Funny Stuff

Christmas Eve Service


Christmas happiness

The five McLane’s had a very simple Christmas day. 

  • Everyone slept in so we didn’t get out of bed until about 7. A huge treat!
  • As excited as the kids were to open presents they were polite and orderly about the whole thing.
  • It took Jackson exactly one gift to figure out what this was all about. He loved opening gifts!
  • Christmas was pretty low-key from a gift perspective. We’ve gone from extreme to extreme in our house. Sometimes we’ve given them only 1 gift and other years we’ve gotten them lots of gifts. This year, we gave them each a few and they seemed quite pleased. There were some things off of their lists and some surprises.
  • Speaking of gifts. While I’m a noted C.S. Lewis-hater, my kids now have a full set of the Chronicles of Narnia.
  • Megan and Paul’s “big gift” is a day trip with mom or dad. Megan is going whale watching with Kristen and I’m taking Paul out on the ocean for a day of fishing.
  • Jackson’s big red tractor was a big hit. Several times during the day we saw JT crawl over to the tractor and talk to it.
  • Kristen made a huge feast! Ham and all the fixings. My favorite.
  • For the second year in a row, we channeled our inner Brit and started Christmas dinner with crackers. We all felt quite royal eating our feast with our crowns on. (Yes, mine was pink… quite lovely.)
  • Our house rotation continues. This summer we converted our living room to an office and our dining room into a living room. Well, yesterday was our first family meal in the kitchen around the table. We even did highs/lows while we ate. Look at us– real parents!
  • Megan, Paul, and I had epic battles throughout the day with our fake nerf guns. Why is it that the cheapest gifts (stocking stuffers) end up being the most fun?
  • With Christmas on Sunday it feels like we got ripped off a day. Kristen is off from work today. But I have three projects due this week so I’m off to the office later this morning. (A website, a curriculum, and first steps on a book project)

A Fiscally Responsible Christmas

For the last several years Kristen and I have kept a pretty tight Christmas budget. With all the commercialization of Christmas we take great pride to see December as a month to continue our savings/budget goals. It makes me smile to know we can enjoy Christmas and continue our goals at the same time. Take that Madison Avenue! 

Funny Stuff

BREAKING: Santa to Cut Back Production in 2011


For immediate release

NORTH POLE – Citing rising energy costs and increased demands for high tech goods, Santa Claus is forecasting a 13% reduction in the number of gifts distributed to the world’s children on December 25th. The 10 year average gift-per-child (GPC) is 5.2, in 2011 Santa Claus will reduce the average to 4.52.

Santa Claus, Inc. CEO and Chief Delivery Officer Santa Claus reports, “2011 has been one of our most difficult years. Several factors have lead to our decreasing the per gift child forecast to 4.52. (GPC)

In a briefing given via their 4th Quarter shareholder webcast, Mr. Claus outlined the factors which lead to this decision.

  • The price of oil globally has continued to increase costs across the board. While the North Pole complex is able to offset some of these costs with their 2009 initiated solar program during the summer months for toy production and shipping/receiving periods, when winter sets in the plants become fully dependent on diesel generatored power.
  • Grain costs for the reindeers has more than doubled in 2011. To offset this for the 2012 season Santa Claus has a team of elves working on a new formula which will combined traditional grains and Fruit Loops with filler from letters children mail to the North Pole during the Christmas season.
  • Labor prices for the North Pole plant have continued to outpace inflation. With rising health care costs and new concessions for wage increases after October’s “Occupy Santa” protests, overall labor prices have increased 9% while production decreased 18% year-over-year.
  • With newspaper and magazine circulation at an all-time low, Santa Claus’ Wish List and Letters to Santa Claus paper recycling programs have decreased revenue sharply. To offset this loss in revenue, Santa Claus, Inc CFO Mrs. Claus has opened an Etsy shop to sell officially licensed mittens, work gloves, sleigh seat covers, and hats.
  • While the release of the Kindle Fire has helped some, North American children are demanding more highly priced toys under the tree for Christmas. Santa has limited each child to one Apple product. Though Santa Claus, Inc is the single largest purchaser of Apple products globally, the price controls by the Cupertino computer maker have not allowed Santa’s elves to negotiate significant discounts. “It’s really a Wal-Mart thing.” Claus reports. “Apple is afraid that if Bentonville hears we are getting a better price than them they will lose their contract.
  • Significant infrastructure investments have been made exploring an additional toy storage depot in the Southern Hemisphere. Claus reports, “While it makes sense logistically to store some gifts in the South Pole, the South Pole elves are difficult to work with. Frankly, they have sticky fingers– and I don’t mean because they’ve eaten too many candy canes. In the 1980’s we tried a similar endeavor and had to cease operations when we discovered South Pole elves were selling gifts on the black market to China during the summer months.

Despite the reduction in the GPC, Mr. Claus is expecting a Merry Christmas. “We don’t let a high fuel prices, elf labor issues, or Wal-Mart stop us from fully enjoying Christmas.

The early forecast for 2012 GPC is set to increase significantly in 2012. “Ah yes, with 2012 elections in the United States we will see many more adults on the naughty list. And that’s good for American children as we will be able to spend more on children’s toys.” 

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