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Upcycle Old Christmas Trees as Cat-Nip for that Special Lion in Your Life

A British is using old Christmas trees as cat-nip for their lions, and it’s adorable.

You have never been as excited for anything in your life as this cat is about his Christmas tree.

Of all the ways to recycle your old, pine-needle-shedding Christmas tree, this might be the most adorable. A British zoo is letting people donate their trees to the zoo’s lions, who find immense joy in batting the trees around like they’re just beanie bags. The trees, say zoo managers, are like “cat-nip” for the lions, but it looks like the lions have been using them as really effective scratching posts. In a video posted up by the Linton Zoo, what can only be described as a look of pure euphoria passes over the lion’s face as he rolls exuberantly in the needles. This heart-warming lion-tree encounter serves as a reminder that lions, fierce as though they may be, are just big old cats with really excessive hairdos.

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“Girls Play T-Ball, Too,” Says President Obama

The President declared war on gender stereotypes as he sorted toys for Christmas presents.

Photo by EJ Hersom/DoD News Features

President Obama seems to be on a bit of a female empowerment mission this month. Between his photo op with a group of Girl Scouts at the White House Science Fair during which he happily donned a tiara (down with gender roles amirite?) and his much discussed year-end press conference during which he only called on female journalists, the President is making a public stand for women.

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How This Muslim Came to Love Christmas

Coming to terms with America’s most problematic holiday.

The world acquires a cohesiveness this time of year—all things rendered in red and green, Christmas lights wrapped around every roof, the tip of a festive evergreen visible in every store display. The Starbucks pastry case earns a few reliable seasonal additions, frosted sugar cookies and gingerbread-flavored desserts posed decoratively, ornaments you can eat. Cold hearts have trouble resisting the warmth of Andy Williams’ old-timey voice belting from every department store speaker, “It’s the most wonderful time of the yeeeeeeear!”

Is it friendlier this time of year? It feels friendlier. I am determined to believe that every grocery store cashier I encounter truly does wish me happy holidays, even though I celebrate not a single one.

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Have a Theoretical Christmas With These Nerdy Snowflake Decorations

Because it’s not a holiday party without Erwin Schrödinger.

Artwork by Sandbox Studio, Chicago

They say that no two snowflakes are the same, but they all pretty much look alike to me. That’s why it was so refreshing to see Symmetry magazine’s distinctive “physics flakes,” patterns for making your own holiday snowflake decorations in the images of Nobel Prize-winning scientists. There’s ol’ crazy hair himself, Albert Einstein; Marie Curie, the original radioactive superhero (sorry, Hulk); and of course, Erwin Schrödinger, prominent dead cat enthusiast.

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Dear Santa, Just Sign Up for Gmail Already

Getting a message to Saint Nick has never been easy.

Illustration by Addison Eaton

Every year, thousands of little cherubs and rascals try their hands at letters to Santa. As their own attorneys in the court of naughty and nice, they make a case for a verdict that will award them their fantasy presents, whether that be dolls, a new bicycle, peace on Earth, or a just lifetime supply of fun dip and pixie sticks. But where and how to send these adorable holiday missives? The North Pole has a notoriously understaffed post office, and Santa, despite his other good qualities and considerable patience has never really been much of a reader, anyway. This year, as always, these important polar dispatches will be sent by many means, the necessary thing being that the toys, fun, and candy flow in kind.

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