Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Here's a retread of the kids-with-Santa post I did last year - well worth the revisit. Take a close look at the last kid - he may look familiar to you.

Ah, yes! The annual trip to the local shopping center to sit in Santa's lap and share with him all the things a little boy or girl could possibly dream of for Christmas morning! No doubt this experience is the highlight of every child's Christmas season!

That is unless you get stuck with some creepy-lookin' Chris Cringle! You'd be crying too if you heard what this Santa had just whispered in their ears!

Ever wanted to know how Santa really felt about his gig at the mall? Just take a closer look at Santa's left hand!

Although her two little brothers were unaware, Jessica suspected something was up when she realized this year's Santa was really just a mannequin the mall had borrowed from Macy's.

Santa will have one of two effects on most children. One child will glow with Christmas joy while another will experience fear itself - especially if Santa is wearing make-up!

While most older children delight in telling their siblings that there really is no Santa Claus, Mary chose this moment to instead tell Jeffrey that he was really a girl and Susan that she had actually been adopted from a family of coneheads!

The twins agree - vertical stripes do nothing to slim Santa's figure.

Some kids like to show how tough they are by shaving their hair into a mohawk while wearing skull & bones t-shirts with camo pants. But we all know that Santa's lap is the real litmus test for true toughness!

Have you ever seen a Santa mail it in any worse than this guy? Of course she's screaming! I bet he waited until mid-October before he even started growing out his beard!

The first thing they teach you in Shopping Mall Santa Class is that screaming children aren't near as bad after your 4th Crown & Coke!

And finally, Tate shows us how easy it is to keep your composure when you just keep repeating to yourself, "Calm, cool, and collected! Calm, cool, and collected!"

Actually, Tate wasn't afraid of Santa - he was perturbed at the 3 little elves with nerve-wracking noise makers trying to get him to smile!

Hope you don't have anything to scream about during your holidays!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Audra's 25 Christmas Questions

Audra has a great set of Christmas questions on her blog - I thought I'd write in my own responses. The post with her questions & answers is now buried beneath a stack of cute baby pictures of Drew . . . so you'll probably never get to her Christmas question post.


1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?

I’d wrap presents more often if the wrapping paper had built-in tape like diapers do – that would be awesome!!

2. Real tree or Artificial?

See here.

3. When do you put up the tree?

ASAP after Thanksgiving. Tate’s birthday is the first week of December so if we don’t get our tree up quick then it will never go up.

4. When do you take the tree down?

It’s Kelly’s job to take the ornaments off so I have to wait until she finishes with that first. Usually it’s down pretty quick after New Year’s . . . but there was that one year when it was practically Valentine’s Day before the tree was back in the attic!

5. Do you like eggnog?

No, I'm allergic to nog.

6. Favorite gift received as a child?

• My dog Bonkers – who was appropriately named.
• My Mellinium Falcon – It helped establish my adolescent coolness because I was the only kid in my neighborhood to have one . . . at least until Jeff, a kid down the street, got one for his birthday the following January . . . jealous!

7. Hardest person to buy for?

Kelly is not the hardest person to buy for but she can tricky sometimes. Some years she gives me a list, other years she just drops hints. I’m much better with lists than I am with hints.

This year is a list year, thank goodness!

8. Easiest person to buy for?

Me, of course!

9. Do you have a nativity scene?

Yes, doesn’t everybody?

10. Mail or email Christmas cards?

Christmas Cards. I’m better with pictures than I am with words.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?

A family member gave me Mickey Mouse suspenders one year. I might have enjoyed them but I was in the 6th Grade and had already become self-conscious about my social status among my peers.

I got the suspenders from the same person who, only the previous year, scored big when they gave me a Jose Canseco and a Mark Maguire rookie card! How do you go from Canseco-Maguire rookie cards one year to Mickey Mouse suspenders the next???

12. Favorite Christmas Movie?

Christmas Vacation – why even ask?

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?

Usually the week of.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?

Yeah, if you count tossing a brand new pair of Mickey Mouse suspenders in a Goodwill Store collection bin.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?

Blue Bell & Magic Shell

(You should have known I was going to say that!)

16. Lights on the tree? Is there an option?

I’m with Audra – white lights and lots of them.

17. Favorite Christmas song?

(Click Play to start)

I like the Barenaked Ladies' version of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen . . . otherwise, I like the Mute button. Sorry, Christmas music makes me loony!

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?

There’s no place like home!

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?


20. Angel on the tree top or a star?

Whichever doesn’t scrape the ceiling.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?

Both. We got our normal presents on Christmas morning but my parents gave us “The Spirit of Christmas” gifts on Christmas Eve. They were the presents that they wanted to give us - meaning, these gifts weren't on our Christmas lists.

Which usually meant you were pretty disappointed as a kid if you were expecting a toy. But now I love those gifts because they’re usually special and well thought out – except for the year we all got house shoes. Apparently my mom couldn’t think of anything unique or special that year! But hey, at least they kept our feet warm on our cold concrete floors!

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?

Don’t get me started! I don’t mind playing the scrooge this time of year because I think most of our society has totally missed the point of Christmas. Audra said it well on her post.

Rick Atchley also said it well from the pulpit this weekend [paraphrase mine], “Even Christians become so consumed in celebrating baby Jesus that they forget that the only reason he was born in the first place was so that he could eventually die for us on the cross!” Meanwhile, we all just sit around admire the stack of gift cards we've piled up over the holidays.

Other than that, I love this time of year!

23. Favorite ornament theme or color?


24. Favorite for Christmas dinner?

You can’t go wrong with the standards – turkey, ham, stuffing . . . and . . . oh! Blue Bell & Magic Shell!

25. What do you want for Christmas this year?

This year, all I want is for it to be January – and not for the reasons you think!

. . . more on that later!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Kelly-ism #17

Last weekend, my awe-inspiring wife completed her 2nd White Rock Half Marathon.  

For her effort, she was given a medal, a really cool New Balance workout shirt, and a really big blister on the bottom of her foot!  

Since then, I think she was trying to garner sympathy because she kept propping her foot up for me to see her blister - each time sending me into violent convulsions since I'm a little squeamish with those sort of things.

Kelly finally got tired of my dramatics and exclaimed, "Love me - love my blister!"

I'm still trying to think of a response!

(Read here for an explanation to why the name above Kelly's number is Tara!)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Little Man Tate Turns Two!

It has been as busy here as it has been for everyone else so it took me a while to put this together.

Happy Birthday, Buddy Boy!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Orange Infused Water?????

I noticed this placard on the refreshments table while attending a conference in Orlando this week. You'll have to look closely to read what it says - the almighty iPhone doesn't have a flash.

Orange infused water?

Oh pa-lease! What's wrong with just calling it what it is? Water with orange slices!

I decided against the organge infusion and just got ice infused water instead!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Real vs. Artificial . . . No Contest!

I can't believe it's that time of year when I, yet again, pull out my slam dunk argument in favor of artificial trees over real trees.

But first, let's take time to 'ooooo' and 'ahhhh' at Kelly's gift for holiday decor . . . .

Now on to my list of con's against real Christmas trees:

1. In order to get a real tree, you have to drive to a tree lot, fight for a parking space, lay claim to the most non-odd looking tree, haggle over the price of said-non-odd-looking-tree with some guy who has a Marlboro hanging out of the corner of his mouth, strap said-oddity to the roof of your car, admire the affinity between tree sap and the roof of your car, and drive home at a snail's pace so the wind doesn't strip all the needles off of your over-priced drendologic freak of nature.

(Previous paragraph summed up in one word: Beating!!!)

2. Finally finish 2 hours of stringing lights, hanging ornaments and balancing a tree topper on your now needle-stripped tree only to have your wife come in and say in a very unimpressed tone, "It's still leaning too far to the right!" . . . you decide against pointing out to her that it leaned a little to the right even in the forest before it was cut down.

(Smart move!)

3. A week later, you causually walk through the living room and notice your real tree going up in flames because it caught fire from the Christmas lights after you forgot to keep it watered!

4. You spend Christmas morning trying to convience your 5-year old how cool it is to be the only girl in school who has Melted Barbie.

5. Once Christmas is over, you pay a $250 ticket because your tree-hugging neighbors caught you dumping your real tree at the park and turned you in to the police.

Wow, sounds like a merry little migraine if you ask me!

Now the list of pro's for an artificial tree:

1. You bring your artificial Christmas tree down from your attic - perhaps you may need to enlist the help of your neighbor . . . the one who has a Marlboro hanging out of the corner of his mouth.

2. You spend only 45 minutes setting up artificial tree perfectly straight in its stand, plugging in pre-hung lights (man's greatest invention, by the way), and hanging ornaments.

3. You spend the rest of the holidays doing things like watching your neighbor haul his charred real tree to the curb after it BBQ'ed his Christmas. He looks up just in time see the smirk on your face from knowing that your artificial tree is fire-retardant.

4. Instead of consoling your family who is distraught over gifts of Melted Barbie and warped gift cards on Christmas morning, you instead enjoy countless hours reading instruction manuals and searching for another pack of AA batteries . . . actually both of these may be con's!

5. You spend all of 30 minutes after Christmas taking down your artificial tree and putting it back in the attic . . . with or without help from Mr. Three-Packs-A-Day!

6. Finally, You later sleep with a good conscience knowing that, because you didn't purchase a real tree for Christmas, you have single-handedly curbed global warming!

Once again, I rest my case!