Christmas 2011 : The List
If projections come to pass, the day after Christmas this year may break holiday sales records.

Why December 26 is a 'monster' shopping day: 4 theories

The day after Christmas is second only to Black Friday as the year's busiest shopping day — thanks, in part, to a tendency for people to buy themselves delayed presents

Christmas 2011 : The List
Santa Claus's jolly, rotund appearance and his ability to slide implausibly down chimneys are relatively recent additions to his mythology.

The history of Santa Claus: 7 interesting facts

From why he wears a red suit to when he got hitched to Mrs. Claus, a look at the mythmaking behind jolly old St. Nick

Christmas 2011 : By the numbers
A family shops at an Orange County, Calif., Christmas tree farm: Americans are expected to spend 3.1 percent more on trees this year than they did in 2010.

America's 'booming' Christmas tree business: By the numbers

Even in these tough economic times, Americans aren't skimping on Christmas

Christmas 2011 : Instant Guide
"War Horse," Steven Spielberg's emotional World War I epic, comes out on Christmas Day, and promises to be a sentimental favorite this holiday season.

The holiday season's 8 most anticipated films

From War Horse to The Iron Lady, a guide to Hollywood's buzziest releases

Christmas 2011 : Slideshow
11 Awkward family photos with Santa: A slideshow

7 silly Santa photos: A slideshow

From ax-wielding Santas to tearful tantrums, a look at holiday images gone awry

Christmas 2011 : The List
For those who have everything

11 Christmas gifts for those who have everything

Finding a unique gift can be an arduous task. May we suggest gold-infused cheese, or meteor-dusted shampoo?

Christmas 2011 : Best Video
UNICEF's portrayal of Santa as an elitist who doesn't "do poor countries" isn't sitting well with some critics.

Is the U.N. declaring 'war on Santa'?

A UNICEF ad out of Sweden depicts St. Nick as a crusty curmudgeon who doesn't "do poor countries"

Christmas 2011 : Instant Guide
A girl plays with Let's Rock Elmo at the toy's launch party: When held close to the ear, noisy playthings like Elmo can damage young children's hearing, according to researchers.

Are loud toys damaging your kids' hearing?

Researchers warn that noisy holiday gifts like Let's Rock Elmo and the I Am T-Pain microphone may harm children's ears

Christmas 2011 : Flashback
The Pilgrims who came to America in 1620 were strict Puritans who didn't celebrate Christmas: They spent their first Dec. 25th in Plymouth Colony working in the fields as they would on any other day.

When Americans banned Christmas

The first 'War on Christmas' was declared almost 400 years ago, courtesy of our Puritan forefathers  

Christmas 2011 : Fact Sheet
Researchers warn that mold spores in your Christmas tree can cause sneezing, watery eyes, and even bronchitis.

'Christmas tree syndrome': An instant guide

Researchers warn that your festive Christmas tree might be making you sick — and offer a few pointers to help you stay healthy through the holidays

Christmas 2011 : Analysis
Santa Claus figurines at a New Jersey Walmart in 2007: Across the country, anonymous donors are getting into the holiday spirit by settling strangers' layaway accounts at Walmart and Kmart.

The Secret Santas who are paying strangers' debts

In this season of giving, anonymous donors are showing up at Kmarts and Walmarts across the U.S. to settle layaway accounts for struggling families

Christmas 2011 : Best Column
Justin Bieber may have a holiday album out, but his biggest Christmas hit isn't even one of his original songs.

Why are there no new Christmas songs?

Even Justin Bieber's holiday hit, says Jeff Alexander at TIME, is just a rehash of a smash from an earlier era

Christmas 2011 : Best Video
As part of a Christmas prank orchestrated by Jimmy Kimmel, a mother gives her young daughter a half-eaten sandwich. The girl declares sadly that she prefers Hot Pockets.

Jimmy Kimmel's 'Terrible Christmas Presents' prank: Mean or hilarious?

Parents surprise their kids with early gifts of rotten bananas, half-eaten sandwiches, and staplers. The children's reactions are not festive

Christmas 2011 : The List
The crew aboard British Royal Navy's HMS Ocean celebrates the happy news of their early return home with a festive rendition of Mariah Carey's holiday hit.

'All I Want for Christmas Is You': The best viral videos

British sailors, cheeky dancers, and a shameless, sartorial-challenged teenager give Mariah Carey's inescapable holiday tune new life

Christmas 2011 : Instant Guide
A new online toy-rental service aims to help cash-strapped parents beef up the offerings under the Christmas tree this year.

Toygaroo: Will parents really rent kids' Christmas gifts?

A new internet service lets frugal moms and dads borrow children's toys on a monthly basis instead of buying them. Brilliant or Scrooge-like?

Christmas 2011 : Fact Sheet
A Berlin Santa Claus school: This year's class of jolly men are taught to steer children's lofty (iPod) and admirable (a job for dad) gift requests to more realistic wishes.

Tips from Santa training school: Managing kids' gift expectations

Times are hard, and old St. Nick is having to learn what to say when kids ask for a pricey gadget — or a job for mom

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