How One American Homeowner Deployed Christmas Decorations

Some homeowners in the USA deploy more Christmas ornamentation than other homeowners, a statistical fact explored in a study, published in 1987, about one of the statistical outliers. That study is: “It’s the Thought That Counts: A Case Study in Xmas Excesses“, Richard W. Pollay, Advances in Consumer Research, vol. 14, 1987, pp. 140-143. The […]

The “Santa Claus Effect” – positive or negative? (two viewpoints)

Here’s the abstract of a 2017 study by Professor Brendan Kelly, Consultant Psychiatrist at Tallaght Hospital, School of Medicine, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland. Background: Christmas “is the season to be jolly” but, despite many recent studies of happiness and wellbeing, the population distribution of jollity is unknown. Aims: To assess levels of jollity across Europe, […]

Caroline’s Christmas, forgotten again

This Christmas we forgot, as we do every year, to publish Stephen Leacock’s “Caroline’s Christmas, or the Inexplicable Infant.” Here, three days late, is a snippet: “…The Old Homestead was mortgaged! Ten years ago, reckless with debt, crazed with remorse, mad with despair and persecuted with rheumatism, John Enderby had mortgaged his farmstead for twenty-four dollars […]

Xmas code crackers

The ‘Santa Claus Problem’ (outlined above) was first described by Professor John A. Trono, (of Saint Michael’s College, VT, US)  in his paper ‘A new exercise in concurrency’, SIGCSE Bulletin, Vol. 26, pp. 8-10, 1994. Despite its apparent first-glance simplicity, the problem presents robust concurrent programming complexities when using ‘traditional’ computer programming languages such as  […]

Santa Claus Internet Jokes (a Latvian study)

Guntis Pakalns, who is senior researcher, Dr.philol. at the Archives of Latvian Folklore, Institute for Literature, Folklore and Art at University of Latvia, has collated a unique and very extensive collection of Christmas-related humorous images and video clips found on the Internet. Dr. Pakalns outlines his project thus: “The central part of the article is […]

“Towards a Theory of Santa”

Now that Christmas is approaching, there may be no better time to ask such questions as “Is Santa Claus under threat?” – maybe, say, from the ‘Audit Culture’, which involves an inversion of his benign characteristics in terms of suspicion and surveillance? And just such questions have been examined by Professor Ian Stronach (Liverpool John […]

Surgical Insight: How to truss a stuffed turkey

Veterinary surgeons offer their insight to anyone who plans to cook a Christmas (or Thanksgiving or other) turkey. Details are in this new study: “Investigation of the best suture pattern to close a stuffed Christmas turkey,” D. Verwilghen, V. Busoni, G. van Galen, M. Wilke, vol. 169, no. 26, Veterinary Record, 2011 pp.  685-6.  The authors, […]