Wednesday, December 05, 2007

THURSDAY THIRTEEN #44 -- It's beginning to sound a lot like Christmas



1. White Christmas. “May your days be merry and bright, and may all your Christmases be white.” A sweet, enduring sentiment, and I especially love the pure, restrained, peerless rendition by Barbra Streisand.

2. Blue Christmas. By Elvis. Of course. Accept no substitutes.

3. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus. When you hear John Mellencamp do this, you’ll just know that Santa rocks.

4. Santa, Bring My Baby Back to Me. If Santa heard Elvis' plea, he couldn't possibly refuse.

5. Merry Christmas, Baby. When the Boss sings this, I have very vivid fantasies about mistletoe and all its possibilities.

6. Sleigh Ride. I love Andy Williams’ "ring-a-ling" version. Maybe it’s cheesy. I don’t know, as I can’t be objective when it comes to Andy and Christmas. I so loved his Christmas specials when I was a kid!

7. The Christmas Song. “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire …” You know, I’ve never seen, heard or smelled chestnuts roasting on an open fire. And yet, this is one of the most powerfully evocative holiday songs. Go figure.

8. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. It’s always lovely, but no one does it like the lady who introduced it – Judy Garland.

9. River. “I’m so hard to handle. I’m selfish and I’m sad …” The holidays can be an emotional roller coaster for me, and this wistful Joni Mitchell song completely captures that spirit of the season. James Taylor did an exceptional rendition of this recently.

10. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. But only by Dean Martin. Dino gets goofy and begins referring to “Rudy, the red-beaked reindeer.” Cracks me up every time.

And beyond Santa and Rudolph and snow, Christmas is about the birth of Christ the Savior. I love welcoming Christmas Day by singing these carols at the midnight service.

11. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear.

12. The First Noel.

13. Silent Night.

Include your link in the comments and I'll list you here
1. Samantha K shares what popped into her head this afternoon
2. Damozel shows us how to increase our blog traffic
3. Lori lists 13 of life's toughest lessons
4. Sandy Carlson is a biblical one about fear
5. Sandee highlights 13 very funny people
6. Shesawriter lists 13 men who are guaranteed to get your pulse racing
7. Chelle Y. loves holiday TV specials
8. Nicholas' TT is a literary one, this time highlighting the ladies
9. Greatfullivin takes a closer look at George and Mary Bailey
10. Mocha Mom tells us a little more about Mocha Mom
11. Malcolm's TT is a birthday tribute to Little Richard
12. Lori's TT is very wise and insightful
13. Jenny McB's TT is yummy
14. Works for Mom has some genuinely "unique" holiday gifts
15. No Nonsense Girl shares what's on her mind
16. Secret Agent Mama has an astrological TT
17. Candy shares 13 inspirational quotes
18. Fresh Girl has a warm, funny list
19. Natalie shows us why she's a Calvin & Hobbs fan
20. Adelle's TT also celebrates the season
21. Denise's TT is about St. Nick
22. Carrie Lofty tackles 13 questions
23. Mo and I are tracking with our lists!

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Why you should always check for shoes

Yesterday I stopped at the ladies' room en route to our status meeting. Even though I was behind closed doors, I knew who had entered the next stall. One of my coworkers -- I'll call her "Brittany" -- is a bit of a germophobe and she always takes the tissue paper toilet seat covers from the wall dispenser with great flourish. She also only had a moment, since she was due in the same meeting I was. She concluded her affairs before I did and was headed out the door. Before she made it, her boss -- I'll call her "The Terminator" -- entered.

The Terminator and I have a complicated relationship. I hate her, and for some reason she refuses to accept this. She is a Vice President, a woman with good ideas, and the worst people skills ever. Rather than say that she doesn't know or needs to check on something (thereby fearing she'll lose our respect), she shoots from hip. Because of her stature, we act on her edicts. Since she's often wrong, we frequently end up doing double work. But that's OK -- she'll haughtily deny the direction she gave by saying, "Did I not make myself clear?" Because she knows I can't stand her, she spends more time on my efforts, giving me pointless direction I don't need in a fruitless attempt to "bring me to heel." Other times she tries to chat me up and compliments me excessively when I don't deserve it. I've known me for a long time and trust me, these are not the ways to win me over.

Sometimes I feel sorry for the old Terminator. She clearly feels she's in over her head and is terrified we'll find out. The thing of it is, she is smart. She is qualified to do this job. If she just wasn't so unutterably pushy and brittle, I might actually enjoy working with her. As it is, knowing that she actually cares what lowly little me thinks of her imbues me with a bratty, childish sense of power.

Anyway, Terminator intercepted Brittany and asked what she was doing for the first night of Hanukkah. Brittany was having people over but bemoaned the color of her candles. Since I didn't feel like dealing with them, and because I didn't think this conversation could last long, I stayed … put.

The Terminator took the opportunity to complain about how "obnoxious" Christmas is. How if she sees any more "red and green" she'll "puke." Her Kindergarten-aged daughter only gets to celebrate Christmas at her father's house, and the Terminator is sick of hearing her cry because the little girl doesn't understand why she can't have Christmas lights in her bedroom window at home. Then the Terminator started on "them." Why can't "they" devote more space in stores to Hanukkah? Why do "they" have to do so much for "their" holiday? Again, she said, "Christmas is obnoxious."

By now I was afraid I'd be late for the meeting -- and that I'd have a red ring forever imprinted on my ass -- so I stood up, zipped up and emerged from the stall. The Terminator and Brittany looked soooo embarrassed! They couldn't even make eye contact with me. Because I'm perverse, I wanted to put a hand on each of their shoulders and say, "That's OK. I forgive you both for killing my Lord."

Yes, I was offended by the Terminator. Not because she was Christmas-bashing. Yes, as a Christian it made me uncomfortable. But my faith is not so fragile that the Terminator's disdain for the non-religious traditions of Christmas can rattle me. Plus I have compassion for how hard it must be to try to raise her daughter in a Jewish household when her exhusband tempts the poor wee one with Christmas.

It's just that what she did was SO STUPID!

I could have been a client visiting the agency. Because she's a VP and in a position of power, I could have taken her to Human Resources and complained that she was creating a hostile workplace. It's scares me that a dumb bunny like the Terminator actually has power in this agency, yet not the sense to check for shoes before she starts bashing another religion.

Plus, let's face it, folks: We're in marketing, and we know that stores stock items based on supply and demand. If she wants to go to stores that don't have a lot of Christmas decorations, she needs to shop in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood. She understands demographics, she knows this.

It makes me happy that it was me that heard her. She knows I hold her in only the mildest esteem to begin with, and that this won't help. Tee hee. Tee hee.

My office was already decorated for Christmas, with a stocking hung on the bulletin board, Santa and snowmen in the window, and big bows on the file cabinet. But now that I know how much my obnoxious holiday bothers her, I think I have to go out and get a nativity scene to display. Would a life-size one be over the top? What about real animals? Too much, you think?

And now, if you'll excuse me, I have to start playing Christmas Carols. Tee hee. Tee hee.