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Me: This Year’s Made for TV Christmas Movie

15 Dec kill santa

Go ahead, sit back and relax with a bowl of Pop Secret. This Christmas, you won’t need to turn on your TV set to watch this year’s spectacular Christmas event. Because the way things are going, I am this year’s ABC Family Original Christmas Movie.

kill santa

Coming to theaters near you! Rated G

Siskel: “An unforgettable event”

Maybe you’re a bit unfamiliar with the concept of ABC Family Original Christmas movies. Let me help you out. For starters, starring in every ABC Family Christmas movie is a B-list TV actor on the downward slope of his or her career (such as Melissa Joan Hart and A.C. Slater in Holiday in Handcuffs). Each movie generally begins with a series of simply hilarious follies or mishaps such as leaving a perm in too long or having to run from the law because of a botched felony (Christmas Caper starring Shannen Doherty) — absolutely hilarious! The mishaps continue, at least two unrealistically matched people fall in love (Christina Milian and Chad Michael Murray in this year’s Christmas Cupid) and the family stops fighting to remember the true meaning of Christmas, etc. etc.

ice water

Upside: Didnt have to use ice in my ice water. Downside: Everything else

My Christmas Story begins in the wee hours of Thursday night, when a big pipe decided to become a deadbeat dad and neglect heating his entire family of apartment building pipes. (Or at least that’s how I see it, because the mechanics of hot water is Spanish to me.) Friday… Saturday… Sunday… Monday….. Tuesday night the hot water comes back on. What luck! Just in time for the worst day of the week!

Rewind to Saturday morning. I am sitting on my couch. My roommate Chad wakes up and comes out, telling me about a fight our other roommate picked with him last night. Chris (known inside my head as Loose Cannon Guy on The Real World) yells from his room that he’s coming out “to talk.” (Loose Cannon usually sleeps until 2pm most days — so this change in behavior leaves me scared). He busts into the living room zipping up his jeans and throws his finger in Chad’s face, using a certain N word in that special Texas way. Chad says nothing, and Chris goes back in his room. Chad and I start to clean up the kitchen. Chris barrels in again, this time appearing to quote directly from a poorly written screenplay about a disturbed youth. It was like watching a bad Real World audition tape.

Skip ahead to Monday. A series of Facebook messages and texts leaves me worried for two days that I might have to find another apartment in less than a month, and during the jolly, ever-so-warm Christmas season. Still no real update on this situation. I wait around for a landlord that never shows up (to address the hot water situation) and feel guilty for going in late to work, then arrive outside to find an orange Christmas card on the windshield of my car.

parking ticket

I hope a bird shit on you while you wrote this

After work on Tuesday, I head to the gym for my first real shower in 5 days. No, I do not put in a workout.

At home, I light a few candles in my room and go to wash my face for bed. I open my door to see flames shooting up from the poinsettia that is in a vase on my bookcase. It’s not even real poinsettia, so it’s not like the petals could have fallen off. Yes, I’m pretty sure I am being haunted by a Christmas ghost who wants to see me die in an ironic way. Luckily, I am able to smother the flames with an Ikea candle holder. They are useful in so many ways.

Poisonous, fragile, AND a fire hazard. What's the friggin POINT?

And so the story continues. I expect things to get increasingly worse over the next 11 days until Christmas (special thanks to Ebay for letting me know the countdown, assholes), with a final scene of me being on the street pushing a cart of bottles and cans like those Asians that I constantly grumble at for waking me up at night. And in case you were wondering about any potential love interests, I think it’s safe to say that my luck in that department will sally forth clear into the New Year.

Cheap Christmas Gift Ideas: Pregnancy Tests and More!

7 Nov

Here we are again at that magical time of year when the mall has mandated with its decor that October 31st is the perfect time to start thinking about Christmas shopping. But in these tough economic times, do we really have the money like we did last year to buy Uncle Harry that wireless talking meat thermometer from The Sharper Image? Definitely not. (And if we do have the money, we’re putting it towards a foreclosed shack on the beach that just got $8000 cheaper.)

I have had my share of poor Christmases. One Christmas, when I was 16, I bought my best friend a cardboard cut-out of Gollum from Lord of the Rings. She never actually saw the movie. Still, this Christmas is going to be the most epic of poor Christmases because everyone else is poor too. Maybe we’ll have one of those The Grinch Who Stole Christmas -Christmases, you know, minus the part where a grinch steals all the gifts, but keeping the part where everyone decides at the end that they love each other and that Christmas gifts really don’t matter. Which is so untrue. I keep a hierarchy of friendships based purely upon how much each person spends on me for Christmas. Note: Katie, you’re in the danger zone. Better step it up.

Enter: My solution to end your empty wallet woes this holly-jolly season. A list of home-grown Christmas ideas with most items found at your local Family Dollar, or at most retail plazas on suburban bus routes, because you had to sell your car.

For the Teenage Girl in Your Life

First off, I hope you’re not a 52 year-old man. If you are, hopefully this teenage girl is your daughter or niece. That being said, let’s move on. I envision a gift basket. Contents may include

  • a pregnancy test, $3.99 at If you’re her Dad, this means you can kill two birds with one stone by avoiding that uncomfortable sex talk,¬†and give her a practical Christmas gift that she or one of her hysterically crying friends will find useful.
  • Bag of Hershey kisses, discounted to $1.00 during post-Halloween sale at Rite Aid. When her boyfriend dumps her for not giving it up at the prom, the chocolate will be waiting faithfully at home.
  • Proactiv free trial. Warning: Remove from gift basket should said teenage girl have PMS. You might wind up dead. But your heart is in the right place.

For the Hypochondriac in Your Life

For him or her, these must be really scary times. Put them at ease with your homemade H1N1 Prevention Kit.

  • A free trial subscription to Netflix. The third grader who wrote this eHow article on Swine flu prevention recommends avoiding large public gatherings. Your little friend is going to be spending a lot of time alone watching romantic comedies.
  • A personalized face mask, $3.00. Go wild with the googly eyes and glitter pens.
  • Wall of the United States with box of red and black pins, $10.00. They can create their own personal version of the real-time map of H1N1 infections across the United States. It’s like a game of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey with a fatal twist. And practical, too. They can be reminded every second of every day of the impending pandemic.


  • 3 bottles of Robitussin Cough Medicine. If things really get tough — you know, if they actually become one of those red little Game of Life -looking markers on the above map, at least they can throw three sheets to the wind and go Robo-trippin like that 14 year-old kid on Intervention.

For that person you hate but are obliged to give a Christmas gift to

A coworker, your boss, your boyfriend’s mother, the opportunities are endless. Go with this list of Gifts that Save Money, subtitled “Practical Gifts that You Wouldn’t Enjoy Receiving but You Would Like to Burden On Someone Else” / “Blatant Regifts Such that the Receivee Recognizes the Blatant Regiftedness.” Examples of suggested gifts include a Brita water filter and reusable shopping bags.

I hope you enjoy assembling these gifts for the loved and hated ones in your life. Requests for future gift ideas are more than welcome!

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