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The origin of Santa Claus [infographic]

Good morning all, it’s CHRISTMAS.

Sorry for the start of this post….When did you stop believing in Santa Claus? I remember vividly. I’m pretty sure I was traumatized by the ridiculous lie, laid before me by my Father shoving our presents into the cupboard with a Santa hat on, then having it confirmed by Natalie at primary school, in the girls toilets, that it was all a lie, at aged 8. I was devastated and refused to believe, only for my mum to confirm and made me swear not to tell my little sister, who was caught up in the whole spirit of Christmas.

Throughout the years, Santa Claus, with his big belly, fluffy beard, red coat, shiny buttons and black boots have been a memory and a big point of our imagination growing up. Now, being 28, I know what I’m getting for Christmas, only because I’ve asked for it or I’ve been told to buy it myself, wrap it myself and then my boyfriend gives it to me on Christmas day. Christmas spirit is still here in my household with the tree, stockings by the TV and festive food plaguing our fridge/freezer, but the true origins of Santa is still fairly unknown. I just remember what my parents told me. He’s a chubby man, a little overweight than his liking, who works all year round in the North Pole with lots of little elves, who make toys for children all over the world, who is magically able to drop all the Christmas gifts in one night to everyone, as far as the eye can see, to all corners of the earth, by his reindeer.

If you’re not familiar with the origin of Santa Claus, then fear not, this great infographic will help you:

Whilst my childhood belief in Santa is clearly rumbled, I love kids who get excited for this time of the year. I’m especially looking forward to my 2 year old niece [who unfortunately has her birthday the day before] enjoying Christmas day.

I shall leave you with this:

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads. And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap, Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below. When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.

whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

“Now Dasher! Now Dancer! Now Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! On, Cupid! On, Donner and Blitzen! To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall! Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky. So up to the house-top the coursers they flew, With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around, Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot, And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot. A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back, And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry! His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath. He had a broad face and a little round belly, That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself! A wink of his eye and a twist of his head, Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk. And laying his finger aside of his nose, And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, And away they all flew like the down of a thistle. But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight, “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”

Merry Christmas everyone.

D x

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The Run Up To Christmas

So there are officially 2 days until Christmas Eve. A whole 11 months has flown by this year and December is here, ready to pull us into the Christmas spirit, Mulled Wine a-plenty, songs being played everywhere, ready for the birth of Jesus and time well-spent with family. Not sure if I’m happy with how quick this year has gone, but I sure am looking forward to 2014.

Christmas always tends to start early in the UK. I remember standing in the Tesco checkout queue, way back in the beginning of October and heard George Michael’s voice wailing in the background, and a woman in front of me buying a Christmas jumper. Now don’t get me wrong, I do love me a bit of Christmas spirit, but some of the things this year are just too much. I’m not a Scrooge, even though I’ve Bah Humbugged a few times this year, it’s only because of a few things, that just really get on my nerves, when Christmas comes to town. I have a few pet hates that really get my goat and if it weren’t for these few little points, I would be singing and dancing like everyone else. I’m not a bad person, I just don’t like having the whole Christmas spirit shoved down my throat.

Christmas Songs

I don’t mind a few Christmas songs here and there, but there has to be a cut-off moment in a shop, the train station or on the radio that should stop playing these songs continuously throughout the day/night/week/weekend/month. I’m not saying I hate Christmas songs, because quite frankly, all you lovers of Christmas out there, will disown me for my complete and utter disrespect for Christmas, but seriously, some need to have their songwriters, catapulted high into the midnight sky and taken off this planet.

If I had to have a list, these would be my top Christmas songs:

  1. “Fairytale of New York” – The Pogues feat. Kirsty MacColl
  2. “All I Want For Christmas Is You” – Mariah Carey
  3. “Last Christmas” – Wham!
  4. “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” – Vaughn Monroe/Dean Martin/Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
  5. “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of Year” – Andy Williams
  6. “Santa Baby” – Eartha Kitt
  7. “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” – Frank Sinatra
  8. “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” – Jimmy Boyd
  9. “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” – Vaughn Monroe/Dean Martin/Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
  10. “Driving Home For Christmas” – Chris Rea

These songs deserve to be flung into space, and the person who wrote them, shot:

  1. “Wonderful Christmastime” – Paul McCartney
  2. “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday” – Wizzard
  3. “Merry Xmas Everybody” – Slade
  4. “Merry Christmas Everyone” – Shakin’ Stevens

Fugly Christmas jumpers

I’m not the kind to entertain the fact of wearing a Christmas jumper. I’ve worn daft jumpers in my time, mostly because I must have been drunk when I bought them, but even so, have you seen some of the disasters that are considered Christmas fashion this year?

Here are my favourites:

I’m a little elf, hear my jingle bells:

Jack Wills knows how to do festive:

Look at the cute little doggy:

Here are my worst picks:

You’re not a Christmas tree love, no one wants to see you lit up like one:

No thanks, let’s keep your bells hidden please:

Why would you bother firing up [excuse the pun] your Smartphone to send your jumper a message to do this?

The Kardashians

I hate them. If you’ve read anything on my other blog, you’d know how much I despise them. Even their Christmas picture, just makes me want to slap them. You’re annoying, now sod off.

On the up side, here is Christmas taken to a whole new level, that guarantees even the most old foggie of Christmas past, will enjoy:

‘World’s best dad:’

Guess she nose how to draw attention:

No, thank you for the dove:

Let’s just turn on these lights shall we?

Erm?

Bearable Christmas?

There are no words for this:

Or this:

Merry Christmas.

D x

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The Multiple Personalities of Coffee [infographic]

I’m not a coffee drinker. Instead I prefer to go for the gentler and smoother hints of a great tasting tea bag smothered in milk at any point of the day. I would love to say, I wake up in the morning to the strong aromatic smell of a good Espresso or a good Latte. I am a tea drinker and forever will be. I’ve tried it once and couldn’t get the taste of Kenco out of my mouth for what seemed like a decade. So now you all know, Danielle Moon is not a coffee drinker. In my mornings, I love to wake up and make myself a good cuppa. I can have from 3-4 cups of tea in just a few hours. Crazy but that that goes for all you coffee drinkers out there. I’ve seen you, queuing up for your daily dose of caffeine in Starbucks or Costa Coffee, waiting for that strong Cuban Espresso, Café Bombón or artfully roasted and brewed fresh all morning long cup of coffee that will awaken the right soul who’s endured 2 hours of a painful commute on the London Underground.

That’s why I love this infographic, it hits on the right note for all the coffee drinkers I know out there. My mum loves her decaf cappuccino with just enough froth in it, it should barely be considered as a coffee, whilst my niece enjoys the occasional babyccino [but at 18 months, froth is hardly a coffee darling], my best friend loves an Americano and one of my other friend relies on an hourly fix of Espresso since he gave up smoking.

I would like to know, who you are….

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The Perks of Working From Home

If like me you work from home, you’ll know the perks that come with it and also the disadvantages of work from home. Working from home, whether it be for your own business or for someone else’s can be great but also bad. I love working from home.

The Perks

  • Not having to catapulte my alarm across the room when it goes off at 7am
  • Not having to hate myself for allowing snooze to be included in my mornings
  • Not having to run for the train, bringing on that unneccessary heart attack and strange looks on the train
  • Being squashed like a sardine for 40 minutes under someone’s armpit trying to read the Metro
  • Paying an extortionate amount of money to commute
  • Having to spend an arm and a leg for a semi-average sandwich meal deal when my lunch can include anything fresh, yummy and spectacular
  • Make as much tea and hot chocolate as I want without being barked at for hanging around in the kitchen for too long
  •  I get to wear my comfy slippers and can dress down in clothing I wouldn’t dare be seen out in public in
  • Taking calls or doing emails inside or outside of my house
  • Finishing work and moving from one room to the other

The Bad Stuff

  • Not having much social interaction- unless that includes my cat
  • Being distracted by just about everything including YouTube and being too happy to see the Postman
  • Not having any work gossip
  • Having to use the radio as good background noise
  • Time management – forcing myself to wake up at a reasonable time and start work on time
  • Being entirely motivated when distractions are everywhere
  • Using my room as my office
  • Not knowing when to stop working

This great infographic  from CarInsurance.org, details the benefits of telecommuting, if there’s anything the infographic or I have missed out, I would love to hear from you.

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Happy Friday Everyone

So it’s Friday. Already we’re 11 days into this year. 11 days?! Scary but what a great year this will be. 2013 is going to be the year of big change, the year that will make a big difference in my life and your lives too. I’m well onto a winning path and I know if will happen. This year is going to be amazing. Just you wait and see!

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Have a great Friday, enjoy your weekend and keep your eyes peeled on what’s to come. The opportunities are just around the corner.

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Favourite Ad Of The Day

Randomly waiting for a video to come on YouTube, you know the ones where you can’t skip, fast forward or stop, it’s just a long musically infested song with pain in the ass graphics here to entertain you for two minutes until the video you wanted all along shares its joy with you on the screen. But actually today’s advert was filled with 3 gorgeous hunks; a biker, a musician and a surfer. The biker is GORGEOUS and looks a lot like Nicky from S&TC2 but let’s not think about that, he’s fine. DAMN. The advert isn’t for anything terribly delightful except for Face Wash but you know what? Who cares, if this happens to me in a supermarket and fittie biker man comes to me and pours water over his face, I do not care.

Bring it.

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I HATE SPAM

I hate spam. I hate email spam. I hate Twitter spam. I hate text message spam. Actually I hate ALL SPAM. Does anyone actually like getting spam? Anyone? All those out there who send the spam, I’m assuming there is a lot of you worldwide, do you like getting spam? The spam I’m referring to is also known as electronic junk mail, unwanted and unsolicited advertising for a product or service not that squidgy pink thing classed as food.

I’m not interested in getting rich quicker than the fat cats or losing more than 6lbs in 24 hours. I would just like to open my email and not see thousands of crap building up in my inbox. It’s irritating. It’s not one spam email or a ‘few’ a day it actually is a ridiculous amount of crap that pisses me off no end. It also gets my goat when a spam message sometimes labelled with your bank/building society’s name in the title and Miss Moon screaming for me to open it’s stupidly important email and it’s non other than a virus. Hands up if a spam email has given your computer some sort of virus? I’d really love it if I didn’t get spam anymore. Maybe that’s something I should’ve asked Santa for. Despite the evolution of anti spam software, such as spam filters and spam blockers, the negative effects of spam are still being felt by individuals and businesses alike. According to SpamLaws.com Spam accounts for 14.5 billion messages globally per day. In other words, spam makes up 45% of all emails. Some research companies estimate that spam email makes up an even greater portion of global emails, some 73% in fact. The United States is the number one generator of spam email, with Korea clocking in as the second largest contributor of unwanted email. The most prevalent type of spam is advertising-related email; this type of spam accounts for approximately 36% of all spam messages. The second most common category of spam is adult-related in subject and makes up roughly 31.7% of all spam. Unwanted emails related to financial matters is the third most popular form of spam, at 26.5%. Surprisingly, scams and fraud comprise only 2.5% of all spam email; however, identity theft (which is known as phishing) makes up 73% of this figure.

As much as spam pisses people off no end, there are anti spam measures that promise to block spam in the hope to fight again unwanted emails to your inbox. You can buy products such as SymantecCloud which is a spam filter service that prevents email spam from reaching your network and improves employee productivity by virtually eliminating the need to read and delete unsolicited messages. Other spam filters include the big email accounts such as MSN  which blocks some 2.4 billion spam emails every day. Saying that all this ‘Spam Filtering Systems’ can in fact be bypassed and Spam can still get through. It just would be great to have a time when spam no longer exists. No longer floods my email account and sod off to where the sun doesn’t shine. Or fired millions and millions at any given time to the assholes who send them to us in the first place.

I’m praying that junk emails will go away. Not that that will happen anytime soon. Why? It’s estimated that 58 billion junk emails will be sent ever day within the next four years. Something that will cost businesses some $198 billion annually. However, some researchers believe that based on an estimated current cost of $49 annually per inbox, the total cost of spam for businesses will balloon to $257 billion per year if spam continues to flourish at its current rate.