Happy Holidays from CNN Interactive

Stocking Stuffers

Last updated: Dec. 6, 1995 at 11:50 p.m.


Season's greetings from the first family

Thirty-thousand U.S. families will receive a holiday greeting from President Clinton this year. The first family's cards show an artist's drawing of the Blue Room in the White House, a Christmas tree and Socks, the family cat. The greeting inside includes wishes for a "beautiful" season and a promising New Year.

  • The first family's holiday greeting card at whitehouse.gov

    Electric eel supplies juice for yule display

    NAGASAKI, Japan (CNN) -- Conservationists might approve of a Japanese technique to save energy; animal rights activists might not. (867K QuickTime movie)

    In a Nagasaki aquarium, an electric eel, imported all the way from the Amazon, is powering the lights on a Christmas tree. The 140 centimeter-long eel emits up to 650 volts each time it catches prey, causing the lights on the trees to come on.

    The eel's natural talents are electrifying visitors to the aquarium who keep coming back for more.

    Danish Santa ho-ho-hos to world championship


    October 30, 1995
    Web posted at: 1:20 a.m. EST (0620 GMT)

    ILULISSAT, Greenland (Reuter) -- Santa Claus is coming to town -- with a gold medal.

    After besting 16 competitors from all over the world in grueling contests including tree-decorating, chimney-climbing and ho-ho-hoing, Denmark's Joergen Roslund has become the first world champion Father Christmas.

    "I'm on top of the world, it's a dream come true," said Roslund, one of three Danish entrants to the contest that included participants from the U.S., Canada, Britain, Australia, Greenland, Ireland, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

    In the earlier stages of the two-day games ending Saturday, Australian Bob Massey and Canada's Carmen Lamb took the lead. But Massey, from Brisbane, fell behind when his beard snagged on the tinsel of a Christmas tree.

    "You can't blame it on jet lag, Santa doesn't get that," he said ruefully.

    Lamb, from Sarnia, Ontario, scored well with his arrangement of presents round the tree.

    But Roslund won the day with his speed. In less than three minutes, he climbed a 6-foot chimney, delivered presents, gulped biscuits and milk and ran 25 yards.

    The contestants -- professional Father Christmases -- had to impress four 12-year-old Inuit (Eskimo) judges with their costumes, beards and jolly laughs.

    Judy Garland returns for new single


    LONDON -- The late actress Judy Garland and her daughter will be re-united in song on an up-coming Christmas single. Lorna Luft is in Britain to record her mother's hit "Have Yourself a Merry, Merry Christmas." A digital computer will lift Garland's original song from the 1944 film "Meet Me in Saint Louis" and help match it with Luft's version.

    A similar technique was used for the album "Unforgettable," in which Natalie Cole sang with her late father, Nat King Cole.

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