Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Sorta Claus Returns

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Before I joined here, in fact long before I ever knew of the Halfbakery, there was Sorta Claus. I do hope I am not treading on an ancient tradition by picking up the torch, but it is Christmas eve and there is nowhere I would rather be than among the croissants and the fishbones, resurrecting the patron saint of pastry.

"In his day job, he’s known as Father Nick. He’s a cardinal, so he wears a red suit, but is only half-way to sainthood. (Which makes him a half-saint Nick)

Father Nick aspires to sainthood but has so far been held back by the ignominy of his brief televangelism career and the unexplained appearance of his image in a suspicious stain on a pew at the Church of No Pants. Until sainthood is achieved, he moonlights as…Sorta Claus."

We know that Sorta Claus has returned, because beneath the Halfbakery Christmas tree we find:

For 2 fries shy of a happy meal: a "Flying Dream Aerial Waterway" big enough to accommodate the S.S. Sea Threw

For 21_Quest: the "Fishbone Magnet" will help recover some of your lost votes, but see what happens if you put the batteries in backwards

For 4and20: while your spider trawls away, read from this book of "Disaster Poetry"

For 8th of 7: you will find many uses for your new "Universal Axe"

For absterge: an ergonomic "Variable Mass Mouse" to complement your supine keyboard

For AngelEleven: clear some space in your workplace, for soon a "Crowd-sourced vending machine" will arrive

For Aq_Bi: don't tell anyone about your new "Secret Hat" -- a blinking mannequin can wear it while your nails are being polished

For AusCan531: endless assaulted jokes are possible when you fire your new "Pump-Action Salt-Gun" at people

For bigsleep: tickets to a recording of "Iron Swedish Chef"

For blissmiss: wear your new "Visible Panty Line Cord" with pride, it may even be magnetic

For briancady413: from the random bag, although it's not quite salmon, "Ham On A Roll"

For bs0u0155: "Edible Post-it Notes" so you needn't worry if they do end up in your tea

For bungston: the velour in your stocking turns out to be "Swiffer Pants"

For calum: a poster of Wallace and Gromit, but technology from "Latent etiolation messages" reveals shemale elves

For Cuit_au_Four: to fill your Blow Globe, "Fair Trade Cocaine"

For daddyvortex: from the random bag, a gorgeous roll of "B52 Chicken Wire"

For dentworth: it's a card announcing your initiation into the "single-user social network"

For Dignium: from the random bag, "Edible Soap" -- just don't eat it all at once

For doctorremulac3: if anyone has the musical talent to pull off "Bagpipe Breast Implants", it's you

For DrBob: I'm sure you'll be delighted with a pair of "Super Baggy Trousers" for every member of your subversive boy band

For evilpenguin: "The "Ring-Ring" hands-free"

For FlyingToaster: whether you have room for it or not, you are now the owner of a "Giant Spitfire"

For friendlyfire: a printed copy of the "Halfbaker's Limerick Challenge"

For Gordon Comstock: never hesitate to hoover naked again, the "vacuum cleaner cam" is yours

For guncandy: Sorta Claus was certain that a plaster's hawk ipad once existed, but a "Large Widescreen SmartPhone" will have to do

For hippo: a "Mortal Terror Alarm Clock" might perfectly complement the melancholic maple tree

For Ian Tindale: your tree may blow over in the downdraft of the vtol "Flying Super-Synthesizer"

For Inyuki: from the random bag, and a perfect stocking filler, "Paperclip USB Drive"

For ixnaum: a "Roaming Goldfish Bowl" for your trained fish

For JesusHChrist: as the most prolific baker of 2015, no one is more entitled to a "Halfbaker's Pride Shirt" (and, as a bonus, "croissant-patterned knickers")

For jurist: A flask of soup from the "Ballistic Delivery Service" so at least the temperature should not be a problem.

For kevinthenerd: from the random bag, "Strike Anywhere $100 Bills"

For LimpNotes: from the random bag, the perfect fashion accessory, a "Bayeux Scarf"

For Ling: this "Sponge Pump" may be mysterious in its operation, but at least it is unlikely to damage any nuts that end up in it

For Loris: the other bakers will ooze with envy as you unwrap a genuine "Helm of Fuþark"

For lurch: from the random bag, a quality roll of "Prank Tape"

For MaxwellBuchanan: Sorta Claus expects the Buchanan estate to extend the north-east wing to house a museum of your new complete collection of "Celebrity Shrunken Heads"

For MechE: a "Cargo Container Heater" ready for conversion to solar power

For miggavin: from the random bag, an "Edible Hat"

For mofosyne: these "Knee lights" may not have any effect on knee-jerk reactions, but at least they will light your way in the dark

For neutrinos_shadow: since you are forced to wear one, a "Pirate Hat Bike Helmet"

For nineteenthly: Sorta Claus knows how hot you will be in a "Flash Paper Dress"

For normzone: an entire "Mobile Overpass" is yours, being the highest rated idea in other:general

For not_morrison_rm: you get "Two Cups Of Coffee" so you can skip the first if the Holmesian paranoia returns

For notexactly: from the random bag, "Bicycle-Mounted Automatic Cursive Chalk Writer"

For pashute: a real honour, for one of the greatest ideas ever posted is in your stocking -- the "EZBakery"

For pertinax: a puppy is not just for Christmas, but the "In-Mall Puppy Massage" can be

For piluso: from the random bag, and Sorta hopes you have a briefcase, for you now possess your own "Briefcase legs"

For po: the "Changing tone key click" might be of use when you are under the influence

For pocmloc: you may not fully approve, but here's your own pair of "Bagpipe Pants"

For popbottle: an entire "Slow food vending machine" but beware, it may have rcarty's modification

For RayfordSteele: "CCTV Help Call Sign" but will the eye of Sauron take any notice?

For reensure: from the random bag, although how exactly it would ever fit in a bag is unclear, a "Merry Patio"

For RickRantilla: from the random bag, a "Retro Cell Phone"

For scad mientist: Sorta Claus thinks you will like an "Extreme Thermos"

For Sgt Teacup: after an extended hibernation, you may find the "Guide to Rebuilding Society" useful

For slovakmartin: to counter the effects of your no-tear gas, you will need to play "Grand Theft Auto: Erectile Dysfunction"

For Spacecoyote: from the random bag, "Edible Russian Dolls"

For Steamboat: "Shopping Trolley-Scooter combo" and be sure to fit your horn to it

For Sunstone: rather than yelling and screaming, today you can try the "non-verbal programming language"

For tatterdemalion: A set of "Printed/patterned seatbelts" to match, in the same stocking, a set of printed/patterned shirts

For the porpoise: Sorta is hesitant to leave a placebo gift, but a "Placebo with plausible side effects" could do it

For theircompetitor: as one of the few who may appreciate it, "anti adblock"

For Toto Anders: Sorta Claus is a little embarrassed leaving you a Can-o-Spunk, but it's what you asked for...

For travbm: Custard "Typing Gloves", which solidify if your ideas are posted too quickly, to channel your admirable enthusiasm into more thoughtful posts

For Vernon: for those extra long ideas, a "4-handed typewriter"

For vfrackis: please enjoy your tub of "Vagina-Jam" in a wholesome way

For Voice: a bag of "Continental Crackers"

For WcW: a "Klein Bottle Blender" which should be impossible to reach inside.

For whatrock: from the random bag, a "Washing Machine Lava Lamp"

For wjt: from the random bag, a seasonal "sputnik tree ornament"

For Wrongfellow: from the random bag, several rolls of "Creepy Carpet"

For xandram: a "Non-stop Marshmallow" tube to accompany your grill hat

For xaviergisz: get even further into the corners with this "Laser Lawnmower"

For xenzag: Sorta Claus hopes you do not already have an "Eggsploder" in your kitchen

For ytk: this "EULA Scanner" may come in handy

For zen_tom: an entire set of "Lovecraftian Table Settings"

Sorta Claus has tried to visit every baker who has posted in the last month, but his view-fu is not what it once was. To anyone omitted, know that you are not forgotten. To every Halfbaker out there, sincerest wishes of peace, happiness and success.

mitxela, Dec 24 2015

[link]






       Bless you this Christmas and all the days of this coming year, [mitxela]. You are a fine Sorta Claus, right up there with the best.   

       I love my gift, "Visible Panty Line Cord", and will treasure it for the last half of my life, whatever it is.
blissmiss, Dec 24 2015
  

       <giggles with delight>
pocmloc, Dec 25 2015
  

       <peers enviously at [zen_tom]'s set of "Lovecraftian Table Settings", wonders if this is an opportunity to try out new "Universal Axe">
8th of 7, Dec 25 2015
  

       I doff my red and white cap adorned with bells and suspicious stains in recognition of [mitxela's] kind wishes and more than half baked diligence in creating this post. <Pours another nip of brandy into mitxela's steampunk mug>
AusCan531, Dec 25 2015
  

       Aww, thank you. I almost didn't reply because I want to pretend I'm not on the internet today, but who would I be kidding? This was very thoughtful.
Voice, Dec 25 2015
  

       Lovely!
LimpNotes, Dec 25 2015
  

       A gracious thank you. I'll have to get a loftier tree.
wjt, Dec 25 2015
  

       An algorithmic cyclic printout of heuristic mined responses to one and all gathered here today.   

       (Accompanied by what I've now converted into a flying-V synth). Thank you.   

       (I wonder if lady Diana would have performed charity work against data mining?)
Ian Tindale, Dec 25 2015
  

       Thank you so much SortaMitClausXela! Just what I wanted. And thank you for reviving a great tradition, too.
calum, Dec 25 2015
  

       Thanks, and keep on halfbaking :-)
piluso, Dec 25 2015
  

       Cheers.
Ling, Dec 25 2015
  

       [normzone] has opened the gift and is all excited.   

       He's been playing inside the box it came in all morning.
normzone, Dec 25 2015
  

       So nice to be included amongst all my old friends! A hot flask will go down a treat this cold winter's evening. Thank you, Sorta Claus, and Merry Christmas to you, Tiny Mitxela! Happy Christmas to all!
jurist, Dec 25 2015
  

       //Sorta Claus expects the Buchanan estate to extend the north-east wing to house a museum of your new complete collection of "Celebrity Shrunken Heads"//   

       Ah, there's a bit of a problem there. You see, anyone who has a complete collection of "Celebrity Shrunken Heads" would, themselves, be a celebrity, which means that they would _not_ have a complete collection.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 25 2015
  

       Damn, I can really use one of those :)+
theircompetitor, Dec 25 2015
  

       Thanks for alphabetizing the users names.   

       This post should be reposted to Facebook halfbakery group site as an invitation to come back home from wherever weirdness they have wandered off to.
popbottle, Dec 25 2015
  

       Aww, thanks! Only problem is I'm afraid to break the seal on the box my new EULA Scanner comes in. It has some /very/ tiny print on it, you see.
ytk, Dec 25 2015
  

       Giant ******* Spitfire   

       :)
FlyingToaster, Dec 25 2015
  

       Thank you, mitxela. The Wrong Direction hasn't quite taken off in the way that I (& my bank manager) would have hoped for, so perhaps this change to a more 'street' image will be the charm. Happy Christmas Sorta Claus!
DrBob, Dec 26 2015
  

       Great visual comes to mind, [DrBob].
blissmiss, Dec 26 2015
  

       It's not poetry I make
It's more of an earthquake.
4and20, Dec 26 2015
  

       Has Sorta Claus acquired the skill it take to master the North Pole's palantir?
RayfordSteele, Dec 26 2015
  

       +++ Oh My!! What a treat! ( and thank you for the marshmallow tube!) You are awesome!! Peace and Love xox
xandram, Dec 27 2015
  

       // Has Sorta Claus acquired the skill it take to master the North Pole's palantir? //   

       Apparently not ... it seems that all he can get on it is a huge firey eye.
8th of 7, Dec 27 2015
  

       Aha, it's excellent to hear that my Sorta performance was up to scratch. I was a little worried some of you would spot the elastic holding my white beard in place. As for the palantir, there were admittedly teething troubles, but it was easy enough to get the hang of once I'd let it install its automatic updates.   

       I think the choice of "Celebrity Shrunken Heads" was probably based on a subconscious parallel between the Buchanan mansions and Gormenghast castle, the sprawling descriptions of which begin with a huge gallery of carved heads which no-one ever visits except the hereditary curator who never leaves. It was my understanding, if I read the box correctly, that the shrunken heads are only replicas, that is, their construction does not necessarily depend on the decapitation of the subject, so it would be possible to include your own head in the collection without terminal injury.   

       Incindentally, [calum]'s destruction of the Wrong Direction in a single anno was probably my favourite post of the year.
mitxela, Dec 27 2015
  

       // a subconscious parallel between the Buchanan mansions and Gormenghast castle, the sprawling descriptions of which begin with a huge gallery of carved heads which no-one ever visits except the hereditary curator who never leaves. //   

       Oddly enough, after a single brief visit to Buchanan Towers, Mervyn Peake used to wake up every single night screaming in terror. The consensus of informed opinion is that the Gormenghast books were written as a form of "flooding" therapy.   

       Obviously, the resemblance between [MB]'s family seat and the fantasy castle of Gormenghast is tenuous in the extreme ...
8th of 7, Dec 27 2015
  

       Of all of the Flying Dream Aerial Waterways on the market that I could have asked for, this is the one I would have picked.   

       Thank you [mixtela]!
...and while I have your ear, can I ask you... do you think it would be inappropriate of me to return the sea threw lingerie I bought after I've tried it on?
  

       Why, thank you kindly.
tatterdemalion, Dec 27 2015
  

       As I fondly admire my new Washing Machine Lava Lamp I can't help but notice an odd parallel: 5 socks, none matching.
whatrock, Dec 28 2015
  

       Thank you! I've seen bicycle chalk printers, of course, but they've all been dot-matrix, never cursive! I'll have to figure out how this works.
notexactly, Dec 28 2015
  

       You do plan on returning his ear, don't you? But don't mail it. That didn't work out for Van Gogh.
RayfordSteele, Dec 29 2015
  

       <wakes briefly, yawning and stretching, gets a drink of water, collects [mitxela]'s gift of the Guide to Rebuilding Civilisation, places an inter-library loan order for "The Idiot's Guide to How Not To Rebuild Civilization after the Collapse" by [2 fries shy of a happy meal] ©Mar 25 2008>
Sgt Teacup, Jan 01 2016
  

       Ah thank you so much! at last I can have that deeper talk with someone who understands me.
dentworth, Jan 02 2016
  

       Thanks, Sorta Claus! I'm pretty sure I can put this Prank Tape to good use. (Wow - it's even a [jutta] item - squeeee!)   

       However, you didn't say whether it's the Duct, Scotch, Electrical, or Packaging variety. I'm trying to check, but having a little problem getting it open...
lurch, Jan 02 2016
  
      
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