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Heard on the Hill: Christmas at the Capitol

With Christmas just around the corner and the end of the this session hopefully (*fingers crossed*) in sight, Congressional mirth-makers are blanketing constituents and colleagues with quirky seasons greetings.

Somewhat-newlywed Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.) has been spreading holiday cheer with the help of her photogenic feline, Gretzky, for almost a decade. But the passing of her beloved cat caused Sanchez to seek a new tack for this years annual holiday card. And we must say its kind of dull.

Though Gretzky remains in the mix hes been digitally imposed onto the ornaments dangling from the family Christmas tree the 2011 card features Sanchez and her husband, Jack Einwechter, bearing shiny gifts and friendly smiles. The digital pick-me-up was blasted out to about 500,000 dedicated emails, though Sanchez predicted her greeting could reach 600,000 to 700,000 when were all done. Sanchez says well-wishers have already called about purchasing the fictional decorations.

Seasonal songwriter Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) went less warm and fuzzy in his annual Dingell Jingle, skewering the GOP in a parody of the Christmas classic Winter Wonderland, now dubbed Washington is Stuck in Neverland.

One hyperpartisan verse posits:

On the Hill Obama is a strawman,

Republicans love to keep him down,

Hell say: Stand united,

Theyll say: No, man,

You cant do the job while were in town.

Well, at least he didnt say hed vomit, as he told our colleague Jonathan Strong in an interview last week.

Across the Dome, Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) shared a little taste of home, distributing sticks of beef jerky to his fellow Senators.

Some Montanans consider jerky to be its own food group, so why not share it over the holidays and support a good Montana business in the process? Tester said of his regionally inspired stocking stuffer.

It could have been worse: The Tester farm back in Montana grows organic lentils and peas.

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