Headline News Joins the Christmas Creep Parade Two Months Late

Headline News — what used to be part of Turner Broadcasting known for 24-hour non-stop news — seems to be in a bit of a rut. The news channel is still obsessed with the long ago convicted Jodi Arias and now they are jumping on the Christmas creep bandwagon.

Yup, on October 20th, HLNTV.com is OUTRAGED to see Christmas BEFORE HALLOWEEN and they mean it, doggone it, BECAUSE THEY USE ALL CAPS TO TALK ABOUT IT:

One of these things is not like the others: Pumpkin carving, apple picking, CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS. In what can only be described as a seasonal scandal, Christmas-themed items have already started appearing in stores.

In case you have forgotten, it’s only October… as in, there’s still Halloween and Thanksgiving to get through first. Although some people are outraged by the very early Christmas cheer, other shoppers were overjoyed.

Would someone please advise HLNTV.com they are two months late to this party?

Christmas creep, officially, peaks as breaking news in August and September.

They need to move on to complaining about Black Friday killing Thanksgiving already.

Dukes of Hazard Christmas

It has been 35 years since the debut of Dukes of Hazard. So it’s time to come out with a Christmas album, right?

John Schneider and Tom Wopat — that 70s era duo who played Bo and Luke Duke — sing lead on a brassy, big-band backed album of Christmas tunes.

“I think this is a fresh take on the Christmas album,” Wopat said in a statement. “Jazz fans and serious musicians will appreciate what we’ve done with these tunes. Our arranger John Oddo has a true affinity for that classic ’50s and ’60s sounds.”

“I love singing with John Schneider,” he continued. “The timbre of our voices match, the harmonies blend so easily. Plus, he’s a barrel of laughs.”

The Dukes of Hazzard premiered in 1979, and ran for seven seasons before being canceled in 1985. The series follows cousins Bo (Schneider) and Luke Duke (Wopat) as they race around in their 1969 Dodge Charger and cause trouble with their various escapades. Catherine Bach co-starred as cousin Daisy, with Denver Pyle as Uncle Jesse, Sorrell Booke as county commissioner Boss Hogg and James Best as county sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane.

Schneider currently stars as Jim Cryer on OWN soap opera The Haves and Have Nots. Wopat last appeared as Ryan Hutton in ABC Family movie Lovestruck: The Musical in 2013.

LeAnn Rimes Releases Her First Chapter of Christmas

Pop star LeAnn Rimes is out with her “first chapter” of Christmas — which we assume to mean there is more. On this first one, she releases these six songs of Christmas:

One Christmas: Chapter 1
1. Silent Night Holy Night
2. I Want A Hippopotamus for Christmas
3. Blue Christmas
4. Someday at Christmas
5. Hard Candy Christmas
6. Carol of the Bells

The album releases October 28th.

Eggnog Sticker Shock Awaits Americans

A recent poll found food prices overall putting the pinch on American spending plans for Christmas but grocers are bracing for the coming backlash for one of the priciest increases in holiday food costs: eggnog.

Common pricing in stores early in the holiday season show eggnog topping $6 in some markets for just a half gallon of the sweet stuff. Specialty nogs will be priced anywhere from $5 to $18 a quart.

It’s all about the herd. American dairy prices have been tied to the price and availability of feed for livestock, affected most severely by drought, fuel costs, and other market conditions. It has given rise not only to the cost of beef but also to all dairy products such as milk, butter and, now, eggnog.

“Eggnog is not the staple loss leader that milk is,” explains Bart Young, an industry analyst who write for dairy trade association publications. “Eggnog is a seasonal profit center and for the first time in decades this year will be one where prices may impact sales. It just may be out of reach for some people, we will see.”

An informal survey of shoppers in stores on Saturday, October 18, 2014 reveals some early attitudes.

“It’s out of my league this year,” claimed Monica Rhodes, a single mother of two from Colorado. A half gallon of Darigold Eggnog there was priced at $4.58 at a local Walmart. “It is too early for me to buy it but when they started packaging it with Halloween graphics a few years ago we would buy some. But I think I’ll just save it for Christmas Eve this year.”

One trend we will be watching will be the search for home made eggnog recipes. According to Merry Christmas Recipes.com searches there for eggnog recipes are already up 40 percent this year.

Can Cameron get it right to Save Christmas?

Just as Kirk Cameron’s Christmas movie project Saving Christmas needed another push of media its website was somehow hacked again by “Islamic terrorists”. We’re not saying it isn’t true. We just think it is curious.

Saving Christmas is supposed to be a Christian response to atheists and anti-Christmas detractors who continually harp on Christmas. And Cameron is pushing hard to promote the “us versus them” angle of his movie. The Turkish website hackers appear to possess incredible timing in helping Cameron make this point.

“We have expected opposition to the message of ‘Saving Christmas‘ from the beginning,” said an executive for Provident Films, Mediaite reported. “But we had no idea it would come from the other side of the world. This incident only heightens our resolve to help this important message get out.”

The Saving Christmas website was taken over by Ayyildiz Tim International Force, a group that has also hacked pages run by the United Nations. The site was reportedly replaced with a banner image of a man in armor—believed to be the Muslim sultan Saladin, who fought Christian crusaders in 788 to 793 B.C. (Before Cameron)—along with Turkish text reading, “The Turkish spirit will shine again and the use of weapons will emerge in the nation’s history as this hero will shine again.”

After hearing “music and a loud gunshot,” visitors were automatically redirected to the Ayyildiz Tim Twitter page, where the group regularly brags of all the other, equally important enemies of Islam it’s waged its holy hacker war upon. Oddly enough, the Ayyildiz Tim Twitter account doesn’t actually boast about hacking Cameron’s website itself—and in fact, it only retweets The Blaze’s story about the hacking.

“Coincidence?” Cameron asks. “Or does it actually prove the title of the movie? Will you and your family join me and my family this year in putting ‘Christ’ back in Christmas?”

Cameron is promoting his movie to Christian websites, Christian publications and Christian groups to sell tickets to Christians during a limited two-week run of the movie in November.

He claims the movie puts Christ back in Christmas.

Will it?

In media interviews Cameron claims there is religious significance to all the elements of the season — from mistletoe to Santa Claus — because they all celebrate Christ. Yet, at the same time, movie previews appear to belittle the use of the phrase “happy holidays”, which of course is derived from the term “happy holy days”.

Can Cameron rise above it all or will he only continue to divide Christmas and Christians?

We haven’t seen the movie. But we would be surprised if Cameron included the following in his production:

1. Christmas existed and was celebrated before Christ. (Tell the story of Isaiah, Kirk!)
2. Christmas embraces elements of pagan worship that were adopted later as Christian symbols. (Truth is truth).
3. Christmas has evolved over time to morph into both a sacred and secular observance. (And that’s ok).

Ultimately, this “war” on Christmas is never ending because the extremes — and Kirk Cameron is an extreme in this conversation — will only argue with other extremes. Both push agendas that extend far beyond Christmas and the celebration of a holiday.

In the end, we declare, with the movie yet unseen, Saving Christmas is nothing more than propaganda for one side.

And it won’t help or solve anything.

Black Pete Makeover Plans Announced

The Dutch tradition of Black Pete begins its transformation this year with Santa being accompanied by a whole lot of Petes not colored black. There will be yellow Petes, white Petes and Petes with faces streaked with soot.

In Gouda, where Saint Nicholas and dozens of Petes will ‘arrive’ on November 15 with a gift-filled boat from Spain in a national event broadcast live on television, the mayor on Tuesday decided to introduce some new colours. Besides a number of Black Petes, there will also be ‘Cheese Petes’ with yellow faces and ‘Stroopwafel Petes’ with striped, light brown faces resembling the traditional Dutch syrup biscuit of the same name. ‘There is no simple way to find a solution that everyone can identify with,’ said Gouda Mayor Milo Schoenmaker.
Gouda’s Black Petes ‘changed several years ago to dark brown without stereotypical big red lips and earrings,’ the city hall added.

Some in the media are covering this story “after years of debate” in charging the tradition with racist undertones.

Here’s the truth: for nearly 200 years the Dutch have had the holiday tradition of Sinter Klaas and Black Pete, a whimsical character of debatable origin. Pete is usually portrayed by with black faces, big red lips and curly afro hair. It was only last year that the caricature was charged as racist, which was fueled by International commentary from a U.N. observer. The issue went to court and the court declared that, yes, Black Pete is indeed racist.

Amsterdam’s mayor and a council of festival organizers met to discuss a makeover for Black Pete, which led to a counter protest from traditionalists who claim this whole thing is just political correctness run amok.

With the date for the festival fast approaching on November 15th, and the culminating events later planned near St. Nicholas day, you can bet this story will continue to be in the news for weeks to come.

Paris Christmas Tree Looks Like a Sex Toy

Citizens of Paris are asking: what is that thing? Apparently, it’s a Christmas tree.

Although it is only mid October the tree is up and getting lots of attention. The work of American artist Paul McCarthy is considered by some to better resemble a giant sex toy more than a Christmas tree. Many are openly wondering if it is a joke.

The work is 80 feet tall and is simply titled “Tree”. It was evidently placed now because a big International Art Fair will be held nearby in coming weeks.

Public reaction to the tree has been swift and condemning — some expressing shock, others amusement.

This isn’t McCarthy’s first rodeo with controversial works. In 2011 an exhibition of his work in London included a pair of George W Bush sculptures having sex with pigs.

Be prepared to see this image for some time to come of unusual public Christmas trees from around the world.

Satanic Temple Tries Again for Biblical Christmas Display

Just like last year the Satanic Temple will try to get it’s “holiday display” shown at the Florida state capitol among the Nativity, Christmas trees and Santa displays already there.

The display consists of a kiosk in which Satan — depicted in his angelic form — is seen descending into a sea of fire. It includes two biblical verses, Luke 10:18, which reads, “And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning falling from Heaven,” and Isaiah 14:12, “How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the nations!”

Across the top, it implores viewers to have a “Happy Holidays from the Satanic Temple.”

When the Department of Management Services (DMS) rejected the display as being “grossly offensive” last year, Andrew Seidel of the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) said that “the government has decided that one biblical scene is offensive and one biblical scene is acceptable. And legally speaking I don’t think they have a leg to stand on.”

Satanic Temple spokesman Lucien Greaves insisted that it was “not our intention to offend. Like the Nativity scene, it presents an image from a Biblical story, which is shared with other religious traditions besides our own. In addition, a positive sentiment of ‘Happy Holidays’ is displayed.”

In order to make sure that any legal challenge against the display can be met in a timely fashion, Greaves said that “this year, we’re submitting our display early, with plenty of time to confront any objections or concerns. In a nation that respects religious liberty, viewpoint discrimination is simply intolerable.”

“For that reason,” he added, “we feel our holiday display sends a very important, affirmative message that goes above and beyond that of superficial season’s greetings. It’s a message of religious freedom, and Church/State separation expressed in the State’s neutrality.”

The Satanic Temple has also enlisted the aid of Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AUSCS), which will release a letter later this week urging Florida obey the letter of the law.

“Once the state has opened up a public forum they can’t say we like these messages and we don’t like those,” AUSCS attorney Gregory Lipper told the Democrat. “Once they have that forum they can’t pick and among religions.”

TIME Magazine Blames Christmas Creep on You

TIME Magazine. Funny people. Trying so hard to be relevant in a world that long passed magazines by.

Last year TIME set a record in complaining about “Christmas creep”. Of course, nearly all their conclusions were wrong. Christmas wasn’t any earlier last year than it has been for decades.

This year it appears TIME is throwing in the towel. Now they say Christmas creep isn’t the media’s fault — it’s yours.

You, after all, keep buying Christmas stuff before Labor Day. YOU, obviously, don’t seem to mind Christmas commercials on television in September. And YOU, evidently, aren’t buying all the media hoopla about Christmas creep.

What’s wrong with you?

Regulators Going After Christmas Lights

Since 1980 more than 250 people have been killed when decorative Christmas lights malfunction, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. So, the same folks that took the .25 cent light bulb and turned it into a $5 light bulb that never lasts as long as they promised and doesn’t save the energy they guaranteed, now want to change all your Christmas lights, too.

The new rules would apply to everything from Christmas tree lights to the light sculptures and animated figures of Santa Claus and his reindeer that illuminate front yards across the country.
Decorative lighting that does not meet new standards will be considered hazardous, the agency said.

“Consumers can be seriously injured or killed by electrical shocks or fires if seasonal and decorative lighting products are not made using minimum wire size, sufficient strain reliefs, or over-current protection,” the agency wrote.

No word on whether or not they plan to regulate the old Christmas lights and decorations many have been using since the 1950s.