Christmas Blogs and Other Niche Blogs

It's not hard to find Christmas blogs. It is, however, hard to find Christmas blogs that are still active, really dedicated to Christmas, and aren't trying to sell you something. I've found an interesting few for your perusal, although I feel this is only scratching the surface.

Mistletunes is dedicated to Christmas music, particularly the rock-and-roll type, although you will find other genres. The archives go back to 2006, and the types of music are indexed for your convenience. You'll find plenty of music videos at this site!

Holly’s Tacky Christmas Lights Blog fires up every year to keep track of Christmas light displays in Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia. That's a pretty specific subject for a blog, but if you live in that area, it's a valuable resource. No pictures, though, you'll have to go see the lights yourself!

TackyChristmasYards is about the display and critique of cringeworthy Christmas decorations. Unfortunately, it is no longer updated, but fortunately, there's still plenty of material to see.

Mrs. Bingle's Vintage Christmas has pictures of Christmas decorations that are either antique, nostalgic, or recreations of bygone Christmases. Warning: autoplay music.

Vintage Holiday Images and Cards is a picture blog with lovely old imagery. The majority of the site deals with Christmas, but there are a few Halloween posts as well.

Simplify Christmas has stories, pictures, crafts, history, humor, and general Christmas stuff, updated from about September through Christmas every year for several years now.

X-Entertainment is an "ancient geeky website" (since 2002) from Matt and friends covering pop culture and '80s nostalgia. It's not all about Christmas, but the website has been renamed The X-E Blog Christmas 2011, and the tagline is "X-Entertainment loves Christmas and will not stop talking about it, ever." There's also a list of Christmas posts from the distant past to go with new Christmas content. Shown is Matt's USB mini-tree. NSFW text.

365 Days of Christmas really does have Christmas content all year round! You can find stories, crafts, recipes, gifts, and activities. Warning: autoplay music.

Christmas Spirit Fail looks at the dark side of Christmas: the tackiness, commercialism, bad music, and stuff that's just plain wrong. Sadly, it isn't updated nearly as often as it could be.

Tree Talk is a blog of the National Christmas Tree Association. Although it does contain shop talk, I found reading about the Christmas tree business and sustainable tree farming to be fascinating -maybe you will, too. They also have posts that answer consumer questions about buying and caring for real holiday trees. And every once in a while, there's a funny tree like the tree on the right decorated with beer cans.

You've probably heard of Sketchy Santas, which is part of the Cheezburger network. See classic and submitted Santas and kids who are not always happy to have their picture taken with a strange man dressed in red. But the blog also features Christmas videos and other holiday funnies.

Santa Claus blogs, too! Santa Claus Official Blog has been updated regularly since 2006! Children are encouraged to leave their lists for Santa there instead of burdening the postal service.

Ugly Renaissance Babies is not a Christmas blog, but is somewhat related. That's where you'll find a large collection of Madonnas of dubious beauty. Why are there so many ugly Renaissance babies? My theory is that for most subjects, we only keep the best art around. But people through the ages do not want to reject any rendering of Mary and the baby Jesus because that would seem like sacrilege, no matter how poor the actual artwork is.

How about some niche blogs that aren't about Christmas at all? Puppeteers Unite is all about puppetry. Recent posts are about puppet performances, puppets at Occupy Wall Street, the Muppet Movie, puppets for sale, museum exhibits, and puppeteers from all over. The picture here shows winners of a recent puppet contest.

Old Loves has pictures of celebrity couples that are no more. They made sense at one time, but now they seem bizarre. I recall Burt Reynolds long-term relationships with Dinah Shore and Sally Field, and Tom Cruise's marriage to Mimi Rogers, and apparently Winona Ryder and John Stamos dated everyone but each other, but it all seems strange today. Pictured are Cher and Gregg Allman, who were once married to each other -briefly.

Hey girl. I like the library too. Obviously owned by a librarian, this blog features pictures of movie star Ryan Gosling saying wonderful things that a librarian really wants to hear from a sexy man.

Nerd Cats has just what it says on the tin. This Tumblr blog reposts nerdy cats from around the 'net and accepts submissions as well. It's catnip for internet surfers!

See also: A Sampling of Niche Blogs
Niche Blogs: Found Photos Edition
Niche Blogs: Focused on Food
Niche Blogs: The English Language
Niche Blogs for Everyone!
Strangely Specific: A Roundup of Niche Blogs
A Big Round of Niche Blogs

India Now Has a Private Ambulance Service Just for Cows

In India, where the majority of residents are Hindu, the cow is sacred. Just how sacred? So sacred that one state recently launched a private ambulance service for injured cattle.

According to The Guardian, the ambulance service in Uttar Pradesh was launched by Keshav Prasad, the state’s deputy chief minister. While it has the support of the government, it’s not a state-funded enterprise. It’s paid for by an NGO called the Gau Vansh Raksha trust, which operates several gaushalas, or animal shelters specifically aimed at housing old and unwanted cows to protect them from slaughter. (The Indian government also runs its own gaushalas, paying for the cows’ upkeep through state funds.)

The trust launched five ambulances in May 2017, and received hundreds of calls within the first week of operation. The ambulances are equipped with sirens and basic surgery supplies and are run by volunteers.

Though India has a secular government, more than a dozen Indian states have banned the slaughter of cattle out of deference to the Hindu majority. The laws are controversial for the country's beef-eating Christian and Muslim populations (who also make up the bulk of the country's large cattle-export industry), however. The same month the service launched, the Indian government instituted a full ban on selling cows for slaughter. The ban is currently on hold while India’s Supreme Court rules on whether or not it is constitutional.

[h/t The Guardian]

Hieronymus Bosch / Hieronymus Bosch Work Memes
6 Niche Blogs You Should Read
Hieronymus Bosch / Hieronymus Bosch Work Memes
Hieronymus Bosch / Hieronymus Bosch Work Memes

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