The Christmas Eve Random Friday Five!

by brandt

It’s Christmas time again!  As Ron Weasley said to Harry Potter in “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” “Happy Christmas, Harry!”  The Malone Compound inhabitants has been hard at work slaving over hot stoves getting cookies, cakes, and all sorts of sundry sugary items ready for mass consumption, as well as rocking out to some awesome Christmas songs (Um, Twisted Sister singing O Come All Ye Faithful, anyone?).  Anyways, enough with the holiday accolades, let’s get to the part everyone has been waiting for…


Yes, even though I spoilt Christmas for Ashley, I think we might be able to repair this Christmas.  It’s interesting to compare last year’s holiday season compared to this year.  Last year, to be completely honest, we were both kind of frustrated and disappointed.  We took jobs that were available, and so because we were so busy with work, we didn’t even set up our Christmas tree until 2 days before Christmas.  It felt like Christmas was just a day off work, not an awesome holiday celebration.  Well, this year, we decided to change that.  We watched lots of Christmas movies during this last little bit (“It’s a Wonderful Life” was last night, and we’re culminating with “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” tonight, a Malone family tradition).  We made lots of cookies and sweets and delivered them around to the neighbors and friends.  We got really excited and geeky for our advent calendar.  And today has been awesome Brandt-style Christmas music ever since we woke up.  What is Brandt-style Christmas music?  Bruce Springsteen singing “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” anything by Trans-Siberian Orchestra (who is coming to town next Friday night), and the aforementioned Twisted Sister carol.  Needless to say, last night after the movie we were geeking out that Christmas was in just 2 days!  And now it’s Christmas Eve!  And its Christmastime!  Huzzah!  Can’t you feel the Christmas spirit coming through the computer screen!?!?!  CAN’T YO U FEEL IT!??!?!!??!!?

On to the countdown!

1. If you don’t like nerdy goofy movie analysis, skip down to #2.  This is just me being a grouchy old man.  Is it just me, or did the Hollywood studios really drop the ball with Christmas movies this year?  I mean, I always remember one major movie coming out around Christmas that had mass appeal.  While I would love to go see the updated Coen Brother’s “True Grit” this Christmas, I don’t think the family is up for that kind of movie.  I always remembered movies around Christmastime being a really big deal, but maybe that’s because in the last 10 years they’ve had great family movies like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, National Treasure, and other movies that you can take the whole family to.  I guess we’ve got some that have come out, but nothing that strikes me as “must see viewing.  “Tangled” came out around Thanksgiving, and we both give it a huge thumbs up, “Tron: Legacy” could be a good family one (though not really blowing you away with a story), “Gulliver’s Travels” and “Little Fockers” looks to be absolutely horrible (just see Eric D. Snider’s review of “Little Fockers” here).  There are other big releases, notably, “Black Swan,” “The Fighter,” “True Grit,” and “I Love You, Phillip Morris,” but they’re just not good movies to go and have a good time with family to.  If “Harry Potter” is playing, or “Tangled” is playing, I give those my hearty recommendation.

2. Right now Ashley is making a cake that might be the most epic Christmas cake ever.  I’ll give you one hint: the cake is called Red Velvet Peppermint Cake.  The filling is white chocolate, whipping cream, and peppermint extract, with a buttercream frosting.  I think I’m going to have to start working out again after this is all over.  Pictures later tonight on Twitter (which you can find right here), or I might have a quick late-night blog update with pictures of the edible goodness.

3. I’ve been lucky this year.  Just about every bit of Christmas shopping was either done early in the month when I was using up a couple of vacation days, or online.  We live about 10 minutes away from one of the major malls in the SE Michigan area, and while the convenience is absolutely wonderful, the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas is horrible.  As a matter of fact, we avoid that area at all costs.  As frustrating is that is, a very small part of me is happy.  Michigan has been hit so hard by economic hardship that it’s very nice to see people out buying Christmas gifts and helping to boost the economy.  As a matter of fact, I have a hookup who is “in-the-know” at this mall, and he said they’re posting their biggest profits EVER.  And that includes the huge boom period back in the 2000’s when the auto economy was doing very good and when this mall opened as well.  Yay, Michigan!

4. An awesome trend I’ve seen this year is last-minute shopping deals.  Amazon yesterday was offering free overnight shipping if you bought anything before 3:30 PM PST (12:30 PM here in the east).  Meijer (our local superstore in the Midwest) was offering really good last-minute deals, including a $90.00 camera tripod for $20.00 with free shipping.  I’m sure what’s happening is they’re eating a little bit on the shipping charge, they were planning on clearancing the item anyways, and decided to see if they could take advantage of last-minute shoppers like me.  Well, it worked.  And as the market gets more and more flooded with online retailers and the deals get more and more competitive, the deals will be passed along to us.  So sometimes procrastinating a little bit works, right?

5. Finally, a very happy Christmas to all of you.  Go home, kiss your significant other, give your favorite hairball a squeeze, and enjoy the holidays.  We all have crazy family, and that’s why we love them.  While I won’t go off on a huge diatribe on the mass commercialization of Christmas, my dad has a very simple quote he’s used for many a different situation, and I think it rings true here: “Stuff doesn’t matter.”  And in the long run, it doesn’t.  I couldn’t tell you what I got for Christmas back in 1999 when I was 15 years old.  Why?  It doesn’t matter.  But I can tell you about 2 Christmases spent away from my family when I was 19 and 20, and how much I realized then that family is the most important.  The stuff doesn’t really matter.  The people do.

Wow.  That was ended really deep and thoughtful.  That’s not how I roll.

Stuff doesn’t matter…but it is really nice.

There, that’s better.

Thanks again to all of you who’ve stuck by us on this crazy journey we call “potential” homeownership.  Monday we’ve got another house tour coming up, including pictures, commentary, snarkines, obnoxious jokes, and random things that probably only make me laugh.  We hit our biggest day ever on Wednesday, it’s looking like we’re going to double our views from November to December, and it’s all because of YOU!  So thank you for reading!  As Ashley just said, “Who would have thought that people would be interested in us!”

Enjoy your holidays!  Be safe!

– Brandt and Ashley (and Manny and Toby)

Pictures from ICanHasCheezburger, In Hoc Signo, and The World of Nonny Nu


2 Comments to “The Christmas Eve Random Friday Five!”

  1. bahahahahahaha! too many shinies for my brain to handle? lmao! that’s me when I look at jewelery and ornaments =)

    Merry Christmas doll! xoxox

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