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HAPPY HOLIDAYS

Spencer Family Christmas Letter

By Sharon Grehan-Howes

Hello Everyone! Merry Christmas! We hope you are all hale and hearty!

This year we will be heading up to Timmins as usual to visit Tom's Aunt Gertie! I'm certain it will be so much nicer than the ski trip to Aspen Tom promised me! Much better. Aunt Gertie holds a special place in my husband Tom's heart as his family has gathered in her home every Christmas for over thirty years. He says the minute he walks over the threshold he feels like it's Xmas. I agree, nothing says Christmas to me like wood panelling, shag carpeting and the smell of foot-familiar slippers and crabby old people.

It's so cosy with Tom, Kaitlin, Johnny and me all sharing the same room/bed! (We are also grateful Johnny's bedwetting is almost 75% cured.) Tom's relatives from Seabridge will be able to join us at Aunt Gertie's for the full week because none of them have found work since 1979, so...yay!

We haven't seen Tom's Seabridge folks (eleven people! isn't that something!) since last week when they came for Thanksgiving. Weren't we lucky that they arrived early (November 10th 7:27 p.m!) and that they were able to stay for 18 days! (and 7 hours! and 12 minutes! ) I don't know how we get so lucky sometimes. It was long sorry lovely to spend so much time together,you learn so much about people. Virginia's feminist views were particulary fascinating. I learned so much as she sat on the kitchen counter with a cocktail and told me about oppression as I prepared the meals for her family and mine. more

Office Holiday Party Do's and Don'ts

By Elizabeth Hanes

Each year the dilemma arrives wrapped as a colorful flyer adorned with crappy clip art, created by an overworked fellow employee who long ago ceased to care. It's the invitation to your company's holiday party.

All the office advice gurus say attendance at the office holiday party is mandatory, not optional. After all, you've invested too much time and effort climbing the corporate ladder to risk looking tacky for snubbing the pathetic, grudging attempt your company makes once a year to look as if they appreciate you.

So how should you behave once you get there? This simple list of dos and don'ts will help you maximize your office party experience this holiday season.

 

What's In Your Stars for 2015!

by Sharon Grehan-Howes

Aquarius (1/20 - 2/18) Exciting new career opportunities abound. Do not celebrate your new position by getting drunk, especially before the interview. Avoid tanning salons as you are six weeks away from looking like a baseball mitt.

Pisces (2/19 - 3/20) Rumours surround your place of work. The situation is made worse when people discover you were the one who started them. Avoid stencils.

Aries (3/21 - 4/19) Stay as close to home as possible. Although you are generally regarded as charming and a "free spirit" this year you will be viewed as a nut. Also, the instructions on the shampoo bottle are guidelines only.

Taurus (4/20 - 5/20) This will be the best year of your life. You will find love, adventure romance and win a great deal of money. Make sure to enjoy every moment of 2015 as 2016 will find you living under a bridge.

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Lose 57 Pounds by Christmas!

By Elizabeth Hanes

Feeling blue because you need to shed some weight fast or face attending the office holiday party in that tan polyester jumpsuit AGAIN because you can't fit into the slinky black slip dress you bought several sizes too small as an inducement to lose weight? Well fret no more! Don't let your chubby cheeks be immortalized in this year's Christmas pictures when you still have time to drop 10, 15 or even 50 pounds! With this amazing new weightloss plan, you can be as bony as a cocaine fiend within weeks - and do it without going hungry (or even using cocaine).

The secret to successful dieting lies in two things, says diet psychotherapist Juliet Lundgren: not depriving yourself and proper food combining. It's that simple! "Eat all you want, with foods combined from my three patented food groups, and you'll lose all the weight you want to," Dr. Lundgren says in her new book "The Sector Diet."

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Diary of Mrs. Claus

By Sharon Grehan-Howes

December 1

Same thing every year. I don't know why he insists on leaving everything until the last minute. It's certainly not as if they change the date each year. I get so sick of him running around in a panic. Perhaps if he spent a little less time golfing and a little more time working he wouldn't be in this predicament but he doesn't listen. Sometimes I feel invisible. I understand his career means everything to him but I think our marriage is starting to suffer.

My yoga classes at the YMCA are going very well. They also are offening a Zumba class that I might join.

December 3

I've been following that diet I clipped out of Good Housekeeping "Slim Down for the Season" and so far so good! I've lost two pounds this week!

For dinner tonight I prepared a chef salad with a vinegar and lemon dressing, a side of skinless broiled chicken and two tomato slices.

Nick finished it without a word of complaint and I was delighted!

I should have known better.

In the middle of the night I heard such a clatter, I ran from my bed... well, you know. Anyway I looked in the kitchen and there he was sitting in the dark, stuffing himself.

Honestly! The man has no self-control! He polished off a bag of Nilla wafers, a can of cocktail sausages and half a jar of olives. I was so angry.

I am very concerned about him. He's very flushed and short of breath. I took out his suit and it looks like I'm going to have to let it out at least three inches!

He says it's muscle, and I said "Well I hope you plan to lift the presents with your stomach."

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HOLIDAY CLASSICS

SPENCER FAMILY CHRISTMAS LETTER
12 MINUTES OF XMAS
LOSE 57 POUNDS BY XMAS
SECRET DIARY OF MRS. CLAUS
RANDOM ACTS OF MALICE
STALKED BY SANTA
TURKEY 101
HW GUIDE TO WINE & SPIRITS
FUN FAMILY HOLIDAY GAMES
A VERY MERRY E-MAS
OFFICE PARTY DOS AND DON'TS
ANTIQUE LINENS AS EMERGENCY SHROUDS
"I COME FIRST" A HOLIDAY MANIFESTO
HW GUIDE TO DEALING WITH UNFORTUNATES