Friday, December 23, 2011

happy holiday.

This morning, I ventured over to a little donut shop near my apartment. It was appropriately called "Donuts." Upon receiving my donuts and paying, the woman behind the counter looked at me with a huge smile and said, "Happy holiday!" 

I walked out and said, "You, too!"

Seems simple enough, but really it's the most complicated conversation I've had in weeks. 

What holiday was supposed to be happy and what holiday was left out? She just said holiday

I take great offense to people who worm their way out of wishing others a "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Hanukkah" by saying "Happy Holidays!" Contrary to popular belief it's not an all-encompassing salutation. It's confusing and vague. 

I've never been to a "holiday" party where all holidays were given attention. But, I've been to several Christmas parties or New Year's parties. If I was Jewish I'd probably go to a lot of Hanukkah events. I wouldn't be offended by an invitation to have a "Happy Hanukkah," I'd just try really hard to have a very happy Hanukkah even though I have no idea how to go about that.

I often wonder if people are offended when I tell them to have a great Flag Day or a wonderful St. Patrick's Day?

What if people started saying "Happy Holidays" on MLK Day, which is also typically on or around Robert E. Lee's birthday? Now, that's offensive, people. 

Maybe we should never wish a happy holiday of any sort on anyone ever again. That. OR, change the meaning of "Happy Holidays" to legitimately mean "Happy holiday ever celebrated ever, religious or otherwise." If religious, throw in an "amen" at the end and you are truly covered. 

Holiday greetings that could be offensive to you and yours:

"Happy Stephen Foster Memorial Day!"
Don't even!

"Have a good Arbor Day!"
Do you even know what a tree did to me once?

"Hope your Groundhog's Day  is full of groundhogs!"
Screw you!

"Please celebrate Mardi Gras responsibly!"
Are you kidding? Responsibly?!

"Happy Mother's Day!"
Are you sick? I'm not even a mom!


Cowling Family Christmas 1999
Very offensive, indeed. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

joseph didn't know.

There are few things in the world as interesting as the birth of Jesus Christ. 
If you've ever stopped by this web log before, you know how I feel about this.
I write about it all the time. 
Last year, the year before, and the year before that.

It's my hope and prayer this topic never becomes mundane and never gets lost under the tree. That it will never get stuck in the chimney and it will always, always serve as a reminder of the hope and the joy that came...

Christmas comes each time this year. 

And each time this year Mary, the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, gets some serious attention from the public. This attention is not without warrant. All good mothers need their proper props. Mary is no different. 

However, where’s the love for Joseph in all of this? Trust me, I know he had ZERO percent involvement in the birth of lil’ baby Jesus, but there’s not a song out there called, “Joseph, Did You Know?” My guess is that Joseph had even less of an idea about things than Mary did!

Let’s break it down.

Here’s this dude, just a regular ole dude “pledged” to marry a gUrl, I’m assuming, he barely knows.  One night an angel rolls in and is all, “Listen. Listen. Listen. Listen. Go ahead and take Mary home as your wife. For real. NBD. It sounds crazy, but the Lord’s got it figured out.”

 One Gospel tells us that Joseph considering quietly divorcing Mary. 
Another barely mentions Joseph.

My brosef and his wife just had a baby a few months ago. On more than one occasion he expressed excitement and joy over the birth of his son, but he was also scared—like most dads. Dads want to provide. Dads want to protect. Dads want to know the child is their child! Surely Joseph felt all of these emotions and more. 

Surely Joseph sat down Mary at one point and said, “Real talk, who’s baby is this?”

Or maybe I’m wrong. 

Maybe Joseph was more than just a regular dude. Maybe Joseph was chosen in conjunction with Mary— as a team. Maybe the Lord knew that the two of them together could handle this. 

I mean, I don’t know! Just like Mary didn’t know. And Joseph sure as hell didn’t know. I guess it doesn’t matter. They had faith. They trusted the Lord and they did what they were told. 

And it turns out, the Lord was right.
He did have things under control. 

He had a plan— a plan to bring one child into the world to save everyone. 

Even Joseph.
Who totally didn’t know. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

holiday gift guide 7.

InternetS! According to my calculations (which could be off) Christmas is just 9 days away! Be a thoughtful gift giver. Here's some help.

Adult Bib
For: The Messy Eater That You Love
Why: Because sometimes the people we love are silly, messy eaters! And sometimes it's sad to wear a food-stained shirt out on the town. 
Bonus: More free time, less money spent on Tide pens. 

Dog DNA Test Kit
For: The Dog Lover/ Wannabe Scientist
Why: Because not everyone can afford fancy schmancy dogs!
Bonus: You can really get to know your dog by knowing its roots and family origins. This kit will take the relationship between you and your dog to the next level. 

Dolphin Lamp
For: The gUrl (or Boy) Who Always Wanted to be a Marine Biologist
Why: You need light to read about dolphins, silly!
Bonus: The lampshade also has a lovely dolphin scene on it. 

Sumo Wrestler End Table
For: The Interior Decorating Enthusiast
Why: Because even interior decorators like surprises!
Bonus: This table to sure to hold all of necessities! No more worrying about a certain lamp being too heavy for a flimsy ole run of the mill end table! I mean, it's a sumo wrestler!

Terry Cloth Toilet Seat Cover
For: The Person Who Complains About Cold Toilet Seats
Why: Because sometimes you just want to wake up and go to the bathroom without feeling like the toilet has been sitting in the Alaskan wilderness all night!
Bonus: Comes in blue, green or pink, so it can definitely be matched to your bathroom decor!

Mouthwash Decanter
For: The Person You Love with Bad Breath
Why: Because when you're trying to keep it real and keep up with the Joneses, you can't have a Scope bottle sitting around. 
Bonus: Elegant alternative to a plastic bottle.

Friday, December 9, 2011

holiday gift guide 6.

Can I be vulnerable with you, internetS? When I started out on this holiday gift guide journey a few weeks ago I wasn't intending on changing anybody's life. But, after weeks of researching kind and thoughtful gifts for everyone I've changed my mind. 

I do want to change the world-- one meaningful gift at a time. 


For: The Wildly Modest gUrl
Why: Because modest is hottest! If you have a friend that is already super modest and wants to cover up her extremities, this is the gift! Or maybe you have a friend that should be a little more modest? Well, here's a great start!
Bonus: Stylish for ANY occasion!

Jesus Playing Soccer Sculpture

For: The Soccer Playing Christian
Why: Because soccer players love Jesus and Jesus loves them! 
Bonus: It doubles as a witness tool. Invite your non-believing friends over for a soccer match and let the converting begin!

Tentacle Mermaid Plush Doll

For: The gUrl Who Has EVERYTHING
Why: Because she doesn't have this. 
Bonus: She's made from fleece making her extra cozy! Snuggle up, gUrl who has everything!

OCD Cutting Board

For: OCD Person Who Loves to Cook
Why: Because pleasing OCD people is hard and this is one step to loving them through their OCD-ness. 
Bonus: The carrots in your meal will all be cut EXACTLY the same size, so after you eat one you'll know just how much to chew each and every carrot!

Pocket Saw

For: Anyone (Really)
Why: Because we've all walked around and thought, "If I could only cut that brick in half!" 
Bonus: It cuts through iron, steel, aluminum, wood and more! 
Double Bonus: It fits in your pocket!

Extendable Sock Aid

For: The Laziest Person You Know
Why: Because we're all tired of helping our lazy friends put on their socks. 
Bonus: You can put on your socks WITHOUT bending over. 
Double Bonus: No more strained back muscles after an exhausting foray into putting your socks on!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

lil' boy with a drum.

Ever heard the Christmas favorite, "The Little Drummer Boy?" Yeah, you're reading this, so you've heard it. You don't live under a rock. pa rum pum pum pum 

Lately, the lyrics have really been causing me some grief. I just don't get it. I mean, I get the part about him wanting to go see Jesus and declaring that his gifts are no good for him (kind of like how my works and deeds are useless to Jesus, he just wants me!). Here's what I don't get: he took a drum to play for a newborn baby. pa rum pum pum pum 

I cannot think of less soothing instrument to play for a person, much less a tiny newborn baby. pa rum pum pum pum 

And then, the Lil' Drummer Boy just starts straight up lying and humble-bragging. First, he says the ox and lamb kept time. No. No, little boy, an ox and a lamb did not tap their feet while you played a drum for baby Jesus. pa rum pum pum pum 

Then, he says he played his best for him and that Jesus smiled at him. No. No freakin' way! pa rum pum pum pum 

There's just no way any of this happened. Oxen and lambs can't keep a beat (everyone know they're the total whities of the animal world-- they can't shoot hoops either). Second, newborn babies don't smile! 

While I'm thinking about this song I'm imaging two scenes. The first scene involves me showing up at a baby shower without a gift, but with a snare drum in hand. I ask to just perform for 30 minutes. It doesn't end well. pa rum pum pum pum The second scenario has me showing up to a hospital nursery with a snare drum and being escorted out within seconds. 

Somewhere a third scenario involves me getting the ox and the lamb into the hospital, too. They accidentally kick over the Purell and all hell breaks loose. 

pa rum pum pum pum 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

dear santa.

I cannot remember the last letter I wrote to Santa. I would guess it was sometime around the year of our Lord, 1986. At my office, we get pretty in to the Christmas spirit-- a decorating contest, a party you know. All of that. Yesterday, we were encouraged to write Santa a letter. 

This is what I came up with...

Dear Santa,


I don’t really know how to start a letter to you, because I don’t believe in you and I never really have, though in my youth my parents tried to blame some of their mediocre gifts they gave me on you. I knew they weren’t from you because even though I didn’t think you existed I had always heard great things about you. Great things  not, “Yeah, I asked for this, but instead Santa decided to get the cheaper, off-brand version of it in a different color.” No, it was always, “Santa brought me exactly what I wanted!” So, I figured my parents out pretty quickly.

Anyway. In an effort to no longer ruin anyone under the age of 7’s Christmas again, I’ve been encouraged to write you a letter. It feels like community service, so I’m not sure my heart will be in it, but a letter’s a letter, right? I feel like in this day and age an e-mail would be more efficient. Have you thought about streamlining and efficiency much, Santa?  I guess we can discuss that later when you aren’t so busy or something.

I digress.

I consider myself to very much be an adult and that being said, I typically buy myself things I want or need. I don’t ask others for gifts. So, it’s kind of like why am I even writing you this letter?  I don’t know, Santa. I just don’t know.

I guess I wouldn’t be mad if you brought me a new set of tires for Christmas. That is legitimately the only thing I can think of that I don’t want to buy myself, but I probably should. If you want to bring me some stocking stuffers, please don’t bring me bubble gum or cheap Christmas candy. I prefer Claritin— you can buy it OTC.

Alright, guy, I’m out.

Does anyone ever wish you a ‘Happy 4th of July’ or anything? Or is it all ‘Merry Christmas’ all the time? That’d get pretty old.

I have a feeling you suffer from diabetes, high-cholesterol, rosacea, and/or obesity. If you need a good doctor, I know about 6,000. Also, how many mothers have you kissed? Oh man, so many questions… so many questions.

Best wishes,

Friday, December 2, 2011

holiday gift guide 5.

Oh, man, internetS! Only 23 shopping days left.

I'm not anywhere near done with my shopping, but I have a feeling that you all will be after this week's gift guide! I think we've covered every single person in every family out there. 

What are you waiting on?! Give, give, give!

Yellow Lab Sculpture

For: The Yellow Lab Lover
Why: Because sometimes dogs die, but visitors to your home need to know that you still love yellow labs.
Bonus: It's a cute puppy!

Vase with a Face
For: The Florist
Why: Because clear vases are so overdone and well, BORING!  
Bonus: I think that speaks for itself, right?! It's clearly a conversation starter that also holds flowers! I mean, I've never owned a vase that sparked a conversation, but now I can!

Giant Car Pillow
For: The Weary Traveler
Why: Because sometimes the Chevy Lumina isn't as comfortable as your bed.   
Bonus: To be honest, I'm not sure there are any bonuses associated with this gift. First off, you're clearly encouraging your passenger to sleep while you drive. Second, it's very large and probably hard to store. I cannot be certain, but I do not think the precious older lady comes with the pillow, so no bonuses.

Dog Car Seat
For: The Dog Owner Concerned with Safety
Why: Because dogs are all some people have and they need to be protected while traveling in a moving vehicle. 
Bonus: No more dog hair on your car seats! Now, it's all confined to the dog car seat.

Faux Fur Animal Hats
For: The Fashionista
Why: Because even stylish people get cold. 
Bonus: Can be worn for high fashion purposes or in the woods for hunting.

Wedding Ring Sculpture
For: The Newlyweds
Why: Because newlyweds are hard to shop for!  
Bonus: A constant reminder to the newlyweds to take their vows seriously. Double bonus! It's also a vase.

Panckae Bean Bag
For: The Funky Foodie who Likes Sitting on the Floor
Why: Because bean bags are ugly!
Bonus: Comes with butter pillows!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

crimmas decor.

Hey bloggers!

Well, the Season is officially here, right? Can you believe it's the first of December? I can't! I'm one of those crazies that just refuses to celebrate Christmas until giving Thanksgiving its proper props, but let me tell you, at midnight on Black Friday, I'm sooooooo ready to get my Christmas on! Am I right?!

Anyway. It never feels like Christmas until I've decorated my home. Again... am I right?!

If I know my readers, like I think I know my readers they are saying, "I wonder how LC decorated this year? She's so fab!" And well...wait no longer! This is post you've been dying to read!

The roommates and I turned on some Christmas tunes (Mariah, Amy Grant-- DUH) and got to work! It took a little while, but it was totally worth it to feel this homey during the most joyful time of the year!

We started off by picking up these trees and candles from the floor. Hard to believe they had been sitting in a corner for almost a year! Oopsies! But, now they are right back where they belong: FOCAL PIECE. 

We really love our sink area, so we wanted to really accentuate it. I feel like the red wreath really pulls out the warmth of the wood cabinets.

OMG. This photo kills me! If you look closely you can see the reflection of the wreath in the microwave. Who knew I was a professional photographer?! :p 

We've been known to sit around the ole piano and sing some carols, so obvi we needed to make it as festive as possible. But, at the same time the piano is beautiful on its own. After a heated debate we decided this simple star was perfect! I was originally against it (I wanted to wrap the piano in teddy bear wrapping paper), but after seeing this photo: LOVE.


Close up of the star. I DIE. If you look in the background you can see the trees in the kitchen. It really pulls everything together!

And TADA! Here's the whole kit-and-kaboodle! (Please excuse our mess! We had a leak and it needed to air out!) I love walking into my home after a long day at the office now! It just feels so warm and festive!

Ok, lovely ladies! Don't be shy! What'd you think? What are you doing to decorate this year? Old stuff? New stuff? Spill it, gUrls!!!

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