September 25, 2014

North Pole Pulls Plans For An iPhone In Every Stocking

Present planners at the North Pole today confirmed that they have scrapped plans to provide an iPhone to every child on earth this Christmas. The plan had been hastily put in place following the launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, but recent controversy around the launch of the new phones has made the North Pole re-think its plans.

"We were worried the phone might bend if we put it in the stocking with a bunch of candy," explained the elf in charge of the program, referring to reports that the iPhone bends when placed in pockets. "And the whole iOS 8 update brouhaha made us realize that maybe it wasn't ready for Christmas Eve prime time quite yet. So Santa cancelled his order."

Although children around the world will likely be disappointed when they hear this latest development, Santa will not leave their stockings empty this Christmas Eve. When asked what Santa will be leaving in stockings instead of the coveted phones, the elf replied that it would likely be a combination of stale candy, socks, and an apple.

September 22, 2014

Country Singer Starts Trying To Think Of Something To Be Grateful For

There are still almost two months before Thanksgiving, but country singer Hank Gehry has already started trying to think of something to be grateful for this Thanksgiving.

Like many Americans, Mr. Gehry gets together with his family every year at Thanksgiving to give thanks and eat an absurd amount of food. At that dinner, he is expected to name something he is grateful for before the family starts eating the dinner. This year, however, Mr. Gehry expects to have a hard time finding something to say.

Earlier this year, Mr. Gehry signed a contract with a major country music label. Soon after he signed the contract, everything started to go downhill.

"I lost my dog, my house, my truck, my wife, my guitar, my stereo, my horse, my cow, my job, my best friends, my refrigerator, my laptop, my wallet, my camcorder, my oven, my lawnmower, and a whole bunch of other stuff," said Mr. Gehry. "I mean, I knew that it was a job hazard of being a country singer, but I didn't expect it to be so thorough. Now I have lots of possible song lyrics, but not much else. I guess the lyrics that have come out of this mess are something to be grateful for."

As he finished speaking, Mr. Gehry discovered that he had somehow misplaced and lost the lyrics and music to all his songs.

Shortly afterwards, Mr. Gehry called his mom to inform her he would not be attending Thanksgiving dinner until next year, when he hopes he will be able to think of something to say at the dinner. She told him not to worry too much about it, since she had lost his invitation for this year's dinner anyway.

September 18, 2014

Man Develops Natural Pre-Lit Christmas Tree

Martin Stuvesant, a scientist at Harvard University, today announced that he had developed a natural pre-lit Christmas tree.

"I hate to put up lights at Christmas, but I also love real Christmas trees, so I used all the spare time I had over the last ten years to develop this great tree," said Mr. Stuvesant, standing next to his creation.

According to Mr. Stuvesant, the tree is similar to the glow-in-the-dark sheep, pigs and fish that scientists have previously developed. Unfortunately, the tree only glows one color, but he says he will continue to work on that problem until he figures out a solution.

Early reviews suggest that although the tree looks great, when one needle falls out they all fall out and the whole tree goes dark. Mr. Stuvesant says he is aware of the issue and will include replacement needles to glue on the tree. He also says he wants to develop needles that will make the tree's natural glow blink on and off, just to "annoy the neighbors."

September 17, 2014

Santa Disappointed At "Genius Grant" Snub

Sources at the North Pole confirmed rumors that Santa Claus is very upset at being passed over this year for a MacArthur Award, commonly known as a "Genius Grant." The awards, given by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, went to 21 men and women, but the jolly old man who resides in an ice kingdom at the North Pole was not among them.

An anonymous source says that Santa complained to a group of head elves about never receiving the award despite "hundreds of years of bringing joy to the children of the world."

"He does have a point," says Susan Wride, an expert in grants. "If you really want to reward 'genius', then Santa Claus should be right at the top of the list. I mean, the guy has been delivering toys to millions of children around the world every Christmas Eve for centuries. To top it off, he fits that fat body down skinny little chimneys. If that's not artistry and genius at work, I don't know what is."

When asked what Santa would do with the $625,000 stipend that comes with the grant if he were to win in the future, a spokeself at the North Pole said the money would likely be spent on upgrading the sleigh, buying more Christmas music on iTunes, and leveraging big data to create a more modern naughty/nice list.

September 15, 2014

Santa Quiet On Issue Of Scottish Independence

Does Santa support an independent Scotland? He won't say.

Reports surfaced today that both supporters and opponents of Scottish independence have requested statements of support from the North Pole ahead of the upcoming vote. However, a spokeself at the North Pole declined to answer questions regarding Santa's position on the upcoming independence referendum in Scotland.

"The North Pole is officially neutral when it comes to political matters," said the spokeself. "Whether Scotland votes yes or no to independence, Santa will continue to bring toys to the good little lads and lassies this Christmas."

When asked why Santa was recently seen wearing a kilt and playing bagpipes, the elf replied that Santa was only trying out some different Halloween costume ideas. Further, she said, Santa's newfound penchant for haggis was in response to a dentist's advice to cut down on the cookies and had absolutely nothing to do with the upcoming vote in Scotland. 

The campaign for a yes vote expressed disappointment in the news. "We are, of course, disappointed that Santa will not give his opinion. We hope he will reconsider before the vote."

The Better Together campaign also asked Santa to re-think his stated neutrality. "Santa has long enjoyed the benefits of the union," said a spokesperson. "We think that if he considers how independence might affect his operations, he will reconsider."

Both campaigns also expressed a wish for Santa Claus to put the leaders of the opposite side on the naughty list.

[Editor's note: This article has been updated to include reaction from the two campaigns.]

September 10, 2014

Dentists Say Don't Leave Out Cookies For Santa

A prominent group of dentists today advised parents across the world not to leave out plates of cookies for Santa, claiming the jolly old elf's teeth were likely full of cavities from all the sugar.

"The guy must consume hundreds of pounds of sugar every Christmas Eve," said Gregory Denton, a member of the group. "It can't be good for his teeth, to say nothing of the risk of diabetes. We just want him to take better care of his teeth by eating less sugary foods."

A spokeself at the North Pole responded by saying that Santa only eats cookies on Christmas Eve and has a very healthy diet for the rest of the year, consisting primarily of "candy canes, hot chocolate, bowls full of jelly, and copious amounts of nutella."

Calls to Santa's dentist were not returned and a sign on the office window advised that the dentist was out on a candy break.

September 8, 2014

Santa Claus Files Suit Against United States

Spokeselves at the North Pole today announced that Santa Claus has filed a suit against the United States claiming that the United States illegally tracks his movements every Christmas Eve.

"Every Christmas Eve, the United States maliciously and without a warrant uses its NORAD systems to track Mr. Claus during his Christmas Eve flight," explained the elf. "This is an egregious violation of his privacy rights. We are requesting the courts to put an end to this outrageous practice."

The top spokesman for NORAD, Tim O'Reilly, responded to the allegations by pointing out that Mr. Claus is not a citizen of the United States. "He invades our airspace annually with impunity. We would gladly stop monitoring him if he goes through proper channels to obtain a visa and file a flight plan prior to his Christmas Eve delivery, but despite repeated attempts to make him get the visa, he continues to fly through our airspace and land on roofs around the country without clearance."

Experts in Christmas law are divided on whether Mr. Claus should be required to obtain clearance from the United States. While some claim that Mr. Claus should be subject to the laws of the countries he delivers to, others say that North Pole law supersedes national laws. North Pole law states that Mr. Claus shall have full access to the residences of all good boys and girls so that he may fulfill his toy delivery duties without hindrance from national authorities.