Merry Christmas to All!

Luke 2:1-7

1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to his own town to register. 4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

May you have a joyous and blessed Christmas!

A Christmas He Will Never Forget

All Jackson Marquis wanted for Christmas was for his daddy, Tech. Sgt. Zachary Marquis, to come home from Afghanistan.

And guess what? He got his wish.

(Photo by Tom Sherlin, The Daily Times)

The Christmas Memories, Part 11

I’m telling my age here.

Back long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, before there were malls, there was a large, historic department store in downtown Atlanta named Rich’s. We’d bundle up in the car and head up to Atlanta to see Santa, his reindeer and then ride the Pink Pig. The Pink Pig was a monorail ride that traveled above the toy department, where you could look down and hopefully spy your parents buying the object of your greatest childhood desire when they thought you weren’t looking. The pig was named Priscilla. The ride was so popular that in later years, her brother Perceval showed up to help carry the kids. You got a sticker for your achievement that you tried to wear to school for days until it finally disintegrated from being moved from garment to garment.

There was also a Secret Shop, where you could shop for your parents under the watchful eye of beautiful and elegant helpers. You’d leave with wrapped presents for Mom and Dad, and they would really be surprised on Christmas morning!

Atop the bridge between the Rich’s buildings sat the Great Tree. It was lit on Thanksgiving night and kicked off the official Atlanta Christmas season. Multiple choirs vied for the honor to sing at the Lighting of the Dream. Hubster’s high school sang one year. It was also a popular “date night”

Years later, the Pink Pig was moved to the roof of the downtown store, circling the Great Tree. We took our toddler daughter to ride. The seats were still designed for children, so my burly non-beta-male husband squeezed into his own seat. We rattled around and got our sticker. The circle of life was complete.

When the downtown store closed, many of us that grew up with the Rich’s traditions considered it the end of an era. In 2003 the Pink Pig was revived and returns each year. Priscilla is now a small train (that can hold most adults) set up in a tent outside the Lenox Macy’s store, which is also the home of the Great Tree. Traditions remade are still traditions. And these are some of Atlanta’s best.

* * * * * * *

For other Christmas Memories posts, see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5.1, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10. Some are sad, some are funny, but they are all very special to me.

The Christmas Gift that Became the Foundation of America

Via HotAir, where Cap’n Ed notes the wisdom of the Founding Fathers.

Merry Christmas, Bill Whittle, American Treasure. Just think where we’d be if Congress was filled with men like him.

Things Are So Bad…

…even Santa is having trouble finding work during Christmas.

While the jolly old elf hasn’t been reduced to holding a cardboard sign on street corners, proclaiming that he’ll ho-ho-ho for food, the post-recession times are tough on the world’s most famous deliveryman.

Metro Atlanta area Kriss Kringles say that their hours have been slashed; they haven’t had a pay raise in several years; and, even as Christmas Day closes in, their calendars are wide open for parades, office parties or sitting in the big chair at the mall to ask children if they’ve been naughty or nice.

Gary Casey, 71, of Duluth has been portraying St. Nick since 1996, and he says he’s never seen times this tough.

“Oh sugar,” he said. “In the good times, I’d have 400 bookings. But now I’m just barely breaking 100.”

Casey, who founded the company, said before the recession hit in 2007, he typically arranged appearances for more than 100 Santas. But, these days, he’s down to just 60 working Santas.

“There just isn’t enough work to go around,” he said. “It’s unbelievable.”

Being married to a “Santa-in-waiting”, so to speak, this comes as very bad news. Especially when thinking about retirement. We’ve talked about the hubster taking up something like this in his later years for a very long time.

Eric Winney, 52, of Buford is moonlighting this season with “Santa’s Lawn and Landscape Services.”

“Yes, Santa also cuts the grass for a living,” Winney said. “It helps pay the bills.”

Winney also has a side business of renting out actual reindeer to pull Santa’s sleigh in parades or make guest appearances for office parties.

“It’s been real slow,” he said. “We’ve got 30 reindeer that are pretty much idled.”

Cut grass? The hubster hates to cut grass. That’s what teenage boys are for. Oh my.

Both Winney and Casey say that, as Santa, they typically make between $150 and $200 an hour, albeit their Santa season is just in November and December. They haven’t raised their rates in years, and they say other Santas are charging even less.

“But we have real beards and authentic, high-end costumes,” Casey said. “Kids can tell a fake beard a mile away. And a dime-store costume just isn’t going to cut it. So, yes, that costs a little more.”

I bought the Santa pattern years ago. I have the outfit in my head. Visions of velvet and ribbon. A fur tipped cape. A bit Russian, a bit Irish, with tiny bells all the way down the stripe of his pants.

We can’t let the Grinch win now, can we?

Teh Awesome

Check out the A Lego a Day blog.

Nothin’ but awesome.

Lance will like this one.

Here’s College Boy and Sweet Girlfriend, sans the mangled ride.

Something Congress needs.

The weekend beckons. And thanks to numerous incidents of unplanned familial excitement, I am so far behind, I will never die.

Ice 1, Atlanta 0

North Georgia had an ice storm last night. Not enough precip for a Yankee to sneeze at, but when the ground has been uncharacteristically frozen for a week, well, it doesn’t take much.

According to this morning’s news (WSB), there were around 900 over 1000 accidents in N GA/Atlanta metro last night. 300 350 or so were in Cobb County. One of those was my boy. That’s the one that matters. College Boy has a new found appreciation of (not) driving on icy roads and of listening to his parents/girlfriend’s parents/every adult within earshot’s admonitions of staying put during bad weather. He is fine, just a few scratches. Sweet Girlfriend has a bump on her head. The verdict is still out on his car.

As for me, well, there goes another five years off my life. Between him and his sister, I must be nearing my expiration date.

AP Soils Itself – Shame On Them

Look at this picture. (Photos via Free Republic)

The AP and the usual haters are soiling themselves collectively, crowing that the evil, wicked, dispicable Sarah Palin took a hairdresser with her on her recent trip to Haiti. She was visiting the area as part of the humanitarian effort by Rev. Franklin Graham and Samaritan’s Purse. Instead of highlighting the good work being done there, AP chooses instead to show its backside, ginning up a scandal where there is none.

The same photographer that took the picture above, also took this picture.

Notice the young woman, second from the right. Notice her clothing, scarf and hairstyle. Compare it to the first picture. Isn’t that the same woman, the one fixing Palin’s hair? But wait … most of America should recognize this young woman by now … it’s Bristol, Sarah’s daughter. Suddenly you see the first picture in a different light, don’t you? Instead of a hairstylist, it’s a daughter securing a pin on her mother’s head.

Nothing is too much of a stretch for the PalinH8rs. Shame on you. And just like MSNBC, it’s no wonder your credibility is shot.

You mean all we had to do was just ASK?

The video won’t embed here, so go watch. I’ll wait.

“Who knew it would be so easy to get rid of him?” You mean all we had to do is just tell him to go away? And Obama would, yust like dat?

From the WaPo:

Obama introduced Clinton, said that the two had “just had a terrific meeting” and that it might be useful for Clinton to “share some of his thoughts.”

“I’m going to let him speak very briefly and then, I’ve actually got to go over and do some just one more Christmas party,” Obama said.

Clinton feigned deference for a moment.

“I feel awkward being here, and now you’re going to leave me all by myself?” Clinton said, barely suppressing a smile.

Obama, his arms crossed, stood watching Clinton for a few minutes. Then, as promised, he left.

“I’ve been keeping the first lady waiting for about half an hour, so I’m going to take off,” Obama said.

“I don’t want to make her mad,” Clinton said, smiling. “Please go.”

“You’re in good hands,” Obama joked.

Clinton’s obivious glee in the WH presser aside, does Obama think he’s fooling anyone now? Does he think that America has forgotten how he trashed the Clinton’s during the campaign? Making up in front of the cameras is always phony. Why do you think reality shows are so popular? Trotting out a smiling Clinton to promote the tax package makes Obama look even weaker. Plus the excuse there was yet another party to attend, that She Who Must Be Obeyed was (gasped whisper!) waiting, that Clinton waxed eloquent on a variety of subjects was a perfect juxtapose to the stammering, lost in the woods, teleprompter-addicted child emperor made a mundane WH press conference a historical event.

Did Bubba use The Force on Obama, or is he finally beginning to see what we all saw in November? That he is UNFIT for the job.

UPDATE: Vodkapundit quotes Roger Simon on Obama’s childish behavior –

But there is a bigger reason not to gloat. We are stuck with this odd duck for another two years at minimum and now everyone, the entire world really, knows what he is like. They also know, if they have been paying the slightest attention, the etiology of his behavior: the man never had to face serious adversity until he was elected POTUS. And now he can’t deal with it. He’s the very model of Harry Truman’s famous advice about getting out of the kitchen if you can’t stand the heat. Obama was out of the White House briefing room the second he realized he was being outclassed by Clinton. And, boy, was he ever!

We need a leader and don’t have one. This is extremely bad news for our country, especially now.

Shear and utter incompetence.

C.S. Lewis is just a children’s author. Who knew?

MSNBC is the gift that just keeps on giving. Via Cubachi

I don’t know if I should expect any better from ignoramuses from MSNBC, but this is supposedly a “respectable news organization” with shallow and arrogant individuals who only live to ridicule and belittle without thinking.

The latest bit of controversy, is Chris Matthews and his guest, Richard Wolffe who ridicule Sarah Palin for mentioning C.S. Lewis as one of her favorite authors, whom she seeks to get divine inspiration from.

Wolffe seems to think it is clever to mock Palin reading a “children’s author,” while disrespecting one of the greatest authors in literature. Yes, C.S. Lewis is most famous among the pop culture crowd with the movies and sudden ressurgance of The Chronicles of Narnia, which happens to be an allegorical tale of Jesus Christ, who became a human being, and gave His life to save undeserving human beings from the penalty of sin.

She goes on to mention The Screwtape Letters, Lewis’ brilliant presentation of letters between demons, discussing how best to corrupt one mortal man. Certainly not the stuff of bedtime stories, unless you want to provoke nightmares. But MSNBC has that effect on most thinking people.

Evidently, they didn’t cover Mere Christianity or The Four Loves when Wolffe himself was attending Oxford, where Lewis was both an alumnus and a distinguished faculty member for over thirty years.

And MSNBC wonders why no one takes them seriously. With or without Olbermann. Really.

The Tarnish on the Lombardi Award

College football continues it’s downward spiral to something more resembling the NBA.

Nick Fairley, dirty player and Cheat #2 at Abuurn, wins the Rotary Lombardi Award.

He doesn’t deserve to be in the same room with the 2004 winner, David Pollack. Boy, talk about a contrast in character.

You may have noticed we are quite fond of Dimples at our house. There’s a reason.

Early Christmas Gift: Urban Meyer Resigns

He quits, again. Maybe this time it will stick. He missed his boy sooooo much, he just couldn’t go on without him. The news next week will be “Urban Meyer Moves into Tebow’s tool shed.”

EDSBS has the video.

December 8

Most everyone remembers today as the anniversary of John Lennon’s death, but I remember it for a different reason.

Prayers for Elizabeth Edwards

News is trickling in that Elizabeth Edward’s cancer has spread to her liver. Please be in prayer for her and her family.

Tues, 5:50 pm – Heard on the news on the way home that she’s gone. May she RIP and I sincerely hope her jackwagon ex won’t use the occasion to mug for the cameras…

The Metaphors Keep Rollin’ In

As a metaphor for our troubled economic and financial era — and the government’s stumbling response — this one’s hard to beat. You can’t stimulate the economy via the money supply, after all, if you can’t print the money correctly.

The incompetence continues to astound. It’s beginning to reach ‘Shock and Awe’ status. I can’t wait to see what these clowns are going to pull out of their designer hats for Christmas. Those Mao ornaments are soooo last year.

UPDATE: It gets better. The new bills are the first signed by that captain of industry, Timothy Geithner.

The defective bills—which could number into the tens of millions, potentially representing billions of dollars in face value—will have to be shredded. American taxpayers have already spent an enormous amount of money to print the bills.

According to a person familiar with the matter, the bills are the most costly ever produced, with a per-note cost of about 12 cents—twice the cost of a conventional bill. That means the government spent about $120 million to produce bills it can’t use. On top of that, it is not yet clear how much more it will cost to sort the existing horde of hundred dollar bills.

More stimulus waste. I’m shocked! But here’s the, ahem, money shot –

Officials don’t know exactly what caused the problem. “There is something drastically wrong here,” a person familiar with the situation said. “The frustration level is off the charts.”

Really? Welcome to our national nightmare, dude.

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