December 16, 2016: Friday ONAIRprep

***DAILY DOSE OF WEIRD NEWS – FREE TO AIR! (Need to receive this earlier than when it’s posted? Get FTP access and receive a fully-produced version FREE with a customized tag specifically for your station or show! Contact me with your ONAIRprep username for details!)

AND NOW… ON WITH THE SHOW!

PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION: 20161215

WELCOME TO THE SHOW!

The Post Office has asked us to remind you to wrap your packages really tight. They hate to throw them and not have a perfect spiral.

BIBLE VERSE OF THE DAY

An angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”—Matthew 1:20-21

1 Timothy 6:6 = But godliness with contentment is great gain.

HEARTLIGHT DAILY VERSE, PRAYER & THOUGHT

(From VerseOfTheDay.com)

The angel said to [Mary], “Do not be afraid, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever.” — Luke 1:30-33

Thought: Jesus is identified by many names stated or implied in the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John). Notice how Jesus is identified in just this one passage: child, son, Jesus, great, Son of the Most High, King, son of David, and leader of Israel (Jacob). Jesus exhausts all descriptions, and yet chose to be limited to imperfect descriptions by becoming human. But this flood of names and descriptions helps us find Jesus as our Savior in every trial and blessing of life. Jesus is Savior for all seasons.

Prayer: Holy and Almighty Father, I thank you for all the ways Jesus is described and all the names he is given. They help me see the breadth of his nature and the depth of his character. Please bless me that I may always find a dimension of Jesus’ ministry or a name or description of Jesus to help sustain me, when I walk through the shadows of doubt caused by the evil one. Help me, O Father, to see Jesus and not my preoccupations and biases so that when he comes again, I will know him, and he me. Through the glorious name of the Savior I pray. Amen.

The Thoughts and Prayers for Today’s Verse are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.

BIRTHDAY VERSE” OF THE DAY (The chapter and verse corresponds to the month and the day!)

Romans 12:16 NIV = Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

TODAY IS FRIDAY – DECEMBER 16, 2016

(NOTE: Some holidays may be duplicated due to various calendars reporting conflicting dates)
WEIRD, WACKY, STRANGE, ZANY, ODD, BIZARRE, QUIRKY, UNUSUAL HOLIDAYS!
THERE ARE ONLY
09 SHOPPING DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS.

Today is NATIONAL CHOCOLATE COVERED ANYTHING DAY. ***Celebrating is mandatory!

Today is NATIONAL EAT WHAT YOU WANT DAY.  ***Which goes right along with “Chocolate Covered Anything Day.”

STUPID TOY DAY. A day to think back to the dumbest toy you ever received as a gift. ***What was the lamest toy you ever had as a kid?  Mine was those cardboard punch-out characters that had little flaps in the back to help them stand up.  What kind of action figures are those?!?!  A slight draft and your entire story line of how “paper super-hero-guy is rescuing paper damsel-in-distress” is blown way – literally.

Today is BARBIE AND BARNEY BACKLASH DAY, the one day each year when Mom & Dad can tell the kids that Barbie and Barney don’t exist. (audio clip)

TODAY IS ALSO…
National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day
Link (Friday of second full week)
Underdog Day (3rd Friday)
Zionism Day

COMING UP NEXT (Just a list, we are not endorsing the holidays posted below.)

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 17

Clean Air Day
National Re-gifting Day (3d Thursday)
Link
Wright Brothers Day

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 18

Answer The Telephone Like Buddy The Elf Day Link
Arabic Language Day Link
Give A Wine Club Day
 Link
International Migrants Day

MONDAY, DECEMBER 19

(None Today)

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 20

International Human Solidarity Day
Games Day
Link
Mudd Day
National Sangria Day 
Link
Poet Laureat Day

World Day of Prayer and Action for Children Link

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 21

Ann & Samantha Day  Link
Celebrate Short Fiction Day
Crossword Puzzle Day
Forefathers Day
Humbug Day
International Dalek Remembrance Day
Link
National Flashlight Day (Shortest Day of The Year)
National Homeless Persons’ Remembrance Day
Link
Phileas Fogg Win A Wager Day
Short Girl Appreciation Day (Shortest day of the year)
World Peace Day/Winter Solstice
Winter (Winter Solstice) 5:44 AM EST
Yalda
Yule

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 22

(None today)

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 23

Human Light Celebration

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 24

Chanukah (12/24-1/1)
Christmas Eve
Egg Nog Day Link

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 25

‘Phabet Day or No “L” Day
Christmas
Christmas Pudding Day Link

MONDAY, DECEMBER 26

Boxing Day (Canada)
National Candy Cane Day  Link
National Thank-you Note Day
National Whiner’s Day

ON THIS DAY

1809: Napoleon Bonaparte was divorced from the Empress Josephine by an act of the French Senate.

1884: W.H. Fruen of Minneapolis patented the liquid-dispensing vending machine.

1973: O.J. Simpson became the first NFL back to rush 2,000 yards in a season.

1976: History’s oldest goose, George, died in Lancashire, England, at age 49, some 24 years older than the average old goose. George was owned by Mrs. Florence Hull.

1978: Kenny Rogers hit #1 on the Billboard singles chart with “The Gambler.”

1979: In his last regular season game, quarterback Roger Staubach led the Dallas Cowboys to overcome a 13-point deficit and defeat Washington in the final five minutes of the game.

1980: Colonel Harland Sanders died at 90. He founded Kentucky Fried Chicken at age 66, and sold it four years later for $2-million.

1985: Actor Sylvester Stallone married actress Brigitte Nielsen, while the couple was filming the movie Cobra.

1995: A Fort Worth, Texas, bank robber was arrested as he left the bank, which was next door to a police station. The bandit had tipped his hand when he stood patiently in line several minutes at a teller’s window wearing a ski mask.

1998: Kevin Cole of Carlsbad, New Mexico, set a world record by blowing seven inches of spaghetti out of his nose. The previous Guinness spaghetti nose-blowing record was five inches. ***His parents must be so proud.

2002: Canada ratified the Kyoto Protocol, the 1997 treaty on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

2003: A Florida man was arrested in Orlando for driving a stolen car to a police station to claim personal property. When asked to provide identification, Ronald A. Mahner showed his driver’s license. A routine check showed the license was revoked for life and the car had been stolen four days earlier — the day Mahner was released from prison after serving time for drunk-driving, car theft and driving while suspended.

2006: A nervous grandmother mistakenly put her 1-month-old grandson through an X-ray machine at Los Angeles International Airport. A startled security worker noticed the shape of a child on the monitor and immediately pulled him out. Doctors at a local hospital said he did not receive a dangerous dose of radiation.

TODAY IN CHRISTIAN HISTORY

345: Eusebius (not to be confused with historian Eusebius of Caesarea) becomes bishop of Vercelli, Italy. After refusing to sign the condemnation of Athanasius at the Council of Milan, he was exiled. But he was pardoned by Julian the Apostate and led the movement to restore the Nicene Creed—and thus orthodoxy—to the empire.

1714: Revivalist and evangelist George Whitefield, the best-known figure of the American Great Awakening, is born in Gloucester, England.

1811: A massive earthquake rocks the central US. Many people believe it foretells the end of the world, and black slaves rejoice aloud that now their owners are “going to get it.”

1870: An African American, Bishop Paine, organizes the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church.

1904: Sundar Singh burns a Bible in a rage at Christians whom he somehow blames for his inner misery which stems in part from his loss of his beloved mother. A few days later Sundar was miraculously transformed by the revelation of Christ to him and becomes and apostle to India, Tibet, and the world.

HOLLYWOOD, SPORTS AND CELEBRITY FIGURE BIRTHDAYS

  • Actor (“Law & Order”, “The Cleaner”, Miss Congeniality) Benjamin Bratt, 53
  • TV news journalist (“60 Minutes”) Lesley Stahl, 75
  • actress Liv Ullmann 77

BEE-BOP BIRTHDAYS

(Music Artist Birthdays From SongFacts.com)

1770 : Ludwig van Beethoven

1882 : Zoltan Kodaly

1899 : Noël Coward

1943 : Tony Hicks (The Hollies)

1946 : Benny Andersson (ABBA)

1949 : Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top)

1968 : Christopher Thorn (Blind Melon)

1971 : Michael McCary (Boyz II Men)

1979 : Flo-Rida

SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE

Is it okay to write “Merry ‘X’mas,” or does that slap Jesus in the face when it comes to his birthday celebrations? 

Xmas may be a much maligned term for Christmas that brings to mind commercialism and crassness, but in reality, this is an ancient term with lots of tradition.  The word “Christmas” means “Mass of Christ,” later shortened to “Christ-Mass.” The even shorter form “Xmas” – first used in Europe in the 1500s – The X in Xmas is a descendant of the Greek equivalent of “Ch,” as in Christos (which means Christ)., therefore “X-Mass.”  The letter X has stood for Christ since at least A.D. 1100 and the term Xmas was first cited in 1551. In fact, the scholarly abbreviation for Christianity is Xianity.

CHRISTIAN ARTIST NEWS

This is just a tiny sample of the 5-6 pages of material you could be receiving three days a week from ChristianRadioShowPrepServices.com!

Jonny Diaz is making sure the guys on tour stay in shape. Jonny and his wife run a fitness gym in Nashville. Right now he’s out with Building 429 and front man Jason Roy says Jonny is a tough task master. He posted a rundown of one of the band’s workouts and added: kudos to Jonny Diaz for the near-death experience. 

https://twitter.com/jasonroy429/status/808339125392773120/photo/1

 

The Newsboys are planning something special for their spring Love Riot Tour. They announced this week that their concerts will include Rivals, a live theatrical performance of God’s Not Dead, each night during the tour.

 

Selah had some extra help in their weight loss efforts over the weekend. The trio is currently on their Rose of Bethlehem Christmas tour and catering for the tour was in what they described as the creepy basement of a high school, six flights of stairs below the concert venue. Group member Allen Smith posted a video as he made the treck from catering to their dressing rooms. 

http://moby.to/jzpowq

 

Worship leaders Shane and Shane reported a live reindeer sighting over the weekend. The Shane’s were performing at the Magnolia Silos, owned by Chip and Joanna Gaines in Waco, Texas, when they spotted the reindeer. They posted: Pretty sure it’s either Dancer or Dasher. Hard to say, though.

 

Jamie Grace admitted over weekend: sometimes I say things out loud that make perfect sense in my head. She was responding to a listeners confusion from earlier when Jamie had announced: “I lost my comb, do you think I can part my hair with scissors?”

 

Casting Crowns Megan Garrett may want to change shoes. She posted: Had the shoe toots today at church. So awkward walking to my seat during the quietness of prayer time, shoe loudly tooting with every step.

 

Andrew Thompson is currently a background singer and dancer for Mandisa. However, it isn’t his first time onstage. Mandisa says he actually began his career as the Oscar Mayer Weiner kid! She shared a video of Andrew performing at just three years old.

http://youtu.be/3r6rfgBJNJk

 

Switchfoot shared why they sing. Front man Jon Foreman posted: We sing because we’re alive. We sing because we’re broken. We sing because we refuse to believe that hatred is stronger than love. We sing because melodies begin where words fail. We sing because the wound is where the light shines through.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BN40m7fgfk7/

 

The latest edition of Bus Invaders features the band Skillet. The Digital Tour Bus invaded the Skillet bus this fall for episode 1072 of their feature. Get an inside look at Skillets tour bus by clicking on the link at christianartistnews.info

http://bit.ly/2gf3Dhw

 

NeedToBreathe members Josh Lovelace recently answered questions online. Here are a few of his answers:

Q: Can you pick up any instrument and play it?

A: Music is not only what I do for a living but it’s a hobby too. Love trying new 

Q: what is your hair care routine like

A: Wake up. Look in mirror. Shrug shoulders. Add hairspray. 

Q: what’s the best part about having a newborn daughter?

A: So far, she doesn’t talk back. 

Q: Who’s the best athlete in the band?

A: Depends on the sport/activity. But I’m the best athlete at NBA2K on Xbox. 

Q: if you could only play ONE song for all of your future concerts- which one would you choose?

A: Brother 

Q: what is one instrument you wish you could add to your band?

A: I’ve always wanted to play fiddle. Any teachers out there?!

NEWS KICKERS

(No news on the weekends. As on ONAIRprep subscriber, you can get a fully-produced, customized version of the Daily Dose of Weird News FREE with a station or show specific tag! Email darren@onairprep.com for details!)

NEW NEWS KICKERS…

Just in time for the holidays, KFC has released a fried chicken scented candle.  ***Just be careful you don’t burn your hands or tongue because it’s so finger licking good!

U.S. life expectancy dropped by a little more than a month last year from 2014, to 78.8 years, according to a report from the National Center for Health Statistics. ***Only a month?  I’d swear I lost a good six or seven years the past few months just dealing with news of the election.

A California college professor who told her students that Donald Trump’s election was an “act of terrorism” has gone into hiding after she received multiple death threats.  ***So we’re no longer hearing from a loudmouth liberal college professor?  Hey look, he’s already making America great again.

The Hallmark Channel is coming under fire for having mostly white actors as the stars of their Christmas movies. ***Even more appalling is the fact that people still watch the Hallmark Channel.

Here’s another sign America is completely bonkers.  In Bangor Maine, a man who changed his legal name to Phelan MoonSong is celebrating a victory – the right to wear horns on his head in his new driver’s license photo. He says he is a Pagan Priest and wears the horns for religious reasons. He wrote on Facebook: “I won. Picture with horns allowed and being retaken.” It’s not the first time. Other so-called “pastafarians” have won the right to wear metal colanders on their heads in DMV photos. The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators says religious headgear cannot obstruct the person’s face in a license photo. ***I think I might have to start wearing metal on my head – just to keep whatever is spreading from getting into my brain.

The owners of a New Hampshire nativity scene have a message for whoever stole Mary from their yard last week. A handwritten, cardboard sign next to the nativity (in Manchester) reads: “Please help! Mary Missing, Joseph Doesn’t Want to be a Single Dad!” The homeowner says she’s not looking to punish whoever took Mary; she simply wants her back.  ***I hope the thieves aren’t Catholic.  Can you imagine how many “Hail Marys” they’d have to say after stealing Mary?

The city of Knightstown, Indiana, removed the lighted cross from the top of their town Christmas tree, rather than rack up a bunch of legal costs, after the ACLU threatened to sue. ***It’s best to always check in with the ACLU before putting up your Christmas decorations.  Their phone number is 1-800-BAH-HUMBUG.

NEWS KICKER EVERGREENS…

According to a study, December is a particularly deadly month for heart attacks.  *** So this could be the year you won’t have to worry about buying everybody CHRISTMAS PRESENTS…whew!

62% of teens surveyed want smartphones for Christmas. The other 38% want world peace. ***Just kidding, they want an PS4.

Are you a morning person or a night person? According to mic.com, a finding shows the reason for this may go far beyond personal preference, and in fact, may be linked to genetics. Researchers found different fruit flies emerged from their pupal case, or “woke up,” at different times of the day. The study authors then found they could replicate the behavior of the late risers through selective breeding, indicating a link between sleep behaviors and genetics.  ***Because obviously all humans live like flies and emerge from pupas.  Do scientist just assume all humans are Jeff Goldblum?

Lasers beamed from space have discovered that there are massive flowing lakes of water underneath all that ice in Antarctica. ***Wait a minute – they have giant laser beams aimed at the South Pole?  And they’re blaming global warming for melting glaciers?!?!

A national poll indicates four in ten Americans say they are willing to give up some civil liberties to fight terrorism.  ***I say we reinstate the draft and toss those people into the army first.

WONDER WOMAN (This feature will be disappearing in 2017)

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD TODAY’S EPISODE… “Weeks In a Light Year”

DAILY COMEDY CLIP (This feature will be disappearing in 2017)

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD TODAY’S EPISODE… Bob Smiley, “Mother in Law”

AS THE JUNGLE TURNS – WEEKDAY VERSION

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD FRIDAY’S EPISODE

OPEN: And now, FancyMonkey.com, (Show Name), and (Station Call Letters) bring you As the Jungle Turns! When last we left the jungle, Millard the Monkey, feeling defeated because he could never come up with a way to beat Steve Mozart, no matter how hard he tried, walked sadly back to his tree-house. But when he opened the door, he found an intruder rifling through this filing cabinets… it was Steve Mozart!


CLOSE: Tune in again next time, as FancyMonkey.com, (Show Name), and (Station Call Letters) bring you another inspiringly inspiring inspirational inspiration in the never-ending deep-jungle soap-opera saga that is As the Jungle Turns!

AS THE JUNGLE TURNS – SATURDAY/SUNDAY VERSION (This feature will be disappearing in 2017)

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE EPISODE FOR THE WEEKEND OF DECEMBER 17/18

OPEN: And now, FancyMonkey.com, (Show Name), and (Station Call Letters) bring you As the Jungle Turns! When last we left the jungle, all of the animals found out the source of the giant footprints… there were from a giant gorilla! Somehow, all of the animals were able to run away and hide from the gorilla in a giant, scary cave… and now Cheetah Bonita is thinking the gorilla might not be so mean.

CLOSE: Here we go again! Will Millard be able to escape the gorilla’s grip? Will the gorilla try and eat the other animals too? Find out next time, As the Jungle Turns!

***You may simulcast “As the Jungle Turns” on the Internet stream of your live broadcast only. Any other Internet use of “As the Jungle Turns” in whole or part including podcasting of your live broadcast is a violation of copyright law. Thank you for your cooperation on this vitally important issue. If you have any questions, please e-mail us and ask about “Jungle Jam & Friends the Radio Show” usage.

MOMENT OF DUH

Tree climbing ends up as a Moment of Duh!

A 14-year-old boy in Connecticut climbed a rope tied to a tree branch 25 feet from the ground, lost his grip, fell and became injured. So now his family is suing the town! Why? Apparently for not knowing their son was going to do this and therefore for not having cut down the branch ahead of time.

TOP TEN

TOP TEN REASONS FOR KEEPING CHRISTMAS ALIVE

10.  Without Christmas, the candied fruit market would collapse!

9.  Without Christmas, our slow, uneventful lives would have no stress whatsoever!

8.  Without Christmas, barking dogs wouldn’t have a music career!

7.  Without Christmas, Santa would only be a really weird fat guy with poor fashion sense!

6.  Without Christmas, there would be no Christmas bonuses!

5.  Without Christmas, you’d have to waste money buying all your own underwear and socks!

4.  Without Christmas, your cat would never know the joy of coughing up tinsel!

3.  Without Christmas, December would feel a lot like February!

2.  Without Christmas, Eggnog becomes just a disgusting beverage!

And the number one reason for keeping Christmas alive is:

1.  Without Christmas, there would BE no Easter! —That means there would also be: no hope, no forgiveness, no victory over the grave. If that’s the case, then the TRUE meaning of Christmas is certainly something worth celebrating!

THE FILES OF LAW & DISORDER

One of the Power Rangers foils a robbery in North Carolina!

FILE #1: In Durham, North Carolina, A four-year-old boy quickly changed into his Power Ranger costume and attacked when his family was held at gunpoint by an armed robber. Little Stevie Long sneaked out of the room while the robber was pointing a gun at his five-year-old sister Mary and mother Jennifer. Minutes later, he leapt back into the room dressed as a Mighty Morphin Power Ranger, waived a plastic sword and yelled, “Get away from my family.” Here’s the best part — IT WORKED! The robber and his accomplice, who was waiting outside the apartment, fled. They did take credit cards, jewelry, and cash but relatives said they abandoned plans to take Stevie’s mother to an ATM to withdraw money when they saw Stevie. Stevie said, “I scared the bad guys away.” On the other hand, Stevie’s aunt, Heather Evans, said a counselor had suggested Stevie needs to improve his distinction between fantasy and reality adding, “He fully believed he morphed.”

FILE #2: In Orlando, Florida, 18-year-old John DeWitt was fleeing from a security guard at the Orlando Ale House after the guard suspected he was about to burglarize the building.  John’s brief flight ended when he jumped into what he thought was a garbage can to hide in.  It wasn’t garbage at all. It was a huge drum of discarded restaurant grease.

FILE #3: A man in China thought he’d be pulling off the jewelry store heist of the century. In the middle of the day the crook walked into the store, went behind the counter and started dumping trays of diamonds into a bag. He was shocked when security personnel nabbed him. Why? Because just minutes before he’d drank a tea he was told would make him invisible.

STRANGE LAW: In Alabama, it’s illegal for a driver to be blindfolded while operating a vehicle.

THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON DRUGS

Today’s “Brain on Drugs” story is doubly dumb!

A Kansas man got a wire coat hanger stuck in his throat. Just that sentence right there bears repeating. A Kansas man got a wire coat hanger stuck in his throat. Now – what on earth was he doing with a coat hanger down his throat, you might ask?  Good question… but the answer is just as bizarre. He got the coat hanger stuck in his throat as he was trying to remove a balloon that he’d swallowed.  Yeah – he swallowed a balloon. I’ll pause yet again. It gets better… the balloon was filled with cocaine. Okay… so why is this doofus swallowing cocaine filled balloons? Well, get this. He says it was an accident. His excuse is that someone put the balloon in his drink at a party and he accidentally swallowed it.  What – the guy didn’t notice a large piece of rubber filled with white powder floating in his drink?  He expects us to believe that?  Even if you didn’t notice it in the drink, don’t you think your brain would think that something was up when the texture of what’s in your mouth suddenly changes from wet and wonderful to the taste of an old inner-tube?!? Anyway, the man needed emergency surgery to remove both the hangar as well as the balloon. Police say he could face possession charges. I guess they don’t believe him either.

PHONER PHUN

Today is STUPID TOY DAY. What was the lamest toy you ever had as a kid?

What’s one Christmas song that instantly gets you into The Spirit Of Christmas?

If you could only watch ONE Christmas movie this year, what would it be?

BIBLE BRAIN BUSTER!

QUESTION: How many years in total did Jacob work for Laban before he returned home?

ANSWER: 20 Years (Genesis 31:41)

QUESTION IMPOSSIBLE

QUESTION: Who was the first U.S. President to decorate an official White House Christmas tree?

ANSWER: Franklin Pierce

QUESTION: Who was the first actress to walk off the TV set of “This Is Your Life?”

ANSWER: In 1993 Actress Angie Dickinson became the first person in 500 shows to walk off the TV set of This Is Your Life. Angie said, “Not on your life!” 

TRUE OR FALSE

Pay attention! If our next player doesn’t answer all ten T/F questions correctly we start all over from question #1! First person to answer question #10 correctly is our winner!

1. Christmas trees are edible. (True. Many parts of pines, spruces, and firs can be eaten. The needles are a good source of vitamin C. Pine nuts, or pine cones, are also a good source of nutrition.)

2. Christmas trees are banned in Germany. (False. In fact, quite the opposite. Christmas trees are known to have been popular in Germany as far back as the sixteenth century. In England, they became popular after Queen Victoria’s husband Albert, who came from Germany, made a tree part of the celebrations at Windsor Castle. In the United States, the earliest known mention of a Christmas tree is in the diary of a German who settled in Pennsylvania.)

3. Christmas is placed on December 25th in order to replace a pagan festival – much like Halloween was. (True. Christmas was once a moveable feast celebrated at many different times during the year. The choice of December 25, was made by Pope Julius I, in the 4th century A.D., because this coincided with the pagan rituals of Winter Solstice, or Return of the Sun. The intent was to replace the pagan celebration with the Christian one.)

4. Christmas trees with full branches have to be shaped by hand as they grow – they are not found in nature. (True. Cultured Christmas trees must be shaped as they grow to produce fuller foliage. To slow the upward growth and to encourage branching, they are hand-clipped in each spring. Trees grown in the wild have sparser branches, and are known in the industry as “Charlie Brown” trees.)

5. The tradition of burning a Yule Log is to ward off evil spirits. (False. During the ancient 12-day Christmas celebration, the log burned was called the “Yule log.” Sometimes a piece of the Yule log would be kept to kindle the fire the following winter, to ensure that the good luck carried on from year to year. The tradition was handed down from the Druids.)

6. During the Christmas buying season, all the credits cards combined are used an average of 5,340 times every minute in the United States. (False – that statistic is just for Visa cards alone!)

7. During the Christmas/Hanukkah season, approximately half a billion candy canes will be made. (False – it’s more than three times that many! More than 1.76 billion candy canes will be made.)

8. The Christmas shopping season begins so early because of our military. (True. During World War II it was necessary for Americans to mail Christmas gifts early for the troops in Europe to receive them in time. Merchants joined in the effort to remind the public to shop and mail early and the protracted shopping season was born.)

9. Electric Christmas tree lights were first used in 1895. (True – the idea for using electric Christmas lights came from an American, Ralph E. Morris. The new lights proved safer than the traditional candles.)

10. For every real Christmas tree harvested, a seedling is planted in its place. (False – two or three seedlings are planted in place of the one that is harvested. You can have a Christmas tree and still be “green!”)

TABLOID MATCH GAME

You have to match the blank in the tabloid headline with the word or phrase that has been removed!

U.S CONFIRMS THE EXISTENCE OF __________ (MERMAIDS)

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) confirmed that mermaids exist and that they are growing in numbers.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reportedly published a post on their “Ocean Facts” newsfeed titled “Conclusive Evidence of  the Existence of Aquatic Humanoids.”

The agency went on to say that “magic females”, who first appeared in cave paintings in the late Paleolithic (Stone Age) period some 30,000 years ag, when modern humans began to sail the seas, do exist and are living in all the oceans of the world.

Animal Planet television recently aired a special called “Mermaids: The Body Found,” that also proved the existence of mermaids.

National Ocean Service spokeswoman Sandy Nixon told WWN that “at least 65 mermaid researches and experts gathered on the island of Tahiti to examine all the known evidence and have concluded, emphatically, that  half human half-fish hybrids are living peacefully among us.

THE WAY TOO EARLY IN THE MORNING TO UNDERSTAND THE PUNCHLINE EVEN AFTER TWO CUPS OF COFFEE JOKE OF THE DAY 

JOKE #1

A Jewish lady named Mrs. Rosenberg was stranded late one night at a fashionable resort – one that did not admit Jews.

The desk clerk looked down at his book and said, “Sorry, no room.  The hotel is full.”

The Jewish lady said, “But your sign says that you have vacancies.”

The desk clerk stammered and then said curtly, “You know that we do not admit Jews.  Now if you will try the other side of town…”

Mrs. Rosenberg stiffened noticeable and said, “I’ll have you know I converted to Christianity.”

The desk clerk said, “Oh, yeah, let me give you a little test.  How was Jesus born?”

Mrs. Rosenberg replied, “He was born to a virgin named Mary in a little town called Bethlehem.”

“Very good,” replied the hotel clerk.  “Tell me more.”

Mrs. Rosenberg replied, “He was born in a manger.”

“That’s right,” said the hotel clerk.  “And why was he born in a manger?”

Mrs. Rosenberg said loudly, “Because a jerk like you in the hotel wouldn’t give a Jewish lady a room for the night!”

JOKE #2

A waiter brings the customer the steak he ordered with his thumb on the Steak.

“Are you crazy?” yelled the customer, “Your hand’s on my steak!”

“What?” answers the waiter, “You want it to fall on the floor again?

JOKE #3

A Scout Master was teaching his boy scouts about survival in the desert.

“What are the three most important things you should bring with you in case you get lost in the desert?” he asked.

Several hands went up, and many important things were suggested such as food, matches, etc. Then one little boy in the back eagerly raised his hand.

“Yes Timmy, what are the three most important things you would bring with you?” asked the Scout Master.

Timmy replied: “A compass, a canteen of water, and a deck of cards.”

“Why’s that Timmy?”

“Well,” answered Timmy, “the compass is to find the right direction, the water is to prevent dehydration…”

“And what about the deck of cards?” asked the Scout Master impatiently.

“Well, Sir, as soon as you start playing Solitaire, someone is bound to come up behind you and say, “Put that red nine on top of that black ten!”

USELESS FACTS

Dieting can cause bad breath since less saliva is produced which leads to dry mouth.  ***Kind of ironic, seeing as you are dieting to get people to pay more attention to you.

The brain of an ant has about 250,000 brain cells.  ***Which is only slightly less than a TV commentator on MSNBC.

FEATURED FUNNIES

A DIETER’S CHRISTMAS

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all around my hips

Were Fanny May candies that sneaked past my lips.

Fudge brownies were stored in the freezer with care

In hopes that my thighs would forget they were there.

While Mama in her girdle and I in chin straps

Had just settled down to sugar-borne naps.

When out in the pantry there arose such a clatter

I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the kitchen I flew like a flash

Tore open the icebox then threw up the sash.

The marshmallow look of the new-fallen snow

Sent thoughts of a binge to my body below.

When what to my wandering eyes should appear

A marzipan Santa with eight chocolate reindeer!

That huge chunk of candy so luscious and slick

I knew in a second that I’d wind up sick.

The sweet-coated Santa, those sugared reindeer

I closed my eyes tightly but still I could hear;

On Pritzker, on Stillman, on weak one, on TOPS

A Weight Watcher dropout form sugar detox.

From the top of the scales to the top of the hall

Now dash away pounds now dash away all.

Dressed up in Lane Bryant from my head to nightdress

My clothes were all bulging from too much excess.

My droll little mouth and my round little belly

They shook when I laughed like a bowl full of jelly.

I spoke not a word but went straight to my work

Ate all of the candy then turned with a jerk.

And laying a finger beside my heartburn

I gave a quick nod toward the bedroom I turned.

I eased into bed, to the heavens I cry

If temptation’s removed I’ll get thin by and by.

And I mumbled again as I turned in for the night

In the morning I’ll starve… ’till I take that first bite!

IT MUST BE TRUE BECAUSE I HEARD IT ON THE RADIO!

D” IS FOR “DARREN”

You know the old children’s game (excellent for long car trips) where you think of a name, place, and item for sale beginning with the same letter: “P my name is Paul, and I come from Poughkeepsie and I sell potatoes.” Turns out there may be more to it than we thought: People like their names so much that they unconsciously opt for things that begin with their initials. In what they call “moniker maladies,” a pair of researchers find that most students want As, but those whose names begin C or D have lower grade point averages than students whose names begin with A and B.  ***I’d say this study is DUMB, but I DID get a lot of D’S in school.  DANG IT!

INSPIRATIONAL INSPIRATION

A MILITARY FAMILY’S FIRST CHRISTMAS

by Gina Toro

It was December 1986; and after being apart for six months (John in Fort Bragg and me in Korea) it was our first Christmas together. Every thing was good! My boys (from a previous marriage), John and me, we had just bought our first home, but best of all; we were expecting our first child.

Because we were just starting, our financial situation did not allow us more than the bare essentials: 2 beds, 2 pots, 4 plates, 4 cups and 4 forks. The only thing that was missing was a Christmas tree. The Christmas tree is to me, the main sign of this wonderful season, we MUST have one, I do not recall how we finally got one, but I do know that the good old faithful “Thrift Shop” was mention.

Not long after we moved into our new home, we found a gift wrapped packaged on our door step, it was from our realtor, the package felt a little warm, we figured it was from the sun, thought nothing of it an placed it under our beautiful non-themed Christmas tree. Throughout the month of December, it was the only thing we had there. As time went by, our situation did not improved much. I could tell John was concern about what to get for the boys, after all, it was the first Christmas with “Dad”, then, I discovered Big Lots, AHA! 2 nice and very good-looking hard plastic bikes. And so, John was introduced to the wonderful tradition of “some assembly required”.

Christmas day, 5 am. We were awaken by the screams of two happy boys announcing that “Santa ate all the cookies and drank the egg nog, and he believed our promises to be good from now on, because he left really nice bikes for us”, but now, we had to go and open our present, the solitary package that has been there all this time. “Of course” we said, and run to the living room behind this little people, eager to see what Mom and Dad got. We tore up the paper in excitement, and what we found, has been the “First Christmas Story” of our family ever since, you see, our realtor’s wife was a baker, and she had baked a special German bread for us, which by now was as hard as a rock. We laugh, until tears came out of our eyes, as we tried to explain to our kids what that strange looking rock was for.

DRIVE TIME DEVOTIONAL

ENTERTAIN ME

Congratulations! You’re a member of the generation with the most entertainment opportunities.

How do I entertain thee? Let me count the ways: TV. Movies. Internet. Music. Concerts. Computer games. Sports participation. Sports viewing/listening. Radio. Virtual reality. Amusement parks . . . yawn . . .

Do you feel over-entertained?

Probably not. When you grow up in the middle of an entertainment-obsessed society (which you have), the norm is all you know.

In 1 Corinthians 3, Paul reminded the believers who they were and that they needed to be careful about how they built on their lives. He said, “If any man builds on this foundation [Jesus Christ] using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. . . . Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?” (vv.12-13,16).

Entertainment can be “straw.” It robs you of opportunities to touch lives and uses up precious time for real service and ministry.

Now, don’t grab the remote. I’m not saying that all entertainment is bad (we still want you listening to the show after all)!  Some entertainment helps relax the mind and encourage the heart. You may be able to attend a game or go to a concert with a friend as a bridge to reach them for Christ.

I’m talking about moderation. A little entertainment is fine. Taking in too much leads to lack of passion for Christ.  Even “good” entertainment (Christian concerts, CDs, videos) can become an idol that snatches your time and passion from Christ.

Yes, you’re a part of an entertainment-driven society. But you can turn it off and turn to Christ for your ultimate joy and satisfaction. Be choosy and stingy in your entertainment selections. Focus your attention on Christ.

LEFTOVERS

BEARY COOL STORY

A child has been found three days after being missing – in a mother bear’s den!

A mother bear appears to have cared for a missing 16-month-old Iranian toddler who was found safe and sound three days later in the animal’s den. The child’s parents, from a nomadic tribe, returned to their tent after working in the fields to find him missing. Three days later, a search party found the baby, who they said had probably been breast fed by a mother bear, in a den some six miles away from the nomadic settlement. A medical examination showed the baby was in good health.

LIFE… LIVE IT

TOP FIVE PET-FRIENDLY HOTELS

Travelling on the road this Christmas? Taking your pet with you? If so, what hotel will allow Fido or Fluffy to stay with you?

Petside.com has named The James Hotel of Chicago the No. 1 hotel destination when traveling with pets. The Windy City luxury hotel offers a host of amenities for pet owners and their furry friends, ranging from spa services to a gourmet pet menu from David Burke’s Primehouse Restaurant to in-room training sessions with an award-winning animal behaviorialist. Four other hotels across the country made the list. Here they are:

1. The James Hotel – Chicago, IL

2. The W Tuscany – New York, NY

3. The Hotel Monaco – Denver, CO

4. Bowen’s By The Bays – Hampton Bays, NY

5. Hyatt Regency Century Plaza – Los Angeles, CA

JUST FOR FUN

COMPUTER FUNGUS

As if worrying about computer viruses isn’t bad enough… now we have to worry about fungus eating our compact discs!

Is it possible that now we have another intruder among our high technology that we have to guard against? First it was computer viruses that are STILL a problem, and now it looks as if we have to worry about compact disc fungus! I know, it sounds like something that you’d treat with Gold Bond Medicated Foot Powder, but it’s a real fungus! Scientist, Victor Cardenes, discovered the fungus a few years ago when his friends in Central America told him about how their compact discs had stopped working and had developed an almost transparent look in some places. Apparently, the CD Fungus was eating through the supposedly indestructible CD! It had burrowed into the CD from the outer edge, then devoured the thin aluminum layer and some of the data-storing polycarbonate resin. Dr Cardenes said: “It completely destroys the aluminum. It leaves nothing behind.” Biologists at the council had never seen this fungus, but concluded that it belonged to a common species. ***MARLAR: Now, have a nice day.

FUN LIST

SIGNS YOU’RE HAVING A BAD HOLIDAY SEASON

  • All of the Christmas cards you receive are addressed to “Resident.”

  • You’re riding in a one-horse closed sleigh, and your wife keeps whining, “Oh what fun we’d be having if only this were an open sleigh!”

  • You’ve had more than one fist fight with a mall cop.

  • Every person you know gets you an industrial-sized bottle of Clearasil.

  • Two words: tinsel rash

MORE SHOW PREP STUFF…

SO IT’S A DATE?


This next one has to go in “The Promotions that Backfired Hall of Fame”. The Umbria Italian restaurant in Scotland, had what they thought was an ingenious idea to lure people in for dinner. The restaurant owners created over 300 handwritten notes, from a mysterious source, inviting people to a secret romantic rendezvous at the restaurant. They dropped notes through the doors of more than 300 homes that read: “Darling, missing you already. Could we get together soon at the new place in the village, for lunch or dinner? Love U XXX … Do not tell you-know-who.” And boy did people respond, but not the way they were hoping. The Umbria Italian restaurant was inundated with phone calls from suspicious wives and husbands. In fact, one married man actually having an affair says he is considering suing the restaurant for inadvertently exposing his adulterous relationship!  ***MARLAR: Oh yeah, I’m sure that’ll go over well with the judge. “But Judge, I didn’t want my wife to find out, so the restaurant owes me money!”

OTHER STUFF I WANT TO CRAM INTO TODAY’S PREP

Are you a fan of the adult coloring book trend? You are in good company. Prince William recently revealed that his wife, Princess Kate is a big fan of coloring. He made the comments while awarding one of Queen Elizabeth’s honors to illustrator Johanna Basford at Buckingham Palace. The coloring pastime has been known to relax and calm, quietly replacing the stress of digital screens that takes up so much of peoples’ lives. http://ti.me/2gVGbuK

What’s the best way to avoid the flu?  Glad you asked! We have all been told again and again that hand-washing is the top way to prevent the spread of germs. But while most people lather up their palms, turns out fingertips are the real scare zone. “they are most likely to come in contact with potentially contaminated surfaces and your face,” Says Neil Schachter, M.D., medical director of the respiratory care from wrist to tips on the front and back of your hands for at least 20 seconds, being careful to scrub between fingers and beneath nails. (Women’s Health)

Trying to watch you figure?  A study shows that if you eat slowly, you will eat less — and you will enjoy the meal more. Women consumed about 70 fewer calories when they were told to take their time eating a meal of pasta and sauce, compared to when they were instructed to eat it as quickly as possible. They also rated the meal as more pleasant when they ate slowly.

Whether you’re trying to write the great American novel or just a cleverly-worded e-mail to your boss, inspiration can fail. If you need a boost of creativity, take a walk. Or ride a bike. Or hit the gym. Exercise can help alleviate writer’s block and improve creativity, the London Telegraph reports of research from Leiden University in The Netherlands. Led by cognitive psychologist Lorenza Colzato, the team found that people who exercised at least four times a week were able to think more creatively than those who led a sedentary lifestyle. It seems that those who exercised regularly notably outperformed the couch potatoes on both tests. “We think that physical exercise trains your brain to become more flexible in finding creative solutions,” Colzato told The Telegraph.

Using your cash for life experiences, such as dinner with friends or a trip, is better than buying that pair of shoes you really don’t need. People who spent their money on experiences were more satisfied and happier in the long run, no matter how much they spent, says a San Francisco State University study. “We never get bored with memories like we do with material items,” says study author Ryan Howell, Ph.D. Of course, most experiences happen with friends or family, which helps you feel connected and engaged all keys to long term happiness.

AND I LEAVE YOU WITH THIS THOUGHT

Tonight’s TV movie is a remake of “It’s A Wonderful Life,” with Justin Bieber. The world finds out what it would be like if Justin was never born, and decides to keep it that way.

THE TICKET Movie Reviews with MARIE ASNER

Marie Asner has been reviewing films for over 30 years. Her outlets include radio, print and Internet. For more in-depth movie reviews of the following films, visit www.Tollbooth.org. Ratings from 1 (Low) to 5 (High).

DECEMBER 16, 2016 thru JANUARY 01, 2017…

 Why Him?—James Franco takes on the role of the son-in-law from Hades. Who would want him?  The daughter of Bryan Cranston, that’s who. The daughter is played by Zoey Deutch. Franco has lots of money, but acts and dresses like a scarecrow. “Why Him?” is rated R. No rating.

 

A Monster Calls—(now opening from an earlier date) A young boy (Lewis MacDougall) finds that his mother is quite ill.  He doesn’t know how to cope and it doesn’t help that his grandmother (Sigourney Weaver) is not a sympathetic person. What to do? Here comes a “monster” in the shape of a large tree (voice of Liam Neeson) to help the boy. “A Monster Calls” is rated PG. Rating of 3 and bring hanky. 

 

Manchester By The Sea—A story of grief, several times over, loss and trying to cope are all in this film that suits actor Casey Affleck fine. He plays Lee, who suddenly finds himself guardian to a teenage nephew when Lee’s brother (Kyle Chandler) and the boy’s father dies. What to do? Face up to life or keep trudging along. “Manchester By The Sea” is rated R. Rating of 3. Bring hanky.

 

Neruda—Luis Gnecco stars as the famed Spanish poet who finds his past membership in the early Communist party comes back to haunt him.  Also in the cast are Gael Garcia Bernal, Alfredo Castro and Mercedes Morau. “Neruda” is rated R. Subtitles. No rating.

 

Passengers—A science fiction film of trying to help humanity…in a big way. Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt star as two people, among many, who are traveling in deep sleep to another planet.  When something awakens the two, they realize something is very wrong and they have to help…and fight. “Passengers” is rated R. Rating of 2 for fans.

 

Sing—This animated film concerns a singing contest…with animals.  Yes, there is a mother pig (voice of Reese Witherspoon), the theater owner, a koala bear (voice of Matthew McConaughey) and a rockin’ porcupine (Scarlett Johansson). You can imagine what happens during the contest. Also lending their voices are Seth MacFarlane, Tori Kelly, Taron Egerton and Nick Kroll.  “Sing” is rated PG. Rating of 3 for fans.

 

(Opening moved ahead from an earlier date) The Space Between Us—On a colonization voyage to Mars, it is discovered that one of the female astronauts is pregnant.  This results in the first child, a boy, being born on Mars, but in that atmosphere, gravity, etc. Fast forward to teen years, and the kid (Asa Butterfield) knows about Earth and even has a girl friend, Britt Robertson (Skype) he communes with.  However, something happens and Asa ends up on Earth. “The Space Between Us” is rated PG 13. Rating of 2 for fans.

 

Gold—Try, just try to recognize Matthew McConaughey in the role of Kenny Wells who goes to Borneo to find gold. You read that right.  His girlfriend, Bryce Dallas Howard, faithfully follows him.  People will do just about anything to get rich in a hurry.  Also in the cast are Edgar Ramirez and Corey Stoll. “Gold” is rated R. Rating of 2 for fans.

 

Hidden Figures—This is an unusual title for a film and another might have better explained the film’s content.  It is about three black women who are top mathematicians and work to put the first space flights and astronauts into earth orbit and beyond. Prejudice is prevalent here. Stars include Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae. “Hidden Figures” is rated PG 13. Rating of 3.

 

Paterson—Adam Driver (“Star Wars”) is a bus driver whose name is Paterson and he lives in Paterson, N. J. The film concerns a week in his life and how he and his wife (Golshiften Farahani) handle problems. “Paterson” is rated R. No rating.

 

Jackie—Now opening from an earlier date, Natalie Portman stars as Jackie Kennedy in the few days before the funeral of President Kennedy. Portman takes the role and goes with it to bring you into that era of assassination of a  president and the aftermath in the country and his family. Also in the cast are Peter Sarsgaard and Billy Crudup. “Jackie” is rated R. Rating of 3 for fans. Bring hanky.

 

Live By Night—Ben Affleck stars and directs this movie about gangsters and their rise to the top in Boston.  Based on a Dennis Lehane novel and set in the 1920’s. There is back-stabbing, love and the rest of crimes included. Also starring in the film are Sienna Miller, Elle Fanning and Zoe Saldana. “Live By Night” is rated R. Rating of 2 for fans.

20th Century Women—Annette Bening shines in this film of three generations of women in the mid-1970’s and how they cope with changing times. The cast includes Elle Fanning (great work), and Greta Gerwig. Wonderful soundtrack, too.  “20th Century Women” is rated R for sexual content. Rating of 2.

 

A Kind Of Murder—Here is another adaptation of a Patricia Highsmith novel. The film stars Patrick Wilson and Jessica Biel who are not happy in their marriage. Along comes Eddie Marsan, whose wife has passed away and they become friends.  However, suspicion lurks here.  “A Kind Of Murder” is rated R. No rating.

 

Julieta—This is a Spanish language film directed by Pedro Almodovar. It concerns a mother’s (Emma Svarez)  search for a missing daughter. Also in the cast are Daniel Grao and Adriana Ugarte. “Julieta” is rated R. No rating.

 

Collateral Beauty—Will Smith plays a man who has suffered a tragedy in his life. His friends worry about him and decide to help, though in unconventional ways. Also in the cast are Helen Mirren and Edward Norton. “Collateral Beauty” is rated PG 13. Rating of 2 for fans.

 

Fences—The stars of this film, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, already have Tony’s for their roles in the Broadway version.  Now, Washington stars and directs this film that is set in the middle 1960’s and tells how working class African-Americans cope with problems. August Wilson wrote the play. “Fences” is rated R. Rating of 3 for fans.

 

The Founder—Ray Kroc made McDonalds a global name with unique marketing. However, the real founders were the McDonald brothers (played by Nick Offerman and John Carroll).  Kroc is played by Michael Keaton. This is a study in how to build a business, ruthless though it may be. “The Founder” is rated R. Rating of 2 for fans.

 

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story—Felicity Jones is the female lead in this “stand alone” story in the “Star Wars” saga. The story is about when the Death Star was being built and the Rebels were trying to get the plans. Also in the cast are Ben Mendelssohn and Riz Ahmed. Get your light sabers ready. “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” is rated PG 13. Rating of 3 for fans.

 

Assassins Creed—This film is yet another adaptation of a game board.  Here, Michael Fassbinder takes on the role of a man in the 15th century Aguilar) and at the same time, in this century (Callum). Those fighting outfits are reminiscent of “The Arrow.” Also in the cast are Marion Cotilliard and Jeremy Irons. “Assassins Creed” is rated R. Rating of 2 for fans.

 

Note: ”Patriots’s Day” and “Silence” are now set to open the middle of January, 2017.

 

Happy New Year 2017. – Marie Asner

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Darren Marlar credits all non-original material to the author whenever possible. All other material is original, used with permission, or author unknown. We welcome all comments, questions, and suggestions. Darren can be reached via his website at www.DarrenMarlar.com.