Santa shot at in Rio. Electric eels light up Japanese Christmas tree. Singapore elephants get festive gift of boots for jumbo pain.
Around the globe, Christmas invariably offers tales of the wacky, wild and downright weird —— and the 2007 festivities are certainly no exception.
In a Rio de Janeiro slum, drug traffickers opened fire on a helicopter carrying Santa Claus to a Christmas party, apparently mistaking it for a police helicopter.
Poor Santa is also under fire for being too fat.
The acting US surgeon general said a thinner Santa would be a better role model for kids in a land battling obesity.
A British shopping centre ordered its Santas to attend a month-long boot camp with exercises before greeting children.
In the season of mass consumption, going green can win brownie points.
In Hong Kong, environmentalists are not amused, arguing that all the glittering neon Santas and rainbows of flashy lights are devouring too much electricity.
But, in sharp contrast, a Japanese aquarium decided on a novel way to save energy —— it used electricity generated by an electric eel to light up its Christmas tree.
A Canadian man said he sold his son's video game, a prized Christmas gift, on eBay after catching him smoking marijuana.
In Singapore, vets gave Asian elephants Tun and Jamilah the perfect Christmas gift —— specially made waterproof boots to relieve chronic foot lesions.
And cheeky Australian thieves stole 16 tonnes of ham and bacon from a Sydney warehouse and then wrote "Thanks. Merry Christmas" on a wall.
But surely the prize for the most bizarre Christmas charity gift must go to the International Rhino Foundation —— an auction of rhino dung which could be presented as Christmas gift！