The Christmas Power List. This is the one you’ve all been waiting for: the Christmas Power List. Nothing this year has got our office so excited. So what are our big surprises?

For a start, God hasn’t made it into the top 10, despite his son still having naming rights to the ceremony. Church attendances are down, and Jesus is barely getting a mention in the media, even though it’s his birthday we’re supposed to be celebrating. Media Monitors did a survey for The Power Index of Christmas stories over the last month and could find references to God or Jesus in only 2% of them.

Santa Claus did way better than that, getting a guernsey in 14% of Australian stories. And we reckon he’s more popular than ever. — Paul Barry (read the full story here)

Power Places: Cafe Sydney. Deal makers and their advisers like a good peppered beef tenderloin to celebrate signatures on contracts. Come Friday, they’ll take the lift up to the top of Customs House for an open-air feed at Café Sydney. And if the weather’s decent, they’ll also consume a good amount of alcohol off the expensive but extensive wine list, while overlooking the ferries on Circular Quay and elevated above the harbourside tourists below.

This is one of the key spots for law firm partners, accountancy head honchos and all their eager-to-please Gen X and Y apprentices. Café Sydney is typically the domain of men, there were very few women present when The Power Index recently took a peek at the crowd, all suited up with their jackets flung over the chairs behind them. — Angela Priestley (read the full story here)

How Newspoll shaped 2011. Forget about “the protester”. If we could wimp out and award our most powerful person of 2011 to a collective honouree, we’d opt for “the pollster”.

Australia — arguably more than any other country — is obsessed with polls. They set the news agenda, make and break leaders and help determine which policies get implemented and which don’t. The big daddy of polling in Australia is Newspoll, published in The Australian each fortnight. — Matthew Knott (read the full story here)