Happy Krampus

Forget Christmas—don your horns, bells and birch branches instead

In December 2009, Stephen Colbert suggested that Americans, in the spirit of defeating secularism, return to the true roots of the Christmas holiday by bringing back Krampus, the horned and sometimes hair-covered devil that carries rusty chains and birch branches.

Santa Clauses coming to town

A look at the myriad Kris Kringles hitting Portland in December

Santa Claus means something different to everyone. From childhood demigod to big fat phony, most anyone you ask has an opinion on the big man during this time of the season. Part of the reason we see so many different varieties of the jolly old elf is that so many versions of Santa exist. Let’s look at just a few of the St. Nick variants jingling around this year.

No war on Christmas here

Celebrating without the faith

This time every year, stories start popping up about the “War on Christmas,” and we get a sense that there’s some sort of inherent tension that comes with religious holidays. There shouldn’t be, though. Celebrate your holiday however you want and reasonable people won’t be offended.

Strange holidays


Is there something inherently chauvinistic about pointing out how bizarre, strange or singular the holiday celebrations of others seem? Probably.

We wish you a smelly Christmas

How odor activates memories and holiday spirit

Pumpkin pie. Pine. Cinnamon. Peppermint. Roast turkey. Clove-covered oranges. All of these smells most likely elicit fond memories of opening presents by the Christmas tree when you were a kid or gorging yourself on a second helping of Grandma’s pumpkin pie.

What kids don’t want from Santa

A handy guide to what not to buy kids for christmas

For those of you who need to buy gifts for nieces, nephews, significantly younger siblings or the children of friends, the holidays can be a very difficult time for shopping. Even parents can be at a loss. Every child is different, but there are certain toys that no child wants—period. Take our word for it. Here’s some help for steering clear of this year’s least popular kids’ gifts.

Naughty Santa

Perfectly paired holiday cocktails and cookies

If you want to be on the “nice list,” it’s a good idea to leave Santa his favorite snack of milk and cookies on Christmas Eve. If you’d rather join the cool kids on the naughty side— where they serve booze—try these delectable pairings of adult holiday beverages and delicious cookies.

Boozy holiday cheer for $30

how to host a festive cocktail party

For many students, $30 has a lot of potential.An extra $30 could mean eating real vegetables or represent three happy-hour outings. In extreme cases, the entire fate of a friendship could rest upon an unpaid $30 debt.

Deckin’ the halls with bells and ribbons

Throwing a holiday party on a college-student budget

Fall term is almost over and the Black Friday bell has rung, marking the beginning of the Christmas holiday season and shot nerves, broken banks, a glut of generosity and overwhelming gift-giving decisions. What’s left to do but to take the edge off the holiday craziness by throwing a small party?