Jenni's JABB 181 Playlist

"There was a golden cord that bound the family together, heart to heart;
literally, a shining cord of golden light went from each to the other, and to all the rest, and back again,
so the whole family was bound together in a nest of shining gold. 
And Marley saw what the cord was; and he saw that he himself was a part of it;
that the circle came from him, too, and returned, and that all were bound together."
~ from Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol by Tom Mula

Hello everyone!

Hope you enjoy this holiday story.  I decided this year to go back to parodying/ reimagining/ referencing some of my favorite holiday films and books.  We'll see if anyone else can pick them out or if I just have some fairly obscure tastes.  :-)  It got a lil long so I just put it on a web page.
Please stay tuned til after the story, I have a few words I'd like to share.

Oh and January 6th will mark the 10th anniversary of the original airdate for "The One that Got Away."  In other words, it was the first time anyone outside the TBAA family got to see (and hence crush on) Angel Boy!  So JABB would like to do something really special for our January 6th issue.  Please email me if you'd like to be involved.
You'll be hearing from us in 2006!!!

God bless,

It was three days before Christmas and an assortment of Dyelanders were bustling around Tess’ kitchen in her newly built home in Dyeland.  They were baking cookies and wrapping presents.  But the supervisor angel’s mind was elsewhere.  She was on assignment in a small church in New York City and in charge of their Christmas pageant.  Her plans had been beautiful.  She’d rented real animals and fine clothing for her three kings (who she made sure knew to stand in the most accurate of places) and her Angel Girl was going to make a beautiful Mary.  The parishioners filled the other parts.  But now Tess couldn’t believe what her Christmas pageant had come to.  Monica had gotten called away to an assignment leaving her with out a Mary!  In fact, everyone seemed too busy to fill in.  Everyone, that was, save Kathleen.  Now, Tess appreciated that Monica had brought the former demon back to the love of God.  But Kathleen was still overly fond of rolling her eyes and needling people, Tess thought.  Rough around the edges you might say.  But what could she do?

“Dam… uhh, darn I burnt another batch of gingerbread!” the newly recovered angel shouted as if on cue.

Tess shook her head and was about the say something when Gloria rushed in, clutching a bundle to her chest, wearing JenniAnn’s fairy costume last seen that past Halloween, and looking meek. 

“Oh, Lord, what’s the girl gotten herself into now?” Tess said under her breath, looking heavenward.  Then she heard soft crying and realized Gloria was holding a baby!

“Okay… I know you said not to wander off the island but Tess…”

JenniAnn walked into the room then, “Hey Gloria!  Oh… umm, actually that’s my fairy costume not my elf costume.  But you’re welcome to borrow that, just doesn’t seem as festi…  Is that a baby?  Awww… baby!”

Tess looked on in dismay as the two fussed over the little one.  “Where did that child come from?” 

“Can I keep him?” Gloria asked hopefully.   “I’ve decided to call him Claus.”  She winked mischievously then unwrapped the bundle to display a doll.

Tess groaned.  “I see Lady JenniAnn here has introduced you to her Christmas movie collection.”

“Well, no actually she let me read the book.  The guy that wrote it was famous for another book which some say is about the gold standard but…  Tess, do we have a Mantle of Immortality we can bestow on a mortal?” Gloria asked excitedly.

Tess looked sternly between the angel and the giggling woman.  “No we do *not* have a Mantle of Immortality.  Now can you two please help Kathleen over there?”

Just then Jess, Adam, Miriam, and Andrew trooped in from the yard having just finished a match of football.  They raided the kitchen for freshly baked cookies and cider and everyone sat down to relax a bit before the holiday weekend came throwing everyone into a frenzy.

If Tess thought a reformed demon as the mother of Jesus was troubling, things were only going to get worse.  It was Christmas Eve morning and the angel was sitting in the apartment she was staying in for the duration of her assignment.  The phone rang.  It was the man she’d given the role of the Angel of the Lord to.  But he was not bearing good news at all…

“So, Pete, third wiseman, ya know?” the man’s voice trailed off.

“Yes…” Tess prodded through clenched teeth.

“Well, he threw us all a pre-pageant party last night.  We tried to call you but you didn’t answer.  Probably best for you you didn’t come because…”


“Well, see, the meat was a little underdone and…”

“Let me stop you right there, baby.  If you even think you’re going to tell me that my entire city of Bethlehem has come down with food poisoning then…”

“Well, last I heard Kathleen was all ri…”


“Roger?  Roger, what’s going on baby?”

A glum voice.  “I feel sick.”

Tess sighed, “Get some rest, baby.  All of you should.”

“But the pageant…”

“God will provide.”

As soon as she hung up, Tess let out a loud “Hrumph!” and even stamped her feet a bit.  Then she heard snickering from the kitchen where she found Andrew and Adam, the latter nibbling on a fruitcake.

“How can you eat that?” she asked incredulous.

Adam shrugged and continued eating, “Problems?”

“I have no Joseph, no Wise Men, no angels, and a former demon for a Mary!  And here I thought the Lord had finally given me a chance to do a Christmas pageant *my* way,” Tess complained.

“Aww, c’mon Tess.  There’s gotta be a way to make this work still,” Andrew encouraged and hugged her.

“I hope so, Angel Boy, I hope so.”  Then after a few more encouraging words from her Angel Boys and another sideways look at Adam devouring the fruitcake, Tess headed to the church where her pageant was scheduled to begin in 8 hours.

The angels and Dyelanders crowded into the church around 6 PM that Christmas Eve.  Andrew and Adam craned their necks for any hint of the solution Tess had come to.  But there was no sign of anything out of the ordinary until 6:30 when Tess sat down at the piano and the strains of “Away in the Manger” began.

The motley cast walked down the aisle and to their places around the stable at the front of the church.  There were three petty criminals recently out from the local jail standing up for the Wise Men.  Joseph was the local “Scrooge”, a shopkeeper known for angrily kicking children and teenagers out of his store and marking up his prices.  Even he looked kind.  They wondered what Tess had said or done to bring about such a change.  And in glorious white with great, majestic wings, suspended above the creche was Gregory.  Another of Monica’s special projects, the reinstated angel beamed with pride as he spoke the ancient words to a group of ragtag shepherds.  Amid the congregation’s singing of “Silent Night”, a tiny baby’s cooing could be heard.  All eyes fell on Kathleen, cradling the infant to her as tears rolled down her face and the candle light shown around them.  Tess glanced away from her keyboard and saw for herself.  She whispered a prayer to the Father, she’d finally gotten her wish of putting on the Christmas pageant.  *Her* way... even if she’d not recognized it at first.

After Tess’ show, some of the Dyelanders trooped over to a café they sometimes frequented when in New York.  JenniAnn groaned when she saw Bennie, a former Dyelander who had deserted JABB and Dyeland after marrying a wealthy investor and now thought herself too sophisticated for the group. 

“Oh my God, it’s the Androolers!  You still fawning over that angel?” Bennie laughed derisively.  “Get over it, move on with your lives, ‘Touched by an Angel’, JABB, and Dyeland are dead or dying.”

JenniAnn dramatically lowered her head and began a dirge.  “Dearly beloved let’s say good bye to our fandom.  Here she lies, the late, great daughter of Mother Martha.  And so as we celebrate the birth in that little town of Bethlehem…  Raise that ginger ale glass,” and she added noticing Tess’ horror at her attempted singing, “Tess please don’t sass, to la vie ‘Angel’ fan…”  She jumped onto the table as the Dyelanders began chanting “La vie ‘Angel’ fan” and rhythmically hitting the table for the necessary percussive elements over and over, until JenniAnn started up the song…

“To words of inspiration, playing hookey to write JABB, creating web pages and buckets and making friends.” 

Each member took up a verse, joining her on the table. “To hand-crafted charm bracelets made in JA’s room, to goofy shoes with tassels, and a red Cadillac.”

“To glowing revelations, overwrought angelic-human relations.  To tool belts and jeans and leather jackets, too.”

“To Petey to Lincoln to Masons, Wittenbergs, even Dr. Kate.”

“To droolin’, concerned looks, rescued turkeys, talkin’ dogs, fightin’ hate.”

“To pocket watches and crying cause Andrew’s on the stairs.”

“To decaf mocha lattes and obsessing over his shorn hairs!”

“To Erin and Tony and Molly and Billie Holiday!” 

“To chatting and IMing and confusing dear old mom and dad!”

Jarrod stood up then and announced, “In honor of the alleged death of the fandom, Jess here will paint an impressionistic, abstract, painting of a scene from “Children of the Night” (using only ketchup, mustard, and Tabasco!) while I hum the TBAA theme song.”

Then Liz announced amid thundering applause and cheers, “Then Andrew will dance with an umbrella while Adam performs a medley of songs from ‘Fiddler on the Roof!’  Backwards!”

And Gloria proclaimed, “Followed by myself recounting nine years in which a group of fantastic actors portrayed we angels on TV broadcasting…"

And everyone yelled in unison: ”Ultimate reality, help out, fight hopelessness!!!”

JenniAnn began scream-singing “Is anyone out there watching?  Is anyone out there swooning?  Anyone out there Androoling?  Anyone watching the glowing Angel Boy in thrall?  Aren’t we aaaalllll?”

Then everyone lifted their voices and shouted “La vie ‘Angel’ fan!  VIVA LA VIE ‘ANGEL’ FAN!!”

Then everyone calmly sat down and ate because they were hungry after so vigorously proving that the reports of their fandom’s death had been greatly exaggerated.

After the impromptu performance, JenniAnn went back to Tess’ home in Dyeland with Monica and Gloria.  Suddenly Cliff stormed in. 

“Matt… he’s coming back for Christmas after all!  With his fiancee!  Tess, can we borrow your tree?!?!” the frenzied man requested. 

Tess readily agreed and the house was thrown into confusion as everyone scrambled to gather things up to decorate Cliff and Daisy’s castle.  They all worked quickly so the couple’s son would never suspect his parents had considered boycotting the holiday and taking a cruise instead.

After hauling a ham, 10 dozen cookies, and three wreaths to Magician’s Island, JenniAnn snuck off.

Adam and Andrew had went to the latter’s house to quietly enjoy a holiday movie after the excitement of Tess’ pageant and the song and dance in the café.  When he heard a knocking at his door, Andrew left the TV room to answer it.

JenniAnn stood on the porch holding a CD player and a bunch of poster board. 

“What are you do…” Andrew started to ask but she put her finger to her lips and hit a button on the CD player which sent the sounds of a carol through his house.  She then proceeded to draw the cards from behind her back and began a slideshow of sorts.  The cards read:

View slideshow
(Password- labyrinth, choose "LJA to Andrew")
View slideshow as HTML

And then she simply walked off into the snow and went back to Tess’.

Andrew went back into his house, smiling a bit and shaking his head.  Adam was trying to hide the fact that George Bailey was making him cry.  Stifling a laugh, Andrew handed him a box of Kleenex.

“Thanks,” the other angel of death mumbled.  And they watched Mr. Bailey run through the streets of Bedford Falls, embrace his wife and children, and smile beatifically.  As the credits rolled they became aware of a strange sound above them…

“Lulu upstairs?” Adam questioned.

“Uh…” Andrew looked around and then saw his dog poke her head out from beneath the couch and yawn before curling back up into the cozy area.  “No…”
“Reindeer?” Adam’s eyes twinkled but then his eye brows arched when he heard a holler.

Andrew bolted up and ran to the window.  “There’s a guy down on the ground!”  The two angels dashed outside.  A man in red and white was moaning.

“Are you okay?  Can you breathe?  What’s your name?” Adam asked.

The man sat up but his face was etched with pain.  “Yeah, I think I may have broken a rib or two, though.  Lucky, I guess.  Name’s Scott but most people call me Santa this time of year,” he grinned despite his discomfort.

“We need to get you to a hospital.  St. Andrew’s is just a mile or so away.  Adam, can you get the car?”

Adam nodded but the man grabbed his arm.  “Not yet, here.”  He withdrew a card and held it out to the two.

“Put on the suit, the reindeer will know what to do?”  Andrew read, bewildered. 

“Well, see had this little spill of mine been fatal you’d have just found the suit.  But since I lucked out, you can use the spare in the sleigh.  Please, one of you has to do this.  The kids can’t be disappointed,” the man pleaded.

Andrew looked at Adam, “You have more facial hair than I do!  And you look older!”

Adam shook his head.  “But I have a tentative at 2 AM and may have to leave.  And every minute counts, my friend.  Besides, did I ever tell you I think red is really your color?” he grinned.

“That’s right, every minute counts so can one of you please get moving?!” Santa pressed and both he and Adam stared expectantly at Andrew…

Monica, Tess, Gloria, and the Dyelanders gathered around the huge Christmas tree outside Willowveil for one last carol sing-along before they all departed to their homes to spend the holidays with family.

“Where’s Andrew?” Jess asked.

“I don’t know, I heard he and Adam went to go watch a movie but that was a while ago…” Liz answered and shrugged.

Tess began to lead everyone in the carols when the sound of sleigh bells filled the air. 

“Ho!  Ho!  Ho!” a booming voice echoed all around them.  “Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!”

Everyone looked up and could faintly see a sleigh flying above them.  It grew smaller and smaller until it disappeared out of Dyeland, going to other realms to spread cheer and generosity. 

There was a moment of silent awe and then…

“I don’t know why but suddenly I feel like I have a huge crush on Santa,” JenniAnn confessed.

“JENNIANN!  First, Andrew.  NOW Santa!?” Margherita cried in dismay but the woman only blushed and returned to the caroling.  Margherita noticed several of the Dyelanders were staring at the ground and looking a tad guilty as if they shared the sentiment!

Adam had appeared then, safely getting Scott to the hospital and calling his wife to explain the situation.  He overheard the conversation and laughed to himself.  Only he knew that, on that night, Andrew and Santa were one and the same!

The End

So I hope you enjoyed that.  All due apologies to the authors of the works that served as inspiration.  Especially Jonathan Larson who I'm sure never thought his anthem to Bohemia would be taken up by a frenzied "Touched by an Angel" fan.  0:-)  Now for a bit of seriousness...

I chose the opening quote because I love "The Christmas Carol" and its various incarnations but knew JABB did NOT need another parody of that!  But I figured a quote would be okay.  I also chose it cause this year, with this story, I found myself really focusing on the ideals of community, friendship, and love.  And I just wanted to say that JABB has meant a lot to me and I feel so blessed to have gotten to know so many of you.  It's just really great to have a group of people, all touched in some way by the same show, who we can share our lives with.  This has been a really difficult year for some of you, I know, and you're in my thoughts and prayers.  As are those people who touched our lives and inspired us and may never have even known it.  So Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you, your families, and your friends.  And to all of those bound to us by God's "shining cord of golden light" and love, both here and Home.

May you all have a truly blessed 2006!


Works that Inspired this Issue

Newsletter 182

(Photo Credits: The photograph used on this page is from "Touched by an Angel" and owned by CBS Productions, Caroline Productions, and Moon Water Productions.  It is not being used to seek profit.)