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Dec. 24, 2012 at 6:30 AM
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Mother-in-law most-dreaded Christmas guest

LONDON, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- Britons say parents and in-laws top the list of the most-dreaded Christmas meal guests -- with the female host's mother-in-law in first place.

For the first time ever, comedians have displaced royalty, celebrity chefs and musicians as the ideal guests at Christmas lunch, London's Travelodge ideal Christmas guest poll showed.

"[This] has been a tough year and we are all in need of a belly full of laughter," said Stephanie Davies, a behavioral strategist and author of "Laughology: The Science of Laughter to Improve Your Life."

The poll said Britons expect the men in the family to provide entertainment around the dinner table. Brothers, fathers and grandfathers win in that category.

One quarter of Christmas hosts said they will plan a list of topics for the dinner table, the most popular of which are catching up on family gossip, remembering the year's key events, reminiscing about the past, and the cost of Christmas.

The poll did not specify its sample size, when the poll was conducted or the margin of error.

Goose making comeback as Christmas dinner

LONDON, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- Home-reared geese, a Victorian Christmas dinner staple, is making a comeback as a popular dish for Britons on Christmas, supermarket sales show.

The Christmas goose fell out of favor in the 1960s when Britons began opting for turkey, The Observer reported Saturday.

This year however, the goose is making a comeback.

Morrisons supermarket reported orders of fresh geese are up 50 percent this year from the same time last year, while sales at Waitrose have increased by 30 percent and M&S reports 16 percent more orders of its speciality free-range birds.

"While turkey is still the nation's favorite at Christmas, alternative centerpieces are becoming popular, with sales of goose up 30 percent year on year. Historically, goose was always served for Christmas lunch and it seems that shoppers are looking back at old traditions and reviving them for the modern dinner table," said Frances Westerman, Waitrose's poultry buyer.

Swedish town buys strip club

BARNARP, Sweden, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- Residents of Barnarp, Sweden, had been trying for years to close a local strip club without success, so they bought it, village officials said.

The Cafe Musfaalan -- Mousetrap Cafe -- had been a source of noise, littering and harassment complaints since it opened, The Local.se reported. The last straw was the decision last month by the strip club's owners to change the name to Heaven "where we knead the buns together."

"It has been a great inconvenience for residents in Barnarp," Commissioner Mats Green said.

The community Friday ponied up 3 million Swedish kronor ($470,000) to buy the property so it could evict the tenants. No word on what the property will be used for next.

Schauble says his English not good

BONN, Germany, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble admits his English is not the best, but he notes, he's not alone.

"Badly spoken English is however the most spoken language in the world," Schauble said in an interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.

Schauble recognizes English is the language of choice for multinational corporations and most young people speak it. He said he once suggested that the European Union forgo interpreters and require business to be conducted in English, The Local.de reported.

He said, however, Nicolas Sarkozy, who was French interior minister at the time, objected, saying he feared it would give the English an advantage.

"I told him that it was actually a much larger disadvantage for them because we would destroy their language," Schauble said.

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