'Tis the season...

As holiday stress afflicts many with hysterical baldness each year, taking a step back to plan for holiday escapades can help everybody remain calm and safe throughout the season. Like the Boy Scouts say, “be prepared.” For instance, when you must be rushed to the emergency room because you've pierced your chest cavity with a screwdriver while attempting to assemble your new exercise machine, make sure the person driving has had less vodka than you. Better to dial 911, or sew yourself up with fishing tackle and hope for the best.

In addition, being fully prepared to respond to a storm of bone-cracking insults from your spouse's relatives with a smile can help keep you out of the big house. Objects that could become makeshift weapons/projectiles should be removed from the scene, including cutlery, frying pans, power tools, mops, turkey carcasses and sporting goods, and it's best to keep a ten-gallon cowboy hat with you at all times. Avoid running with light sabres, liquor bottles and summer sausage. If you're not normally around children and you're going to be, wear clothes that are easy to remove and incinerate. If the home has more than one bathroom, familiarize yourself with the locations before a sudden game of truly musical chairs leaves you odd man out (this is where your ten-gallon hat comes in handy). Above all, have a have very happy and safe holiday!

December 9th brings the release of "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe." Adapted from the work of C.S. Lewis, the film stars Georgie Henley, William Moseley, Skandar Keynes and Anna Popplewell.

A new version of "King Kong" premieres on December 16th, and many have already gone bananas over the trailers from Peter Jackson's (director, "Lord of the Rings" trilogy) modern installment of the classic story.  It stars Naomi Watts, Adrien Brody, Jack Black, Andy Serkis and Jamie Bell. The original "King Kong," which was a most notable special effects treat in its day, was released in 1933 starring Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong and Bruce Cabot.

Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick reprise their Broadway roles on the big screen in Mel Brooks' "The Producers," which is scheduled to premiere on December 23rd. Also appearing are Uma Thurman, Will Ferrell, Roger Bart, Gary Beach and Andrea Martin. December 23rd also marks the release of "Cheaper by the Dozen 2." Steve Martin, Bonnie Hunt, Piper Pearbo, Tom Welling and Hillary Duff appear in the sequel to the holiday family hit from 2003.

Winter for the Northern Hemisphere officially begins on December 21st, and spring will arrive during the afternoon of March 20, 2006.

Chanukah, the celebration of lights, is observed in remembrance of the Maccabees miraculous vial of olive oil that burned for seven days after temple in Jerusalem was liberated from the Syrians just prior to the first century. This year, Chanukah begins on December 25th and ends on January 1, 2006.

Christmas is on December 25th, and millions of people will be shopping for gifts to give to family, friends and those less fortunate as the spirit of giving fills the chilly season with warm feelings and family feasts.

Here are some links for the month of December:

  • Gifts.com - Find a gift for anyone and for any occasions.  Browse by category, occasion, or recipient.
  • Movies.com Find listings for the latest films plus movie reviews, news, multimedia clips, tickets, still photos and special features.
  • Chabad.org: Chanukah Features historic information about the Jewish holiday plus recipes, traditional practices, games and more.
  • NorthPole.com - Find letters to Santa, holiday postcards, stories to read or color, games to play, holiday recipes, and a lot more for Christmas.