Merry Christmas everyone!
My niece-in-law Hope recently posted a Contentment Challenge for 2014 on her blog. I invite you to give it a read.
I admire her resolve, even if I’m not so sure I will join her.
She did inspire me to issue my own challenge:
Do you have more Santas than my sister-in-law Debbie?
I didn’t think so.
Purchased December 30, 2012. Brand new. Twelve month-themed sock monkey images contained within imaginative and in excellent condition.
Fun year ahead — check.
Given to Rory on Christmas Eve 2012. Brand new. Ball on Santa hat chewed off within moments of gifting.
Hat destroyed — check.
Relationship with sock monkey secured — double check.
Did you know you can track Santa’s progress tonight via NORAD?
Yep, as in the North American Aerospace Defense Command. And all because of a misprinted phone number.
Back in 1955, a newspaper ad for a Sears store in Colorado Springs advertised a direct line to Santa Claus. Callers instead reached CONRAD — NORAD’s predecessor — and hotline operator Colonel Harry Shoup obligingly used the radar to track Santa for the kids on the line.
That’s customer service, folks.
And a tradition was born. Since 1958, NORAD volunteers have personally responded to phone calls and emails about Santa from children all around the world. Today NORAD provides up-to-the-minute info on Santa’s location via Google Earth and Google Maps, and Twitter and Facebook posts about each sighting, including the cookies and beverages consumed by the big man at each stop.
Talk about turning a wrong into a right.
Way to go, Harry.
Have you ever wanted to — how should I say this — open a big can of whoop ass on Santa?
The holiday hustle and bustle is getting to you, and the idea of taking it out on the guy in the red suit would be somewhat cathartic?
Here’s your chance.
California artist Michael Oddo, who is internationally known for his work in oil, has created a line of wooden ornaments that depict St. Nick, that jolliest of elves, being tortured, executed, beaten, electrocuted and — coming soon — hanged by an evil dwarf.
Ho Ho No!
Oddo didn’t premeditate these crimes against Christmas. Four years ago, he was invited to an ornament exchange party where everyone was required to make their own. His annoyance with the event — and at how much money people spend on the holidays overall — resulted in his first “Suffering Santa” wooden ornament: Santa on a guillotine, his head in a basket.
People at the party lost theirs over the wooden masterpiece — sorry, it had to be said — and Oddo found himself taking orders for more. He hasn’t built a website, but he does takes online orders on his Facebook page (once he friends you, of course). They run around $100 each. And he says he is open to licensing his ornaments to a major retailer if there is interest.
Wonder if Oddo minds how much money people spend on Christmas now?