A commercial which depicts a gay Santa falling in love with a man has gone viral in Norway. The much-praised four-minute spot was produced by the Norwegian Post Office to mark the 50th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the country.
Titled When Harry met Santa, it shows Father Christmas gradually becoming attracted to a man as he delivers him presents down the years. Finally, Harry writes a letter to Santa telling him: “All I want for Christmas is you”.
The Post Office then steps in to deliver presents so the couple can spend Christmas Day together and the advert ends with them kissing.
Meanwhile, Norwegians have expressed their disappointment with criticism of the Christmas tree their country sent to London as a friendship gift, which has become a target of jokes on social media since being placed in Trafalgar Square.
Councillors in Oslo turned down plans to send a new tree and Leif Bjørkli, a commentator on the Verdens Gang newspaper website summed up the feelings of many when he wrote: “The tree probably had its best growing years at the time England sent hundreds of tons of acid rain over Norway every year, and only laughed when Norwegian politicians brought it up with them. Arrogance, they are good at it. So you can safely say that karma is a bitch.”
Norway has sent the UK a Christmas tree for Trafalgar Square every year since 1947 as thanks for helping defend the country during the Second World War.
An Italian bishop has defended himself after telling a group of children that Santa Claus does not exist.
Antonio Staglianò, bishop of Noto, explained during a special sermon: “No, there is no Santa Claus. The red suit he wears was chosen by Coca-Cola for promotional purposes only. Santa Claus has no historical background, in contrast to Saint Nicholas, from whom the fictional character comes.”
After being criticised by parents, Staglianò later told the La Republicca newspaper: “I only encouraged the younger ones to get a more concrete idea of Santa Claus, so that they can better experience the waiting time and, above all, the exchange of gifts.
“With all due respect to the CocaCola company that invented Santa Claus, it is the job of a bishop to regain the true meaning of the Christian Christmas tradition. In addition, the children know that Santa Claus is their father or uncle. So this is not about broken dreams.”
A Christmas meal for intensive care staff at Malaga’s general hospital turned into a superspreader event.
Of 173 doctors and nurses who attended, 68 have tested positive for Covid-19. All the guests had received a booster dose of vaccine or tested negative before the lunch.
America’s Polish communities have been warned about giving a rapping cactus toy as a Christmas present as it sings a song about cocaine.
Ania Tanner, who lives in Brampton, Ohio, bought the dancing toy for her grandchildren at her local Walmart after hearing that it sang songs her native tongue as well as English and Spanish. But when she tried it out, she discovered its repertoire included Gdzie Jest Biały Wegorz? (Where Is the White Eel?) by rapper Cypis, whose opening lyrics are: “The only thing in my head is five grams of cocaine / Fly away alone, to the edge of oblivion.” Other lines include swearing and references to depression.
Zbigniew Florek, a representative for Cypis, says he had “no idea” the song was being used in a children’s toy and added, “He’s disgusted.”
A man from Duisburg, Germany who flew into Dusseldorf airport from Lebanon with a suitcase full of nativity figurines was actually bringing gold rather than myrrh and frankincense.
The 54-year-old is facing tax evasion charges after 33 pieces of the precious metal, weighing just under 450 grams, were discovered inside three camels, three kings, an ox and a donkey. The haul, worth around £12,750, included seven coins from the 1910s, eight bracelets, nine necklaces and five gold earrings – though alas not a gold partridge in a gold pear tree.
An Icelandic brewery has had a Christmas hit with a beer made from peas and pickled red cabbage, accompaniments to the traditional festive meal of smoked lamb leg and potatoes.
Valgeir Valgeirsson, master brewer at RVK Brewing in Reykjavik, sold out of his first batch of ‘Ora jólabjór’ in six hours.
He has previously made beer from the trunk of a Christmas tree. “It was weird,” he said.