Hi, all, it’s holiday time again and I sort of missed Thanksgiving back there, just like American retailers and British people. I did find out from a loyal UK viewer that they have started having Black Friday sales, even though there is no Thanksgiving, so it’s good to know we are still having a positive influence on the world. In years past, I have done posts on Thanksgiving or Black Friday, (Happy Link Drops!) or a combination of the two, which is actually more accurate to the relationships of Pilgrims and Native Americans at that time.
But Thanksgiving is dead and gone, just like the turkey you shamelessly murdered, so time to move on to Christmas. That’s right, it’s Christmas, not Chaka Khan or one of those fake holidays. Christmas with baby Jesus and Santa Claus and maniacal parents looking for stupid toys at inflated prices, and in-laws and dead trees and Starbucks cups, Hallelujah. In the past, I have provided my readers with helpful lists of Top Ten Christmas gifts, real meanings of scary Christmas songs, details of Olaf the snowman on a killing spree, etc., and I will get to those, but first let’s talk about a Christmas tradition.
Tradition 1: Ugly Christmas Sweaters
Once upon a time, people got ugly knitted sweaters (or jumpers if you’re a UK foreigner) from Grandma, and they had to wear them or else Grandma’s feelings would be hurt. I like to think this was done on purpose by some Grandmas as an act of revenge for that nursing home, but generally they were supposed to be gifts they for some reason genuinely thought family members would love.
Now, though, many Grandmas don’t sit around knitting sweaters all day. They’re off in Vegas. But people still haven’t forgotten about movies like “Christmas Vacation” and think they can be super cute by wearing “ugly” sweaters. They even have contests for the most ugly sweater. They had one at my former workplace, and the secretary asked the assistant director if she was in the contest. She said “No.” Awk-ward.
Your biggest question, I’m sure, is where people are getting these sweaters since Grandma flew the coop. Well look no further, retailers have solved this for you! They have purposely created lines of “ugly sweaters”. Just – wait. The whole point of the ugly sweater thing was that this was not done on purpose. You wore it out of good old fashioned Christmas guilt. You didn’t purposely buy it under a tag saying ugly. If you purposely buy something ugly while realizing it’s ugly, you’re just dumb. Also, these ugly sweaters aren’t even always ugly. Some looked fine to me. Who doesn’t like a cute penguin on their shirt? Heathens, that’s who.
Welp, that’s all I have time for today. Please feel free to give any suggestions below for other stupid traditions, songs, or gifts, or whatever else your annoyed about this Christmas and my Things and I will try to cover it.
Merry CHRISTMAS so sayeth the Lord,
I had a lot planned, but just when I thought I was better, I was sick again and stressed and bummed and just in time for the holiday! The one with the turkey, not Black Friday. So I figured I would throw together a few posts because starting tomorrow is gonna be the FUN countdown to Xmas! Happy Holidays, Fox!
“Thing One: The Musical”
Thing One was in the musical “Crazy for You”. She had a small role yet was the star because Thing One. We enjoyed playing “Where’s Waldo” with her each time they changed scenery. “Where is she?” I’d ask my parents. “Oh, THERE she is, in the corner.” And while she may not have had but one line “Thank you, Mr. Zangler.” she was always animated, unlike some of the other kids who learned to nap with eyes open.
The fairly new musical was built around a bunch of old songs because – because. Quick rundown of the plot. Guy’s rich mom wants him to be a banker, but he wants to sing and dance and wear shiny pants. Zangler is there with his Folly Girls (Thing One was one of them and wore this awesome slinky dress and make up and her hair done up so beautifully, aw) and he tells Shiny he’s a moron. (I liked that part) So Shiny goes to the Old West (or Nevada, whatever) and he meets this cowgirl and they are sort of in love but bad news their theater is going under, but Shiny has a way to save it – put on a musical! He pretends to be Zangler, and gets a LOT of girls to come down to do the show. For some reason, it doesn’t occur to him that there are only 13 people in the town, so this idea is probably not going to work.
Cowgirl falls in love with Zangler, not realizing that duh it’s Shiny. Then dancing girls showed up who I thought were just doing random numbers but no, they were supposed to be his delusions. They came out a LOT, so prayers for Shiny. Thing One was this lady with a suitcase, or sitting or standing off to the side, looking awesome. Since I was just a few days out of surgery, I began feeling very sore midway through. So that’s when they really brought out the songs. I mean there was a song for everyone and for everything, even stuff that wasn’t happening. But the songs finally ended, and the musical. Thing One had a wonderful time, and went back to one of her favorite activities: sleep.
I watched a show on the history channel that was, shock, about history, the history of Thanksgiving. Did you know that we made a lot of that up? Shock! Like they found a letter from one Pilgrim who said yeah some Indians did help with the planting. The Pilgrims showed gratitude by shooting off their guns in an attempt to scare off the Indians. The Indians sent out a big scout party to check this crap out, right when the Pilgrims decided to have a big meal after reaping this awesome harvest all by themselves! Well, the Indians see this, and decide to invite themselves, seeing as how there were twice as many of them as there were Pilgrims.
Guess who’s coming to dinner?
I would have loved to see the looks on the Pilgrims’ faces when they showed up. But anyway, the Things took some pictures of “A Pocahontas Thanksgiving”, which makes as much sense as the other made up version.
“25 days of Olaf”
Get ready, folks. Since I was little too disturbed by Mr. Elf on the Shelf and his network of spies, I bought the Frozen version. You’re supposed to hide Olaf the stuffed snowman in a new place every day. The Things and I have already thought of many, many places to stick that snowman. We’re planning to take a new pic each day for you guyz. Also to scare the crap out of each other with the places and situations we put the snowman in. Stay tuned!
Ah, Thanksgiving. Two years ago, I did a Thanksgiving post celebrating turkey, family, and smallpox blankets. Last year, I just wrote about Black Friday, because that’s pretty much what Thanksgiving has turned into these days. But do you know how Black Friday Thanksgiving originated? Don’t bother Googling it – I didn’t – cause I have the definitive, absolutely true answer right here. Would I lie to you?*
Once upon a time – that’s how it starts, shut up – there was an old, grumpy executive named Scroo . . . Bill O’Reilly.** He was super bored with Thanksgiving, because why be thankful? He’d earned all that money fair and square from like, his Dad. It took him forever to kick it. Bill also hated that this holiday only involved food and no gifts. Where was the fun in that crap? Everyone had food. Well, everyone who wasn’t lazy and worked or shot deer and/or their friends during drunken hunting trips.
Nope, instead, Thanksgiving provided yet another reason for these same peons to be lazy! Businesses were expected to give them the day off to spend with family! What? Family values? Those were only for rich people. What was wrong with society?
So Bill devised an eeeeevil plan. He decided that he’d find some way to make people work on Thanksgiving AND buy his cheap plastic gifts to boot! With some elbow grease and a little demonic magic, he created BLACK FRIDAY. This was to be a day that a few items would be lowered in price (while others were jacked up in price and then “lowered”). People would be encouraged to buy their Christmas early at low prices! Lazy minimum wage twits would have to go into work so early in the morning, they wouldn’t be able to fully digest their ill-gotten turkeys.
It was BRILLIANT. They went for it like lemmings. Not only that, people would actually try to kill each other (and occasionally did) for some random toy that he released only a few of to make it look like it was rare. But something was STILL wrong. After all, these people still had an entire day off. So he devised another plan, after talking to Satan on his cell – he has him on speed dial – and created BLACK THURSDAY. The reasoning would be saving people from the horrible crowds on Friday.***
So there you go, folks. That was how Bill O’Reilly ruined Thanksgiving, which was normally such a happy day filled with women cooking all day long in the kitchen while their men watched football and ate Chex Mix. Extended family like aunts, uncles, grandparents, in-laws, all gathered together to bicker and snipe and give the cold shoulder and remind each other of past wrongs and complain about the food and yell at the football team for losing and shovel the children over to a table of their own to do a miniature version of the same thing.
Personally, I am totes going to boycott Black Thursday and Friday and Manic Cyber Monday because I am above all of that money grubbing nonsense and OMG they have an Ipad for HOW MUCH?
** It might not have been Bill.
*** This is absolutely true. No, really.
So Black Friday is over. Oh yeah, and that other day too, the one with all the food. We had our Thanksgiving dinner, just my family and my parents. Oh, and our dining coordinator, Thing Two. Every event is a massive event with my nine-year-old daughter, no matter the holiday or the number of people involved. Sometimes it’s not even people, but a stuffed dog, a Barbie modeling Kleenex, or Darth Vadar.
She set the table for us with paper cups and plates festooned with cute turkeys. I’ve never figured out why they make the turkeys cute. I mean, they are seriously ugly birds, which makes eating them easier. So why cuten them up? That’s just cruel. Anyway, she set the table with paper (we are seriously classy here) and marked our names on all the tiny cups. Because with six people, it’s possible we could get mixed up. Actually, considering my family, that’s not such a bad idea. She added “Papa the Awesome” to my father’s cup. He tends to spoil her with lots of stuff. She’s no dummy. To finish it off, she placed Sonic mints at each of our plates. Sadly, she still did not receive a tip, but she made up for that in rolls. I’m not sure how many she had when my back was turned. It might have been ten.
Thing Two also made menus for us – with a line drawn across to indicate whether each food on the menu was awesome or not. And she fixed up the Happy Thanksgiving message on the banner. She marked out “happy” and replaced it with “merry” on the theory that if people think it’s Christmas at first, they might be tricked into recognizing Thanksgiving. We’re pretty sure she’s either going to be a teacher or a politician.
None of the stores thought of this trick, so most people went with the theory that Thanksgiving was just that quick meal you shove down before shopping. As George W. Bush would say, “Ask not what your country can do for you, go shopping.” I actually did brave Wal-Mart a couple of hours after the Thanksgiving specials started, mostly because my husband and kids were watching “Pumpkin Chunkin’” which is a show where grown people create trebuchets just like in medieval times, only they’re hurling pumpkins instead of fire bombs or rotting corpses. But sometimes they just use good old American guns. As enlightening as that sounds, I decided shopping was actually better.
By the time I got there, most of the hordes had already dispersed, though there were still plenty of people milling about mooing at the merchandise. It was like if they blocked my way and stared at a box of toys long enough, whatever they were looking for would suddenly jump out and land in their arms. If they were looking for anything at all. It was hard to tell. With the depressing, hypnotizing Christmas tunes in the background (“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” – I hate that song) I started to forget what I was looking for pretty soon, and after a while found myself mooing along with the others, picking up cheap pajamas, only to randomly drop them off somewhere else because I didn’t have the money and knew nobody that size. I’m sure the Wal-Mart employees were grateful for that little Easter egg hunt I left them. Just trying to keep you guys sharp. You’re welcome, retail employees. Please don’t egg my house. Moo.
I paid for my items, which somehow totaled up to a large number, even though they were, hello, on sale. I tried to figure this out with what was left of my brain, gave up, and went home. My husband thinks I spend too much on my children. That’s not true. I spend too much on myself. It just so happens I let them play with the toys.
The next day, there were leftovers at my parents’ house. One could say I invited myself over, just in case they were left with too much food. I’d hate for them to resort to the “flaming turkey wings” recipe in the days to come. No, I didn’t cook myself. If I had, our Thanksgiving dinner would have consisted of chicken nuggets and mac n’ cheese. This would have been fine with Thing One who eats roughly nine different food items, but not most people. If the time comes for me to host a dinner, we’re getting a pre-cooked turkey. I think that is safest.
So now it’s all over – except wait, it’s Cyber Monday. What am I doing writing a blog post? I must stare at merchandise on the computer screen now! Hope your Thanksgiving was all that. Tell me about it in the comments, if you’re not busy staring at amazon.com.
Note: I was gonna put this up on actual Thanksgiving, like I do with most holidays, then I remembered you would all be drugged out on tryptophan or dodging death at the stores. So here it is one day early!
I wasn’t sure if I could top last year’s festive Thanksgiving post in which I managed to mention tin foil turkeys, capitalism, and smallpox infected blankets all in one post. I told the story of the first Thanksgiving, which I’m sure is totally true and stuff, so now I’ve got to think of something different to talk about but it’s Thanksgiving and let’s face it, no one really cares about that holiday. Except that we get time off and good food but then we pay for it with having to see our families.
Well most people get time off, but not those in retail! Nopes, that’s because there is a much, much more important holiday than Thanksgiving known as Black Friday. It used to be on Friday, but people went insane, camping in front of stores for days on end, getting into fights, and just generally running amok all over the stores like they’d suddenly morphed into chimps high on crack. So they moved it up to Thursday. And now people camp outside, get into fights, and run amok (I like that word) like chimps on actual Thanksgiving instead of the Friday right after at two A.M.
Notice you never see decorations for Thanksgiving but you DO see Christmas stuff just as soon as Halloween is over? That’s because Black Friday is actually the first day of Christmas. Kind of like how Good Friday comes right before Easter, only it’s something evil rising this time. I know you thought there were only twelve days, but you’re wrong. There’s like up to six weeks of Christmas. Joy, joy, joy! I’m so THANKFUL.
Back when they had Black Friday on an actual Friday, I went with my friend L and her father in order to have the true Black Friday experience. We stood in line in the cold early Friday morning, waiting for Target to open because there was something we wanted that was cheap and because we were out of our minds. They opened the doors and kapow, people shot through the gates like racehorses. One guy actually leaped over a couple of carts, and some jerk cut in front of us which was pretty brave considering L’s father is like 8 feet tall. Fortunately, no one was trampled this time because then we would have had to cut our shopping trip short, like those poor people in Wal-Mart after that employee was killed. (Click to enlarge)
Only on Black Friday can you hear “Ronald, there’s a fight in electronics, please come.” on the loud speaker. I missed the fight, but apparently it was over a camera. We got our crap and then got into another line, this one wrapping around the inside of the store. L’s dad isn’t the patient type, so he wandered around and found the jewelry counter with no waiting. He called L’s cell phone and we hurried over to the jewelry counter and checked out lickety-split! Then L’s dad announced loudly “Hey, no waiting at jewelry!” The employees gave us the death stare, and we made the good decision to run.
You might be wondering what kind of stuff would be worth putting up with Black Friday or Thursday or whatever you want to call it. Well look no further, because I have a list of some of the hottest items for Christmas this year.
In case you didn’t recognize this freakish electronic thing, it’s a Furby. They were big years ago but then died out but guess what? They’re back! The description reads “A whole new generation of Furby critters is about to hatch! Collect virtual eggs, hatch furblings. Get yours in time for Christmas 2013!” Eggs? Hatching? Furblings? Be afraid.
Maybe try Legos. Those seem innocent enough.
This Lego set is called Lego City Police Museum Break-in. Because it’s never to early to teach your children a life of crime! Granted you’re supposed to have the cops capture the robbers, but I know I’d totally have the robbers getting away, because that’s just the kind of gal I am.
But Legos require some imagination, and let’s face it, that crap is highly overrated. Try this instead.
For all the children who are into electronic gaming, we have the latest whatever it is! This system allows you to play all the best games like Call of Heavy Duty Theft Killzone. In order to satisfy demand, stores will issue exactly six of these each.
For the professional in your life – even if we’re talking professional couch potato – look no further than Apple.
At last we’re getting into what adults will like (because we know adults never play video games). At least, I hope that only adults have a phone that costs over 600 dollars. But it’s totally worth it, cause this phone can do everything from file your taxes to raise the dead. There is nothing Apple can’t do – and charge ten prices for!
But maybe you’re stumped about a gift for a lady in your life. Look no further than amazon for this treasure!
What I love about this is that not only is it an apron – cause what woman wouldn’t want a reminder of the need for cooking in a Christmas gift? – but also gives her the body her husband has always coveted in this busty, scantily clad super heroine. I searched “gifts for women” on amazon, and honest to goodness this was one of the first things to come up. Awesome.
So enjoy your turkey and stuffing, then lace up your shoes and prepare for battle! Or you could suggest to your family that everyone just give each other the gift of LOVE this Christmas. Either way, be prepared to run.
Thanksgiving. What a weird freakin’ holiday. You celebrate being thankful by buying up every bit of food in the grocery store and cooking a massive, gluttoness meal while others starve. Now I’m not saying I work every Thanksgiving in a soup kitchen, just that you gotta admit this is weird, and something only Americans would come up with. It’s capitalism with a side of gravy!
Of course I wasn’t nearly so cynical as a child, though I still thought Thanksgiving was a crap holiday. I mean, you got food. So what? We always had food – that just magically appeared. Like socks and underwear. So why a holiday about food? Where were the darn presents? Then I’d be a little more thankful. At least we got some time off of school.
School was equally weird. You celebrated the story of “The First Thanksgiving.” You have to wonder if any of this crap really happened of if this was a massive marketing scam for turkey suppliers. Anyway, we all know the story. The pilgrims were starving because they couldn’t figure out that you could put these things called seeds in the ground and get plants you could eat. Look, I’m no gardener by any means, but even I know that you can get food (supposedly) by planting seeds for it in the freaking ground. Although all the gardens we ever tried to make, even when I was a kid, were dismal failures. One time we planted corn and my pet dachshund claimed it and snarled if we came near. She liked corn on the cob. She was a weird dog.
Wait, where was I? Anyway, maybe the Pilgrims were all just crappy gardeners like me. I guess that would explain some things. So enter Squanto, an Indian. The Pilgrims called the native peoples Indians cause Christopher Columbus thought he’d landed in India and called them that. So their name was just a geography error. Good one, Columbus. I’d have been a little hostile too if someone had shown up at my house and decided to call me a Martian cause he was pretty sure he’d landed on Mars (admittedly parts of Texas look like the surface of the planet.)
So there was some tension between the Pilgrims and the Indians. The pilgrims would shoot at them, and the Indians would get annoyed and throw their axes and do that hollering thing while patting their mouths and dancing in a circle and wait I’m remembering the old Bugs Bunny cartoon, sorry. They didn’t like each other, let’s say. But then one day (this was Thankgiving day, you guys) the Pilgrims were all starvin’ all over the place and probably making a lot of noise about it, because they were Americans, and we never do anything quietly. And the Indians were getting tired of it, so they said, “Squanto, go shut them up. Give stupid white man corn. Plant it for him if he too stupid. Why I talk like this? I not a moron. Stop doing Indian talk, Alice.” Oh, sorry, Chief whats-your-name-not-as-fun-to-say-as-Squanto. Squaaaanto.
So Squanto came, and the Pilgrims decided that since they were starving, they would wait to shoot him after Thanksgiving, which was nice of them. Squanto showed them the planting thing – probably several times since I think these guys were kind of dumb – then pointed to the enormous birds that were hangin’ out all over the place. “Hey, white guys. Shoot the big, ugly birds!” he said. And the pilgrims did. And then they did buy brown and serve rolls and cook green bean casserole and roast turkey. And they invited the Indians to come on down and they all sat together and nom nommed together like buddies which was way cool. Until the next day when we started killing them with smallpox infected blankets and breaking treaties and stuff.
Besides hearing the Thanksgiving Story, we also did Thanksgiving crafty stuff. I can remember making the Pilgrim hats and Indian feathers (cause they all wore feathers, you know) and some of us were Pilgrims and some of us were Indians. The boys wanted to be the Indians because they liked the idea of scalping people. And we often had really lame plays. I remember helping in one kindergarten class, and one of the kids said, “The Indians were surprised to see the Pilgrims because they had never seen real people before.” Good thing all of us grew up and got more enlightened than that, right?
We also drew with markers on tin foil. I have no idea why. We drew cornucopias, which were like giant bugle chips with food falling out of them. Supposedly that’s what the Pilgrims ate out of, though it doesn’t seem like the best method of storage to me. Maybe that’s why they were starving. Also, we drew turkeys by tracing our hands on construction paper and our parents had to act like they were great. They also had to sit through our programs which were terrible and for which I am now paying with my own children. The circle of life.
As an adult, Thanksgiving is slightly better in that someone else cooks for me (it turns out food, at least decent home-cooked food, doesn’t magically appear. Neither do socks and underwear.) On the other hand, you have the trade-off of having to be with extended family which can be tenser than the very first Thanksgiving when the people eating had just been trying to kill each other days before. But still, it’s a holiday, and most people get time off work. Unless you’re some unlucky person that has to work retail during the next great American holiday, Black Friday, which now starts on Thursday, which is actually Thanksgiving. Where you give thanks for working at Target for minimum wage and not even getting an entire day with your family. Yay!
Oh, wait, I was going to end on a happy note. Um, remember the Charlie Brown special? That was fun, right? I don’t actually remember any of it, except I think Snoopy had a Pilgrim hat on. That little scamp. I’d have totally put that dog to sleep. Um, helped him go to sleep with a little pillow and blankie. Yeah. I’m gonna stop now.
Happy turkey day!