It’s a Wonderful Life

This past weekend, I watched It’s a Wonderful Life for only the second time. I watched it once sometime during my childhood, and though many say it’s a holiday classic, I have not really had an interest in watching it more than once. Honestly, I probably would not have chosen to watch it had it not been on my movie bucket list.

I couldn’t really say why this movie didn’t appeal to me, so I thought I would give it a second try and see if my opinion would change at all. Maybe watching it as a young adult instead of as a child would allow me to understand what generations of people saw in this film. Maybe as a child, I just didn’t enjoy movies in black and white.

Nope. I still don’t get it.

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The Office, My Office #9: Dwight Christmas

EPISODE 9.09: DWIGHT CHRISTMAS
Having forgotten to plan the office Christmas party, the Party Planning Committee decides to let Dwight throw a traditional Pennsylvania Dutch Christmas. Meanwhile in the Annex, Pete (AKA the new Jim) discovers that Erin has never seen Die Hard, a movie that he has completely memorized.

Where do I even begin?

Let’s start in the Annex. We have someone like Pete – someone who can essentially recite a movie from beginning to end. Unlike Pete, though, our guy knows more than Die Hard. It’s a little Rain Man-esque how much our guy knows about movies, both the mainstream and the obscure. And it’s not like he’s memorized these movies because he’s seen them many times. It’s more like he has an uncanny memory for all things film. You can randomly mention any movie, and if he’s seen it at least once, you can expect a complete retelling of the entire story. If you’re lucky, he might do voices. Just watch out for spoilers.

Back at the party, Dwight is dressed as Belsnickel, a German version of Santa Claus described on Wikipedia as “a crotchety, fur-clad Christmas gift-bringer figure.” Dwight filled a punch bowl with wine that tastes like lava and can be used to sterilize medical instruments. As Jim and Pam check out the table of food, they come across a mysterious meatloaf-looking dish. “Somebody’s found the hog maw!” Dwight exclaims. WAIT. What did he say? Did he say “hog maw” or “hog maul”? Because one is a dish made of pig stomach and the other, Hogmaul, is an independent horror movie for which two of my coworkers have done some behind-the-scenes work…

Okay, it’s starting to get creepy. Which one of my coworkers is secretly a writer for The Office?

The Office, My Office #5: Yankee Swap

EPISODE 2.10: CHRISTMAS PARTY
Michael Scott, disappointed that his Secret Santa, Phyllis, gave him a hand-knit oven mitt, changes the game and starts a round of Yankee Swap AKA white elephant AKA nasty Christmas.

My office also celebrates Christmas with a white elephant gift exchange. And like in The Office, it usually doesn’t end well.

Two years ago, this simple and light-hearted gift exchange turned into a complicated and stressful event. After three hours (well, maybe it was only two hours), the box of chocolate and the Wal-Mart gift card had exchanged hands 27 times, and everyone FINALLY had a gift. Several were still unhappy with their gifts (perhaps even bitterly and outspokenly so), and they arranged for a few independent exchanges. I left that party with a men’s Shake Weight and a glittery ornament the size of a bowling ball. Last year, the process improved slightly, everyone understood the rules a little bit better, and I got a self-inking rubber stamp of red lips. Who knows what this year will bring…

Minimalist Christmas Gifts

Prior to the Christmas holiday, I designed a coupon book for one of my bosses to give to her adult children as gifts. The book contained 12 coupons that could be redeemed throughout the year for items like “Oil Change,” “Electric Bill,” or “$100.” I took this opportunity to have fun with design, and I ended up with something my coworker may have described as “deliciously minimalist.”

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Gift Tag Collection (Christmas)

This year, I decided to make Christmas cards for my friends and coworkers. I have made cards in the past for general note-sending, so I have a collection of card stock and pages ripped from magazines, IKEA catalogs, and old textbooks from the ’80s. It was a creative, personal, and cost-effective way to send holiday greetings. Auntie Anne’s thought it was a great idea when I tweeted about it, so they are sending me pretzel buttons and stickers for future card-making!

In this collection, I put to good use all the area rug advertisements cut out from Architectural Digest magazine.

Inside: May the greatest gift you receive this Christmas be the peace, love, and joy of Jesus Christ.

Click thumbnail to enlarge image.