Breaking News: Christmas Eve expected to be foggy -- search is on for red nosed reindeer .... Little match girl found outside popular rooming house is reported to be safe, warm and recovering nicely ...


ADELAIDE, Aus - Thirty trainees at a Santa course in Adelaide last month were asked to refrain from using the phrase "Ho Ho Ho", because it could be seen as derogatory to women. They have been urged to replace the traditional festive greeting with "ha, ha, ha".

This piece of political correctness run amok was the brainchild of Australian recruitment company Westaff DNA, which is apparently Australia's largest supplier of department store Santa Claus' and home to some of Australia's biggest morons. The mental giants at Westaff DNA now claim that " ... in some cases the little kids can get a little bit scared of the deep ho, ho, hos ... " That's right. Blame it all on the "little kids."

Westaff DNA - Australia's largest supplier of Santas and morons since 1964.

UPDATE - December 6, 2007: Santa Gets the Heave Ho!

Westaff DNA does not let a little worldwide criticism of their moronocity slow them down. Theses ninnies have now actually fired one of their Santas (a 70 year old retired fellow, no less) for saying "Ho Ho Ho and singing Jingle Bells. I guess we can't have Santas singing Jingle Bells. It is a slippery slope, once they start singing Jingle Bells, before long they will be singing Frosty the Snowman and Oh Christmas Tree and who knows where it all might end up.

One wonders whether Westaff DNA holds their staff Christmas party in an abbatoir or maybe jail. These guys really don't get this whole Christmas thing at all.


CRANSTON, R.I. See Paris Hilton in all her seductive splendor, striking a provocative pose for passing motorists and spreading hot Christmas cheer in a chilly Rhode Island winter. Blown-up images of Hilton and strings of pink Christmas lights adorn the front lawn of a home in a middle-class neighborhood of this city, part of a head-turning holiday display that pays homage to the inexplicably famous hotel heiress. Passersby get an unwanted and completely unnecessary eyeful of Hilton sporting a tiny pink top with her legs provocatively spread, wearing knee-high boots and a sultry pout and holding a finger to her lips. Even Hilton's dumber-than-a-bag-of-hammers Chihuahua, Tinkerbell, is celebrated with a colorful larger than life portrait.

This bizarre piece of unnatural celebrity worship is the work of Joe Moretti, a 38-year-old local designer. Mr. Moretti was, not surprisingly, arrested last year for trespassing on Martha Stewart's property in Maine. Although he should probably be spending Christmas in a lunatic asylum, those charges were apparently 'all a big misunderstanding' and Mr. Moretti remains at large, living and decorating (pardon me, designing) in a neighbourhood very much like the one you are living in right at this very moment just now. Bet you are feeling a little bit worse inside just now, ain't you?

Not surprisingly, Mr. Moretti's neighbors in Cranston Rhode Island, had mixed reactions. "It has nothing to do with the holiday, and it doesn't suggest anything that's appropriate to this time of year," said neighbourhood prude, Judy Gershman, 57.

This is the latest in a series of artistic lawn displays decorating Moretti's lawn. He has previously made tributes to Martha Stewart, Madonna, Princess Diana and Liberace.


HELSINKI, Finland - A reindeer injured an elderly couple in the wilds of Finnish Lapland, in a rare attack that caused injuries needing hospital treatment, officials said Monday. A male reindeer suddenly appeared from a forest and attacked a man who was hiking Sunday with his partner near Kittila, about 620 miles north of Helsinki.

The buck butted the man to the ground and kicked him before turning on the woman who was talking to her son on a mobile phone, Kittila fire chief Jorma Ojala said. The son alerted rescue workers who arrived in helicopters and flew the couple to hospital. The man and woman were not named, and officials declined to give further details.

A researcher at the Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute said the attack came during the peak rutting season when up to 30 female reindeer may be on heat in the territory of one buck. "Every year in the rutting season, buck reindeer are very possessive about their harems," said Mauri Nieminen, a reindeer expert at the institute. "If a person goes into an area between the reindeer and his females, the buck can easily turn on him or her."

"Normally, reindeer pose no danger at all," Nieminen added.


COPENHAGEN: The Danish airforce has paid damages to one of the country's many professional Santa Clauses after a blast from a low-flying fighter jet left Rudolph the reindeer lifeless, reports said.

The Father Christmas, whose real name is Olovi Nikkanoff and who lives on the central Danish island of Fyn, told TV2 station that he was devastated last February when he discovered his reindeer's body.

The veterinarian who examined the dead beast concluded that Rudolph had died from the shock of the deafening noise made by the fighter plane. Following an official complaint from Nikkanoff, the Danish airforce agreed to pay him 30,000 kroner (4,840 dollars, 4,022 euros) to buy a new reindeer.


HARTFORD, Conn: A constitutional battle is brewing over a holiday beer that state officials are trying to ban because they say its label might entice children to drink. The state believes it would be really awful for kids to see the label on the British import Seriously Bad Elf. It shows a mean-looking elf with a slingshot firing Christmas ornaments at Santa's sleigh as it flies overhead.

State liquor regulations bar alcohol advertising with images that might appeal to children. The regulations specifically mention Santa.

The state Liquor Control Division notified Massachusetts-based Shelton Brothers distributors that it was rejecting its application to sell the beer, a bitter winter ale brewed at the Ridgeway Brewery in England. Dan Shelton cried foul. After all, his company had no such problems when it sold Bad Elf and Very Bad Elf in previous years. It sells the beer in 30 other states and none have complained.

"We even had a beer called Santa's Butt last year," Shelton said. "They didn't notice Santa's Butt, but they notice this one. How can you miss that big red thing? Minors are not going to be looking to buy beer because Santa Claus is on the label."

Click on photo for close up of label

Federal law limits what can be printed on beer labels but does not address marketing to children. Each state sets its own laws and, once a beer label is approved federally, it still needs state approval. Not only that, Shelton said, but you can hardly make out Santa in his sleigh on the beer label.

"The state of Connecticut must not have enough to think about," said Gary A. Lippincott, the Massachusetts artist responsible for the image. "The funny thing is that it is really tame compared to what they originally wanted. I believe the original idea started with him roasting a reindeer on a spit. I wonder how that would have gone over."

The state has also indicated that it will not allow Shelton Brothers to sell Warm Welcome Nut Brown Ale , which also has a picture of Santa Claus on the label.

Messages seeking comment were left with the Department of Consumer Protection, which oversees the Liquor Control Division.

UPDATE - January 7, 2007: You Can Drink Santa's Butt in Maine!

The Maine Bureau of Liquor Enforcement has reversed it's decision to block the sale of Santa's Butt. The state Attorney General's Office has finally wised up and realised that the humourous label on the novelty brew is plainly protected by the First Amendment.

State officials had barred the English-made Santa's Butt out of concern its label might appeal to children. It depicts a rear view of a beer-drinking Santa sitting on a "butt," a large barrel brewers once used to store beer. Click here to see a close up of Santa's Butt on a butt.


LOOE, England (UPI) -- Government officials in Britain have told organizers of a traditional nighttime Christmas procession to replace flaming torches with glow sticks. Local government officials say the risk of fire is too great with torches. The local government made this decision in spite of the fact that the procession has taken place for the last 20 years without injury or fire damage of any kind.

Nonetheless, the town feared that it might be sued if there was an accident caused by the torches, so they paid about $600 for 500 glow sticks. Parade goers will be required to provide their own ecstacy and Jell-O shots.

"It's an absolute joke," said John Andrews. "How can you have a torchlight procession with glow sticks? We'll be the laughing stock of the county."

Actually John, you are the laughing stock of the entire world.


The latest craze to hit New York City is the upside-down Christmas tree. Shops and mail-order firms are finding that the plastic inverted spruces, which come fully wired with fairy lights and all the tinsel trimmings, are a sell-out in a city where floor space is always at a premium. "We have three on display and they are in enormous demand," said Cynthia Sayed, the manager of the Heart to Heart florist on Third Avenue, Brooklyn.

The supplier of this ridiculous Christmas novelty has the nerve to charge as much as $600 for a 7 foot tree, and even then, cannot keep the suckers in stock. The manufacturer claims that an upside-down tree "evokes a 12th century Central European tradition of hanging a tree from the ceiling at Christmas" and that "the unusual tapering shape allows the tree to stand in places that do not accommodate a traditional holiday tree, such as between two armchairs or in a corner. The inverted shape makes it easier to see ornaments, which hang away from the dense needles and do not get lost in the foliage." Satisfied buyers say that their trees have practical benefits: they save space, are removed from running children and pets and leave more room for presents underneath than a traditional tree.

These people are also idiots.

To buy your own really stupid Christmas tree, click here.

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