Merry Christmas, Argh People

I know for a lot of people the solstice holiday is over or upcoming, but since Santa knows no religion (and is not necessarily white, Megyn), I wish you all a wonderful celebration-of-your-choice. With presents.

28 thoughts on “Merry Christmas, Argh People

  1. Merry Christmas! It’s boxing day here, which means sales, cricket, and the beach usually.

    Re presents, advice requested: I’ve never really read graphic novels. Any recommendations for graphic novels for a smart nearly-nine year old? My nephew (who I’ll see in January) loves to draw and likes reading so…

    (Yes, I posted this yesterday too, but repeating for the added exposure)

    1. Hmm, I just got Nameless City by Faith Erin Hicks for my daughter (she’s about a year younger, but she’s very precocious and I was aiming up); it looks like it would be fine for a boy too. I’ve enjoyed her stuff in the past, and the reviews were excellent. She actually (to my complete surprise) managed to read Smile by Raina Telgemeier by herself and enjoyed it a lot; the central characters are both girls, though, which for some boys can be offputting.

      For sillier stuff my daughter also worked her way through Rutabaga the Adventure Chef by Eric Colossal and enjoyed it hugely. In crossover territory, Ursula Vernon (whose webcomic Digger won a Hugo — but that’s definitely not nine-year-old material) has done two mid-grade series, the Danny Dragonbreath books and Harriet the Hamster Princess. They’re mostly prose but contain comic-book style sections. We’ve been reading them aloud to my daughter since she was four or five and she thinks they’re the funniest thing ever.

    2. What about Captain Underpants? They aren’t graphic novels, but they do have lots of cartoons (and flip-o-rama) in them. And Dav Pilkey, the author, has a new series (Dog Man) that has been getting some really great reviews. Since the protagonists are grade school boys who draw their own cartoons, I think your nephew might enjoy them as much as my reading buddy and I did.

    3. I just responded on yesterday’s post 🙂

      My nine year old adores the graphic novels of Rick Riordan’s books. We got him the first graphic novel in the Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer for Christmas, and it’s been a huge success. His aunt also got him the Amulet series of graphic novels, and he’s looking forward to getting into them.

      They’re all great for bridging that gap from reading level into more developed story and content, and with the Rick Riordan books I wound up getting him a couple of books on different mythologies so that he could read up more on Classical and Egyptian myths.

  2. A graphic novel that I browsed recently at the library was really interesting to me — the title was “Inside Out and Back Again”, but the protagonist is a girl, and the text is in verse, either of which might not feel right to a 9-year-old boy. It’s about a little girl whose family become refugees from Vietnam during the last days of the US-Vietnam war, and how she managed to adjust to starting a whole new life over again.

    Another possibility might be a recent graphic novel about Alexander Hamilton, which I haven’t read or seen, but I recall reading that it received the US National Book Award. However, from the mentions of cricket and Boxing Day in your post, I’m assuming you are not from the US, so his story might just be irrelevant to your nephew.

    You might check with one of his parents for suggestions of the kind of art he most likes to create, and head to a bookstore to look for ones that relate to that genre. If it’s science fiction, you might hedge your bet with something relating to popular culture scifi, like a Star Wars graphic novel. If it’s something more colorful, or if you think he has an interest in any other cultures or languages, you might try some of the French language classics, like Tintin or other bande dessinee stalwarts like Asterix or Yoko Tsuno.

    The thing is, a smart 9-year-old can have interests much more akin to an adult than one might imagine, but getting on target with those interests can be the key. Good luck!

  3. Merry merry happy happy to all! One of my favorite gifts is seeing the notifications for these blog posts popping up in my email!

    Thanks for everything, Jenny. (I just reread Hot Toy and oh, how I love that story.)

    I hope you are having a lovely holiday.

  4. Merry Christmas, Jenny, and everyone else. It’s Boxing Day here in Tassie, and I’m suitably bloated and exhausted. The weather over the next few days is going to be HOT, so I’m looking forward to a swim.

  5. I’ve just recovered from a post-Christmas meal downer (I left when my friend’s husband started holding forth with a lot of nonsense about Trump and Brexit voters) by watching an old Victoria Wood Christmas special. Happy to get back into my hermit Christmas groove.

  6. I got a very telling present the other day. My sister gave me a magnetic poetry kit entitled “Bitch”. Now I can post my snarky comments on the refrigerator instead of shouting back at the customer disservice reps and telemarketers. I predict lower blood pressure in the coming year.

    1. And now I’m going to play the Drifters again. Like most of Jenny’s posts, it’s a gift that keeps giving.

      Merry Christmas!

  7. Wishing every one a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and the hope that we will all be living in less interesting times.

  8. Merry Christmas everyone. Had grandkids here and enjoyed them so much. It really takes kids to really appreciate Christmas (just my opinion). I forget how excited one can get about presents under a tree.

  9. Happy Christmas dear ones on Argh. I wish for a much better year than the one I just had. Please.

    Here at Mt Baker with my immediate family. So much fun and relaxing. Cheers for a lovely day However you celebrate.

  10. I wish everyone who celebrates anything Happy Holidays. I respect all traditions and hope that everyone finds light in the darkest times (literally), which is what these traditions (pretty much all of them) celebrate.

    I have been trying to figure my spiritual life since I’m mad at my birth religion (Catholicism). I went to new church for the holiday and the minister gave such a good sermon (it was really well written). I thought I relay a little of the less religious parts with religious context for those who want it. The minister started by sharing that he has lost his ability to read books particularly fiction as an adult, and thinks it’s because he always using some electronic device so he can get the latest news of the world. The news of the world depresses him since it’s bad news followed by bad news, and then breaking news, etc. He also thinks that news leaves us unable to be alone with our thoughts since our fears and thoughts about the world, news, future etc. leave us scared to ponder it all.This hit home to me so much, which why I’m sharing it with you. The point of the sermon was to not be afraid and in this case to not be afraid to turn off our devices and find quiet and contemplation.
    For those who want to know for religous or are just curious as to religious part, he connected not being afraid to the shepards being told by the angels not to be afraid; that angels are here for good reasons (this is what Linus quotes in Charlie Brown’s Christmas #1). The contemplation is connected to Mary (Jesus’s mom) who is quietly reflecting and thinking things over. He talked about how the Jewish people at this point (in the traditional religious Christmas story) were living under oppresive rule (Herod and ultimately the Romans) and that things were not going well for them and they had great reasons to worry about what would happen next. (Basically connecting their time to the time we live in now.)
    Anyway I had a great Christmas with family, and I hope everyone had a great Holiday or some time to relax. I respect that not everyone celebrates what I do and I hope people find comfort in what works for them.

  11. It’s past Christmas here, so have a great new year, everyone! And may all our difficulties resolve themselves beautifully. I keep remembering Jenny’s post from a while ago about guessing optimistically. It really has helped.

  12. In Germany we have two days off for Christmas, so this is the one to relax after all the official dinners and church services are over. I enjoy having the whole family at my house (for the last time since we’re moving in February) but now and then I sneak into my office to have a moment of privacy all by myself.

    So the next step is New Year! May it be good to all of you, offering Peace and understanding and the absence of stupidity and selfishness (quoting Mary Chapin Carpenter, it’s probably too much to expect, but it doesn’t hurt to ask).

  13. Happy (belated) Holidays everyone! I hope you all had too much food and a lot of chocolate and got warmth and hugs and smiles and awesomeness from all your loved ones.

    We don’t do christmas presents but I got toddler hugs and was declared best dino-friend yesterday, so I’m good. The small kids are usually a bit cautious the first 2 hours or so when we meet after a long time no see, but eventually I had both of them on my lap fighting for space. It always makes me feel totally awesome. It’s a victory every time. 🙂
    (It takes quite some time for many kids to adjust to people with disabilities if you don’t see each other that often. Blindness is super-weird to them since I can’t respond to things like “look here!” and “watch this!” and they can’t just make eye-contact to get my attention. We gently try to explain that they have to let me and F feel things and explain what happens on their tablet screens a.s.o, but we see them perhaps 3-5 times per year, so it’s a slow process. I tend to connect quicker because I get down on the floor and race with cars and hunt them around the room as though I’m a dangerous lion or a T-rex, that breaks the ice quicker. If you can do crazy, you’re in. F is less…creative in that way.)

    Wish you all a wonderful rest of the year, and a happy new one!

  14. Merry Christmas, Jenny and all Arghers. I’m not hanging out much in Screen World these days, but this cozy corner of the ‘net is always filled with light.


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