Christmas Traditions Around the World

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By Megan Luckiw

  1. Guatemala- Burning Devils

To make sure Guatemalans start the new year with no bad spirits they clean their whole house. All the dust is gathered around the neighborhood and put into one huge pile. They then make a devil statue out of the dust and burn it to rid bad omens.

  1. South Africa- Don’t eat Santa’s cookies

In South Africa to make sure that kids don’t eat any more sweats their parents tell them a story about this boy who ate all of Santa’s cookies. This angered his grandmother and in her range… killed him. I’m sure no children in South Africa ate Santa’s cookies.

  1. Sweden- Burning Goat

    In 1966 Sweden’s built a 40 foot yule goat out of straw. However, ever since then locals have been trying to destroy by hitting it by cars, burning it, and trying to steal it with a helicopter.

  1. Norway- Hide your Brooms

Norwegians believe that if they don’t put away their brooms on December 24, a witch will come in and steal them.

  1. Iceland- Yule Cat

This tradition was made up by farmers so that their workers would finish their crops before Christmas. The legend goes that children who don’t receive clothes on Christmas eve will get a visit from the Yule cat. If you are to be visited by the yule it is not a good one. The cat is said to be a monster and will devour children for not getting clothes.

  1. Ukraine- Webbed Tree

The myth goes that there was a family with a tree in their house. A spider twirled his web around it and the next day the web turned to medals. The family became rich! Ukrainians now decorate their tree in spider webs to represent fortune and prosperity for the new year.

 

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The Death of 41

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By J.C. Spencer

If you haven’t heard the sad news yet, the forty first President of the United States, George Herbert Walker Bush, has passed away. According to Time, Bush died Friday, November 30th, at the old age of 94-only eight months after the death of his wife, Barbara Bush. Time also says that in 2001 he became the first president in U.S. History to see his son serve as commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces. Born on June 12th 1924, Bush will be buried at the George Bush Presidential  Library in Texas on his custom ‘4141’ locomotive (train).

According to the New York Post, Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, former Sen. Alan Simpson, historian Jon Meacham, Prince Charles, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and his son, George W. Bush are all said to attend the former president’s funeral on Wednesday, December 5th. Whether or not you liked his work as president, the list of living former presidents is now narrowed down to four-Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter.

Santa Around the World

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By Megan Luckiw

From a holly jolly man who rides around on reindeer to a demonic goat who abuses bad children, here are the different Santas around the world.

  1. The Netherlands- Sinterklaas

Sinterklaas rides into town on a white horse. He wears a red bishop hat with jeweled staff. Unlike the United States Santa Claus, Sinterklaas is nice enough to knock on your door instead of breaking entry. However, a not so nice thing about him is his companion, Grumpus, who shakes chains at naughty children and threatens to kidnap them.

 

  1. Spain- Los Reyes Magos (In English the Three Wise Men).

In Hispanic cultures the three wise men come to the children’s houses with gifts. However, they children don’t just get gifts just because they are good. They leave out shoes and treats (of course) for the wise men (Melchor, Gaspar, or Baltasar), in return for presents. They days leading up to El Dia de Reyes the children will often write letters to their favourite wise men. The three wise men ride on camels to visit children but also in the bible when they reached baby Jesus.

 

  1. Finland- Yule Goat.

This used to be the Finland Santa before they switched over to the more traditional American Santa Claus. However, this version of Santa is kind of the complete opposite of the Santa we know and love. Instead of giving presents to good children the Yule Goat knocks on doors demanding for gifts and leftovers from the Yuletide feasts. Well, at least that what he used to do. Nowadays, he still knocks on doors but instead he says, Are there any well- behaved children here?” If there are he hands out presents. He also pulls around a sleigh with reindeer on it that actually fly.

 

  1. Catalonia- Tio De Nadal or Uncle from Nadal.

This is a log that defecates presents. Yes I am serious. He has a painted on smile and is often placed underneath the Christmas tree. The children “feed him” nuts and dried up fruit the days leading up to Christmas. He is kept warm underneath a blanket. Now, if you think that this is all cute and innocent… it’s not. On Christmas Eve the children hit poor Tio with sticks and sing a rather graphic song about bodily functions. The next morning the children will see that Tio defecated a bunch of presents and treats under the tree.

 

  1. Iceland- Yule Lads.

The Yule Lads are thirteen mischievous elves that play tricks on children. One of the elves named Pottasleiki will steal your leftovers. While one of the others, Gryla, will kidnap misbehaved children. On the thirteen days leading up to Christmas the children will place their shoes in the windowsill. If you were good you will receive candies and small gifts. However, if you were bad then you will receive rotten potatoes in your shoes.

 

  1. Germany- Krampus

Krampus is a character you find in nightmares. He has fangs and horns and he yells at children. Krampus (coming from the German word Krampen- meaning claw) is half goat half demon. He was created as an evil counterpart to jolly ol Saint Nick. Krampus would whip bad children and take them to his lair. Children on December 6 go to their shoes to look at what they got. If the children were good they will receive presents. If they were bad then they would get a rod. However, this isn’t used as much because they thought it would scare children too much. Nowadays, in some households they just use the United States Santa… but, in other household drunken men dress up as devils and do Krampus like actions such as chasing people around the street. I’m guessing there were some very good children in Germany.

Stan Lee Dead at 95

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by JC Spencer

On Monday, November 12th Stan Lee was pronounced dead. He was a writer for Marvel Comics, and helped to create superheroes that are so deeply imprinted into our culture. Of the many characters he made, some included Spider-Man, The Avengers, and the Fantastic Four. Born in New York in 1922, he was 95 years old when he passed away.

According to the New York Times, he was born Stanley Martin Lieber, the oldest of two sons born to Jack Lieber. After graduating from DeWitt Clinton High School at 17, he got a job at Timely Publications, where he met a lifelong friend, Jack Kirby. CBS News says he celebrated his 95th birthday back in 2017, and apparently showed no signs of putting his career to rest. Stan Lee will be remembered forever as one of the greatest comic book writers to ever live, and his cameos in Marvel movies will be missed by all of his fans.

Midterm Election Results

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by Hadley Koch

Well it’s been some pretty eventful past few days, but I mainly wanted to touch on the midterms. The midterms were last Tuesday and we got official results last Wednesday. I think it’s safe to say that neither party was 100% happy with the results. The Democrats were hoping for a “blue wave” but unfortunately did not exactly get it. Republicans and President Trump didn’t remain in complete power of every branch that they did have previously. Although Democrats did manage to regain control of the House of Representatives, yet still failed to get the Senate which Republicans are still of majority there. This means President Trump is going to have a harder time getting things done and passing laws without the favorability to the House. This also means that the House can initiate investigations into Republican leaders like President Trump’s tax returns. Of course we won’t see an immediate change. The newly chosen candidates will start serving their terms in January.

Best Halloween Movies

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By J.C. Spencer

Are you looking for some movies to get you back into the Halloween spirit? Here’s a list
of my top 5 favorite Halloween movies.

1. The Nightmare Before Christmas
Released in 1993, this Tim Burton classic explores the adventures of skeleton by the name of Jack Skellington becomes bored of scaring people – an annual tradition of his. Accidentally, Skellington comes across Christmastown, where he decides to attempt to kidnap Santa Claus, and take over his role.

2. Hocus Pocus
Also released in 1993, Hocus Pocus tells the tale of Max, who after just moving to the town of Salem, Massachusetts, explores an abandoned home with his younger sister, accidentally frees three very evil witches. If they can’t steal the witches’ spell book, they will become immortal.

3. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
This animated film from 1966 was the third Peanuts special to be produced. You must be living under a rock if you haven’t seen it yet, so I would recommend it to anyone wanting a funny Halloween movie to watch. At King’s Island, there is even a tiny roller coaster based on this film.

4. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
Directed by Steven Spielberg, this Fantasy film is the fourth-highest-grossing film of all time in the U.S. and in our neighbor Canada (it is estimated that 141,854,300 admissions were sold. The music featured in this film was composed by John Williams, who made music for Star Wars, three Harry Potter films, and many other great movies.

5. Ghostbusters
This sci-fi film featuring Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray made a reported 295.2 million at the box office way back in 1984. It even sprouted two sequels, Ghostbusters II and Ghostbusters (2016).

Some of these films you may like, and some you may not, but almost everyone enjoys the wonderful holiday of Halloween!

Christmas on the Hallmark Channel

Its almost November, which means its almost Christmas time!

Okay, am I the only one who loves watching cheesy, romantic Hallmark Christmas movies? I doubt that! I mean they are masterpieces. Well, maybe I’m exaggerating a tad but they definitely have to be a part of my Christmas every year. They come out in November which is the perfect time because it gives you time to watch the maximum amount of Christmas movies before they go away again at the start of the new year! But this year they’re already showing them on TV in October- which is super great for me – not so great for my family. Because whenever I get the chance I turn on the Hallmark channel, which my family hates.