Merry Christmas from MCC!

Merry Christmas!

Considerably sized Christmas tree live from the heart of downtown Indianapolis.

Longtime MCC readers may recognize the above-pictured tree has graced this site before. I try not to post the exact same images or words to mark every single Christmastime, but other sites do it, so why injure myself trying to uphold a standard that doesn’t bug anyone except me. Besides, I think I deserve at least a tiny moment of coasting — I officially finished my Christmas shopping three days ago and have yet to receive a single pat on the head for it. So this quick “Merry Christmas” post is my own personal “TREAT YO’SELF” reward.

I mean the sentiment nonetheless, though: Merry Christmas to you ‘n’ yours from us here at Midlife Crisis Crossover, High-Spirited Holidays, Vivacious Vacation, Divine December, and/or congratulations on reaching the light at the end of the 2019 tunnel. May your day be merry and bright, your celebrations invigorating, your downtime rewarding, and your internet circles calm and peaceful and filled with joyous content besides premature Best of 2019 listicles.

Merry Christmas from MCC!

Elf Sweater!

Not an ugly sweater in my book. I mean, the fashion chapter in my book is just a footnote that says, “EDITORS NOTE: The author doesn’t get fashion,” but still.

This year most of my Christmas ties were given the season off while a new addition to my holiday wardrobe gets taken out for a couple of spins.

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An Old-Fashioned Christmas-Card Christmas

Christmas Cards!

Shout-out to the 15 keeping it old-school.

In the ancient days of the twentieth century, before the internet normalized access to instantaneous contact with other humans thousands of miles away, keeping in touch with distant family and friends took effort and/or money. Long-distance calls weren’t included free in our monthly phone bills and racked up astronomical charges if we stayed on the line more than a few minutes. Cross-country travel was affordable for upper classes but a luxury beyond the reach of my family. That left two choices on the table for us: making do with happy thoughts and prayers; or the United States Postal Service.

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Merry Christmas (again!) in Four Scenes from MCC!


The festive fireplace at Mooresville’s own Gray Bros. Cafeteria, as seen on TV’s Man v. Food, one of my wife’s all-time favorite restaurants.

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Merry Christmas in Seven Scenes from MCC!

Nativity scene!

The prettiest among my in-laws’ Nativity scenes, a handicraft find on one of their small-town expeditions, which they’ve surrounded with a selection of this year’s Christmas cards. I didn’t realize till a few minutes ago that the card we sent them tried to sneak into the shot.

Christmastime is here, basically! With last-minute shopping to do, relatives to visit, presents to give, and fresh-baked cookies to overdose upon, sleeping in heavenly peace may be an unattainable luxury during our three-day weekend. As we’re finalizing our plans and preparing to dive in, please enjoy this gallery of memories from our past four weeks foreshadowing the upcoming celebrations of Jesus’ birth (observed) and all those’ll entail, Lord willing.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Wondrous Weekend from the staff here at Midlife Crisis Crossover.

Right this way for six more quick shots of Christmas!

New Scenes from Our Annual Christmas Convention

Marilyn Monroe lights!

Vendor booths? Check. Creative bling? Check. Famous movie characters? Check!

Each November my wife and I take her grandmother to Indianapolis’ own Christmas Gift & Hobby Show at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. When we checked out this year’s model last month, the event was on its 67th year; Mamaw is on her 91st and still going strong. The Show provides a variety of shopping opportunities and entertainment activities, some of which began to remind us in not-so-subtle ways of our favorite geek conventions. This show doesn’t have nearly the scope or the attendance of C2E2 or the Indiana Comic Con, but we had to wonder if the new showrunners picked up an influence or two from our scene.

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Christmas is Over for Now

Xmas Countdown!

With one Christmas countdown ended, now another Christmas countdown has begun. The chalkboard Santa in our annual Christmas diorama is a little too anxious to push us forward, encourage us to start saving up already, and have us ignore the next fifteen major holidays in favor of his. Nice try, Santa, but you were too late to stop the one store I saw this afternoon that already had Valentine’s Day swag on the shelves, right on schedule.

Right this way for light musings as we prepare to burn off what’s left of 2015!

Scenes from Christmastime 2015!

Santa Yoda!

Fit into our Christmas tree theme this year, Santa Yoda does.

Christmas! Christmas! Christmas! Christmas! Christmas!

That time of year we celebrate Christ’s birth and the fulfillment that came with it. That blessed season when we wrap up the year with one last multi-platform shopping marathon. That timeless trial when we find out how strong or how weak the communication lines are between distaff family members. That awkward negotiation over which gatherings we are or aren’t attending. That discomfiting anticipation that somewhere out there is a stress-induced tantrum with our name on it. That quick escalation into spiraling darkness if you don’t snap out of it and remind yourself of the reasons for the season, the fruits of the spirit, and oh what fun it is to ride and so on.

In honor of the main event, please enjoy this humble collection of random moments from the past few weeks that highlight local gentle reminders of the occasion and the joy inherent in holiday decorating. We here at Midlife Crisis Crossover wish you ‘n’ yours a super Merry Christmas, and we do hope you get the opportunity to connect with loved ones in between multiple showings of The Force Awakens.

Right this way for our 2015 Christmas gallery!

My Favorite Christmas Tie

Christmas Ties!

I don’t own many neckties with pictures or characters on them partly because I’m finicky, partly because I’m not great at accessorizing, and mostly because ties are ridiculously expensive to a guy who hates more than $25 for a pair of shoes. Thanks to the benevolence of family and friends, though, I’m the proud owner of six Christmas ties that I wear to work every year as a personal countdown on the last six business days before Christmas. Guys like me may not have a lot of options for dressing all Christmassy in an office setting, but I enjoy making the most of what I’m given, and the Six Ties of Christmas are it.

I like all of them to varying degrees, but one of these means more to me than the others.

Right this way for storytime! But not about the obvious tie…

Scenes from the 2015 Christmas Gift & Hobby Show


My wife and her grandmother hanging with their old pal Mr. C.

Each November my wife and I take her grandmother to Indianapolis’ own Christmas Gift & Hobby Show at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Last Saturday when we dropped by, the event was on its 66th year; Mamaw is on her 90th. Most months, she leaves the house only when family or friends take her to church or the grocery, but the two of us enjoy driving her to two major events, where her brother works security and scores us free tickets. The Indiana Flower and Patio Show in March is her Super Bowl; the Christmas Gift and Hobby Show is her San Diego Comic Con.

Right this way for too-early Christmas photos!

Top 10 Captions for Your Inflatable Armed Snowman

Snowman Hunter!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: we took our first plane ride and walked away from the landing without a scratch. While my wife is holding up the “business” end of her “business trip” travel deal, I’m spending the week running around Colorado Springs and the surrounding areas to see new sights that didn’t make the cut on our 2012 road trip.

After she was released from duty today a few hours early, we spent some bonus quality time together and visited a few places we’d never been before. One of those was Bass Pro Shops, which has zero locations within 100 miles of our hometown. We don’t hunt, fish, boat, seriously hike, go camping, stock up on assault gear, or participate in most other functions supported by the products we saw, so it’s not as though we’d personally have a good use for one. But we know they’re a big deal to some folks, and we just so happened to be in a convenient position to peek inside one. We decided to browse for our own curiosity.

As I expected, we saw animal taxidermy, assorted weapons, outdoor clothing for outdoor people, fish capturing mechanisms, and so forth. In other words, much like our Dick’s Sporting Goods back home, or the Cabela’s we’ve seen in other states. That makes sense to me. Not our demographic, but we have plenty of friends and family who’d consider such places a great reason for an all-day shopping trip.

And then there was the big guy in the above photo. I stared and I stared, and I don’t get him. I just don’t understand his existence. At all.

Right this way for pet theories why!

2014 Christmas Photos, Because Christmas

Mamaw's Tree!

Closeup of my wife’s grandmother’s Christmas tree. The family sees to it that it’s put up and decorated and standing tall for her every year.

Christmas! Christmas! Christmas! Just, y’know, for the record.

Lots of folks out there are busy, bustling, hustling, jostling, careening around their nearest shopping district and/or enduring work for just one more shift until that wonderful time arrives. So much to plan, so many gatherings to negotiate, so much food to hoard and craft into pleasant shapes before the stores shut down, so few moments to spare for reading or internet interaction or Liking stuff. It’s okay. I understand. We’re busy here, too, even though this is MCC’s 900th entry and I feel like I should be celebrating or something. But hey, Christmas and all that, right?

In that spirit of bouncy Christmas merriment and limited free time, we present Christmas pics of recent vintage never before shared on MCC, until now for your split-second perusal and positive Christmas reinforcement. Please enjoy, then go do whatever you gotta do, up to and including CHRISTMAS!

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A Christmas Tree of Many Kindnesses

O Christmas Tree!In last night’s entry we shared pics of our geek-intensive Christmas decorations, including our collections of Star Wars and super-hero ornaments, a few Christmas-based action figures, and our li’l Charlie Brown tree. Longtime MCC readers were united in their complete lack of surprise at the characters who stand on Christmas watch around our house, bringing festivity and joy and smiles and repulsing any Scrooges or Grinches or ACLU lawyers who would dare darken our doorstep.

Pictured at left is our primary tree, which from a distance looks like any other. To the untrained eye it fits the minimum flair requirements, but you’d never know by looking that this isn’t our normal setup. Compared to the household customs exemplified in the previous entry, this year’s tree theme was, for us, an unusual approach.

Continued this way for ornaments and stories and memories…

Our Very Special Christmas Diorama and Wreaths

Christmas Diorama!

My wife and I have our conventional traditions. I drag our Christmas tree down from the attic so we can reassemble it and choose which ornaments see the light of day this year and which ones stay packed. She frees our Christmas dinnerware from the back of our kitchen cabinets. We send and gratefully receive Christmas cards. We watch a few Christmas specials. We avoid Christmas TV-movies. We look forward to Christmas Eve service at our church.

And then there’s our Christmas diorama, a time when geek and non-geek decorations gather ’round our Lord and Savior and celebrate the occasion in their own special ways, without any partisan courtroom squabbling to suck the spirit out of them.

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Mamaw’s Christmas in November

Happy Stuffed Snowman!

“Merry Christmas! ‘Tis the season! Deck the halls! Buy me now! The wallet wants what it wants!”

Each year my wife and I take her grandmother to Indianapolis’ own Christmas Gift & Hobby Show at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Now on its 65th year, the Show is always held in the first half of November, shortly after Halloween and well before Thanksgiving. Judging by popular internet sentiment, you’d think there would’ve been protesters marching outside, picketing and demanding it be postponed till the weekend following Thanksgiving or else. Judging by the steady crowds packing every aisle, apparently the average citizens don’t much care about popular internet sentiment. I’m surprised we didn’t receive word of a shutdown from the Christmas fire marshal.

Right this way for Christmas! Christmas! CHRISTMAS!

Christmastime Moments in Downtown Indy

With uncharacteristically minimal preamble, we present random relevant pics we took in 2013 during our varied experiences in downtown Indianapolis so far this season. Consider it a bold experiment to see if I have the willpower to publish an entry under 200 words. Also: because Christmas!

All the best companies downtown have large holiday displays. Pictured here: the lobby of the OneAmerica Tower.

Christmas tree, downtown Indianapolis

This way for more things containing Christmas!

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