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How to Plan an Inoffensive Office Christmas Party

picture of the grinch

How can you plan an inoffensive office Christmas party? Read on....

Those of you who have been reading my iv's for any length of time know that I try to provide the best in good, clean humor. But you also know that in doing that, I am often not "politically correct." In fact, I have real issues with the direction that the PC crowd is striving to drag our society. I think of that right now because each year the attempts to remove Christ from Christmas become more blatant. (Imagine people trying to make some sort of connection between Christ and CHRISTmas! - tongue firmly planted in cheek....) With that in mind, I'm posting a satirical series of e-mail memos about one company's first annual "Office Christmas Party."

DISCLAIMER: today's instant vacation contains several things that I do not personally participate in, but I post this because illustrates so well why we wouldn't want a politically correct, pure democracy, especially in today's increasingly fragmented environment.

FROM: Pat Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: Everyone
RE: Office Christmas Party
DATE: December 1

I'm happy to inform you that the first of what we hope will become the annual Office Christmas Party will take place on December 23, starting at noon in the banquet room at Luigi's Open Pit Barbecue. There will be plenty of eggnog! We'll have a small band playing traditional carols ... feel free to sing along. And don't be surprised if our CEO shows up dressed as Santa Claus! Exchange of gifts among employees can be done at that time; however, no gift should be over $10.00 to make the giving of gifts easy for everyone's pockets. This gathering is only for employees! Our CEO will make a special announcement at that time!

Merry Christmas to you and your family!



FROM: Pat Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: Everyone
DATE: December 2
RE: Office Christmas Party

In no way was yesterday's memo intended to exclude our Jewish employees. We recognize that Chanukah is an important holiday which often coincides with Christmas. So we'll be calling it our "Holiday Party." The same policy applies to employees who are celebrating Kwanzaa at this time. There will be no Christmas tree present. No Christmas carols sung. We will have other types of music for your enjoyment. Everybody happy now?

Happy Holidays to you and your family.



FROM: Pat Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: Everyone
DATE: December 3
RE: Holiday Party

Regarding the note I received from a member of Alcoholics Anonymous, upset about the eggnog and requesting a non-drinking table ... you didn't sign your name. I'm happy to accommodate this request. But if I put a sign on a table that reads, "AA Only", you wouldn't be anonymous anymore. How am I supposed to handle this? Somebody?

Forget about the gifts exchange, no gifts exchange are allowed since the union members feel that $10.00 is too much money and executives believe $10.00 is a little chintzy.




FROM: Pat Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: Everyone
DATE: December 7
RE: Holiday Party

What a diverse company we are! I had no idea that December 20 begins the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which forbids eating and drinking during daylight hours. There goes the party! Seriously, we can appreciate how a luncheon this time of year does not accommodate our Muslim employees' beliefs. Perhaps Luigi's can hold off on serving your meal until the end of the party - the days are so short this time of year - or else package everything for take-home in little foil containers shaped like swans. Will that work?

Meanwhile, I've arranged for members of Overeaters Anonymous to sit farthest from the dessert buffet and pregnant women will get the table closest to the restrooms. We will have booster seats for short people. Low-carb and low-fat food will be available for those on a diet. We cannot control the salt used in the food, and we suggest that those people with high blood pressure taste their food first. There will be fresh fruits as dessert for diabetics since the restaurant cannot supply "No Sugar" desserts. Sorry!

Did I miss anything?



FROM: Pat Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: Everyone
DATE: December 8
RE: Holiday Party

So December 22 marks the Winter Solstice ... what do you expect me to do, a tap-dance on your heads? Fire regulations at Luigi's prohibit the burning of sage by our "earth-based goddess-worshiping" employees, but we'll try to accommodate your drumming circle during a break in the band music.



FROM: Pat Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: Everyone
Date: December 9
RE: Holiday Party

People, people, nothing sinister was intended by having our CEO dress up like Santa Claus! Even if the anagram of "Santa" does happen to be "Satan," there is no evil connotation to our own "little man in a red suit." It's a tradition, folks, like sugar shock from Easter candy or family feuds over the Thanksgiving turkey or broken hearts on Valentine's Day.

Could we lighten up?


FROM: Pat Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: Everyone
DATE: December 10
RE: Holiday Party

Vegetarians!?!?!? I've had it with you people!!! We're going to keep this party at Luigi's Open Pit Barbecue whether you like it or not, so you can sit quietly at the table furthest from the "grill of death," as you so quaintly put it, and you'll get your stupid salad bar, including hydroponic tomatoes ... but you know, they have feelings, too. Tomatoes scream when you slice them. I've heard them scream, I'm hearing them scream right NOW!

I hope you all have a rotten holiday!


FROM: Teri Bishop, Acting Human Resources Director
TO: Everyone
DATE: December 14
RE: Pat Lewis and Holiday Party

I'm sure I speak for all of us in wishing Pat Lewis a speedy recovery from her stress-related illness and I'll continue to forward your cards to her at the sanitarium.

In the meantime, management has decided to cancel our Holiday Party and give everyone the afternoon of the 23rd off with full pay. Thanks to our politically correct celebration of "diversity," we will not be able to enjoy a simple party together! We hope that this change does not offend anyone. If it does, GET A LIFE!

Happy Chanuk-Kwanzaa-Solsti-Rama-Mas! Whatever!


Soooo... the way to have an inoffensive holiday party in some places is simply not to have one at all! Sadly, for those who get up every morning with a chip on their shoulder that they long to have someone knock off that day, that solution is what would make them truly happy - they're happy when no one's happy. Bah Humbug!

If you have some inoffensive or offensive favorite holiday traditions to share, please add your comment to this post. How do you handle those in your life who seem to be so eager to be offended?


"True adoration comes not just from lips, but from lives." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=

Life is just a phase ... and you will get over it!

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Talking Turkey

picture of a turkey

I'll start this blog post off with a Thanksgiving weather forecast.

Turkeys will thaw in the morning, then warm in the oven to an afternoon high near 190° F. The kitchen will turn hot and humid, and if you bother the cook, be ready for a severe squall or cold shoulder.

During the late afternoon and evening, the cold front of a knife will slice through the turkey, causing an accumulation of one to two inches on plates. Mashed potatoes will drift across one side while cranberry sauce creates slippery spots on the other. Please pass the gravy.

A weight watch and indigestion warning have been issued for the entire area, with increased stuffiness around the beltway. During the evening, the turkey will diminish and taper off to leftovers, dropping to a low of 34° F in the refrigerator.

Looking ahead to Friday and Saturday, high pressure to eat sandwiches will be established. Flurries of leftovers can be expected both days with a 50 percent chance of scattered soup late in the day. We expect a warming trend where soup develops. By early next week, eating pressure will be low as the only wish left will be the bone.


Many Americans prefer the traditional turkey dinner on Thanksgiving. It's gotten a bit harder with the passage of time, though, since turkeys have started to figure out ways to elude gracing the table at the family gathering. Here are several ways they've done so:

picture of a turkey gone missing

picture of smart turkeys

For the turkeys who haven't managed to escape the Thanksgiving feasting, I'm sharing the recipe my wife Becka uses for our Thanksgiving turkey. Very simple, and absolutely delicious!

Herbed Turkey Breast (from The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook)

(If you use this recipe for a whole turkey, you'll need more of each ingredient, and you'll need to lengthen the baking time - details given below for each)

¼ cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh or dried rosemary
6 fresh large sage leaves
1 (5- to 5½-pound bone-in turkey breast)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Combine the olive oil and garlic. Loosen the skin from the turkey without totally detaching skin; brush about one-third of olive oil mixture under the skin. Space evenly the rosemary and sage leaves under the skin. Replace skin. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; place in a lightly greased baking dish. Cover loosely with aluminum foil.

For turkey breast, bake at 325° F for one hour. Uncover and bake one hour more or until a meat thermometer registers 170° F, basting the skin with the remaining oil mixture every 15 minutes.

For a whole turkey, bake at 325° F for 3 to 3½ hours or until a meat thermometer inserted in meaty part of thigh registers 180° F.


I keep telling Becka that she needs to start her own blog - kind of a "Hints from Heloise" type of blog, but so far she has resisted. If you'd like to storm the castle to try to convince her to have her own blog, please say so in the comments.

Speaking of people's starting their own blogs, I'm going to talk a bit of turkey here. Knowing some of you as I do or at least seeing the caliber of your comments to my blog, some of you really need to make a New Year's resolution to start blogging yourself. I plan to do a post next week with advice on how to start your own blog. Those of you who are currently bloggers, please send me your suggestions through my contact form - things to be sure to do, things to avoid, etc. as I prepare that post. I can credit you for your advice, complete with a link to your blog, or you can remain anonymous.


I'll end this post with a link to a fun (read: humiliating) quiz on turkey knowledge. I got only 8 right out of 20 on this one! I'm sure some of you can beat that score! 🙂 Take the quiz yourself by clicking here. Becka (a.k.a. Heloise) got 15 right out of 20!

What's on the menu at your house this Thanksgiving? We're having turkey breast, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn pudding, luscious cranberry jello, a green veggie (yet to be determined), and pecan pie.

I'm taking a Thanksgiving break from posting, so I won't be back at you until next Monday evening. Have a blessed Thanksgiving! Try to come up with more to thank God for than just the stuff He's blessed you with. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving Praise service on campus today with the total focus on Christ. Absolutely awesome!


"Do what you do to display who Christ is." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=

You know you've had too much to eat on Thanksgiving if they have to call in the paramedics with the Jaws of Life to pry you out of the recliner.

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Kids’ Thanksgiving Menus

I love children and the wonderful things they say! At the end of this past week, our grandson Drew has come up with his special name for his grandpa - Papi (pronounced like the flower - poppy). His two grandmothers remain nameless, but I suspect that their special names will be revealed shortly. 🙂

Today's instant vacation starts off with some four year olds' ideas for Thanksgiving dinner. Some of you struggling with what to have for Thanksgiving next week may want to consider some of their ideas. That list is followed by some junior highers' ideas concerning the Seven Wonders of the World.

Kids' Thanksgiving menus

This comes from the teacher of a 4 year old kindergarten class. Their assignment was to tell about their family's Thanksgiving meal.

Ashley - We eat pizza. Put it in a really hot oven. My mommy knows when it's done. It has white cheese and pepperoni on it.

Jessica - For Thanksgiving we eat chicken. Put it in a pan and cook it. Check on it and when it's all black it's done. For dessert have chocolate chip cookies.

Emily - Put the chicken bones in and get them hotter. Serve it with cranberries, and carrots. For dessert have chocolate candy.

Christina - We eat corn and cereal. Put sugar on the cereal and eat it. Have cookies for a treat.

Mario - We eat popcorn. Put it in a microwave for 2 times. Put butter and salt on it.

Stanley - We eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Put jelly on the bread. Then put the peanut butter on. Have milk with it.

Shedric - We eat turkey. Put the turkey in the oven. Put bones inside of it. Have pie for dessert.

Brett - We eat cereal. Put it in a bowl. Add milk. Use a spoon. It tastes good.

Sara - Cut up the turkey with a knife. Have mashed potatoes. Eat pumpkin cake for dessert.

Briana - Put the turkey in the oven. It has to stay in the oven until night time. Stuff it with stuffing. Serve it with peas and mashed potatoes. For dessert have nothing.

Larry - We eat raisin cereal. Put it in a bowl. Put milk in it. Serve it with chips.

Amanda T. - We eat turkey. Put it in the oven for a really long time. Stukk it with ham. It's black when it's done. Eat it with white potatoes and corn. For dessert have chocolate pudding.

Joseph - We eat pork chops. Put ketchup on them. Put them in the oven at a whole bunch of degrees. Serve it with french fries.

Courtney - We eat macaroni. Put the macaroni in a bowl and cook it up. Serve cheese with it. Have salad with ketchup on top.

Cara - Cook the turkey on the stove. Stuff the turkey with chicken. Cook it for 16 minutes. Have yogurt for dessert.

Cassondra - We have chicken. Clean the chicken. Put butter on it with a knife. Then it's ready to eat. Have butter potatoes. For dessert have strawberry yogurt.

Amber - We eat peanut butter. Put the peanut butter on bread. Put the jelly on the peanut butter.

Pangtala - We eat bananas and milk.

Nicholas - First you cut the turkey witha knife. Then you cook it in the oven for 12 minutes at 4 degrees. The alarm goes off when it's done. Eat it with a fork.

Kelly - Put seeds on the turkey and put it in the oven. Put it on the table with spaghetti-O's, toast, and pork chops.

Anthony - Put the turkey in the oven. It has to be very hot. When it beeps, it has to come out. Serve it with carrots. For dessert have chocolate and vanilla ice cream.

Thomas - We eat pizza. Pat it and spread it. Put mushrooms on it. Cook it in the oven for 3 months. Eat it with corn.

Devin - We eat macaroni. We eat mashed potatoes. You make it in the kettle. Cook it 2 minutes, and you sit down. Then you go in your room. We drink water.

Gabriel - We eat pancakes. They are hard. My mommy makes them.


A junior high Geography class was studying the Seven Wonders of the World. At the end of that section, the students were asked to list what they thought could be considered the current Seven Wonders of the World. Though there was some disagreement, the following got the most votes:

1. Egypt's Great Pyramids
2. India's Taj Mahal
3. The Grand Canyon
4. Panama Canal
5. Empire State Building
6. St. Peter's Basilica
7. China's Great Wall

While gathering the votes, the teacher noted that one student, a quiet girl, hadn't turned in her paper yet. So she asked the girl if she were having trouble with her list. The quiet girl replied, "Yes, a little. I couldn't quite make up my mind because there were so many." The teacher said, "Well, tell us what you have and maybe we can help." The girl hesitated, then read, "I think the Seven Wonders of the World are

1. to touch
2. to taste
3. to see
4. to hear

She hesitated again and then added

5. to feel
6. to laugh
7. and to love

The silence in the room was almost deafening. It is so easy for us to look at exploits of man or at spectacular things and refer to them as "wonders" while we overlook some of the seemingly little things God has given us, regarding them as merely "ordinary."

May we all be reminded today of God's ordinary blessings that are truly wonders. In connection with the Thanksgiving season, I try to imagine the reaction of a group of women at a bridal shower if the bride opened her gifts without comment, then at the end said, "I sure am thankful for all this!" without thanking any individual gift-giver or commenting on any gift along the way. Don't you think we're sometimes like that at Thanksgiving? "We have so much to be thankful for!" we cheerfully exclaim. As we are "thankful" at this time of year, let's be sure to remember to say thanks to the One from whom all blessings flow, and not just be thankful that we're blessed, forgetting the Giver.


"When God is good to you, it's not because everything is okay. It's because He is good." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=

Thanksgiving is not just a holiday - it's an attitude.

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Apes, Horses, Hams, and Square Dancing

Today I'm posting four short things that, on the surface, don't seem to be related. Read on to find out the connection.


1. Start with a cage containing five apes. In the cage, hang a banana on a string and put stairs under it. Before long, an ape will go to the stairs and start to climb toward the banana.

2. As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all of the apes with cold water. After a while, another ape makes an attempt with the same result - all the apes are sprayed with cold water.

3. Turn off the cold water. If later another ape tries to climb the stairs, the other apes will try to prevent it even though no water sprays them.

4. Now, remove one ape from the cage and replace it with a new one. The new ape sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs. To his horror, all of the other apes attack him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted.

5. Next, remove another of the original five apes and replace it with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm.

6. Again, replace a third original ape with a new one. The new one makes it to the stairs and is attacked as well. Two of the four apes that beat him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs, or why they are participating in the beating of the newest ape.

7. After replacing the fourth and fifth original apes, all the apes who were sprayed with cold water have been replaced.

Nevertheless, no ape ever again approaches the stairs. Why not?

"Because that's the way it's ALWAYS been done around here."


What to do when you discover that you are riding a dead horse:

Buy a stronger whip.

Change riders.

Threaten the horse with termination.

Appoint a committee to study the horse.

Arrange to visit other countries to see how they ride dead horses

Lower the standard so the dead horses can be included.

Reclassify the dead horse as living impaired.

Hire outside contractors to ride the dead horse.

Harness several dead horses together to increase the speed.

Provide additional funding and/or training to increase the dead horse's performance.

Do a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve the dead horse's performance.

Declare that the dead horse does not have to be fed, it is less costly, carries lower overhead and therefore contributes substantially more to the bottom line of the economy than do some other horses.

Rewrite the expected performance requirements for all dead horses.

Promote the dead horse to a supervisory status.


When my wife Becka taught Home Economics (back in the days before it was called "Family and Consumer Science"), she used to tell her students the following story:

A girl who wanted to learn to be a good cook was watching her mother prepare a ham to go into the oven. Before her mother put it into the pan, she cut a large section off the end of the ham. Her daughter asked her why she had done that. The mother replied, "That's how my mom did it when I was learning to cook from her."

Not wanting to miss out on any great family cooking secrets, the girl asked, "What does that do for the ham, Mom?"

"I don't know," replied the mother. "I'll call Grandma to ask her."

Later that day the mother called the grandmother to tell her about the daughter's interest in learning to cook and to ask her why she cut the end off the ham. The grandmother replied, "I don't know why you do that. I always did it because the pan I had back then was too small for a ham."

I fear that there are many things that we do in life, not because we have a good reason for doing so, but because that's all we know to do - it's how we've ALWAYS done it. And that fact short circuits all logic and reason. Many businesses, schools, churches, organizations, and families carry on procedures and/or traditions whose origins are long since lost. I'm not saying that just because a new idea comes along, it's automatically better than anything tried before. But I think that many of us miss out because we weren't unwilling to do things differently. Sometimes the best thing to do really is to dismount and bury that dead horse!

So where does the square dancing come in? A friend from college days now living in Pennsylvania sent me a link to a video of some people who weren't content to keep doing something they way it had always done it. She wrote, "Hey, Rob! This is the week of the PA Farm Show - a big event in our state. I was looking at the schedule online, and was very interested to see that this year (for the second time), they are having Tractor Square Dancing. I have read about this in Country magazine, but have never seen it. It sounds hilarious. I decided to see if I could find a video on line and found one. The video (from last year's Farm Show) is a five minutes clip and you really have to watch it all the way to the end. Don't miss the 'split and swing'! Enjoy!"

So, in this instant vacation about trying out new ideas and procedures, ivman has done just that - I've embedded video in my blog. Those of you reading this in e-mail or a blog-reader may need to go to the blog to see the video. Since this is something new for me, I don't know how this will work in those other contexts. Click in the square below to start the video. It's a rather large file and may take a while to load, but it's so worth it!


"Let's stop giving lip service if we're not willing to give life service." - Mark Herbster

=^..^= =^..^=

Due to financial constraints, the light at the end of the tunnel has been extinguished.

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Merry Christmas!

Many of us are dismayed with the "war on Christmas" (read: war on Christ - check out the first six letters of CHRISTmas...) that ramps up more and more each year. I read on a blog some time ago (I should have taken note of the blog so that I could give due credit, but alas...) a post along this line. I thought I'd put it out there for your enjoyment.

Happy Whatever?

Please accept with no obligation - implied or implicit, on behalf of the wisher or wishee - my best wishes for an environmentally-conscious, socially-responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender neutral, celebration of the winter solstice, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally-successful, personally-fulfilling, and medically-uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally-accepted Gregorian calendar year, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great (not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country or is the only America in the Western Hemisphere), and without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, political affiliation, religious faith, or choice of computer operating system of the wisher or the wishee.

DISCLAIMER: By accepting this greeting you are accepting the terms of the greeting and all responsibility associated with it. This greeting is subject to clarification and/or revocation at any time at the discretion of the wisher. This greeting is non-transferable without the express written consent of the wisher. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for him/herself or for others. This greeting is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first. Warranty is limited to replacement of this greeting or issuance of a new greeting at the sole discretion of the wisher, who assumes no responsibility for any unintended emotional stress this greeting may bring to those not caught up in the holiday spirit. Reading of this disclaimer constitutes your acceptance of the greeting. Oh, and I almost forgot...this disclaimer supersedes all local, state, federal, and international laws previously enacted to prevent such disclaimers from superseding all local, state, federal, and international laws.

Happy special time of year!


The following was a comment on that blog that I found good enough to save with that blog post....

Comment: My favorite politically correct contortion to avoid using the word "Christ" at any cost is the local government that gives Dec 25th off as the "December 25th holiday". One year they sent out a memo that said since Dec 25 falls on a Saturday this year, the "December 25th holiday" will be taken on December 24! Ooops! How did that derivative of "holy" get in there?


This is politically INcorrect Rob who thinks that the above is so ludicrous that it's actually funny. Since this is *my* blog, I'd like to wish you a joyous, Christ-exalting Christmas and God's best blessings in the New Year!

If you're still with me, I want to share a link that's related to the war on Christmas - it's called Merry TOSSmas.


I've enjoyed working with the gang back at IT Help Desk on campus this week. As I've gone from office to office on campus, I've seen many people I haven't seen in quite a while, and I've been regaled with wellness-counter-productive goodies, songs, and general merriment. Some of the funniest things I've heard were related to some recent events on campus - mainly the pertussis (whooping cough) blip and the faculty/staff men now being permitted to sport beards. There are some pretty scruffy-looking characters out there right now! One person suggested the school be renamed Bob Jones University and Rescue Mission. One friend greeted me with the season's greetings of "Merry Pertussis, and a Happy New Beard!" It's definitely been a fun week to work! But I'm really looking forward to some time off now.


"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." Luke 2:14

=^..^= =^..^=

DISCLAIMER: No trees were harmed in the posting of these greetings, however, a significant number of electrons were inconvenienced.

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