In the grand tradition of digests everywhere, and with hours of free time in my hands, I have read the festive news stories so you don’t have to. The following highlights should contain conversation starters/stoppers, thought-provoking insight and the odd smile.
Christmas Credentials: Is Xmas the same as Christmas? Was it the invention of lazy shopkeepers and headline writers or the thrifty scribes of illuminated manuscripts? Emma Griffith’s piece Why get cross about Xmas? over at BBC News explores the views and arguments surrounding the ‘X’ word.
Fall into winter: Martin Wainwright writes about yuletide accidents in The Guardian. Over 6,000 people were taken to hospital in Britain on December 25 last year after stabbing themselves on pine needles and falling whilst hanging decorations. Incredibly, in 2003, tinsel cuts and Christmas tree light trips accounted for some 350 emergency admissions.
All white on the night?: Times Online journo Jenny Booth obviously drew the short straw in today’s editorial meeting, catching the inevitable ‘will it snow?’ assignment. The answer for a large part of the UK seems to be a resounding yes, so much so that the bookies have shortened the odds to minimise potential payouts.
All wet on the night?: Strangely and almost predictably, amongst the inevitable titilation over at the Times downmarket stablemate The Sun, the travel section’s Lisa Minot predicts a mild, wet & snowless Christmas – before going on to promote snowy holidays in Scotland, Switzerland and Milton Keynes. Yes, Milton Keynes – apparently, one of three ‘Christmas all year round’ venues with snowballs, tobogganing and skaiting facilities.
Elsewhere: The Independent profiles ‘bootiful’ Bernard Matthews, the UK’s very own turkey king and The Mail carries union warnings of mistletoe-inspired sexual harassment at office parties. However, my own home town rag, the Hoddesdon & Broxbourne Mercury seem to have a little trouble finding anything other than police reports to fill their pages, as the rather scant and self-promotional ‘Top Toys For Christmas’ piece snapped below shows.
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