GOOD MORNING, NEWS! I picket the wallet up, then I took a pause. Took out the license and it cold said "Santa Claus." LET'S GO TO PRESS.

BLOGTOWN UPDATE: The Mercury staff is enjoying a festive vacation all this week, and will be only blogging sporadically. BUT WHAT WE DO BLOG? Oh sweet Jesus... so good. We wish you all a happy ho-ho-ho!

Today in gun violence that may have been avoided if we had acted on gun restrictions much sooner: Two firefighters are shot and killed (two more wounded), while responding to a New York house fire.

And here we go again: A shooter walks into a Bellevue bar near Seattle killing one and wounding another.

The last three victims of the Newtown shootings have been buried."Everything was special to Emilie," her aunt told reporters outside the church. "Emilie was an example to not only her little sisters but to her family, to all her little friends. And now she's an example to the world about purity ... tragedy and forgiveness."

Meanwhile, thousands sign a petition to deport Brit Piers Morgan due to his favorable opinions on gun control. Hmmm... okay, I admit it, I'M TORN.

An Afghan policewoman walked into a high security compound and shot and killed a U.S. advisor.

Today in HAW HAW HAWWWWWWWW! "A conservative U.S. senator from Idaho who has said he doesn't drink because of his Mormon faith has been charged with drunken driving."

After 1000 days of captivity, 22 hostages held by pirates off the coast of Yemen are finally released.

"A tax break that has saved struggling homeowners from paying thousands of dollars to the IRS is just days away from expiring." GET YOUR AFFAIRS IN ORDER.

The death of a SEAL commander stationed in Afghanistan was apparently a suicide.

Everybody relax! An asteroid 460 feet in diameter will NOT hit earth in 2040, which means you'll also avoid another Mercury feature like the one we wrote this week.

HURRAH! This year you have TWO options of tracking the flight of Santa Claus tonight: Google and NORAD! Yay, technology!

Now here's what's going on in your neck of the woods: Sunny-ish today, showery tomorrow, and more sunny-ish through the rest of the week.

And finally, you better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, I'm telling you why: Santa Dog on a skateboard is comin' to town!