Christmas Eve Traditions

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My Christmas Eve traditions have evolved over the years. Long story, bear with me.

Grandparent Traditions

We used to wait for my Dad to get off work and ride to my paternal Grandparents house. We would usually be one of the last to arrive since my father worked for Federal Express helping Santa’s sleigh finish it’s route. Upon entering their home, you would be greeted by the warmth of the floor furnace. It was a open grate that continuously pumped heat. I’m not sure how that was safe and that we didn’t get roasted as children. I swear you could smell your shoes melting.

There was plenty of food and it all tasted fantastic. However you couldn’t smell any of it. All the adults smoked cigarettes which built a nicotine barrier that food aromas couldn’t break through. Christmas Eve always felt like the longest evening. We would stare at the mountain of presents under a 3 foot tall already decorated tree that was erected before the evening and taken down the next day. The grown ups wanted to sing by the piano but we wanted to see what was under all those wrappings. Once we started opening presents (after a few 10 minute delays) it didn’t take long before the night was over and we were on our way home.

Starting our Own

We live just far enough where we have to do our own thing for Christmas Eve. Otherwise we would have to spend Christmas morning at someone else’s place. I want my kids to wake up in their own house on Christmas morning. We keep it pretty simple. We watch Christmas movies and bake treats. We have a nice steak dinner at a restaurant and then attend a Christmas eve service at our local Church. We then drive around and look at Christmas lights. We come home, open one gift and then put the kids to bed. We then watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation while we wrap and assemble the kids gifts.

It’s important to start and keep traditions, but also remain flexible. Someone in your family is always going to be unhappy, don’t let it be you.

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Welcome to Cheat Week?

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Photo by Public Domain Pictures on Pexels.com

Most diets will let you have a cheat day, but the days following Christmas to New Year’s are declared cheat week. If you know you will be going back on your diet, why not try to gain as much weight as possible to skew those top numbers so it will look like you accomplished more? Who are you kidding, you haven’t been on a diet since Thanksgiving and have been enjoying a cheat month.

One time at work they had a competition of who could maintain their weight during the holidays. If you stayed within a few pounds then you would get a gift card or something. I had a co-worker who actually lost weight during the challenge. Here’s how he did it. On the day of the weigh-in, he had on a big sweater with an undershirt, canvas cargo pants, and boots. When he was weighed after the holidays it was unseasonably warm and he was only wearing a Dri-fit polo shirt, some light khaki pants, and loafers. He lost 4 lbs over the holidays! Talk about a real cheat month!

But seriously, why not just treat food with respect and enjoy foods but don’t overindulge. I’ve been a food lifestyle change since January 2016 and my body rejects junk food almost immediately. I feel terrible when I eat it, so I rarely reach for it.

Happy Winter Solstice

Facebook Winter Wishes

If you still worship Saturn then I hope you have a happy winter solstice. There are many people complaining that Christmas hijacked Saturnalia. Well, they are partially right. Christmas used to be celebrated in the springtime but many were feeling left out by not participating in the drunken debauchery fest known as Saturnalia.

The church decided to move Christmas to December as a rival celebration. This would give Christians something else to do rather than eating and drinking until they vomited and other such merrymaking.  Just to be clear, Christmas is not pagan in origin but some winter celebrations are full-blown pagan. If anything paganism has crept back into Christmas.

Adventures in buying a microwave light bulb

Lowe’s tried to lure me into their store with a free $10 gift card, it worked. My microwave light burst during seven power surges in the neighborhood last week and those suckers cost $8 so I set forth on my adventure.

I asked someone (mistake) there if there was an LED equivalent so that the light would outlive the microwave. The clerk gave me one even though I asked him about it saying “appliance”. Cut to the chase, it didn’t work, but that’s not the fun part of the adventure.

When I went to check out, the cashier had no idea how to use the gift card. It wouldn’t scan and when she tried manual entry the field didn’t allow for all the numbers on the card. Programming tip: nvarchar(max) on all the fields forever! Not really. So I paid full price and went to the customer service desk.

They refunded the bulb after about 5 minutes of fighting with the gift card but then the computer froze locking them out of the system. So we had to move to another cash register. Once it went through the light bulb had now been returned twice for the same transaction. That comes into play when I return to Lowes later when I try to return the bulb that doesn’t work. So I get store credit. So I spent about 20 minutes of time and about 3 gallons of gas to purchase a light bulb. The $10 gift card was pointless. Next time, I’ll just use Amazon.

Avoiding intersections

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We know everyone is in a hurry, but just because you think you are special and more important than everyone else doesn’t mean you get to avoid intersections in traffic. We have numerous poorly designed shopping centers my my town with bottlenecks in and out. Luckily we have restaurant parking lots and gas stations next to these busy intersections. This way you can pretend to obtain a fish sandwich from Hardees or a Mountain Dew Code Red from the Circle K. However, you can then change your mind at the last minute and avoid a busy intersection.

If Disney Ran the United States

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Mr. Walt and his running mate for 2020

Can you imagineer the possibilities if Disney ran the country? There would be pros and cons of course. I guess it really depends on if you are a fan of Disney.

Healthcare

Healthcare costs would skyrocket, but you could at least reserve a fast pass for the emergency room. How awesome would it be to immediately hop on a paper-covered table to be examined while others have been waiting for 90 minutes for a 3-minute diagnosis? All your medicine would cost four times as much. However,  you can pay a premium if you want to guzzle your Robitussin from a souvenir cup.

Immigration

It would be too expensive to enter the United States and you would have so many people complaining “I wish I could afford to go to the United States”. Maybe there would be blackout dates where you couldn’t stay in the country. The truth is, every Main street USA would be packed to capacity, but at least it would smell good with Disney bakery exhaust.

Taxes

There would be no taxes whatsoever because there would be limited choices of high-quality items that are out of everyone’s price range.

Disney National Parks Service

Since the entire country would essentially be Disney Country, Walt Disney World and Disneyland would essentially just be like any other national park. All the other National Parks would get an upgrade as well. Can you imagine a giant slide into the Grand Canyon or the Haunted Mammoth Cave?

Transportation and Infrastructure

If you’ve ridden Spaceship Earth at Epcot, you would see this future vision of automation fast-tracked. Peoplemovers would drop you off at work after you’ve been dressed by a Carousel of Progress robot. We would have automobile safety on par with Tomorrowland Speedway because all our cars would be on rails so we couldn’t knock each other into the ditch. However, all of America’s roadways would be exactly like Orlando traffic to encourage you to take those Peoplemovers.