BuzzFeed News: 50 Children Took Pictures With A Santa And Mrs. Claus Who Then Tested Positive For COVID

BuzzFeed News: 50 Children Took Pictures With A Santa And Mrs. Claus Who Then Tested Positive For COVID. “Long County, which has a population of about 20,000 people, had a positivity rate of 11% between Nov. 26 and Dec. 9… according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. Though children are less likely to become severely ill from COVID-19, they are not immune from the virus and can still spread it to others. It was not immediately clear whether the Clauses or the children were wearing masks for the pictures or if anyone else may have been exposed.”

Smithsonian Magazine: What the Pandemic Christmas of 1918 Looked Like

Smithsonian Magazine: What the Pandemic Christmas of 1918 Looked Like. “Christmas 1918 was not Christmas 2020. The pandemic had already peaked in the U.S. in the fall of 1918 as part of the disease’s second wave. Meanwhile, this week the deaths attributed to Covid-19 in the U.S. are the highest they’ve ever been, showing no signs of waning as the holiday approaches. But the flu also killed far more people (675,000) than Covid-19 has to date, in a country that was much smaller, population-wise, at the time. And it wasn’t over by any means.”

New York Times: It’s Holiday Party Season at the White House. Masks Are Encouraged, but Not Required.

New York Times: It’s Holiday Party Season at the White House. Masks Are Encouraged, but Not Required.. “The red and gold party invitations make no mention of the coronavirus, nor do they acknowledge the holiday message that public health officials have been trying to emphasize to Americans: Stay home. Instead, the invitations are the latest example of how President Trump is spending his final weeks in office operating in an alternative universe, denying the realities of life during the pandemic.”

Metro: Dad ordered to turn off Christmas lights or face £10,000 fine

Metro: Dad ordered to turn off Christmas lights or face £10,000 fine. “Trevor Payne, 46, has been displaying festive lights outside his house for several years to raise money for mental health charities. But police were called to his property in Cheslyn Hay, Staffordshire, on Saturday evening after reports of a ‘large gathering’ in the street. The dad was ordered to turn off his seasonal display or face a huge fine for breaking coronavirus rules – leaving families and children in the area heartbroken.”

New York Times: Geek Out Over Christmas Films

New York Times: Geek Out Over Christmas Films. “Theaters would normally be packed this time of year with folks assembled to watch revered holiday films like ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’ Frank Capra’s 1946 heart-tugger usually returns to big screens over the holidays, including an annual weeks-long run at the IFC Center in New York. But with many theaters now dark, fans in search of a more communal experience have been forced to get creative. Here are some (mostly) digital ways to expand the magic of classic Christmas cinema right.”

CBS Denver: NORAD Launches Santa Tracker Website On Tuesday With Holiday Countdown, Games & More

CBS Denver: NORAD Launches Santa Tracker Website On Tuesday With Holiday Countdown, Games & More. “The website… features a holiday countdown, games, movies, music and a webstore. The website is available in eight languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Chinese. Families can also track Santa using Amazon Alexa and OnStar. NORAD will post updates on St. Nick’s location on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.”

Coronavirus: Cancelled Christmas parties ‘to save UK workers £4bn’ (Yahoo News)

Yahoo News: Coronavirus: Cancelled Christmas parties ‘to save UK workers £4bn’. “UK workers may save about £4.3bn ($5.8bn) following the cancellation of Christmas festivities, according to a study. Two in five Christmas parties plan to move online his year, resulting in savings of about £139 each for those who no longer have to attend an office ‘do’, according to a survey of 1,000 by Instantprint.”

KMBC: In Santa’s mailbag, a peek into children’s pandemic worries

KMBC: In Santa’s mailbag, a peek into children’s pandemic worries. “Jim, from Taiwan, slipped a face mask inside the greeting card he sent to Santa and marked “I (heart) u.” Alina, 5, asked in her Santa letter written with an adult’s help that he please use the front door when he drops in, because the back door is reserved for Grandma and Grandpa to minimize their risk of contamination. And spilling out her heavy little heart to ‘Dear Father Christmas,’ 10-year-old Lola wrote that she is wishing ‘that my aunt never has cancer again and that this virus no longer exists.’”

Mashable: 11 ways to virtually visit Santa this holiday season

Mashable: 11 ways to virtually visit Santa this holiday season. “While your kids aren’t able to sit on Santa’s lap in 2020, they can still interact with him through a screen. A bunch of helpful online services are offering virtual Santa visits in the form of pre-recorded video messages or live video calls. They vary in price depending on type and duration of experience, date booked, and personalization, so we thought it would be helpful to round up a few of the best options for you to browse.”

Holiday Arts Guide: From Blenders to Brickman, music traditions continue online (TwinCities Pioneer Press)

TwinCities Pioneer Press: Holiday Arts Guide: From Blenders to Brickman, music traditions continue online. “Nearly all of this year’s holiday concerts are virtual, but many familiar faces both local (the Blenders, Lorie Line, the SPCO) and national (Jim Brickman, Trans-Siberian Orchestra) have planned online events to keep holiday traditions going during the pandemic. Here’s a look at what’s on tap.” These events are a mix of free and not-free.

BNN Bloomberg: Covid to Kill 30,000 More in U.S. by Christmas, CDC Model Shows

BNN Bloomberg: Covid to Kill 30,000 More in U.S. by Christmas, CDC Model Shows. “After a week that shattered daily case, testing and hospitalization records, Covid’s trajectory is slated to steepen in the U.S. Coronavirus, which has killed more than 256,000 Americans so far, is on track to claim another 30,000 lives by mid-December, according to forecasts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The model shows weekly cases and deaths both rising every week for the next month, the maximum range of the agency’s projection.”

UPI: 40% in U.S. planning large gatherings for holidays despite COVID-19 warnings

UPI: 40% in U.S. planning large gatherings for holidays despite COVID-19 warnings. “Nearly 40% of U.S. residents plan to participate in gatherings of 10 or more people this holiday season despite concerns over the spread of COVID-19, according to the findings of a survey released Thursday by Ohio State University. In addition, one-third of respondents said they wouldn’t ask attendees at holiday parties with family or friends to wear masks, and just over 25% indicated that they wouldn’t practice social distancing, the data showed.”