It’s the holidays, and my kids won’t stop irritating each other. How do I get them to stop?
Surprisingly, more parents are turning to an Elf on the Shelf to keep irritating child behavior to a minimum during peak celebration times. Sure “Elfie Stewart” might be effective for younger children who are afraid that they will be snitched on, but older kids need a more aggressive approach. If you can afford it, I would highly recommend employing a “Liotta on a Ledge,” when you simply hire Ray Liotta to sit on a ledge in your home. Anytime children are irritating their siblings, Ray delivers a line from a movie to deter their erratic behavior. Say, “You’re a pistol. You’re really funny. You’re really funny.” Kids should straighten up through the new year after Ray stares them in the eyes and gives them a grimace. If you can’t afford to hire Ray, try securing a cutout of his face onto your Elf on the Shelf and prerecord some lines that can be delivered remotely via your phone. For added effect, have a vape pen connected to Liotta on a Ledge to puff on before delivering a diabolical deterrent.
Where are the best places to see holiday lights with the kids in the Ozarks?
At my neighbor’s house in 1985, anytime of the year—he never took his lights down! Seriously. He only plugged them in during the holidays, and more than a few were burned out, but they remained an annual decoration and rang cheer into my heart well into the summer when I mowed his lawn for an extra buck. (Side note: A section of his lawn caught fire once. I don’t know the details. He wasn’t the type to notice.)
If you don’t have access to a time machine and very low expectations, I’d recommend hitting up some friends and building your own ho-ho-holiday lights map, like I did a few years ago. Track out each stop so you know how long a slow speed drive-by might take and the exact route in and out as well as nearby bathroom stops. If you get stuck in a long line, set off your car alarm and watch the parking lot peel apart like the Red Sea in the face of Moses. Bring snacks (popcorn, granola bars or Mountain Dew if you’re a gambler), blankets and pillows. Recycle some fractal glasses (from the last eclipse, fireworks display or a 3D movie) and pump the latest pimpin’ Pandora station to put them in the best holiday spirit since Bing Crosby tap danced with Danny Kaye.