December 11, 2013

All They Want For Christmas Is An XBox One

The publisher for the popular Christmas song "(All I Want for Christmas) Is My Two Front Teeth" today announced that they have updated the lyrics to more accurately reflect modern wish requests.

"Children these days don't really care about their two front teeth. They just want to play video games," explained Donald Jones, the music executive behind the idea. "So we figured we would change the words 'two front teeth' to 'an XBox One.' We feel like the change will make the song resonate better with today's kids."

The change required a massive rewrite of the lyrics. One of the more controversial changes involves the line "Sister Susie sitting on a thistle." In the new version of the song, Sister Susie is no longer sits on that thistle. Instead, Sister Susie is now "shooting off a missile."

Along with various parent groups, dentists called for a boycott of the song on the grounds that teeth received at Christmas tend to have fewer cavities than teeth that grow in normally. The music company, however, says they have addressed that issue. They say they have developed a tooth brushing video game that will teach kids how to brush properly while singing the new version of the song.

It is unknown how the change to the song will affect the North Pole's tooth-delivery agreement with dentist George Conway.

December 9, 2013

Christmas Cancelled in Killarney

City officials in Killarney today announced that due to an unusual amount of Leprechaun activity, Christmas will be cancelled this year.

"There are so many leprechauns this year that everyone is out chasing rainbows and gold. There won't be any folks at home, so we felt that cancelling Christmas was best for everyone," said Seamus O'Callaghan, city event manager for Killarney. "Plus, Father John said he won't be able to bless any houses this year. He says he has the gout."

People across the world expressed disappointment. Pamela Freeman of Detroit, Michigan was particularly sad.

"I had hoped to cuddle under some mistletoe and kiss my beau while on vacation in Ireland, but I suppose now I'll have to settle for kissing the blarney stone."

December 6, 2013

Santa Sells Blitzen to Petting Farm

There was shock across the nation Friday when sources at the North Pole confirmed what had been long feared among flying-reindeer aficionados. Santa Claus has sold Blitzen to a petting farm.

The move was not wholly unexpected. For years now Blitzen has refused to pull his weight, claiming that he should have a Christmas song named after him and not that "red-nosed freak" Rudolph. Though Mr. Claus had attempted to placate Blitzen with a spot closer to the front, it was apparent to most observers that sooner or later the "Blitzen situation," as experts called it, would come to a head.

That apparently happened on Thursday, when Mr. Claus arrived at the reindeer house to find Blitzen trying to organize a reindeer strike on Christmas Eve. Though Blitzen claimed it was just a "reindeer game," Mr. Claus evidently had had enough.

"At first Santa wanted to sell him to a slaughterhouse, but we talked him out of that," said Valerie Skippy, reindeer handler at the North Pole.

According to spokeselves at the North Pole, instead of ending up as reindeer meat Blitzen is now at the Rainybrook Petting Zoo in Columbus, Ohio. It is not expected that he will be returning to the North Pole.

Elves have already begun hunting for a replacement for Blitzen. One name that keeps popping up is that of three-time trick-flying champion Jim. However, there are some concerns that his name might not have enough mystique to be a part of Mr. Claus' sleigh-pulling team. All observers agree though that Jim's name is better than the name of the other reindeer being considered, Pamperpuff.

December 5, 2013

Santa Uses NSA Information for Naughty List

The NSA today admitted that all child-related intelligence they gather is shared with the North Pole so Santa Claus can compile his well-known naughty list.

In their admission, which came after leaked documents showed the collaboration, the NSA claimed that only intelligence on foreign children's activities was given to Mr. Claus.

Where did Santa get this list?
However, the leaked documents show that some American children may have been put on the naughty list due to information gathered by the NSA.

The documents note that one child who famously sang that he was getting "nuttin' for Christmas" may have gone unnoticed by Mr. Claus and his elves. However, the NSA acquired a cell phone conversation in which the child's mom had been talking about the boy's behavior to a friend. Soon after the information was shared with the North Pole, the boy landed on the naughty list.

Spokeselves at the North Pole downplayed the revelations, saying that Mr. Claus has many sources of information and to disclose them all would put the Christmas security at risk.

"If kids know how we find out about their activities, they will be able to avoid the naughty list. Then what is Santa going to check twice? His laundry list?" said Freddy Pointyears, head spokeself for the North Pole.

Experts say the news is not surprising. "It's a well known fact that Santa 'sees you when you're sleeping. He knows when you're awake.' How else is Santa going to know all that if he didn't have satellites, a well-developed network of spies, and agreements with the NSA?" explained Autumn Westerly, a researcher at the North Pole Research Institute.

The documents also shed light on what the NSA gets in return for the  shared information. In exchange for the intelligence, the documents say, Mr. Claus agreed to NSA requests that would put various people on the naughty list indefinitely, including North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, NSA leaker Edward Snowden, and anyone who creates annoying Internet memes.

December 4, 2013

Parents of Young Adults Want to Ban Popular Christmas Song

Thousands of parents across the nation today signed a petition to ban playing the song "I'll Be Home For Christmas" within 100 feet of any college campus or any other gathering place for young adults.

Jim Destrahan, the organizer of the petition, says that parents are worried that the songs lyrics are part of the reason so many young adults are coming back home to live permanently. "They hear these song lyrics and want to come home for Christmas. But then they stay. Forever."

Young adults were stunned when told of the petition.

"It's not like we want to stay in the basement forever or anything," said John Spiro. "I don't think I'd be there past the age of 45 or so."

Experts say that it's possible that the song might lead to more adults returning home, but there's no way to tell. That's not stopping Mr. Destrahan though. He says parents across the nation are signing the petition and buying t-shirts he has printed with the words "You'll be home for Christmas? Only in your dreams."

December 2, 2013

North Pole Exploring Alternate Delivery Options

Soon after announced they were testing drones for package delivery, the North Pole announced that it too was testing drones for Christmas Eve deliveries.

"With the cost of feeding reindeer, we felt it was prudent to begin exploring alternate delivery options," explained spokeself Randall Sparklyeyes. "Kids around the world expect quick and efficient toy deliveries, and we feel like this has the potential to be a viable alternative to our current Christmas Eve strategy."

When asked whether children would be disappointed that the toy delivery would not include a visit from Santa, Mr. Sparkleyeyes said that surveys show 90% of all kids care more about the toys they received than the way those toys arrived at the house. Additionally, he said that if the North Pole decides to go ahead with the drones, Santa will continue making limited personal deliveries. That way, he said, no child will know for sure if their toys were delivered by Santa or by a drone.

It is unknown whether use of the drones would result in any reindeer layoffs.

November 27, 2013

Airlines Plan Turkey Dinners for Stranded Travelers

Three major airlines today announced that they will provide tasteless reheated Turkey dinners for all the passengers they intend to strand this Thanksgiving.

"We just felt that since we intend to do a horrible job getting them to their final destination, a turkey dinner was the least we could do," explained one CEO, who wished to be anonymous on the grounds due to fears that passengers might actually think kindly of an airline CEO.

However, the airlines also announced that their turkey dinners would not be free. Proposed prices ranged from $40 to $100, with the price increasing depending on how many flight cancellations a passenger had to endure. "We figured the longer they're trapped, the more desperate they'll be," said one Ancillary Revenue Manager, who wished to remain anonymous.

Passengers had mixed reactions to the news.

"It's nice that they want to give us reheated airline food turkey dinner for $40," grumbled Georg Kasinsky as he waited in 5 mile long line for check-in, "but how about they just get us to our destination?"

Kacey Smith of Brooklyn, New York, however, expressed delight. "It's perfect! I get a Thanksgiving dinner without all the family drama and I don't have to listen to Uncle Bob yelling at the television all day. All it costs me is $100 and a week of sleeping on the floor with a bunch of strangers in some random airport. Oh, and with a lumpy suitcase as a pillow. You know, thinking about it, this might just become my new Thanksgiving tradition."

November 25, 2013

Astronomers Discover Comet ISON Is Actually A Large Ball of Gravy

Astronomers in New Mexico today announced that after closer observation of "comet of the century" ISON, they had determined that the comet was largely composed of gravy.

"We were as surprised as anyone," said Richard Starley, lead astronomer for the team that released the news. "Most comets are made of ice and rock, but this one is totally different. It's pure gravy, although some of the data indicate there may be some giblets in there too. When I first saw the data, I thought I was hallucinating. But there is no doubt. That thing is made of gravy."

While stunned astronomers around the world reassessed their models of the solar system to include gravy comets, experts in the food industry scrambled to apply for resource-mining rights on the comet.

"We figure we could get a good five year's worth of gravy for Thanksgiving dinners. There's enough there to let everyone have some for their mashed potatoes and still have enough left over to pour on some biscuits," explained Roy Terpening, a procurement manager at Gary's Gravy. "This is our only chance to get that gravy before it gets thrown out of the solar system by the sun's gravity."

Comet ISON. Photo credit: ESA/Hubble

November 19, 2013

Top Artists Release Thanksgiving Album

A group of top-selling artists, including Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, and Alison Krauss today announced that they will release an album of popular Thanksgiving music.

"We felt like Thanksgiving is too often skipped over musically," explained John Hughes, the obscure record company executive who came up with the idea. "Everyone starts playing Christmas music before Thanksgiving. It's time to change that."

Critics have given the album relatively good reviews, considering that the album consists of twelve different artists performing "Over the River and Through the Woods" in different styles.

When asked why there was only one song on the album, Mr. Hughes explained that the album was supposed to showcase popular Thanksgiving songs, but in the end they could only think of one.

"I am sure that when people hear the different versions of this popular song, they will make listening to this record a yearly tradition. Miley Cyrus' version of the song nearly made me cry."

Some listeners of the album have reported that there is a hidden bonus song after the last track, a punk rock version of "Count Your Blessings (Instead of Sheep)." Mr. Hughes confirmed that some of the first albums they produced include the track, but that they stopped including the track after it was realized that even this potential Thanksgiving song only became famous due to the movie White Christmas.

Holiday Tribune then asked Mr. Hughes how he felt about the fact that although "Over the River and Through the Woods" originated as a Thanksgiving song, it is now associated more closely with Christmas. At that point Mr. Hughes hung up the phone.

November 18, 2013

Thanksgiving Now Officially Thanksbuying

Surrounded by retailers and CEOs, and citing the number of retailers opening their stores the day before Black Friday, the President today signed an executive order officially changing the name of Thanksgiving to Thanksbuying.

"We felt that the name Thanksgiving is becoming outdated," explained Jeff Gromer, spokesman for the American Merchant League. "I mean, seriously, who gives thanks on that day anymore? Eating Thanksgiving dinner has just become an obstacle to the real purpose of the day: fighting crowds at the store to find a great deal."

Pilgrim re-enactment actors around the country protested the name change, claiming that people still want to be with their families on Thanksgiving, giving thanks and eating pie. But calls for further comment to multiple groups were not returned, and the greeting on many of the voicemails advised they were out shopping. It is not expected that they will be able to return calls until after Black Friday.

In related news, turkey farmers announced that they have found a way to print advertising directly onto the turkey. Horace Newbridge, spokesman for the Turkey Growers of America, said this new innovation is "an exciting new way to enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner while also planning out your post-dinner shopping."

November 6, 2013

Yam Growers Developing Yam-Flavored Marshmallows

Food scientists at the Yam Association Merchants of America (YAM America), today revealed that they are developing yam-flavored marshmallows. They say their innovation has the potential to revolutionize the yam industry as well as Thanksgiving dinners across America.

"When most people think about yams, they think about an orange potato covered in heaps of marshmallows," explained Ted Wessel, president of YAM America. "We feel like there is a market for those who want to just eat marshmallows but still want to keep the great taste of yams in their Thanksgiving dinner."

A recent survey found that nearly 4 in 10 Americans skim the marshmallows off their yams and leave the orange tubers sitting uneaten on their plate. Mr. Wessel expressed certainty that those people still wanted the great taste of yams, except "without all the nutrition."

YAM America expects the new marshmallows, which they are calling "yammallows," to be on the shelf a few days before Thanksgiving. They have already started putting up advertising with their new slogan "Yammy is Yummy."

November 1, 2013

Retailers Underwhelmed on Black And Orange Friday

Retailers hoping for a large turnout on Black and Orange Friday, the traditional Friday of shopping each year on which Halloween falls on a Thursday, reported underwhelming sales through this morning.

"It's like no one even heard of Black and Orange Friday," complained Manfred Carlito, of Manny's Motors and Lace, a retailer selling car parts and lace doilies. "The only people that came in were an old man who had programmed his GPS wrong and a young woman who had lost her bulldog."

Experts attribute the lackluster sales to post-Halloween candy hangovers and a desire to spend Hallloween weekend with family. According to Robert Snerdnzny, a researcher at Oxford College in Oxford, North Dakota, Halloween weekend is quickly replacing Thanksgiving weekend as a time to gather with family.

"Each year more stores open on Thanksgiving, getting an early start to the traditional Black Friday shopping day. As a result, families recognize that they can no longer afford to sit around eating turkey, watching football and creating memories. So instead of spending that time together on Thanksgiving weekend, many families choose to gather together on Halloween weekend. As a result, post-Halloween retail is suffering," explained Mr. Snerdnzny.

The few shoppers who ventured out on Black and Orange Friday found no sales, stores opening at regular hours, and few lines.

"It's really disappointing," complained Mindy Herwik while checking out an iPad at a local electronics store. "I didn't even get trampled by a lunatic mob when the store opened. Instead I just walked politely into the store. Where's the fun in that?"

October 30, 2013

Cemetery Trick-or-Treating of Grave Concern, Parents Say

Parents in Spigot Falls, Texas today demanded that the local cemetery be developed into a strip mall so that children can no longer go trick-or-treating from grave to grave.

"It all started a few years back, when zombies and vampires came out of their graves on Halloween night to give trick-or-treaters a scare and a Milky Way," explained local historian Elma Lou Higginbottom. "The undead started giving out king-size candy bars and pretty soon all the children in the town were going there on Halloween night. Parents were okay with the whole thing until some of the children developed a taste for brains."

In addition to the strip mall petition, parents have put up a barricade around the cemetery in an effort to discourage trick-or-treating. While most parents worried about children becoming denizens of the night, other parents had different concerns. One parent remarked: "I'm not too worried about the 'children turning into undead' part. It's those king-size candy bars we should be worried about. Those things are pure evil. They are cavity causing menaces. If my kids turn into zombies, at least they'll be eating something without any high fructose corn syrup."

It is unknown whether the barricade will successfully keep out determined trick-or-treaters. Representatives from the local undead community advised they will not be commenting until sundown.

October 28, 2013

Santa Claus Warns Halloween Trick or Treaters

Early Monday morning at a press conference in the North Pole, Santa Claus warned that any children who choose tricks rather than treats this Halloween will be put on a probationary naughty list.

"Trickery has no place on the good list," Santa Claus explained. "Although Halloween trickery will not necessarily lead to a place on the finalized naughty list, the chances are higher than for those who choose treats."

The International Association of Halloween Trickery responded to the news with disbelief. "What about parents who eat their children's Halloween candy? What about dentists who hand out toothbrushes and floss? These actions, which cause such tricks to occur, should also be grounds for naughty listing. We call on Santa Claus to show fairness."

In related news, the North Pole announced that any parent allowing their child to dress up this Halloween as Justin Bieber or Miley Cyrus would be put on the naughty list permanently.

October 23, 2013

Congress Chooses Costumes for Halloween

In a bipartisan vote, Congress today decided to require members of both the House and the Senate to dress up as rational human beings this Halloween. The vote was not without its critics, however.

One Senator expressed concern that such costumes were too unrealistic. Another Senator decried the high costs of makeup required to pull off the costume. Over in the House, members advocated no costumes at all, laconically observing that going trick-or-treating as a member of Congress was far scarier than anything they could ever dream up.

In related votes, the Republicans in the House voted today to require means testing before handing out any trick-or-treat candy to children with poor costumes, and Democrats in the Senate voted for a candy tax on the children who earn the most candy.

October 22, 2013

Dentist Hands Out Candy For Halloween

Most dentists hand out apples, toothpaste or toothbrushes for Halloween. But not Dr. Calvin Kadera of White Plains, New York. Dr. Kadera this year has decided to forgo the healthy treats and instead hand out the largest and sweetest sweets he can find.

"What I'm really looking for is some giant Jolly Ranchers. Those things are murder on teeth!" Dr. Kadera said, his perfect smile showing his brilliant white teeth. "For years I gave out the typical dentist Halloween fare, but what did it get me? A bunch of ungrateful children with no cavities. This year I realized Halloween could be a great opportunity for me to create life-long patients. With any luck, in addition to gigantic cavities I'll get some patients with cracked teeth or even the need for implants."

Although Halloween is still more than a week away, children in the area have begun to line up outside Dr. Kadera's door in anticipation of the candy bonanza. When asked about the expected candy haul, one child's parent responded, "It's all right if the candy makes my kid's teeth fall out. Dr. Kadera is also handing out discounts on dental x-rays, so it's all good."

October 21, 2013

Zombies Demand Affordable Healthcare

Zombies across the country are furious at a recent decision to deny the undead access to the Affordable Care Act. The decision came Monday morning at a press conference in a darkened room blocks away from the White House.

"While the United States wants every one of its citizens to have access to affordable health care, we feel that extending coverage to creatures of the night would be beyond the scope of the law as currently written," explained Joseph Parminter, Undersecretary of Inhuman Services.

When asked why the law's requirement to cover pre-existing conditions would not extend to zombies and vampires, Mr. Parminter nervously replied the administration and Congress agreed that death should not be considered a pre-existing condition covered under the law. This came as a shock to most since it is widely believed that Congress includes several vampires and zombies set on sucking the life out of the nation's economy.

Following Mr. Parminter's remarks, several zombie reporters stood up and began shambling toward the podium. Mr. Parminter ran away screaming.

In response to the administration's decision, a group called the Citizen's Alliance for Zombie Equality has indicated it will develop a healthcare exchange of its own called ZombieCare. Talks with insurance companies begin on Halloween, and it is expected that any insurance plans offered will have robust coverage for blood transfusions and brain surgery.