Category Archives: Top Ten

The Top Ten Best Sitcom Thanksgiving Episodes

Don’t we all love the holiday episodes of our favorite shows? If you’re not into football, then dial up Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime TV on Thursday and watch these ten laugh out loud episodes from the past that will entertain you all day long.  I’ve only included ones that I’ve seen, so if you can think of some others, say so in the comments! I apologize to my international readers that this list is American centric. If you can think of your favorite holiday episodes from your country, please put them in the comments so we can discover new shows!

10. Cheers: Thanksgiving Orphans, Season 5, episode 9.

Everyone’s plans coincidentally fall through, as they only can on a sit-comand Carla hosts dinner for the gang. It ends in an epic food fight where we nearly get to see Norm’s wife, Vera. Find it on Amazon, Netflix and Hulu

9. The Office, WUPHF.com, season 7, episode 9.

Dwight hosts a fall festival in the parking lot so he can crown himself Hay King while Ryan tries to sell the office on his uber-connectivity app WUPHF.com. Find it on Netflix.

8. New Girl, season 4 episode 9, Bangsgiving

This episode features the gang staying home for Thanksgiving in their L.A. loft. As fate would have it, they all happen to be single at the time, so they set up a Secret Santa sort of arrangement where they draw names from a hat and they have to invite a Bangsgiving date for the person they picked. Hijinks ensue. Find it on Peacock.

7. South Park, season 4 episode 13, Hellen Keller! The Musical

I think that the title, Hellen Keller! The Musical says all you need to know about this. Find it on HBOMax.

6. That 70’s Show, season 1, episode 9, Thanksgiving

THAT ’70S SHOW

Eric gets hit on by his sister’s slutty friend and Donna is not happy about it. Eric’s mom Kitty is stressed about Red’s mom coming to dinner and they both forget to pick her up. Find it on Amazon Prime Video

5. Seinfeld, season 6, episode 8, The Mom and Pop store

Elaine helps her boss, Mr. Pitt, win a contest to pilot the Woody Woodpecker balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. His joy is short lived when Jerry drops an Empire State Building statue out of Tim Whatley’s window and punctures the Woody Woodpecker balloon. In this episode Jerry walks around in a new pair of slippery cowboy boots and George buys a LeBaron convertible that he believes belonged to actor Jon Voight. Find it on Netflix.

4. WKRP in Cincinnati, season 1 episode 7, Turkeys Away

Yes, this is definitely an oldie, but it’s definitely one of the funniest Thanksgiving episodes of any show I’ve ever seen. If you don’t know the WKRP in Cincinnati series, it’s definitely worth a watch, and this episode is laugh out loud funny. Find it on AppleTV and Amazon Prime.

3. Roseanne, season 4 episode 10, We Gather Together

The Connors always knew how to make great holiday episodes. Their Halloween episodes are legendary and their Thanksgivings aren’t far behind. Find it on Amazon Prime Video.

2. How I Met Your Mother, season 3 episode 9, Slapsgiving

Due to a bet from a previous season, Marshall won the right to slap Barney 5 times over the rest of their lifetimes. He decides that Thanksgiving, aka Slapsgiving, is just the right day after building the suspense for weeks. At the end actor Jason Segal plays the piano and sings a song about the slap.

1. Friends, The One with All the Thanksgivings, Season 5, Episode 8

This episode of course has Monica with the turkey on her head, but it’s also got a bunch of fun flashbacks from the gangs Thanksgivings as well as their distant past. Find it on Netflix.

That’s my Top Ten. If you’ve got some favorite Thanksgiving episodes from other shows, please put them in the comments ! I hope you’re having a great weekend! ~Phil

The Top Ten Ways to Tell if You Are A Boomer

I don’t think being a certain age means that you’re a “boomer”. My impression is that boomers are the Karens of people over 50. (Although, I think every Karen no matter what age is a Boomer) Being a boomer isn’t a specific age though, it’s more a state of mind.  There are still cool people over 50, and there are 40 year olds that act like Boomers.  Here are the top ten ways to know if you are a Boomer:

10. If you’re not worried that you might be a boomer, you’re either getting your student loans forgiven, or you’re already too far gone. Boomers are blissfully unaware that their Brady Bunch quotes might not be relevant to their grandkids. C’mon, who remembers “pork chops and applesauce”? Am I right?

9. If you just googled “Boomers age range“, you might be a Boomer. (And happily, I’m still in the Gen X range.)

8. If someone calls you Karen, and you try to correct them with your real name, you might be a Boomer. 

7. If you still buy batteries for your Jitterbug flip phone, you might be a Boomer. 

6. If you watch 60 Minutes on both the clock and the tv, you are definitely a Boomer.  

5. If you’re wearing Skechers right now: If it’s too much work to bend over and tie your shoes, you might be a Boomer.

4. If you use a three foot long shoe horn to put your Skechers on, you might be a boomer. To be honest, if you use any kind of shoe horn, you are totally a Boomer.

3. If you still have the same blog that you started in 2005 instead of a TikTok, you might be a Boomer. (present company excluded of course)

2. If you’ve never had tendonitis from playing video games, you might be a Boomer. 

1.  If you ever start any sentence with the words “In my day…” you are definitely a boomer. Also, if you are insulted by any of these, you are….

Hopefully whether you’re a boomer or not, you found some humor in this. If you didn’t, then you might be a Karen/Boomer! If you’ve got other Boomer jokes feel free to add them in the comments.

Have a great Tuesday! ~Phil

The Top Ten Scariest Movies of All Time

The Hocus Pocus 2 (<== click for trailer) movie came out last week and women everywhere ran straight to their TV’s. Is Hocus Pocus 1 or 2 on this list? Of course not. They’re not scary, just scary bad!

Feeling in the mood for some Halloween scares? Check out the movies on this list, created from a painstaking culling of countless online lists of scary movies. These are the ten that appeared most often on most of the lists. I posted this list last year and it resulted in a lot of suggestions for other great scary movies. Feel free to add your two cents in the comments.

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10. Psycho (1960) Believe it or not, this one almost didn’t make the list. This is a classic that has spawned countless imitations.

9. It (2017) The Stephen King classic was brought back about a month ago and it is seriously creepy. There were at least five times during the movie when I got goosebumps because it was so creepy and suspenseful. Watching this will not help your clown fear at all.

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8. Halloween (1978) Although Mike Myers later went on to bigger fame and fortune on Saturday Night Live and Wayne’s World, this movie has stood the test of time.

7. The Omen (1976) I never saw this, but if it’s got Gregory Peck it must be good. I hope it has Boo Radley too.

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6. The Exorcist (1973) Talk about an ugly duckling! She later went on to become Miss Nevada. First time I saw this I was completely freaked out. me and my friends didn’t sleep all night. At the time I was also sure that a film like this would never be allowed in Canada.

5. Rosemary’s Baby (1968) I’m sure this was terrifying for all the old timey folks in 1968. Ironically, Mia Farrow played Rosemary, a woman impregnated by Satan. Many years later the baby she adopted with Woody Allen would later marry Woody Allen. I’m starting to think that Mia isn’t a very good mother.

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4. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) I started this series with Part 3 but went back and watched them all. I find a villian who can get you in your dreams to be the scariest of all. Sadly, some idiots made a remake of this in 2010. Did anyone see that? Me neither.

3. The Shining (1980) A cool classic. Nobody plays crazy quite like Jack Nicholson.

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2. 28 Days Later (2002) A zombie movie from 2002 before zombies were cool. I haven’t seen this one, but it showed up so regularly in my research I want to see it now.

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1. Alien (1979) This one surprised me by being on almost every list. The suspense is painful and who can forget the tag line “In space no one can hear you scream.”

So what’s your favorite scary movie? Do you like being scared? What’s scarier, the books or the movies? What would you add to this list?

Have a great Tuesday! ~Phil

The Top Ten Best 80’s Movies

I was in a nostalgic mood this past weekend and watched some 80’s movies. Then I decided to create this list to see what others had to say about the movies of the best decade ever. If you agree or disagree, I’d love to hear in the comments what movies you’d add or take away from my list.

10. Raiders of the Last Ark, 1981. Starring Harrison Ford. Best line:Snakes! Why’d it have to be snakes?” Who else feels this way?

9. The Breakfast Club, 1985. Starring Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez, Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, and Ally Sheedy. Best line: Does Barry Manilow know you raid his wardrobe?”  –John Bender to Richard Vernon

8. The Princess Bride 1987: Starring: Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Andre the Giant, Fred Savage, Wallace Shawn, Chris Sarandon, and Mandy Patinkin. Best Line: Have fun stormin’ da castle!” A great cameo by Billy Crystal

7. The ‘Burbs 1989: starring Tom Hanks, Carrie Fisher, Corey Feldman, Bruce Dern, and Rick Ducommon. Best line: Ray, there’s no doubt anymore…This is real. Your neighbors are murdering people…They’re burying them in their backyard. Ray… this is Walter.” This is from the funniest scene in the movie.

6. Beetlejuice 1988: Starring Michael Keaton, Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin. Best line: “I’ve seen the Exorcist 167 times and it keeps getting funnier everytime I see it.”  I was traumatized by the Exorcist.

5. Top Gun 1986 Starring Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Anthony Edwards, and Val Kilmer. Best line: “You’re not going to be happy unless you’re going Mach 2 with your hair on fire.”  You and me both Maverick.

4. Batman 1989 Starring Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson. Best line: Tell Me Something, My Friend, Have You Ever Danced With the Devil in the Pale Moonlight?”  In comparison with Adam Wests 1960’s Batman, this was a shock to the superhero movie genre.

3. Back to The Future 1985 Starring Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson and Crispin Glover. Best line: Roads? Where we’re going we don’t need roads!” I wanted to be Marty McFly.

2. Field of Dreams, 1989 Starring Kevin Costner , James Earl Jones, Amy Madigan, and Ray Liotta. Best line: “Ty Cobb wanted to play…but none of us could stand the son-of-a-bitch when we were alive, so we told him to stick it!” It would have been too easy to go with “If you build it…”

1. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, 1986 Starring Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara, Jennifer Grey. Best line: It’s not that I support fascism or any ism for that matter. Isms in my opinion are not good. A person should not believe in an ism, he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon, “I don’t believe in Beatles, I just believe in me.” Not bad, but then again he was the walrus.” As adults, don’t we still imagine skipping work and having a day like this?

There you go, MY top ten 80’s movies. If you could expand the list by adding your favs, what would some of them be?

Have a great Tuesday! ~Phil

Top Ten Tuesday! Ten Questions We All Should Ask Ourselves

The genesis for this post was that last night I sat down wanting to write a new post but only wanted to spend 45 minutes doing so because there’s television to watch. In general people like top ten lists. So many of mine continue to rack up views years after I wrote them. So this is what comes out of my head with no planning or editing whatsoever. 45 minute timer…GO!

10. Am I kind enough to other people? If you’re not being kind to others, wtf is your problem? 99.9% of all humanity has never done anything wrong to you, so why be a dick? Don’t honk your horn the second the light turns green.

9. Should I still be wearing this haircut? Probably not. Unless you’re a good looking bald guy, and no, Vin Diesel doesn’t qualify. Your haircut is definitely not doing you any favors. I should know. I’ve had the same one for about a dozen years and it’s probably out of style, but I have no idea what to do next.

8. Should I really tell my spouse my real opinion on so many things? No, you definitely shouldn’t. Some of those opinions might hurt feelings, and you definitely don’t want to hear from them what they think of the flaws you don’t realize that you have.

7. Am I spending too much time on social media? I don’t know the answer to that. Some of us yes, and some of us no. But if the world is going to a more remote way of engaging with others, shouldn’t we stay current so we can stay in touch?

6.  Should I leave my money in my 401k, or pull it out before the entire economy collapses? I really don’t want to give anyone an opinion on this one, but aren’t we all thinking it? Talk to a financial adviser who isn’t managing your money or volunteering to manage your money.

5. Why is Amazon increasing their subscription service by $20 if we’re not getting anything added to the service? Jeff Bezos, you’re up. Can you answer that Mr. Billionaire? If you want loyal customers, give us a break. You and your company are profiting by billions a year and when inflation is killing the common man you decide to try to squeeze more out of us? F U

4. Shouldn’t I say something funny after all the serious questions? Yes, we all should. Never in the history of mankind have so many had so much stress. We all need to lighten up and laugh more often. I don’t know if this is funny, but if we’re playing the six degrees of separation, I may be the only person in the world through whom you can connect deceased dictator Fidel Castro and the lead singer of Tommy Tutone (867-5309)

3. Am I in the right line of work? Probably not. Unless you wake up excited for another day at your job, then you should probably find yourself a new job. Life is too short for us not to enjoy a third of it. Find what you love and find a way to make money from it. If you like it, chances are other people do too and they’ll pay for you to do it, whatever it is. After that Tommy Tutone video I feel that this video for is perfect for that last thought:

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2. How do I stop worrying about all these things: You know what? There’s probably no fool-proof way to forget your worries. Sometimes there’s even good reasons to worry about things. There’s so much wisdom on this topic in the public arena that I can’t purport to bring anything new. Enjoy the little things in life. Focus on the positive when you can and accept that life isn’t going to be perfect. Not even for effing Jeff Bezos. (Can you tell that I’m really kind of ticked about that $20 more for Amazon)

1. What’s Your One Thing? In an old movie with Billy Crystal, City Slickers, an old cowhand gave some great advice. Just find that one thing big or small that makes you happy. You’re never going to be happy all the time, but if you know your one thing, maybe you’ll be happy some of the time.

Ok, that’s it. It took me 47 minutes to write that, including adding pictures and spell checking. Not bad for my brain. I hope you enjoyed it. If you were to add a question to this list, what would it be?

Have a great Tuesday! ~Phil

The Top Ten 2022 Banished Phrases

Have you ever thought to yourself, “I am so sick of hearing that phrase!”?  Sometimes it’s an acronym at work. Other times it’s a pop culture phenomenon. And often it’s a word or phrase that someone from another generation (younger) seems to say all the time that makes no sense to you.

Lake Superior State University, is located in Michigan’s upper peninsula, which should really be part of Wisconsin. Each year they publish a list of the top ten words that people would like to see banished. That’s exactly the kind of hard hitting research you’ll find at a “state school.” I should know, because I went to one. Harvard is busy curing cancer, but Lake Superior State University is spending public money making lists of silly phrases. They are definitely my kind of people.

I’ll give you the list with my comments and I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions in the comments.

10. Supply chain: 90% of us didn’t know what a supply chain was before 2021. Now it’s my favorite phrase to get out of work. “I’m sorry boss, I can’t make it to work today. Supply chain issues.” Supply chain gets me out of more things than Covid. “I apologize your honor, but I can’t be on this jury all week. Supply chain issues.” or “Not tonight honey. I’ve got supply chain issues.” (Ladies, feel free to use that last one)

9. You’re on mute: I hear this one a lot when I’m pretending to have technical difficulties to get out of being on a two hour Zoom meeting. Also my wife is fond of saying, “Sorry honey. I can’t hear you. You’re on mute.” She says that when she’s sitting right next to me. A lot.

8. New Normal: Anybody that’s using this phrase is just giving up on life. Saying that something is the new normal is like saying, “I give up. This sucks but I can’t change anything.” I don’t think we should avoid the phrase. I think that anyone who says it should immediately be prescribed an anti-depressant and sentenced to ten weeks of therapy.

7. Deep Dive: Admittedly, I’ve used this one in work situations more than once. Yes, I know it’s overused, but what else can we say that means the same and is just as cool? In-depth look? Nah. That phrase bores me. I fell asleep typing it. Thorough investigation? That only sounds good with a British accent and I can never pull that off. (Now you’re imagining that phrase in a British accent aren’t you? See what I mean?”)

6. Circle back: Of course this one came from a state school. When I was in college and we we’re at a bar near campus that was basically circular, we’d check out the talent by walking a lap around the bar. If you couldn’t find someone to your liking, you say to your friends, “Nope. Nothing yet. I’m going to circle back in a half hour or so.” Now my generation uses it in Zoom meetings to say, “Yeah, no. That’s not gonna happen.”

5. Asking for a friend: Never in the history of the world has anyone ever believed this lie. People on Twitter wore this phrase out six years ago.

4. That being said… This is a way to pretend you agree but you’re really disagreeing. It sounds a little pretentious to me. Enough so that if you’re on a Zoom call, pretend you don’t hear the person and repeatedly say, “You’re on mute. I can’t hear you.” Give it about minute or two before you acknowledge them again.

3. At the end of the day… This is a way to act smart and pretend that you’re saying something obvious. It’s also a great way to get people thinking of 5:00 and having a drink as soon as “this blowhard on my work conference call shuts the hell up.” People who say ‘At the end of the day’ are the people that overtalk in every conference call be cause they want to impress the higher ups.

2. No worries! People that say this are obviously worriers trying to overcompensate by using this linguistic pacifier. If someone says this to you, immediate worrying is called for. They’re like the character in a suspense film who says, “Don’t worry. We got this,” right before all hell breaks loose.

1. Wait, what? In other words, “Are you effing kidding me?” It’s a cute way to express disbelief, as in “Are you serious? Did you just say that?” This is always the prelude to a good conflict and if you’re lucky, fisticuffs.

Now there’s a word we should pump up in 2022. Fisticuffs! In the comments, what are the words and phrases you found most tiresome in 2021?

Have a great Tuesday!  ~Phil

Top Ten Tuesday! Ten Travel Tips You Must Know!

Happy Tuesday everybody. Well, I guess it’s more of a happy Tuesday if you’re getting ready for a trip this weekend. As a prelude to my new travel website and writing venture, Philliver’s Travels, this post is a preview of some of the content you’ll see there.

As we all know, travel is fun and exciting, but it can be a little less than fun when things go wrong. So, to kick things off for my new site, I collaborated with freelance travel writer and International Living magazine/website contributor, Bel Woodhouse , to give you some things to think about before you leave home.

10. Have a “Go-bag” You know who has go-bags? Criminals & smart travelers. (One of those two are my target audience. Which are you?) What I mean by a Go-Bag, is when you travel, don’t take your home phone charger. Don’t take your entire medicine bottle from the cabinet, and for cripes sake, don’t take your toothbrush from home! Buy an extra phone charger, travel toothbrush, tiny tubes of toothpaste, and a weeks worth of your meds. Put them in your suitcase and leave them there! ALL. THE. TIME. That way, you’ll have less things to remember to pack. If you leave things behind at your hotel when you’re heading home, you won’t be out of luck until you can replace those items. As a man that has bought my fair share and your fair share of phone chargers when I get to a destination, having a Go-bag is a smart move.

9. (From Bel) Always have a good old fashioned paper map. Don’t rely on technology. Batteries go flat, coverage gets spotty, phones are stolen. Paper doesn’t let you down. I’ve had one in 30+ countries and have never been lost, mugged or had anything bad happen. EVER.

8. Count your kids: Traveling as a family? This ain’t your local shopping mall. Don’t take your eyes off your little ones. If there’s anything Home Alone taught us, it’s that you need to count your kids wherever you go. MacCaulay Culkin was left home alone and look how he turned out:

7. (From Bel) Know where you are, where you shouldn’t go and how to get back to your hotel, accommodation or nearest taxi.

6. Do the Math! Growing up, I hated mathematics. When you travel, it comes in handy. Just because it seems like you have plenty of time to get to your gate, don’t be fooled. If you show up at the airport Friday-Monday, four days of the week, you need to factor in extra drop off luggage line time and the security line time. On those four days there’s a higher volume of travelers and lines will be longer and slower. Also, if you have connecting flights, book your flights with at least a one hour and ten minute window between the first flight landing and the second flight taking off.  Trust me on that one.

5. (From Bel) Keep the majority of your money on your person, not in your wallet in case someone lifts it.

4. How to tip the housekeeping staff: If you’re staying in a hotel or resort with daily housekeeping, tipping them is customary, but how and when you tip makes a difference. $5 a day American is pretty standard, but should vary depending on the hotel you’re at. Let’s say you’re staying five days, do you dole out that $5 each day or wait until the end of your stay? Don’t wait until the end of the stay. Leave at least a $10 tip the first morning and spread the rest out over the week. My reason? Sometimes if you tip well early, you get better service, like a few extra coffee pods, extra towels, chocolates on the pillow, or just a generally better room cleaning. These folks work hard. Don’t be stingy!

3. (From Bel) Have situational awareness. Take note of what and who is around you. I was in a market in Nicaragua and made eye contact with a guy, then held my camera close until he moved past me only to push over another young woman and steal her camera. Know who and what is around you and keep an eye on your stuff.

2. Talk to the hotel/resort staff before going out: Not every hotel has a concierge, but the staff at every hotel is knowledgeable about the surrounding area and they always have tips and tricks to make your adventures safer, less costly, and more fun. Ask them if there’s some not so well known restaurants that are secret gems.

1. (From Bel) The biggest thing -Always be polite, manners get you everywhere in every country. Show respect. You are a guest and you’re not entitled to everything you want. I have seen many tourists be invited by locals on free tours and into their homes for a meal just by being polite. It opens doors and means the world to people no matter what country you’re in. It is the difference between a traveler and a tourist.

Thank you Bel for visiting #ThePhilFactor and thank you for being part of my Philliver’s Travels blog launch this coming Saturday.

Bel: “I love helping any way I can when someone has the courage to reach for the stars and try to achieve a new dream, project or just have a creative outlet. If you have the courage to try, you can enrich your life in so many ways. I used to be in the Navy, now I’m living my dream life in the Caribbean. Anything is possible when you have the courage to try.”

I couldn’t have been luckier to find Bel on IG (@thetravelbag.guru) and she couldn’t be any nicer. Come back on Saturday for the Philliver’s Travels blog launch and my interview with Bel. Have a great Tuesday! ~Phil

 

My New Adventure: Philliver’s Travels

Good morning and happy Sunday. As many of you have seen on social media, I’m launching a new website on Saturday, May 1, Philliver’s Travels.  The focus will be on travel. Over the last 15 years, because of my job and my desire to get away from the dreary northeast of the United States, I’ve travelled more than most, but not as much as some.

A beach in The Bahamas from my trip three years ago.

Unlike The Phil Factor, which has been all about finding humor in everyday situations, Philliver’s Travels will have travel reviews of locations, attractions and hotels and restaurants, educational information on how to travel hack to take a vacation without having to empty your life’s savings, and of course funny stories about my travel experiences. For all the smart stuff about travelling internationally and travel hacking, I’ll bring in experts for interviews.

Fort Myer’s Beach, Florida, on the Gulf coast

The Phil Factor isn’t going away, but it will remain more of an occasional blog as it has been for the past two years. If you have enjoyed my humor here, I hope that you’ll visit Philliver’s Travels regularly for that same humor applied to travel and the people and places I go. You’ll be able to find me on social media through a new Instagram, @phillivers_travels.

This Tuesday I’ll be giving a preview of some of the content you’ll see on Philliver’s Travels with a brand new Tuesday Top Ten list of travel tips from myself and International Living‘s (IG’s thetravelbag.guru) Bel Woodhouse! Have a great Sunday! ~Phil (or should I say Philliver?)  Btw, how many of you get the Philliver’s Travels reference? I’m thinking that about 50% of you get it and the other half just think it’s weird. Let me know in the comments!

The Ten Best Holiday Specials of All Time

Three years ago a network aired “It’s Your 50th Christmas Charlie Brown!” To be sure, the Peanuts Christmas special is a classic here in the States. What I’d like to see someone create is a special with all the Peanuts characters as 50 year olds. How weird would that be? Here are my choices for the Ten Best Holiday Specials of All Time. The Star Wars Holiday Special was mentioned in the comments a few times last year, but didn’t make the Top Ten only because I haven’t seen it. If you’re curious, it is on YouTube.  If you disagree with the list or have other choices please put them in the comments.

10. Rudolph’s Shiny New Year: This piece of crap has been played every year since 1976. I think I accidentally watched it once as a child and vowed to never watch it again. Thus far…mission accomplished. Rudolph should have been made into venison before this was made.

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9. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving: Sure the idea of toast and popcorn sounds great, in theory. This is a good special but pales in comparison to The Peanut’s Halloween and Christmas specials.

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8. Frosty the Snowman: The best part of this special is the song. The acting is putrid and the plot is barely plausible. When this is on I’m rooting for a green Christmas.

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7. Little Drummer Boy: This is where the list starts to get good. Good song, good plot, great claymation and I think there are some talking animals. Plus, it all takes place in a desert where Frosty would never survive.

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6. Santa Clause is Comin’ To Town: Oh man! When I was a kid and the Winter Warlock first appeared I was terrified. I believe the phrase “chillin’ like a villain” was coined for him. Also a young Santa hooks up with a serious hottie of a wife.

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5. The Rugrats Chanukah Special: Technically it was an episode of the series, but all these years later I still remember it for actually explaining the meaning of Hanukkah to me better than any person ever had. It was entertaining and informative, just like The Phil Factor.

4. A Charlie Brown Christmas: Hey, I know you all love this one, but if The Peanuts get on the list twice they don’t get #1. The ice skating scene, the dancing scene, and Snoopy making the animal noises were all great. Lucy still should have punched Charlie Brown for bringing back that wretched tree.

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3. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer: Romance, bromance, career conflict, monsters, The Island of Misfit Toys. This special had it all. Remember how scary it was when Yukon Cornelius rescued Rudolph and his family from Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster?

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2. Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas: Great song and great villian with a story of redemption. Who doesn’t love it when his heart grows and breaks the frame? My favorite scene is when his dog, Max, happily hops on the front of the sleigh expecting a ride.

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1. The Year Without a Santa Clause: This special didn’t need a Santa Claus. If you’ve got the Heat Miser and the Snow Miser in a sing off you win. I just wish one of them had done a mic drop. Hands down the best songs ever in a holiday special of any kind. Here’s the video of both songs. (please pardon the commercial at the start). Enjoy!

These are just the holiday specials that are populr in the States. If some of my British friends or anyone from anywhere else wants to chip in, I’d be happy to d an international edition. Fill up the comments! Happy Holidays of every kind to everyone! If you disagree with my list please add your suggestions in the comments. If you enjoy #ThePhilFactor please share by hitting the Facebook, Twitter or re-blog sharing buttons below. Have a great Tuesday! ~Phil

Throwback Thursday! The Elf From Hell

This isn’t really a throwback because it’s timely and relevant every year and I intend to keep posting it until all the demented parents stop waging psychological warfare on their young children.

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(12/22/2012) Most of you are familiar with the Elf on the Shelf right?  In the Elf on the Shelf tradition these poorly dressed little plastic elves are mischievous minions of the red suited overlord who spy on the every move of children and report back to their tyrannical leader. That allegedly quaint little elf doll was invented about 15 years ago as a new, and for some toy making company, moneymaking tradition. Fortunately for my kids I wasn’t aware of The Elf on the Shelf when they were young enough to believe in it.

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Parents put these little Elves on a shelf and the children are told that the Elf cannot be touched or it will lose it’s Christmas  magic. The elf allegedly flies back to the North Pole to report to Santa every night. Man kids are gullible! In the immortal words of Bugs Bunny, “What a bunch of maroons!” The nightly flight is how parents explain that the Elf is in a different spot when the kids wake up each morning.

Of course this crazy little ruse makes kids behave in the weeks leading up to Christmas! They’re terrified! Are you kidding me? Even now if you told me a Chuckie doll was going to sit on my shelf and stare at me while I slept, or that it might be moving around my house at night? I would never go to sleep again. The kids have got to be too terrified or too tired to misbehave. No wonder they have a weeks vacation from school after Christmas. They probably spend that week sleeping for the first time in a month.

onemomsworld.wordpress.com

onemomsworld.wordpress.com

I have a friend who says that after her kids are asleep she will pose the Elf somewhere to make it appear as if the Elf had gotten into mischief overnight, such as putting him next to a tipped over jar of something, or maybe on a desk next to some torn up papers. So her kids wake up imagining that this creepy little doll with the frozen scary clown smile is moving about the house in the dark destroying things. How much longer before someone imagines the doll picking up a knife? What if in some home where they’re torturing their kids with the Elf on the Shelf, just by coincidence, their elderly dog or cat were to pass away during the night? What do you suppose those kids are going to think for the rest of their lives?

This tradition sounds like psychological warfare against children. How long before we see kids who have grown up with this tradition seeking counseling for PTED, Post-Traumatic Elf Disorder?

dannyoulittlerock.com

dannyoulittlerock.com

Happy Holidays to you and your families. If you really want something mysterious and far less traumatic to just appear somewhere this holiday season you could give my book, Time To Lie,  available in paperback, e-book, and Audible. Give the gift of reading this holiday season and have a great Thursday! ~Phil