Monday, December 10, 2018

Holiday Planner or Pantster?

"I stopped believing in Santa Clause when I was six. Mother took me to a department store to see him and he asked for my autograph." Shirley Temple

My kids haven't believed in Santa Clause for a long time, but they still wanted to bake cookies for him for years after they stopped believing in him! And that was one more activity to plan. Speaking of which, are you a planner or a pantster when it comes to the holidays?  

When I write, I don't like to fly completely by the seat of my pants.  I prepare a skeleton outline and then go where my characters lead me. No detailed outline or spreadsheet for me--I think my head would explode if I tried to that.  So I fall somewhere in between. 

Same with holiday planning; I wouldn't dare try to do everything just days before Christmas (although I usually do wrap presents on  Christmas Eve). I'll mail my Christmas cards this week, as well as finish my Christmas shopping.  I'll do my baking this weekend. So hopefully, by Christmas morning, everything I need to do will already be done!

I envy all the organized among us who buy their presents right after Thanksgiving and have their cards mailed by December 1.  

From what I've observed, having the ability to organize is genetic. My husband (whose parents are extraordinarily organized) is a very ordered person--I am not.  My dad had piles on his desk, and for some reason, so do I. And I know exactly what's in my piles and where to find what I need.  

I don't like clutter, but beware of my closet. If you go in, you may not come out! I'm also a procrastinator--that drives Mr. McKenzie nuts!  But somehow we manage to complement each other.  I suppose the old saying is true: opposites attract.

Time to put the writing aside and catch up on some more Christmas--dare I say the word--details!

Are you a holiday planner or pantster?  Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, December 3, 2018

A Christmas Cult Classic

It's December! Time to sit back and enjoy some classic Christmas movies like It's a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street.

I never realized there were Christmas cult classic films, until a few years ago when someone gave my kids a collection of Christmas movies. The motion pictures included were not well known, to say the least, but all were good for a laugh. 

The strangest--and corniest--was Santa Clause Conquers the Martians.  It's a 1964 science-fiction movie that regularly receives the honor of being listed as one of the worst films ever made. A featured player is ten-year-old Pia Zadora.

Here's a part of the plot from Wikipedia:

The story involves the people of Mars, including Momar ("Mom Martian") and Kimar ("King Martian"). They're worried that their children Girmar ("Girl Martian") and Bomar ("Boy Martian") are watching too much Earth television, most notably station KID-TV's interview with Santa Claus in his workshop at the North Pole. Consulting the ancient 800-year-old Martian sage Chochem (a Yiddish word meaning "genius"), they are advised that the children of Mars are growing distracted due to the society's overly rigid structure; from infancy, all their education is fed into their brains through machines and they are not allowed individuality or freedom of thought.

Chochem notes that he had seen this coming "for centuries", and says the only way to help the children is to allow them their freedom and be allowed to have fun. To do this, they need a Santa Claus figure, like on Earth. Leaving the Chochem's cave, the Martian leaders decide to abduct Santa Claus from Earth and bring him to Mars. As the Martians could not distinguish between all the fake Santas, they kidnapped two children to find the real one. Once this is accomplished, one Martian, Voldar, who strongly disagrees with the idea, repeatedly tries to kill Santa Claus along with the two kidnapped Earth children. He believes that Santa is corrupting the children of Mars and turning them away from the race's original glory.

It goes on, but you can tell from this that it's pretty bad, very funny, and not your average Christmas movie! Do you have any Christmas cult classics you'd like to share?

Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Originally posted 12/8/14

Monday, November 26, 2018

Cranberry Chicken


I'm still in Thanksgiving mode! I love turkey and cranberry sauce and I love chicken and cranberry sauce too!  Here's an easy recipe for the crock pot from the cookbook Fix-It and Forget-It to keep you thinking about all that yummy Thanksgiving food. Enjoy!

Cranberry Chicken

3-4 lbs. chicken pieces
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced onion
16 oz. can whole cranberry sauce
1 cup BBQ sauce

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Cover and bake on HIGH for 4 hours, or LOW for 6-8 hours.

Cooking can't get much easier than that. Sound good to you?

Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Monday, November 19, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving!


Happy Thanksgiving! I'm taking today off but will be back next week. Hope you'll be enjoying family and lots of great food come Thursday!

Monday, November 12, 2018

A History of Veterans Day

To all veterans being celebrated today, thank you for your service!
For those of us who aren't veterans, have you ever wondered about the origin of Veterans Day? I have, so here's some history about it from History.com:
Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and Nov. 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938. Unlike Memorial Day, Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans—living or dead—but especially gives thanks to living veterans who served their country honorably during war or peacetime.

When Is Veterans Day?

  • Veterans Day occurs on November 11 every year in the United States.
  • In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower officially changed the name of the holiday from Armistice Day to Veterans Day.
  • In 1968, the Uniform Holidays Bill was passed by Congress, which moved the celebration of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. The law went into effect in 1971, but in 1975 President Gerald Ford returned Veterans Day to November 11, due to the important historical significance of the date.
  • Great Britain, France, Australia and Canada also commemorate the veterans of World War I and World War II on or near November 11th: Canada has Remembrance Day, while Britain has Remembrance Sunday (the second Sunday of November).
  • In Europe, Great Britain and the Commonwealth countries it is common to observe two minutes of silence at 11 a.m. every November 11.
Was any of this information new to you? Thanks for visiting and have a great week!