By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – Are you trying to get into the Christmas spirit?  Already IN the spirit?  Here’s a list of things to do because it is Christmas (inspired by British Logic):

  1. Bake some fruitcake cookies (fruitcake is awful; fruitcake cookies are wonderful).
  2. Watch Love Actually.
  3. Mix up some spicy Bloody Marys and an assortment of garnishes. Invite friends over.
  4. Go to a really crowded shopping center. You don’t have to buy anything.
  5. Avoid every WalMart.
  6. Bake and decorate sugar cookies.
  7. Build a gingerbread village.
  8. Drive around and look at Christmas lights.
  9. Listen to Christmas music on Pandora, especially the traditional tunes.
  10. Hang tiny white lights around your kitchen.
  11. Make four batches of Chex Mix. Throw in whatever sounds good.  Distribute what you can’t eat to friends at the office.
  12. Wear Christmas socks.
  13. Go see Santa. Count how many children cry when their picture is taken with him.
  14. Put up a live Christmas tree.
  15. Have an argument with someone about white v. colored lights.
  16. Watch Christmas Vacation.
  17. Buy one really extravagant gift for someone who would least expect it but really deserves it.
  18. Write out Christmas cards: not the obligatory Xerox Christmas letter and not a Shutterfly photo of your perfect family – real cards with glittery Christmas scenes.
  19. Buy Christmas stamps for your Christmas cards.
  20. Stand in a really long line at the post office at absolutely the last possible minute.
  21. Put a red tablecloth on your table. Find some holly to use as decoration.  Bonus points if it has red berries.
  22. Postpone all of your gift wrapping until the last minute. Spread it out across the living room floor and do all of your wrapping in one evening.
  23. Forget where you hid at least one gift.
  24. Put antlers or a reindeer nose on your car.
  25. Attend a performance of The Nutcracker.
  26. Read a great Christmas book.
  27. Attend a local performance of Christmas music.
  28. Make a killer rum cake.
  29. Buy at least one present for yourself.
  30. Buy an advent calendar.
  31. Hang a live wreath on your door.
  32. Donate to the charity of your choice. Bonus points if it’s a local animal rescue or a homeless shelter.
  33. Watch A Charlie Brown Christmas.
  34. Attend a small-town Christmas parade.
  35. Eat your weight in Brach’s peppermint nougat.
  36. Make a pot of seafood gumbo. Serve with hot French bread.
  37. Watch the A Christmas Story
  38. Find some live mistletoe growing in a tree; knock it down and hang a sprig in a doorway. Do not do this at the office.
  39. Roast pecans. Add sugar and butter.
  40. Take your next door neighbor a plate of Christmas cookies.
  41. Treat yourself to a shot of really fine bourbon.
  42. Buy a poinsettia. Or two.  Or three.
  43. Build a bonfire.
  44. Go sledding. Unless you live in Louisiana.
  45. Play upbeat Christmas tunes over your outdoor speakers while doing yardwork. Look at how many neighbors come outside.
  46. Visit with neighbors.
  47. Have a really good cry for those you miss so badly it hurts.
  48. Check out the list of top 100 Christmas movies. Watch a few you’ve never seen.
  49. Make cheese straws. They are best with a cold bourbon over ice.
  50. Go to the midnight Christmas service at your church. Or someone else’s church.
  51. Attend a Christmas play.
  52. Go ice skating.
  53. Watch The Bishop’s Wife.
  54. Call your mother, if you can.
  55. Read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas with a child.
Sheriff-Lew-Evangelidis-Dean-Tran-Charlie-Baker-and-friend 2016

This story is what we call “News”

Robert Stacy McCain The Power of Simple Sentences May 31st 2011

Yesterday I promised an example of a Newsworthy story it now follows:

On Tuesday morning before I was headed off to what would be, unknown to me, my last day of work before I was laid off, I headed to the St. Bernards activity center in Fitchburg Ma’s ward six with my son to vote in a special election for the Massachusetts State Senate vacated by Democrat Jennifer Flanagan of Leominster after Governor Charlie Baker appointed her to the Massachusetts Cannabis Commission.

If this had been the US Senate the idea of a GOP governor appointing a Democrat Senator from a district that went for Scott Brown in the past might have made some waves, but as Flanagan had successfully defended her seat both during the 2010 big red wave and the smaller 2014 red wave that elected Charlie Baker Governor (I covered the debates back then) and the fact that a republican hadn’t held that seat since the first George Bush was president (Mary Padula) there wasn’t a lot of worry over it in Democrat circles.  Particularly since her GOP opponent Dean Tran had previously lost a special election for State Rep in Fitchburg where he was a longtime city counselor even though popular GOP sheriff Lew Evangelidis and Governor Charlie Baker had appeared on his behalf then and would do so in this race too.

The primary was held on the day of the General election and despite two wild cards longtime Leominster city counselor Claire Freda (a self described Conservative Democrat / Liberal Republican) running as unenrolled and Green / Rainbow candidate Charlene DiCalogero the smart money was on Susanne Chalifoux Zepher who had won a three way Democrat primary on election day and had outspent Tran by more than 6-1 .

But election day Tran’s supporters turned out:

Leominster resident Sarah Tatro said she was more swayed by Tran’s Republican convictions, which she said were more in line with her own views.

“He’s way more of a conservative than Sue Chalifoux Zephir and he lines up with a lot of the policies I care about and my beliefs,” she said, referring to his pro-life stance and support of the Second Amendment.

And when I got home that night after midnight I was delighted to find out that Dean had won with 46% of the vote in the four way race to Chalifoux-Zephir’s 42% Freda picked up 10% of the vote (lower than I expected) and green candidate DiCalogero 1%. This gives the GOP its seventh seat out of forty in the Massachusetts senate and gets them half way toward the 14 seats needed to break the Democrat senate super majority.

Now I will grant you in terms of the composition of the Massachusetts senate it’s not going to make a huge difference this year.

But it seems to be that a Republican candidate,  and not just a republican but a Minority pro-life 2nd Amendment republican, flips a senate seat, and not just a senate seat but a seat that Democrats have held since 1992, to represent three cites (Fitchburg Leominster & Gardner) that all went for  Hillary in a state she won by over 27 points  might, just might, be a Tad newsworthy.

But in fairness that’s the opinion of a blogger who has never been employed in the MSM.  What would professional reporters say?  Tomorrow I’ll share with you the opinions of a few I spoke to on the subject.


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Finally might I suggest my book  Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer and would make an excellent Gift for the person of faith on your Christmas list.