09 December 2008

As YOU Like It...
Now don't believe for a moment that today's post is going to be a diatribe on something Shakespearean in nature.
I like to do this every year since I began this blog.
(that would make this my THIRD year)
I'm going to test your cognitive abilities today (as well as mine), so get out those thinking caps, blow off the dust and lace 'em on tight.
Everyone has certain "special" things that make Christmas unique for them (and their families).
Each of us recalls things we heard or saw that made the season THAT MUCH MORE nicer.
When it comes to the holidays, I have *my* (personal) favorite things (like the song goes), but whiskers on kittens isn't in the mix.
They tickle when the little buggers nuzzle you.
--My favorite Yuletide song has to be THE CHRISTMAS SONG as ONLY Nat King Cole can sing it. I heard it in Scott's grocery last week, and had to sing along...beats doing karaoke at the airports, eh?
It's soft, easy on the ears, has a good message, has zero calories, and leaves no aftertaste...lol.
Don't go in for all those "funny" songs, but I do like to play my JINGLE CATS tapes once for the holidays (just to watch MY cats wonder WTF is going on).
--My favorite piece of ORCHESTRAL music has to be Handel's MESSIAH. Let's face it, that IS all about what the holiday really is, right?
And of course, anything for Christmas by the Robert Shaw Choral, Mannheim Steamroller, or Chanticleer is right up there near the very top of my list.
--My favorite Christmas MOVIE has to be SCROOGE - A CHRISTMAS CAROL starring Alistair Sim. He is the quintessential Ebenezer.
I will admit that the Patrick Stewart version, and the George C. Scott version are both done very well, but there's something about this 1951 version that rings closer to home as far as Dickens goes.
Then there is WHITE CHRISTMAS with Danny Kaye & Bing Crosby. One of THE best movies ever made (imho), even if some of the editing was less than great (and most channels hack the hell out of it, so better to get a video of it instead). If ANY movie talks more about giving unselfishly at this time of year...this one is it.
As to ALL the other usurpers we see on TV ...not even close.
I will admit that when it comes to recent movies, I have grown quite fond of THE POLAR EXPRESS. I love the CGI work, and the story is a marvelous foray into world of dreams and "what if". ELF is funny, but I can't watch it over and over and over again...same goes for THE SANTA CLAUSE and BAD SANTA. I saw them once or twice...and that's about it.
I do wish they'd show A NEW ENGLAND CHRISTMAS CAROL with Henry Winkler...nice twist on the Dickens classic. I miss that version.
I WILL watch Garfield's Christmas, though (even if the stupid TV stations refuse to show it). I got the DVD last year, and wouldn't you know it...the Family Channel is showing it THREE TIMES this week alone...go figure.
A Charlie Brown Christmas is one of those shows you grew up with...and it has this quaint reverent spot in my heart, so I watch it out of respect to a simpler time...and my youth, both of which have long gone.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas is another show like Charlie Brown. You grew UP with it. And even the Jim Carrey movie has a certain appeal to me, but the cartoon version with Boris Karloff narrating it has got to be a yearly favorite for kids of ALL ages.
Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer also fit into this category. Burl Ives singing and stop-motion animation are classic, and hearing Frosty being voiced by the late Jackie Vernon (a great comedian in his time) brings back some good memories.
And of course, we have the "24" version of A CHRISTMAS STORY...Ralphie & the Red Ryder BB rifle shown for twenty four straight hours (with commericials naturally), And while the missus watches this every year, it's not exactly my cup of Earl Grey. For example, I would have clocked that store "Santa" a good one.
So...those are what I look forward to every year at this time.
What are the programs and the music YOU find appealing, and which ones conjure up visions of all those fantastic and wonderful times?
Are there certain things you recall that made your holiday seem great?
Did you have a specific "thing" you all did that brought everyone closer together?
Feel free to share your thoughts...
After all, 'Tis the season.


Jana said...

Hmm, where there is The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus:


and Santa Claus:


for me. I watched those along with The Grinch, Charlie Brown, Garfield, etc, when I was a wee tyke in the 1980s.

There was also an animated version of 'Twas The Night Before Christmas that was always played either before or after Frosty.


Bob G. said...

(David Huddleston & Dudley Moore)

Yeah, I recall that (and watch it every 5 or so years), but the "Life and Adventures"?

Musta missed that one...

Sounds more like Grizzly Adams
(he and Santa WERE after all cousins twice removed on their mom's side, and they both liked to live "up north"...)

Thanks for stopping by.


Murphy said...

Now, I'm not much for the same old (to me, anyways) movies n' songs, but I do like that Full Metal Christmas clip on the YouTube...

You know, come to think of it, AK-47 rounds DO make folks come together as one in quite the 'Come to Jesus' type moment...

Bob G. said...

Roger that on the FMJ YouTube!
Saw the "original" a couple days ago...was definitely MISSING "something".

And the "religiosity" inherent with incoming fire does indeed bring many a LOT closer to the Maker.

Then again, same can be said with OUTGOING fire (to the other guy - the gift that keeps on giving)...whatever deity HE might believe in.

It's a "win-win" all around for the creator, no matter HOW you rack 'em.


Anonymous said...

I can't believe you left off It's a Wonderful Life! I have to watch that once or twice each holiday season. That's one of the quintessential Christmas traditions of recent years.
Plus, we are treated to all of those South Park Christmas reruns- Mr. Hanky singing Christmas carols and Cartman's rendition of O Holy Night are animation classics.
To me, the choral song that epitomizes the season is "O Holy Night." If that's done right, I can tear up as a I sing along.
For the fun song, I love the Hippopotamus song. A student of mine and I have been caught singing it to be silly during the lunch hour. In fact, I think I will go treat Bob G. to a rendition of "O Holy Night" right now before dinner. He says I have a voice that could kill houseplants. Is that a good thing?

Mrs. Bob G.

Jana said...



"I want a hippopotamus for Christmas!

Only a hippopotamus will do..."

Bob G. said...

Okay, okay, okay...geez, outflanked AND outgunned...!

I DID forget the SOUTH PARK Christmas special m'kay?...m'kay.) AND I forgot It's A Wonderful Life (Attaboy, Clarence).

George shoulda followed SNL's takeoff and beat Old Man Potter senseless!


(duck n cover)

indy said...

ok here's my 2 cents....

oh christmas tree song in german. i learned the german one growing up and i just perfer it.

handel's messiah
ave marie

and of course nat king cole singing all his song christmas or not. just love that man.

santa claus is comin to town ...jackson 5

what do the lonely do at christmas? ....the emotions

my gift to you ...alexander o'neal
sleigh ride ....alexander o'neal

and of course my new favorite..lol
santa is a black man...

now my movies

its a wonderful life
and jim carrey grinch

i wish everyone a wonderful christmas.

Bob G. said...

O Tannenbaum is another great holiday song on that Nat King Cole album...kinda like getting a "two fer"...lol!

Enjoy the season.


indy said...

remember the song santa baby. i saw it at target yesterday. brought in cheer to my heart. i finally saw those christmas cats on ytube. omg. yes omg. wellll alrighty then. you have a very merry christmas. lol