December 20, 2011

Happy Holidays!

A look at what's happening for the holidays around the country and the globe.

Jessica: Holiday celebrations can be wacky or can stick to tradition. One thing is for sure, no matter where you go you can find people with lots of holiday spirit. Here is a glimpse of how people around the country and the world are making merry this December.

Our first stop, Washington, D.C. President Obama celebrated the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah about two weeks early. According to Hanukkah tradition, kids get a present every night for eight nights. But since Hanukkah didn’t begin until today, December 20th, two weeks ago, the president had to choose his words carefully.

President Obama: As I said, we’re jumping the gun a little bit. The way I see it, we’re just extending the holiday spirit. We’re stretching it out. But we do have to be careful that your kids don’t start thinking Hanukkah lasts twenty nights and not eight.”

Jessica: And it is not just people getting in the holiday spirit, don’t forget the dogs. Christ Church in New York City held its third annual blessing of the animals.

And on the other side of town, things got a little out of hand — holiday style. Thousands of Santa want-to-be’s took the streets in a sea of red. There was singing, being merry…

“If you brought food, put it in the donation boxes!”

Jessica: …and lots of donations to local food pantries.

But not all Santas come on foot or sleigh. Across the country in Glendale, California they bring presents on motorcyles!

“You like it?”

Jessica: Of course, Santa covers the entire planet.

“You better not shout, you better not cry!”

Jessica: Down in the Asian nation of the Philippines, a traffic cop dancing his way through the day, even giving fellow cops pointers on being merry.

In Korea, kids demonstrated Santa’s workout routine with a marathon race and tug of war.

In Russia, a Santa over there got a visit from a Santa from Norway. Complete with Santa’s helpers.

In London, kids helped Santa’s reindeer get a snack to build up energy for the long ride on Christmas Eve.

And in Mexico, Christmas trees aren’t the only thing green, so are the lights! Anyone can jump on one of fifteen stationary bicycles that power this holiday symbol of joy and peace.

And finally, back here in the United States, neighbors are always trying to out-do each other with the brightest, most colorful light display, like this house in Beaverton, Oregon.

“Everybody in the neighborhood just loves them and they come from all over to see it.”

Jessica: But how can anyone out-do that? Certainly not the neighbors, so they got clever, lighting up word “ditto” with an arrow pointing next door. Ditto is like saying “same with us,” just without all the hard work and expensive electric bill.

“You just can’t compete with that. I mean how could you? Their display is so magnificent.”

Jessica: And down in San Antonio, Texas…

“Ho! Ho! Ho!”

Jessica: They have a city version of a sleigh and eight reindeer.

“I’m Johnny Wicker and I’m the taxi Santa Clause. And don’t I look cute?” Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas!”


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