KARAOKE IS GOOD FOR THE SOUL

There’s nothing more therapeutic than finding a song that matches your current mood and singing the lyrics. Even if you aren’t a professional singer – that’s what makes it more fun.

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RANKING THE SEASONS

Remember the seasons? There used to be four distinct ones. Now you never know what each year will bring, but regardless, let’s talk about which one is the best.

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WHY YES, I WOULD LIKE A STRANGE MAN TO BREAK INTO MY HOUSE, EAT MY FOOD, AND LEAVE ME PRESENTS

Ah, Christmas … excuse me, the holidays. Thank you politics for continuing to ruin all good things. Such a magical time of year with the lights and wrapping presents and cookies. SO. MANY. COOKIES. I think it’s funny when people say they’re dieting or “watching their sugar intake” anytime between mid-October and January. What is even the point? Do you hate yourself that much to deny all the best, most peanut-buttery Reese shapes? To choose not to eat a piece of the yule log, or peppermint bark, or anything pumpkin flavored?

I’m a big believer in finishing what you start, so if it’s Q4 and I still haven’t decided to take my diet seriously, then it’s just not going to happen. Finish strong! Besides, that’s what New Year’s resolutions are for, right? Why bother during the three consecutive holidays whose main themes are food? I mean, look, Santa pretty much only eats cookies and he seems to be doing alright. He’s basically immortal. I’m trying to hop on that diet train for freaking sure. He can also fly, and train reindeer, and has a memory that could even make IBM Watson scared. He knows everyone. IN. THE. WORLD. That alone is impressive, but good old Santa is like ‘you know, I can do better than just knowing them … I’m going to keep records of all their actions too’.

Now, this sounds all innocent and cute and what not, but I see what’s happening here. You can’t fool me jolly old Saint Nick. Since the beginning of time, everyone has wanted to know how he does it. How is it possible that one man and eight reindeer can deliver presents to everyone in the world in one night? Not one month, not one week, not even one day … one night. 

Enter the naughty and nice list. Why give everyone presents when we can easily play God and judge the actions of others? If they’re naughty, scratch that name off the list. One less house to visit. Now repeat this for all the people clearly dating Satan and trying to impress his demonic self. That’s a whole different topic – some people just need a hug, a smile, and a whole lot of Jesus. Anyways, so we’ve started to weed people out. Satan be gone! Who’s next? Well all the people who made bad decisions – so every adult ever. Boom! Knocking off suckers left and right! Anyone else? All the kids who don’t believe because they’re trying to be “cool” and “grown up”. News flash: growing up is not as cool as it looks. Just trust me on this.

Who does that leave? Literally only anyone under 5 because even Santa has a little bit of a soul and knows they are so innocent they can’t really do anything massively wrong. Problem solved. Santa stalks us and waits to see that one little slip up because you had just broken up with bae and were confused and that couple was all about the PDA life and it was just too much at that time so you told them to eff off and get a room. Welp, congratulations! Your name just earned a huge strikethrough. Good thing I’m an adult now and can buy myself presents to make up for the lump of coal I’ll be getting from the big man. 

In a shocking twist, I have some serious concerns, though, about Santa’s delivery method for the people that are lucky enough to remain on the nice list. When I order something, from say Amazon, the package shows up at my front door. I owe the delivery person nothing. The delivery person has never set foot in my house. Life is good. On Christmas, however, this is not the case. Front doors are too visible, I guess, for Kris Kringle, so the chimney is his vessel of choice. And not just to throw the presents down – that would be too easy and law-abiding. No, Santa chooses to break into the house. And we all welcome it! We actively leave snacks for him as a reward for committing a crime. What is this teaching children exactly?

Moving past this blatant disregard for human safety. An unknown man is in our house (because, let’s be honest, nobody really knows who he is), eating food that we paid for, and leaves us gifts that he knows we want since he stalked us. Putting it like that doesn’t sound so ho ho holly jolly now does it? What if he wasn’t a happy old fella and was actually disgruntled and angry? That would be a very different story Christmas morning – why is our living room trashed and all our valuables missing? Mmhmm makes you think, doesn’t it. He could be a serial killer. Yet it’s more important that we have someone else come up with gifts for our offspring than to just go buy something for them. But happy holidays! 

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you also feel weird about the conspiracy that’s coming from the North Pole, best to keep that to yourself. As weird as it is, the big man seems sane and happy for now so no need to stir that pot. Thanks for reading!


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I JUST WATCHED CHRISTMAS CHRONICLES TWO AND I HAVE QUESTIONS

THIS IS A SPOILER POST! If you haven’t seen Christmas Chronicles Two, and were planning on it, I would not recommend going through these observations. 

Netflix recently dropped the sequel to everyone’s favorite Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn Claus family portrayal. And who doesn’t need more of Kurt and Goldie in their life? I mean really, they’re adorable! Anyways, like with all holiday movies, some things don’t fully add up to … well … reality. Here are all of my holly jolly hiccup moments with this movie:

  • In any movie with elves, there’s always an angry elf. At least one and this one happens to have the name Belsnickle … what is a Belsnickle?
  • Belsnickle plots his revenge in a dark cave. AKA, the South Pole living conditions
  • Interesting choice in location for the mere humans starring in the movie. Cancun: where the drinks are plenty and the memories are few
  • Kate is what, 12? And all her friends are throwing parties? Pause – where are their parents
  • Bob is just casually a great singer, ok sure aren’t we all?
  • For a teenager who clearly is worried about missing social events, standing on a beach talking out loud to Santa isn’t necessarily the way to up your popularity
  • 10 minutes into the movie and I can call the ending – Kate’s heart gets changed, she ends up loving Bob and they all have a very merry Christmas together
  • No child willingly admits to being a brat and can call an airline to change their flight. They would still be having a meltdown. This scene is fake news
  • So, let me get this straight, the parents willingly leave their kids alone at a resort in Mexico on Christmas and assume the teenage brother will “watch” them. Smart
  • Kate just trusts a random resort “worker” who says he can get to the airport in half the time with zero questions? She deserves to be kidnapped
  • Two pre-teens, who are dressed for a vacation in Mexico, end up at the North Pole and aren’t shivering? They’ll die before they find Santa – that’s very un-jolly
  • Is one of Santa’s superpowers supersonic hearing? Since when? How did he hear Kate and Jack’s cries for help?
  • In his free time, does Santa just hunt leopards in the tundra portion of the North Pole? Adds up to none of the stories
  • Let’s talk about basic physics where a sleigh traveling super fast would not stop within 10 feet of entering a barn
  • I’ve never been able to make any sort of warm drink in 5 seconds and yet here we are in th reindeer barn with a custom tea / herbal / medicinal / whatever ready immediately
  • Why are all the elves a cartoon mouse / rabbit hybrid looking thing? What is this based on? Furbies?
  • These kids supposedly wake up in the North Pole and don’t think they’ve maybe been roofied? Because my first thought would not be to hug the strange man who looks like Santa
  • Why are there cannons in Santa’s Village? Why? To get snow in? That’s a stretch
  • Nice diss on all the major shipping companies. Combine all their production, quadruple it, and it might be close to what Santa’s Village does in a day? Mmkay
  • Santa codes video games now? What copyright laws does that violate? All of them probably
  • If you had an employee who was eating the inventory, would you keep him on the candy cane production line? With all that temptation? No
  • Dinner is all desserts? That’s not the way to live 1700 years. Also, painting a cake green and calling it broccoli doesn’t make it broccoli
  • Even in the north pole Kate is being a bit of a brat – she better end up on the naughty list
  • Has no one else noticed there’s another human in the village? Or that head elf Mina is missing? Strong observation skills these elves
  • So Santa Claus and his forest elves travelled from Turkey to the North Pole? Seems doable
  • A little bit of the Hulk action going on with Belsnickle’s transformation into a human
  • Was there no security on the star? You know, the thing that protects ALL of Santa’s Village? Again, smart
  • Blue powder makes the elves bad? Similar to the Despicable Me 3 movie a bit? I think so
  • You ever break something super important? Like the Star of Bethlehem maybe? Whoops
  • Maybe the North Pole has different snow, but when I slow roll a ball it doesn’t pick up speed and get bigger
  • Why did the elves even own chainsaws? How did that come up? They’re magical. In what scenario would they need a chainsaw?
  • Apparently Santa also visited the Matrix at some point – dodging all those arrows like an f boy dodges the word relationship
  • If someone sends you on a quest, a time-bound quest mind you, would you casually stroll along the path to find the end? I would hope you would put some pep in your step
  • Why is Hocken thanking Santa? Santa has done nothing except hold the star while a “dangerous” beam lit it up
  • Belsnickle’s “reindeer” look like the hyenas from the Lion King
  • Please just leave your sleigh and reindeer on the tarmac of a major international airport. They’ll be fine, I’m sure
  • Just when you think it can’t get any better, surprise! It’s also a musical, because why not?
  • There happens to just be a stage and a choir and a band at Boston Logan all at the same time?
  • Another huge twist, there’s a Back to the Future reference! And Kate meets her dad when he’s a teen – what other movies are we going to pull from?
  • Two teens are able to break out of airport jail? Meanwhile, there’s a Christmas concert happening in the terminal? I can’t keep up
  • And just like that, the song ends and all flights are now on time … makes perfect sense
  • One way to make someone need therapy is to call them dad when you’re the same age while crying and hugging them like they’re dying
  • Are there a million elves in the village, or thousands? A bit inconsistent on our estimates here
  • Is the solution to shoot the elves one at a time with a Nerf gun? How … how is that going to work? At all? There’s an unknown number of them
  • Exploding gingerbread cookies, though – incredible invention!
  • Mrs. Claus has the hairstyle of a who, so there’s our Grinch reference
  • We need to talk about Nerf gun range, too, apparently, since it’s not however far Jack shot it at the drone
  • I think that Belsnickle really just needs a friend, or a therapist
  • How old do you have to be to get a sleigh license? Santa is 1700 and Jack is what? 11? That’s a wide gap and yet both get to “drive”
  • Forgetting someone from time to time is as it should be? Where? With who? Why? What?
  • I’m scared to jump off, but I’ll get over that by backflipping off a highly elevated flying surface
  • Who has a caroling party in front of the ocean with no spectators? Who are they singing to?
  • Why is Belsnickle the only fat elf?
  • As a surprise to no one, it ends happily ever after with everyone singing a christmas song from the dinosaur age

Takeaway: if you have young children they’ll probably think it’s cute. If you have kids over the age of say, 7, this might out-age them. Interesting story line, but the first one was way better. A good background Christmas movie while decorating – not a must-see however.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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DIFFERENT TYPES OF HOLIDAY SHOPPERS

It’s the holiday season! And who doesn’t love the holidays? I mean, I’m sure there are some people. I’ve heard stories about actual Scrooges, but have yet to meet one in real life, thankfully. Honestly, I don’t think I could handle it. My absolute joy during this time of year fighting with their absolute dread, and hate, for this time of year sounds like a collision I don’t need. That’s like the ultimate holiday rivalry. Good versus evil. Light versus dark. Carolina versus Duke. Emotions running high. Things get said that you can’t take back. Nope. 

I need to take a deep breath for a moment. Whew. Ok! Needed to clear that out of my mind. I have space for light shows, gift giving, cookies, and friends / family this time of year. Oh, and of course my dog. She’s an all year round treat, but at the holidays the decorations confuse her and that makes me laugh. Anyways … one of the biggest parts of the holiday season is getting gifts for other people. Some people love this. Some people hate this. Most people still do this, however.

Not everyone takes the same approach to purchasing gifts. Not everyone even puts the same amount of effort into finding gifts, if we’re being honest. Is there a right way to holiday gift shop? Certainly not! But I, at least, find it fascinating to examine the different approaches. And thus, deeply over-analyze them. Because clearly I have no life and this is as good as it gets as an adult. What can I say? I lost all shame for these types of posts a while ago. So get ready – we’re about to deep dive into what makes each individual shopper unique. Maybe you’ll recognize yourself on the list. Maybe you won’t. We all lie to ourselves sometimes, it’s fine.

The Prepared Shopper

Picks up gifts throughout the year so they don’t have to rush during crunch time

The Last Minute Shopper

Literally is trying to finish getting all their gifts the night before, or the morning of

The Thoughtful Shopper

Really puts an effort into the gifts they give to people and does a good bit of research, both on products and by talking to the gift receiver

The Leftover Shopper

Will pick up whatever candy happens to be in the checkout lane just to present you with a gift

The Online Shopper

Orders everything online so they can get the best range of colors, styles, and availability

The In Store Shopper

Enjoys not having to wait for items to ship, and thus, the potential that it never arrives so takes their chances in stores

The Gift Card Shopper

Either doesn’t like the list they received from you, or simply doesn’t want to buy anything on that list, and gets you a gift card instead … so that you can buy your own gift

The Highly Stressed Shopper

Goes exactly by the list – no room for error if you wrote that you wanted a 25oz water bottle by mistake (since that isn’t really a size) they will not buy anything unless it’s specifically what you want. 24 oz simply won’t do

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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I DON’T ALWAYS EAT UNTIL I CAN’T MOVE … WAIT, YES I DO!

The holiday season is probably the most divisive three months of the entire year. Sure, it’s a time to be thankful, and joyful, and giving, and terrified (you can get my full thoughts on Halloween’s place in the season HERE), but it’s also a time to pick a side and fight for it. No, I’m not talking about a political side, or a side of the dinner table, or a side of the family – those can be chosen at any time of the year. You don’t need pumpkins, dead turkeys, or cookies to do that to yourself.

Obviously I’m talking about when it’s acceptable to begin decorating for Christmas and playing some classic carols non-stop. In my experience, people tend to fall into one of these three categories:

  • Thanksgiving is a full on holiday and I don’t even get merry for Christmas until Black Friday
  • Thanksgiving is just a happy accident on the way to the best holiday of the year
  • All holidays are the same and should be treated equally

I’m not even going to touch that last category – you’re just wrong and that’s not true at all. Don’t be that person. Pick at least one to go all in for! Personally, I tend to fall into the middle category and if you’re with me, let’s drink some eggnog and play All I Want for Christmas is You on repeat. For everyone else, the ones in the first category in case you couldn’t keep up, I do not understand you at all. ‘You can’t skip Thanksgiving! It’s a time to be thankful and eat all of the food!’ – Thanksgiving lovers.

Mmkay … first of all, you should just be thankful like all of the time. If you need a holiday to remind you of that then it might be time to reevaluate your priorities. Yes, you get to eat … a lot. You know when else you can eat a lot though? THE ENTIRE CHRISTMAS SEASON! Which is 12 days long traditionally, 25 days if you’re Freeform, or year round if you’re like me so why do I want one day to eat when I can have multiple? I’m a big fan of eating (THAT’S NO SECRET), but Thanksgiving is just one day. 24 hours. That’s it. Nothing more. What is the appeal of that? 

Might I also point out that the Thanksgiving meal is shockingly similar to Christmas dinner. But without all the delicious cookies and holiday drinks. Makes no sense to me. I don’t need someone to tell me it’s ok to eat until my pants start to feel way too tight. I’m a grown adult, I can do that any day of the week. Don’t get me wrong, I love having those days off work and seeing my family. But it does bother me that both Thanksgiving and Black Friday are company holidays while only Christmas day is. Christmas Eve is just as big a deal. Corporate America never ceases to confuse me.

Anyways, to be clear, this is not a post complaining about Thanksgiving itself. It’s more of a general confusion around all the people who wait until the day after to begin celebrating Christmas. Can your spirit literally not handle double the joy and excitement? Why get excited for one holiday when you can be psyched up for two? Again, this is very simple math. 2 > 1. 12 > 1. 25 > 12 > 1. 365 > 25 > 12 > 1.

I have zero shame when it comes to Christmas. November 1 I take in my desk decorations and it’s a miracle I hold out until then because, if we’re honest, it’s never too early to be put in a hella amazing mood by looking at Christmas lights. It’s always a fun game to see how long after the New Year that my co-workers tolerate me keeping it up … my current record is February 8 and I think next year I’m going to beat that. Mostly since my main co-worker at the moment is my dog and she doesn’t care. Then it’s basically time to get stoked for that year’s Christmas so I don’t know why I even give in to peer pressure and take it down. I am a peacock, let me spread my wings and be merry!

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you love Christmas as much as I do, let’s debate who sings the best versions of each classic Christmas song. If you are a Thanksgiving turkey, then you may have your holiday, but come Black Friday, you better be jollier than Santa stealing cookies from random houses all over the world. Thanks for reading!


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