04:18 PM EDT 12/12/2013
Originally posted 12/12/2013 04:00PM
Need a little pick-me-up this holiday season?
Look no further than the scores of "layaway Santas" who are flooding the stores this holiday and proving that the Christmas spirit truly does live in the hearts of many Americans.
The way layaway Santas work is simple: do-gooders visit stores that have a layaway department, such as Wal-Mart, Kmart or Toys "R" Us, and offer to pay off the holiday layaway bills of others who are struggling to save enough to put presents under the tree.
Originally posted 12/12/2013 11:15AM
Originally posted 12/12/2013 08:15AM
These Santas don't need a fleet of reindeer to get around.
Hundreds of Santas took to the slopes of Maine's Sunday River Resort on Sunday, but it wasn't just for a bit of holiday fun: The faux-St. Nicks raised more than $2,000 for the local Rotary Club's toy drive.
"It's a visually entertaining fund-raiser that allows us to give back to the Bethel Rotary's annual holiday toy drive," Sunday River marketing director Caroline Ochtera said in a statement.
Originally posted 12/12/2013 07:35AM
The man who stood next to President Obama and other world leaders and faked sign language during Tuesday's memorial for Nelson Mandela says he suffers from schizophrenia and had an attack that caused him to hear voices and hallucinate on stage.
The man, identified as Thamsanqa Jantjie, 34, claims he is a real interpreter but that a schizophrenic episode caused him to lose concentration and start making meaningless signs, reports South Africa's Star newspaper.
"There was nothing I could do," Jantjie tells the paper. "I was alone in a very dangerous situation. I tried to control myself and not show the world what was going on. I am very sorry, it's the situation I found myself in."
Originally posted 12/12/2013 07:25AM
After two wartime tours of Iraq, Alex Brown couldn’t shut off his alert switch.
"My job as a gunner was to literally see everything," says the former Army specialist. "Not only my life, but my team’s life depended on it."
Yet back home in Louisville, Ky., the constant tension honed in combat left him anxious and jumpy – and afraid to venture beyond secure walls. His relationships crumbled in the wake of his post-traumatic stress disorder.
Originally posted 12/11/2013 12:05PM
Mark Barden still cannot believe his son Daniel is no longer here to cuddle on snowy winter mornings or challenge him to foosball games before school.
"In those first few seconds when I'm awake, I still have to think, 'Was this whole thing just a horrible dream?' " he says. "I still find myself trying to comprehend it, as we all are."
Barden lost his 7-year-old son on Dec. 14, 2012, when 20-year-old Adam Lanza stormed into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., killing 20 first graders, including Daniel, and six educators before turning the gun on himself.
Originally posted 12/10/2013 12:40PM
The murder trial of a Montana woman accused of pushing her new husband to his death began with the jury seeing a smiling Cody Johnson, looking dapper in a blue shirt and striped tie.
That photograph was replaced minutes later with one of Johnson's body lying face-down in a pool of water at the bottom of a cliff in Glacier National Park.
There were no witnesses to what happened the night of July 7, when Johnson and Jordan Graham argued over their 8-day-old marriage at a popular spot in the park, Assistant U.S. Attorney Kris McLean told jurors Monday in a Missoula, Mont., courtroom.
Originally posted 12/10/2013 12:00PM
Girl code states that all ladies shall exhibit – or at least feign – enthusiasm for a friend's engagement. But, as this viral Reddit photo proves, even girl code has its breaking point.
For our red-vested friend, 'tis the season of Christmas sweaters and festive headwear, but we bet she didn't expect three engagement announcements to become part of her holiday gathering.
Originally posted 12/05/2013 04:00PM
Two is an exciting age for children. By this stage of development, most toddlers are learning how to play with blocks, ride tricycles, and jump off of things. Or, if they're this amazing kid, they're making impossible basketball shots look ridiculously easy.
Two-year-old Titus Ashby originally came to the Internet's attention in February (almost half his lifetime ago) when the first video of his amazing trick shots gained more than 13 million views. Since then, little Titus has released several more videos, battled Kobe Bryant and been hit in the face on Fox & Friends. Ouch. (No worries, folks, he's fine.)
Originally posted 12/04/2013 04:55PM
One week before the one-year anniversary of the shooting that took 26 lives at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., the release of 911 calls from the first anguished moments has revived the pain of families who fought to prevent them from being made public.
"It will affect our community, certainly, and it will affect our families," Nicole Hockley, whose 6-year-old son Dylan was murdered, told MSNBC. "And I think as parents it's just down to us to ensure our children and families are protected from hearing those for as long as possible."
Indeed, prior to the release, Newtown School Superintendent John Reed sent an email to parents Tuesday to prepare them for the "emotional trigger" the tapes could represent. And just one week ago, an investigative report left additional questions unanswered as it concluded that gunman Adam Lanza's motive "may never be answered."
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