It’s the most wonderful time of the year

December 14, 2018

On the last day of school before Christmas vacation, Mrs. Jones asked little Patrick, “What does your family do at Christmas?”

Patrick replied, “My ten brothers and sisters and I go to midnight mass with our parents, and then we come home and put mince pies by the back door and hang up our stockings. Then we go to bed and wait for Santa Claus to come and bring our toys.”

“Very nice, Patrick,” said Mrs. Jones. “Billy, what does your family do at Christmas?”

Billy replied, “My sister and I go to church with our parents, and when we get home we put cookies and milk by the chimney and hang up our stockings. Then we go to bed and wait for Santa Claus to come and bring our toys.”

“Very nice, Billy,” said Mrs. Jones. “Isaac, what does your family do at Christmas?”

Isaac replied, “As soon as Dad gets home from the office, we all get into the Rolls and the chauffeur drives us to Dad’s toy factory. When we get inside, we look at all the empty shelves and sing ‘What a Friend We Have in Jesus.’ Then we all get into Dad’s private jet and fly to the Bahamas.” 


Friday happy dance

December 14, 2018


North Pole warns of pilot shortage as reindeer leave for commercial sleighlines

December 13, 2018

From The Duffel Blog.

SANTA’S WORKSHOP — The North Pole is in the midst of a readiness crisis as it struggles to fill its pilot ranks with qualified reindeer, who are leaving the service in record numbers to work at commercial sleighlines, sources confirmed today.

Santa Claus claims he has only 75 percent of the deerpower he needs to deliver presents this year, especially in crucial heavy lift squadrons.

“This is truly alarming. There is no way I’ll be able to deliver presents to all the good girls and boys, let alone coal to all the naughty ones,” said Claus. “The reindeer we do have are being worked to the antler, flying three or four gumdrop sorties a day.”


Santa is offering hefty incentive bonuses to keep reindeer from leaving for more lucrative jobs at commercial sleighlines like Hoofthansa. But even offers of triple helpings of moss and herbs are not enough to keep them in the service. Unless he can fix the retention problem soon, Santa says he might have to cancel Christmas across large swaths of North and South America.

“We’re trying to do more with less, but the fact is that’s impossible,” said Lt. Col. Rudolph, commander of Red Squadron. “With this Op Tempo, my guys already refuse to fly over Detroit and Chicago. It’s just too dangerous.”

The average reindeer costs about $1 million and takes 3 years to train, according to North Pole figures. The North Pole needs to keep those ruminants in its ranks past their initial commitment to maximize return on its investment.

“Not only are large numbers of reindeer getting out, our best reindeer are getting out,” said Rudolph. “Donner and Blitzen dropped papers last week, and Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen all took private jobs at Doeing testing unmanned sleighs.”

While Claus increasingly has been filling the ranks with unmanned aerial sleighs (UASs), turnover among the elves who pilot them has also been an issue.

“These UAS pilots are always on the clock, delivering presents to hundreds of houses an hour from thousands of miles away,” he said. “Nobody can handle that much Christmas cheer. Nobody.”


Wednesday weirdness

December 12, 2018


O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree

December 11, 2018


Happy birthday, Hector

December 11, 2018

It’s the birthday of French composer Hector Berlioz (1803-1869), whose oratorio L’enfance du Christ received its premiere in Paris on December 10, 1854. It tells the story of Mary and Joseph escaping to Egypt after Herod orders the massacre of the innocents. This beautiful chorus, “L’adieu des bergers,” depicts the shepherds at Bethlehem bidding farewell to the holy family as they depart Judea for Egypt.


Advertisements from long, long ago — holiday edition

December 10, 2018


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