Where Christmas is Not…

22 12 2007

…let me tell you something Christmas does NOT exist within the ‘not-so-friendly’ confines of the Eastdale Mall. I went out yesterday (yes to START my Christmas shopping) and my searches took me the place I least wanted to go, the mall.  There were no places to park, the rudest people (both working and shopping), and just a general feel of not being joyous and remembering what “Christmas is all about Charlie Brown”.



As I sit bathed in the glow of my Christmas tree I am so thankful for this season and time of year. I am thankful that I get to be off work and that even when I am at work I am celebrating what Christmas truly is. I am thankful that Laura gets to be off work with me for the next two weeks that we can hang out and travel and do the things we neglect because the hectic schedules of work and being in school don’t allow those luxuries. I am thankful (even though I have done more than my share of complaining about not having room in the calendar) for having lots of different places to go and people to see because we have wonderful friends and family and they definitely make the season special. I am thankful for Christmas music (those of you that disagree can ‘Scrooge Off’). I am also thankful that some of you still acknowledge my existence after I put up that horrendous picture of myself in my last post (I think I had a little too much egg in my nog if you know what I’m saying). I am thankful that we are going to Illinois for a week to see more family. I guess the point of it all is that I am thankful. I am thankful for God’s amazing love and grace, and I am thankful for YOU! That’s where Christmas IS!!

Merry Christmas!

p.s. I would SO like to be in that cabin above with a roaring fire and some books and good Christmas food (turkey, dressing, etc…) for about 2 weeks without interruptions. 


The Obligatory Holiday Survey Thing

15 12 2007



School is out for the semester and now it is time for the Holiday fun to begin. My sister sent this quiz out as an email and since she was not quick or industrious enough to make a it a post I have decided to do it first (all of you reading beware that you will ALL be ‘tagged’ at the end).

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper, I am good at wrapping presents (a skill I learned from my father).

2. Tree–Real or Artificial? Real without question

3. When do you put Christmas tree up? The Day after Thanksgiving

4. When do you take the tree down?
Typically Dec. 26th but we will be gone this year so probably January 3rd

5. Like egg nog? YES…Especially the kind with booze in it.

6. Do you have a nativity scene? Laura has begun collecting the Willow Tree Nativity so yes, we do.

7. Favorite gift received as a child? Two words: Millenium Faclon

8. Hardest person to buy for? Everyone…I am very indecisive when it comes to gifts.

9. Easiest person to buy for? Laura

10. Worst Christmas gift? Don’t really know

11. Mail or email a Christmas Card? Mail

12. Favorite Christmas movie? It’s a Wonderful Life (see my previous post)

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Haven’t yet…get the picture?

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Oh YES!!

15. Favorite food to eat on Christmas? Most anything my father cooks.

16. Clear or colored tree lights? I used to be a white lights only, but my tree now each year has twinkling colored mini-lights AND big bulb colored lights also.

17. Favorite Christmas Song? Anything off the Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack

18. Travel during Christmas or Stay home? If by travel you mean every relative’s house within a 60 mile radius then Travel it is.

19. Can you name Santa’s reindeer? Um yes, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder, Blitzen, and Rudolph.

20. Angel or Star on Tree top? Star

21. Open presents on Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas morning, Christmas afternoon if I could get away with it.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Being stressed out by all the ‘stuff’ of the holidays that make it hard to enjoy the feelings that make it such a wonderful season.

I now officially tag EVERYONE who reads this to do it on their own blog!

‘Tis the Season

5 12 2007

(for those of you who have smart things to say about my lack of posting…I am sorry…moving on)The holidays are upon us and one of the great things about this time of year is the movies. I have compiled (in an utterly pointless fashion) my list of “Top 10 Christmas Movies” and a brief description or comment of some sort. Enjoy!

10. A Christmas Carol- A Dickens classic that no Christmas season would be complete without (typically it will be played end to end on TBS sometime around Christmas Eve). My favorite version is the 1951 version that sometimes goes under the title “Scrooge”. Alastair Sim as the older Mr. Scrooge was brilliant.

9. Gremlins– While not technically a ‘Christmas Movie’ it does take place at Christmas time. Now if I could only get a hold of a Pelzer Bathroom Buddy for Christmas I would be able to give the gift that keeps on giving.

8. How the Grinch Stole Christmas- A childhood favorite that never ceases to please. The songs are forever ingrained in my childhood and the voice of the Grinch (Boris Karloff) and his singing counterpart (Thurl Ravenscroft) are so unique that they can take me back to a certain time in life.

7. A Christmas Story- How can you not feel for young Ralphie as he tries so desperately to get his hands on his prized “Red Ryder”? Admit it after watching this one you have always wanted to spend Christmas dinner at a Chinese restaurant. Very funny in one of those great immature ways.

6. Elf– Now this might come as sacrilege to some of you but it really is a great movie. Regardless of how you might feel about Will Ferrell he plays a great character (raised by Santa, believing he is an elf, and then going to NYC to find his real dad-played magnificently by James Caan) . This movie is unique in that is truly is a family movie, there are no curse words (unless you count “cotton headed ninny-muggins”) and it is good clean family fun.

5. Miracle on 34th Street- The 1947 incarnation of this movie is the only one that will pass as quality Christmas cinema. A wonderful movie that helps us all to remember that we once believed and have lost some of that as we have gotten older and hardened by life. The childlike faith that is personified in the mythology of Santa Claus is a perfect parallel for how our faith sometimes goes through the same lessening as we get into ‘life’.

4. Christmas Vacation- I do not even know where to begin. This movie is one of the MOST HILARIOUS (capitalization rights provided by Maughry) of ALL TIME! The Griswolds show us all that our families are not ‘that bad’ and at the same time show us little bits of our own in theirs. As Ellen Griswold tells her daughter “It’s the Holidays honey, we’re all miserable”.

3. Love Actually- another newcomer to the scene, but it is utterly and completely FANTASTIC. One of those great multi-scenario movies that follows numerous plotlines through out only to show you their connections. The music is great, the story is great, the humor is great. An absolute must-see!!

2. A Charlie Brown Christmas- Seriously one of the most powerful Christmas movies of all time (laugh if you want but I am serious). In such a simple way Charles Schultz reminds us all (in the words of Linus) ‘what Christmas is really all about’. The reading of Luke 2 during that show (run in primetime in 1965) was a gamble on the behalf of Schultz but one that paid off many times over. The soundtrack, provided by the Vince Guaraldi Trio, is musically some my favorite jazz ever (not that I am a jazz expert at all). Well worth you 24 mintues to watch.

1. It’s a Wonderful Life- Some may ‘poo-poo’ this number one choice as ‘cheesy’ or ‘sentimental’ but it is and I don’t care. Jimmy Stewart’s “Merry Christmas Bedford Falls” will always ring in my head as he runs down the street (at the end of the movie) proclaiming his newly found Christmas joy. It truly is a great movie and can only be fully appreciated in its original black and white format. If you watch but one Christmas movie all year THIS. IS. THE. ONE!

So as “Mr. Tony” says ‘That’s it, that’s the list’. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and possible additions.

PS–Honorable mention goes to “Santa Claus: The Movie” starring Dudley Moore. I remember loving this movie as a child, but I have probably not seen it in 15 to 20 years so I need to find a copy and give it a viewing again.