In this photo provided by the North American Aerospace Defense Command, a 22 Wing member is seen showing how they track Santa on his sleigh on Christmas evening during a media preview at the Canadian Forces Base in North Bay on Dec. 9, 2021. In a Christmas Eve tradition going on its 66th year, a wildly popular program run by the U.S. and Canadian militaries is providing real-time updates on Santa’s progress around the globe — and fielding calls from children who want to know St. Nick’s exact whereabouts. (Sable Brown/NORAD via AP)

Yes, there is a Santa Claus. And no, COVID-19 won’t stop him

NORAD will provide real-time updates on Santa’s progress Dec. 24, pandemic or no pandemic

In this photo provided by the North American Aerospace Defense Command, a 22 Wing member is seen showing how they track Santa on his sleigh on Christmas evening during a media preview at the Canadian Forces Base in North Bay on Dec. 9, 2021. In a Christmas Eve tradition going on its 66th year, a wildly popular program run by the U.S. and Canadian militaries is providing real-time updates on Santa’s progress around the globe — and fielding calls from children who want to know St. Nick’s exact whereabouts. (Sable Brown/NORAD via AP)
Scientists say an amazingly well-preserved fossil egg, as shown here in this handout image, adds more evidence to the close links between dinosaurs and modern birds. Darla Zelenitsky from the University of Calgary says the embryo of the therapod dinosaur is curled up inside the egg just like a chicken, curled up with its back against the broad end of the egg. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-University of Calgary

Scientist says amazingly preserved fossil egg shows dinosaur, bird links

Embryo of the therapod dinosaur is curled up inside the egg just like a chicken

Scientists say an amazingly well-preserved fossil egg, as shown here in this handout image, adds more evidence to the close links between dinosaurs and modern birds. Darla Zelenitsky from the University of Calgary says the embryo of the therapod dinosaur is curled up inside the egg just like a chicken, curled up with its back against the broad end of the egg. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-University of Calgary
The squirrels in Mears Park in St. Paul, Minn, like these on Monday, Dec. 20, 2021, are fat, bold, and accustomed to being fed by people. They have been chewing through wires on the Christmas lights, so Mears Park isn’t lit up as usual this holiday season. (Scott Takushi/Pioneer Press via AP)

Squirrels force US city to scale back holiday lights in public park

Group responsible for St. Paul display says blame the ‘tree rats’

The squirrels in Mears Park in St. Paul, Minn, like these on Monday, Dec. 20, 2021, are fat, bold, and accustomed to being fed by people. They have been chewing through wires on the Christmas lights, so Mears Park isn’t lit up as usual this holiday season. (Scott Takushi/Pioneer Press via AP)
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is shown on June 22, 2019. A British court on Tuesday ordered the ruler of Dubai to pay his ex-wife and their children about 550 million pounds ($730 million), in one of the most expensive divorce settlements in British history. The High Court said Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum must pay 251.5 million pounds to his sixth wife, Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, and make ongoing payments for their children Al Jalila, 14, and Zayed, 9 underpinned by a bank guarantee of 290 million pounds. (Mike Egerton/PA via AP)

Dubai ruler must pay ex-wife $730M in divorce settlement

Judge says the family needed “water-tight security” of 11 million pounds annually

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is shown on June 22, 2019. A British court on Tuesday ordered the ruler of Dubai to pay his ex-wife and their children about 550 million pounds ($730 million), in one of the most expensive divorce settlements in British history. The High Court said Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum must pay 251.5 million pounds to his sixth wife, Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, and make ongoing payments for their children Al Jalila, 14, and Zayed, 9 underpinned by a bank guarantee of 290 million pounds. (Mike Egerton/PA via AP)
More than 100 figurines and roughly 40,000 total lights adorn the yard outside Wiley Jones Irwin’s home. Luciano Marano | Bainbridge Island Review

Holiday season lights a bright spot amid pandemic resurgence

People and communities indulging in more and more elaborate light shows this holiday season

More than 100 figurines and roughly 40,000 total lights adorn the yard outside Wiley Jones Irwin’s home. Luciano Marano | Bainbridge Island Review
FILE - Robin Pecknold of the Fleet Foxes performs at the Coachella Music & Arts Festival on April 14, 2018, in Indio, Calif. The Fleet Foxes song “White Winter Hymnal,” written by Pecknold, and released in 2008, has become a modern holiday standard, sung by children’s choirs in countless school assemblies. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP, File)

Red snow? Song becomes a most unexpected modern standard for the holidays

Songwriter surprised at how ‘White Winter Hymnal’ has turned into a Christmas staple

FILE - Robin Pecknold of the Fleet Foxes performs at the Coachella Music & Arts Festival on April 14, 2018, in Indio, Calif. The Fleet Foxes song “White Winter Hymnal,” written by Pecknold, and released in 2008, has become a modern holiday standard, sung by children’s choirs in countless school assemblies. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP, File)
Tristen Place, turning 10, took some time with his pogo stick to spring into the official first day of spring in downtown Williams Lake. Do you know where the modern pogo stick was invented? (Black Press file photo)

QUIZ: How much do you know about toys and games?

From long-lasting traditions to fads, there’s a lot of history to play and recreation.

Tristen Place, turning 10, took some time with his pogo stick to spring into the official first day of spring in downtown Williams Lake. Do you know where the modern pogo stick was invented? (Black Press file photo)
Maddy Hejak, owner of Dog Logic Toronto, poses for a photograph while dog walking for clients in Toronto, on Monday, December 13, 2021. The pandemic puppy boom has been a boon to the pet industry, helping businesses recoup lockdown-related losses, and in some cases, expand operations, say owners and analysts. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tijana Martin

Pandemic puppy boom drives profits, unleashes havoc on pet businesses

Pet-care professionals warn the canine rush has outpaced capacity to meet pets’ distinct needs

Maddy Hejak, owner of Dog Logic Toronto, poses for a photograph while dog walking for clients in Toronto, on Monday, December 13, 2021. The pandemic puppy boom has been a boon to the pet industry, helping businesses recoup lockdown-related losses, and in some cases, expand operations, say owners and analysts. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tijana Martin
Nathalie Charles poses for a portrait outside the Princeton University Chapel in Princeton, N.J. on Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021. Charles left her Baptist church at the age of 15 because as a queer woman of Haitian descent, she felt unwelcome in her congregation, with its conservative views on immigration, gender and sexuality. The 18-year-old freshman at Princeton has since identified as atheist, and then agnostic, before embracing a spiritual but not religious life. (AP Photo/Luis Andres Henao)

What’s your religion? In US, a common reply now is ‘None’

‘Nones’ now constitutes 29% of American adults, up from 19% a decade ago

Nathalie Charles poses for a portrait outside the Princeton University Chapel in Princeton, N.J. on Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021. Charles left her Baptist church at the age of 15 because as a queer woman of Haitian descent, she felt unwelcome in her congregation, with its conservative views on immigration, gender and sexuality. The 18-year-old freshman at Princeton has since identified as atheist, and then agnostic, before embracing a spiritual but not religious life. (AP Photo/Luis Andres Henao)
Andrea MacDonald with her daughters Rose, 5, and Grace, 9, take part online with Twitter’s “virtual camp” at their summer residence in Harcourt, Ont., Sunday, August 2, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Thornhill

Poll shows women do more chores, child care, even when couples plan otherwise

‘When you look at time use data, women are more correct than men’

Andrea MacDonald with her daughters Rose, 5, and Grace, 9, take part online with Twitter’s “virtual camp” at their summer residence in Harcourt, Ont., Sunday, August 2, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Thornhill
In this recent photograph provided by Beth Ditkoff, a squirrel is seen in the yard of a Damariscotta, Maine home. The squirrel, which, earned the nickname “Fatty McFatterson” by Ditkoff, has found an abundant supply of food in the area. (Beth Ditkoff photo via AP)

Acorn-ucopia of food fattens squirrels

‘Fatty McFatterson’ lumbering and waddling his way through the pandemic

In this recent photograph provided by Beth Ditkoff, a squirrel is seen in the yard of a Damariscotta, Maine home. The squirrel, which, earned the nickname “Fatty McFatterson” by Ditkoff, has found an abundant supply of food in the area. (Beth Ditkoff photo via AP)
Heir to the Dutch throne Princess Amalia, left, takes an honorary seat at the Council of State, the highest government advisory body in The Hague, Netherlands, Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021, as her father King Willem-Alexander, right, looks on, one day after celebrating her eighteenth birthday. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, Pool)

‘No school for becoming queen’: Dutch princess in limelight

Heir to the throne steps into her future on her 18th birthday

Heir to the Dutch throne Princess Amalia, left, takes an honorary seat at the Council of State, the highest government advisory body in The Hague, Netherlands, Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021, as her father King Willem-Alexander, right, looks on, one day after celebrating her eighteenth birthday. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, Pool)
This combination of 2021 photos shows Philadelphia Eagles’ Jason Kelce,, left, and Billie Eilish in London. The grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and Eagles center have something in common, broadcasters have difficulty pronouncing their names. Both Eilish and Kelce, as well as “omicron” made it onto this year’s list of most mispronounced words as compiled by the U.S. Captioning Company, which captions and subtitles real-time events on TV and in courtrooms. (Tim Tai/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, Pool, Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)

‘Cheugy,’ ‘omicron’ among 2021’s most mispronounced words

Test yourself on how many you know how to correctly say

This combination of 2021 photos shows Philadelphia Eagles’ Jason Kelce,, left, and Billie Eilish in London. The grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and Eagles center have something in common, broadcasters have difficulty pronouncing their names. Both Eilish and Kelce, as well as “omicron” made it onto this year’s list of most mispronounced words as compiled by the U.S. Captioning Company, which captions and subtitles real-time events on TV and in courtrooms. (Tim Tai/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, Pool, Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)
An Afternoon with Prince Harry & James Corden was one of the top trending YouTube videos in Canada this year. (The Late Late Show with James Corden/YouTube)

VIDEO: Canadians took to YouTube to learn, connect, laugh during 2021

From a performance that made Simon Cowell to an English teacher, Canadians laughed, cried, learned on YouTube

An Afternoon with Prince Harry & James Corden was one of the top trending YouTube videos in Canada this year. (The Late Late Show with James Corden/YouTube)
Seattle novelty company Archie McPhee is selling mac and cheese candy canes this year. (Archie McPhee)

Candy canes re-imagined: Twist on holiday treat may not delight all tastebuds

Flavour profiles expanded to include sardine, kale and hot dog

Seattle novelty company Archie McPhee is selling mac and cheese candy canes this year. (Archie McPhee)
A yuletide showing of eight maids-a-milking at a past Butchart Gardens Magic of Christmas display. American-based PNC Christmas Price Index explores the cost of the items in the popular song, The 12 Days of Christmas, with eight maids-a-milking coming in with a price tag of $58. (Black Press Media file photo)
A yuletide showing of eight maids-a-milking at a past Butchart Gardens Magic of Christmas display. American-based PNC Christmas Price Index explores the cost of the items in the popular song, The 12 Days of Christmas, with eight maids-a-milking coming in with a price tag of $58. (Black Press Media file photo)
This illustration provided by Luis Perez Lopez shows a Stegouros. Fossils found in Chile are from the bizarre dog-sized dinosaur species that had a unique slashing tail weapon, scientists reported Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. (Luis Perez Lopez via AP)

New dinosaur species from Chile had a unique slashing tail

Dog-sized animal had seven pairs of “blades” laid out sideways like a slicing weapon

This illustration provided by Luis Perez Lopez shows a Stegouros. Fossils found in Chile are from the bizarre dog-sized dinosaur species that had a unique slashing tail weapon, scientists reported Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. (Luis Perez Lopez via AP)
Maple syrup cans are seen at a sugar shack Friday, Feb. 10, 2017 in Oka, Que. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Global maple syrup shortage forces Quebec to release half its strategic reserve

50 million pounds of maple syrup poised to be releassed on the market

Maple syrup cans are seen at a sugar shack Friday, Feb. 10, 2017 in Oka, Que. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Ryan Reynolds reacts to a five minute video and song by Steven Page honouring his contributions to Canada. (Ryan Reynolds/Twitter).

‘Canada loves you back’: Ryan Reynolds honoured with Governor General’s Award

The Vancouver born actor says he’s ‘beyond touched’ by the award

Ryan Reynolds reacts to a five minute video and song by Steven Page honouring his contributions to Canada. (Ryan Reynolds/Twitter).
FILE - People visit the Luxor Temple in Egypt, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017. Egyptian authorities are poised to unveil a renovated ancient promenade that dates back 3,000 years. The ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021, is meant to highlight the country’s archaeological treasures as Egypt struggles to revive its tourism industry, battered by years of political turmoil and more lately, the coronavirus pandemic.(AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty, File)

Egypt unveils renovated ‘Avenue of the Sphinxes’ in Luxor

Road stretches for several miles and had been under excavation for more than 50 years

FILE - People visit the Luxor Temple in Egypt, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017. Egyptian authorities are poised to unveil a renovated ancient promenade that dates back 3,000 years. The ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021, is meant to highlight the country’s archaeological treasures as Egypt struggles to revive its tourism industry, battered by years of political turmoil and more lately, the coronavirus pandemic.(AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty, File)