Thursday, December 22, 2011

10 list Thursday: Holiday Specials

This is 1 of 3(1) lists for today because I got busy and then forgot the past couple of weeks. SB Fail. So this is the one you would have gotten 2 weeks ago had I been on the ball.

"Ok SB", you say, "the holidays are over so I don't care anymore." Well 2 things A) Bookmark for next year (hahaha) and I celebrate Christmas til Epiphany which is Thursday so it's still (somewhat) relevant.

Here are 10 Specials/Movies/TV Shows that bring the holidays home for me.

1. The Cinnamon Bear. Let me guess, you have never heard of this one right? That's because I am a gigantic nerd. It's a radio show. From around 1935ish....ok just checked Wikipedia, it was 1937. It's 26 short little episodes (would make a great advent tradition), about Jimmy and Judy, two little children who go up to their attic to fetch down their Christmas ornaments and discover that the silver star for the top of the tree is missing. They find a tiny bear ornament named Paddy O'Cinnamon who tells them that the Crazy Quilt Dragon has stolen it and they shrink down and go with the Cinnamon Bear to save it. It's adorable and sweet, and I am burning it to CD to play in the car with the baby. There are so references that most modern kids won't get (like blotting paper) so it can teach them some history too. Listen to them for free here: I listened every night as a kid, and loved it so much.

2. Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas. I adore this movie. I can’t even express how dear it is to me. It’s just not the Holidays until I watch it. (Including the bloopers. I love seeing how tiny they are, normally I hate bloopers, cause it ruins the magic for me, but these are cute). So sweet and wholesome and heart warming, it’s classic and unpretentious. Bonus if you can see it with the Kermit bit in the beginning. (Also, did you know that both hand puppets AND marionettes are used in this film? I looked it up, true!)

Ok, 3 and 4 (White Christmas and Holiday Inn) have a particular order to their favorite-ness and I’ll explain why for you.

3. White Christmas. This is actually newer than #4 (1954, whereas Holiday Inn is 1942). I LOVE both these films so much that I can’t even tell you how much. Yeah, and as we know I can certainly talk. So why is White Christmas my favorite? Is it because Holiday Inn has a good old-fashioned racist black face number in it? Nope, it’s not PC, and yes, it’s offensive NOW but I can let it go as an unfortunate artifact of the time. I love classic films and the lessons they can teach us. Is it because I’m morbidly obsessed with the size of Vera-Ellen’s waist? (Rumored to be 21 inches) Well, I am, but nope. It’s because it never ceases to bring me to tears when they honor the General the way they do. It’s so beautiful that it gives me chills just thinking about it. People who say the movies are alike are crazy. Anyway. If you haven’t seen this masterpiece with Danny Kaye and Bing Crosby, do yourself a favor. Watch it.

4. Holiday Inn. The other reason that this ranks justthismuch below White Christmas is only because of Neutral Evil Fred Astaire in it. I never thought of it like that until Pat pointed it out to me. That and the fickle attitude of Lila, what a witch. I love the music, love the dancing, love the costumes and the story. It’s just IF I have to rank them, I’m going to pick the film with the better intentions over the other one. Yes, in White Christmas, Danny Kaye does manipulate poor Bing into a lot, and yes, it’s for his own gain, but he wouldn’t do it if it meant hurting Bing, whereas Fred doesn’t really care in this flick. He thinks he does, but he really doesn’t. See this one too. It’s the film that the song White Christmas was written for and other than that little blackface number, it’s flawless.

5. Ok, no list of favorite Christmas broadcasts is complete without A Christmas Carol. So I’m just going to keep 5 simple and tell you my favorite version. I know most people who know me are going to expect me to say “The Muppet Christmas Carol” because I love me some Muppets, and there are two other Muppet specials on this list. However, those people would be wrong. Some might think the Patrick Stewart version, as I’m a Trekkie. Nope, wrong again. It’s hands down the 1984 version starring George C. Scott. See it.

6. The Christmas Toy. YAY Muppets. Ok, so you know Toy Story? Totally stole it from the 1986 Muppet feature. Although, I’m going to warn you, The Christmas Toy is darker, but essentially the same story, only with cute Muppets. The toys come to life when no one is looking, and freeze when played with. The difference is that if a human (or cat apparently) catches the toys moved from the position they are left in the toy will be frozen FOREVER! It even has the space toy that doesn’t realize it’s a toy in it (although she is very creepy herself, not cute like Buzz Lightyear). I remember loving it as a child, and I like it as an adult, even though adult me wonders how little me wasn’t terrified by it.

7. How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the animated one, of course. (I finally say the live action one, and while I didn’t insta-hate it as I expected, it was just sort of eh for me.) Pat said as we were watching it and I was singing along with the music “Wow, you really must love this if you know the incidental music by heart” I’m actually humming it as I type this. I will watch this EVERYTIME it’s on. I just love it. (ok, admittedly, if it’s on before the first Sunday of Advent I will not watch it, but mostly because I am stubborn as hell about watching anything Christmas before Advent. Holiday Inn is ok because every holiday is in it. )

8. The Original Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer. I don’t even know why I love this so much. I can’t wait for Evangeline to get movies, right now she only likes the musical parts (which is good cause it means she isn’t that interested in TV…but yeah, I’ve always dreamed of watching Christmas specials with a daughter on my lap and I get impatient, while trying to remind myself to enjoy every minute with her.)

9. This one is pretty new and for some reason, I find it kind of irresistible. It’s so freaking cute and you’ll all laugh at me about it. Disney’s Prep and Landing. It’s silly and cute, and has a caffeine addicted, type A, control freak, red-haired elf, and I love her. Other than that it’s just a fun heartwarming little Disney romp and I recommend it whole-heartedly (if with a wee-bit of embarrassment, but part of me will always be 5 at Christmas time)

10. If you know me, you knew this was coming. Yep, it’s Shrek the Halls. If it’s Shrek, I pretty much am going to love it because it’s Shrek. This Christmas special though I actually relate to, because I have an obsession with creating the prefect memories and such and well, sometimes forget that the simple being present in the moment is the most important thing. Oh you big gross Ogre, who understands that fart jokes are always funny (what?! I said I was 5!), how you get me sometimes!

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