This is the last post of the year and the time to announce the 2010 McLoughlin Annual Awards - to recognize truly extraordinary performance beyond the call of duty.
First to what's been going on in my world. I just survived the most challenging seminar of the year - to my son Liam's Grade 12 writing class. It turned out fine - at least Liam said "you didn't suck" so that's high praise in our family! We're all getting ready for Christmas - in which we aren't going anywhere and the greatest gift will be that we aren't programmed to do anything! What a concept! To wake up in the morning and the toughest question you face is, 'what do you feel like doing today?' I love it. For me, here's my personal list, that I call:
It Wouldn't Be Christmas Without....
1. Charlie Brown's Christmas.....the tradition, the tone, the droll sense of humor....it still stands up after all these years. Even our kids watch it.
2. It's a Wonderful Life...all these years later it still hits the mark for all the family.
3. Plum pudding and fruit cake....sorry I'm still a sucker for both of them.
4. Midnight Mass.... although we usually go to an earlier service. There is nothing as special as that.
5. Opening presents on Christmas morning. It brings back so many memories. Every family has different rituals. Ours is the same as when I was a kid. You got to open one present on Christmas Eve and couldn't open any of the others until everyone was down. Then you take turns. It still works for kids....it's called 'delayed gratification'. What a concept!
And Now....the 2010 McLoughlin Awards..... for Extraordinary Performance Beyond the Pale
1. The ' by the seat of your pants' award - for surviving two votes of confidence in the Italian Legislature in spite of pay-off scandals, underaged women, allegations of drugs and a divorce from hell goes to..... the one and only Silvio Berlusconi who appears to follow the adage of politics, "if you're going to be bad, be a complete disaster! So far, so good!
2. The 'getting hit from both sides ' award goes to.... Barack Obama...who is accused of both inflicting his own agenda on the American public at the same time as he is accused of too much compromise with Republicans. Maybe he'll figure out which one of those accusations he wants to plead guilty to?
3. The 'I know it's hard to believe but I'm more popular than ever' award goes to...Sarah Palin....who defies all conventional wisdom by quitting the governorship when the greatest criticism of her was that she has no experience. Who needed to be taken seriously but chose to do a reality show! Whose malapropisms on her tweets go viral...but she survives it all. Will it get her to the top? No, but she could make it one of those races where you can't take your eyes off her just in case you miss the latest howler!
4. The 'leaking my ego all over the media' award goes to Wikileak's Julian Assange....whose name and face have dominated the news in recent weeks. Somehow he gives us the impression that it's what he's wanted all along.
5. The 'you don't have to love me, but I hope you really won't like my opponent' award goes to Stephen Harper, who, no matter what happens, seems to edge up in the polls against Michael Ignatieff's Liberals. Go figure!
6. The 'Gulf will clean itself' award goes to the one and only Tony Hayward. Unfortunately for BP, that story still isn't over as the Obama Administration has just launched a lawsuit against them.
7. The 'cry me a river' award goes to John Boehner who cries when he's happy, cries when he's sad and cries when he sticks it to the Obama Administration. And he never once streaks that orange make-up?!
8. The 'I may have missed my flight but I became a viral star instead ' award goes to the don't touch my junk traveler, John Tyner.
9. The 'best impression of a journalist' award goes to 'This Hour Has 22 Minutes' for its terrific take-off A Very Chantal Christmas.
10. The 'sticking it to left-wing pinkos riding bicycles' award is presented unanimously to Hockey Night in Canada's Don Cherry when he 'inaugurated' new Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. Somewhere there's a bordello missing a curtain!
I want to wish each and every one of my loyal readers Merry Christmas!!!!
Until Next Year......