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This is a fictional Christmas correspondence between Martha Stewart and Erma Bombeck to remind us that Christmas isnít always picture perfect.
Hi Erma, This perfectly delightful note is being sent on paper I made myself to tell you what I have been up to. Since it snowed last night, I got up early and made a sled with old barn wood and a glue gun. I hand painted it in gold leaf, got out my loom, and made a blanket in peaches and mauves. Now itís time to start making the place mats and napkins for my 20 breakfast guests. Iím serving the old standard Stewart 12-course breakfast, but I didnít have time to make the tables and chairs this morning, so I used the ones I already had. I did take time to make the dishes to use for breakfast from Hungarian clay, which you can get at almost any Hungarian craft store. Well, I must run. I need to finish the buttonholes on the dress Iím wearing for breakfast. Iíll get out the sled and drive this note to the post office as soon as the glue dries on the envelope Iíll be making.- Love, Martha Stewart
Response from Erma Bombeck:
Iím writing this on the back of an old shopping list, pay no attention to the coffee and jelly stains. Iím 20 minutes late getting my daughter up for school, packing a lunch with one hand, on the phone with the dog pound, seems old Ruff needs bailing out, again. Burnt my arm on the curling iron when I was trying to make those cute curly fries. Still canít find the scissors to cut out some snowflakes, tried using an old disposable razorÖtrashed the tablecloth. Tried that cranberry thing, frozen cranberries mushed up after I defrosted them in the microwave. Oh, and donít use Fruity Pebbles as a substitute in that Rice Krispie snowball recipe, unless you happen to like a disgusting shade of green! The smoke alarm is going off, talk to ya later.- Love, Erma
I donít know anybody who enjoys the Martha Stewart picture perfect Christmas. Kids get sick, people lose their jobs, people even die. Trouble doesnít take a holiday even at Christmas. That shouldnít surprise us: even the first Christmas wasnít picture perfect . In the midst of all the miracles and joy, there were a lot of hassle, and a lot of hurting. We often look back at Christmas with magical rose colored glasses, and then we compare our troubled lives to it and think it does apply to me. It has nothing to say to my messed up life. Lets take a look back at what it was really like the first Christmas, and I think we will discover it has a lot to say to us today. Lets Look at Luke 2:1-20
I once heard a humorous story about the Pope who was on a visit to America for a period of time. On his last day of the visit, he was delayed due to meetings and was unable to break away to catch a flight.
Since he couldn’t depend on his Pope Mobile, he phoned for a limousine. When the limousine arrived, the driver was joyfully surprised that it was the Pope who called for him. The driver became nervous and was beside himself. He proceeded to drive very slowly. The Pope became nervous and told him to hurry up. It did not make a bit of difference. The driver went slower; he wanted to keep the Pope in his limousine as long as he could. The Pope could not be delayed any longer so he asked to drive the limo himself. The Pope sped off and reached the speed of 85 miles an hour. The policeman who stopped him was shocked when he discovered the famous personality behind the wheel. He frantically phoned his police chief and said, “Chief, I have stopped a very important figure for speeding. I don’t know what to do?”
--“What do you mean? Give him a speeding ticket!”
--“Sir, in all honesty, I can’t.”
--“Why can’t you? The law is the law. Who is it anyway that you stopped? Is it the mayor?”
--“Is it the governor?”
--“Is it a congressman?”
--“Is it the president?”
--“Well, then, who is it?!”
--“I don’t know sir! All I know is that the Pope is driving him to the airport.”
Once upon a time, in a land far away, there was a lighthouse that sat on a rocky shore and helped ships get through the water safely without hitting any big nasty rocks. One day the lighthouse operator became sick and a temporary substitute was put in charge of the lighthouse. While he was there tending the lighthouse a big storm blew up and sand and branches and all kinds of things were flying around in the wind. The temporary lighthouse keeper got out a big piece of canvas and covered up the lantern so it would not get wet or damaged in the storm. That night a ship blew upon the rocks and sank with all hands. Sounds silly, doesnít it - I mean - who, as Jesus puts it, lights a lamp and then puts it under a bowl?
Was Popeye Right? By Karl Kruszelnickiís abc.net.au/science 5-24-2001
The cartoon character Popeye is famous for eating spinach. Whenever he breaks open a can of spinach and eats it he gains enormous strength. Popeye was employed by the US Government during World War 2 to promote the idea of eating spinach. Meat was a rarity during war, but spinach appeared to be a great substitute. In the 1890ís German scientists had shown that spinach contains the same amount of iron as meat. And iron of course is one of the essential vitamins in building strength.
But the facts are wrong. The German researchers did prove that spinach contains iron, but when they wrote down their results they put the decimal point in t...
A substitute kindergarten teacher at Forest Hills Elementary School in Coral Springs, Fla., is under fire after telling her class that there is no Santa Claus. By the time parent Melissa Shea complained to assistant principal Lisa George, Fabiola Mehu-Pelissier had already been spoken to, with advice to "be more sensitive to holiday traditions." That wasnít good enough for Shea, who wants the teacher to be banned from class. "I feel like no matter what I do or say now, the seed of doubt has been planted in [my daughterís] head," she complained. The school has thus agreed to bring in a Santa "with a natural, full white beard" to "set the record straight" with the kindergarteners, a school district spokesman says. (South Florida Sun-Sentinel) ...That ought to mess them up for another 5-10 years.
This is True, Dec. 22, 2002
WHEN NO ONE IS WATCHING
In 1945, Arsenal were playing Russian giants Dynamo Moscow in London when a thick fog descended over the ground. The referee refused to abandon the game as the visitors had come such a long way, but it was impossible to see what was going on. It is said that an Arsenal player who was sent off sneaked back on, while the Soviet side may have brought substitutes to boost their numbers to 12-13. Dynamo Moscow won 3-2.
K. Edward "Ed" Skidmore
So Iím going to share with you a list I came up with of Seven steps guaranteed to embitter your Children:
1. Discipline your child only when you lose your temper. Let him get away with everything, then without warning, let Ďem have it! Blow your top! Scream and Yell! Let Ďer Rip! Go Crazy! Thatís the way to let your child know ďwhoís REALLY in control around here.Ē
2. Give your child everything she wants right away. Donít make her earn it! Gadgets and Toys and Video Games and Designer Clothes and Cars and good old Cash --- all of these make a GREAT substitute for your love and attention. And donít worry; it wonít take long for your child to prefer the STUFF you provide over spending time with you.
3. As often as possible, compare your child to someone else --- a brother or sister is usually the best choice. Statements like, ďWhy canít you be like JohnnyĒ are sure to spur your child on to success!
4. Donít let your child suffer the natural consequences of his actions. If your child gets in ANY sort of trouble, jump right in and make lots of excuses for him. Argue with his teachers; blame his friends; leave the church; sue the school --- but donít let anyone hold your child accountable. Ö If you donít come to the rescue every time, your child might develop respect for authority Ö and where will THAT get him in life?
5. Donít waste time LISTENING to your child. Jump down her throat as soon as she opens her mouth. After all, you already know everything sheís going to say, right? Besides that, if youíre understanding and reasonable, she might start wanting to talk things over with you Ö and that would NEVER do!
6. Treat your child with constant suspicion. Expect the worst. Classic comments like ďCanít you do ANYTHING right?Ē or ďYouíll never amount to anything.Ē can save your child from aiming too high in life.
7. If your child does anything wrong, NEVER let them...
There was a clever young guy named Somebody Else
There was nothing this canít do
He is busy from morning till late at night
Substituting for you
Youíre asked to do this or do that
And what is your ready reply
Get Somebody Else to do that job
Heíll do it much better than I
SO much to do in this weary old world
So much to do and workers so few
And Somebody Else, all weary and worn
Is still substituting for you