December 25, 2016: Sunday ONAIRprep

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Here it is Christmas Day and the lights still aren’t working right on the tree. Honest. Last year I didn’t find the burned out light bulb until Easter.

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas songs have a mixed effect on me. Some get me in the mood for Christmas, others get me in the mood to fight the Russian from Rocky IV.


“For God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son, so that anyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.” –John 3:16-17

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.” — Luke 2:10



God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” — Luke 1:26-28

Thought: Wow! Such a familiar sentence packed with emotion. An angel comes to Nazareth to visit and speak with a young woman engaged to be married. Before the history shattering news is announced, she is given one key reminder that will be truer than she could imagine, “The Lord is with you.”

Prayer: My request, O God, I’ve sung many times: “Be with me Lord, I cannot live without Thee. I cannot bear, to take one step alone.” Father, I need your abiding presence to face the challenges of life. As you have upheld your children through the ages, I am thankful to greet each day knowing that I will not face it alone. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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

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

Proverbs 12:25 NIV = An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.


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

Today is CHRISTMAS DAY. Commemorating the birth of Jesus – God in human form. Christmas is celebrated in at least 105 countries.

Today is A’PHABET DAY. ***Also known as “NO ‘L’ DAY”. Get it? NOEL?!?! Lame, I know.

Today GRAVITY DAY (always on the birthday of Sir Isaac Newton who was born in 1642). ***They say Sir Isaac Newton discovered gravity… if that’s true, how did we stay on the ground before he discovered it?

It’s NATIONAL PUMPKIN PIE DAY. ***Whether it’s fresh from the oven or leftover from Thanksgiving, it’s still worth digging into!

Today is PLAY IT AGAIN SAM DAY – celebrated on the birthday of Humphrey Bogart, who is said to have uttered these words in the classic movie Casablanca (which he never did say). ***So today is the day to go out and do something again that you’ve done before and enjoyed. Like eating pumpkin pie!

Christmas Pudding Day Link

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


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


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


Holy Innocents Day
Endangered Species Act Day
National Chocolate Da  Link

Pledge of Allegiance Day


Tick Tock Day


Bacon Day Link
Falling Needles Family Fest Day
No Interruptions Day


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


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


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


336: This is the earliest known year that Jesus’ nativity was celebrated on December 25th, as mentioned in the Philocalian Calendar of A.D. 354. Jesus’ birth was commemorated on January 6th in Greek Orthodoxy, although by the 400s most of the Eastern churches had accepted the Roman date. (Almanac of the Christian Church, William D. Blake, Bethany House, Minneapolis, 1987)

1223: St. Francis of Assisi assembled one of the first Nativity scenes, in Greccio, Italy.

1621: Governor Bradford of Plymouth Colony ordered all “articles of play” confiscated, ruling that playing games on Christmas Day was not appropriate. ***Blast that Burgermeister Meisterburger!

1938: After auditioning hundreds for the role, producer David O. Selznick chose British actress Vivien Leigh to play Scarlett O’Hara in “Gone With The Wind.”

1961: Using a centrifuge made from a gramophone motor, Czech Professor Otto Wichterle spun history’s first soft contact lens in Prague. He was removed as head of the Czech Chemistry Institute after organizing anti-communists protests in 1968, and never became wealthy from his invention. He died in 1998 at age 84.

1976: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers became members of the Grand Ole Opry.

1989: For the first time in history, Christmas masses were broadcast live in Eastern Europe.

1995: Attorney Andre-Francois Raffray died at age 77 in Arles, France. At age 47, Raffray had agreed to pay 90-year-old Jeanne Calment’s rent of $500 a month until she died on the condition that he would inherit her home. The 120-year-old Calment celebrated Christmas with dinner at an Arles hotel. She died in 1997.

2002: Katie Hnida became the first woman to play in a Division I college football game when she attempted an extra point following a New Mexico touchdown in the Las Vegas Bowl. Hnida’s kick was blocked but she had already made history in the 27-13 loss to UCLA.


496: King Clovis, who united Gaul and founded France, is baptized in the Cathedral of Rheims, followed by 3,000 of his soldiers. “Worship what you once burned, and burn what you worshipped,” the priest instructed him. However, Clovis and his troops showed little change after their “conversion” and apparently believed Christ was merely a war god who would grant them victory if they prayed for it.

525: Easter tables by Dioysius Exiguus wrongly give December 25th as the date of Christ’s birth.

800: Pope Leo III is crowns Charlemagne, the first ruler of the Holy Roman Empire.

1814: First Protestant sermon on New Zealand soil preached by Rev. Samuel Marsden, colonial chaplain of New South Wales. Spearhead of the CMS mission to the Maoris, who were baptized in droves in the 1830’s.

1865: Evangeline Booth is born, the last of the Booth children.

1931: Missionary radio station HCJB, run by World Radio Missionary Fellowship, Inc., begins broadcasting the Gospel from Quito, Ecuador, to eastern Asia.


  • actress (“Brooklyn South”, “Millennium”, “Intelligence”) Klea Scott 48
  • political advisor Karl “The Architect” Rove 66
  • actress (Cole Miner’s Daughter, JFK, Tuck Everlasting, Four Christmases, An American Haunting, “Bloodline”) Sissy Spacek 67
  • actor (Travis on “WKRP in Cincinnati”) Gary Sandy 71 (audio clip)


(Music Artist Birthdays From

1907 : Cab Calloway

1912 : Tony Martin

1915 : Pete Rugolo

1929 : Billy Horton (The Silhouettes)

1929 : Chris Kenner

1934 : McKinley Mitchell

1937 : O’Kelly Isley (The Isley Nrothers)

1943 : Trevor Lucas (Fairport Convention)

1944 : Henry Vestine (Canned Heat)

1944 : John Edwards (The Spinners)

1945 : Noel Redding (The Jimi Hendrix Experience)

1945 : Steve Mancha (100 Proof Aged in Soul)

1946 : Jimmy Buffett

1948 : Barbara Mandrell

1954 : Robin Campbell (UB40)

1954 : Annie Lennox

1957 : Shane McGowan (The Pogues)

1971 : Noel Hogan (The Cranberries)

1972 : Dido


How did the word “Yuletide” originate?
The word “Yuletide” originated from the word “Yule”, which was recorded In Latin writings as early as A.D. 726. At that time, the form of the word was “guili”. Both terms refer to a 12-day pagan feast celebrated around the time of year that has come to be known as the Christmas season.


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

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!


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.


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!


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.


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OPEN: And now,, (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.


Today’s Moment of Duh is caused by a spelling error on the jerseys of a university’s basketball team!

If we had a Moment of Duh award, one would have to go to Western Illinois University back in 2002 because not one basketball team member had noticed, for several games, and after appearing in uniform in their media guide, and then not until someone pointed it out to them, that “Illinois,” emblazoned across their white home team tops, was misspelled “Illinios.”



10.  An autographed photo of Herod!

9.  An AAA travel guide to Egypt!

8.  A copy of “Following Stars For Fun And Prophet”!

7.  The home version of “Survivor”!

6.  An “I Be The KING Of Kings” Tee shirt!

5.  Herod’s latest CD: “I Did It MY Way!”

4.  Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh Chia Pets!

3.  The “Ronco Jr. Miracle-making Workshop”!

2.  A “Set the Prisoners Free” card!

1.  Fruitcake!! (No one liked it–even back then!)


When deciding to steal something from a car, be sure it is not a police cruiser – and be sure the officer isn’t standing nearby watching you.

FILE #1: Ron Powell spotted a pack of cigarettes, a lighter and a candy bar inside an unlocked car. Unable to resist, he reached in and grabbed the goodies. And to cover his tracks, he then stepped back and wiped down the car with a towel to erase his fingerprints. Unfortunately for him he was so focused on the things he wanted to steal that he failed to notice a couple of other important things about the car. Like the police radio inside and the police light rack on the roof. Yep, he robbed a police car.  In broad daylight.  With the officer standing nearby. Yes, he’s in jail.

FILE #2: A Florence, Oregon, woman was arrested for arson and burglary after, police say, she set fire to a neighbor’s trailer home for allegedly stealing her keys, then later found her keys hanging from her pants pocket.

FILE #3: A thief in Bogota, Colombia, ended up in the hospital after he tried to rob a karate academy. ***MARLAR: Something tells me he didn’t think that one through.

STRANGE LAW: In New York it is against the law to throw a ball at someone’s head for fun.


Advertising your product to the world for them to buy is a good thing – unless you’re selling illegal drugs.

Two students at Boston’s Northeastern University were arrested after one allegedly leaned out their dorm window and shouted, “If you’re looking for weed, my roommate has some for sale!”  ***MARLAR: Well, at least that student will learn ONE lesson this year.


What gift did you receive for Christmas that was a complete surprise to you?


QUESTION: Which Old Testament prophet had predicted that Jesus would be born in

ANSWER: Micah (Micah 5:2 = “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old from everlasting.”


QUESTION: Where did the word “Christmas” originate?
ANSWER: The Nativity of Christ was introduced as a special feast in Rome about the middle of the 4th century. The word “Christmas” can be traced back to 1038 to the “Mass of Christ,” in old English pronounced “Cristes Maesse.”


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. The movie “Holiday Inn” introduced us to the song “Silver Bells.” (False – that was from The Lemon Drop Kid starring Bob Hope. The song was written by the composers of “The Theme from Mr. Ed,” Jay Livingston & Ray Evans)

2. More than 30-million Americans had presents under their Christmas tree this morning for their dog. (True)

3. It snowed once in the Sahara Desert. (True – on February 18, 1979. Not surprisingly, the snow quickly melted. This is the only recorded incident of it happening in the Sahara Desert.)

4. 30% of U.S. families put up an artificial Christmas tree each year. (False – it’s more like 22%.)

5. In England, Father Christmas has two addresses, Edinburgh and the North Pole. (True. Letters addressed to ‘TOYLAND’ or ‘SNOWLAND’ go to Edinburgh, but letters addressed to ‘THE NORTH POLE’ have to be sent there because there really is such a place!)

6. Rudolph’s father is Comet. (False – it’s Donner)

7. An old wives’ tale says that bread baked on Christmas Eve will never go moldy. (True, it’s an old wives’ tale. However, it’s not true that the bread won’t go moldy. It will.)

8. It’s not until the twelfth night of Christmas that the Three Kings are supposed to be added to the Christmas nativity scene. (True. In Germany, Twelfth Night – the evening of January 5th – is known as ‘Three Kings Day’. More info HERE.)

9. Mincemeat pie shouldn’t be eaten until after sundown on January 5th. (True. Eating mince pies at Christmas dates back to the 16th century. It is still believed that to eat a mince pie on each of the Twelve Days of Christmas will bring 12 happy months in the year to follow.)

10. Over the river and through the woods, to grandmother’s arms we go. (False – “to grandmother’s HOUSE we go.”)


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


IRAN –  Iranian officials  confirmed today that they have found Noah’s Ark!

A team of top Iranian archaeologists discovered the prominent ancient boat at just over 13,000 feet on Mount Suleiman in Iran’s Elburz mountain range over the weekend.

“It is absolutely, certainly Noah’s ark,” said Tariz Ibaq, president of the Koran Archaeology Search and Exploration Institute, based in Tehran.  The group went on an expedition five months ago and were pleased to make the dramatic discovery.

Photos taken by KASE members show a prow-shaped outcrop, made of petrified wood, emerging from a ridge in the mountains.

“We have had thin sections of the rock and identified ancient wood cell structures,” Ibaq said.

Iranian leader, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said this proves that Noah’s ark came to its final resting placein Iran and proves that Iranians are God’s “chosen people.”



A 4-year-old boy who was asked to return thanks before Christmas dinner. The family members bowed their heads in expectation. He began his prayer, thanking God for all his friends, naming them one by one. Then he thanked God for Mommy, Daddy, Brother, Sister, Grandma, Grandpa, and all his aunts and uncles. Then he began to thank God for the food. He gave thanks for the turkey, the dressing, the fruit salad, the cranberry sauce, the pies, the cakes, even the Cool Whip. Then he paused, and everyone waited–and waited. After a long silence, the young fellow looked up at his mother and asked, “If I thank God for the broccoli, won’t he know that I’m lying?”


One weekend Sally, a nurse, was looking after her six-year-old nephew when he fell off a playground slide and hit his head. Worried that he might have a concussion, she checked him all night. Every hour, she’d gently shake him and ask, “What’s your name?”

Soon, he began moaning in protest each time she entered the room. When Sally went in at 5:00 A.M., she found something white on his forehead.

Leaning close, she saw a crayon-scrawled message taped to his forehead. It read: “My name is Daniel.”


“Look at ME!” boasted the fit old man to a group of young people. “Every morning I do fifty push-ups, fifty sit-ups and walk two miles. I’m fit as a fiddle! And you want to know why? I don’t smoke, I don’t drink, I don’t stay up late, and I don’t chase after women!”

He smiled at them, teeth white, eyes glittering, “And tomorrow, I’m going to celebrate my 95th birthday!”

“Oh, really?” drawled one of the young onlookers, “How?”


A medical intern at a hospital in Austria mistakenly injected an elderly patient with olive oil instead of antibiotics after mixing up the vials at her bedside. The olive oil had been placed there by a physiotherapist for a massage. Fortunately, doctors said she would not suffer any serious complications from having olive oil in her veins. ***What about the complications from being massaged with tetracycline?

A Japanese teen was banned from attending a school dance after being busted for excessive cursing at school. But he knew the dance was a big one and he really wanted to go. So he did. He managed to get in by disguising himself as a girl, complete with a black dress, sandals, nail polish, glasses and a wig. His sister and her girlfriends helped with the disguise.  His success was short-lived, however… he was spotted the second he walked in. ***At which point he began cursing excessively.



A little boy, excited about his part in the Christmas play at school, came home and shouted, “I got a part in the Christmas play! I got a part in the Christmas play!”

“What part did you get?” asked his mother excitedly.
“I’m one of the three wise guys!”


Planning to ship something to that special person in the military overseas?  You might want to consider shopping online somewhere other than Wal-Mart.

You might get a very unpleasant surprise when ordering gifts online for that solider serving overseas from Wal-Mart, who currently have the biggest markup on shipping charges for the military. On a $120 purchase, charged $10.35 to ship to an APO address, compared with just $2.10 to a stateside address. However, for most items, charged the same to ship to an APO address as a stateside address and offered free shipping on a $120 purchase to an APO address. Wal-Mart officials would not comment except to say, “We continue to work with carriers to negotiate favorable shipping rates.” But Earl Small, the postmaster at Wiesbaden Army Airfield, said that the shipping and handling charges have nothing to do with the military postal system or the U.S. Postal Service and points out that, “A company can charge whatever they want.” According to Small, when companies ship to APO addresses, the order is shipped to New York, after which the Department of Defense picks up the tab to get the package to an APO address overseas. And in his strongest statement Small said flat out, “There are no higher transportation costs. Companies are abusing the system and making a killing.”  ***MARLAR: Thanks for your patriotism, Wal-Mart.


What do you really want for the holidays? USA Today printed these letters from children written to Santa Claus and directed to the US Post Office:

Dear Santa: The only wish I want is to have a nice Christmas for my little brothers. We don’t have the money to put nothing under the tree because of welfare. Please help. There are five kids and it’s hard for Mom. – Lisa

Dear Santa: I want to help the kids that don’t get anything for Christmas. It is real important to me. I don’t want just to help in the United States but all over the world. – Austin

Dear Santa: We will give you lots of goodies. One present is to find my dog Boom Boom. – Joni

Dear Santa: This Christmas I would like four things. Understanding for the children. Respect for the parents. Love for the elders and peace for everyone. – Rebecca

What these children really want runs deeper than the latest toy fad or a new outfit. I believe they want what we all want, when we get down to it.  It may make you think of a story that comes out of World War I. It was December 25, 1917. Only a short distance of mud separated two enemy trenches – German and American. They had been shooting at each other for days, but today their thoughts turned to hearth and home. Suddenly, a German soldier laid down his rifle, pulled a block of chocolate from his pocket, and tossed it into the American trench. In response an American tossed over a can of milk. Soon gifts were being passed back and forth, and the men were both laughing and weeping.

Peace was what they really wanted at that sacred time of the year. They wanted the war to be over and to be home. They wanted to quit the fighting and violence and live in harmony. What they really wanted was what we all want.  Never stop believing that it can be so.


We pray that this season and through the coming year you will experience all the blessings the Lord Jesus Christ came to give us.  “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might be rich.” –2 Corinthians 9:8

While He lived in heaven the Lord Jesus Christ was rich. He had everything that belonged to Him as God the Son. He reigned in majesty supreme in heaven. He was the owner of all things. He was full of joy and perfectly satisfied.
When He became a man he laid aside all His wealth. He spent His first night in a smelly place with the cattle. He grew up in a carpenter’s home. When He became an adult He said, “The foxes have holes and the birds have their nests but the Son of man has no place to lay His head.” When He paid the temple tax He sent Peter to catch a fish which had a coin in his mouth worth enough to pay it. When died He had no earthly possessions but the clothes He wore. The ultimate poverty was His death between two criminals.
He became poor and despised that He might forgive our sins and share with us His own wealth of spirit and His position of favor and power at the Father’s right hand. So we are rich. God has given us everything we need to share His abundant life here and to prepare for life in heaven for all eternity.
“Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15).
Keep your heart in tune with God this Christmas… and enjoy all His gifts.



What’s all this hectic rush and worry?
Where go these crowds who run and scurry?
Why all the lights – the Christmas trees?
The jolly “fat man,” tell me please!

Why, don’t you know?  This is the day
For parties and for fun and play;
Why this is Christmas!

So this is Christmas, did you say?
But where is Christ this Christmas Day?
Has He been lost among the throng?
His voice drowned out by empty song?

No, He’s not here – you’ll find Him where
Some humble soul now kneels in prayer,
Who knows the Christ of Christmas.

But see the many aimless thousands who gather on this Christmas Day,
Whose hearts have never yet been opened, or said to Him, “Come in to stay.”

In countless homes the candles burning,
In countless hearts expectant yearning
For gifts and presents, food and fun,
And laughter till the day is done.

But not a tear of grief or sorrow
For Him so poor He had to borrow
A crib, a colt, a boat, a bed
Where He could lay His weary head.

I’m tired of all this empty celebration,
Of feasting, drinking, recreation;
I’ll go instead to Calvary.

And there I’ll kneel with those who know
The meaning of that manger low,
And find the Christ – this Christmas.

I leap by faith across the years
To that great day when He appears
The second time, to rule and reign,
To end all sorrow, death, and pain.

In endless bliss we then shall dwell
With Him who saved our souls from hell.
And worship Christ – not Christmas!



  • Give your bank teller a candy cane! (Or any other little goodie.)
  • Give at least ONE heartfelt compliment to someone everyday. (Save one for yourself, too.)
  • Be the first to say “Merry Christmas.” (Or at least a friendly and hearty “Hello!”)
  • Smile at someone who looks a little “Grinchy.” Don’t be upset if they don’t smile back, but chances are that they will!
  • Help some senior and elderly citizens in your neighborhood put up their decorations. (And remember to go back later to take them down!)
  • Hug a child. (Start with yours!)



Proving once again that just everything in the world is bad for you, it’s now being said that candles are part of our global pollution problem. Candles. Now doesn’t that just burn you up?

Candles are now being blamed for our global pollution problems!  According to research done by the US Environmental Protection Agency (who believes that everything in the world will eventually kill you), burning candles can lead to high levels of pollutants (called particulates) released into the atmosphere. According to one EPA spokesperson, “If I were someone who had a health problem like asthma, and I were looking for things to prevent aggravating my respiratory problems, candles and incense are two things I would seriously consider” getting rid of.” ***MARLAR: Well, yeah – but saying candles are partially responsible for global pollution?  Sometimes I think the EPA is bad for our health.



1. If you eat a Christmas cookie fresh out of the oven, it has no calories because everyone knows that the first cookie is the test and thus calorie free.

2. If you drink a diet soda after eating your second cookie, it also has no calories because the diet soda cancels out the cookie calories.

3. If a friend comes over while you’re making your Christmas cookies and needs to sample, you must sample with your friend. Because your friend’s first cookie is calorie free, (rule #1) yours is also. It would be rude to let your friend sample alone and, being the friend that you are, that makes your cookie calorie free.

4. Any cookie calories consumed while walking around will fall to your feet and eventually fall off as you move. This is due to gravity and the density of the caloric mass.

5. Any calories consumed during the frosting of the Christmas cookies will be used up because it takes many calories to lick excess frosting from a knife without cutting your tongue.

6. Cookies colored red or green have very few calories. Red ones have three and green ones have five – one calorie for each letter. Make more red ones!

7. Cookies eaten while watching “Miracle on 34th Street” have no calories because they are part of the entertainment package and not part of one’s personal fuel.

8. As always, cookie pieces contain no calories because the process of breaking causes calorie leakage.

9. Any cookies consumed from someone else’s plate have no calories since the calories rightfully belong to the other person and will cling to their plate. We all know how calories like to CLING!

10. Any cookies consumed while feeling stressed have no calories because cookies used for medicinal purposes NEVER have calories. It’s a rule!

So, go out and enjoy those Christmas Cookies – we only get them this time of year!


They are the most hated Christmas songs of all time! What would be on YOUR list?

How many times can you hear “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” or Madonna trying — but not even coming close– to best Eartha Kitt with “Santa Baby” before you just scream? The Washington Post has called these two songs, along with Barbra Streisand’s “Jingle Bells” and the Jackson 5’s “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” the “sonic equivalent of a chorus of screeching cats.” They are among the most hated Christmas songs of all time — but they aren’t the most hated. The honor of the most hated Christmas song of all time goes to “Jingle Bells,” as “performed” by the Singing Dogs, a 1955 Danish record that was reedited and released in 1970.


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.

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.

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


It’s amazing how everybody gets into the Christmas spirit. I actually received a card from the finance company that said, “Merry Christmas: Second Notice!”


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 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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