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Top Picks: Holiday cards with a unique story, how one man becomes Santa, and more

A new video game gives you plenty of opportunities for adventure, a Yahoo list shows the hidden meanings behind famous logos, FDR's side of Pearl Harbor is revealed in a History Channel special, and more top picks.

December 1, 2011

Christmas cards by Paperworks Studios

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Christmas strings

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On An Appalachian Christmas, violinist Mark O'Connor notches another success. The album showcases O'Connor's diverse musical styles and includes guests such as jazz singer Jane Monheit ("Winter Wonderland"), folk star James Taylor ("Ol' Blue"), and opera luminary Renée Fleming ("Away in a Manger"). Best of all, Alison Krauss's hushed vocal on "Slumber My Darling" feels as tender as a snowflake's caress. O'Connor's violin playing creates a cohesive feel throughout.

FDR in action

Pearl Harbor: 24 Hours After is a sobering look at the pressures on the president in the immediate aftermath of the Japanese attack on Hawaii. It may be hard to recall such an era, but in the pre-cellphone and Internet days, it could take hours to confirm information – even for the president of the United States. Debuts on History Dec. 7.

Card capers

Made out of materials as unlikely as coffee grounds and denim jeans, Paperworks Studio cards are beautifully crafted by a team of artists with special needs and disadvantages. Handmade and unique, the cards offer the artists independence and life lessons through their creative efforts. To see their designs, check out paperworksstudio.com.

Hiding in plain sight

You've seen the logos a hundred times. But have you spotted the chips and bowl of salsa inside the Tostitos name or the arrow spelling out a hidden message on the Amazon moniker? Yahoo has compiled a list of some hidden words or images inside the world's most recognizable logos. Check them out at http://shine.yahoo.com/work-money/can-you-spot-the-hidden-images-in-these-famous-logos-2528093.html

Choose your own adventure

Very early in Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the fantasy video game asks you, "What now?" Venture into the dragon-infested mountains? Chat up villagers in the nearest town? Join a wizard school? (Spoiler: There is no wrong answer.) Skyrim has a central story line, but the realm is so dense with activities, skirmishes, and secrets that the narrative constantly takes a back seat to simple, sublime exploration. The world is your sandbox. Enjoy. Available for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC.

Santa who?

Becoming Santa is a quirky documentary about one man's quest to plumb the true meaning of the holiday spirit by "becoming" Santa. The film narrates the evolution of the Santa Claus figure from a wealthy 4th-century Turkish Nicholas through various European traditions to the department store figure and advertising icon – alongside a peek into the culture of giving and organized charities embodied in the Santa principle. Airs on OWN, Dec. 7.

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