December 24, 2016: Saturday 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: 20161224

WELCOME TO THE SHOW!

The real miracle of Christmas; how about a Christmas tree with a straight trunk? Our tree is so crooked the only way to make it look straight is to tilt the living room.

BIBLE VERSE OF THE DAY

“The word became flesh and dwelt among us.” –John 1:14

1 John 1:10 = If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.

HEARTLIGHT DAILY VERSE, PRAYER & THOUGHT

(From VerseOfTheDay.com)

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. So Joseph went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. — Luke 2:1 and 4-5

Thought: Isn’t it amazing at how many inconveniences in our lives the Lord uses to accomplish his will in us. Can you think of a worse time to have to go on a cross-country trip with their modes of travel than Joseph and Mary faced. Yet God turned it into the moment in which the angels found their tune and Satan met his match.

Prayer: Father, I thank you that behind history, and especially behind the part of history where I live, your hand is always working for my redemption and your glory. Give me faith to ride out the difficult times, knowing that you will use those difficulties to be the incubator of your next great work in me. In the name of Jesus, the Joy of angels, 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!)

1 Samuel 12:24 NIV = But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.

TODAY IS SATURDAY – DECEMBER 24, 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
01 SHOPPING DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS.

Today is CHRISTMAS EVE. ***Just in case you forgot. That means you have only a few hours left to go Christmas shopping!!!

Today is NATIONAL EGGNOG DAY. ***Like anything else worthy of having in this world, eggnog is 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!

Tonight is REMEMBER TO READ THE INSTRUCTIONS FIRST NIGHT. ***My dad still has pieces left over from the Big Wheel I got in 1973.

Today is LAST MINUTE SHOPPERS’ DAY. ***I can tell you from personal experience that you can find just about any gift for any person on your list at 6:30pm Christmas Eve at your local 24-hour drug store. 7Eleven also works in a pinch.

TODAY IS ALSO…

Chanukah (12/24-1/1)

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

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

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 27

Free Balloon Day Link  (SpongeBob Squarepants)
Howdy Doody Day
Visit The Zoo Day Link

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 28

Holy Innocents Day
Endangered Species Act Day
National Chocolate Da  Link

Pledge of Allegiance Day

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 29

Tick Tock Day
YMCA Day

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 30

Bacon Day Link
Falling Needles Family Fest Day
No Interruptions Day

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 31

First Nights
Global Champagne Day  Link
Leap Second Time Adjustment Day
Look On The Bright Side Day Link
Make Up Your Mind Day
New Years Eve
New Year’s Eve Banished Words List
New Year’s Dishonor List
Universal Hour of Peace Day
World Peace Meditation Day

SUNDAY, JANUARY 01

Copyright Law Day
Commitment Day Link
Ellis Island Day
Euro Day
First Foot Day Link Link
Global Family Day Link
Mummer’s Parade
New Years Day
New Year’s Dishonor List Day
Polar Bear Plunge or Swim Day Link
World Day of Peace Link
Z Day

MONDAY, JANUARY 02

55-MPH Speed Limit Day
Blue Monday Link
Divorce Monday Link
Happy Mew Year for Cats Day
National Buffet Day Link
National Motivation and Inspiration Day Link
National Personal Trainer Awareness Day Link
National Science Fiction Day Link
National Weigh-In Day
Pet Travel and Safety Day Link
Rose Bowl Game
Thank God It’s Monday” Day
Tournament of Roses Parade Day

ON THIS DAY

1865: Six high-ranking Confederate officers, meeting in the cellar of a gutted mansion in Tennessee, founded the Ku Klux Klan. The first Grand Wizard was General Nathan B. Forrest.

1880: U.S. patent #253,011 was issued for the smoking cane, a walking cane with a handle that could be filled with tobacco and smoked.

1889: Daniel Stover and William Hance patented the Bicycle Brake Operated By Pedaling Backward.

1906: History’s first radio air personality, Canadian physicist Reginald Fessenden, transmitted the first radio broadcast of voices and music from a tower on the Massachusetts coast at Brant Rock. The program, which featured Reg accompanying on violin a female singer’s “O Holy Night,” was heard in Scotland, where another tower had been erected to receive it. Fessenden discovered the superheterodyne principle, the basis for all modern radio receivers. While descending, the overweight Fessenden got stuck in the tower, and co-workers had to strip him naked and grease him to get him down.

1931: New York City construction workers, at the future site of Rockefeller Center, dragged in a 12-foot Christmas tree and decorated it with tin cans and paper. The first official Rockefeller Center tree, with 700 blue and white lights, appeared two years later.

1955: The Lennon Sisters appeared as guests singers on The Lawrence Welk Show. Response was so overwhelming they became regulars for 13 years.

1818: At St. Nicholas Church in Oberndorf, Austria, 31-year-old teacher and organist Franz Gruber composed a melody on guitar for a poem written by 26-year-old Josef Mohr entitled “Stille Nacht.” That evening “Silent Night” was sung for the first time.

1957: A drunk 20-year-old singer named Merle Haggard broke into a tavern in Bakersfield, California. Unfortunately, the tavern was still open, and the burglar was quickly caught, convicted, and sent to prison. Seven years, four days later he released his first country hit, “Sing A Sad Song.”

1961: The first African song reached #1 in the U.S.: “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” by the Tokens. It had been recorded ten years earlier as “Winoweh” by the Weavers.

1968: The Apollo Eight astronauts, orbiting the moon, read passages from the Old Testament Book of Genesis during a Christmas Eve television broadcast.

1974: Carly Simon, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, and Linda Ronstadt spent Christmas Eve caroling on the streets of Los Angeles.

1993: The Reverend Norman Vincent Peale, who had blended Christian and psychiatric principles into a message of “positive thinking,” died in Pawling, New York at age 95.

1999: A 5-year-old girl in North Wales turned orange after drinking too much Sunny Delight, a popular fruit drink containing beta carotene. Doctors said the drink was harmless and there was no risk of toxicity, but they suggested to the girl’s parents she should try a variety of drinks.

2000: The Miami Dolphins edged New England Patriots 27-24, but the teams left the field with three seconds left on the clock. Thirty-six minutes later, they were called back to the playing field to play the final 3 seconds. The final score did not change.

2003: Nine nations imposed bans on U.S. beef imports after the first documented U.S. case of mad cow disease was reported in Washington state.

TODAY IN CHRISTIAN HISTORY

1223: Francis of Assisi stages history’s first living nativity scene, complete with live animals, in a cave near Greccio, Italy

1491: Spanish ascetic and theologian Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, is born in Guipuzcoa, Spain. His order quickly became a great power in Roman Catholicism and led the Counter-Reformation.

1784: The Methodist Episcopal Church is formally organized in Baltimore by Francis Asbury.

1818: Franz Gruber composes “Silent Night” in the St. Nicholas Church of Oberndorf, Austria.

1873: The temperance movement begins when Eliza Thompson leads 70 women to pray and sing in front of a saloon.

HOLLYWOOD, SPORTS AND CELEBRITY FIGURE BIRTHDAYS

  • host (“American Idol”) Ryan Seacrest 41
  • actor (Oswald on “The Drew Carey Show”, Office Space, voice of Batman on “Batman: The Brave and the Bold” ) Diedrich Bader 49 (audio clip)actor (“Matlock”, “Walker: Texas Ranger”) Clarence Gilyard 60 (audio clip)

BEE-BOP BIRTHDAYS

(Music Artist Birthdays From SongFacts.com)

1924 : Lee Dorsey, known for his 1961 hit “Ya Ya.”

1944 : Mike Curb

1945 : Lemmy (Motorhead)

1946 : Jan Akkerman (Focus)

1957 : Ian Burden (The Human League)

1963 : Mary Ramsey (10,000 Maniacs)

1971 : Ricky Martin

SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE

How long has Santa Claus been around?

Far more than Christmas trees or candy canes, Santa Claus sparks controversy among Christians. Many believers reject the idea of the kindly old gentleman in the bright red suit because it takes away the primary focus of Christmas: celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ our Savior. Certainly when the focus of Christmas becomes children’s expectations of gift receiving, using St. Nicholas as the agent of distribution, we have missed the true meaning of Christmas. Unfortunately, the original Nicholas and his godly example is lost in the controversy. St. Nicholas was a Christian priest who lived in Myra, in Asia Minor (modern Turkey), from 280-343 AD. He became Bishop of Myra, and was known for his generosity. He did not like to be seen giving gifts, so the children were told to go to sleep quickly or he would not come. He also is known for giving gifts of gold to a poor man’s three daughters, placing the bags of gold inside their stockings, which the young ladies had left by the fire to dry. The name “Santa Claus” was derived from the Dutch “Sinter Klaus” pronunciation of St. Nicholas. When Dutch settlers landed in New Amsterdam (now New York), their “Sinter Klaus” celebration in December came with them. Interestingly, in many other European countries, and Latin America, Santa Claus is not even the deliverer of gifts to the children. Other figures fill the role. Nevertheless, the original (the REAL) St. Nicholas did demonstrate, “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).

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!

Casting Crowns frontman Mark Hall says someone with a lot of spare time has started another Twitter account under his name. How would you know which is the real Mark Hall and which is the fake one? Mark says: the fake one would be the one with only 25 followers.

Getting older isn’t always easy. Jimmy Needham posted online: dear trampolines, you were more pleasant when I was 10. He added: having a back attack.

Kutless member James Mead has the perfect excuse for not running. He posted this week: My dog ate my Nike Air Prestos.

 

Casting Crowns Jaun Devevo: “When they’re building a new Lowes where do they get the materials?”

 

Dan Bremnes hasn’t fallen out of bed in a long time and now he knows why. A follower from Canada recently wrote Dan on twitter. The mom of 5 boys shared: for 1 month now our 6 year old prays at dinner that “Dan Bremnes doesn’t fall out of his bed.” And I have no clue why. Dan replied: well it’s been awhile since I fell out of my bed.

 

Mercyme front man Bart Millard says a comb can change everything. Think he’s exaggerating? Check out his before and after picture! https://www.instagram.com/p/BN8aV4xju1-/

 

Insight from Casting Crowns Jaun Devevo: If my life ever depends on me doing a forward roll, I would like to be buried at sea thank you.

 

Jason Gray says the St. Louis airport might want to rethink their tornado drill schedule, especially in the middle of December. Jason posted: The bus dropped me off at the St. Louis airport at 2:30 AM and apparently they run tornado drills at 3 AM–which was during the hour I had hoped to curl up on the floor and try to grab an hour of sleep before my flight. He did, however, try to put a positive spin on the experience. Jason added: At least I can rest easy knowing that I will be alerted in the event of a December tornado.  https://www.instagram.com/p/BN8-rQthzqk/

 

Tenth Avenue North front man Mike Donehey has been trying to think up ways to help foster a sense of empathy and compassion for the world in his children and he says he just had an idea. Mike’s suggestion: Once a week or month, have a rice and beans dinner. Then take the money you would have spent and have the kids help choose who to bless.

 

Citizenway says they suspect Jonah might have written a short book following his experience in Ninivah. The band posted a comic featuring a book by Jonah titled How to Run From God. They say the book only included one word: DON’T! https://twitter.com/citizenway/status/808321053667823616/photo/1

 

Casting Crowns Megan Garrett posted this week: There is nothing quite as perfect as chili for dinner on a cold, rainy night, and my chili recipe is the BEST. Want to try it for yourself? Megan was willing to share:

2 lbs browned ground beef

2 cans black beans (drained)

2 cans whole kernal white corn (drained)

1 can diced tomatoes, 

1 can original Rotel

1 can Mexican Rotel

1 packet dry taco seasoning

1 packet dry ranch dressing

Dump it all into a pot and let simmer for a couple of hours. Top with sour cream and mild cheddar. Eat with Frito scoops.

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…

(RETURNS DECEMBER 27)

NEWS KICKER EVERGREENS…

(RETURNS DECEMBER 27)

WONDER WOMAN (This feature will be disappearing in 2017)

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD TODAY’S EPISODE… “Phillips Screwdriver”

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

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD TODAY’S EPISODE… Rich Praytor, “Puberty”

AS THE JUNGLE TURNS – WEEKDAY VERSION

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD MONDAY’S EPISODE

OPEN: And now, FancyMonkey.com, (Show Name), and (Station Call Letters) bring you As the Jungle Turns! Last time, Marvy Snuffleson was sent to his room because he mouthed off to his father saying that he thought Christmas was all about getting gifts… not giving them. In his room, he popped the cork on his snow globe, the water gushed out, and now he’s floating on his mattress out on the high seas!

CLOSE: Tune in next time to find out what happens, 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

Imagine your grandmother telling you to go out and buy your own present for Christmas – and then not giving you any money to do so!

A kindly 90-year-old grandmother found buying presents for her family and friends a bit much one Christmas, so she wrote out checks for all of them to put in her Christmas cards. Inside the card, she wrote, “Buy your own present” after her name on them then sent them off. After the Christmas festivities were over, she found the checks in her desk! Everyone had gotten a Christmas card from her with “Buy your own present” written inside, but without the checks!

TOP TEN

TOP TEN GIFTS NOT MENTIONED IN THE BIBLE GIVEN THAT FIRST CHRISTMAS

10.  “I Luv Bethlehem” bumper sticker.

9.  Subscription to “Better Homes and Stables”.

8.  Rain Check at the Bethlehem Holiday Inn.

7.  A tube of “Deep Heat”(from the shepherds who were “sore afraid”).

6.  Lifetime membership to the “Good Shepherd Society”

5.  McNally’s Guide to Egypt.

4.  Movie passes to “Star Trek: Journey to THE King.”

3.  Book: “All You Wanted to Know About Being Human But Were Afraid To Ask!”

2.  A T-Shirt (infant size) with “My Dad’s Out of This World!”, written on it.

1.  SON glasses.

THE FILES OF LAW & DISORDER

Don’t do a good deed for someone else in Atlanta, Georgia – it might get you tossed in jail!

FILE #1: Atlanta’s Don Pirone was recently handcuffed and arrested by transit cops. Pirone says another subway rider was having trouble getting the change machine to work at a station on November 30. The machine having failed, the man asked for his extra token and then paid Don $1.75 for the token’s face value. That’s when undercover officers swooped in and busted Pirone. Apparently having jailed all the muggers, thugs and graffiti artists on the trains, the Fulton County Solicitor’s Office is pressing charges and a judge ordered the case to trial. For being a good Samaritan, Pirone could face up to a year in jail.

FILE #2: A ham radio operator in Germany overheard a policeman calling for help after his car got stuck in the mud nearby, so he went to help. After pulling the officer’s vehicle out, the man was charged with illegally listening to police transmissions and given a suspended fine.

FILE #3: From Bedford, Indiana comes the story of a criminal who broke into a home and decided to take a nice long shower. A builder working on the house heard the sound of the shower and walked into the bathroom to ask our cleansing criminal what he was doing. The reply was that this was his grandmother’s house and that he was there visiting. Knowing no one was supposed to be there, the builder gathered up the clothes of our showering subject and called the cops while he was still lathered up. Unfortunately before the cops arrived the wet weasel toweled off and dashed out the back door. Police are now looking for an extremely clean but extremely unclothed criminal.

STRANGE LAW: In Idaho it’s against the law to fish while on a giraffe’s back.

THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON DRUGS

How sad is it when even Santa suffers from a brain on drugs? Well, not the REAL Santa of course…

An armed Santa robbed a drug store in Virginia of the painkiller OxyContin (also known as “hillbilly heroin”).  “An individual dressed as Santa . . . beard, hat, the whole works just walked to the back of the store to the pharmacist, displayed his weapon and asked for the OxyContin,” said Chesterfield County police Captain Mike Spraker. “Once he got it, he ran from the store. We had K-9 [a trail-sniffing dog and police officer trainer] right in the area, and they were there within minutes.” However, the trail ended at a nearby apartment complex’s parking lot. Police feel that the man got into a car and drove off. ***MARLAR: That’s right kiddies… he got into a car, not a sleigh. So it wasn’t the real Santa. Not to worry.

PHONER PHUN

Do you open your Christmas gifts on Christmas Eve, or Christmas Day?

BIBLE BRAIN BUSTER!

QUESTION: For what reason did the rich young ruler come to Christ?
ANSWER: For eternal life (Matthew 19:16)

QUESTION IMPOSSIBLE

QUESTION: What does the name Bethlehem mean?

ANSWER: House of bread (The Bible refers to Jesus as “the Bread of 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. A magic spell from an Ice Princess brought Frosty the Snowman to life. (False – it was magician’s top hat)

2. In the Thomas Nast cartoon that first depicted Santa Claus with a sleigh and reindeer, he was delivering Christmas gifts to Native American children. (False – Santa was delivering gifts to soldiers fighting in the U.S. Civil War. The cartoon, entitled “Santa Claus in Camp,” appeared in Harper’s Weekly on January 3, 1863.)

3. There is such a place as Santa Claus, Arizona. (True. There’s also a Santa Claus, Indiana; a Noel, Missouri, and towns named Christmas in both Arizona and Florida.)

4. “O, Come All Ye Faithful” is a Christmas carol but “Deck the Halls” is not. (True – a true Christmas carol has to have a religious theme.)

5. The state songs of Maryland is to the tune of “Oh Christmas Tree.” (True – same goes for Michigan, although the tune is officially that of “O Tannenbaum”)

6. The song “Blue Christmas” was introduced in the 1942 movie “Holiday Inn”. (False – that would be “White Christmas!” And it was almost cut out of the final version of the movie! Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” — one of the most popular songs of all time. The movie “White Christmas”, starring Crosby and Danny Kaye, didn’t debut until 1954. It was the first movie to be made in Vista Vision, a deep-focus process.)

7. 12-year-old Jimmy Boyd is famous for singing the Christmas song, “All I want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth.” (False – he sang “I saw Momy Kissing Santa Claus.” The song hit the top of the pop charts.)

8. Santa Claus used to travel by flying cow. (False.)

9. Santa didn’t get a sleight until 1822. (True. He wasn’t fat before then either. Originally Santa Claus was not regarded as the rotund gift bearer in an airborne sled that we all know today. It was Clement Clark Moore’s 1822 poem that first promoted this image.)

10.America has an “official” Christmas tree. (True. America’s official national Christmas tree is located in King’s Canyon National Park in California. The tree, a giant sequoia called the “General Grant Tree,” is over 300 feet high. It was made the official Christmas tree in 1925.)

TABLOID MATCH GAME

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

______ WILL DESTROY ALL SATELLITES NEXT YEAR (SUN)

HOUSTON –  NASA says that next year the sun will awaken and destroy all satellites

NASA recently published a frightening report.   According to NASA astronomers, in the next 12 months, after years of hibernation, the Sun will wake up and Earth will suffer some deadly consequences, including global failure all satellite communications.

In his report, Defense Secretary Liam Fox noted that the perfect electromagnetic storm will lead to a technogenic disaster on Earth. He cited recent statistics which indicate that the surface temperature of hot stars is rapidly increasing.

Solar storms will generate a great level of radiation that will affect the Earth’s magnetic field. This could prove to be a collapse for the humanity – trains and planes will stop, GPS-navigation will be affected, mobile and radio networks will disappear.

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

JOKE #1

A child in Sunday School class, when asked to draw a picture of the Holy Family, produced a drawing in which Mary and the baby sat on a recognizably donkeyish animal, led by Joseph. On the ground nearby was a small black blob. “What is that?” asked the teacher.

“The flea,” answered the young artist.

“What flea, dear?” asked the puzzled teacher.

“The one the angel told Joseph to take”.

Eventually, puzzled but not liking to challenge an imaginative child, the teacher checked out her Bible. And there it was: Matthew 2:13 “… the angel of the Lord saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee … into Egypt …”

JOKE #2

I have a reputation for not being a fantastic cook. One evening I worked particularly hard on a new recipe and, once again, it didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped. 
My son, always sweet and conscious of my feelings, chose his words carefully after the meal. “Mom,” he said, “that dinner was so good I thought someone else made it.”

JOKE #3

The Manhattan Commuter train was packed. Suddenly there was a jingle on the floor. Most necks were craned. One elderly gentleman, however, bent down and picked something up. He then asked, “Did anyone drop a half dollar?”

“I did,” answered three men at once.

“Well,” said the elderly gent with a smile, “here’s a dime of it.”

USELESS FACTS

Yet another new study shows that the combination of fat and vitamin C in the stomach may actually promote, rather than prevent, the formation of kinds of chemicals that cause cancer.  ***So now I have to avoid orange juice when ordering my sausage McMuffin?

Britain’s National Sizing Survey found that women’s waists are disappearing. The hourglass figure is being replaced by the straight up-and-down Bridget Jones body type. Due to fast food and sedentary lifestyles, British women’s waistlines have expanded by more than six inches in the past 50 years, while the average bust and hips have grown by just one inch. The researchers believe men have ballooned just as much, but lack data on it.   ***Because men haven’t noticed.

FEATURED FUNNIES

NAVY CHRISTMAS WISH

The nuclear Aircraft Carrier, U.S.S. Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), and the ships in her Battle Group, got underway from Norfolk, Virginia last week for an extended deployment. Just as the lines were cast off, this announcement was made throughout the ship and topside on the ships intercom (1mc): “Peace on Earth to men of good will – All others, Stand By.”

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

You’ve heard of the gift that keeps on giving… well two men have taken that concept to a whole new level with a twist… it’s the gift that keeps getting given!

Roy Collette and his brother-in-law have been exchanging the same pair of pants as a Christmas present for 11 years -and each time the package gets harder to open. This year the pants came wrapped in a car mashed into a 3-foot cube. The trousers are in the glove compartment of a 1974 Gremlin. Now Collette’s plotting his revenge–if he can get them out.

It all started when Collette received a pair of moleskin trousers from his brother-in-law, Larry Kunkel of Bensenville, Ill. Kunkel’s mother had given her son the britches when he was a college student. He wore them a few times, but they froze stiff in cold weather and he didn’t like them.

So he gave them to Collette. Collette, who called the moleskins “miserable”, wore them three times, then wrapped them up and gave them back to Kunkel for Christmas the next year.

The friendly exchange continued routinely until Collette twisted the pants tightly, stuffed them into a 3-foot-long, 1-inch wide tube and gave them back to Kunkel.

The next Christmas, Kunkel compressed the pants into a 7-inch square, wrapped them with wire and gave the “bale” to Collette. Not to be outdone, the next year Collette put the pants into a 2-foot-square crate filled with stones, nailed it shut, banded it with steel and gave the trusty trousers back to Kunkel. The brothers agreed to end the caper if the trousers were damaged. But they were as careful as they were clever.

Kunkel had the pants mounted inside an insulated window that had a 20-year guarantee and shipped them off to Collette. Collette broke the glass, recovered the trousers, stuffed them into a 5-inch coffee can and soldered it shut. The can was put in a 5-gallon container filled with concrete and reinforcing rods and given to Kunkel the following Christmas.

Two years ago, Kunkel installed the pants in a 225-pound homemade steel ashtray made from 8-inch steel casings and etched Collette’s name on the side. Collette had trouble retrieving the treasured trousers, but succeeded without burning them with a cutting torch.

Last Christmas, Collette found a 600-pound safe and hauled it to Viracon Inc. in Owatonna, where the shipping department decorated it with red and green stripes, put the pants inside and welded the safe shut. The safe was then shipped to Kunkel, who is the plant manager for Viracon’s outlet in Bensenville.

Last we heard, the pants were trucked to Owatonna, 55 miles south of Minneapolis, in a drab green, 3-foot cube that once was a car with 95,000 miles on it. A note attached to the 2,000-pound scrunched car advised Collette that the pants were inside the glove compartment. “This will take some planning,” Collette said. “I will definitely get them out. I’m confident.” He then added, “Wait until next year… “I’m on the offensive again.”

INSPIRATIONAL INSPIRATION

A CHRISTMAS STORY

The story goes that some time ago, a man punished his 3-year-old daughter for wasting a roll of gold wrapping paper. Money was tight and he became infuriated when the child tried to decorate a box to put under the Christmas tree.

Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift to her father the next morning and said, “This is for you, Daddy.” He was embarrassed by his earlier overreaction, but his anger flared again when he found the box was empty.

He yelled at her, “Don’t you know when you give someone a present, there’s supposed to be something inside it?”

The little girl looked up at him with tears in her eyes and said, “Oh, Daddy, it’s not empty, I blew kisses into the box. All for you, Daddy.”

The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little girl, and he begged for her forgiveness.

It is told that the man kept that gold box by his bed for years and whenever he was discouraged, he would take out an imaginary kiss and remember the love of the child who had put it there.

DRIVE TIME DEVOTIONAL

AMAZED BY THE LIGHT

From my place in the choir loft, I have a good view of the audience during our church’s annual Festival of Lights Christmas program. Even though I’m supposed to be looking at the director, I like to sneak a peek every now and then to see how the audience is responding. This is especially fun near the end of the concert when we’re singing Handel’s magnificent “Hallelujah Chorus.”

When we get to the great crescendo, a technician hits a switch and dozens of high-powered lights arranged in the shape of a huge cross suddenly flood the audience with brilliant light. People gasp, their mouths drop open, and all eyes remain fixed on the illuminated cross as the choir sings, “Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!”

One evening, my eyes locked on the face of a little girl who was being held by her father. When the dazzling lights came on, her eyes got big, and her mouth took on the shape of a large Cheerio. For the entire time the lights shone, her lips remained frozen in a big, silent O. What a perfect picture of Christmas! A child amazed by the power of light.

Why does darkness get more attention than light? Rage, racism, materialism, selfishness, greed, immorality, lying– you name it, we’ve got it. And the worse it is, the more it fascinates us, commanding our attention until it’s solved, suppressed, or superseded by the next tragedy.

But the great surprise of Christmas is a single act of love that engulfs us in light so bright and so surprising that the only response is a breathless, silent Oh!

On one of the darkest days of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, we celebrate the coming of the brightest light that ever shone. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). The apostle Paul added, “You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8).

What makes light so amazing is that it doesn’t have to “do” anything to accomplish its purpose. It just has to exist. Wherever light is, darkness disappears and people are able to see. Why is it, I wonder, that there is so little light to amaze us? Or a better question, “Why is there not enough light in my life to amaze anyone?”

My prayer this Christmas is that from now on people will be startled by the brightness of my life. If you will join me in this prayer, the results could be very cool to watch! — JAL

LEFTOVERS

CHRISTMAS LOVE
By Candy Chand
My son, Nicholas, was in kindergarten that year. It was an exciting season for a six year old. For weeks, he’d been memorizing songs for his school’s “Winter Pageant.”

The morning of the dress rehearsal, I filed in 10 minutes early, found a spot on the cafeteria floor and sat down. Around the room, I saw several other parents quietly scampering to their seats. As I waited, the students were led into the room. Each class, accompanied by their teacher, sat cross-legged on the floor. Then, each group, one by one, rose to perform their song. Because the public school system had long stopped referring to the holiday as “Christmas”, I didn’t expect anything other than fun, commercial entertainment – songs of reindeer, Santa Claus, snowflakes and good cheer. So, when my son’s class rose to sing, “Christmas Love”, I was slightly taken aback by its bold title.
Nicholas was aglow, as were all of his classmates, adorned in fuzzy mittens, red sweaters, and bright snowcaps upon their heads.  Those in the front row – center stage – held up large letters, one by one, to spell out the title of the song.
As the class would sing “C is for Christmas”, a child would hold up the letter C. Then, “H is for Happy”, and on and on, until each child holding up his portion had presented the complete message, “Christmas Love”.
The performance was going smoothly, until suddenly, we noticed her – a small, quiet, girl in the front row holding the letter “M” upside down – totally unaware her letter “M” appeared as a “W”.
The audience of 1st through 6th graders snickered at this little one’s mistake. But she had no idea they were laughing at her, so she stood tall, proudly holding her “W”. Although many teachers tried to shush the children, the laughter continued until the last letter was raised, and we all saw it together. A hush came over the audience and eyes

began to widen. In that instant, we understood – the reason we were there, why we celebrated the holiday in the first place, why even in the chaos, there was a purpose for our festivities.
For when the last letter was held high, the message read loud and clear: CHRIST WAS LOVE.
And, I believe, He still is.

LIFE… LIVE IT

TO GIVE OR NOT TO GIVE (From Men’s Health magazine)

  • Postman: can’t accept gifts worth more than $20, so get him a couple of movie passes or a restaurant gift certificate.

  • Trashman: Five bucks each in a nice card.

  • Paper Carrier: $5 minus the cards.

  • Secretary: Work related. Fancy pen, classy desk clock or a nice organizer.

  • Co-Workers: Gift certificates, picture frames, a pretty candle.

  • Boss: Go in with everybody else for a group gift. Anything else is just schmoozing.

JUST FOR FUN

PLASTIC SURGERY

Personally adjustable face-lifts? They could be on the way!

If you think plastic surgery is getting ridiculous now, just wait a few years. A plastic surgeon was on TV saying 50 years from now, people will have tiny ADJUSTABLE implants all over their faces, enabling them to totally change their appearance in an instant. You wake up deciding you’d like bigger lips and higher cheekbones today, no problem! Simply use a hand-held facial adjustment device to re-configure your face. ***MARLAR: That’s not good for radio – most of us are here BECAUSE of our faces. Maybe radio won’t be around in fifty years… because no one will have a face for it.

FUN LIST

GREAT TRUTHS ABOUT LIFE, THAT LITTLE CHILDREN HAVE LEARNED:

1) No matter how hard you try, you can’t baptize cats.

2) When your Mom is mad at your Dad, don’t let her brush your hair.

3) If your sister hits you, don’t hit her back. They always catch the second person.

4) Never ask your 3-year old brother to hold a tomato.

5) You can’t trust dogs to watch your food.

6) Don’t sneeze when someone is cutting your hair.

7) Never hold a Dust-Buster and a cat at the same time.

8) You can’t hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk.

9) Don’t wear polka-dot underwear under white shorts.

10) The best place to be when you’re sad is Grandpa’s lap.

MORE SHOW PREP STUFF…

PET SAFETY DURING THE HOLIDAYS

We’ve all seen the cat zapped by Christmas Lights in “Christmas: Vacation.” In the spirit of the season, California veterinarians remind pet owners to be extra cautious so the holidays don’t send their pooch or kitty to the animal hospital’s emergency room… or up in smoke. To ensure your pet’s holidays are safe and carefree, the CVMA offers a few safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Keep all sweets away from pets. Chocolate, in particular, contains theobromine, a caffeine-like ingredient that can be potentially lethal to dogs. Gobbling up too much chocolate can result in vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and in severe cases, death. Do not place gifts of chocolate under your tree or on a tabletop where an inquisitive pooch might find them enticing.

  • Keep wrapped candy away from pets. Small candies can cause choking, and the crinkly cellophane or aluminum wrappers can lead to stomach obstructions, if swallowed.

  • Avoid tying yarn or ribbon around your pet’s neck. If you want to dress him/her up for the holidays, buy a festive, seasonal collar.

  • Holiday plants — particularly poinsettias, mistletoe, holly, and amaryllis — can be toxic to pets. Keep them out of your dog or cat’s reach.

  • Feed your pet nutritious snacks rather than “treating” them to high-calorie holiday foods. Our pets can put on extra pounds as quickly as we do during the holidays! Also, keep plenty of fresh water available for drinking. Pets should not be allowed to drink Christmas tree water, as it may contain pesticides or bacteria from the tree.

  • Keep a careful eye on holiday decorations. All the extra cords for lighting can be tempting targets for chewing by pets. If possible, hide or tape them to the floor to prevent shocks or electrocution. Styrofoam decorations that look like candy or berries can be appealing to puppies, but can cause distressing consequences if chewed and swallowed.

  • Christmas trees can become climbing posts, particularly for new kittens. Be sure your tree is secure and stable; consider anchoring it to the wall with fishing line, if necessary. To avoid pets shattering glass ornaments, hang breakable ornaments higher up on the tree. Loose tinsel is especially dangerous for cats, who consider it a play toy, but swallowing the metallic string can cause severe intestinal distress and damage.

  • If you’re traveling for the holidays, bring along your pet’s favorite blanket, toy, and foods so he/she feels as comfortable as possible. Bring your veterinarian’s phone number with you, in case of an emergency.

OTHER STUFF I WANT TO CRAM INTO TODAY’S PREP

Which is better for breakfast: oatmeal or cold cereal? The answer is unequivocally oatmeal. It will not only leave you feeling more satisfied and full than an oat-based, ready-to-eat cereal, but also help you to eat less at lunch. During the research project, those who consumed the oatmeal four hours after eating reported greater feelings of fullness, as well as decreased feelings of hunger and desire to eat. Eating less later in the day translates into fewer calories — and a lower number on the bathroom scale. Why? Oatmeal has more soluble oat fiber than cold cereal, which is a more satiating fiber. Plus, oatmeal is one of the top foods you can eat to naturally help lower your LDL “bad” cholesterol.

Yahoo News has found some of the most spectacular Christmas trees from around the world and now they are sharing them in a 67 second video. https://yhoo.it/2hXg0AZ

An Alabama second-grader didn’t want her fellow classmates to go without this holiday season. So she took it upon herself to give everyone a present. Abby Henderson gave each of the 430 students at Southview Primary School in Opelika, Alabama, a gift that included a toy, pencils, candy and a holiday cup. Her mom says the 8 year old paid for the $200 in supplies by doing jobs around the house between Thanksgiving and the beginning of the Christmas break.

http://abcn.ws/2i7QoAy

The Transportation Security Administration is out with their list of the most unusual items found at airport checkpoints over the past year. According to NBC News, items on the list include:

1. Five dead endangered seahorses found inside an oversized bottle of brandy,

2. a replica of a suicide vest

3. a trailer hitch cover shaped like a hand grenade

4. a five-bladed flogger

5. a Hello Kitty-themed firearm

6. a movie prop corpse

http://nbcnews.to/2hAvnS6

AND I LEAVE YOU WITH THIS THOUGHT

The boss gave me my Christmas bonus—but for some reason I’m a little leery about a canned ham that comes with cooking instructions in Cambodian. Seriously though… Merry Christmas, and may we not go so overboard on the festivity that we forget about the Nativity. –HaLife

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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