Christmas Elves are Stalking You.

The_Elf_on_the_Shelf_bookElves are everywhere apparently. On your bathroom vanity and beside you creepily when you wake up in the morning.

Elf on the shelf is one of the most disturbing new holiday traditions and they are slowly taking over one house at a time. Women are lining up and stores are sold out of these creepy little minions and it is all purposed to manipulate young children to behave.

The phenomenon started with a simple children’s book published in 2005 by Carol Aebersold and her daughter Chanda. A Dr. Suess-style picture book to remind children that Santa is watching and knows all of their dirty little secrets, so they better straighten up.

The book has gained a cult following around the holiday season and the strange little creatures have their own line of clothing. Once the elf is named it inherits a magic ability to fly to and from the North Pole and nark on you every chance it gets.

Personally the elf gives me the creeps, so we obviously don’t have one. I am not sure that it sends a really good message to children either. It basically tells them that it is okay to tattle on everyone and that if you’re really good someone is going to give you whatever you want.

Then again I think the whole message of Christmas these days is completely lost. Commercialism has consumed us and parents feel obligated to live beyond their means to please their devil children and give them their hearts desire, even though the other 364 days they are complete jerks.

Did I mention that children are not allowed to touch the elf or all their magic will disappear! Intelligent children do whatever misdeeds they wish and just smother the elf when no one is looking, that way they have all their bases covered. At least that is what my niece would do, but she’s a clever little bugger.

The women who started the story of the elf are laughing. The crazy little doll won a best toy and two best book awards in 2008. It has even gone on to star in its own film, has been in the Macy’s parade and has released a birthday book. Although it has had some not-so-nice reviews.

Prominent publishers have called it a parental crutch and a new way to obsess over the penal code, along with some other negative statements defending the rights of children. All I know is I feel the same way about that elf as I do about gnomes. No thanks and I’ll burn them to ashes before they come in my house.

Even creepier are the people who come up with all different scenarios for the elf so they can wake up doing something new every day. That is an open invitation to some pretty messed up dreams and imagine how your kids must feel when they find out it is all a lie.

Between Frozen and the elf, I’ve had enough marketing for this year and I think part of us all are just counting the minutes until the holidays are over and we can go back to crying about all the snow.

Merry Christmas VS Happy Holidays

Now that it is mid-November Christmas is in full swing! Social media is littered with pictures of family trees and the neighbours are putting up lights-

LETS GET READY TO RUUUUMMMMBBBLLLLEEEEEEE

In the left corner: Merry Christmas

In the right corner: Happy Holidays

MERRY CHRISTMAS VS HAPPY HOLIDAYS annual face off.
Some narrow-minded people get caught up with this insane argument that Christmas is superior than every other holiday in December and begin the constant complaining about their refusal to be politically correct and that it is some big hoopla to tell someone  “Happy Holidays.”

It is just tradition beating us in the heads and people forgetting to realize that there are also over a dozen other days to be celebrated in the month of December other than Christmas Day. It’s ironic how many people who celebrate Christmas are also the ones that trample their neighbours on Black Friday.

Personally, I love Christmas. I love hanging out with my family. My son’s birthday is Christmas Eve, and the whole month is filled with baked goods. Also, after New Years winter tends to be too cold and stretched out to enjoy wholeheartedly. That being said I am not forcing anyone to comply with my celebrations and part of me feels guilty even making my son participate in the insanity. I wish everyone a Happy Holidays.

Majority of Canadians relate the December break directly to the Christmas holiday, an online poll by Angus Reid Global conducted last year found that over 80% of Canadians feel the holiday is far too commercial and less than a third actually attend a religious service.

Holidays

We are more diverse than ever. We have access to all of this information readily at our fingertips, yet we argue over semantics like Happy Holidays. It should come down to common sense. If you know someone celebrates Christmas, feel free to wish them a merry one, but if they obviously celebrate another day, or maybe not one at all, wish them a Happy Holiday or mix it up a bit with a Seasons Greetings.

Can you imagine!? Someone walking up to you in a grocery store with a huge smile telling you “Seasons Greetings?” How unforgivable. How dare they wish cheer upon you without spouting some possible offensive and overused saying.

That is the reason that stores use Happy Holidays and schools don’t focus on Christmas anymore. They want everyone to feel included, regardless of their beliefs.

 

End this #WarOnChristmas insanity. There is no war on any specific holiday, if anything it is a war on narrow mindedness and exclusion. In the iconic words of John Lennon, “War is over if you want it.”

Holidays

Gas Prices Lowest In Years

gaspricesI am driving down the street, I look to my left at a bright digital sign and I cannot believe my eyes. I must be dreaming! There is no way that I just saw gas prices at barely over a dollar!

Last week gas was is the lowest it has been in FIVE YEARS and I was not hearing any complaints, only more good rumours of it dropping even more. It is hard to believe that just a few short months ago we were swimming just under 150 a litre.

Although the last couple days it has been fluctuating at on average 5-8 cents higher, so what is going on? Are the big rig oil companies messing with us again, itching to get our hopes up only to drag us back down to reality. Some cities in Ontario, especially the GTA, watched gas prices jump 11 cents in 24 hours.

Gas is expected to continue to drop and hit its lowest between mid-November to mid-January, and comparatively gas prices are still much lower than usual even after a price increase, the public is befuddled at the continuous game that is the global gas market.

First we are being told that gas is high because of conflicts overseas and low supplies, now we’re told that Iraq and Russia are not effecting our supply and because of some wonderful deal with another country that probably has been manipulated, we are seeing the results at the pump.

Blah, blah, blah…

“Gas prices are the lowest they’ve been since 2012.”

“Gas expected to continue to plummet.”

Wait for it…

Gas skyrockets after…”

“Gas too expensive, Americans learn to commute.”

“Non-Work Trucks OUTLAWED”

 

… Well, maybe not those last ones, but we can dream right.

Fat Cats want their money, and the weather is crappy and getting cold, so oil production is up but the market is down because people aren’t interested in road trips in the winter time. Some are attributing it all to a wonderful combination of a strong dollar, and too large of a reserve.

This all adds up to a reduction in the prices we see, because at the end of the day the money still needs to be made and smart businessmen would rather drop the prices a few cents and still see those profit margins with everyone running to the pumps to fill up, than gouging pockets even more by sucking up those extra dollars and risk further enraging consumers.

I say let them drop! Just like a strippers panties, who wants to see them stay up. Even if only until after the holiday season, commuters will be more than grateful for the few extra dollars they get to keep at the end of every week and that influx will result in a stronger financial system. Sounds too good to be true.

So if I wake up to an increase I’m staging a coup d’etat! I know there will be some crazy Canucks out there praying for these prices to stay down, hopeful to enjoy a winter full of snowmobiling and maybe making some chainsaw ice sculptures. If they continue to rise over the winter were all going to need to work on our igloo building skills, because we’re going to be living in them.

The Curse of the Maple Leafs

Toronto Maple Leafs - Losers since '67Hello out there we’re on the air, it’s hockey night tonight…

It is the time of year where Torontonians bleed blue blood and although our team is the worst in the league, our passion for hockey is unwavering. Unfortunately, this year we have already been voted the worst franchise in ANY league before the puck even dropped.

Still we hold second for the most cups ever won, and at one point the Leafs were a team not to be messed with, so how did we become so bad? The Curse of the Maple Leafs is a folklorish tale involving death, missing players and 46 years of barely coming close to a cup. For any Tragically Hip fans, you may be familiar with part of this story.

It all started with Bill Barilko, a Leafs defenceman that (only had scored six goals during regular season,) scored the winning goal after meeting up with Canadiens in five consecutive over-time games in 1951. At this point the Leafs and the Canadiens were competitive rivals and battled regularly for the hockey reign. But all of Barilko’s glory was short lived, as he went missing four months later on a fishing trip.

As The Tragically hip wrote in their hit song Fifty Mission Cap, Bill Barilko disappeared, that summer, he was on a fishing trip. The last goal he ever scored, won the Leafs the cup. They didn’t win another, ’till 1962, the year he was discovered.”

And that’s the truth! They won the cup in ’42, ’45, ’47, ’48, and ’51, but after Barilko’s disappearance they didn’t take home a cup for 11 years, until Barilko’s body was found in 1962 in a plane wreckage 36 kilometres off course. He was on his way home from Quebec where he was on a fishing trip with his dentist.

The Leafs didn’t win another cup for another 11 years after they found Barilko either. In ’62, Leaf lovers thought their curse was broken and they continued to win three consecutive cups and four in total that decade (’62, ’63, ’64, ’67).

They’ve not had a single cup since. 46 years since Toronto gained the glory, although we still are number two for most cups won.

Also, in ’62 Conn Smythe, the owner and coach who dubbed their grammatically wrong name Toronto Maple Leafs”, sold nearly all of his shares to his son, Stafford and a couple other conglomerates. Immediately following the transaction, the Leafs won a hat-trick of cups, along with the victory in ’67.

Soon after Stafford fell ill and died in ’71. All of his shares were quickly bought by his partners and Maple Leaf Gardens commercialized, ripping out the 48-year-old gondola games were once broadcasted in, replacing them with private boxes. The Gardens slowly became more tainted and was sold and turned into a Real Canadian Superstore in 2004.

During the 70’s, the World Hockey Association was born and 12 teams were added. Everything we knew and loved about hockey was changing forever. What does that say about our beloved Leafs? Once triumphed over all others (minus those Habs) now voted worst team, ever. Yet still social media is filled with banter about how this year is going to be the year.

How has this become of the team that once introduced Wendel Clark, Darryl Sittler, Doug Gilmour and Felix Potvin, who coincidentally all made names for themselves on other teams.

What is it that has stained the franchise so? Barilko? Smythe and The Gardens? Although Toronto is the NHL’s most valuable team, valued at 1.15 BILLION DOLLARS, it is no longer the team of Johnny Bower and Tim Horton, (both who have been idolized by corporations,) all of that revenue has not made a difference in our success rate.

One thing we do know- The Leafs are cursed!

Oh the good old hockey game, it’s the best game you can name…

Toronto Maple Leafs - 3x5 Flag - Blue

Why Autumn Is The Best Season

The summer is coming to a close and it will be officially fall in just a few days. Most people love the fun and warm weather that summer brings, but comparatively summer falls short of autumn. Here are ten reasons that autumn is the best time of year.

Fall

Courtesy of Pinterest

1. Activities are inexpensive. Summer fun is all about theme parks, attractions and expensive excursions, but this season is filled with hayrides, baking, leaves, and pumpkin patches. The only expensive thing about October is Halloween, and lets face it, dressing up for free candy is a win-win.

2. Everything becomes itself again. It is true that leaves are actually the colour we see them in fall. They return to their natural colour after a summer of photosynthesizing, which fills them with so much chlorophyl that they turn green! On that note, say goodbye to diets and squeezing into fashionable clothing, and hello to big warm sweaters and ass-widening baked goods and comfort foods.

3 Sports fans reunite! Here come the world series, regular season football and hockey all in one big a-game-for-every-night-of-the-week kind of way. Although get use to people whining about how bad their favourite teams are doing, because somehow we all love the underdog.

4 Halloween. FREE CANDY AND DRESSING UP?! Oh, yes. Plus who doesn’t love a good scare? Around Halloween you can expect a good horror movie to hit theatres, Monster Mash to be playing in stores and the best thing about Halloween… haunted houses!

5 Thanksgiving. Turkey! Gobble gobble gobble! It has been ages since it was cold enough outside to dare to even turn on the over, never mind spending all day baking a delicious turkey dinner with all the fixings. Suddenly family comes out of the woodwork to gather around an amazing feast and be thankful just to have the time to spend with one another.

6 Apples. Apples are just as important to fall as pumpkins. Apple pies, caramel and candy apples, apple bobbing, apple picking, and the list can really go on forever… Apple cider!? Fresh?! From a farm!! Sign me up! Along with apples it is harvest season, so all the good pickings just in time for Thanksgiving.

7 TV is back! Summer re-runs are over and new episodes of all your favourite shows are on every night of the week. Between that, sports, and all these baked goods, it looks like were packing on the winter weight early.

Leaves

Courtesy of Pinterest

8 Extra sleep because of daylight savings time. Are you going to complain with an extra hour of sleep? Granted that it gets darker faster and colder by the day but that makes it even easier to get in that comfortable hibernation mode. No more 5 in the morning sunshine blaring through your window and annoying blue jays squawking in the tree outside making it impossible to sleep in. Warm comfortable bed on a chilly night, no more sweating buckets sleeping with only a sheet on praying for a breeze to appear at your window. Now we can brake out the warm cost blankets and fuzzy socks.

9 The sheer beauty of the season. Leaves may be the best and worst thing about autumn. The colour change is one of natures on phenomenon that you can see from space. The earth turns from bright green to a rustic red and jumping into piles of leaves is hilariously fun. But, you have to rake them and those piles consist of dirt and bugs. Either way, a nice drive through the country is breathtakingly beautiful this time of year.

10 Last, but agreeably the greatest thing in the world- NO MORE MOSQUITOES! No more bites and itching and bussing in your ear! No more gross, stinky, chemical-filled repellents or spending money on products that don’t work.

All in all the wonders of the season have just begun! So goodbye summer and hello fall, we welcome you with open, and not-so-sweaty arms. Some are reluctant to say goodbye to beaches and sunburns, but we have a lot of wonderful festivities to look forward to and some much needed family time, and that is why autumn is the best season.