Sunday, December 28, 2014

Seasonal Specials

Part of what I love so much about the winter holidays is the specials. Yes, most of them are Christmas, lets be honest, but some are just winter-y. And some apply regardless of what you're celebrating.

The Grinch will always remind me of my mother. First, she read it to us (along with Giant Grummer) every Christmas Eve. We would get home from Christmas Eve services and try to settle down in spite of being spun up, and Mama would read to us. We were grown, home from college, and she was still reading these two stories on this one night to us.

Charlie Brown is a classic. Plain and simple. And there is nothing else like the dance scenes.

Another of my favorites is a little-known one called 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. It's the one with the clockmaker and the mouse. Does anyone else remember that one? It's not on often any more, and is even hard to find on dvd or streaming. This one always makes me cry, gotta be honest.

We were watching Santa Claus is Coming to Town this year. It's another Rankin-Bass. They cut the song about sitting on Santa's lap and giving him a kiss to get a toy. They also cut Jessica's (Mrs. Claus) weird, oh-yeah-this-was-a-70s-special-wasn't-it LSD trip in the middle of the show. Okay, it's not really an LSD trip ~ except that it is. She starts singing and the kaleidoscope colors start spinning behind her, right in the middle of this special that hasn't been anywhere close to a yellow submarine up until this point ~ and never gets near it again. So odd. Apparently, though, pedophilia and LSD trips about women's lives not starting until they meet their man aren't as popular in the 21st century.

London sent me a link to one of her favorites called, simply, The Snowman. It's beautiful, gentle, and delicate. Haunting, even. But I need to watch it another year ~ some year when I'm not missing my dad so much ~ because it struck me as melancholy, too. Admittedly, I will never get a first chance to see it again, but hopefully, on a less melancholy year, it will be less melancholy.

My most recent favorite, though, is Prep and Landing (and only slightly less fun, its sequel, Prep and Landing: Naughty v Nice). It came out first in 2009. If you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend it. Totally secular, totally Santa-centric, and one of the only modern specials that can hold its own with the classics.

There are the movies, of course: It's A Wonderful Life, White Christmas, The Santa Clause, Miracle on 34th Street (the real one with Edmund Gwenn, not the dreck with Richard Attenborough {and forgive me, Sir Richard, for using your name and the word "dreck" in the same sentence but really...}) but the specials are, well, special. Even in this day and age of instant streaming and video on demand, I try to only watch them once a year.

Let the anticipation begin to build for another 12 months...

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.