Today’s news:

Merry Chris— Happy Holi— ah … whatever

The manager of a popular retail store complained to me last January that even though he bought only half the amount of Christmas gift wrap than he did the year before, he was still stuck with almost 90 percent of his inventory.

“Most of my customers give their gifts in colorful mini-shopping bags,” he said. “That would be OK if they bought new bags, but the truth is that they are reusing the bags that they received the year before.”

Hmm. Is there anyone that is not guilty of that?

• • •

Almost as much fun as shopping for Christmas gifts is shopping the day after when everything goes on sale at half price. Joan Applepie runs out every Dec. 26 to buy seasonal paper tableware at 50 percent off. She splits the packages into two and uses the red plates and cups for Valentine’s Day and the green for St. Patrick’s Day. Now there’s a creative, intelligent gal.

• • •

At this time of the year the requests for donations to many different charities keep coming. How are we supposed to know which charities are worthwhile and which are not?Check out will answer most of your questions.

• • •

We learn quite a bit by reading the results of surveys. Several hundred white-bearded men who annually don the furry red costume participated in one, and here are some of the results.

• Ninety percent tell us that their beards are pulled every day by children who doubt their authenticity.

• Swventy-four percent pose for the photos while the youngsters sitting on their laps cry real tears.

• Sixty percenty are sneezed and coughed on many times a day.

But here’s the one that they really love to talk about:

• Thirty-four percent of all shopping mall Santas in America have been peed on at least once.

I hope it was by a child.

• • •

Should the word “Holiday” replace the word “Christmas” to include believers of other faiths? Only seven percent said “Yes,” while a booming 93 percent said “No.”

The results for this survey were almost the same for every other poll on the subject. The only place where it was different was when the poll was taken at Temple Beth Sholom in Smithtown.

• • •

So what’s in a name? Probably a lot of fun if you’re part of the Christmas family. Zabasearch lists 37 gals with the first name Merry and 149 with the first name Mary. There are also two men with the name Saint Nicholas and 52 named Santa Claus. I’m sure that there are a lot more that are not listed. Does anybody know the first name of Santa’s wife? Please don’t write to tell me Mrs. There are eight listings for Chris Kringle and 29 for Kris Kringle.

• • •

The Winter Holiday Joyous Eve definition of a hypocrite is one who gets angry at the use of the word “Christmas” but takes the holiday off from work. He celebrates it but refuses to say or even hear the name of the special day as if it is a dirty word.

• • •

To those of you who prefer the word holiday, I wish you and yours a very Happy Holiday Season. To those who prefer Christmas I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas. I am and I have no problem with either.

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