Bethlehem to worship at Christ's biblical birthplace. Visitors snapped photos at the 50-foot-tall Christmas tree at Manger Square and received blessings from Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal, the head of the Catholic Church... More »

Your Friendly NORAD Operator: Michelle Obama

First lady takes kids' calls, questions

(Newser) - For little kids who just wanted to know what time Santa was going to hit the roof, the voice at the other end of the phone might have raised other questions: "Hello, this is the first lady, Michelle Obama, with NORAD, tracking Santa. How can I help you?" While... More »

Shoppers Pack Stores for Christmas Eve

'Fantastic Friday' caps best retail season since 2007

(Newser) - A late holiday shopping spree led shoppers to stores in droves, giving a fantastic finish to what is already the best holiday season for retail since 2007, the AP reports. Sales are expected to reach $451.5 billion overall this year, a 3.3% higher gross than last year. "... More »

Pope Meets, Forgives Female Assailant

Benedict offers 'best wishes' for Susanna Maiolo's health

(Newser) - The pope met today with Susanna Maiolo, the mentally distressed woman who tackled him to the ground on Christmas Eve. The Vatican says Maiolo “apologized for what happened” during a “brief private meeting” in which Benedict showed “her his forgiveness.” He also “expressed his interest... More »

Dick Cheney's a Liar

'Rottweiler in Winter' tries to use terror attack to score political points

(Newser) - It’s not even 2010, and Eugene Robinson is already breaking his resolution to ignore Dick Cheney, to treat his ramblings like “the pearls of wisdom one hears from homeless people sitting in bus shelters.” But his latest outburst against President Obama was so shrill, so full of... More »

Facebook the No. 1 Christmas Website

Social network crowds out Google and Yahoo for first time

(Newser) - Facebook got a big present this holiday season: It was the No. 1 US website on Christmas and on Christmas Eve. Facebook, which lagged behind Google in second place last year, trounced that site and rival Yahoo—though the search engines generated more traffic throughout the balance of the year.... More »

Pope Bounces Back, Visits Soup Kitchen

Security heavy for first trip since Christmas Eve attack

(Newser) - On his first trip outside the Vatican since being knocked to the ground in a Christmas Eve incident at St. Peter's, Pope Benedict XVI visited a soup kitchen in Rome today. The pontiff, 82, was unharmed when a woman vaulted a barrier and accosted him before Mass. Today he mingled... More »

Pope OK After Incident Before Christmas Mass

Woman clears barrier at Vatican, knocks down pontiff

(Newser) - A woman jumped the barriers in St. Peter's Basilica and knocked down Pope Benedict XVI tonight as he walked down the main aisle to begin Christmas Eve Mass, a Vatican spokesman says. The pope was not hurt and quickly got up. Benedict, 82, calmly resumed his walk to the basilica's... More »

NORAD Sets Sights on Santa

Bizarre tradition dates back to misprinted Christmas ad in 1955

(Newser) - The North American Aerospace Defense Command is ready for its busiest night of the year, when it puts mundane tasks like looking for wandering Russian bombers or North Korean missiles on the back burner and tracks Santa Claus. As it has every Christmas for more than 50 years, NORAD offers... More »

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