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Master of Scaremonies
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Christmas is come, hang on the pot,
Let spits turn round, and ovens be hot;
Beef, pork, and poultry, now provide
To feast thy neighbors at this tide;
Then wash all down with good wine and beer,
And so with mirth conclude the Year.

Virginia Almanac (Royle) 1765


:D
 

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Master of Scaremonies
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Pooping peasant popular in Spain
Wed Dec 20, 8:33 PM ET

The Virgin Mary. The three kings. A few wayward sheep. These are the figures one expects to find in a traditional Christmas nativity scene. Not a smartly dressed peasant squatting behind a rock with his rear-end exposed.

Yet statuettes of "El Caganer," or the great defecator in the Catalan language, can be found in nativity scenes, and increasingly on the mantelpieces of collectors, throughout Spain's northeastern Catalonia region, where for centuries symbols of defecation have played an important role in Christmas festivities.

During the holiday season, pastry shops around Catalonia sell sweets shaped like feces, and on Christmas Eve Catalan children beat a hollow log, called the tio, packed with holiday gifts, singing a song that urges it to defecate presents out the other end.

These traditions, in the case of the caganer dating back as far as the 17th century, come from an agricultural society where defecation was associated with fertility and health.

While the traditional caganer is a red-capped peasant, more modern renditions have gained popularity in recent years.

Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.

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Ooookayyyy...

I have never heard of the tradition of el Caganer, but that was interesting. Evidently, there are other European countries with similar traditions, but the Catalonian region seems to be particularly fond of feces-related fun. I read that a popular saying before dining there translates to "eat well, sh** strong". Oh well, to each his own.

Here's a pic of a little pooper in case anyone wondered what the heck these things looked like...
 

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Master of Scaremonies
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12,932 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Cute kid!

Kids' tears over vicar's Santa message
CHILDREN left a school Christmas assembly in tears after claiming a vicar said Father Christmas does not exist.
Teachers at St George's C of E Primary in Mossley told the Rev Martin Dowland he had upset children after reading `Why Jesus Is Better Than Santa Claus'.
It was during the reading with colleague the Rev Richard Lindsay, of St George's Church, that Mr Dowland is reported to have said: "You all should know by now that he (Santa Claus) is not real." Parents said they were stunned. And Mr Dowland, of St Mary's Church, Haughton Green, said a teacher made him aware some children were upset, but denied he actually said Santa was not real.
Mr Dowland has now issued an apology and said he is `deeply sorry' if he has spoiled Christmas for the children. The reading by the vicar included the lines `Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly ... Jesus has a heart full of love'.
He also made reference to Santa coming down the chimney and entering their home uninvited. One 10-year-old girl who was at the assembly said: "I don't think it's very good that someone tells young children Santa Claus isn't real - and it's not very nice."
Her mother said: "Santa Claus is part of the magic of Christmas.
"We all know that as children grow up, the magic begins to fade, but it's wrong of the clergy to take it away from some of them at such a young age. The Church is perhaps trying to make clear the message of Christmas, but that's not the right way to go about it."
Comparison
The mother of a 10-year-old boy said: "My son came out and he asked me should he believe or not. I didn't know what to say. They are only kids and they are making them grow up too fast."
Mr Dowland denied saying Santa Claus is not real, but when asked what he did say, he refused to comment. He issued a statement which said his intention was to present a comparison between Santa Claus and Jesus.
He added: "Its purpose was to show that Jesus is superior to Santa Claus, not to tell them that Santa Claus does not exist. If I did not take seriously that many children believe in Santa Claus, there would be no need to compare him with Jesus.
"If I offended any children, teachers or parents by what I said, or have in any way spoiled their Christmas, then I am deeply sorry. That was certainly not my intention.
"I apologise unreservedly, and add my very best wishes for a happy Christmas - in the hope both Santa Claus and Jesus bring them all they could wish for."
 

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Master of Scaremonies
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Rats, bats and barramundi: Asia's Christmas has a unique flavour
By Miral FahmyFri Dec 22, 1:26 AM ET

Dogs, bats, Kentucky Fried Chicken and barramundi will grace dinner tables across the Asia Pacific this Christmas, a festival celebrated with lots of cheer, and very little turkey, in this mainly non-Christian region.

Christmas Day is seen as a foreign, Western festival in many countries in Asia but that doesn't stop millions of people from cooking up banquets of local food unheard of in the West.

In Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country which also has a substantial Christian community, Christmas feasts include delicacies such as pork soaked in blood and dog meat.

"We usually hold a family gathering at our parents' house or in-laws' house after Christmas eve mass," said Ermida Simanjuntak, a Batak Christian Indonesian. "We do not exchange gifts, we use this event more to meet and talk."

In the eastern island of Sulawesi, some Manado Christians swear by kawok, or garden rats, cooked with chillies and garlic, and paniki, or bats, cooked in coconut milk.

"Paniki's meat tastes almost the same as kawok but it has more muscles," said Manadonese Stephen Lapian. "But if you cut the arm pit in a wrong way, it will be very stinky."

In Japan, many people head to Kentucky on Christmas -- Kentucky Fried Chicken, that is.

The fast food joints do a roaring trade over the Christmas period, with restaurants turning away customers on December 24 if they haven't booked their chicken in advance.

"Over the period from 23rd to 25th December, sales can be as high as ten times normal levels," said Sumeo Yokokawa, of the public relations department at Kentucky Fried Chicken Japan.

The Kentucky Christmas habit started in 1974, after a foreign customer mentioned to a store manager that he had come to buy fried chicken because he was unable to find turkey in Japan. His words inspired a sales campaign that paid off.

"The fashion at the time was to have a nice American-style Christmas," said Yokokawa. "So we offered the chicken as a set with a bottle of wine and it was very popular."

HUNGRY?

Chinese sweet ham is a popular centrepiece for Christmas Eve dinner in the Philippines, where the affluent serve up roast pig or turkey. Filipinos pride themselves on celebrating the longest Christmas in the world, with decorations going up in September.

Although Christmas is a normal working day in officially atheist Communist China, big hotels in Beijing and Shanghai offer glitzy Christmas lunches and dinners.

Many smaller restaurants also get into the spirit with staff wearing Santa hats and windows decorated with tinsel, unthinkable in Chairman Mao Zedong's time.

Down Under, where Christmas falls in high summer, an Australian Christmas lunch is more likely to be seafood and salad than roast turkey and pudding.

Popular Christmas fare includes prawns or lobster, followed by barbecued barramundi or snapper, alongside cold meats.

"As the weather gets hotter and hotter, people just don't want to be inside cooking over the stove," fish market marketing manager Louise Nock told Reuters.

And if you still have room, try the region's vast array of desserts, which range from Filipino bibingka -- an egg-based rice cake topped with grated cheese and coconut -- to a Portuguese-style rice and fruit cake in Bangladesh.

In Japan, many families opt for a plain sponge cake topped with whipped cream and strawberries. As delicious as it sounds, the term "Christmas cake" was long used to refer to unmarried women over the age of 25, who were said to be past their best, like cakes after December 25.

(Reporting by Isabel Reynolds and Elaine Lies in Tokyo, Mita Valina Liem in Jakarta, Azad Majumder in Dhaka, James Grubel in Canberra, Carmel Crimmins and Karen Iema in Manila, Ben Blanchard in Beijing and Jon Herskovitz in Seoul)
 

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"The fashion at the time was to have a nice American-style Christmas," said Yokokawa. "So we offered the chicken as a set with a bottle of wine and it was very popular."

Ah, KFC and a bottle of Ripple...now that's exactly what comes to mind when I think "Christmas dinner"! :D
 

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Master of Scaremonies
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Christmas brings strange seasonal crimes

By LARRY McSHANE, Associated Press Writer1 hour, 52 minutes ago

There's nobody nice on this Christmas list: snowman stabbers, Grinch snatchers, wreath-robbing weasels.

'Tis the season for strange crimes by even stranger people, with police blotters expanding faster than a 6-year-old's wish list of gifts.

David Allen Rodgers, 42, was arrested Dec. 3 for driving while intoxicated - at the wheel of a float during the annual Christmas parade in Anderson, S.C. According to witnesses, Rodgers sped down Main Street in the Steppin' Out Dance Studio float with 19 people aboard, ran a red light and led police on a 3-mile chase.

Police said that when Rodgers finally stopped, they found an open container of alcohol in his truck. "I made a very bad judgment on my part," Rodgers said at a court hearing.

In Chicago, 32 plastic baby Jesus dolls were stolen from nativity scenes set up in people's front yards. The kidnappers then lined up all the dolls along the fence outside a Chicago woman's home; she rounded them up and turned them over to her parish priest.

Similar creche crimes occurred in 35 cities from Fayateville, N.C., to Mission Viejo, Calif., according to The Catholic League, which tracks nativity vandalism.

In Houghton, Mich., somebody stole an inflatable Grinch from outside an apartment complex. That was just one instance in the area's rash of seasonal thievery: Two brown plastic reindeer, a baby Jesus statue and several wreaths were also stolen.

In Ohio's Hamilton County, a pair of 18-year-olds were arrested for using screwdrivers to stab an inflatable 12-foot-tall Frosty the Snowman. "Why me?" asked Frosty's owner, Matt Williquette. "And why Frosty?"

The snowman had survived two previous stabbing attacks.

Two other local teens were arrested in an unrelated incident where they allegedly smashed a car with a large decorative candy cane, causing $1,000 worth of damage.

An Oklahoma woman was arrested after she visited the Delaware County Jail with a Christmas card for her incarcerated boyfriend. Police said the card held marijuana, leading to Dawn Smith's arrest.

A real-life Grinch in Yonkers, N.Y., made off with $14,000 in staff bonuses and money from the office safe during a Christmas party, police said. Daniel Rios, 38, spent $7,500 in cash but returned about $6,500 in checks, authorities said.

And then there's the case of the Santa Claus kidnapping.

A motorcycle-riding Santa Claus with a stuffed Rudolph in his sidecar was arrested after allegedly grabbing an 8-year-old girl from outside a South Carolina convenience store. John Michael Barton, 55, was in his Claus outfit filling his bike with gas when the girl's family stopped by the store.

The girl's father then saw Barton speeding off with her. After a chase at speeds of up to 80 mph, Barton pulled over his motorcycle and turned over the girl, police said.

Barton was arrested later, hiding inside a bar.
 

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JT's Sidekick
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A Different Christmas Poem

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door ju st to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.
"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night." "It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gram p s died at 'Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."

"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you mo ney," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."
 

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Are you always like this?
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Cute kid!

Kids' tears over vicar's Santa message
CHILDREN left a school Christmas assembly in tears after claiming a vicar said Father Christmas does not exist.
Teachers at St George's C of E Primary in Mossley told the Rev Martin Dowland he had upset children after reading `Why Jesus Is Better Than Santa Claus'.
It was during the reading with colleague the Rev Richard Lindsay, of St George's Church, that Mr Dowland is reported to have said: "You all should know by now that he (Santa Claus) is not real." Parents said they were stunned. And Mr Dowland, of St Mary's Church, Haughton Green, said a teacher made him aware some children were upset, but denied he actually said Santa was not real.
Mr Dowland has now issued an apology and said he is `deeply sorry' if he has spoiled Christmas for the children. The reading by the vicar included the lines `Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly ... Jesus has a heart full of love'.
He also made reference to Santa coming down the chimney and entering their home uninvited. One 10-year-old girl who was at the assembly said: "I don't think it's very good that someone tells young children Santa Claus isn't real - and it's not very nice."
Her mother said: "Santa Claus is part of the magic of Christmas.
"We all know that as children grow up, the magic begins to fade, but it's wrong of the clergy to take it away from some of them at such a young age. The Church is perhaps trying to make clear the message of Christmas, but that's not the right way to go about it."
Comparison
The mother of a 10-year-old boy said: "My son came out and he asked me should he believe or not. I didn't know what to say. They are only kids and they are making them grow up too fast."
Mr Dowland denied saying Santa Claus is not real, but when asked what he did say, he refused to comment. He issued a statement which said his intention was to present a comparison between Santa Claus and Jesus.
He added: "Its purpose was to show that Jesus is superior to Santa Claus, not to tell them that Santa Claus does not exist. If I did not take seriously that many children believe in Santa Claus, there would be no need to compare him with Jesus.
"If I offended any children, teachers or parents by what I said, or have in any way spoiled their Christmas, then I am deeply sorry. That was certainly not my intention.
"I apologise unreservedly, and add my very best wishes for a happy Christmas - in the hope both Santa Claus and Jesus bring them all they could wish for."
Miserable git!!!!!! :mad:
 
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