December 23, 2015: Wednesday ONAIRprep


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If I sound a little weird it’s because I haven’t had a chance to de-ice my nose.




When King Herod had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means the least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'” –Matthew 2:4-6


Psalm 30:5 = For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.


And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” — Luke 2:8-11





Command them [the rich] to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. — 1Timothy 6:18


Thought: Generosity is such a wonderful thing — not just to those on the receiving end, but also to those who are on the giving end. Those of us who can read this devotional on a computer via e-mail are rich by the world’s standards, so this passage on being generous with our blessings is especially applicable. Let this giving-time of the year be God’s opportunity to reawaken in us the need to be generous with our time, energy, and monetary blessings year round.


Prayer: O loving God, you have been so generous with me and blessed me with so many incredible blessings. Thank you! Stir in my heart an awareness of the joy of giving. Make my heart more like your own, generous and gracious. Break down the anxiety and miserliness that sometimes cloud my vision and keep me from sharing my time, money, energy, and love as I should. Thank you for showing me how to be generous in Jesus. I pray this in the name of Jesus, my Savior and Lord. Amen.


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




The chapter and verse corresponds to the month and the day!

Proverbs 12:23 NIV = A prudent man keeps his knowledge to himself, but the heart of fools blurts out folly.




(NOTE: Some holidays may be duplicated due to various calendars reporting conflicting dates)


Today is NATIONAL PFEFFERNUESSE DAY, a day to make those spicy cookies that are a Christmas tradition in Europe. Don’t forget to add the Puderzucker. They’re just not Pfeffernuesses without the Puderzucker.


Today is POPCORN POPPING DAY. ***MARLAR: Much easier to pronounce than Pfeffernuesses.


A VISIT FROM ST. NICHOLAS PUBLICATION DAY. On this day the poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” was first published by the Troy Sentinel in 1823. This Clement Moore poem is generally known as “The Night Before Christmas.” (audio clip)


And, today is FESTIVUS. According to Wikipedia, Festivus is a secular non-commercialized holiday celebrated on December 23. It was created by writer Dan O’Keefe in 1966 and introduced into popular culture by his son Daniel, a screenwriter for the TV show “Seinfeld”, as part of a comical storyline on the show on December 18, 1997 in the “The Strike”. The holiday’s celebration, as shown on “Seinfeld”, includes an unadorned aluminum “Festivus pole,” practices such as the “Airing of Grievances” and “Feats of Strength,” and the labeling of easily explainable events as “Festivus miracles”. Celebrants of the holiday sometimes refer to it as “Festivus for the rest of us.” Since then, the name “Festivus” has also begun to be used as a general term for any type of December party not affiliated with the season’s other events. (





Human Light Celebration





Christmas Eve

Egg Nog Day



A’Phabet Day (No “L” Day)


Christmas Pudding Day



Boxing Day

National Candy Cane Day

National Thank-You Note Day

National Whiner’s Day



Howdy Doody Day

Visit The Zoo Day



Holy Innocents Day

Endangered Species Act Day

National Chocolate Day

Pledge Of Allegiance Day



Tick Tock Day




Bacon Day

Falling Needles Day



First Nights

Leap Second Time Adjustment Day

Look On The Bride Side Day

Make Up Your Mind Day

New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Dishonor List

No Interruptions Day

Universal Hour of Peace Day

World Peace Meditation Day



Copyright Law Day

Commitment Day

Ellis Island Day

Euro Day

First Foot Day

Global Family Day

Mummer’s Parade

New Year’s Day

New Year’s Dishonor List Day

Polar Bear Plunge

Rose Bowl Game

Tournament of Roses Parade Day

World Peace Day

Z Day



55-MPH Speed Limit Day

Fruitcake Toss Day

Happy Mew Year For Cats Day

National Buffet Day

National Motivation and Inspiration Day

National Personal Trainer Awareness Day

National Science Fiction Day

Pet Travel and Safety Day



Drinking Straw Day

J.R.R. Tolkien Day

“Remember You Die” Day

National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day



Blue Monday (the most depression day of the year)

Dimpled Chad Day

Divorce Monday

National Weigh-In Day

Pop Music Chart Day

“Thank God It’s Monday” Day

Tom Thumb Day

Trivia Day

World Braille Day

World Hypnotism Day




1617: The first American penal colony was established by royal proclamation, providing for the exile of habitual criminals to the colony of Virginia.


1776: Thomas Paine wrote, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” ***MARLAR: Obviously referring to last-minute Christmas shopping.


1823: The Clement Moore poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” was published in New York by The Troy Sentinel. It began “Twas the night before Christmas….”


1873: The Women’s Temperance movement began in Hillsboro, Ohio, when ladies led by “Mother” Stewart marched into a saloon and ran off the customers. ***MARLAR: Which, oddly enough, doesn’t seem to indicate much temperance.


1928: The National Broadcasting Company set up a permanent, radio coast-to-coast network.


1942: Bob Hope agreed to entertain U.S. troops in Alaska to begin a Christmas tradition of taking shows to American forces that continued through six different decades.


1946: The University of Tennessee refused to play Duquesne University because the Duquesne basketball team included a black player.


1951: The TV western drama “Hopalong Cassidy” last aired on NBC and moved into syndication. It starred William Boyd as Hoppy and Edgar Buchanan as sidekick Red Connors. Boyd had purchased the TV rights to his feature films of the 1940s and made a fortune with the TV series.


1964: The Beach Boys appeared for the first time on “Shindig.” The group performed “Little Saint Nick,” “Dance,

Dance, Dance,” “Johnny B. Goode,” and “Monster Mash.”


1982: Actor Jack Webb, Dragnet’s Sergeant Joe Friday died of a heart attack at age 62. Flags flew at half-mast at police stations throughout Los Angeles.


1987: The movie “Good Morning Vietnam” starring Robin Williams opened at theaters throughout the U.S.


1994: Singer Wynonna gave birth to Elijah Judd Kelley.


1995: A federal bankruptcy judge in Los Angeles ruled that the rights to The Three Stooges belonged to the legal heirs of Larry Fine, Curly DeRita, and Moe Howard. Rights to the Stooges films had been tied up in court for years.


1998: Police in Leesburg, Virginia, caught a robber because during one burglary the suspect took a break and called to consult a psychic hot line. And he gave the psychic his real name. The call cost the homeowner $250, but it help police nab their man.




1569: Russian czar Ivan IV (“the Terrible”) has Philip, bishop of Moscow, killed in his prison cell after the bishop criticized Ivan’s policies and mass executions.


1648: Robert Barclay, the most prominent theologian in the early Quaker church, is born in Gordonstoun, Scotland. His Apology for the True Christian Religion (1676) is considered the classic exposition of Quaker principles.


1652: John Cotton, the most eminent minister in colonial Massachusetts and considered “the father of New England Congregationalism,” dies. When he fell ill earlier that year, his followers observed a comet (or “attendant to the stars”), which “continued all that while and until his buryal . . . then disappeared.”


1925: Edith Warner’s remains are laid to rest. She had been a missionary 33 years in Niger and explored areas never before seen by a white person.




  • actress (Planet of the Apes) Estella Warren, 37
  • actress (“All My Children”) Susan Lucci 66 (




(Music Artist Birthdays From

1689 : Joseph Bodin de Boismortier

1926 : Harold Dorman

1929 : Chet Baker

1935 : “Little” Esther Phillips

1939 : Johnny Kidd

1940 : Eugene Record (The Chi-Lites)

1940 : Jorma Kaukonen (Jefferson Airplane)

1941 : Tim Hardin

1943 : Derek Smalls (Spinal Tap)

1945 : Ron Bushy (Iron Butterfly)

1946 : Robbie Dupree

1949 : Adrian Belew

1949 : Ariel Bender (Mott the Hoople)

1949 : Luther Grosvenor (Spooky Tooth)

1951 : Johnny Contardo (Sha-Na-Na)

1958 : Dave Murray (Iron Maiden)

1959 : Victoria Williams

1966 : Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam)




Who made chewing gum popular?

One of the prime candidates is not somebody you would connect to chewing gum. You’ve probably heard of him, but only if you “remember the Alamo.” He was the commander of the Mexican troops who attacked and killed the Texans defending this San Antonio mission in 1836: General Santa Anna. Santa Anna won that battle but his country lost the war and the territory of Texas. The General ruled Mexico for a while and then, in exile, ended up in–of all places–Staten Island, New York. He brought with him his habit of chewing chicle, the sap of a Mexican tree. An inventor he befriended, Thomas Adams, was inspired by Santa Anna’s habit to turn chicle into a commercial product. Adams later added flavor to it and it became modern chewing gum, making one of America’s most reviled villains also an unsung hero of its popular culture.




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Need a little help with the Christmas atmosphere at your holiday gatherings. Don’t forget Paul Baloche’s fireplace video. The video features a flickering fire with Paul’s new Christmas CD Christmas Worship, Volume 2 playing in the background. The video gives nearly one hour of Christmas praise and worship music.


Just in time for the holiday, Tenth Avenue North has re-released 4 minutes and 37 seconds of Christmas joy. Check out their version of Deck the Halls recorded several years ago.


Matt Maher was recently having some fun. He released his best Elvis Presley Impression of Blue Christmas and even gives you a taste of how it compares to Elvis himself.


Matt Maher was recently having some fun. He released his best Elvis Presley Impression of Blue Christmas and even gives you a taste of how it compares to Elvis himself.


A little de ju vu for Aaron Shust over the weekend. He spent Sunday afternoon chilling in the house where he and his wife Sarah brought home their two oldest boys and spent six years of their life. Aaron says he still owns the house and it works out great when you happen to love your tenants.


Flu going around your house? Then you might be able to relate to the Christmas wish of Mercyme guitarist Mike Scheuchzer. He tweeted his picture looking totally worn out along with the words: It’d be awesome if no one else would throw up tonight. Mike said two of their four kids had been up, keeping he and his wife up half of the night.


Tenth Avenue North’s Ruben Juarez shared this week on twitter: What I’ve learned in 2015: the key to success is to eat breakfast, water your plants, and ride jet skis all day.




X-ray vision? New technology making it a reality for $300    photo
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — X-ray vision, a comic book fantasy for decades, is becoming a reality in a lab at MIT. A group of researchers led by Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Dina Katabi has developed software that uses variations in radio signals to recognize human silhouettes…


Venomous sea snake washes onto Southern California shore    photo
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (AP) — A dead yellow-bellied sea snake from southern Mexico has been discovered on Bolsa Chica beach, only the third one ever reported in California. Natural History Museum snake curator Greg Pauly says it’s only the seventh or eighth one ever seen north of Baja…
School makes teacher remove pink Hello Kitty Christmas tree
BANGOR, Maine (AP) — A Maine high school teacher is complaining that she was forced to remove a small pink Christmas tree festooned with the character Hello Kitty from her classroom. Catherine Gordon is a math teacher at Bangor High School. She wrote on her Facebook page that “everything…
‘Star Wars’ fan in NY legally changes name to Darth Vader
CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. (AP) — Darth Vader is a tattooed 43-year-old former Marine who owns a gym and is raising funds online for a bone marrow transplant. HASH(0x13e0be0) The former Eric Welch, of Canandaigua (kan-un-DAY’-gwuh), says he grew up in foster homes and didn’t have strong family ties to…
No dog-eat-dog politics: Siberian city backs cat for mayor    photo
BARNAUL, Russia (AP) — Tired of the dog-eat-dog politics in their Russian city, the residents of Barnaul say they want a cat to be their next mayor. The Siberian city of 650,000 people, which lies 2,900 kilometers (1,800 miles) east of Moscow, is to get a new mayor next week when a commission…
New 911 dispatcher helps couple deliver baby on Utah highway
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah couple welcomed their fourth child into the world on the side of Interstate 15, coached through delivery problems by a 911 operator. HASH(0x141df70) “I mean, we joke, ‘Oh you’re going to get a pregnancy call,'” Kalaher said, “and then it actually happens. You…
Fans of honest Colorado busboy raise over $3,800 for him
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) — A struggling Colorado busboy who returned $3,000 in cash that he found on the floor is getting rewarded with a big tip. As of Monday, people impressed with Johnny Duckworth’s honesty have raised more than $3,800 through He found the cash Tuesday at…
Error coin, a dime struck onto a nail, is headed to auction    photo
NEW YORK (AP) — Is it a dime? Or is it a nail? In probably one of the oddest items to come to the world of coin collecting, Dallas-based Heritage Auctions has announced the sale of a Roosevelt dime that was accidentally (or some say deliberately) struck onto a zinc nail. Yes, that piece of…
China names and shames 5 tourists over bad behavior
BEIJING (AP) — China’s tourism authority named and shamed another five tourists for bad behavior and says it is working with airlines on a possible flying ban. Those added to the list of “uncivilized behavior” by tourists include two women and a man who brawled after one woman’s seat was…
Lip balm containing pot ingredient thrown out at air base
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Officials say they had to discard hundreds of tubes of lip balm that were distributed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richards after they were found to contain trace amounts of THC, an active ingredient in marijuana. The base’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office…
California server finds $32,000 at eatery, returns to owner
FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Police in California say a waiter returned $32,000 in cash after some diners accidentally left it behind. HASH(0x13eb500) When the waiter found the money he told his boss, who called police. The money was ultimately returned to the family. The server was not identified….




Study: Some cardiac arrest victims ignore warning symptoms    photo
WASHINGTON (AP) — Sudden cardiac arrest may not always be so sudden: New research suggests a lot of people may ignore potentially life-saving warning signs hours, days, even a few weeks before they collapse. Cardiac arrest claims about 350,000 U.S. lives a year. It’s not a heart attack, but…


New advice on who qualifies for cholesterol-lowering statins
WASHINGTON (AP) — Considering a cholesterol-lowering statin to prevent a heart attack? Deciding who’s a good candidate requires calculating more than a simple cholesterol level. A government task force says the popular medications will be of most benefit to some people ages 40 to 75 whose…
In budget deal, health law foes took a different path    photo
WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican foes of President Barack Obama’s health care law may be able to get more by chipping away at it than trying to take the whole thing down at once. That’s one lesson of the budget deal passed by Congress and signed by the president last week. It delayed a widely…
FDA eases restrictions on blood donations from gay men    photo
WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation’s three-decade-old ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men was formally lifted Monday, but major restrictions will continue to limit who can give blood. The Food and Drug Administration said it is replacing the lifetime ban with a new policy barring…
New rules bringing kidneys to hardest-to-transplant patients    photo
WASHINGTON (AP) — A shake-up of the nation’s kidney transplant system means more organs are getting to patients once thought nearly impossible to match, according to early tracking of the new rules. It’s been a year since the United Network for Organ Sharing changed rules for the transplant…
Beijing’s 2nd smog red alert of the month goes into effect    photo
BEIJING (AP) — Beijing was enveloped in eye-watering, throat-irritating smog on Saturday as the second red alert of the month went into effect in the Chinese capital, forcing many cars off the roads and restricting factory production. A wave of smog settled over the notoriously polluted city…
San Francisco hospital suspends kidney donations after death
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — One of the nation’s most prominent medical centers has voluntarily suspended its living donor program for kidney transplants after a living donor died last month. The donor had provided a kidney to a recipient at University of California San Francisco Medical center in…
Flu season off to slower start this year; might be milder    photo
NEW YORK (AP) — This year’s flu season seems like old times. There’s not much flu going around so far — unlike the last three seasons when doctors’ offices were filled with patients before Christmas and illnesses peaked by late December. “It really is off to sort of a slow start”…
Report: Drug overdose deaths surged in 14 states last year
NEW YORK (AP) — Drug overdose deaths surged in 14 states last year, pushing the nation to a record count, according to a government report released Friday. Rates went up in Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota,…
FDA proposes ban on indoor tanning for minors    photo
WASHINGTON (AP) — Anyone under the age of 18 would be barred from using indoor tanning equipment, under a federal proposal to help reduce skin cancer linked to the devices. The Food and Drug Administration also wants to require tanning bed users to sign consent forms acknowledging the risks…
Painkiller politics: Effort to curb prescribing under fire    photo
WASHINGTON (AP) — A bold federal effort to curb prescribing of painkillers may be faltering amid stiff resistance from drugmakers, industry-funded groups and, now, even other public health officials. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was on track to finalize new prescribing…




(No news on the weekends. Audio clips are only valid for a few days before being removed from our servers.)



Tang Ling loves going to college in China. Really loves it. The 83-year-old has picked up eight degrees over the last 28 years. She says while learning something new every day is great, making new friends is the reason she keeps going to college.  *** Unfortunately, all of her classes are towards liberal arts degrees, so the only job she’s qualified to do is to ask “Do you want fries with that”.


Democratic Senator (and “SNL” alum) Al Franken’s “Secret Santa” gift exchange has become a tradition on Capitol Hill. Franken says that “Peace on Earth” and “good will toward all” is promoted by lawmakers giving gifts to colleagues from the opposition party.  ***But you have to wonder if people are truly in the spirit of it when Democrats give the tea party candidates a jar of used Lipton tea bags.


A radio DJ in Austria locked himself into his studio recently so he could repeatedly play Wham’s 1984 hit “Last Christmas.” He played it non-stop for almost two hours.  ***But it took almost two days for anyone to notice because 100% of the audience changed stations as soon as they heard the song the first time.


Donald Trump is demanding an apology from Hillary Clinton for saying he is being used as a recruiting tool for ISIS.  ***So one pathological liar is demanding that the other pathological liar apologize for lying about a pathological liar?  Okay… got it.




As 2015 comes to a close, a close a survey was taken: “What promise are you making to yourself in 2016?” Most people said things like find a new job, read more books, or volunteer more. But 2% of respondents said they planned to get their boss fired.  ***MARLAR: If you’re a boss, and you have at least fifty people working at your company, it means someone is out to get you canned.  Merry Christmas.


What do most letters to Santa ask for?  You might be surprised!

U.S. Postal Service workers who handle letters addressed to Santa at the North Pole say more letters ask for basics — coats, socks and shoes — rather than Barbie dolls, video games and computers.  ***MARLAR: Question – what’s the post office doing reading my personal letter to Santa?


A study in the journal Body Image indicates many overweight people do not know they’re obese. ***MARLAR: (Whew!) Good thing I’m not one of those poor fat slobs!


A new study shows that kids who watch too much TV develop poor social skills.  ***MARLAR: Meaning Miley Cyrus was more than likely raised in front of a Magnavox big screen.




CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD TODAY’S EPISODE… “Bank Rates, Conflict of Interest”










OPEN: And now,, (Show Name), and (Station Call Letters) bring you As the Jungle Turns! When last we left the jungle island of Razzleflabbin, Marvy Snuffleson discovered that Olaf’s most prized possession is a race track with no cars… and Karl’s most prized possession is a bicycle with no tires! Strange possessions – and things are about to get even more strange!


CLOSE: But if he sells the race track, what will happen on Christmas Day when Karl gives him race cars? Find out next time, As the Jungle Turns!






OPEN: And now,, (Show Name), and (Station Call Letters) bring you As the Jungle Turns! Last time, the jungle animals’ new king, Louis the little lion, decided he didn’t want to play badminton, build forts, or go swimming. And since he’s now the king, he can decide anything he likes… so he’s decided to pounce on dandelions. And since they’re following him, all the other animals are also pouncing…


CLOSE: Now what is Louis going to do? He’s the king – he has to decide something! 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.




A demolition crew creates a really big Moment of Duh!

A wrecking crew in Texarkana, Arizona, was recently sent to demolish a condemned home. Apparently these were not very well educated wrecking crew workers, because they couldn’t figure out their left from their right. Turns out they demolished the wrong home – on the other side of the street.





  1. Anne of Avonlea/Anne of Green Gables Collectors Edition with 74 minutes of extra footage
  2. Any knick-knack
  3. Tickets to the ballet
  4. Another new tie
  5. A Bath and Body Works Soap Basket
  6. New teddy bear pajamas
  7. Vacuum cleaner
  8. A weekend seminar on “Getting in Touch With Your Feelings”
  9. Pair of fuzzy bunny slippers
  10. A nose and ear hair trimmer (OK, well maybe.)




Adam Vickers and Kyle Wisdom punk’d a friend — but police aren’t laughing.


FILE #1: According to authorities the pair staged a murder scene, making it look like Wisdom killed Vickers. The target of the practical joke, Daniel Maerz, panicked and called the cops. Police in Central Point, Oregon, rushed to the scene and even ordered the lockdown of a nearby elementary school. Officers say the two jokers had been drinking quite a bit. Both men were busted and now face a number of charges, including conspiracy to commit a crime. Maerz was arrested, too, for possession of speed.


FILE #2: The mayor of a Brazilian town is trying to pass a law making it illegal for residents to die.  Mayor Roberto Pereira da Silva came up with the idea because the town’s (Biritiba-Mirim) only cemetery is full.  He wants to pass a law that would force relatives of people who die in the town face fines or even jail.  The law would make it an offense for the town’s 28,000 citizens to not look after their health properly.  ***MARLAR: I’m going to take a wild guess and say the mayor moonlights as a Fitness Center owner.


FILE #3: A foiled Jersey City bank robber left one bank after the teller informed him that he wouldn’t honor a hold-up note.  A half hour later the same guy left another bank empty-handed because, according to the teller at the second bank, there was “no cash.”


STRANGE LAW: In Florida, a special law prohibits unmarried women from parachuting on Sunday or she shall risk arrest, fine, and/or jailing.




A wannabe Santa scares children while looking for his reindeer.

It wasn’t exactly the Santa experience dreams are made of. In Eau Claire, Wisconsin, a drunken Santa Claus prompted a mom to call 911 after he stumbled into her yard apparently looking for his reindeer and scaring her kids. Officers ticketed 55-year-old Thomas Arnold for having an open beer in a car. But, the kids say they knew right away this wasn’t the Santa they know and love. 9-year-old Katie Dockerty said, “He smelled like alcohol. So I knew it wasn’t the real Santa because Santa doesn’t drink alcohol!” Katie says the Santa that ended up in her lawn was loud and had really dirty hands and he tried to put his hat on her little sister. Six-year-old Zoe described him in one word: “Drunk.”




Do you take advantage of the occasion when you see mistletoe, or do you avoid it at all costs?


What forgotten Christmas tradition should churches revive?




QUESTION: Who was described as being a “wild donkey of a man?”
ANSWER: Ishmael, Hagar’s son. (Genesis 16:12)




QUESTION: In 2002, when a man tried to rob a lottery ticket shop in Munich, Germany, the shop owner’s wife sprayed the thief with what holiday item?

ANSWER: Christmas glitter spray. The would-be thief was so stunned he ran out and left his wallet on the counter. Still covered in glitter, he reported the theft of his wallet at a nearby police station. Police immediately arrested him.




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. Eggnog is the modern variation of wassail. (True. Wassail was a popular Christmas drink in Victorian England. It comes from the Old English expression “waes hael,” meaning “to your health.” It was made of eggs, curdled cream, nuts, spices, roasted apples and mulled ale.)


  1. Christmas trees in the home originated because of banned Christmas plays outdoors. (True. The pine tree was used in Europe in the 14th century as part of miracle plays performed in front of cathedrals. They were decorated with apples, symbols of the Garden of Eden. When the church banned the plays, people put trees in their homes and decorated them with wafers representing the Eucharist. The wafers evolved into cookies, fruit and, later, ornaments.)


  1. Mistletoe was used to cure mouth sores. (False. Considered by the Romans as a charm against evil, mistletoe is brewed by the French to cure stomachaches.)


  1. The Macy’s department store was the first to introduce annual Christmas bonuses. (False. Department store owner F.W. Woolworth believed that happy employees worked better under stress. He started the Christmas bonus tradition in 1899 with $5 to each worker for every year of service — but not exceeding $25, which was a lot of money in those days.)


  1. Until 1875, employees were expected to report to work on Christmas as if it were any other day. (True… unless Christmas fell on a Sunday.)


  1. The first commercial Christmas tree ornaments could open to reveal candies. (True – small toys, candies and other treats were hung on boughs for the kiddies. Too bad we don’t do that anymore.)


  1. Santa originally had only two reindeer in front of the sleigh. (False. Folklore holds that one reindeer originally pulled Santa’s sleigh. In 1823, Clement C. Moore gave him eight in “A Visit From St. Nicholas.” A story by Robert L. May in 1939 introduced Rudolph, who was immortalized in Gene Autry’s 1949 classic song “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer.”)


  1. Using an “X” in place of “Christ” in the word Christmas began during the political correctness movement. (False. The “X” in Xmas stands for the letter Chi, the first letter in the Greek word for Christ. Essentially, writing “Xmas” is the same as writing “Christmas” – and it means exactly the same thing, despite those who would argue the point otherwise.)


  1. The wise men actually saw the star twice. (True. Once in the East to set them on their journey, and again to lead them from Jerusalem to Bethlehem.)


  1. December 25th was not celebrated as the birthday of Christ until the year AD 440. (True)




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


Monstrously obese, former comedian Louie Anderson has found a new way to lose weight, which landed him in The Desert Springs Hospital in Las Vegas.

Anderson is a regular customer at the infamous Heart Attack Grill, on Freemont Street, where patrons over 350 pounds eat free. Anderson was between meals, and was famished, so he ordered his  long-time nurse Abie Geisberg fight traffic on Las Vegas Blvd, so that he could graze on a twenty pound cheeseburger.

After eating three pounds, Anderson’s stomach began shaking violently. The ground began to tremble under his chair and restaurant patrons started running out the door in fright.  Anderson’s stomach began to rip open and fragments of hundreds of pounds of food and waste began to cover the table, the patrons, and walls of the restaurant.

Nurse Geisberg tried to hold Anderson’s stomach together, but was covered instead with chunks of unchewed meat, fish bones, cow intestines, and mutton. ” I told him not to put extra onions on his burger,” Geisberg told WWN, “he must have tried to pass gas and something took a wrong turn in his intestinal tract.”

The shaken customers who got part of the food shrapnel were taken to the Trauma Unit of County Hospital where they were treated for minor cuts and lacerations.  Trauma counselors are on hand for all survivors.

Anderson underwent five hours of intensive surgery where his entrails were sewn together with tension cables, used in building and supporting bridges. Anderson is thankful that there were no casualties, “next time I eat a twenty pound cheeseburger, I’ll make sure I take a dump before I go.”

Anderson, who  is expected to make a full recovery, can be seen on reruns of The Family Feud on The Game Show Network.





The game show contestant was only 200 points behind the leader and about to answer the final question – worth 500 points!

“To be today’s champion,” the show’s smiling host intoned, “name two of Santa’s reindeer.”

The contestant, a man in his early thirties, gave a sigh of relief, gratified that he had drawn such an easy question. “Rudolph!” he said confidently, “and, …Olive!”

The studio audience started to applaud (like the little sign above their heads said to do,) but the clapping quickly faded into mumbling, and the confused host replied, “Yes, we’ll accept Rudolph, but could you please explain… ‘Olive?!?'”

“You know,” the man circled his hand forward impatiently and began to sing, “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer – had a very shiny nose. And if you ever saw it, you would even say it glowed. *Olive,* the other reindeer…”



A little girl was wearing one of those Medical Alert bracelets. Someone asked her what the bracelet was for.

She replied, “I’m allergic to nuts and eggs.”

The person asked, “Are you allergic to cats?”

The girl said, “I don’t know. I don’t eat cats.”



Sally was puzzled recently by the odd messages she kept getting on her voice mail. Day after day, all she’d hear, from friends, family, and customers alike, would be their message and then they’d ALL say, “BEEP.”

She discovered the solution to the BEEP riddle when she dialed her own phone number. 

Her message said, “I’m not available right now, so please leave a beep after the message.”





An Italian judge ordered a 220-pound teenage thug to lose weight on the theory that his low self-esteem made him a bully.  ***MARLAR: Even if it doesn’t work, at least he won’t have a need to steal other kids’ lunch money.


Looking for a safe place to drive to? If you’re planning to relocate, or are planning a road trip, All State Insurance says that Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is the safest town in America to drive in.  ***MARLAR: Unfortunately, there’s nothing there worth driving to.





The pastor gave the children’s story during the worship service. He used the “Twelve Days of Christmas” to make a point and said that a boy was so much in love with his girlfriend that he gave her a present 12 days in a row. The pastor really involved the children in this story by asking them what the gifts were day by day. They were doing quite well until they reached the eleventh day. There was a long pause, and finally one young boy raised his hand and gave the answer: “Eleven pastors preaching!”




Imagine children… boycotting Santa!

Hundreds of Bulgarian schoolchildren boycotted a visit by Santa Claus after he failed to grant their wishes for good exam grades the year before.  Almost every child at the high school in Shoumen, in the north east of the country, had flocked to the specially built grotto last year to ask Santa for A grades in their exams.  Afterwards many of the kids did not even study for their tests and were furious when they found they had failed. This year most kids boycotted the visit with only a small delegation of kids turning up wearing Santa beards made of their exam papers.




CHRISTMAS, by John Betjeman

The bells of waiting Advent ring,
The Tortoise stove is lit again
And lamp-oil light across the night
Has caught the streaks of winter rain.
In many a stained-glass window sheen
From Crimson Lake to Hooker’s Green.

The holly in the windy hedge
And round the Manor House the yew
Will soon be stripped to deck the ledge,
The altar, font and arch and pew,
So that villagers can say
‘The Church looks nice’ on Christmas Day.

Provincial public houses blaze
And Corporation tramcars clang,
On lighted tenements I gaze
Where paper decorations hang,
And bunting in the red Town Hall
Says ‘Merry Christmas to you all’

And London shops on Christmas Eve
Are strung with silver bells and flowers
As hurrying clerks the City leave
To pigeon-haunted classic towers,
And marbled clouds go scudding by
The many-steepled London sky.

And girls in slacks remember Dad,
And oafish louts remember Mum,
And sleepless children’s hearts are glad,
And Christmas morning bells say ‘Come!’
Even to shining ones who dwell
Safe in the Dorchester Hotel.

And is it true? and is it true?
The most tremendous tale of all,
Seen in a stained-glass window’s hue,
A Baby in an ox’s stall?
The Maker of the stars and sea
Become a Child on earth for me?

And is it true? For if it is,
No loving fingers tying strings
Around those tissued fripperies,
The sweet and silly Christmas things,
Bath salts and inexpensive scent
And hideous tie so kindly meant.

No love that in a family dwells,
No carolling in frosty air,
Nor all the steeple-shaking bells
Can with this single Truth compare –
That God was Man in Palestine
And lives to-day in Bread and Wine.

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests”. –Luke 2:13-14

A couple of years ago, I clipped an article about how singing in the choir may have a noteworthy effect on your health.  The University of California at Irvine found increased levels of disease-fighting proteins in the mouths of choir members after singing some choral masterpieces.  This protein boost seemed directly related to the singers’ states

of mind, which was described as happy or euphoric.  I’m sure that every choir director in the land clipped this article to show to his or her choirs.

Speaking of choirs, can you even imagine the size of the great company of the heavenly host that appeared to the shepherds that night long ago on the hill outside of Bethlehem?  Can you imagine a choir that would fill the sky?  I know our translation today doesn’t mention the heavenly host singing, but I have to imagine that to hear them must have seemed like music.

Praise music so wonderful to change those shepherds.  Praise music so beautiful that it moved those shepherds to go to the manger.  And I guess music so powerful to make the shepherds healthier.  Why not?





Darlene Jespersen believes that unless you are a clown, your boss doesn’t have the right to make you wear makeup.

… but that’s the position she says she’s in. Jespersen says she was fired from her job as a bartender at Harrah’s casino in Reno, Nevada — because she refuses to wear makeup. She says she’s always clean and well groomed, but never uses cosmetics. After 21 years on the job, Jespersen says she was humiliated because she refused to “look like a clown.” She claims to be a victim of sex discrimination — noting that men aren’t required to wear makeup on the job. A spokesman for the casino won’t comment on the specifics of the case. But he says customers want Harrah’s female workers to look good and wear makeup.





A few tips for dad – before he tackles the assembling of toys this Christmas!

The dads who read Men’s Health magazine have spent hundreds of Christmas Eves assembling toys — from basketball hoops to Easy-Bake Ovens.   Dads (okay, MEN in general) know the agony of the missing part, of directions translated from Farsi, of batteries not included. Here’s what you can learn from our mistakes:

  1. Always read the directions before starting.  Men often find themselves at step 63, only to realize that the triangle thingies should have gone on the axle doohickeys before the linchpins were inserted into the sprocket slots.
  2. Disassembling is guaranteed to take the wind out of your wassails.
  3. Have a Phillips-head screwdriver, a hammer, and pliers handy. No improvising with kitchenware. Using a corkscrew on a bike chain brings no comfort or joy.
  4. Spread a white sheet on the floor and arrange the parts in groups. It’s easy to lose parts in the pattern of the Oriental rug.
  5. Don’t tighten any screws or nuts until you’ve finished. A little wiggle room really helps.
  6. Beware of these warning signs: Banging a screw with your heel; turning a bolt with your teeth; sweating profusely; feeling your blood pulse in your temples.  If you begin to experience any of these warning signs, it’s time to put down the Allen key.





Everybody is so cautious and concerned about gaining weight during the holidays… which is sad, because that takes some of the joy out of the season.  This is the one time of the year that you should throw all caution to the wind and enjoy yourself.  So, I’ve come up with my own diet… the Darren Marlar Holiday Eating Plan.  Here are the rules:

  1. Carrot sticks – avoid them. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they’re serving carrot cake instead.
  2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly.  Like anything else worthy of having in this world, it’s rare. In fact, it’s even rarer than diamonds.  You can’t find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip?
  3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That’s the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.
  4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they’re made with skim milk or whole milk. If it’s skim milk, pass. Why bother? It’s like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.
  5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people’s food for free.  Remember college?  It’s like that.
  6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Years. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. Now is the time for long naps, which you’ll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.
  7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don’t budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention.
  8. Same goes for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or, if you don’t like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three slices. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Certainly not Labor Day.




Each of these synonyms is a common Christmas song or saying. How many can you translate?

  1. Move hitherward the entire assembly of those who are loyal in their belief. (Oh Come All Ye Faithful)
  2. Listen, the celestial messengers produce harmonious sounds. (Hark The Herald Angels Sing)
  3. Nocturnal time-span of unbroken quietness. (Silent Night)
  4. An emotion excited by the acquisition or expectation of good given to the terrestrial sphere. (Joy To The World)
  5. Embellish the interior passageways. (Deck The Halls)
  6. Exalted heavenly beings to whom hearkened. (Hark The Herald Angels Sing)
  7. Twelve o’clock on a clement night witnessed its arrival. (It Came Upon A Midnight Clear)
  8. The Christmas preceding all others. (The First Noel)
  9. Small municipality in Judea southeast of Jerusalem. (Oh Little Town of Bethlehem)
  10. Diminutive masculine master of skin-covered percussionistic cylinders. (Little Drummer Boy)
  11. Omnipotent supreme being who elicits respite to ecstatic distinguished males. (God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen)
  12. Tranquility upon the terrestrial sphere. (Peace On Earth)
  13. Obese personification fabricated of compressed mounds of minute crystals. (Frosty The Snowman)
  14. Expectation of arrival to populated area by mythical masculine perennial gift-giver. (Here Comes Santa Claus)
  15. Natal celebration devoid of color. (White Christmas)
  16. In awe of the nocturnal time span characterized by religiosity. (Oh Holy Night)
  17. Geographic state of fantasy during the season of mother nature’s dormancy. (Winter Wonderland)
  18. The first person nominative plural of a triumvirate of far eastern heads of state. (We Three Kings)
  19. Tintinnabulation of vacillating pendulums in inverted metallic, resonant cups. (Jingle Bells)
  20. In a distant location the existence of an improvised unit of newborn children’s slumber furniture. (Away In A Manger)
  21. Proceed forth declaring upon a specific geological alpine formation. (Go Tell It On A Mountain)
  22. Jovial Yuletide desired for the second person singular or plural by us. (We Wish You A Merry Christmas)





If you’re throwing a Christmas party in the next couple of days, keep listening… I have some helpful advice for you to make that Christmas party easier for you and more entertaining for your guests!

Well, It is holiday time, which means that it’s holiday hosting time. So I have some tips that will make your holiday get-together special, based on my experiences as a successful party host. (I’ll pause for my bride to stop laughing…)

  • Spend as little time in the kitchen as possible. At my parties, I want to be mingling with my guests, making sure that everybody is enjoying him or herself and relaxing myself. Plus I have to stay out of the kitchen as part of my plea bargain with the health department.
  • Don’t avoid serving pre-cooked food. I always go down to a good professional bakery to pick up desert, I get my salads from a local deli, and I do the same with my appetizers. In fact, the last party I had, the RSVP card indicated right on it “Original” or “Extra Crispy.”
  • And finally, for maximum enjoyment for everyone, mix and match your friends: Like everybody else, my friends are divided up into groups based on their interest. So I like to take a few friends from one group, and introduce them to friends from another group. The most interesting dinner party I threw included some of the members of my bride’s Pampered Chef club and some of the guys who come over to my house to watch Wrestling Pay Per View events. We’ll remember that Christmas the rest of our lives….




A crew of workers fittingly nicknamed “Ice Farmers” are constructing a massive acre-sized frozen palace with peaks up to 30-feet-high in Edmonton, Canada. According to ABC News, the ice castle, which will feature waterfalls, slides, tunnels and colorful glowing lights at night when complete, is set to open to the public in January. The US-based company Ice Castles was born out of a hobby he started in 2000, when Christensen’s family moved from sunny California to chilly Utah. Christensen has three other ice castles on display this year in Utah, Minnesota and New Hampshire.


Now you can countdown to Christmas with incredible images of God’s creation in space. According to Relevant Magazine, The Atlantic has assembled breathtaking images from the Hubble Space Telescope, creating the galaxy’s most stunning Advent Calendar. Every day until December 25, they will post a new, jaw-dropping image taken by the telescope.


Sheriff’s deputies in a Georgia community are targeting drivers in need of some cheer and issuing $100 bills instead of traffic tickets in a welcome holiday season surprise. An anonymous donor gave $5,400 to launch the goodwill drive. Deputies are passing out the bills to motorists stopped for minor traffic violations in a semi-rural area about 60 miles south of Atlanta. The idea has generated such enthusiasm that another donor pledged $5,000 to extend it into next week.




I’ve decided to start treating my work responsibilities a bit differently, and I’m taking my cue from the late great Mark Twain. “Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.”




(Updated as it comes available. The Way WE Work is written by Mark Elfstrand from in Chicago.)


Better Check Your List Twice


What is the true meaning of Christmas? It must have a lot to do with Santa Claus. Let’s check the lyrics of some of our Christmas favorites! That will help us tell the story.

We begin with, “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth.” This one gets us back to the basics. No need for all those toys and goodies from Santa. Just… two teeth. And why? So this sweet child can wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Oh…and he’ll be able to say, “Sister Susie sitting on a thistle!” Let’s all try that. Thank goodness for modest requests.

“Santa Baby,” the Santa song for adults, has been around since 1953! Eartha Kitt made it a hit. This girl really has her list working. A sable under the tree, a ’54 convertible, a yacht, and the deed to a platinum mine! Touching. And one can easily tell she’s been missing out on a lot of fun dates just trying to be good enough to get stuff. Wonder if St. Nicholas likes the term, Santa Baby? Well, maybe from Mrs. Claus.

In the classic, “Jolly Old St. Nicholas,” again we’re back to basics. “Johnny wants a pair of skates, Susie wants a sled. Nellie wants a picture book, yellow, blue and red.” The song’s conclusion leaves a mature thought: “Choose for me, dear Santa Claus, what you think is best.” This chap might be surprised by what St. Nick considered important.

My final Santa selection is the famous, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” This one deserves a close theological review. As we would learn here, Santa is BIG on performance.

We are told not to pout or cry with Santa coming to town. He’s got some kind of list that he apparently checks twice to determine if we’ve been naughty or nice. And since he’s aware of our sleeping habits and our secret lives, we’d better watch out! Kids who do behave will have a jubilee building some kind of toyland “all around the Christmas tree.” Pretty exciting stuff.

Apart from Santa songs, there is a plethora of other meaningless rhymes set to music that distracts us from the idea that a Savior for the world was once born. Of course, the Jesus of whom we are told never asked us to celebrate His birthday. We decided to do that.

And then along comes old St. Nick. Or more properly said, Saint Nicholas. William Bennett gave us a beautiful history of this legendary figure in his 2009 book, The True Saint Nicholas: Why He Matters to Christmas. The real figure was a Greek bishop. History says he lived from 270 to 346 AD. This is recommended reading for all.

A shorter course on the jolly soul can be found at a St. Nicholas center website. Here we learn what many hold to be true about why we consider him so “saintly.” Check this: “His wealthy parents, who raised him to be a devout Christian, died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young. Obeying Jesus’s words to “sell what you own and give the money to the poor,” Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of Myra while still a young man. Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships.”

Checking closely on these details of St.Nick’s life, we find no evidence of keeping lists. Or checking them twice. And I hope I don’t disappoint anyone by saying there also appears to be a lack of evidence that he owned reindeer. Or moved north from Greece or Turkey. I mean, why would you?

We are a performance driven people. We prefer to check off lists of things we believe we’ve done right. In Jesus’s time, a very rich young man approached Jesus and said, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “You know the commandments, ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” (And that’s only a partial list of do-goods.)

So the rich guy says, “Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up.” Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But at these words he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property.” (Mark 10:17-22)

Here’s the thing. St. Nicholas got it. The reason Santa can belly laugh in joy with “Ho, Ho, Ho!” is because the weight of materialism and sinless performance is gone. And that’s because of Jesus.

One of the greatest gifts we can give our children is teaching Godly contentment. (1 Timothy 6:6-10). Another is the gift of sharing. And most importantly, is to pass along the gift of good news that leads to eternal life.

What’s on your list to become right with God? There should only be one thing. It begins with “J.”

Merry Christmas.

That’s The Way WE Work. Click on the link to the right to connect via Facebook.
Catch “Let’s Talk with Mark Elfstrand” weekday afternoons from 4-6pm on AM 1160 Hope for Your Life. To listen to the live broadcast or a podcast of previous shows click here.




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 Ratings from 1 (Low) to 5 (High).


DECEMBER 18, 2015…


Star Wars: The Force Awakens—Fans have waited so long and it is here.  Your favorites are in the film including Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher, and new actors such as Adam Driver, Gwendoline Christie and Daisy Ridley.  The storm troopers don’t always do what they are told (rebellion in the ranks?) and the bad guys are the First Order. It is war in the galaxy far, far away, so buckle on your light saber and away we go.  “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is rated PG 13. Rating of 4 for fans and that includes just about everyone.  Enjoy.


Sisters—Amy Poehler and Tina Fey star as just that…two sisters…who don’t always get along. They decide they want to have the rowdiest party ever.  I mean ever.  Of course, this means the audience envies what they do because if you tried it, the police would be there.  “Sisters” is rated R. No rating.


Son Of Saul (opening in select cities)—This is a film about the Holocaust and a man who works in a crematorium and still tries to honor the dead. Subtitles. Stars Gaza Rohrig and Levente Molnar. “Son Of Saul” is rated R. No rating.


DECEMBER 23-25, 2015…


Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip has the guys on the road again. Fans know who they are.


Concussion stars Will Smith as the pathologist who begins to study the effect of concussions in football.


Daddy’s Home comedy has Will Ferrell trying to be a good step-father while Mark Wahlberg is the trouble-making Dad.


Joy has Jennifer Lawrence taking on the role of the woman who invited the Miracle Mop.


Point Break is a remake of the classic crime film that starred Patrick Swayze. This time, Luke Bracey stars.


Snowden (opening in select cities) stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the person who passed secrets.


Macbeth (opening in select cities) has Michael Fassbender in the title role with Marion Cotillard as Lady Macbeth.


The Big Short has Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt as guys who enjoy the betting game.


Youth (opening in select cities) is a beautifully photographed film about aging and stars Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel.


Legend (opening in select cities) is finally opening widely and stars Tom Hardy in two roles, as the Kray Brothers who ran organized crime in London in the 1960’s.


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WARNING:  Don’t believe anything you read on the Internet or email (including stuff you read here) unless you can confirm it with another source, and/or it is consistent with what you already know to be true. The opinions in this publication are not necessarily those of Darren Marlar, Marlar House Entertainment,, or any company or organization affiliated with aforementioned. (Regardless of how stupid you may think those opinions are. So there – nyah!)

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