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Couple Receive Hundreds of Mysterious Letters Addressed to Santa Claus, Fulfill Them All

Every holidays season for the past six years, Jim Glaub and Dylan Parker receive hundreds of letters to Santa Claus at their New York apartment. No one knows why this has been happening, or when exactly it started, but the two don’t much care. They’re just focused on making sure that every sender receives a Christmas present from Santa.

Even before 2010, Jim and Dylan used to receive a few letters addressed to Santa Claus, but they simply brushed them off as a “weird occurence”. But that year they got almost 400 of them, for some reason. “It was one batch after another,” Jim recalls. “We would dread opening up the mailbox because we knew 25, 30 letters would pour out.”

The letters are mostly from kids in the New York area, or from parents writing on behalf of their kids and asking for a miracle, explaining that they have fallen on hard times and could use a bit of help with presents from Santa Claus. Most letters ask for clothes, toys, and even turkeys for the Christmas dinner, and Jim and Dylan do everything in their power to make sure that their wishes get fulfilled.

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Man Fills His Home with 110 Decorated Christmas Trees

From the outside, Thomas Jeromin’s house, in Rinteln, Germany, doesn’t look at all out of the ordinary, but as they say, ‘it’s what’s inside that matters’, and in this case the inside is nothing short of spectacular – a forest of artificial Christmas trees, 110 to be exact, decorated with a whopping 16,000 baubles.

Up until five years ago, Thomas Jeromin decorated a single Christmas tree for his house, just like the rest of the world. However in 2012, he decided to get more of them just to spread the Christmas spirit throughout his home. The idea turned out so well that the next year he upped the number of Christmas trees to 20, then 45, 80 and finally this year he got his epic collection to a whopping 110 trees. They are literally everywhere, from the living room and halls to the kitchen and even the bathroom. The only no-tree zone of the house is the master bedroom, at his wife Susanne’s request.

As you can imagine, installing and decorated over 100 Christmas trees takes a while, and Jeromin confirms that this year he has needed eight weeks to get his house ready for the winter holidays. He began in October, and spent a whole week just bringing the artificial trees down from the attic. It then took him another seven weeks working from morning until evening decorating them with over 16,000 Christmas baubles, hundreds of LED light installations, garlands and wreaths. It was all worth it, though.

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Mother Accused of Spoiling Her Kids with Mountain of Christmas Presents Buys Even More This Year

Emma Tapping, a mother-of-three from the Isle of Man, U.K, first made headlines last year, when she was accused of spoiling her children by getting them 87 Christmas presents each. That didn’t seem to bother her too much, as this year she bought even more gifts for them – 96 each.

After Emma posted a picture of her Christmas Tree buried in a mountain of presents, last year, it went viral and made the rounds online with the caption “Nearly time for all the materialistic parents to compete and broadcast how many presents their kids have on Facebook! Just remember there’s some children’ who don’t get much.” After being approached by various news sites and TV shows about her Christmas shopping habit and the effect it has on her kids, the woman said that she only spoils them on Christmas, because she loves seeing the joy on their faces when they’re opening presents.

“If you ask me if I spoil my kids, I say at Christmas yes I do but I don’t throughout the year. They get the necessities, the school uniform, the things they need but we don’t go on holidays abroad or big shopping sprees,” she said. “Anything they want, they get for Christmas.”

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Man Spends a Full Month Decorating His Home for Christmas

People generally love decorating their homes for the winter holidays, but how many of us would actually put a whole month into making sure that the whole place is filled with Christmas decorations? Well, one man does it every year.

43-year-old Jack Baremans, from Etten-Leur, a commune in southern Netherlands, has always loved the Holidays. He has been collecting all kinds of Christmas decorations ever since he was 16-years old, and has made a habit of using all of them to decorate his home every year. His collection has gotten so large over the years, that he now reportedly takes about a month filling the inside of his home with dozens of artificial Christmas trees, thousands of ornaments, garlands, wreaths, plush reindeer and polar bears, Christmas lights and pretty much every other decoration imaginable.

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Welcome to Santa University – Where Professional Santas Go to Hone Their Skills

Believe it or not, being a professional Santa is hard work. It’s not just about putting on a red suit and a fake beard and doing the best ‘ho-ho-ho’ you can muster. Some Santas actually take their job very seriously, so much so that they go to a university to sharpen their skills.

Yes, Santa University is a real thing. It’s a four-day training program that takes place every summer at ‘Noerr Pole’, the corporate office of Noerr Programs in Colorado. The company is a digital event imaging provider that recruits and trains its own 70-member Santa Claus team. “We cover every single aspect you can think of when it comes to being the consummate Santa,” said Ruth Rosenquist, public relations director at Noerr.

So prospective Santas are taught how to pose for pictures, how to deal with social and mainstream media, how to sit with a child on their lap, what to do if a child asks for something intangible for Christmas, and how to stay healthy and hydrated during the holidays. The Santas interact with each other over two BBQ sessions that promote goodwill and an atmosphere of support.

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Australian Dad Lights Up Canberra with World’s Largest Christmas Lights Display

When Australian lawyer David Richards started decorating his family home for Christmas four years ago, little did he know that the simple pastime would snowball into a huge passion. The father-of-three is now a self-proclaimed ‘crazy Christmas lights guy’.

Impressed with the display of lights at his home last year, Richards was invited to transform Petrie Plaza in Canberra’s Central Business District into an epic Christmas spectacle this year. And Richards has not disappointed – this year’s display consists of a whopping 120 kilometers of lights and over one million light bulbs. Petrie Plaza now features a 3-D image constructed of lights, covering more than 41,000 square feet, in the shape of three large Christmas presents.

The spectacular display has won Richards a place in the Guinness Book for the third time. He won the record last year when he decorated his home with 502,165 lights, and once before in 2011. “Christmas lights really get people into the festive spirit,” Richards told Guinness. “We decorated our home for years, and people came from everywhere to see our lights. This year, who knows how many people will come along?”

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Ugly Christmas Sweater Stores Prove Big Hit This Holiday Season

Remember those ugly sweaters your mom or aunt would buy you for Christmas? If you still have them hiding at the back of your closet, it’s time to get them out because they’re in style! That’s right, ugly Christmas sweaters are all the rage in the U.S. and Canada. Stores all over North America are stocking up on the most hideous novelty sweaters this holiday season.

F as in Frank, a vintage store in British Columbia, is one of the places selling the tacky woolen garments. Co-owner Drew Heifetz says that he has sold over 30,000 sweaters this year alone. “We’re trying to breathe new life into them and everyone is really coming together creating a culture around these sweaters and it’s been an amazing resurgence,” he said. “Really, it’s about having a good time, getting wild wearing the craziest sweater you can.”

Photographs on the internet show people wearing the most hideous sweaters conceivable. Some of them have Christmas tree ornaments hanging off them, others light up and some even have Santa with a furry beard. These sweaters were in fashion last year too, with the sweater industry reporting record sales during Christmas. But it looks like this year’s sales will break all records.

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Australian Family Set New Guinness Record with 502,165 Christmas Light Installation

We love it when the holidays are around the corner; there are just so many odd stories to talk about! Our first Christmas story this season is here: an Australian family who put up over half a million Christmas lights in their Canberra home and set a new Guinness World Record.

This isn’t the first time father-of-three David Richards and his family have done this. In 2011 they set the record after putting up 331,038 lights. Last year a New-York family beat them with a whopping 346,283. The Richards wanted their title back so badly that this year they’ve installed 502,165 lights – that’s 31 miles of wire. They also have a glowing reindeer and loud music to boot.

Some of the Richards’ neighbours are very upset and haven’t spoken to the family since 2011. But most of them love the dazzle and come to visit from several miles away. David says, “I have always loved Christmas. Having the Christmas lights with the community coming in and sharing it is a time when you get to know people you probably should know better, I guess.”

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Top 10 Most Unusual Christmas Trees of 2011

Every December, we hear reports of bizarre Christmas trees in the making, and on display. We bring you a roundup of 10 of the most unusual trees that caught our attention in the Christmas season of 2011.

The Japanese Gold Tree

We’ve previously featured this tree made completely of pure Gold, here on OC. A creation of Japanese jeweler Ginza Tanaka, the tree is worth $2 million and unusual enough to make it to our top 10. It weighs 12 kg, is 2.4 m high, and is decorated with plates, ornaments and ribbons – all made of gold. Talk about a golden Christmas!

Father Videotapes Children Coming Down Stairs on Christmas Morning, for 25 years

Every family has its own traditions for Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions. Writer Nick Confalone recently shared on YouTube, a particularly endearing tradition followed by his dad during Christmas.

Starting in 1985, Nick’s father made home videos of his kids coming down the stairs on Christmas morning. He continued this practice for 25 years, chronicling the growth of his children over a quarter of a century. Nick recently edited the footage filmed by his father and posted it on YouTube. Apart from Nick and his sister, other members of the family are also seen in the video. Pets come and go, as do boyfriends, and you can clearly see how the kids evolve from little toddlers to teenagers and then young adults. Initially the kids are seen to be excited to find out what Santa Claus has left them under the tree. Nick is a cute kid making silly faces at the camera. As years go by, their reluctance to be a part of the videos is quite evident. Of course, Nick now considers the videos to be nothing short of magical.

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Couple Turn Their Home into Christmas Extravaganza

With the holiday season in full swing, we’re hearing stories from everywhere about the crazy Christmas decorations that people put up. The latest addition to the news is a couple from Greenwood, Indiana, who have taken their home decorations to new heights, covering every single room in their home.

Nine years ago, Brandon Smith and Dennis Guyette started off by decorating a few trees each year, as a hobby. Now, they’ve transformed their hobby into a full-fledged tourist attraction. They say that the people who loved their work encouraged them to keep adding more, and open their home for public view. Overall, there are 68 Christmas trees in their house, each one decorated with a different theme. The decorations extend into each and every room, even the kitchen and the bathroom. They look for and purchase Christmas decorations from all over the country, and when they’re finished, visitors are allowed every December from 6 to 10 pm. They do not charge an entry fee. The neighbors love them, and their holiday hobby. They’re used to seeing a long line of cars parked outside every year, but they don’t mind it in the least.

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Croatian Boasts 1.2 Million Christmas Lights Display

Zlatko Salaj, a 67-year-old Croatian, has created a ‘Christmas Story’ for himself. Not a story to tell, but one to show the world. His Christmas Story is actually his home, which he decks up in lights and colors every year around the holidays.

The former telecommunications engineer owns a country estate in Grabovinca, located in central Croatia. The entire estate is decorated at this time of year. Thousands of visitors come by to view the spectacle created by Salaj and his family. When he started this practice in 2002, Salaj had a modest 70,000 light bulbs that were put up on all the shrubs and trees across his 17-acre estate. When people asked him how many he would put up the next year, his reply was a 100,000. In this way, the lights and decorations kept growing in number. This year, the number has upped to 1.2 million Christmas lights. Not just ordinary ones, he has lights shaped like Santa Claus and reindeer. The festive spirit of his decorations is contagious and attracts children and adults alike from all over the region.

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Japanese Jeweler Creates Solid Gold Christmas Tree Worth $2 Million

For those of you who love Christmas but can’t stand falling needles and cheap plastic, Japanese jeweler Ginza Tanaka has created the ultimate Christmas tree –  made of pure gold and worth a whopping $2 million.

After making a 24-karat gold horse for Japan’s newborn prince, and creating another tree worth $850,000, Ginza Tanaka decided to step it up even more and came up with a solid gold Christmas tree for this holiday season. Measuring 2.4 meters high and weighing around 12 kilograms, the luxurious tree is decorated with golden plates and around 60 heart-shaped ornaments, and covered with ribbon. It’s the most expensive thing Ginza Tanaka has ever made, but while I do appreciate the craftsmanship and the effort that went into it, I’m not sure gold is right for such an important symbol. After all, what kind of presents are you supposed to put under such a tree, anyway?

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World’s Smallest Christmas Card

I know it’s a few days past Christmas but I couldn’t pas by this news.

Nanotechnologists at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, Produced what they believe to be the world’s smallest Christmas card, the image of a Christmas Tree engraved on a piece of glass, a very small piece of glass, invisible to the naked eye.

“The card is 200 micro-meters wide by 290 micro-meters tall. To put that into some sort of perspective, a micro-meter is a millionth of a meter; the width of a human hair is about 100 micro-meters,” explains David Cumming, professor at the University of Glasgow.

To make it easier for you to imagine its real dimensions I should tell you that on an area the size of a postage stamp you could fit around 8,276 of these cards. Color was also added using a process called plasmon resonance.

Scientists had the sole purpose of explaining what nano-technology is capable of and say that, while the card is just a demonstration, domains like the electronics industry find this technology very useful.

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7 Weirdest Christmas Trees of 2010

There’s nothing like an old fashion Christmas tree, full of colorful decorations and twinkling lights, but this doesn’t stop people from using the strangest materials to create their own unique Christmas tree. This happens every year, and 2010 makes no exception, so I thought it would be a great idea to make a list of the wackiest, most outrageous Christmas trees of 2010.

Tree-Cycle Christmas tree

Made out of 100 recycled bicycles, the Tree-Cycle Christmas tree, in Sydney’s The Rocks, is definitely one of the coolest Christmas trees of all time. The seven-meter-tall installation took eight weeks to design and complete, and could be admired until December 28, when it was dismantled, and the bicycle parts recycled, once again.

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