Monday, December 22, 2008

Say What?

I have the joy of spending my weekends with hundreds of kids between the first and fifth grades. Over the course of working in Children’s Ministry these past few years I’ve had the opportunity to amass quite the array of amazing quotations. Today I present to you… conversations in the key of E.

Me: Who can tell me the signs that God gave Moses to use when he spoke to Pharaoh
3rd grade girl: Moses threw his staff on the ground and it turned into a snake. And then Moses took his hand and put it under his cloak and when he pulled it out it became leopard skin.
Me: Or leprosy. Either one.

Me: Who can tell me the job that Zipporah had? Remember, she was Moses’ wife.
5th grade boy: She was a Shebrew.
Me: Close. A shepherdess. Moses was a Hebrew. But very close.

Me: Can anyone tell me what it means to sacrifice?
Girl: To sacrifice.
Me: Okay…anyone else?
Boy: To sacrifice something.
Me: Let’s try to use another word other than sacrifice!
Boy: It’s like if there was a chicken and a farmer. And the farmer was hungry. And the chicken was like, ok, you can eat me. So they kill the chicken and cook it. And it’s on a stake, and it’s cooking, and getting brown, and golden, and crispy, and it smells amazing. And then the farmer eats it.
Me: Exactly.

1st grade boy: Miss Ginger I pooped my pants…when I was a baby…in my sleep.
Me: Cool.

While stretching before a Christmas Musical Rehearsal-
Me: Reach over to your left shoe. Remember, we want to be all ready to go at 10:30am!
Girl: This is stretching my tibia.
Boy: This is stretching my rectum.
Girl: That’s not a bone. That’s a muscle.
Boy: Oh.
Me: Umm... go ahead and reach over to your other foot.

Me: If you could invite any person to your house for Christmas this year, anyone in the whole world, who would it be?
Girl: Joe Jonas!
Boy: Shaq
Another Boy: Pierce Brosnan
Me: Really? Um, ok.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas (Episode)

Since my list of favorite Christmas movies would probably look much the same as Ginger's (although I would have found room for "Love Actually," "While You Were Sleeping," and "Little Women"), I've decided to compile a list of my favorite Christmas television episodes. Translation: pretty much just the best Christmas episodes from my favorite shows. No one said this had to be an unbiased list....

The One with the Girl from Poughkeepsie, Friends- How could I not include an episode that features such a heart-felt Christmas song from Phoebe? If I could sing and play the guitar, I would totally write you guys a Christmas song.

Forgiveness and Stuff, Gilmore Girls- There is snow! Christmas parties! A crazy local Christmas program with a girl baby doll playing the part of Jesus! Plus- Luke makes Lorelai a Santa Burger! Heart!! Please watch at least the beginning of this clip. You'll like it:

Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer, Grey's Anatomy- Most of what Grey's Anatomy is about is convenient storytelling. It involves a lot of ironic circumstances, contrived situations, and scenes set up for the sake of creating a specific quotable line or memorable image. And they certainly know what they're doing, because it makes for a very entertaining show indeed. This is a great Christmas episode, filled with longing and hope and drama and struggles and all the other cheesy things that make up Grey's. But the episode sticks with me. The most memorable image is that of three friends lying beneath a Christmas tree, just staring at the colored lights and savoring Christmas. I love to stop and savor Christmas. (Skip to 1:26 in this clip. It's lovely.)

The One with the Routine, Friends- Any storyline involving Rachel, Phoebe, and Chandler is automatically hilarious. The storyline where the three of them are searching for Monica's hidden Christmas presents is therefore automatically hilarious. They spend almost the entire episode searching, and even find a few fake presents Monica planted to throw them off. This scene is from when they finally find the gifts:

An Echolls Family Christmas, Veronica Mars- Definitely not your typically sweet and cheerful Christmas special, this episode of the consistantly genius "Veronica Mars" speaks to the bittersweet feelings of melancholy that somtimes accompany Christmas. It's an episode containing the usual brilliant villain-unveiling by Veronica that we've come to expect, but it's also filled with more disillusionment and heartache for our poor heroine. Veronica ends the episode by concluding: "What was I thinking? Christmas in Neptune is, was and always will be, about the trappings: the lights and the tinsel they use to cover up the sordidness, the corruption. No, Veronica, there is no Santa Claus."
I couldn't find a really great clip or preview of this episode that really captures its Christmas melancholy, so here instead is a funny Logan/Veronica moment from the same episode:

Christmas Party, The Office- The original and still the best "Office" Christmas episode. "Happy birthday, Jesus. Sorry your party's so lame." "'A real man makes his own luck,' Billy Zane, Titanic." "Yankee Swap is like Machiavelli meets... Christmas."

The Best Christmukkah Ever, The O.C.- I unashamedly love this show. Seriously. And this is an amazing, amazing episode, as 'Chrismukkah' is an essential part of "The O.C." This episode just has everything: Ryan and Marissa happy, Ryan and Marissa fighting, Seth and Summer, Seth and Anna, the Seth Cohen starter pack (The Goonies, Death Cab for Cutie, etc.), a big fancy O.C. party, and Sandy and Kirsten being typically sweet and hilarious. Throw in that ending shot of Ryan finally hanging his stocking up with the rest of the family and the slow pan to the Cohen's "Happy Chrismukkah" card's just too much. I am too full.

The Bracebridge Dinner, Gilmore Girls- From the very best season of my very favorite television show, we finally come to the perfect and enchanting Christmas episode, The Bracebridge Dinner. It's an amazing balance between the sweet and the hilarious, the magical and the zany. I love the snow, the twinkle lights, the crazy waiters in costume, the fights, the sleigh rides, the snowman contest, and everything in between.
Lorelai welcomes everyone to the Bracebridge Dinner:

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It's not Christmas without…

You can argue, but these are my preferences for top ten Christmas films. I’ve already viewed Home Alone, The Family Stone, and Elf this year. I told my dad that I’m saving Meet Me in St. Louis for Christmas Eve. Here, in my own personal and particular order – is the list.

10. Christmas Vacation – I saw this one for the first time about five years ago and thought it was hysterical. I showed it to the rest of my family and they did not have the same response...alas. “Can I refill your eggnog for you? Get you something to eat? Drive you out to the middle of nowhere and leave you for dead?”

9. The Nightmare Before Christmas – We love this movie. We can sing the songs, my Dad has the CD and DVD. What can we say? There’s nothing like Tim Burton for Christmas. “There's children throwing snowballs / instead of throwing heads / they're busy building toys / and absolutely no one's dead!”

8. A Charlie Brown Christmas – Linus gets me every time. I love his recitation of Luke 2 in the King James translation. Also, the singing of Hark the Herald Angels Sing with the characters heads thrown back in complete abandon brings a smile to my face. “That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”

7. Mickey’s Christmas Carol – I’ve probably seen this 25 times. We have a tape of the Disney channel from about 1988 that shows this along with some other lovely clips. “Listen, Scrooge, if men were measured by kindness, you'd be no bigger than a speck of dust.”

6. Home Alone – There’s nothing like laughing at grown men being beat up for forty-five minutes to really enjoy the season. “Bless this highly nutritious microwavable macaroni and cheese dinner and the people who sold it on sale. Amen.”

5. White Christmas – I want to be Rosemary Clooney and wear her clothes and put on a show and have everything go perfectly. “There's no Christmas in the Army!”

4. The Family Stone – This is actually one of my favorite movies all year round. I watch it all the time. I love the house. I love the messed up family. I love the tender moments it showcases. Although it won’t be quite as severe, I do foresee a coming home of this nature in my future. “I'm sorry, I would sign, but I don't know the language.”

3. Meet Me in St. Louis - There’s just something about Judy Garland singing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” “No, no, Tootie, you're wrong. New York is a wonderful town. Everybody dreams about going there, but we're luckier than lots of families because we're really going. Wait till you see the nice new home we're going to have, and the loads and loads of new friends we're going to make. But the main thing is, Tootie, that we're all going to be together, just like we've always been. That's what really counts. We could be happy anywhere as long as we're together.”

2. Elf – Too many quotes to choose from, thus bringing it to the top of the list. “Wow, you're fast. I'm glad I caught up to you. I waited 5 hours for you. Why is your coat so big? So, good news - I saw a dog today. Have you seen a dog? You probably have. How was school? Was it fun? Did you get a lot of homework? Huh? Do you have any friends? Do you have a best friend? Does he have a big coat, too?...”

1. A Christmas Story – it’s tradition. “Aunt Clara had for years labored under the delusion that I was not only perpetually 4 years old, but also a girl.”

Now Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


In a desperate attempt to find something to blog about

Because I know you are always eager to read about my childhood

Look, everybody! Funny diary entries!

All of this was pulled from my highly prized Lisa Frank diary with the lock on it. That's right, a lock! These are some precious secrets you're about to read!

May 19, 1995
Yes! It’s Friday!
Now I’ve got my boys narrowed down to four, and I’ve changed it- a lot!

1. David (he’s funny)

2. Steven (he’s cute!)
3. Brad (he’s cute)
4. Bobby (he’s cute)

David is so funny, and I think he likes me! And he’s cute. I’m in love! I’m a love bird!

P.S. I’m grounded! Augg!

Why I am still the same person I was in 5th grade: 1) Funny guy at the top of the list. 2) Making lists.

Also-- I wish I could remember why I was grounded!

Aug. 16, 1995
I no longer like Brad, but I still love David. I am sure he likes me too. I know he knows I like him, and he knows I know he likes me.

Did you catch all that?

Bobby is no longer cute (?), but Steven is. School just started a couple days ago. Yuck!

Sep. 11, 1995
I hate! I hate! I hate, David! He's being a dodo brain.

Whoa! Watch the language there! And whatever happened to the love bird? I so wish I remembered what had happened here....

I sorta like Roy, but if anyone were to see this entry, I'd be in complete agony.

Someone's feeling a little dramatic!!

+ I hate Bobby! (so much I can't put it in words)


Mar. 27, 1996
Now Bobby, David, Roy, and Brad like me. They're all dorks! But Brads sort of o.k.

Oct. 20, 1996
Dear Diary,
I hate Brad! He is so dumb! I hate Bobby, I hate Roy, I hate Steven, and I hate, I hate, I hate David! He's a dumbo-brain!
But I love John. He is so fine! He is cute and funny.

Sorry, but the saga ends there! I really do enjoy these particular entries, mostly because of the fact that I don't offer any explanations as to why I oscillated between loving and hating some of these poor boys. I guess it can just be left up to your imagination....

Finally, a teaser for a possible future post about high school boys. A line I was fed in 12th grade:

"Did you really think I didn’t know what color your eyes were? Why do you think I turn around in English class every day?"

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Changing the Numbers

In 2007, the average consumer planned to spend more than $800 on holiday related shopping and more than $100 on themselves.

The typical American planned to spend:

$469.14 on family members
$94.69 on candy and food
$90.13 on friends
$49.76 on decorating
$37.45 on acquaintances
$32.21 on greeting cards and postage
$22.79 on co-workers
$20.53 on flowers

In November and December of 2007, consumers accumulated an estimated $12.8 billion in new debt, according to cardtrak, an organization that tracks credit card use. That is 16% of the total debt accumulated that year. According to a 2007 survey, one third of consumers were still paying off debt from the 2006 holiday season. But what if we could change the numbers this year?

If you’re interested in joining the conspiracy that will change the face of Christmas Seasons to come, then check out some creative alternatives this year. For more gifts that keep giving consider some of the following organizations for some unique gifts this year:

Cards from Africa

Save the Children

Gospel for Asia

Invisible Children



Christian Andre Coffee

Merry Christmas and Happy Giving!!

*2007 Statistics from The Good Sheet