Peru Lima Santa

Paul Heinz Suarez Gamarra, locally known as the Peruvian Santa Claus, stands in a ladder basket of the local volunteer firefighter brigade, as he hands out presents to young coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients at a hospital, in Lima, Peru, on 14th December. PICTURE: Reuters/Sebastian Castaneda

Eager to deliver some Christmas cheer and presents to children infected with COVID-19, Santa recently got creative in Peru and used a cherry picker to reach up to the windows of those isolating in a high rise complex with their families. "Since these are COVID areas you cannot go in directly, but Santa and the fire brigade provided a solution," said Juan Oriundo, director of the Pan American Village in Peruvian capital Lima. "The solution involves using the cherry picker so they can get close to the windows and give the children a little present. That way they can feel the excitement of Christmas that they might not get at home on the 24th [of December]." Riding on a fire truck's cherry picker and accompanied by a firefighter, Santa was able to deliver gift-wrapped presents to children leaning out the windows, as health workers on the ground outside danced and cheered. "The most important thing is the love you get," said Santa Claus impersonator Paul Suarez.

Prompting protests outside Twitter's headquarters (thanks to its bird logo), the creation of viral YouTube videos and the posting of campaigns on billboards across the US, the Birds Aren't Real movement has garnered the attention of hundreds of thousands across the US with its claims that the US Government replaced birds with drones to spy on people. But this is, apparently, no ordinary conspiracy theory movement, Instead it's said to be a parody of the idea of conspiracy theories. The man credited as the movement's creator - 23-year-old Peter McIndoe - told The New York Times recently that Birds Aren’t Real "is not a shallow satire of conspiracies from the outside". "It is from the deep inside,” he said. “A lot of people in our generation feel the lunacy in all this, and Birds Aren’t Real has been a way for people to process that...It’s a safe space for people to come together and process the conspiracy takeover of America. It’s a way to laugh at the madness rather than be overcome by it.”

Just don't eat it. A Utah family has decorated their home for Christmas so that it resembles a giant gingerbread house. Virginia Hoffman, who lives in the Yalecrest area of Salt Lake City, says she realised a few years ago that her home bore a striking resemblance to the festive treat and, with the aid of her family (including her husband, a professional artist) began transforming the home which now features giant gumdrops, peppermint swirls, candy canes, a fudge striped cookie, and even a gingerbread man. "I hope that if it can just put a smile on anyone's face, if it can just help a little bit, a little Christmas cheer, that's the whole goal. It will all be worth it," she told a local news outlet.

- With reporting by CARLOS VALDEZ and GERARDO GOMEZ in Peru/Reuters.