DR. BOLI’S ENCYCLOPEDIA OF MISINFORMATION.

Annual Christmas Number.

Elves. In 2008, a Washington Post undercover investigation revealed that more than 17% of the “elves” in Santa’s North Pole sweatshops were actually gnomes, in clear violation of gnome-labor laws.

Father Christmas. In Scandinavia, Father Christmas arrives riding a goat, but in nearby Latvia, he drives a 1975 Lada 1200.

Florida. In 1887 Henry Plant, the western Florida railroad magnate, became the first person in Florida to hang a Santa Claus banner from a cabbage palm. He was fined $15 for incongruity and made to remove the offensive object.

Fruitcakes. The traditional “fruitcakes” exchanged at Christmas are so called because, in medieval times, they were made with bits and pieces of identifiable fruit.

Nativity. By longstanding tradition, the nativity scene at Norwich Cathedral always includes not only the the three Wise Men but also their chartered accountants.

Puritans. In 1694, thirteen citizens of Gloucester, Mass., were arrested on suspicion of smiling on Christmas Day.

Is Christmas money burning a hole in your pocket? Now you know what to do with it.

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