We’ll kick off this Christmas Eve edition of the newsletter with a story on Santa Claus being deflated. No, his mood isn’t any less jolly than it typically is, but sometimes those massive inflatable decorations featuring his likeness can literally lose their air, creating puddles of what used to be a plumped-up Santa. We’re also not over the Eagles’ win over the Cowboys on Sunday. And according to one of my colleagues, it’s time to stop complaining about Carson Wentz.

Happy holidays, everyone. We’ll be back in your inbox on Friday morning. Take care!

— Josh Rosenblat (@joshrosenblat, morningnewsletter@inquirer.com)

A South Philly street’s Christmas tradition is still pumping despite deflating Santa

This time of year, Smedley Street in South Philly is full of Christmas displays. It’s a 70-year tradition. But on Smedley and elsewhere, holiday inflatables battle the elements and technology to stay plump and upright.

So, is it OK to leave them deflated during the day?

That depends on whom you ask. Some understand that electric bills can start running high if you have your Santa at full inflation 24/7. Others don’t care. “If you’re going to deploy them, FOR GOD’S SAKE, keep them INFLATED!" Twitter user @bleusharque wrote.

Philadelphia is 1,000 miles away from Iowa. And it’s hosting an Iowa caucus?

Jessica Anderson was turned away in 2016 when she tried to caucus for Bernie Sanders in her hometown of Titonka, Iowa — population 476. She would turn 18 before the general election and thus was eligible, but there was confusion over the rules.

Now 21 and a junior at Penn, Anderson is bringing the caucus to campus. Anderson applied to the Iowa Democratic Party to hold a satellite caucus on Penn’s campus for registered Iowa Democrats in the area and it was recently approved. This is the first year the state party will hold out-of-state satellite caucuses as part of an effort to include more people.

U.S. field hockey’s failures cause rebellion that singles out Lancaster County training facility

Since 2013, the U.S. women’s field hockey team has trained at the Spooky Nook Sports Complex in Lancaster County. And it’s become the spiritual and competitive heart of American field hockey. There are 13 members of the 26-woman national team who are from Central and Southeastern Pennsylvania, with two of its stars hailing from the Philly suburbs.

But since the United States team proved unable to qualify for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, the Lancaster County facility has become the center of a public rebellion. A dropoff in performance, along with ongoing concerns about finances, administrative leadership, and facilities, have brought unrest. An online petition cites numerous issues, including players being allegedly served rotten or undercooked food and given inadequate medical treatment or insurance.

What you need to know today

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

It’s that time of year! Happy holidays, everyone! Thanks for the shot, @michaelkanephotography.

Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we’ll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout out!

That’s interesting


“We wish Mayor Jim Kenney the best with his second term while wishing he’d hurry up already and announce his pick for a new police commissioner by the end of this term, as he said he intended. We also wish the mayor would at last fulfill another quasi-promise and find a more suitable spot for the Frank Rizzo statue across from City Hall.” — The Inquirer Editorial Board also has a number of Christmas wishes.

  • The Editorial Board also writes about recent legislative activity in New Jersey, including approving bills that allow undocumented immigrants to apply for a new type of driver’s license and restore voting rights for many people on parole or probation.

  • The biggest news on the day President Donald Trump got impeached actually happened 9,864 miles away, columnist Will Bunch writes.

What we’re reading

Your Daily Dose of | Hanukkah 🕎

Sunday was the first night of Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights. Before an 18-foot menorah was lit in Cherry Hill, there was a parade of cars all topped with small menorahs of their own. One of my colleagues was there to capture the scene.