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Christmas

OPINION
December 25, 2013
Re "Haunted by ghost of Christmases past," Column, Dec. 21 Having read Sandy Banks' column for several years, I was delighted to see the photo of her and her three beautiful grown daughters. Her Christmas traditions are the stuff of many families, including mine and my three sons. Our family is older than Banks', and over the years we gradually did let go of some of those ceremonies; I suspect hers will too. But we can all say thanks for the precious memories. Frederica Miller South Pasadena ALSO: Letters: A 'good news' day Letters: Oil reform will help Mexico Letters: Union Station's not-welcome mat
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NATIONAL
December 25, 2013 | By Michael Muskal
All that tens of thousands of people really wanted for Christmas was to have their electricity back after fierce ice storms felled power lines in a wide swath from Michigan through parts of upstate New York, New England and Canada. More than half a million customers lost power when ice storms coupled with ferocious winds toppled power lines beginning last weekend. Repair crews from utilities across the region, helped by out-of-state workers, toiled to fix the lines, but tens of thousands of customers remained without power Wednesday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 25, 2013 | By Ari Bloomekatz
Christmas just might bring record high temperatures to the Southland. It's so warm and dry that forecasters have issued a red flag fire warning through Thursday evening for much of Los Angeles and Ventura counties. The record high for Christmas Day in downtown L.A. was 85 degrees, reached in 1980. Meteorologist Carol Smith with the National Weather Service in Oxnard said the temperature is forecast to meet that mark on Wednesday. The low in downtown Los Angeles Wednesday morning was 46 degrees, meaning the temperature might jump roughly 40 degrees through the day. In Long Beach, where the Christmas record was set at 81 degrees in 1972, the high Wednesday is expected to reach 83. Burbank hit 85 degrees on this date in 1980 and Smith said Wednesday is also forecast to be 85 degrees.
WORLD
December 25, 2013 | By Paul Richter
WASHINGTON -- The State Department condemned twin Christmas Day attacks on Christians in Iraq that killed at least 37 people. One car bomb, which killed at least 26 people, went off near a church in the Dora neighborhood of Baghdad during Christmas Mass. Another bomb exploded in an outdoor market in another nearby Christian neighborhood, killing 11. The U.S. embassy in Baghdad said the Christian community in Iraq “has suffered deliberate and senseless targeting by terrorists for many years, as have other Iraqis.” It said it “condemns in the strongest terms” the attacks.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 25, 2013 | By Jason Felch
As temperatures hovered around freezing across much of the United States on Christmas Day, Southern California basked in unseasonably warm weather as Santa Ana winds pushed hot, dry air across the region. In Long Beach, the mercury hit 85 degrees, beating the 1972 high of 81 degrees. In downtown Los Angeles, temperatures reached 82 degrees, making it the second warmest Christmas Day since records began in 1877 and well above the seasonal average of 67 degrees. The record was set in 1980 with a high of 85 downtown.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 25, 2013 | By Jill Cowan
Since 1968, come rain or shine, Joan Sue Betson's yard on Galaxy Drive in Newport Beach has been a Christmas Eve beacon. In old photos, hundreds of candles can be seen glowing inside brown paper bags side by side on a retaining wall in front of the sprawling Spanish-style home and lining the driveway. Rows of the homemade luminarias shine from window sills and light the porch. "It used to be quite an event to walk out here every year," said neighbor John Senick, who has lived behind the house for about seven years, in an interview with Times Community News.
NATIONAL
December 25, 2013 | By Michael Muskal
An 8-year-old Pennsylvania girl, whose battle against a rare form of leukemia became a social media sensation that inspired thousands of people to gather and sing her Christmas carols, has succumbed to her disease, her family announced on Wednesday. Delaney Brown of West Reading “passed away quietly with her loving family by her side,” family spokesman Christopher Winters said in a statement posted Wednesday on Facebook. Known by her nickname, Laney, the child was a second-grader at Wyomissing Hills Elementary School.
NATIONAL
December 25, 2013 | By David Horsey
Tomorrow and the day after that and all the days beyond, we can worry and gripe and argue about guns and greenhouse gases; tea party politics and the gap between rich and poor; Obamacare and immigration. On Christmas Day, though, we all deserve a break. Forgetting for a while the wise guys of human folly, most of us can spend the day being wise men and women sharing love, friendship, good times and a communal meal with the people in our lives who matter the most. Appreciate every blessing that comes with the occasion and, as Tiny Tim said, "God bless us, every one. "
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 25, 2013 | By Rosanna Xia
Outside a Subway restaurant in West Hollywood, Michael Hope adjusted his Santa hat, stuffed a festive Christmas bag with cellophane-wrapped cookies and prepared to make his first delivery. "OK, let's see who's working," said Hope, 36, as he walked into the Subway. Andrew Neal, 29, peered through the window. Like Hope and Neal in Los Angeles, volunteers around the country spent Christmas delivering homemade cookies to gas station attendants, baristas, grocery store clerks and others who had pulled the holiday shift.
BUSINESS
December 25, 2013 | By Meg James
The hottest holiday commercials this season have ditched the heartwarming, home-for-the-holidays scenes to strike a dramatically different chord. Advertising executives have instead chosen sly humor over sentiment, as major marketers including American Honda Motor Co., Netflix and K-Mart are betting that tongue-in-cheek sells. Perhaps for good reason: U.S. consumers are tired of sugarcoated Christmas commercials, according to a recent online survey of more than 2,000 consumers.
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