Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Holiday favorites

Rarely had the words flowed from my penny pencil with such feverish fluidity.
--Jean Shepherd, In God We Trust (All Others Pay Cash)
A Christmas Story beat out It's a Wonderful Life as the best holiday movie of all time in IGN's Top 25 list. I liked that they included other holidays besides Christmas, thus allowing one of my all-time faves, Groundhog Day, to make the list.

I admit A Christmas Story is my favorite holiday movie, too. I can't explain why a movie about something so shallow as a Red Ryder BB-gun should instill such fervent love in me and so many other fans. It's the most unsentimental film for the most sentimental holiday, and yet somehow it works.

Favorite Christmas TV Special: Muppet Family Christmas, which you can't get in its original version anywhere due to the expense of paying royalties on such songs as "Sleigh Ride" and "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town." Grrrr....but if you can find the original on e-Bay, it's worth it for the icy patch.
Runner-up: Northern Exposure Christmas episode. I still cry when Holling sings "Ave Maria" for Shelley, and get the chills when the tribe performs the Raven pageant.

Favorite Christmas album: The Bells of Dublin by the Chieftains. It has everything: reverent hymns, jaunty reels, and Elvis Costello singing about poisoning the entire family ("St. Stephen's Day Murders").
Runner-up: Vince Guaraldi's A Charlie Brown Christmas

Favorite Christmas cookies: Those candy cane cookies with the peppermint extract and the red food coloring in one strand of dough that you wrap around the other strand and shape into a candy cane before baking.
Runner Up: Peanut butter cookies with a Hershey kiss in the middle

Favorite single rendition of a Christmas carol: Loreena McKennitt's version of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"
Runner-up (one of many): Kim Carnes's "O Little Town of Bethlehem"



Every stereotypical young male issue is outlined in that movie. Oh, and what boy wouldn't cry when mom comes to break up a fight?

But, the best part of that movie is the totally obvious enjoyment each and every actor had filming that movie.

Posted by: Blogger Rook at 12/21/2005 8:07 PM

Favorite single version of a Christmas Carol:

Sonia Dada's Silver Bells.

It's a good one.

Posted by: Blogger Sharon GR at 12/21/2005 9:47 PM

Welcome to the blog, Guy! My favorite part of that movie is when Ralphie beats up Scut Farkus. What can I say, I love an underdog. And violence, especially Christmas violence.

Sharon, where can we find that version of Silver Bells?

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 12/21/2005 10:01 PM

Favorite Holiday Movie: "The Nightmare Before Christmas"

Favorite single version of a Christmas carol: "Little Drummer Boy," sung by Bing Crosby and David Bowie

I will say that "A Christmas Story" is a great Christmas movie, though; so many laughs in the whole movie.

Posted by: Blogger Mark at 12/22/2005 3:35 AM

Eeek. Where to find it? I have it on a promotional CD given to a friend who formerly was a DJ. I found it on a download site which looked rather illegal so I can't recommend it. If I find it I'll let you know.

Posted by: Blogger Sharon GR at 12/22/2005 9:38 AM

As you may or may not recall, I live in NE Ohio. Much of The Christmas Story was filmed in Cleveland [and Toronto - that's where the Chinese restaurant was as I recall]. Anyway, last weekend I was at a meeting in Tremont [a just-west-of-downtown-Cleveland neighborhood] at a bar. In the bar window was the leg lamp. Okay, I'm sure not the original but a heckuva copy. The lamp brought up reminiscences from one of the meeting participants about the filming in the neighborhood. She grew up in tremont and remembered when she had to walk an extra block-and-a-half to the store because the end of her street was blocked by the filming of the scenes where Scut kept chasing Ralphie She also remembered that there were long tables set up with food for the extras and she snuck over and pilfered food from them.

Jim Young

Posted by: Anonymous Anonymous at 12/22/2005 8:17 PM

I remember director Bob Clark saying something on the commentary about how fantastic the people of Cleveland were during the filming, especially in that neighborhood.

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 12/22/2005 9:56 PM

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