Friday, December 31, 2010

Stuff for a New Year

Here are some items on both my reading and listening queue for the new year. I'm feeling lazy and about to take the girls to the movies, so I'm just posting pictures and titles.

First, a few books:

Under the Overpass by Mike Yankoski

The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar
A Duty to the Dead by Charles Todd
Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxes
It's No Secret by Rachel Olsen
And, some music:
"All This Time" Sting

"American Songs" Josephine Cameron (thanks, Melanie!!!)
"Year of Grace" Robin Mark
"Music for Compline" Various
"Yours Truly" Natalie MacMaster
I'll have another post later about what to watch this year because I'm too excited about it just to tack it on the end here. However, PBS is rerunning this on Sunday night, which, if you haven't already seen it I can only ask: why not? Start the year with quality viewing. For me.

See you in the new year!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Holiday Things

This is one of those, if you care please read and if not feel free to skip posts. Sometimes reading people's blogs is like peering in their front windows, which I love to do in a nosey, yet non-creepy way but if that's not your thing, I totally get that. So, with that, here's what our holiday weekend looked like.

On Thursday the 23rd, I had to take Elaine to her ENT appointment in the afternoon because her eardrum ruptured for the second time in two months, and now she was crying about her other ear, too. We got there and I had to fill out all that paperwork that you do, and three of the worst-behaved little boys (all in the same family) I have ever seen in my life came in. The whole waiting room was in an uproar, and even one of the nurses stepped in and told one of them to knock off whatever mayhem he was causing. One of them took Elaine's Bitty Baby, and when she politely asked for it back, he dropped it on the floor after spitting on it. (We scrubbed her with a Lysol wipe when we got home).

Finally the nurse called Elaine's name, and we virtually ran out of the waiting room. The doctor looked in her ears and throat and told her to say "ahhhhh," which she never does because I think she feels stupid doing it and secretly I can't blame her, though while she's refusing I'm always giving her the stank eye to Finally the doctor said, "I'm going to tell Santa on you," and when he left the room she looked at me and said, "That guy doesn't know Santa."

On Christmas Eve, I felt horrible for some reason, but we were hosting Christmas the next day so I followed my mom's timeless advice to just "work it off" and pushed on through. Darren took the girls to the Christmas Eve church service in the afternoon, and when they got home I found Elaine, sitting by herself in the living room and crying silently because her ear hurt so bad.

But we pulled it together and had our traditional Christmas Eve picnic of eggs, bacon, and monkey bread in front of the fireplace while the girls debated whether or not Dad is actually Santa and if he's been down our fireplace before or not. Not if you don't say "ahh" at the doctor, I guess. We hustled them off to bed and, remarkably, they fell asleep right away while Darren wrapped the presents he bought them. I wrapped mine ages ago, but he works better under pressure. We watched "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Miracle on 34th Street" until I fell asleep and then Elaine came in to my bed at midnight, crying about her ear. Darren hadn't even come to bed yet, so when he did I told him, "If you want any rest at all tonight, I recommend the guest room." That was sage advice because she kicked and thrashed and moaned and woke up at least every hour, crying with pain. It was kind of awful.

We woke up for good around 6:30, and she spent the day walking around with her head tilted to one side. The girls ran down to see what was in their stockings, and my family started arriving around 10:00. As soon as the cars pulled in the driveway, the girls were all, "Can we open the big presents now?"

So for the next 30 minutes or so, it was happy chaos, I'm sure just like where you live, especially if you've got little kids. There were dolls and and E-Z Bake Oven and a Strawberry Shortcake remote control car and books and clothes and, their favorite present of all--they each got their own diary from Darren. Lucy's even has a lock and a little key. She ran away to write in it immediately, then showed it to all of us because it was all about how she, Lucy, had been holding Tuppence, and Elaine started her new Dora motorized toothbrush and startled Tuppence so that she jumped out of Lucy's arms, scratching her in the process, and now Christmas Day was essentially ruined because of Elaine. And the flyleaf to the whole book is inscribed, "Elaine is mean."

After everyone left and we got the girls in bed, Darren and I dismantled the Christmas tree and put it out on the curb while watching a documentary on John Gotti. It was a precious holiday moment together.

The next day we travelled to Darren's family. We met for dinner at this place called Fairview Farms, which serves food family style--food as in fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, corn fritters, and chicken noodles (those are just in the winter time. I like the noodles as an accompaniment to mashed potatoes). As Darren always says, it was a "strap on the feedbag" moment.

When we went back to their house, it was another present opening time--this time Skechers for both girls (their favorite present there), more clothes, a whiteboard, lots of Polly Pockets, and I can't even keep track of what all. They had a blast playing with their cousins--Drew (10), Ryne (9), and Joseph (4). I love those guys--it's just a whole new world for me, being around boys and everything Star Wars. I like to call Joseph "Ruff Ruffman" for the sole pleasure of hearing him say, "My name's not Wuff Wuffman!"

We got all the kids to bed late, but that didn't stop my girls from being up before 5:00 a.m. until the Swift Hand of Justice aka Dad visited their room. Then they were quiet until 7:00.

We came home by Sunday evening and all the Christmas decorations and junk that were still out was driving me crazy, so I pulled everything down, boxed it up, and put out all my regular books and china and candles and such. I created a minor firestorm on facebook proclaiming my achievements because I guess a lot of people don't believe in doing that before New Year's. I would go mental if I had to wait that long. It's over, people. Let it go.

Now we're home and on winter break. The girls are playing with all their toys and watching their new movies. I'm going to organize their bookcase and mine, and I have the lofty goal of trying to teach Elaine to read. She's dying to begin because every where we go and every conversation we have is punctuated with things such as, "Mom, what does E-X-I-T spell?" etc.

Later this week I'll try to post some lists of things I'm planning to read, watch, and listen to in the new year.

Hope your holiday was lovely, too!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Quiz

1.What is your one favorite dish to see on the table at Christmas dinner?

The stuffed celery my dad makes or the strawberry-pretzel jello salad my mother-in-law makes

2.Do you have a Nativity scene? How many pieces does it have?

We bought two and combined a bunch of the pieces so we could have extra animals and an angel (which didn't come with one of them). So, in previous years it was 15 pieces, but this year we found a tiny, fuzzy black cat that Elaine put near the manger. I guess one of Yo-Yo's ancestors is representing.

3.What is your favorite Christmas movie?

"The Shop Around the Corner" (with Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullavan)

4.If you and your family could spend this Christmas in another country, where would you go?

Barbados. Kind of like England, except warm!

5.Have you ever gone out of the house wearing a reindeer headband? What about a Santa hat?

Anyone who knows me knows the answer to this is "no."

6.Do you usually make or buy your Christmas gifts?

I buy them. I'm not good at making things. Except this year, I made the cookies that my mom has made every single year since we were babies, and I'm giving a tin of them to my brother for Christmas.

7.When do you set up your Christmas decorations? When do you take them down?

The day after Thanksgiving, and I would take them down Christmas afternoon if I could, but usually it's the 26th or 27th that they actually come down. A friend of mine got mad at her husband on Christmas Eve one year and pitched the tree out over the balcony. Now THAT'S what I call undecorating early.

8.Which of the Gospels gives your favorite account of the Christmas story?

Most everyone says Luke, but mine is John. That's what my dad read to us every year, and now I would be disappointed if he didn't. "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father--full of grace and truth." Awesome!

9.Do you buy Christmas presents for your pets?

This is kind of sickeningly American and I feel guilt about it, but...yes. Not anything extravagant though.

10.What is your favorite Christmas tradition?

On Christmas Eve, the girls and I make monkey bread together. Then for dinner we have omelettes, bacon, and monkey bread as a picnic on the floor in the living room in front of the fireplace. Then when they go to bed, Darren and I watch all the Christmas concerts on PBS while we wrap presents.

11. What is your favorite Christmas carol?

"In the Bleak Midwinter," by Christina Rossetti

Merry Christmas from Guilford Road to you, my dear Readers!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My Best Books of 2010

My new year's resolution for 2010 was to write down every book I read, which I kept up through about March or April maybe. So, I'll be lowering the bar on any resolutions I make for 2011. I estimate I read 90-100 books per year, and I can't remember what they all are for the life of me. However, here are a few of the best, those that stood out for me, not in any particular order.

1. The Broken Teaglass by Emily Arsenault
Combination mystery/coming-of-age story set at a lexicographer's. I really loved this.

2. The Ghost at the Table by Suzanne Berne
Family drama interwoven with facts and anecdotes about the Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) family.

3. Scars and Stilettos by Harmony Dust
The subtitle of this is "the transformation of an exotic dancer," and that's what it is. Fantastic book; I could not put it down.

4. Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt
I've been meaning to read this book for years but never have until this summer. What I was missing! The true story of five years in the life of a young boy living in Illinois during the Civil War. Two of his brothers went to fight--one for the Union side, the other for the Confederacy. The incredible things that happen make you think this is fiction, but the book was carefully reconstructed from the journals of the author's great-grandfather. Keep the Kleenex by you while you read.

5. Mrs. Bridge by Evan Connell
I have to steal this bit from an amazon reviewer: "When I finished this book I started raving about it to all my friends. 'What's it about?' they asked. 'Um, this housewife in Kansas City.' 'Yeah, but what happens?' 'Er... nothing really. She gets married and has kids and they grow up.' But trying to summarize Mrs. Bridge cannot evoke the brilliance and heartbreak of this novel." Yup. What he said.

6. Salvation on Sand Mountain: Snake Handling and Redemption in Southern Appalachia by Dennis Covington
I wrote a whole blog post about how much I loved this book, in case you missed it.

7. Out of My Bone: The Letters of Joy Davidman by Don King (editor)
Collection of Joy Davidman's (aka Mrs. C.S. Lewis) letters. As I was reading, I kept thinking I would turn out the light and go to sleep but would then say to myself, "Just one more letter!" Besides being fascinating, I identified so much with Joy. Can't wait to meet her someday!

8. Solitary by Travis Thrasher
Wrote about it here.

9. While We're Far Apart by Lynn Austin
I got this book in the mail, and from the back cover it sounds like a love story, so I was all, "Meh," but it's also set during World War II, so at least part of me was like, "yay!" so I took a chance and read it and am so.glad I did. I guess there's somewhat of a love story, but really it's a story of family and loyalty and of how God is working all the time, even when we're not seeing it.

10. Too Small to Ignore: Why the Least of These Matters Most by Wess Stafford
I saved the best for last. Honestly, I get a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes, just typing the title. If you haven't already, please, please read this incredible memoir by the founder and CEO of Compassion, Int'l. One amazon reviewer writes, "This book is a marvel of leading one up the garden path, at the end of which is an uncaged tiger." So true. I cried with both pain and joy at this. It is one of the most amazing stories of forgiveness and redemption I've ever read. I'm giving it to my dad for Christmas (he doesn't read this blog!) I wish every pastor, every teacher, every Sunday School worker, every missionary, every parent, every adult, everyone who's ever been hurt, everyone who ever needed to forgive someone, everyone who's ever felt overwhelmed by suffering, everyone who has ever been disappointed with God, everyone everyone everyone would read this. If you read any book in 2011, let it be this one.

There's my list. I've got a stack of books already that I'm planning to read in the coming year, but I'd love some recommendations, too. What were some of your favorite books this year?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Do you see a resemblance? I DON'T.

First, here's your "Where's Yo-Yo?" moment for today. Besides climbing in a box of presents, he also climbed into the drawer where I keep tablecloths.

The girls woke up on this second day of Christmas break and said, "Mom, won't you play with us today? We haven't had any Mama Time lately."

I said, "Yes. The first thing we will play is called 'Clean the Basement.'" They were less enthused about that than you would think. Huh. But we played that for awhile, and when it was clean I helped them make sock puppets out of the kit my dad gave Elaine for her birthday. We celebrated her birthday again this past Sunday with my family, and now each morning she thinks she's going to get more presents.

Then, since I had given Elaine both her and my favorite Disney cartoon for her birthday, "The Princess and the Frog," and we've been watching it a lot, they wanted to play that.

"Who do you want to be, Mom?" asked Lucy.

"Tiana," I said promptly, because she is the smartest, sassiest, hardest-working Disney princess ever.

"Noooooo," she said, "Pick somebody else." Clearly the role of Tiana was taken.

"Then I want to be Charlotte LeBoeff. She's cute and funny," I said. (She's the blonde on the right.)

"No," Lucy said again. I guess Charlotte was also taken.

"You get to be Mama Odie!" she said excitedly, clearly trying to sell me on the idea.

Are you kidding me?

Sigh. So, I better get back down to the hopefully-still-clean basement and assume my role.

At least she didn't make me be Ray.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

As Our Own

A few years ago, I was driving home from work and listening to the radio. The host was interviewing a gentleman named Ralph Borde about the organization he founded in India, called Charasia (I've posted about them before). Their mission is to rescue little girls (as young as 6. Six. The age of my own girls.) from prostitution. Since that day I heard Ralph on the radio, it has been our family's joy to support this organization in prayer and now financially, also.

This past week, Charasia had an exciting announcement--they are changing their name to "As Our Own," because it is their mission to love these precious girls and treat them just as our own.

I was going to do a whole post about it because I am so pumped about this organization, but a new member of the board of directors, Amanda Jones, wrote a much better one here. On hers, you can see a picture of the beautiful little girls, too.

It's difficult to read about As Our Own and not want to be a part of it. If you're on facebook or Twitter, you can join their page and get updates and see videos of this fantastic ministry (here is one, and there's another one on their page). Even if you're supporting other organizations or are strapped financially now, Ralph, all the staff of As Our Own, and the children can use your prayers. I've added their site to my blog roll, too.

Each year for Christmas, we give a donation in each of Lucy and Elaine's teachers' names. We've given to Samaritan's Purse, World Relief, etc. This year, our donation for each will be to As Our Own--to let others have the joy in sharing in a part of these precious girls' futures along with us.

And I have to throw in that Ralph is a graduate of a great school. I won't mention the name. But it's the one with the highest percentage of graduates in ministry. You know, that one I graduated from. C'mon, you know you want to sing the song with me now (Juliet, Ann-Marie, Alysa, Kacie, et al): "God bless the school that D. L. Moody founded..."!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Birthday Weekend

Since Elaine talks about her birthday every day, I asked her a month or so ago what she would like to do for a party. Normally, we have a family party and maybe something special--like go to a movie with a friend--rather than a big "friend" party. But on certain years, such as when you turn 5, you get to have a party.

"Well," she told me, "I want Mrs. Hogan, Ms. Deb, Ms. Kittie, Mrs. Pope and Derek and Dylan, Mrs. Brauns and Mary Beth, Lily and Keelyn, Jack and Andrew, and all the Villacortas." That's quite a list there, with a lot of adults thrown in, when I was expecting her to just list a few friends from school. So I decided that we'd have an open house, and the kids could decorate cookies and make cards while the adults mingled and did crowd control.

The morning of the party, Elaine woke up with a bad attitude. I gave her a little attitude adjustment, but then she came into the bathroom where I was getting ready, holding Catty close to her and laid down on the bathroom floor. OK. This is not surprising. Every time there is some sort of big event, somebody gets sick. She didn't seem too bad though, so I gave her some Motrin and went ahead.

At 2 o'clock, her friends started arriving. The party started out quietly at first. Here are children, decorating cookies.

This little doll is Elaine's friend Keelyn, from school.
These are her cookies. I bet her parents were real happy when they got her home after the party.

Here are my future sons-in-law, Jack and Andrew. Their mom and I have a deal, except she told me that some little girl had the temerity this week to say she's going to marry Jack. I said, "Oh, we will take her down." Dibs on these boys.
When the party started, it was pouring rain, which then turned to snow. But then more people started to arrive, and kids abandoned all sedate activities and just ran around the house.

Here is our dear friend Kathi and her two boys, Derek and Dylan. Kathi was Lucy's first Sunday School teacher and babysitter. Derek loves to eat...anything. At the party, he ate two handfuls of cat food.
Here's Elaine and her beloved Ms. Kittie (Kay Lynne):
Elaine and Mrs. Brauns, who pretends to be a cat with her:

Elaine and Mrs. Villacorta, who E has adopted as her second mom:
Elaine and Lucy with Sarah, Stephen, Isabella, Andrew, and Lucho. Elaine made me call them two times to make sure they were coming:
Her teacher, Mrs. Hogan, and her Sunday School teacher, Ms. Deb, couldn't make it, but they both called her to wish her a happy birthday.

I just love that she has had these wonderful adults in her life who have reached out to her--especially in this year that's been hard for her--and that she wanted to invite them all for her birthday. It was a great party, and afterward, my in-laws drove through the snow, just to deliver her presents--clothes and a pink Barbie VW Beetle with doll to drive it.

Sunday, which was her actual birthday, Elaine was pretty wiped out. She woke up with an earache, a scratchy throat, and a low grade fever (I'm sure all the party guests are loving me for exposing them to this).

It was snowing and blowing and a lot of roads were closed, so we spent a quiet day at home. Darren made everybody pancakes, and we gave Elaine our presents. We had planned a family party for the day but called it off the night before. We'll try again next week for that.

Lucy gave Elaine a Bitty Baby that we found on ebay. They currently fight all the time over Lucy's Bitty Baby, so it was time she got one of her own.

Some practical things and her favorite movie from Mommy:

A silver cat necklace from Daddy, and this is what the rest of the day looked like:

Somewhere on the day of turning 5, Elaine also discovered that she has her first loose tooth, which she now tells us about approximately every 15 minutes. She is home from school today with me, but she's at that annoying stage where she's probably not well enough to be there, but she's tired of being stuck here--birthday toys notwithstanding.

Then she told me this morning, "I think I need to have another birthday party, you know, since I was sick on my birthday." I told we are having another party soon. It's called Christmas.

I meant to write a birthday post for her with baby pictures through current pictures, but with getting ready for the party then getting up in the night to rock a sick little girl, it just didn't happen. Maybe later this week. But baby is 5! AND HAS A LOOSE TOOTH!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Light in the Dark

If you have read this blog for any length of time, you know we love to celebrate Jewish holidays mixed in with our Christian ones. If you want, you can read more about what we do here and here and here.

I am super busy this week, getting ready for Elaine's 5th birthday weekend, but I have still wanted to get our Hanukkah celebration in here. We missed the first night, and then Darren was going from Thursday through Saturday, so I decided we'd do it the final night.

We also prepared by reading some Hanukkah books--this was a fun one that Elaine loved. If it has animals, she's all over it. She likes animals better than people. Many days I can't argue with that sentiment either.

This is cute, by Stephen Kroll.
This next one is excellent. I'm sorry the cover art isn't coming out better, but it is titled The Christmas Menorahs by Janice Kohn.

It is based on a true story that happened in 1994 in Billings, Montana. Some white supremacist groups were harassing various people groups there, including throwing rocks through windows that had menorahs in them. This book in particular is about a young boy named Isaac who got a rock through his bedroom window. The story also contains some great history about Hanukkah and also how Danish Christians helped Jews during WWII.

The girls and I had some good talks about what it would feel like if someone threw a rock through our window, just because we had a Christmas tree or what it would be like to go to our church and see our nativity scene trashed and ugly words spray painted on the side of the building. That really brought the reality of it to them. Then I told them that these things didn't just happen in the past, that last year, someone painted hateful things on the Jewish synagogue on our very street.

The books ends with what some churches and citizens in Billings did to resist hate in their city, and I encourage you to have some Kleenex nearby while you read.

Then last night, we had our Hanukkah dinner--roast chicken and latkes. Those latkes did not stay on the platter very long, and Lucy asked for the leftover two in her lunch today. While we ate, we listened to the audio version of "Festival of Lights" from More All-of-a-Kind Family.

When we first started this last year, I wanted to make an even bigger deal out of this night--invite friends over, play dreidl games, etc., but it is really hard to cram one more big thing into December! Maybe someday though. This year I just enjoyed the moments of quiet and light with our little family.

Happy Hanukkah from us to you!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Let the Festivities Begin

Saturday morning we woke up to the first snow of the year--the perfect setting for our big activity of the day. We were going to see Rome and have tea with some of her friends and their daughters, then go to "The Nutcracker" together.

I have loved ballet since I was a little girl, and I remember the first time I saw "The Nutcracker"--I was 12 years old. My grandpa died that November, and my parents found amongst his things tickets for all of us to see the big holiday production of it in Chicago. I got to invite my friend Anna too (my ballet buddy), and we spent the intermission autographing our programs with the signatures of the dancers playing Clara and Sugar Plum. (Chuck, a 14-year-old at the time, dragged along to see "The Nutcracker" with his giggly jr. high sister and her friend, autographed his program "Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.")

It was a magical night, and here I am, almost 30 years later, taking my own girls to see "The Nutcracker."

First though, we had tea at Tia's house. She is on the left, with her friend Rona on the right, and Rona's little girl, Naomi. It's Rona's first winter here from the Philippines. Poor Rona.

Then some of her other friends arrived with their little girls--Kristin and Sasha, and Nora and Aletha. It's Nora and Aletha's first winter here, too. Nora got worried because when she went outside, she couldn't feel her legs anymore. Poor Nora.

Here are all the little girls...

The mommies and the daughters and the wonderful aunt, ready to have tea...

Then we headed out to see the ballet. It's kind of like herding cats, but we all got to the theater.

My girls made sure I knew that they wanted to sit with Aletha and Sasha and Naomi instead of MOM, so all the littles sat together in a line next to all the adults.

They absolutely loved the ballet. We had great seats, and they were mesmerized by the costumes and dancing. When we came home, they couldn't wait to tell Darren and Chuck all about it. We asked them what part they liked best, and Lucy said, "I loved Clara and her beautiful purple dress and the party and the tree and oh, her mom was sooooo pretty too, and I liked those snowflake dancers and when that lady's big skirt came up and all the little kids danced out and the Arabian dancers and Sugarplum."

Elaine said, "I liked those mousies. I liked when the Mouse King skooched his tail over and shook his booty at that Nutcracker and those toys."

Darren said, "And there you have our kids' personalities in a nutshell."

It was nighttime by then, so I put the girls in their pajamas for the ride home. Lucy twirled around and sighed, "Wasn't this just the best day EVER?"

This was what we saw in the backseat as we pulled in the driveway.
So, yes. Definitely a best day!

Friday, December 03, 2010

Some Happy Friday Stuff

We've got lots of Christmas music playing at our house, and of course our favorites are the actual carols--the hymns celebrating the Incarnation. We are all over Handel's Messiah too; we've got the Chicago Symphony version and my favorite, the London Symphony and Chorus conducted by Sir Adrian Boult.

I feel like I have to put that disclaimer first so you don't think we're infidels dancing around the Christmas tree to John Mellencamp singing "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" (though OK, we really like that one), because, in addition to all the beautiful Christmas carols, we have to admit we like the fun, silly stuff, too.

A year or two ago, there was a youtube video that went viral and got millions of hits. It was of an a cappella group from Indiana University. They were planning a 10-year reunion and put some of their footage from college up on youtube for the group members to see before getting together again. Then everyone saw it and they got a record deal from Atlantic and were asked to do a PBS Christmas special last year, which is now on DVD in a boxed set with two of their Christmas CDs. I bought it a week or so ago, and we can'

These guys are fantastic, and the girls, instead of watching Charlie Brown Christmas or Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer now ask to watch "those boys singing together so we can dance." I've had a few moments of "What have I done here?" since their favorite is "Hey Santa," and not the Wilson Phillips' "If we could make believe/if everyone would care a little more/there'd be harmony" one. No...this version has "Santa, don't bring me any toys/just bring my baby and a bottle of joy/maybe just a taste for Uncle Roy/'cause we all know Santa's a good ol' boy."

I just remind myself of all the Irish music my parents let us listen to growing up, and how my mom would make us skip the song on the record called "Nancy Whiskey," blissfully unaware that pretty much every song on the record had to do with whiskey or infidelity or infidelity because of too much whiskey. And we still turned out OK, right? Don't answer that.

Anyway, if you are looking for some fun holiday music with an incredible talent, you should definitely check them out. They really are fantastic. I'll leave you with the video that went all crazy on youtube, which you've probably already seen anyway, but watch it again because it can't fail to put you in a happy mood. (Of course, my favorite part starts about 2 minutes in.) Below the original, I put "Hey Santa" and one from the PBS special (to convince you that you need to get this). While I was looking for these on youtube, Elaine came in and said, "Can you turn that off your computer now and put it on TV?"

So, I give you: Straight No Chaser. Happy Friday!