Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Fatal Error Has Been Fixed

Thank goodness.  I would hate to think that one of our annual April the 1st glitches actually stuck!  I love April Fools Day!  I got the three co-workers today.  I got the boss although she promised that I would  need to find another place of employment if I had.

Because I had to work this morning, I recorded The Price is Right.  Not something I usually do but since inheriting the microphone, Drew has had brilliant shows on April first and today was no exception.  Last year, “Mimi” served as a model on the show.  This year, she was the new “Executive Producer” and promised to keep an eye on the host to see if he made any mistakes.  She was very helpful in particular with his trouble with names.

A few of the games were hysterical:  In Plinko Pat had to determine the correct number for a Snuggie (sorry, not $50+), a Club (one of those anti-auto-theft devices), a chia pet, and (what else) THE CLAPPER!  She only missed on the snuggie and ended up winning $11,000.

Pick-a-Pair saw Pat needing to pick the two grocery items that were priced exactly the same.  Halloween ready to bake cookies, Christmas Ziploc containers, St. Pat’s Day garland, Valentine conversation hearts, New Years party poppers, and Count Chocula.

And finally, the showcase saw Pat and Pat going for two fabulous showcases. And not to spoil the surprise, but…. PAT WON!  Of course, they both could have gone over.

Fun And Games On Boxing Day

This year, the extended family gathering fell on the day after the big day when everyone could fit it into their schedule with their other festivities.  Get us all together and it is bound to be a fun-filled event.  The hilarity began when my brother dropped his plate of food on the floor on the way to the table.  He insists that he had both hands on the plate.  I told him he should have had both eyes on the plate as well.  Alicia thought that he was sitting on the floor in the hall eating instead of joining us at the table.

Lots of goodies are always set up on Aunt Sandy’s table throughout the day, cheeseballs, cookies, candy (featuring everyone’s favorite buckeyes) plus the home cooked spread featuring pies and a delicious meal and you do not leave the place hungry.

Chad had to song lead at mass at six so a bunch of us went and came back out.  He did fine except that I think he should have practiced those later verses of “The First Noel” a bit more.  I admit that some of those do get tricky especially if you are not used to them.  The melody is familiar enough but when you are unaccustomed to the lyrics of all five verses then you tend to get overwhelmed.

After mass, many returned to the house and engaged in what I hope becomes a tradition: the euchre battle.  Going head to head with my oldest brother is daunting anyway (PARTICULARLY, KNOWING WHAT A SHARK HE IS!).  I am amazed and pleased to say that Christi?! and I beat Jeff and his rotating partners Dan and Carla 2- 1.

I also received a camera under the tree (let’s see how long it takes before I lose THIS ONE 🙂 )

000_0001Sydney in front of the horrible Eddie Murphy version of The Nutty Professor.

000_0002Carla, Dan, Sydney, and a surprise appearance by someone’s handsome leg.

000_0003Shelby (half covered by a mysterious appendage, Joshua, Jeff, and Elizabeth.

000_0004Sorry Shelby… must have had the blur reduction off.

000_0005Noah opening the Magna Doodle to which he lost the magnet inside the pen before the night ended.

000_0007Autumn, Jason, Carla, Lauren, Dan, Alyssa, and Alex with his second set of Army accessories of the season.

So… lots of fun, love, and FOOD over the Christmas holiday.

Christmas Celebrations

I LOVE CHRISTMAS.  I still look at the holiday with the wonder of a child.  For the entire month of December, I still do believe in the magic of Jolly Ol’ St. Nick but still marvel at the wonder of the true meaning of the holiday.  I even have my sister wrap my presnts and I do still snoop (ok, I admit it).  After getting off work at 2 on Christmas Evc, the immediate family and their kids opened presents and had the first of three feats throughout the weekend.  What a haul!  The highlight of my haul were two Scene-It games.  I had asked for the rather awesome looking Star Trek edition the moment I heard about it and submitted a question to the makers of the game when it was being developed.  I also received a pleasant surprise.  I had picked up the Simpson’s edition for my nephew just after Thanksgiving.  I unwrapped the one of my own for Christmas.  I have played it with some friends and ADORE IT!

Midnight Mass (well, 11PM mass) was beautiful as usual.  The past few years singing “Silent Night” at Communion have been really difficult.  I am immediately taken back to the four Christmas concerts in high school singing the carol by candlelight.  I can still see Emily behind the piano.  I then went home and caught my sneak-in viewing of A Christmas Story.

Christmas Day was feast number two and a day typically set aside for watching movies people had received.  We were treated to Santa Buddies courtesy of Alex.  I was exhausted and slept through half of it.

More fun and merriment to come with the Swary family Christmas.

I Have Gas

I know what you are thinking… and no… not that kind.  This morning, I set out to complete my Halloween costume (still missing something I would have liked to add, but not essential).   Ran into some old friends/former co-workers and chatted a bit and caught up and let them know that I have not completely disappeared from the planet.

I also bought my first Christmas gift for the menagerie of people I choose to buy for.  Someone mentioned that they enjoy a certain fantasy book series so I looked for that.  Then I realized that a movie was made from the series and luckily enough I found that.  One down… several to go.

Just before I hit the city limits on my way home, I glanced at the dashboard.  The little needle was in the red zone with very little room to go.  I found the first driveway available, headed to the nearest station, and made it just as the little light came on.  PHEW!

Stalking Deer In St. Louis

Last night was the first night we have been on the Huber stage.  I have been in the audience to watch a production of School House Rock, Jr (think I’ve mentioned that before).  However, stepping onto the stage was something else entirely.  An actual stage raised above the audience with an orchestra pit beneath.  Even a balcony in the audience and a thrust stage.  For being our first time on the stage, I thought it went really well.  We did manage to plunder our way through Act 1.

When I was not needed on stage, I was in the costume room looking for costumes.  I was enamored by the number of hats I found… everything from a fez, to a beret, to a genuine deerstalker which Sherlock Holmes himself would feel at home in.  I just need to find a light, summery suit.  Meet Me in St. Louis is set over the course of one full year so the actors on stage need to convey the change of seasons.  There is a Halloween and a Christmas scene as well as summer and spring.  Many costume changes.  Ever time I come on stage, I have at least one article of clothing unlike any other I wore previously.   So… night one on a new stage was fun and inspiring.  Different, not necessarily better, from the stages I have been on in the past few years 😉

Morat’s Early Christmas

HELLO EVERY PEOPLE!!!  I A WISH A YOU ALL A HAPPY HOLLYDAY FROM AMERICA COUNTRY!!! I am come to America country to a spread some cheer.  But Morat a say WOOLY SHEEP I a not know it a be this a cold .  If Morat he a want a cold, he a stay in Liswathistan.  So I a go to two two people house with Christmas cheer.  It a sound like soap but more fun that a soap.  Morat take boxes to people house number one and they a like very much.  Then, Morat he a go to house number two to take boxes to little people and another surprise for night of games soo… EVERYONE WINS!  While with the little people, they a give Morat a big surprise… a man of a bones who a sing and a dance to my favorite a song.  Every people a know what this is, yes? After we open the boxes, the little people make a slimy alien man for Morat.  But Morat a not know what happened to the alien before he a leave.  Morat also give a back of pig ride to one litttle people and she a make a stink in face of Morat.  I a say Wooly Sheep (excuse my a Liswathistani please).  Then, Morat had to say good night so little people a get ready for sleep and everyone else watch the Chica-go and Bay of Green play the ball foot.  Morat say Happy Christmas… Merry Year New and may you all a get coal for a the fire.

Christmas Snooping

WOW… One month from today is one of the most perfect nights of the year… better get started.  I’m sure I can fill my blog with many a holiday tale by then.  This one was prompted by an email that was sent to me which I forward to a bunch of people.  A list of questions that got me even more in the spirit of things.  One of the questions was

  • What was the WORST Christmas present you ever received?

My answer was quite cryptic as I replied that it was a “keyboard that I THOUGHT I was getting after someone else snooped and informed me of.”   Santa always delivers our presents early and strategically hides them throughout the house.  How else can he get to all those houses in one night?  Anyway, my second oldest brother who is extremely fond of pulling little pranks (if you know him at all then you can imagine).  One day, he was investigating one of Santa’s favorite hiding places and came upon a small keyboard and immediately thought that he knew to whom it would be going.  He subsequently told that person of his discovery.  So, Christmas morning came and no keyboard.  At our extended family gathering, my cousin opened up said keyboard.  Of course Chad had to have been the one to open his mouth and say “oops. I thought that was for you.”  At the time, I am sure that I was a bit let down but soon after everytime the incident is mentioned, everyone in the know gets a big laugh.  Lesson learned by me: don’t trust everything your older brother tells you, especially THAT one.  I’m not sure if Chad learned any lesson that year, but judging from other years, I don’t think so.  It was a pretty easy prank to pull since Dan and I are both musically inclined.

Christmas in April?

After walking downstairs this morning, I ALMOST looked at the calendar to make sure I knew what day it was. On the television, the 1994 remake of the classic Miracle on 34th Street was playing. Whichever channel was playing this must have been pretty desperate, especially at the end of April when most people’s thoughts are not focused on anything remotely related to Christmas. Plus, why choose such a horrible remake to play?

The beloved 1947 movie starred John Payne, Maureen O’Hara, a young Natalie Wood, and Edmund Gwenn who received the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as Kris Kringle. It also featured William Frawley who is best known for his role as Fred Mertz onI Love Lucy.”

The overall plot of both films is relatively the same. A department store Santa who claims to be the real thing, is put on trial to prove his sanity. He seeks to not only convince the court but also a young girl who has been trained by her mother to dismiss all notions of myths, fantasy, and imagination.

Too much was changed from the original to the most recent remake. Characters were dropped including a young man who works with and idolizes Kris. In the original, Kris sings a charming song to a young Dutch girl in her native tongue. Macy’s department store was wise enough to not allow the use of its name in the remake; instead, the name was changed to Kohl’s (or if you prefer, Coal’s which 20th Century Fox should have been given in their collective stockings).

But, the casting of Mara Wilson as Susan sent shivers down my spine. Something about the youngster’s acting just makes me cringe. This film and Mrs. Doubtfire are the only times I remember seeing her on screen.

There have been a few other television remakes of the immortal classic. However, as in most Hollywood remakes, the original is far better. Next holiday season, treat the entire family to this fun movie (even if you have to explain to the children why there is no color).

Tis the season to be Mary

Ok…. it is not Christmas time. However, as we are under a dreaded Winter Storm Warning I felt like talking about one of my favorite Yuletide movies. As I was playing Scene It with my niece earlier this evening, this question was raised: “In the National Lampoon Vacation movies, what was the nickname of Clark Griswold’s son?” Of course anyone who has seen the misadventures of the Chicago suburban family knows the answer: Rusty.

Christmas Vacation is my favorite of the four films (yes, there were four…. let us not forget the travesty that was Vegas Vacation). It shows the hapless Griswold clan as they do their best to entertain their whole extended family (both sides mind you). Everything from chopping down the family Christmas tree to the reading of “A Visit from St. Nick” on Christmas Eve. My favorite scene from this classic has to be Clark hanging from the eavestrough attempting to staple lights onto the roof. I can imagine my father doing the same thing…. even attaching his coat sleeve to the roof and sliding down with the collapsing ladder.

One nitpicky bit though. Speaking of Rusty (as well as Audrey, the daughter), they seemed to age differently in each movie. The young man seemed to decrease in age between European Vacation and Christmas Vacation. Rusty was played by Jason Lively (?) in Europe and by Johnny Galecki (before he was cast as Darlene’s boyfriend on “Roseanne”) at Christmas. I often wondered why the change in age. It’s not as if Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, and Randy Quaid could decrease in age. Just a minor quibble to an otherwise hilarious holiday tradition.