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Christmas Eve

December 16, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu
Fewer than 10 days remain until Christmas, and retailers are trying to make the most of the holiday crunch time by luring online shoppers with free delivery offers. Wednesday is Free Shipping Day, a last-minute consumption craze initiated in 2008 by entrepreneur Luke Knowles. Organizers say it's the last day for shoppers to order gifts online and have them sent - for free - by Christmas Eve. This year, more than 750 retailers have signed up to participate. Major names - REI, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and J.C. Penney, among them - are included, as are a slew of small Main Street vendors.
December 16, 2013 | By Joel Silberman, guest blogger
Every Christmas Eve, I dress up as Santa Claus and deliver gifts to Los Angeles-area kids, most of them underprivileged, through a program organized by the Pasadena Junior Chamber of Commerce. Every year we number at least 75 Santas strong, each with our own route and accompanying Mrs. Claus -- who really does all the work because Santa is too busy posing for pictures with the kids. I'm not in charge of the effort, so my opinions here are just my own, but I did find myself reflecting on our merry band when I heard Megyn Kelly assert on Fox News that Santa Claus is, as a point of fact, white.
June 19, 2013 | By Andrew Blankstein and Marisa Gerber
As Christine Darlene Calderon strolled down Hollywood's Walk of Fame with her coworker just after sunset Tuesday, an amusing cardboard sign caught her eye. She pulled out her cellphone to snap a picture of men displaying signs asking for money with four-letter insults and a smiley face. Moments later, according to a law enforcement sources, one of the men demanded that she pay $1 for the pictures. When she refused, police say, two of the men allegedly pinned Calderon's coworker against a wall.
December 31, 2012 | By Andrea Chang
Amazon is apologizing for a prolonged disruption last week that affected Netflix and other companies that use the e-commerce giant's cloud-computing services. "We want to apologize," Amazon said in a statement posted on its website. "We know how critical our services are to our customers' businesses, and we know this disruption came at an inopportune time for some of our customers. We will do everything we can to learn from this event and use it to drive further improvement. " In its lengthy apology and summary of events, Seattle-based Amazon said that the service disruption began on Dec. 24 at an East Coast data center and affected its Elastic Load Balancing Service.
December 28, 2012 | By Richard A. Serrano, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - A former neighbor of the Webster, N.Y., sniper who killed two volunteer firefighters on Christmas Eve illegally bought the guns used in the killing, federal authorities charged Friday. Dawn M. Nguyen, 24, of Greece, N.Y., was charged in federal court with acting as a straw purchaser for William Spengler, who as a felon could not legally buy guns for himself. Spengler was convicted of killing his grandmother in 1980. Nguyen also faces state felony charges on allegations of falsifying business records.
December 26, 2012 | By S. Irene Virbila
This year I had one of my best Christmas Eve dinners ever. Maybe it's because it unfolded in such a leisurely fashion--a little eating, a little dancing and listening to music, a little nibbling, a little conversation. And repeat. Watching the sunset, admiring the ring around the moon. We started about 4 p.m., shucking five dozen kumamoto oysters and watching the light fade over the horizon as we sipped a 1996 Fleury Champagne followed by a 2004 Muscadet. Bruschetta was involved too, lavished with olive oil, ricotta cheese and fresh roasted red bell peppers.
December 26, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Shoppers waylaid by "fiscal cliff" fears and winter storms spent sparingly in the months before Christmas, according to new data, but retailers are still holding out for a post-holiday bump. From Oct. 28 through Dec. 24, sales of items such as clothing, home goods and electronics rose 0.7% compared with the same period last year, according to the MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse report. In 2011, spending rose 2%, more than double this year's pace. The last two months' performance, which also includes online sales, was the worst since 2008, according to the report.
December 26, 2012 | By Joseph Serna
While the holiday theme song for about 12 million unemployed people this year might as well have been “All I want for Christmas is a job,” that has never stopped the young and/or clueless from taking to Twitter with their own, less sympathetic ballad: “All I wanted for Christmas was an iPad.” And when they tweet of disappointment for not getting the latest, expensive Apple gadget or (cue “The Price Is Right” voice) “A NEW CAAAR!”, they are often met with unexpected, widespread hatred in return.
December 25, 2012 | By Rosanna Xia, Los Angeles Times
They made their way from Watts, San Pedro, Alhambra - entire families huddling in the rain overnight and tucking their kids in on cardboard. The backbeats of downtown Los Angeles' skid row caroled them through Christmas Eve. By early Christmas morning, hundreds of homeless and near-homeless families had crowded into a line that wrapped around the Midnight Mission's block. Many had camped out since 11 a.m. Monday to make sure their kids would get toys, meet Santa Claus and celebrate Christmas in a way that wouldn't otherwise be possible.
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