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Retailers Steel for What May Be a Holiday Mixed Bag

Consumers seem set to spend on Black Friday, but how much, how long after that remains a question

(Newser) - The holiday season is a critical one for many US retailers, and with Black Friday just two days away, it appears consumers are gearing up for a shopping spree: According to the National Retail Federation, about 182 million people are expected to open their wallets online and at brick-and-mortar stores...

Taylor Swift Isn't Only One in the Relationship With a No. 1 Song

Turns out boyfriend Travis Kelce can also carry a tune, as heard on Christmas tune with brother Jason

(Newser) - Watch out, Taylor Swift— your new man can apparently sing. The BBC reports that a Christmas song recorded by Travis Kelce, tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs, along with his older brother, Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce, shot to the No. 1 spot on Apple's iTunes, just hours...

The Holy Land Cans Christmas Festivities

With a war raging, church leaders in Jerusalem, Bethlehem say it's no time to celebrate

(Newser) - Each year around Christmas, a tree is set up, lights are strung, and a nativity scene is arranged in Bethlehem's Manger Square, home of the 6th-century Church of the Nativity, which is said to mark the spot where Jesus Christ was born. There will be none of that this...

How the Grinch Got a Sequel
How the Grinch Got a Sequel

How the Grinch Got a Sequel

This time, he's lost Christmas

(Newser) - Dr. Seuss fans might find their hearts growing three sizes this coming holiday season with the release of a sequel to the 1957 classic children's book How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The new book picks up one year after the original, and like the first, it teaches a valuable...

Here Are the Most Festive US Cities
Here Are the Most
Festive US Cities

Here Are the Most Festive US Cities

New York tops LawnStarter's list

(Newser) - Do you don your party hat on Dec. 1 and not take it off till the new year? You might want to seek out cities where you'll find like-minded festive souls. LawnStarter gathered public data from 200 of the nation's largest cities to see where those in a...

For Millions, This Might Be the Coldest Christmas in Decades

Arctic air set to chill central, eastern US

(Newser) - Something big from the Arctic will sweep into the US in the days before Christmas, and it's not Santa Claus. Forecasters say that thanks to a dip in the jet stream, a huge mass of cold air from the north is making its way south and will bring some...

Woman Wins $175K at Office Gift Exchange

Kentucky woman's first choice at the white elephant gift exchange was a $25 gift card

(Newser) - A Kentucky woman was disappointed when somebody "stole" a $25 TJ Maxx gift card from her during a holiday party gift exchange game, but she ended up with a gift worth 7,000 times more. Lori Janes, an office manager at a dental center in Louisville, chose $25 in...

Sorry, Mariah, You're Not the Only 'Queen of Christmas'

Trademark office denies singer's claim for rights to the phrase

(Newser) - Mariah Carey isn't getting the holiday gift she wanted from the US Patent and Trademark Office. The office on Tuesday denied the singer's request to trademark "Queen of Christmas," after rejecting her applications for "QOC" and "Princess Christmas" earlier this month, per the Washington ...

A Christmas Story House Up for Sale
An Iconic Ohio
Home Is Up for Grabs

An Iconic Ohio Home Is Up for Grabs

Cleveland house used in 'A Christmas Story,' plus a museum and gift shop, has been listed

(Newser) - You could spend Christmas—and every other day of the year—in the house made famous by A Christmas Story. The century-old home in Cleveland, used to house the family of Ralphie Parker in the 1983 film, is up for sale as part of a listing that includes a museum,...

This Christmas Ad 'Will Leave You Staring Into the Abyss'

Mostly in a good way, though reaction is mixed to John Lewis & Partners' poignant holiday promo

(Newser) - It's that time of year when Christmas ads start flooding the landscape, and some retailers are trying to take a "more muted approach" as people continue to struggle with inflation and the cost of necessities, reports the BBC . One promotion in particular, by the John Lewis & Partners...

Pope Francis Accidentally Declared Dead

ITV news anchor Kylie Pentelow made the false announcement on Christmas Day

(Newser) - Christmas came with a shock announcement for British television viewers when an anchor reported that Pope Francis had died. It would have been a major holiday tragedy... had it been true. Luckily for the pontiff and his billion followers worldwide, it wasn't. Per the Mirror , it all unfolded Saturday...

Queen Joins Those Finding ‘Christmas Can Be Hard’

Elizabeth says she'll still find joy in holiday after her husband's death

(Newser) - In her Christmas address to her subjects, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II had a message for those who, like her, suffered a loss in the past year. "Although it's a time of great happiness and good cheer for many, Christmas can be hard for those who have lost...

Christmas Eve Celebrations Around the World
Christmas Eve Celebrations
Around the World

Christmas Eve Celebrations Around the World

They're more muted than usual because of omicron

(Newser) - From Bethlehem and Frankfurt to London and Boston, the surging coronavirus put a damper on Christmas Eve for a second year, forcing churches to cancel or scale back services and disrupting travel plans and family gatherings. Details, per the AP :
  • Drummers and bagpipers marched through Bethlehem to smaller than usual

Yes, There Is a Santa Claus. No, COVID Won't Stop Him

NORAD is tracking St. Nick for the 66th year

(Newser) - Rest assured, kids of all ages: Santa’s coming this Christmas Eve, and a second holiday with COVID-19 won’t stop him. That’s the word from the joint US-Canadian military operation that for 66 years has been tracking Jolly Old St. Nicholas on his global mission and has assured...

These US Cities Have the Most, Least Holiday Spirit

New York City is the most festive of all, while Enterprise, Nev., is a bit of a Grinch

(Newser) - With 2022 almost upon us, it's the time of year when we wind down and kick back, which often includes a fair bit of festivities. LawnStarter wanted to know which places boast the most spirit of the season, so the site looked at the 200 largest cities in the...

Bishop's Diocese Apologizes After He Freaks Out Kids

Parents were horrified when he told children Santa doesn't exist

(Newser) - A Roman Catholic diocese in Sicily publicly apologized to outraged parents after its bishop told a group of children that Santa Claus doesn’t exist. In a Facebook post and subsequent comments Friday, the diocese of Noto insisted that Bishop Antonio Stagliano didn’t mean to dash the dreams of...

Christmas and Guns: 2 Images Stoke Controversy
2 Holiday Tweets Stoke
Controversy Over Guns
the rundown

2 Holiday Tweets Stoke Controversy Over Guns

Sheriff's office and a congressman post Christmas messages

(Newser) - Two images with the themes of guns and Christmas made headlines over the weekend, one from a congressman and the other from a sheriff's office. Both drew condemnation from critics but defenses from advocates of gun rights. Adding to the controversy: Both came within days of the deadly school...

Biden White House Reveals 'Gifts From the Heart' Theme

Decorations include gingerbread White House recognizing workers who braved the pandemic

(Newser) - “Gifts from the Heart” is the theme of President Joe Biden's first White House Christmas. First lady Jill Biden was scheduled on Monday to unveil decorations matching the theme, said to be inspired by people the couple met as they traveled the country this year, the AP reports....

Protesters Confront 'Black Pete' at Holiday Event

Demonstrations have gone on for a decade against controversial Dutch sidekick to Santa

(Newser) - About 100 anti-racism protesters chanted "Kick out Black Pete!" on Saturday at an event where children could meet the Dutch version of Santa Claus and his controversial sidekick. The "Black Pete" character, often played by adults wearing blackface makeup, has sparked a decade of demonstrations and counterdemonstrations...

Judge Has 'Gift to Tired Parents' With Elf on the Shelf

Jokey ban on Christmas season doll in Cobb County, Ga., will end the 'tyranny'

(Newser) - Santa may have fewer eyes in homes this Christmas season after a Georgia judge—jokingly—banned the Elf on the Shelf. Cobb County Superior Court Chief Judge Robert Leonard posted a mock order on Twitter Thursday banishing these elves. "Tired of living in Elf on the Shelf tyranny? Not...

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