In 1928, A Black Santa Robbed Coal From the Rich and Gave to the Poor

Marvin Gaye as Santa, Jet Magazine, Dec. 30, 1976
This year's dumbest controversy has been over whether Santa Claus, who is 100 percent real, is permitted to be any color or ethnicity other than the whitest white. But a spin through the archives of the New York Times reveals that Santa has been intermittently black for more than 100 years. Someone cover Megyn Kelly's eyes, we're going on a history lesson! Sit tight; at the end, there'll be a robbery.

The earliest examples the paper has of black Santas are also the most offensive by modern standards; a 1906 story reports that a white man named Lew Dockstader, who sold fake, foldable Christmas trees while dressed as Santa, always wore blackface while in character.

"He has the hardihood to declare that Santa is a negro," the paper reported. "When any one asks why, he merely shakes his head and says he knows it."

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State Senator Andrew Lanza Called Atheist Billboard "Hateful," So Now There's One in His District

Image via American Atheists
The atheists wish you a merry, Christ-less Christmas. Except you, Andrew Lanza.
On Tuesday, we told you about the American Atheists' latest billboard, a cheery, seasonally appropriate number that wishes everybody in Times Square a merry Christmas, minus the Christ part. Predictably, the godfearing folks at FOX News and on Glenn Beck's program were very upset, while most everybody else recognized it as a well-timed bit of marketing for the non-belief lifestyle and moved on.

Well, not everyone. State Senator Andrew Lanza, a Republican who represents Staten Island, is going all in on his war against the American Atheists. It's not going well.

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It's Time To Throw Out Your Damn Christmas Tree Already

The end of today's non-work day means that the holidays are officially over. Yes, we know that Three Kings Day falls on January 6th but we're tired of waiting around so long for it. It's time to get rid of the lights and decorations and fall into the ho-hum that is winter in New York. So what do you do with that huge green behemoth just hanging out in your living room? It's time to bring the good ol' Christmas tree down to Tompkins Square Park and get it turned into a huge bag of mulch. Our favorite neighbor EV Grieve gives us the tip that it's time to store away the ornaments and join MulchFest 2012.

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Five Die in Connecticut Home Fire

A Christmas tragedy struck Stamford, Conn. early yesterday morning, three children and their two grandparents died in a fire that overtook a Victorian house, the New York Times reported. The owner of the house -- advertising executive Madonna Badger -- escaped from the flames that killed her children and parents. A family friend also got out.

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Merry Day-After-Christmas! It's Still (Technically) A Holiday

Good morning one and all. How was your Christmas? Did you occupy something? A movie theater perhaps? Though Santa has already been tracked, presents have already been opened, and some of us have had our traditional fill of Chinese food, it's still technically a holiday today, according to the government. So, Merry Christmas, round two! We have compiled some of the things New York City tells us we should expect for this day-after-day.

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Where to Donate Christmas Cheer Today: A List of Charities

In caveman days, if you wanted to give someone something, it usually meant you had to go outside. Back then, being outdoors had about a 10% survival rate, so giving was reserved mostly for daredevils and idiots. During the dark ages, the only giving going on was of the bacterial kind, so the whole endeavor was generally pooh-poohed. In the eighties, giving was replaced by trickling down, and most people forgot how to do it altogether. Thanks to the Internet, not only is it better to give than receive, nowadays, it's almost as easy. Because Christmas is all about giving, we've listed a bunch of charities you can donate to from the comfort of your computer.

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Stay The Hell Away From New York's Malls Right Now

Shopping for presents on Christmas Eve is the only thing worse than buying a Halloween costume on October 30th. For the fifth year in a row, you've forgot to get your uncle that sweater you were supposed to get him and now you have to max out your credit card a just little bit more. If you really have to get the forgotten gift go ahead, but if it's not for an immediate family member -- screw it. Right now, the state of the stores in America, specifically New York's, is at a particular high point of black friday level craziness. Stop shopping, it's time to cut your losses in order to protect your mental and physical health.

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Santa Is Real, Track His Location Around The World All Day

If you're alone this Christmas Eve and you have a bit of an obsessive streak, then it's time to plant yourself behind your computer with a gallon of eggnog and study the NORAD Santa Tracker. Wondering where Santa is right now? He's hovering around the Philippines and steadily moving westward. NORAD, the very real North American Aerospace Defense Command, says that they use four systems to track the location of St. Nick -- radar, satellites, Santa cams and fighter jets. But how the hell did a real life bi-national aerospace defense organization become responsible for tracking the world's most notorious home invader?

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