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'Baby, It's Cold Outside' writer's daughter says song isn't about date rape

The daughter of "Baby, It's Cold Outside" writer Frank Loesser is firing back against critics who are giving the holiday classic a frosty reception this year.

>> ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ removed from radio station’s playlist

Susan Loesser, 74, spoke to NBC News last week, defending the 1944 song against claims that it normalizes date rape.

"Bill Cosby ruined it for everybody," she said Thursday. "Way before #MeToo, I would hear from time to time people call it a date rape song. I would get annoyed because it's a song my father wrote for him and my mother to sing at parties. But ever since Cosby was accused of drugging women, I hear the date rape thing all the time."

>> Read more trending news 

Her comments came just days after a Cleveland radio station pulled the song from its playlist, saying some of its lyrics now seem inappropriate. Although the roles are occasionally reversed, the duet usually features a woman singing, "Say, what's in this drink?" and, "The answer is no," as a man urges her to stay.

>> Listen to the song here

"Absolutely, I get it, but I think it would be good if people looked at the song in the context of the time," Susan Loesser, whose father died nearly 50 years ago, told NBC News.

"People used to say, 'What's in this drink?' as a joke," she continued. "You know, this drink is going straight to my head, so what's in this drink? Back then, it didn't mean you drugged me. ... It was a different time."

Read more here.

Kids eat free at ‘Lunch With Santa’ today at White Castle

Kids who attend a “Lunch With Santa” event at participating White Castle restaurants Sunday, Dec. 9 will score a free lunch. 

The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at more than 200 participating White Castle restaurants. There is a limit of four children per adult. 

>> NEW TODAY: New restaurant to open 1st Dayton-area location TOMORROW at Austin Landing

A list of participating White Castle restaurants can be viewed at The list includes several restaurants throughout the Miami Valley, including locations in Dayton, Springfield, Hamilton, Middletown, Huber Heights, Trotwood, Kettering, Wilmington, Monroe and West Chester. 

>> ‘One Night, One Community’: UD’s Christmas on Campus will host more than 1,000 school children 

Kids will have a choice of menu options:

• Two Original Sliders, Cheese Sliders, Veggie Sliders or six-piece Chicken Rings;

• A side of Motts Applesauce or kids-size french fries; 

• A Motts Apple Juice Box, milk or a small soft drink.

>> A Skyline Chili and White Castle love affair! Dayton men live out elusive food fantasy

This is the 7th consecutive year White Castle will be hosting the Lunch With Santa event.

National Cookie Day 2018: 5 deals, freebies to satisfy your sweet tooth

Get ready to sink your teeth into some sweet deals.

National Cookie Day is Dec. 4, and several stores are serving up freebies and discounts in honor of the "holiday." 

>> Read more trending news 

Check out some of our favorite offers below:

Please note that some locations may not be participating in the following promotions. Please call ahead to ensure your nearest store is offering the deal.

1. Great American Cookies

Customers can get one free chocolate-chip cookie Tuesday at participating stores, the chain said in a news release. Although you don't have to buy anything to get the deal, there is a one-cookie-per-customer limit. Click here to find a store near you.

2. Schlotzsky's

The sandwich chain is offering a free small cookie to customers who purchase an entree at participating locations Tuesday. Find your nearest Schlotzsky's location here.

3. Insomnia Cookies

Guests can get a free traditional cookie Tuesday at participating locations, the chain announced in a news release. Customers who place a delivery order Wednesday or Thursday also can score a free traditional cookie. And if you want even more sweetness, you can enter a contest this week to win free cookies for a year. Find a store near you by clicking here.

4. Mrs. Fields

According to "Today," customers who visit a participating Mrs. Fields store Tuesday can get one free cookie with a purchase. The chain's website also is offering as much as 40 percent off many tasty holiday giftsClick here to find a store near you.

5. Nestlé Toll House Café 

Customers can get three free cookies with the purchase of three classic cookies Tuesday at participating stores, the chain announced on FacebookFind a location here.

Safe at last? Singing 'Baby Shark' toys sell out on Amazon

Parents desperately trying to get "Baby Shark" out of their heads can breathe a secret sigh of relief.

Just days after word got out that Amazon was selling singing "Baby Shark" toys, the hot holiday item appears to have sold out.

>> Read more trending news 

According to WTOL, toymaker WowWee originally offered the shark plushies and cubes, which play the viral Pinkfong song, for $17 and $8 each, respectively. But as of early Dec. 4, the toys were available only from third-party sellers and priced as high as $70.

>> See the listings here

But some grown-ups may see that news as a blessing in disguise. Although toddlers love watching the "Baby Shark" video – sometimes over and over and over – many news outlets joked that the toys were "a parent's worst nightmare."

Meanwhile, social media users made cracks about using the toys to get revenge on other parents.

But even some adults who find the song annoying wanted to buy the toy, anyway, just to bring a smile to a kid's face.

And others didn't understand all the negativity surrounding the song.

Read more here.

>> Watch the viral Pinkfong video here

'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer' sparks debate over bullying, bigotry

A classic holiday special has some viewers seeing red this year.

According to the Washington Post, critics of the 1964 movie "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" are taking to social media to blast the film, claiming it promotes bullying and bigotry.

>> ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ removed from radio station’s playlist

The controversy appeared to take flight Wednesday after HuffPost tweeted a video titled "Rudolph the Marginalized Reindeer." The post highlighted what some believe are "problematic" scenes from the movie.

>> Read more trending news 

"Former fans are pointing out Rudolph's father verbally abuses him," the video says, later adding that "Clarice's dad is a bigot."

>> See the video here (WARNING: Profanity)

Some Twitter users made similar observations.

"It's that time of year to really consider the meaning of Rudolph and how in the culture it's okay to bully someone until the thing that makes them strange is useful to everyone else. Always a horrible story," @gadlaw6 wrote.

"Santa let them bully Rudolph and joined in the shaming until his freak disability became useful," @goggleboi tweeted.

But fans fired back, arguing that Rudolph's triumph over adversity sends a positive message.

"The true message of Rudolph isn't that weirdness is bad until it can be exploited," podcaster Joshua D. Scroggin tweeted. "It's that everyone has value, and you shouldn't be mean to someone just because they're different. It's a lesson for the bullies, not the bullied."

Even public figures from opposite sides of the political spectrum – Donald Trump Jr. and Whoopi Goldberg – seemed to support Rudolph. 

"Rudolph's the hero!" Goldberg said Thursday. "What's the problem?!"

Trump Jr., meanwhile, simply retweeted the HuffPost video with the caption: "Liberalism is a disease."

Christmas lights display forced to close early amid teen brawls

A popular Christmas lights display in Oklahoma was forced to close early Saturday night after groups of teens started fighting, officials said.

>> Watch the news report here

Broken Arrow police said there were more than 100 unaccompanied teens at the Rhema Christmas lights Saturday night. Officers responded to multiple calls about juvenile problems throughout the evening.

>> Read more trending news 

When firefighters could not get into the area to respond to a medical issue, all available officers were called to the scene to disperse the crowd.

People later called reporting more injuries from fights. When officers responded and tried to control the crowd, more fights broke out, officials said.

Rhema officials decided to turn off the lights around 9:50 p.m.

Officers said there were no reported injuries or arrests.

Rhema officials said they will make a statement about the fights on Monday.

Photos: Windsor Castle Christmas tree, decor are fit for a queen

A 20-foot Nordmann Fir tree from Windsor Great Park, entirely dressed in gold, is decorated and stands at the end of St George's Hall at Windsor Castle in Windsor, England.

LOOK: Skiing Santas hit the slopes for charity, spread Christmas cheer

No, this isn't the North Pole.

Hundreds of Santas took a much-needed break before Christmas, ditching their sleighs for skis on the snowy slopes of Newry, Maine, this weekend.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

According to The Associated Press, the Sunday River resort's annual Santa Sunday event has been spreading holiday cheer for 19 years. Each Santa donates at least $20 to go toward "local education and recreation programs," the AP reported.

>> Read more trending news 

"There's something about seeing 300 Santas ski down the mountain to support a great cause that puts people in the holiday spirit," Caroline Ochtera, Sunday River events director, said in a statement.

Read more here.

– The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Holiday shopping tips: 7 retailers offering curbside pick-up, fast delivery options

With the busy holiday season here, retailers are trying to make shopping easier and quicker for customers.

>> Read more trending news 

Multiple retailers are offering curbside pick-up and other quick delivery options for customers for the holidays. Here are some options to take advantage of:

1. Amazon Prime

Prime Members can have their Amazon order placed directly into the trunk of their car, even if they’re not present. A connected car is required, and eligible cars include some Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac models. Users download the Amazon Key app and input the address where your car will be parked.

>> On 7 major moves Kroger made in 2018

2. The Container Store

The Container Store is offering free curbside pick-up through its Click & Pickup program. Online shop and then drive up to one of the designated Click & Pickup parking spots at a local store.

3. Meijer 

Meijer Curbside service lets you order items online, then have them loaded into your car curbside between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m.

4. Target 

Target is expanding its Drive Up service across the U.S. Place your order through the Target app and select Drive Up at checkout. Park in one of the Drive Up spots and present your order screen to an employee.

5. Walmart 

Walmart offers curbside pickup and loading for grocery orders, available between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily. Go to, enter your ZIP code and select your local store.

6. Kroger 

While fees vary by location, ClickList allows customers to shop for their groceries online and then pick up their order at a designated time. ClickList is available at most local stores.

7. Sam’s Club 

Sam’s Club is offering curbside pickup at some of its locations. Club Pickup is eligible for groceries, electronics, office supplies, grills, mattresses and household cleaners.

Photos: Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting 2018

A massive Norway spruce has been lit up in a tradition that ushers in Christmastime in New York City. Mayor Bill de Blasio flipped the switch Wednesday night to light the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.

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