Saturday, December 26, 2009

Gift wrapping

This time around, most of us have been through wrapping and opening gifts.  It is also the time of year when we think back to the very first Christmas, when the Three Wise Men -- Gaspar, Balthazar, & Melchior went to see the baby Jesus &, according to the Book of Matthew, "presented unto Him gifts; gold, frankincense, & myrrh."

These are simple words, but if we analyze them carefully, we discover an important, yet often overlooked, theological fact: there is no mention of wrapping paper.

If there had been wrapping paper, Matthew would have written in his gospel: "And lo, the gifts were inside 600 square cubits of paper. And the paper was festooned with pictures of Frosty the Snowman. And Joseph was going to throweth it away, but Mary saideth unto him, she saideth, 'Holdeth it! That is nice paper! Saveth it for next year!' And Joseph did rolleth his eyeballs. And the baby Jesus was more interested in the paper than the frankincense."

But these words do not appear in the Bible, which means that the very first Christmas gifts were NOT wrapped. This is because the people giving those gifts had two important characteristics:

1. They were wise.

2. They were men.

Men are not big gift wrappers. Men do not understand the point of putting paper on a gift just so somebody else can tear it off. This is not just my opinion, but a scientific fact based on a statistical survey of two guys - Rob and Gene.

Rob, who said the only time he ever wraps a gift is,

"If it's such a poor gift that I don't want to be there when the person opens it."

Gene wrap gifts, but as a matter of principle never takes more than 15 seconds per gift.

"No one ever had to wonder which presents daddy wrapped at Christmas," Gene said. "They were the ones that looked like enormous spitballs."

I can wrap gifts, but because of some defect within me, I can never completely wrap them according to the high standards held by my wife.

On the other hand, if you give my wife a 12-inch square of wrapping paper, she can wrap a Boeing 787 plane. My wife, like many women, actually likes wrapping things. If she gives you a gift that requires batteries, she wraps the batteries separately, which to me is very close to being a symptom of mental illness. If it were possible, my wife would wrap each individual volt.

My point is that gift-wrapping is one of those skills like having babies that come more naturally to women than to men. That is why today I am presenting:

Gift Wrapping Tips for Men:

Collect Generic Gift Wrap Materials - Instead of buying Santa gift paper, try going with a plain red, a metallic silver, and a beautiful white. These papers can look wonderful during the holidays by using red, green, or metallic ribbons.

Cellophane Bags - Clear or printed cellophane bags (like the ones florists use for corsages) can be a lifesaver for small non-fragile gifts, candies, or baked goods. Simply insert the item into the bag (wrapped in tissue if desired) and seal the top with ribbon, raffia, cording, or a twist tie.

Colored Tissue Paper - Tissue can make any gift seem more festive. Collect several colors to use when lining gift boxes, to cushion delicate items, inside cello bags, or even to use as gift paper.

Hole Punch - Use an inexpensive hole punch to puncture gift tags (to insert a ribbon) or to punch two holes in the top of a folded gift bag (to insert a ribbon or raffia).

Stickers - Seasonal stickers are a fun way to decorate plain gift bags, tags, or to close cello bagged gifts.

Tags - Beautiful tags are a lovely touch. However, they can sometimes come off and get lost. Try the stick-on types when mailing gifts or for large gatherings when the tag could be inadvertently detached.

Ribbons - Passion for beautiful ribbon has increased in recent years. Keep in mind, however, that gorgeous ribbons are often very expensive. Use them for special gifts rather than presents that might be ripped open in the blink of an eye.

Curling Ribbon - This inexpensive narrow ribbon can be curled with the blade of a knife or scissors.

Bags - Gift bags -- plain, colored, with or without handles -- are terrific for giving items that don't have a box or for gifts that include multiple items. Use ribbon, raffia, or glitter wire to close the top of the bag.

If none of the above works - here is the ultimate tip:

Whenever possible, buy gifts that are already wrapped.

In conclusion, remember that the important thing is not what you give, or how you wrap it. The important thing, during this very special time of year, is that you save the receipt.

Credits: various websites

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas wish

My Christmas wish for you, my friend
Is not a simple one
For I wish you hope and joy and peace
Days filled with warmth and sun

I wish you love and friendship too
Throughout the coming year
Lots of laughter and happiness
To fill your world with cheer

May you count your blessings, one by one
And when totaled by the lot
May you find all you've been given
To be more than what you sought

May your journeys be short, your burdens light
May your spirit never grow old
May all your clouds have silver linings
And your rainbows pots of gold

I wish this all and so much more
May all your dreams come true
May you have a Merry Christmas friend
And a happy New Year, too ..

Credits: Ruth Kephart

Christmas greetings

I wanted to send some sort of Christmas greeting to my friends and colleagues but it is so difficult in today's world to know exactly what to say without offending someone. So I met with my lawyer yesterday, and on her advice I wish to say the following:

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral celebration of the summer solstice holiday, practiced with the most enjoyable traditions of religious persuasion or secular practices of your choice with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all.

I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2010, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make our country great and without regard to the race, creed, colour, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.

By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms:

This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for her/himself or others and is void where prohibited by law, and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.

3 wise women

What would have happened if it had been Three Wise Women instead of the Three Wise Men?
They would have

Asked directions
Arrived on time
Helped deliver the baby
Cleaned the stable
Made a casserole, and
Brought practical gifts.
But then - what would they have said when they left…?

"Did you see the sandals Mary was wearing with that gown?"

"That baby didn't look anything like Joseph."

"Can you believe they'd let all those disgusting animals in the house?"

"I heard Joseph wasn't even working right now."

"And that donkey. Huh, it's seen better days!"

"Want to bet how long it will take to get your casserole dish back?"

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Ways to confuse Santa

Here are some ways to confuse Santa.  Please don't try this at home, but share it with your friends during Christmas.

Instead of milk and cookies, leave him a salad, and a note explaining that you think he could stand to lose a few pounds.

While he's in the house, go find his sleigh and write him a speeding ticket.

Leave him a note, explaining that you've gone away for the holidays. Ask if he would mind watering your plants.

While he's in the house, replace all his reindeer with exact replicas. Then wait and see what happens when he tries to get them to fly.

Keep an angry bull in your living room. If you think a bull goes crazy when he sees a little red cape, wait until he sees that big, red Santa suit!

Leave a note by the telephone, telling Santa that Mrs. Claus called and wanted to remind him to pick up some milk and a loaf of bread on his way home.

Set a bear trap at the bottom of the chimney. Wait for Santa to get caught in it, and then explain that you're sorry, but from a distance, he looked like a bear.

While he's in the house, find the sleigh and sit in it. As soon as he comes back and sees you, tell him that he shouldn't have missed that last payment, and take off.

Take everything out of your house as if it's just been robbed. When Santa arrives, show up dressed like a policeman and say, "Well, well. They always return to the scene of the crime."

Leave out a copy of your Christmas list with last-minute changes and corrections.

Shopping for love

I am flat broke from overspending at Christmas time.  But I need to go shopping again soon because I am completely out of self-respect.  I've said things I wish I could take back and I am not feeling too good about myself.

I also want to exchange a carton of self righteousness for an equal amount of humility.  I hear that it is less expensive and wears well, and while I'm at it I'm going to check on tolerance and see if there is any available in my size.

I must remember to try to match my patience with the little I have left.  My neighbor is loaded with it and it looks awfully good on her.  I was told the same department has a repair shop for mending integrity.  Mine has become frayed around the edges from too much compromising.  If I don't get it refurbished soon, there won't be any left.

I almost forgot the most important thing of all -- compassion.  If I see some-no matter what the color, size or shape -- I'm going to stock up heavily regardless of the price.  I have run out of it so many times and I always feel ashamed when it happens.

I don't know why it has taken me so long to get around to shopping for these items.  They don't cost nearly as much as some of the frivolous things I bought at Christmas time.  And I'll get a lot more satisfaction from them.

Yes, I'm going shopping today and I can leave my checkbook and credit cards at home!  The things I'm looking for have no price-tags.

What a delightful feeling!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Wondering how to greet others during the second half of December?  Here is what over 70 languages use:

Afrikander – Een Plesierige Kerfees
Arabic – I’d miilad said oua sana saida
Argentine – Felices Pasquas Y felices ano Nuevo
Armenian – Shenoraavor Nor Dari yev Pari Gaghand
Azeri – Tezze Iliniz Yahsi Olsun
Basque – Zorionstsu Eguberri. Zoriontsu Urte Berri On
Bohemian – Vesele Vanoce
Brazilian – Boas Festas e Feliz Ano Novo
Breton – Nedeleg laouen na bloavezh mat
Bulgarian – Tchestita Koleda; Tchestito Rojdestvo Hristovo
Chinese (Mandarin) – Kung His Hsin Nien bing Chu Shen Tan
Chinese (Cantonese) – Gun Tso Sun Tan’Gung Haw Sun
Cornish – Nadelik looan na looan blethen noweth
Cree – Mitho Makosi Kesikansi
Croatian – Sretan Bozic
Czech – Prejeme Vam Vesele Vanoce a stastny Novy Rok
Danish – Gladelig Jul
Dutch – Vrolijk Kerstfeest en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar!
English – Merry Christmas
Esperanto – Gajan Kristnaskon
Estonian – Roomsaid Joulu Puhi
Farsi – Cristmas-e-shoma mobarak bashad
Finnish – Hyvaa joulua
French – Joyeux Noel
Frisian – Noflike Krystdagen en in protte Lok en Seine yn it Nije Jier!
German – Froehliche Weihnachten
Greek – Kala Christouyenna!
Hawaiian – Mele Kalikimaka
Hebrew – Mo’adim Lesimkha. Chena tova
Hindi – Shub Naya Baras
Hungarian – Kellemes Karacsonyi unnepeket
Icelandic – Gledileg Jol
Indonesian – Selamat Hari Natal
Iraqi – Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah
Irish – Nollaig Shona Dhuit
Italian – Buone Feste Natalizie
Japanese – Shinnen omedeto. Kurisumasu Omedeto
Korean – Sung Tan Chuk Ha
Latvian – Priecigus Ziemas Svetkus un Laimigu Jauno Gadu
Lettish – Priecigus Ziemassvetkus
Lithuanian – Linksmu Kaledu
Manx – Nollick ghennal as blein vie noa
Maori – Meri Kirihimete
Malayalam – Christumass aasham-sakall.  Nava varsha aasham-sakall
Marathi – Shub Naya Varsh
Navajo – Merry Keshmish
Norwegian – God Jul Og Godt Nytt Aar
Pennsylvania German – En frehlicher Grischtdaag un en hallich Nei Yaahr!
Polish – Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia
Portuguese – Boas Festas
Rapa-Nui – Mata-Ki-Te-Rangi. Te-Pito-O-Te-Henua
Rumanian – Sarbatori vesele
Russian – Pozdrevlyayu s prazdnikom Rozhdestva is Novim Godom
Serbian – Hristos se rodi
Slovakian – Sretan Bozic or Vesele vianoce
Samoan – La Maunia Le Kilisimasi Ma Le Tausaga Fou
Scottish – Nollaig Chridheil agus Bliadhna Mhath Ur
Serb-Croatian – Sretam Bozic. Vesela Nova Godina
Singhalese – Subha nath thalak Vewa. Subha Aluth Awrudhak Vewa
Slovak – Vesele Vianoce. A stastlivy Novy Rok
Slovene – Vesele Bozicne. Screcno Novo Leto
Spanish – Feliz Navidad
Swedish – God Jul and (Och) Ett Gott Nytt Ar
Tagalog – Maligayamg Pasko. Masaganang Bagong Taon
Tamil – Nathar Puthu Varuda Valthukkal
Thai – Sawadee Pee Mai
Turkish – Noeliniz Ve Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun
Ukrainian – Srozhdestvom Kristovym
Urdu – Naya Saal Mubarak Ho
Vietnamese – Chung Mung Giang Sinh
Welsh – Nadolig Llawen
Yugoslavian – Cestitamo Bozic


Bobby was getting cold sitting out in his back yard in the snow. Bobby didn't wear boots; he didn't like them and anyway he didn't own any. The thin sneakers he wore had a few holes in them and they did a poor job of keeping out the cold.

Bobby had been in his backyard for about an hour already. And, try as he might, he could not come up with an idea for his mother's Christmas gift. He shook his head as he thought, "This is useless, even if I do come up with an idea, I don't have any money to spend."

Ever since his father had passed away three years ago, the family of five had struggled. It wasn't because his mother didn't care, or try, there just never seemed to be enough. She worked nights at the hospital, but the small wage that she was earning could only be stretched so far.

What the family lacked in money and material things, they more than made up for in love and family unity. Bobby had two older and one younger sister, who ran the household in their mother's absence.

All three of his sisters had already made beautiful gifts for their mother. Somehow it just wasn't fair. Here it was Christmas Eve already, and he had nothing.

Wiping a tear from his eye, Bobby kicked the snow and started to walk down to the street where the shops and stores were. It wasn't easy being six without a father, especially when he needed a man to talk to.

Bobby walked from shop to shop, looking into each decorated window. Everything seemed so beautiful and so out of reach. It was starting to get dark and Bobby reluctantly turned to walk home when suddenly his eyes caught the glimmer of the setting sun's rays reflecting off of something along the curb. He reached down and discovered a shiny dime.

Never before has anyone felt so wealthy as Bobby felt at that moment. As he held his new found treasure, a warmth spread throughout his entire body and he walked into the first store he saw. His excitement quickly turned cold when salesperson after salesperson told him that he could not buy anything with only a dime.

He saw a flower shop and went inside to wait in line. When the shop owner asked if he could help him, Bobby presented the dime and asked if he could buy one flower for his mother's Christmas gift. The shop owner looked at Bobby and his ten cent offering. Then he put his hand on Bobby's shoulder and said to him, "You just wait here and I'll see what I can do for you."

As Bobby waited, he looked at the beautiful flowers and even though he was a boy, he could see why mothers and girls liked flowers.

The sound of the door closing as the last customer left, jolted Bobby back to reality. All alone in the shop, Bobby began to feel alone and afraid.

Suddenly the shop owner came out and moved to the counter. There, before Bobby's eyes, lay twelve long stem, red roses, with leaves of green and tiny white flowers all tied together with a big silver bow. Bobby's heart sank as the owner picked them up and placed them gently into a long white box.

"That will be ten cents young man." the shop owner said reaching out his hand for the dime. Slowly, Bobby moved his hand to give the man his dime. Could this be true? No one else would give him a thing for his dime! Sensing the boy's reluctance, the shop owner added, "I just happened to have some roses on sale for ten cents a dozen. Would you like them?"

This time Bobby did not hesitate, and when the man placed the long box into his hands, he knew it was true. Walking out the door that the owner was holding for Bobby, he heard the shop keeper say, "Merry Christmas, son."

As he returned inside, the shop keepers wife walked out. "Who were you talking to back there and where are the roses you were fixing?"

Staring out the window, and blinking the tears from his own eyes, he replied, "A strange thing happened to me this morning. While I was setting up things to open the shop, I thought I heard a voice telling me to set aside a dozen of my best roses for a special gift. I wasn't sure at the time whether I had lost my mind or what, but I set them aside anyway. Then just a few minutes ago, a little boy came into the shop and wanted to buy a flower for his mother with one small dime.

"When I looked at him, I saw myself, many years ago. I too, was a poor boy with nothing to buy my mother a Christmas gift. A bearded man, whom I never knew, stopped me on the street and told me that he wanted to give me ten dollars.

"When I saw that little boy tonight, I knew who that voice was, and I put together a dozen of my very best roses."

The shop owner and his wife hugged each other tightly, and as they stepped out into the bitter cold air, they somehow didn't feel cold at all.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Rusty Chevy

Here is a song that's sung to the tune “Jingle Bells”

Dashing through the snow in my rusty Chevrolet.
Down the road I go, sliding all the way.
I need new piston rings. I need some new snow tires.
My car is held together by a piece of chicken wire!

Oh, rust and smoke, the heater’s broke, the door just blew away.
I light a match to see the dash and then I start to pray-ay.
The frame is bent, the muffler went, the radio’s okay.
Oh, what fun it is to drive this rusty Chevrolet!

Bouncing through the snow in a big, blue cloud of smoke.
People laugh as I drive by; I wonder what’s the joke!
I have to get to Wal-Mart to pick up my layaway,
Cause Santa will be comin’ soon in his big, old, rusty sleigh!

Oh, rust and smoke, the heater’s broke, the door just blew away.
I light a match to see the dash and then I start to pray-ay.
The frame is bent, the muffler went, the radio’s okay.
Oh, what fun it is to drive this rusty Chevrolet!

I Went to the Iga
To Get Some Christmas Cheer
I Just Passed Up My Left Front Tire
And Its Getting Hard to Steer
Skidding Down the Highway
Right Past the Negaunee Cops
I Had to Drag My Swampers
To Get the Car to Stop

Oh, rust and smoke, the heater’s broke, the door just blew away.
I light a match to see the dash and then I start to pray-ay.
The frame is bent, the muffler went, the radio’s okay.
Oh, what fun it is to drive this rusty Chevrolet!

Bouncing Through the Snowdrifts
In a Big Blue Cloud of Smoke
People Laugh As I Drive By
I Wonder What’s the Joke
I Got to Get to Shopko
To Pick Up the Layaway
Cause Santa Claus Is Coming Soon
In His Big Old Rusty Sleigh

Oh, rust and smoke, the heater’s broke, the door just blew away.
I light a match to see the dash and then I start to pray-ay.
The frame is bent, the muffler went, the radio’s okay.
Oh, what fun it is to drive this rusty Chevrolet!

Barbie doll house

Few years back a good father bought his only daughter a special Barbie Doll House. Sadly for him it arrived in 189 plastic pieces. The instructions said that it could be put together in about “30 minutes or less”. It took him most of the night and he was blurry-eyed and out-of-sorts on Christmas morning.

After it was all put together, he wrote the company a check, cut it into 189 pieces and mailed it off for THEM to put together in 30 minutes or less.

The mathematics of forgiveness - Part 2

The mathematics of forgiveness - Part 2.

Chris drops water on Ponnu's ipod.
Ponnu crashes her dad, Alex's BMW
Mariya is upset because Alex is not helping her with house chores.
Commotion at home and neighbors, James and Dr. Merlyn walk in.
Neighbors explain the mathematics of forgiveness.

3 Nails + 1 Cross = 4Given.

The recording did not come out 100% well.  The beginning part was cut off and plus few other glitches including lighting and stage arrangements.

In short, all of you did your part quite well and conveyed the message.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The mathematics of forgiveness - Part 1

The Mathematics of Forgiveness by our class.

All of you did your best within the constraints we had.

Special thanks to our guests Jake Jacob, Jiby Yohannan, Mariya Tom & Chris Cherian.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas trivia

Below is some Christmas trivia:

The word Christmas is Old English, a contraction of Christ's Mass.

The first president to decorate the white house Christmas tree in the United States was Franklin Pierce.

Germany made the first artificial Christmas trees. They were made of goose feathers and dyed green.

Electric lights for trees were first used in 1895.

The first Christmas cards were vintage and invented in 1843, the Victorian Era. (You can read more about the history of Christmas Cards here.)

"It's a Wonderful Life" appears on TV more often than any other holiday movie.

"Rudolph" was actually created by Montgomery Ward in the late 1930's for a holiday promotion. The rest is history.

"The Nutcracker" is the most famous Christmas ballet.

"Jingle Bells" was first written for Thanksgiving and then became one of the most popular Christmas songs.

If you received all of the gifts in the song "The Twelve Days of Christmas," you would receive 364 gifts.

The poinsettia plant was brought into the United States from Mexico by Joel Poinsett in the early 1800's.

Holly berries are poisonous.

Contrary to common belief, poinsettia plants are non-toxic.

Mistletoe was chosen as Oklahoma's state flower in 1893 and later changed to the state floral emblem.

In 1843, "A Christmas Carol" was written by Charles Dickens in just six weeks.

The first state to recognize the Christmas holiday officially was Alabama.

Christmas became a national holiday in America on June, 26, 1870.

An angel told Mary she was going to have a baby.

Clearing up a common misconception, in Greek, X means Christ. That is where the word "X-Mas" comes from. Not because someone took the "Christ" out of Christmas.

Traditionally, Christmas trees are taken down after Epiphany.

More diamonds are sold around Christmas than any other time of the year.

Christmas movies

We have a Christmas tradition at home, which we've been following for few years now - on Christmas day, we go out to the theater and watch a movie.  

During the holiday season, if you decide to watch a Christmas movie, the list below arranged alphabetically may come handy.  

The 12 Dogs of Christmas (2005) -- In a town where dogs are banned, a girl decides to use the dogs to teach people about the true meaning of Christmas during the Depression.

The Angel of Pennsylvania Avenue (1996) -- Three children travel to Washington in the hope of convincing President Hoover to release their wrongly convicted father from jail in time for Christmas.

All I Want For Christmas (1991) -- Two kids plot to reunite their estranged parents at Christmas.

Bad Santa (2003) -- A conman poses as Santa to rob stores on Christmas Eve.

The Bishop's Wife (1947) -- An angel helps an Episcopalian bishop rearrange his priorities.

Blizzard (2003) -- A young girl, whose best friend moves away near Christmas, is told a tale by her aunt of a young ice skater and an enchanted reindeer.

Christmas at Maxwell's (2006) -- The Austin family face a bleak Christmas when Suzie extremely ill and the family go away to spend their last Christmas together before she dies.

A Christmas Carol (1938), MGM's 1938 film adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic story, remade countless times.

Christmas Carol: The Movie, (2001), an animated film starring the voices of Kate Winslet, Nicolas Cage and Michael Gambon.

A Christmas Carol (2009), Walt Disney Pictures/ImageMovers Digital performance capture film starring Jim Carrey.

Christmas Child (2003) -- A life-sized nativity leads a man to learn about his past.

Christmas Eve (1947) -- Heiress attempts to bring her adopted sons back home by Christmas Eve to rescue her fortune from a scheming nephew.

Christmas in Connecticut (1945) -- Fibbing columnist must entertain war hero for the holidays. Remade in 1992.

A Christmas Story (1983) -- All Ralphie wants for Christmas is a Red Ryder BB gun.

Christmas with the Kranks (2004) -- When a suburban couple decide to forgo Christmas festivities, preferring to take a cruise to the Caribbean instead, their neighbours refuse to allow such Scrooge-like behaviour.

Deck the Halls (2006) -- Neighbours fight over who has the best Christmas lights.

Eight Crazy Nights (2002) -- A half-Jewish, half-Christian man, who gave up on Christmas and Hanukkah after his parents both die around the holidays, is shown the error of his ways when he is forced into community service by refereeing a Junior Basketball team.

Elf (2003) -- A human, raised at the North Pole, searches for his family in New York.

Ernest Saves Christmas (1988) -- Everyman-type Ernest helps Santa.

The Family Stone (2005) -- Uptight woman wants acceptance from eccentric clan at Christmastime.

Four Christmases (2008) -- A couple struggle to visit all four of their divorced parents on Christmas Day.

Fred Claus (2007) -- Fred Claus, Santa's bitter older brother, is forced to move to the North Pole.

The Grinch (2000) -- Furry green creature wants to ruin the holidays.

Holiday Inn (1942) -- Musicians prepare for a white Christmas at a cozy lodge.

The Holly and the Ivy (1952) -- An English clergyman reunites with his grown children for Christmas.

I'll Be Home for Christmas (1998) -- A college student finds it hard to get home for the holidays.

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus (2002) -- When a young boy catches his mom kissing Santa, he decides to be as naughty as he can until he drives Santa back to the North Pole.

It's a Wonderful Life (1946) -- Classic tale, climaxing at Christmas, of a man who gets to see what his hometown would be like had he never lived.

J'ai Rencontré Le Père Noël (AKA Here Comes Santa Claus) (1984) -- Young boy and girl escape bullies and parents by taking a plane to the North Pole and visiting Santa.

Jingle All the Way (1996) -- Dad, while searching for season's hot toy, finds season's true meaning.

Joyeux Noël (AKA Merry Christmas) (2005) -- World War I trenches go silent during the "Christmas truce" of 1914.

The Lemon Drop Kid (1951) -- When the Lemon Drop Kid accidentally steers Moose Moran's girl away from a winning bet, he is forced to come up with $10,000 to repay the angry gangster. Fortunately it's Christmas, a time when people can be persuaded to part with money for the right cause.

Mickey's Christmas Carol (1983) -- Disney's animated film adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic story.

Miracle on 34th Street (1947) -- Macy's Santa, with help from the U.S. Postal Service, restores a little girl's faith. Remade for television in 1955, 1959, 1973.

Miracle on 34th Street (1994) --

Mixed Nuts (1994) -- Christmas at a crisis hotline center.

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) -- Jim Henson's creations tackle Charles Dickens' festive favorite.

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989) -- As usual, the Griswold family plans turn to disaster, this time at Christmas.

Nativity! (2009) -- An improvised comedy based around a school nativity play.

The Nativity Story (2006) -- The Biblical account of the birth of Jesus Christ.

Noel (2004) -- A series of events link five disparate strangers in New York on Christmas Eve.

Nothing Like the Holidays (2008) -- A Puerto Rican family, living in the area of Humboldt Park in west Chicago, face what may be their last Christmas together.

One Magic Christmas (1985) -- At Christmas time an angel shows a young mother the true meaning of the holiday season.

The Perfect Holiday (2007) -- A young girl turns to a department store Santa in the hopes that he will help find a new husband for her divorced mother.

Prancer (1989) -- Girl nurses a wounded reindeer.

The Polar Express (2004) -- A magical train takes a boy and other children who stop believing in Santa Claus up north to meet the man himself.

Remember the Night (1940) -- DA falls for Christmastime shoplifter.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Movie (1998) -- Rudolph's own biopic showing his journey from zero to hero.

Samantha: An American Girl Holiday (2004) -- A wealthy girl visits an orphanage during the holiday season, and tries to house them.

Santa Claus (1959) -- Santa battles evil demon in outer space.

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964) -- Martians kidnap Santa Claus because there is nobody on Mars to give their children presents.

Santa Claus: The Movie (1985) -- Biopic for the fat man in the red suit.

The Santa Clause (1994) -- When Santa falls off his roof, a harried ad exec is required to assume the mantle.

The Santa Clause 2 (2002) -- Sequel to The Santa Clause; Santa must find a Mrs. Claus.

The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006) -- Third film in The Santa Clause series, Santa battles Jack Frost to keep his title.

Santa's Slay (2005) -- In this horror/comedy movie it is revealed that Santa Claus is actually a demon who lost a bet with an Angel, but when the bet is off, he returns to his evil ways.

Santa with Muscles (1996) -- An evil millionaire gets amnesia and then belives that he is Santa Claus.

Scrooge (1951) -- Charles Dickens' ghostly meditation on the holiday. This version of the story, with Alastair Sim as Ebenezer Scrooge, is regarded as one of the best.

Scrooge (1970) -- A musical adaptation of Dickens' tale, starring Albert Finney as in the title role.

Scrooged (1988) -- Modern interpretation of Dickens' story, with holiday spirits visiting a cynical TV exec. Starring Bill Murray.

Stalking Santa (2006) -- Dr. Lloyd Darrow, a self-proclaimed "Santologist," sets out to prove the existence of Santa Claus.

Surviving Christmas (2004) -- A young millionaire pays a family to spend Christmas with him.

Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) -- Inhabitants of Halloween Land do a number on Christmas.

This Christmas (2007) -- The Whitfield family comes together for their first Christmas in several years.

Trapped in Paradise (1994) -- Kindly town's hospitality melts Christmas burglars' hearts.

Twas the Night Before Christmas (1914) -- A boy gets a ride in Santa's sleigh.

Unaccompanied Minors (AKA Grounded) (2006) -- Bored kids make up their own holidays whilst stuck in an airport after Christmas.

What Would Jesus Buy? (2007) -- Documentary about the commercialization of Christmas.

White Christmas (1954) -- As in Holiday Inn, musicians bring Irving Berlin's lyrics to Vermont lodge.

We're No Angels (1955) -- A trio of escaped convicts helps a man and his wife avoid financial ruin and help their daughter find romance on Christmas Eve.

Credits: Wiki

Wedding of cana

The wedding of cana presented at our Christmas program on Dec 19th.

Wonderful job organizing so many components into this play.  The costumes and stage settings were elaborate.

It is always a difficult task managing this many students and doing the practice.  This was a good program that was presented yesterday, with so many students participating in it.

Nativity play

Here is the nativity play presented by our little kids during our Christmas program.

These kids did a fabulous job presenting this play on-stage.  The costumes were cute and they told us the story of birth of Jesus.

These little kids deserve a special mention for the role they played.

Group dance 3 & 4 graders

Group dance presented by our 3rd and 4th graders.  Anyone could tell that these kids practiced a lot to perform this dance.

Pay attention to their costumes while you watch this video - nice ornaments, and Christmas colors!

Good background music that goes along with the dance steps.

Great job, 3rd and 4th graders.

Santa is a woman

Have you heard the theory that Santa is a woman?  Read this.

SANTA CLAUS IS A WOMAN. I hate to be the one to defy sacred myth, but I believe he’s a she. Think about it. Christmas is a big, organized, warm, fuzzy, nurturing social deal, and I have a tough time believing a guy could possibly pull it all off!

For starters, the vast majority of men don’t even think about selecting gifts until Christmas Eve. It’s as if they are all frozen in some kind of Ebenezerian Time Warp until 3 p.m. on Dec. 24th, when they – with amazing calm – call other errant men and plan for a last-minute shopping spree. Once at the mall, they always seem surprised to find only Ronco products, socket wrench sets, and mood rings left on the shelves. (You might think this would send them into a fit of panic and guilt, but my husband tells me it’s an enormous relief because it lessens the 11th hour decision-making burden.) On this count alone, I’m convinced Santa is a woman.

Surely, if he were a man, everyone in the universe would wake up Christmas morning to find a rotating musical Chia Pet under the tree, still in the box. Another problem for a he-Santa would be getting there. First of all, there would be no reindeer because they would all be dead, gutted and strapped on to the rear bumper of the sleigh amid wide-eyed, desperate claims that buck season had been extended. Blitzen’s rack would already be on the way to the taxidermist. Even if the male Santa DID have reindeer, he’d still have transportation problems because he would inevitably get lost up there in the snow and clouds and then refuse to stop and ask for directions. Add to this the fact that there would be unavoidable delays in the chimney, where the Bob Vila-like Santa would stop to inspect and repoint bricks in the flue. He would also need to check for carbon monoxide fumes in every gas fireplace, and get under every Christmas tree that is crooked to straighten it to a perfectly upright 90-degree angle.

Other reasons why Santa can’t possibly be a man:
- Men can’t pack a bag.
- Men would rather be dead than caught wearing red velvet.
- Men would feel their masculinity is threatened…having to be seen with all those elves.
- Men don’t answer their mail.
- Men would refuse to allow their physique to be described even in jest as anything remotely resembling a “bowlful of jelly.”
- Men aren’t interested in stockings unless somebody’s wearing them.
- Having to do the Ho Ho Ho thing would seriously inhibit their ability to pick up women.
- Finally, being responsible for Christmas would require a commitment.

I can buy the fact that other mythical holiday characters are men………
- Father Time shows up once a year unshaven and looking ominous. Definite guy.
- Cupid flies around carrying weapons.
- Uncle Sam is a politician who likes to point fingers. Any one of these
individuals could pass the testosterone screening test.

But not St. Nick. Not a chance. As long as we have each other, good will, peace on earth, faith and Nat King Cole’s version of “The Christmas Song,” it probably makes little difference what gender Santa is. I just wish she’d quit dressing like a guy!


Q: What are snowmen's favorite breakfast food?  
A: Frosted Flakes.

Q: What do snowmen eat for lunch?
A: Icebergers.

Q: What do snowmen eat for dinner?
A: Ham Br-r-r-r-r-gers !

Q: What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire?  
A: Frostbite.

Q: How do snowmen travel?
A: Icecycles!

Q: What happened when the snowgirl broke up with the snowboy?
A: She gave him the cold shoulder!

Q: What did the snowgirl say to her favorite snowboy?
A: I love you SNOW much !

Q: What do snowmen wear on their heads?
A: Ice caps!

Q: What's an ig?
A: An eskimo's home without a loo!

Q: Where do snowmen go to dance?  
A: Snowballs!

Q: What sort of ball doesn't bounce?
A: A snowball!

Q: How do snowmen clean their teeth?
A: Ice Picks!

Q: What do you call a snowman using too much toothpaste?
A: Frothy the Snowman!

Q: How does a snowman lose weight?
A: He waits for the weather to get warmer!

Xmas Puns

Here is a Christmas pun.

Q: What do Spanish sheep say when they wish each other a Merry Christmas?

Now, read the 10 questions below and try to answer them.


1. On December 24, Adam’s wife was known as _____ _____.

2. In Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, Scrooge was visited by the ghost of _____ _____.

3. An opinion survey in Alaska is called a _____ _____.

4. What Christmas message is conveyed by these letters?: ABCDEFGHIJKMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ _____, _____

5. When the salt and the pepper say “Hi!” to each other, they are passing on _____ _____.

6. A holy man bereft of change could be called _____ _____.

7. A quiet medieval armor-wearer is a _____ _____.

8. A cat walking on the desert is bound to get _____ _____.

9. People who tell jokes on December 25 might be called _____ _____.

10. Actor O’Connor and actress Channing are known on December 25 as _____ _____.


1. On December 24, Adam’s wife was known as CHRISTMAS EVE.

2. In Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, Scrooge was visited by the ghost of CHRISTMAS PRESENT.

3. An opinion survey in Alaska is called a NORTH POLL.

4. What Christmas message is conveyed by these letters? ABCDEFGHIJKMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ = NO L

5. When the salt and the pepper say “Hi!” to each other, they are passing on SEASON’S GREETINGS.

6. A holy man bereft of change could be called SAINT NICKELESS.

7. A quiet medieval armor-wearer is a SILENT KNIGHT.

8. A cat walking on the desert is bound to get SANDY CLAWS.

9. People who tell jokes on December 25 might be called a CHIRSTMAS CARD.

10 Actor O’Connor and actress Channing are known on December 25 as CHRISTMAS CAROLS.


Finally - we are done with our Christmas program.  All of you did quite well in the play.  I tired to come and share my happiness with you.  Some of you were away and I could not meet you.  I will call you sometime soon and we will do an analysis of how we could have improved it.

We showcased the theme of forgiveness, and here is a simple request from my side:  Let's try to forgive at least one person of one incident in the coming week.  That is 'let go' of that one incident that had hurt you in the past, and have mercy to that person.  If you practice, you can certainly do that, and like how Merlyn pointed out, it is better for the soul.  Give it a sincere try, and tell me how you feel.

BTW - We recorded the class play and the dance.  It came out quite Ok.

I just completed my *surgery* at work, few minutes ago.  It was successful, and the system I built is live now.  For the next few days, I will have to check the vital signs to make sure everything is alright with the new 'baby system'.

Some of you asked me whether there is Sunday school tomorrow.  The answer: I have not heard about any official holidays, but I won't be coming in.  Yeah  - the next time I will be at Sunday school will be on Jan 10th, 2010.  I am going to miss you until then, for sure.

Wish you the Merriest Christmas Ever, and the Most Wonderful New Year 2010.