Category Archives: Holidays

What Ebenezer Scrooge Can Teach Us About Great Writing

A fantastic breakdown of A Christmas Carol, showing the deeper meaning of the story in a Christian context.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

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One of my all-time favorite movies for the holidays is The Muppets Christmas Carol. I believe I’ve seen this movie a few hundred times. I’ve worn out three VHS tapes and at least three DVDs. I play the movie over and over, mainly because, well, duh,  MUPPETS! I drive my husband nuts playing this movie over and over…and over. I’m worse than a three-year-old.

But, Muppets aside, also I can’t get enough of the music. Also, I love the story of A Christmas Carol no matter how many times I see it, no matter how many renditions, and I am certainly not alone. Charles Dickens’ story of a redeemed miser is a staple for holiday celebrations around the world and across the generations.

This story is virtually synonymous with “Christmas,” but why is it such a powerful story? Why has it spoken so deeply to so many? Why is…

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Amy Snow’s Adventures, December 8

Amy Snow has had an interesting half- week. She and her friend Petunia the pony made a seasonally incongruous journey through a haunted forest (I may have forgotten to finish putting the Halloween stuff away. Thanks for pointing that out, AMY):

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She spent a day being none-too-pleased with the boys (again):

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…and she has followed us to my in-laws’ house to keep an eye on things (and hang out in a wreath, I guess. Why not?)

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I feel like I’m short a day… I’ll have to check the computer when we get home.

ROW80 Update:

Long story short, I have one scene left, and then Torn goes away for a while before I re-read and revise. Again. Yaaaay… I already have ideas for improvements. This could take a while.


The Adventures of Amy Snow, December 5

Amy Snow continues to spread warmth, cheer and magic in our house, in spite of the fact that we’re not even a week into December and I’ve already forgotten to set her up twice. Almost three times, but a friend posted a pic of their Elf last night and it reminded me. WHEW!

It’s not always easy to come up with ideas. Many people post their pictures on facebook and Pinterest to ispire others, but most of those elves seem to be so NAUGHTY! They make messes, spread sugar on the counter to make a snow angel, rip up the toilet paper, pull books off of shelves… and that’s just not Amy. Partly because she’s nice and helpful, but also because WHY would I do that to myself? Call me crazy, but I think kids can have fun with magical toys without me having to wipe broken eggs off of the counter.

So what has Amy Snow been up to?

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On Monday she added a few new ornaments to our little potted tree. I’m sure she’ll have fun when we get a big one!

We had a BAD evening on Monday, though. AJ was away at an award ceremony at the Governor General’s house in Ottawa (la dee dah!), the kids were cranky and fighting with each other and not listening to me. I was not amused. Amy wasn’t, either, but she gave them a get out of jail free card of sorts on Tuesday morning.

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YOU ARE ON NOTICE, CHILDREN.

They were very grateful. 🙂

On Tuesday night I actually thought ahead and planned something for after the boys went to bed. Ike has his own Monster High doll. She used to be mine, but he loves her, and I share. Venus McFlytrap’s hair was a WRECK. As pretty as saran hair is for dolls, it gets tangled far more easily than the nylon you find on My Little Pony toys. Venus’s hair was almost felted into a solid mass. I told Ike there wasn’t much I could do about it.

Good thing Amy Snow had access to a comb, an hour of spare (ha!) time, and a bottle of conditioner. She set up a little salon on the bathroom and took care of Venus’s issue. It’s not perfect, but it’s an improvement. Even better was the boys’ faces when they saw THAT bit of magic the next morning, and Ike dancing around saying “Thank you, THANK YOU!”

They set a good example by folding Venus's clothes neatly on the counter and cleaning up after themselves. :)

They set a good example by folding Venus’s clothes neatly on the counter and cleaning up after themselves. 🙂

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In other news, I’m getting pretty good at balancing things in Amy’s hands. 🙂

Last night I had a plan, but the boys’ clean laundry proved too tempting for Miss Snow. I don’t know whether she wanted to help put it away, or she was on her way somewhere else when the laundry quicksand sucked her in. Good thing the boys rescued her this morning!

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Now, let’s all agree to never tell the boys that their underwear (clean, but still) was on the internet, and go about our days like this never happened. I know Amy Snow wants to. 😉

Any brilliant ideas for Amy Snow’s adventures? I have some things planned, but input is always appreciated!

 


Sunday ROW80 Update: Welcome Back, Amy Edition

Well, NaNoWriMo is over. Those of us are heaving sighs of relief, partying, or drowning our sorrows. I’m still writing, though. I have about 12,000 words to go before I put this story to bed, and it’s getting EXCITING. I can’t even believe what just happened, or what’s coming in the revised ending for this one.

I get all bouncy thinking of the horrific death that’s coming for a very bad person. Yaaaaaaay! Never fear, those with sensitive stomachs. This will not be WIPpet Wednesday material.

Things have picked up since Wednesday’s dismal numbers. AJ’s going away, leaving tomorrow and coming back Tuesday, so that’ll give me one night to work this week, and I’ll have afternoons for this until Christmas vacation starts. Think I can finish this draft? I’m going with yes.

Not a ROW80 goal, but a new item is on my to do list now that Amy Snow is visiting again. She’s wearing her pretty dress that I ordered off of Etsy last year, and she’s ready for some fun. She brought season 4 of the Cosby show for the boys as a “happy December” gift. They were pretty excited.

Don’t worry, I won’t spam you all with her adventures. Maybe I’ll put up pics on Sundays and Thursdays or something. I’m sure some of your facebook feeds are already going to be crowded with elf stuff. Don’t want to drive you around the bend with mine. 😉

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Wow, does that green wrapping paper look hideously yellow on everyone else’s monitor? Sick.


Holiday Shenanigans

Amy Snow will be returning soon! For anyone who missed it the first time (ie last December, when most of you weren’t around), here’s why we don’t have an Elf on the Shelf, and an introduction to the lovely Miss Snow, who does the job for us instead. She was a last-minute project for us, but it’s working out well. The boys are both very excited to see her again!

For the rest of her adventures from last year (a whole half-month’s worth), click here. I have a feeling things are going to get even crazier this time…

Language warning. I know other people love their elf, but I can’t talk about him without cussin’. He scares me.

disregard the prologue

So, Elf on the Shelf. I’m going to be honest here: that tiny bastard scares the bejeezus out of me.

Have you seen him? This little toy elf that you buy (I don’t know where, I assume from Hell’s gift shop) and set up every night in random places because… I think the kids are supposed to think he’s alive and reporting back to Santa.

That’s the theory. I think it’s really an excuse for moms to play with toys. No judgement here- I’m the proud owner of… one or two… *ahem*

If you haven’t seen him, google it. I’ll wait. No, not the cute squishy one, the plastic-headed one that looks like he’s going to consume your soul.

He watches you while you sleep. He thinks it’s romantic.

Look at those eyes. That little fucker KNOWS things.

So anyway, I don’t want one of those, because my dreams are…

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Memorial Day

(Not to depress anyone on this lovely and otherwise-celebratory-in-Canada day, but history is important, guys…)

Happy Canada Day! Well, mostly… see, when you live in Newfoundland, July 1 is a bittersweet holiday (and not just because so many people still swear that joining Canada was a mistake– not today’s topic, don’t worry). No, it’s because in Newfoundland, July 1 is also Memorial Day, the day set aside to remember the lives lost at the battle of Beaumont-Hamel, France, on July 1, 1916.

It’s not an insignificant number. The Newfoundland Regiment (then hailing from a tiny dominion of the British empire, not from Canada) was destroyed: more than 650 casualties, most within 15-20 minutes of leaving the trenches. Anywhere you read about the Newfoundland Regiment and this battle, the terms “nearly annihilated,” “almost wiped out” or “decimated” are sure to appear.

War is awesome, isn’t it?

But Great Big Sea tells the story far better than I can. The “Blue Puttees” was the nickname of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment.

(traditional, lyrics courtesy of the b’ys themselves)

RECRUITING SARGEANT*

Two recruiting sergeants came to the CLB,
for the sons of the merchants, to join the Blue Puttees
So all the hands enlisted, five hundred young men
Enlist you Newfoundlanders and come follow me

They crossed the broad Atlantic in the brave Florizel
And on the sands of Suvla, they entered into hell
And on those bloody beaches, the first of them fell
Enlist you Newfoundlanders and come follow me

So it’s over the mountains, and over the sea
Come brave Newfoundlanders and join the Blue Puttees
You’ll fight in Flanders, and at Galipoli
Enlist you Newfoundlanders and come follow me

Then the call came from London, for the last July drive
To the trenches with the regiment, prepare yourselves to die
The roll call next morning, just a handful survived.
Enlist you Newfoundlanders and come follow me

And it’s over the mountains, and over the sea
Come brave Newfoundlanders and join the Blue Puttees
You’ll fight in Flanders, and at Galipoli
Enlist you Newfoundlanders and come follow me

The stone men on Water Street still cry for the day
When the pride of the city went marching away
A thousand men slaughtered, to hear the King say
Enlist you Newfoundlanders and come follow me

And it’s over the mountains, and over the sea
Come brave Newfoundlanders and join the Blue Puttees
You’ll fight in Flanders, and at Galipoli
Enlist you Newfoundlanders and come follow me

So it’s over the mountains, and over the sea
Come brave Newfoundlanders and join the Blue Puttees
You’ll fight in Flanders, and at Galipoli
Enlist you Newfoundlanders and come follow me

Enlist you Newfoundlanders and come follow me

Catchy tune, no?

So today we (whether Newfoundlanders, CFAs like me, or mainlanders in the know) remember these brave men and grieve the loss of life.

…and then we get to go and throw some burgers on the BBQ and watch fireworks for Canada Day. *waves flag*

Fantastic (if old) blog post from Rick Mercer, who is actually from here… here.

More information on the  Royal Newfoundland Regiment here and here, and some good information on Memorial Day and its origins here. This article on the memorial in France has good information on the battle, etc.

*I don’t know they it’s spelled that way on track listings. Thoughts? Guesses? Answers?


Amy Snow… The conclusion

OK. I know. I suck as a blogger.

I forgot to finish posting pictures of Amy Snow’s shenanigans. I’m sure you weren’t holding your breath or anything, but here you go anyway: photographic proof that I actually kept this up until Christmas.

I know, I was shocked, too.

To the photos!

Whatcha drawin’ there, Amy? A tree? Awww…

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“oh, hey.”

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Amy came along for a sleepover at my in-laws’ house (my decorations aren’t quite this nice; I think Amy enjoyed the change of scenery)

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Brrrrrr…

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Amy Snow stuck around for Christmas morning. Know what Santa brought her?

Ryan Freaking Reynolds.

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…or a reasonable facsimile. Lucky bit–Er, very deserving and special doll-type lady. I’m happy for you. Really.

All he brought me was a dragon…

“To the North Pole, Mortimer!”
“Thrlaaaah!”

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Goodbye, Amy Snow, until next year. Please send my dragon back.

Seriously, I miss him.


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