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Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 13:07 EDT

Oddities News Archive - December 24, 2008

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Santa Claus has been declared a Canadian citizen with fully authorized re-entry rights, the country's citizenship minister announced in Ottawa. In a formal statement, Jason Kenney, the minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, declared the legendary Christmas gift-giver Canuck status, the Canwest News Service reported. The Government of Canada wishes Santa the very best in his Christmas Eve duties and wants to let him know that, as a Canadian citizen, he has the automatic right to re-enter Canada once his trip around the world is complete, Kenney's statement said. The report noted Santa's traditional red and white attire matches Canada's flag colors, and said the North American Aerospace Defense Command Santa tracker always shows his trip beginning in the Canadian Arctic.

An Atlantic seabird that stowed away on an airplane in Newfoundland and wound up thousands of miles away in landlocked Alberta will get another free trip home. The Shell oil company said it would pay to fly the black guillemot, of the turr species, to the easternmost province after it was found in a cargo hold of a private plane that arrived in Fort McMurray this week, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

A holiday version of Robin Hood allegedly stole Christmas trees from an outdoor lot in West St.

Residents of Minneapolis and St.

A 54-year-old British woman stopped a violent home invasion by three armed men by faking a heart attack, her husband says. Graham Eaton of Ashington, England, said his wife, Lesley, reacted to the presence of three men in their remote home by faking a heart attack and collapsing to the floor, The Daily Telegraph reported. Eaton said the unidentified invaders immediately fled the scene, but not before beating him with a baseball bat and smashing his wife's eye with a pistol. I can look after myself but I will never forgive them for what they did to my wife, said Eaton, who was tied up during last Friday's 30-minute robbery.

The giant snowman an Anchorage, Alaska, man has created annually since 2005, has reappeared despite a city ban but he says he doesn't know who made it. Billy Powers told the Anchorage Daily News the 25-foot Snowzilla, complete with hat and carrot nose, went up in defiance of a stop-work order.

A British woman discovered that because of a mistake made by her mother she had celebrated her 100th birthday four days too soon, relatives said. Elsie Aslett of Watlington, Norfolk, England, had always thought her birth date was Dec. 14, 1908, and had been celebrating it that way.

A retired police officer says his fight with the New York DMV is over and he will be allowed to sport the vanity license plate GETOSAMA It was a nice Christmas present, Arno Herwerth of Hauppage told Newsday. Herwerth, who served as a police officer in New York, ordered the plates and received them in 2007.

A secret Santa has donated $1 million to help nearly 200 people burned out of their homes at a Burnsville, Minn., apartment complex. The anonymous donor's gift will mean the 64 families will get an average of $15,000 each, the St.

A London mother of eight whose $3.8 million home is funded by taxpayers said she is not going to pretend it isn't great. Francesca Walker, 33, and her children, ranging in age from 5 to 16, moved into the $133,000-per-year home on the taxpayer's dime as a result of a loophole in Kensington and Chelsea council rules that requires the council to find a suitably-sized home for the unemployed woman and her family, The Daily Mail reported Wednesday. The council had no five-bedroom council properties available and said the only way we could move was to join their LetStart Scheme, where you rent from a private landlord, Walker said.