Jesus Christ was an asylum seeker

Across the rich world, this decade has seen the rise of increasingly fierce anti-immigrant sentiment, much of it from self-identified Christians -- as you recount the Christmas story this year, remember that Mary and Joseph fled religious persecution and sought asylum in a rich country, which took them in. Read the rest

15-20% of Xmas gifts are crap

"The Deadweight Loss of Christmas," published in American Economic Review (Joel Waldfogel, UMN) estimates that "on average, the waste attributable to poorly chosen seasonal gifts was between 15 and 20 per cent of the purchase price of the gift" ($10B/year in the US alone!). Read the rest

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Cards Against Humanity buys a private island ("Hawaii 2") & gives it away

Each 250,000 of the CAH Holiday Bullshit subscribers got one square foot of a wooded island in Maine, called Hawaii 2 (nee Birch Island). Read the rest

MAKE: dollar-store ninja Xmas tree ornaments

Here's a great tutorial for using ribbon, baubles, and googly eyes to honor the Christmas Spirit intrinsic in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with your festive Krampusbush. Read the rest

Hideous $10,000 plastic Christmas tree

Grad writes, "While cruising Amazon looking for some new Christmas tree magic for my family, I ran across what must be the world's most expensive Christmas tree." Read the rest

Maker-themed "Few of my favorite things" remix

Legendary maker Becky Sterns is in top form as she waltzes around the Adafruit offices singing about her favorite things in this holiday video. Read the rest

HOWTO cut paper snowflakes in the likeness of Nobel physics prizewinners

The physics journal Symmetry offers downloadable PDF templates to cut your own snowflakes in the likeness of Einstein, Marie Curie, and Schrödinger, to add some much-needed physics to your Xmas decor. Read the rest

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HOWTO: Make glue-gun sticks out of sugar for building gingerbread houses

All Thumbs has devised a method for molding your own sugar-based hot-glue-gun sticks that you can feed into an unused and uncontaminated gun to produce perfect gingerbread-house-building molten sugar adhesive. Read the rest

David Nickle and Karl Schroeder's "The Toy Mill"

"His hair was whiter than his flesh. Thick whorls of ice embedded his beard in icicles like a January cataract; more separated the thick hairs of his eyebrows into individual daggers, pushed back by the yuletide winds of the stratosphere so that they swept down to meet at the bridge of his narrow, blue-tinged nose." Read the rest

Free shipping for 3D printed Makie dolls

Makies, the award-winning 3D printed custom dolls featured in our gift guide, have just announced free shipping on UK orders, and on overseas orders of more than $115! Get your order in by Dec 15 for Xmas delivery in the UK. Dec 10 for the rest of the world. Read the rest

Santastic No 9: more Xmas mashups for the holiday season

dj BC writes, "It's the 9th annual Santastic Holiday mashup collection. Contains much Beatles, Mariah Carey, AC/DC, Flula, Ella Fitzgerald, The Staple Singers, various holiday bad guys, DMX..." Read the rest

Street Fighter ugly Christmas jumper

The realisation that knitting (and cross-stitch) is pixel-based has been dawning on the crafty gamer world for more than a decade, and I've enjoyed chronicling the rise of 8-bit nostalgia textiles. Case in point: the £40 Street Fighter Christmas Jumper. Read the rest

More ugly Christmas sweaters: Satan, Krampus, zombie Santa, D20 -- plus: RUGS!

It's been a year since we featured the amazing, Satan-and-sasquatch themed Christmas sweaters at Middle of Beyond, and they've brought out their new line, which includes a 2D tiger-skin rug, Shining runners, a D20 rug, D20 sweaters, Satanic cardigans, zombie Santa sweaters and so much more. I know what everyone's getting for Krampusmas this year! Read the rest

Council's Xmas card to social housing tenants: don't spend your rent money on booze

London's Hammersmith and Fulham Council sent a "Christmas card" to its social housing tenants that implied that they would squander their rent money on booze. The council insists the card wasn't intended to be insulting -- rather, it was meant as a "hard hitting" reminder that to call the council's helpline if you are struggling with your rent money.

Record numbers of Britons are living in fuel- and food-poverty, a condition that continues to worsen in the face of cuts to benefits and the rise of jobs that pay sub-poverty wages for full-time employment. The council sent the card to 17,000 households (including tenants who'd never fallen behind in their rent) at an expense of £2,000. Read the rest

Atheist Christmas carol: There's No Christmas in Hell

Sean sends us, "An atheist Christmas anthem, written by Pillow Army frontman Tim Franklin," and adds: "(Pillow Army opened for/played with Cory at a Seattle stop on a book tour a few years ago)."

They certainly did. Pillow Army has since become one of my favorite acts (check out Model Citizen from To Comfort And Destroy). Nice to see Tim rockin' for the holidays!

Tim Franklin - "There's No Christmas In Hell (And That's Why I'm So Sad)" (Thanks, Sean!) Read the rest

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