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Hello! Welcome to our special, interactive edition of The Clare and Chrissy Show. Other than any additional inches on our hips and the decorations that we might have not yet put away, Halloween is now a memory and the snowball of Holiday celebrations has started rolling. We’re counting on you to be the key ingredient in making this a special and interactive post, so please, grab your coffee and get ready, set and go!

Clare: Before we get caught up in the chaos and stress the end of the year always seems to bring, Chrissy and I would like to pause and reflect on a few special items that have brought us particular joy in the past year. (Image of Bunnies do Scream copyright by Misterlingo)

Chrissy: And share a few of our more humorous holiday happenings.

Clare: We’d like you to chime in as well...

Chrissy: Topping the list of things we feel grateful for are always the faithful few. Those items near and dear to our hearts: chocolate, coffee, our friendship, families, and self-cleaning ovens.

Clare: Wait, you put chocolate and coffee before our friendship?

Chrissy: Think about it for a moment.

Clare: Hmmmmm. Nuff said LOL.

Chrissy: I have to say I’m grateful for the new awareness toward bullying and intolerance sweeping across the U.S. While groups like The Trevor Project and the phenomenal It Get’s Better are making national news when it comes to GLBT youth and their issues, they are also opening the door for dialogue in many other areas as well.

Clare: It’s interesting to watch this as an observer outside the States. We’ve been engrossed in the UK with many, maybe less heartening issues. We’ve had a new coalition government which one would hope means a new spirit of tolerance and joint effort, but seems to be more of “he said / she said” and “It wasn’t me!”. No, I’m not getting All Political – at least not in this forum – but the confusion is colouring the mood here, especially in the light of all the economic uncertainty.

Chrissy: We just went through a mid-term election ourselves - lots of changes on the local levels and a butt-load of negativity in the ads! Definitely one of the reasons I needed to sit back and reflect on things more positive before the end of the year.

Clare: One thing that’s struck me this year has been the effect of events on young and old, the two extremes. My gratitude list includes - daily! - my marvellous and inspiring mother, who’s unfortunately slipped further into ill health this year (which I don't think she'd mind me mentioning here). She's at home and much loved and gently cared for, but the recent belt-tightening measures in the UK threaten to have a serious impact on future care for our senior citizens.

And at the other end of the life 'n gratitude scale are my Sons. As infuriating and challenging as they can be, they remain one of my greatest joys. Yet it seems they'll have to fight that much harder for a future, as facilities for young people are reduced, and fees for further education increased. I wasn't going to go all political, was I? It just makes me treasure the family and friends I have all the more.

Chrissy: We do want to cling to the familiar and people who help us feel safe and comfortable. Especially when there is such turmoil around us. And can we hope to be so gently cared for when it comes our time?

Clare: After the cost of all this further education - I'd like to say I'm investing in it :). I've had my share of health worries this year, but hopefully will be battling on for many years to come.

Chrissy: Along with the state of your continued good health, humor tops my gratitude list. The web world has continued to expand my horizons. I may have started years ago with B. Kliban but where would I be today without my daily feed of LOL Cats?

Clare: Lord, you and your cats.

Chrissy: Heh. Watch out. Us crazy cat folks are going to take over the world. Check this out: Cats. They're not just for crazy old ladies anymore.

Clare: Moving right along...Maybe my British humour (watch the added U, kids) is different, but it’s way top of MY gratitude list as well :). I'm still chuckling over the movie "Despicable Me", the stand-up humour of Eddie Izzard and the movie spoofs of French and Saunders.

Chrissy: Did you know that when I mention British "humour" many people here in the U.S. still fondly recall Benny Hill?

Clare: *face palm* But there's plenty of fun nearer to home! Son#2 and I have a daily catch-up on "Facebook Group of the Day" (and by God, there are plenty in number to choose from). Just this week, we've had "WTF you son of a ... Biscuit", "I'm a Ninja / No you're not / Did you see that? / What? / Exactly" and "Emergency services? Woooaaahhhh, my sex is on fire!".

Chrissy: ... and she *face palms* Benny Hill...

Clare: :P. It makes me smile - and that's what keeps me coping and, dare I say it, enjoying most of life.

Chrissy: On that very subject...where would I be without YouTube for a quick fix of laugh candy? Since I spent most of my October on the phone and trapped in customer service hell, I found myself amused by this series of ads; assuring me I’m not alone.

Clare: Uh, Chrissy – what about your comment re: tolerance?

Chrissy: It’s the system, procedures, and repeated two hour waits on hold that made my head want to explode; not the person on the other end of the line.

Clare: So intolerance toward corporations doesn’t count?

Chrissy: What can I say? I’m a work in progress.

Clare: And that's what it's about, isn't it? No one's the same, calm, joyous...

Chrissy: ... sane ...

Clare: ... unselfish, healthy, caring person every minute of every day. But it's the Gratitude List that can pull us back on course when we need it. Silly things like looking at family photos, watching an old movie, a run around the block, watching the world in microcosm on the bus. Even sillier things - depending on your point of view - like singing (*coughIwasvotedQueenofKaraokeatWorklastmonth*) and the rollercoaster world of writing.

Chrissy: Color me unsurprised, your Majesty. BTW, I'm more than just a cat fanatic - have you ventured out to Angry Alien Productions? Home of the 5 minute movie as portrayed by bunnies? A few of my favorites include The Shining, The James Bond Medley, and Jaws. But they have many more up on their site.

Clare: And talking of aliens... this ad for mashed potato never ceases to crack me up.

Chrissy: Of course our ability to laugh at ourselves helps get us through the day...

Clare: ...especially during the Holidays when it seems if it can go wrong, it will.

Chrissy: We moved into our current house six years ago during the Thanksgiving Holiday. We planned. We packed. We were ready. We then woke up at five o’clock that morning to find not only that it had snowed four inches, but both houses had lost power and heat.

Clare: Brrrrr (sez me, from the city where snow flutters prettily on to the pavements then fizzles out to slush).

Chrissy: To make it even more fun we planned to cook a turkey dinner for everyone helping us move. Luckily, we still had cold running water, and the stove was gas, not electric. I can’t tell you which was colder, that semi-frozen turkey or the house we cooked it in.

Clare: All ended well?

Chrissy: Moving in the middle of snowstorm isn’t something I’d recommend, but between good friends, candlelight, and cheap wine we had a memorable dinner even if we had to wear our winter coats.

Clare: I can't compete with a major move, but I've had plenty of culinary disasters. The gammon joint I cooked with the polythene wrapper still on; the Christmas pudding that poured out of the bowl when I came to cut it; the turkey I thought I cooked but was pinker than Barbie when Hubby started to carve...

Chrissy: *raises hand* Uhm, dear? Can you define gammon joint for the Yank? Psssst...btw - my solution for any and all cooking disasters is more wine.

Clare: (Cross-culture shortfall : gammon=bacon, like a pork joint, we serve one with the turkey, it's a tradition LOL). And I can't help recalling the special parcel I sent to my dear friend Sloane in the US when she wanted to create a British Christmas dinner but couldn't easily get hold of the ingredients. It arrived on her doorstep, empty and stamped courtesy of Homeland Security. I'd (unthinking and unwitting) sent her beef suet and the dogs had nosed it out. We still have visions of someone's family enjoying what should have been Sloane's Christmas pudding

... after it was proved to be non-explosive, of course :).

Clare and Chrissy: Now it’s your turn! What are some of the things you are grateful for this year? Do you have a Holiday story you can share? How about a favorite, humorous link or clip for YouTube you can't live without? Everyone who comments to this post will be entered in our random drawing with one lucky winner receiving festive Clare and Chrissy Swag. Winner to be announced in our next, monthly post.

October Swag Winner: LC - Congratulations! Please email Chrissy at chrissymunder@yahoo.com with your snail mail address to receive your goodies.

Here's Chrissy! website // blog.

Here's Clare! website // blog.

(Interested in our prior posts? Click here .)


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 17th, 2010 04:24 pm (UTC)
OMG!!! You have posted Rabbids artwork!!! I <333 you dearly for that as I'm a Rayman's Raving Rabbids addict. :D

My special grats go to my loving, wonderful Welshman. On November 6th, we celebrated our 11th anniversary. We have survived the INS snafu that left us scrambling to apply for a work visa for him. We survived the INS changes from Dept of Justice to Dept of Homeland Security after 9/11. We survived a hellish job for me. We survived purchasing a home and moving. And we've survived the crazy cats from H-E-double hockey sticks. (Just kidding, we love our furbabies, really, we do.) I love him more and more each day. (Couldn't you just go into a sugar coma from all that sappy sweetness? *G*)

Nov. 17th, 2010 04:45 pm (UTC)
Hi Layla!! Thank you for chiming in. Wow - Congratulations on 11 years, despite all the road blocks.

I'll take a double scoop of sweetness anyday.

{{{Hugs}}} and *pets* for the furbabies.
Nov. 17th, 2010 04:54 pm (UTC)
I really posted because of The Scream artwork, but then I thought I'd follow the rules and post something pertaining to the post. LOL For you who likes bunnies, if you own a Wii and do not own the Rabbids games, you are seriously missing out. :D

But yes, we've been enjoying the married life for 11 years and hope for many, many more. He's a good man, and I'm spoiled rotten. If I listed all the ways I'm spoiled, folks might hate me. ;) But for me, the best part of being married to him is that I am living with my best friend. (More of the sugar for you. *g*)

*hugs* They are such cuties, those furbabies of ours. Three cats - let's hear it for the crazy cat ladies!!! Crazy Cat Ladies Unite!!!!

Edited at 2010-11-17 04:56 pm (UTC)
Nov. 17th, 2010 08:50 pm (UTC)
I'll have to pass on the Cat Lady Club, I'm afraid, but that won't stop me sharing the Lurv :):). What a lovely thing to celebrate Layla, 11 glorious years. Good for you - and for being so joyous with it! Thanks for sharing it wirh us.
Nov. 17th, 2010 09:07 pm (UTC)
Awwww, the Crazy Cat Lady Club is awesome. :D

I'm happy to share it. He's a wonderful man and he deserves the praise. :D
Nov. 17th, 2010 08:51 pm (UTC)
I wonder if that Homeland Security dog ate the beef suet before they could get it away from him...

How about a New Year's Day story? This was about 12 or 13 years ago. For some daft reason, I ended up moving on New Year's Day. A good friend of mine was moving in, too. I was moving from two different locations (best not to ask) that were about 20 miles apart. At least I had packed - my to-be roommate had not - and she lived three flights up, no elevator... Two of our three helpers were really hungover. My dad was the other helper, and for some reason was trying to not carry anything heavier than a draft. It was snowing - really heavy, wet snow. One of the hungover helpers sideswiped a parked car with the U-Haul truck but didn't notice. Also, I had (as yet) undiagnosed pneumonia and had to stop every two or three steps to catch my breath, even though I was carrying very light things. Plus it was three stories up (no elevator) to our new place.

Probably the worst of my moves ever... well, except the one when it was -30F out...
Nov. 17th, 2010 09:13 pm (UTC)
I'm beginning to think we should question just why it is we end up moving in the winter? Surely we could time things better?

I love the idea of moving on New Year's Day - the hangover faces alone be almost worth it. You had quite an adventure! (and now I'm wondering about the owner of the sideswiped car - maybe they chalked it up to their own celebration the night before?)

Ugh to the pneumonia - that took all the fun out of it.
Nov. 18th, 2010 09:05 am (UTC)
That's one hell of a moving story! (and that's "moving" in all the wrong senses of the word). It's funny isn't it, but I've always moved in the winter as well, though our winters haven't anything to compare with yours. But I *can* compete with the flights - my first flat was up 3 flights, the attic room. And the only stairs we had to use were a metal, external fire escape. Slippery and rusty in the cold... thank God we didn't have much furnture in those days :).
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )