For reference purposes, here are the links to holiday posts: 2005, 2006, 2007 (three part extravangaza), and 2008, which also had three parts--the serious post, the funny post (well, to me at least), and the reader's edition.
As in previous years, I am just putting the links to things I have found in broad categories:
- Maybe you want to get a hold of the big man himself, but you don't feel like waiting in line at the mall. These days we have this wonderful thing known as the Internet, so we can get online and get a hold of the big guy. Via Mashable, here are "5 Ways to Connect With Santa on the Web."
- Included on the Mashable list, and a personal favorite of mine is the Santa Tracker, courtesy of the folks at NORAD. It is a tradition in our house to get online and track Santa on Christmas Eve as he journeys around the world.
- From the folks at Reader's Digest, two interesting articles. First, "13 Things Your Mall Santa Won't Tell You" and "12 More Things Your Mall Santa Won't Tell You." Please be nice and considerate to your Mall Santa.
- A lot of people travel during this season. Personally, you can't pay me enough money to get on a commercial aircraft, but if you must, here are some tips for protecting your luggage from GovGab.
- Many members of the military will be overseas during the holiday. There are also many veterans at home. GovGab offers some ideas to "Thank the Troops or a Vet This Holiday Season."
- The Jolly Librarian tells a small story about "The Staff that Decorates Together Stays Together."
- Ok, maybe you are an atheist or a secular humanist. PZ Myers of Pharyngula suggests that you could "Celebrate Christmas by donating to the RDF." RDF is the Richard Dawkins Foundation, which is having a fundraiser now. As Dr. Myers puts it, "what better way to treat this traditionally religious season than to use it as an excuse to direct all your charitable giving to a bunch of atheists promoting science and reason?"
- Would you like to help the needy this season? Maybe do a good deed? Here are "15 Ways to Play Santa," and no, you do not have to dress up as Santa. Found at The Daily Beast.
- The holidays can be a stressful time for people. Whether it is the traveling, the shopping, the time spent with relatives, or the social commitments, you can very easily get stressed. Remember to take some time and take care of yourself as well. From the blog Dumb Little Man, here are "100 Ways to a Stress Free Christmas." This is definitely great advice covering just about everything related to this season.
- More on taking care of your family and yourself, here are some holiday health and safety tips from the folks at the CDC (Centers for Disease Control). They even have a little healthy tips song.
- Are you looking for a Christmas tree? How do you know how to pick a good one? Well, if you are like me, you just go and get an artificial one, haha. But if you prefer a natural tree, the folks at This Old House have created a Christmas Tree 101 guide. I found this via LifeHacker.
- Are you keeping plants inside your home this season? The New York Botanical Garden has a table with "Cultural Requirements of Indoor Holiday Gift Plants." I am not sure why it is cultural; there is no notes on types of plants related to specific cultures. This is more about taking care of common winter and holiday plants, but it is bound to be helpful.
- Our Jewish friends celebrate Hanukkah, which this year started last Friday (December 11 at sundown). Playing with dreidel is a traditional game for Hanukkah. Here is a simple set of rules for the game, from the My Jewish Learning website.
- AlterNet offers "11 Ways to Make Your Holiday Economically and Environmentally Friendly." This article offers some alternative suggestions for celebrating the holidays such as buying a live tree you can plant after the season.
- I can always count on the Census Bureau to provide something cool for this time. They have put together a series of facts for the 2009 Holiday Season. This is part of their Facts for Features series. For example, did you know that 16.6 billion is the number of cards, letters and packages the U.S. Postal Service will deliver between Dec. 1 and Christmas this year? Now you do. Also, according to the document, the busiest mailing day is set for Dec. 14, and Dec. 16 will be the busiest delivery day.
- PNC Financial Services once again does their feature on the Christmas Price Index. You can watch the video on the website and read more about how they figure out the CPI.
- A little academic humor. If you happen to be a graduate student, especially a grad assistant working for a tyrannical professor, Jorge Cham of the PhD Comic reminds you of the "Professor-Approved Holidays."
- A few interesting items from the Mental Floss blog. First, "6 Christmas Firsts." Next we have "9 Holiday Characters From Around the World." Some of you may recognize Krampus, who did a recent appearance in The Colbert Report. And many people make it a point to watch the perennial Christmas classic movie It's a Wonderful Life. Here then is "The Quick 10: It's a Wonderful Life" with some trivia about the film.
I have found many other fun things, so feel free to come back for more holiday posts, including our summary of 2009. Sure, CNN and those other guys can tell you the usual news summary. I am doing something different, but you have to come back to find out.