‘Tis the season and all of that. The Blog Digest gets into the Christmas spirit.
Corporate Responsibility at the North Pole (pictured)
There are almost as many blogs out there claiming to be written by Santa Claus as there as pretenders on the streets in beards held on by elastic and sporting cheap, grubby costumes, but this one may well be the real deal.
Christmas is a business, right? And this blog is written by Santa Claus, who calls himself the CEO and chairman of North Pole Inc. He devotes the blog to an issue that should be close to any business, but especially one that produces huge amounts of waste and an unusually large carbon footprint (hoofprint?) at certain times of the year.
“Every year we manufacture or procure several billion toys that are then distributed worldwide. It is a huge challenge to minimise the impact of those operations on the environment, but it is a challenge we are not shying away from,” Santa says.
As we know, the Christmas tree, or Tannenbaum, originally came from Germany. However, a lesser-known fact is that much of the delicious, stodgy, spicy yumminess we consume each festive season is also derived from old German recipes.
Germany is famous for its Lebkuchen, or spiced biscuits, and also heady mulled wine and marzipan sweets (probably an acquired taste). Why not add some authentic Christmassy recipes to your celebrations this year, and use this blog as a jump-off point to bake some yummy treats?
I find excess Christmas lights, inflatable Santa Clauses and fake snow quite tacky and frankly, rather offensive, so you may wonder why I’m highlighting this particular blog for mention when it is clearly one of the worst offenders in all of the above categories. However, there’s a saving grace – the guy who runs this site donates money to coeliac research.
This US-based blog has a live webcam on a front lawn liberally sprinkled with a myriad of Christmassy trinkets and flashing monstrosities, and the web visitor can remotely switch these on and off, so a bit of mindless fun is involved.
While this is for a good cause, one thing that does irk me is that some of the inflatable figures are clearly from Halloween – namely the vampire SpongeBob SquarePants. Also try to ignore the fact that the site looks like it was created back in 1997.
This is actually a photography blog, but one particular post on getting the perfect holiday snaps may prove invaluable. There are 16 tips on things like how to photograph Christmas lights, getting the white balance correct and picking a good focal point.
I particularly liked the advice to use continuous shooting mode when opening presents. You can capture the excitement, joy and possibly crushing disappointment as your loved ones tear away the paper to reveal the gift inside.
Another pointer: snap some ‘before’ and ‘after’ shots of your party so you can scratch your head later at the resulting images where the star from the Christmas tree is now in your drink and the cat is sitting on the cake.
By Marie Boran