Friday, July 29, 2016

Christmas in July 2016: Recap



Did you check out all the responses by our Christmas in July participants?  In case you were late to the party this summer, here's your chance to catch up.  Below is a complete list of links to each of our guests who participated in July. It goes by quickly, doesn't it?

This past month has been an exciting one for me too. Galleys for my new book project The Triple Dog Dare: Watching--and Surviving--the 24 Hour Marathon of A Christmas Story are going out soon. Look for the new book this upcoming holiday season.

Thanks to everyone who participated in Christmas in July and to all who left comments.  I was entertained and amused all month long by everyone's replies--I hope you were too!




Introduction to Christmas in July 2016, and Joanna Wilson's responses

Drew Flowers of Christmas Movies & Music

Brian Arnold of Me and You and a Blog Named Boo

Page

Rob Martinez of The Nights Before Christmas




Linda M. Young of Flying Dreams

Do You Hear What I Hear

Jim Inman of Christmas Movies & Music

Cathie Kahle of Christmas Movies & Music




S.W. of Ho! Ho! Holiday Viewing

Jennifer Davis of smARTStudio

Kevin Bowman

John




Mitchell Hadley of It's About TV!

Jeff Fox of NameThatChristmasSpecial.com

Melissa Olson of Gilmore Girls Soundtrack

Randall Buie




Donna Bock

D.X. Ferris of 6623 Press

David Branch

Net of It's a Wonderful Movie




Ed South of Wonderful World of Blog

Jakki of Christmas Movies & Music

J.A. Morris of Holiday Film Reviews

Daniel Budnik of Some Polish American Guy Reviews Things website, and Eventually Supertrain podcast




Dominic Caruso of 1701 Press

Laura Rachel of What-to-watch.com

David Hofstede of Comfort TV

Jonathan Sowers

Jim Fanning of Tulgey Wood




If you're interested, below are a few more links.  These are the recaps from Christmas TV History's previous Christmas in July parties.  

Christmas TV Party 2015: Recap

Christmas TV Party 2014 Summary

2013's Christmas in July: Animation Celebration

2012's Sci-Fi Christmas in July

2011's 1990s Christmas in July

2010's Christmas in July guest bloggers and Fan Photos




MERRY CHRISTMAS IN JULY!


Thursday, July 28, 2016

Christmas in July 2016: Jonathan Sowers

 
Christmas in July 2016: Jonathan Sowers

1) What Christmas episode/special/or movie always puts you in the holiday spirit?

It's not Christmas without seeing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer one more time. The opening scenes are all I need to see. Just the credits whisk me back to the 1960s when these shows came on every Christmas and you had to be there in front of the TV or you missed
it. The music in that special is so timeless and good. Watching that show was one of the highlights of my Christmas when I was a child. I remember the GE commercials too, with the elves. We always had lots of GE appliances--fridge, stove, washer, dishwasher, radios and TVs. Mom's GE stove is 63 years old.



2) What Christmas program or scene brings you to tears?

For me it's a song. Glen Campbell singing There's No Place Like Home. He sang it on his 1970 Christmas special, but I remember it more from his Capitol recording. It's a beautiful song and Glen sang it better than anyone else.

When I was growing up, my dad's family always celebrated Christmas Eve at Granny's next door and that song brings back memories of Christmas Eves past when I helped Granny decorate for Christmas and get the kitchen ready for the family to come that evening. And especially the one year when mom and I were walking home and she heard the bells on Santa's sleigh. That memory is so vivid that I
still remember the spot I was standing when she said it. I think I was about three or four. That same night I also remember watching Mary Martin as Peter Pan after I got home, on our old Philco black and white TV. I guess Santa had to circle the landing area while I looked at TV.

We didn't get a color TV until 1969 and I remember watching Glen Campbell on that TV. A GE 21" table model. I still have that TV in my living room.



3) What's your favorite quote of dialogue, song lyric, or sentiment from a Christmas program?

I only get to see the song now in recordings I made back in the 1980s and 90s or on YouTube--the opening to Christmas in Washington in its early years when they had the Naval Academy Glee Club singing was one of the classiest and best performed TV show openings ever done. "Christmas is the perfect time to beeeeee, in Washington, Deeee Ceeee!" They just got everything right when they made that introduction--the scenes of snow in the city--it's just magical. I was very sad when they changed it and now they don't even have the show on any more.

4) Is there a Christmas program that unintentionally frightens you--or turns you off?

The scene in Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol with the door knocker that turned into Marley's Ghost frightened me as a child and I never forgot it. Also the bony finger of the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come was equally scary. I probably saw it about 1963 when I was in kindergarten and that memory lasted for years until I bought the DVD and saw it again. That particular show wasn't repeated as often as some of the others, but it was one of the first and I never forgot it. I also bought the book on the making of that show. I enjoy that show even more after learning the back story.



5) Name one character from Christmas entertainment with whom you closely identify? and explain why.

Hermey the Elf on the Rudolph special is one character I identify with. I haven't always fit in, especially in school. I never went along with the crowd, so to speak.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Christmas in July 2016: David Hofstede




Christmas in July 2016: David Hofstede of Comfort TV

1) What Christmas episode/special/or movie always puts you in the holiday spirit?

Actually, it's not a show or movie at all - it's the classic animated Toys-R-Us Christmas commercial from the 1980s. The music, the vibrant colors, the snowfall and the roaring fireplace - it always puts me in a happy holiday mood, no matter what time of the year I watch it.



2) What Christmas program or scene brings you to tears?

There are two:

1. When Aaron plays his drum for the baby Jesus in The Little Drummer Boy (1968), and his beloved lamb is restored to health.

2. Near the end of The Partridge Family episode "Don't Bring Your Guns to Town, Santa" when the family returns to the ghost town to serenade the old prospector so well-played by Dean Jagger. We see his eyes fill with tears and it has the same effect on me.



3) What's your favorite quote of dialogue, song lyric, or sentiment from a Christmas program?

Linus: "That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown." (A Charlie Brown Christmas, of course)

4) Is there a Christmas program that unintentionally frightens you--or turns you off?

However old I was the first time I watched Santa Claus is Comin' to Town, the first appearance of the Winter Warlock frightened me. More recently, as far as a turn-off, it's not a particular program but the gradual progression (perhaps 'regression' is more accurate) from sincerity to snark in holiday episodes. Why is everyone so afraid of honest emotion in modern sitcoms? That's why I stick with the classics.


from the 1971 TV movie The Homecoming: A Christmas Story.

5) Name one character from Christmas entertainment with whom you closely identify? and explain why.

I'd say John-Boy Walton in The Homecoming, because at that age I knew I wanted to be a writer too.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Christmas in July 2016: Laura Rachel


Christmas in July 2016: Laura Rachel of What-to-watch.com

1) What Christmas episode/special/or movie always puts you in the holiday spirit?

I used to say It's a Wonderful Life, it's the quintessential story of how our lives are important to the ones around us and to not take it for granted. Than I watched It Happened on Fifth Avenue which is very reminiscent of It's a Wonderful Life but puts in perspective the needs of other people during the holiday. I fell in love at first viewing.



2) What Christmas program or scene brings you to tears?

I'm a huge fan of Hallmark's Christmas films, what can I say, I'm a girl who likes romantic movies so I really enjoyed the skating scene in ABCFamily's Holiday in Handcuffs in which Trudie, Melissa Joan Hart's character, talks about her dreams, what she wants in life, and how it always just eludes her.




3) What's your favorite quote of dialogue, song lyric, or sentiment from a Christmas program?

That would be the song, "That's What Christmas Means to Me" from It Happened on Fifth Avenue.

4) Is there a Christmas program that unintentionally frightens you--or turns you off?

I'm sorry to say, it's the movie A Christmas Story. That movie has just never tickled my funny bone nor has it made me sentimental for my own childhood. I just never connected with that film.



5) Name one character from Christmas entertainment with whom you closely identify? and explain why.

I don't identify the film Bridget Jones' Diary as a Christmas film but I know it is on a lot of Christmas movie lists. It's one of my all time favorite films and I really do  identify with Bridget. As a single girl just trying to find a nice guy while you know there are all these flaws with you and your family that you wish weren't there. Love that film and I'm excited to see the new one out this fall.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Christmas in July 2016: Dominic Caruso

 
Christmas in July 2016: Dominic Caruso at 1701 Press

1) What Christmas episode/special/or movie always puts you in the holiday spirit?

I enjoy some of the old(ish) variety / music shows. If I watch a Christmas episode of the Lawrence Welk Show from the 70s, that’ll put me in the holiday spirit. It reminds me of the old people in my family (and community), and growing up with them around. What they wore, what they liked, what the decor of the time was like.



2) What Christmas program or scene brings you to tears?


The recitation of the gospel that Linus does in A Charlie Brown Christmas actually makes me tear up. It’s a very poetic moment, expressed in an extraordinarily genuine, unpolished way by young Christopher Shea. It’s a transcendent moment in a kids’ cartoon.




3) What's your favorite quote of dialogue, song lyric, or sentiment from a Christmas program? 

The song “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” performed by U2 in 1987 or 88 for A Very Special Christmas. There was a special about U2 or A Very Special Christmas that aired on MTV that year (I don’t remember which), and I was a big U2 fan, and I remember waiting for the song to be broadcast. Of course, Darlene Love owns the song, and I love her performances of it too, but I think the U2 version was my first introduction to it, and there’s a lot of youthful longing in it!

4) Is there a Christmas program that unintentionally frightens you--or turns you off?

Many Santas are unintentionally creepy. But mainly, I’m not crazy about most reality TV Christmas episodes. They tend to be about how the people on the show are ridiculous or awful, more than anything interesting or suggestive of meaning.


from the 1966 Christmas episode of Green Acres.

5) Name one character from Christmas entertainment with whom you closely identify? and explain why. 

I like Oliver Douglas (from Green Acres). I don’t exactly identify with his frustration at the absurdity of his life in Hooterville—but I do enjoy the humor of his situation, and the humor in the absurdity he faces. Maybe I’m more of an Eb Dawson than an Oliver Douglas.


Sunday, July 24, 2016

Christmas in July 2016: Daniel Budnik

from the 1947 movie The Bishop's Wife.
 
Christmas in July 2016: Daniel Budnik of Some Polish American Guy Reviews Things website and Eventually Supertrain podcast.

1) What Christmas episode/special/or movie always puts you in the holiday spirit?

I try to start the season with either The Bishop’s Wife or Black Christmas (the original). I love the atmosphere of both of those films. By the end of The Bishop’s Wife, I’m glad to be alive at Christmastime. By the end of Black Christmas, I’m simply glad to be alive. Usually the one I watch first depends upon whether or not I’m watching them with my wife or alone. She’ll join me for Cary Grant but will usually pass on the movie with all the murdering and such.


from the 1974 Christmas episode of Happy Days.

2) What Christmas program or scene brings you to tears?

I can always tell how sentimental a Christmas I’m going to have by how much I weep at three things:
1) The Happy Days episode “Guess Who’s Coming To Christmas”
2) Episode 4 of the Doctor Who audio The Chimes of Midnight
3) The opening of It’s A Wonderful Life when everyone is praying for George. (If I’m totally a mess before the stars start talking and we’re not even, like, 5 minutes into the film, it’s going to be a weepy Christmas.)


from 1988's Christmas episode of The Wonder Years.

3) What's your favorite quote of dialogue, song lyric, or sentiment from a Christmas program?

“For me, that year Christmas stopped being about tinsel and wrapping paper, and started being about memory. At first I was disappointed. Until I learned that memory is a way of holding on to the things you love, the things you are, the things you wish to never lose. And I learned from Winnie, that in a world that changed too fast, the best we can do is wish each other Merry Christmas and good luck.” – The Wonder Years “Christmas”

4) Is there a Christmas program that unintentionally frightens you--or turns you off?

I’ve been scouring my brain trying to come up with an answer for this one. I don’t have a specific program. However, there is something that, when it occurs in shows or movies, can make me stop paying attention…  that’s when the Christmas special doesn’t have any visible signs of winter in it. No snow, no cold, no Dan. Although, that’s not completely true. I have to make myself ignore the lack of what I consider to be such a big part of the holiday and enjoy the special for what it is.


 
5) Name one character from Christmas entertainment with whom you closely identify? and explain why.

Alice from A Very Brady Christmas. Alice loves the Bradys. Alice loves Christmas. (We will not discuss Sleazy Sam from this movie.) And, she, like me, spends much of the holiday cleaning, cooking and making sure that everyone she’s with is having a good time…  and she’s not getting paid to work for the Bradys that year! I imagine, also, that when all the work is done Alice rests and relaxes really well. I do the same, Alice. Just make sure your sister doesn’t show up. She’s too much for me.


Saturday, July 23, 2016

Christmas in July 2016: J.A. Morris

 
Christmas in July 2016: J.A. Morris at Holiday Film Reviews



1) What Christmas episode/special/or movie always puts you in the holiday spirit?

A Charlie Brown Christmas,  I usually watch it early in December and once more closer to Christmas.  The music, the animation, the children's voices and the story still make me feel very Christmas-y and remind me of holiday seasons of my childhood.


 
2) What Christmas program or scene brings you to tears?

Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas never fails to bring at least one tear to my eye every time I watch it.  The relationship between Emmet and his mother Alice is very sweet.  It's my favorite adaptation of The Gift Of The Magi.




brothers from 1974's The Year Without a Santa Claus.

3) What's your favorite quote of dialogue, song lyric, or sentiment from a Christmas program?

I've always been fond of the song performed by Snow Miser and Heat Miser in The Year Without A Santa Claus.  When I was a kid, I remember humming the tune well into the new year.  



4) Is there a Christmas program that unintentionally frightens you--or turns you off?

Love Actually.  While the cast contains some of my favorite actors, I find most of the characters and storylines annoying and not very romantic.  I thought Mark (Andrew Lincoln) was creepy.






5) Name one character from Christmas entertainment with whom you closely identify? and explain why.


I've always identified with underdogs, so I'll go with Charlie Brown because he's the ultimate underdog and I think he also buys the tiny tree because he sees the tree as the underdog of the tree lot.  Like Chuck, I could easily see myself buying a Christmas Tree because I felt sorry for it. 

Friday, July 22, 2016

Christmas in July 2016: Jakki


Christmas in July 2016: Jakki of Christmas Movies & Music Yahoo group, and Christmas Movies & Music on Facebook.

1) What Christmas episode/special/or movie always puts you in the holiday spirit?

This is probably a common response, but for me it would definitely be A Charlie Brown Christmas. While it was certainly a favorite as a child, even as an adult the opening ice skating sequence with "Christmas Time Is Here" playing immediately gets me in the Christmas spirit.




2) What Christmas program or scene brings you to tears?

The final scene of It's A Wonderful Life when George finally realizes how much he's impacted the people in his life. The compelling transition from complete hopelessness to pure joy is an overwhelming tear jerker every time!




3) What's your favorite quote of dialogue, song lyric, or sentiment from a Christmas program?

I just love when Linus calls out "Lights, please!" and quotes the passage from the Gospel Luke about the birth of Christ. In the midst of all the festivities and family drama, it's truly a reminder of "what Christmas is all about."

4) Is there a Christmas program that unintentionally frightens you--or turns you off?

Without a doubt, The Polar Express creeps me out. Not just the animation, but the overall vibe of the film. This especially culminates during the North Pole scene, with the eerie music playing overhead and the crowds gathering in Santa worship. I love what Santa represents, a symbol of the Christmas spirit, but not a deity, which is kind of how he is represented in this film. It's a little too much if you ask me!




5) Name one character from Christmas entertainment with whom you closely identify? and explain why.

I guess I would have to say good ol' Clark Griswold. I definitely relate to his enthusiasm for trying to make Christmas just perfect for the family, the way he always remembered it. Even though sometimes things just don't go the way you want them to, or maybe your memory was better than reality, but it doesn't stop you from trying the next year and the next.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Christmas in July 2016: Ed South

Jack Benny (left) considers buying a wallet for Don Wilson as a Christmas gift.

Christmas in July 2016: Ed South of Wonderful World of Blog

Please check out Ed's new film-themed podcast called What’s Your Favorite Movie? where he talka about why people love the films they love! It’s available on iTunes, Spreaker and through the website Wonderful World of Blog. You can also follow along on twitter: @edsouth

1) What Christmas episode/special/or movie always puts you in the holiday spirit?

I tend to try and save my favorites for as close to Christmas Day as possible. This usually leaves me  running out of time and missing some of my favorites each year. But when I pull out my “Christmas Movie Box” in early November there are two programs I usually start the season off with. The first is Silent Night - Story of A Christmas Carol which is a 1953 educational short that was probably shown in Catholic schools the day before Christmas vacation started. It’s the story of how the traditional carol was written. It’s slow, every copy I’ve seen is in bad shape, and it’s certainly an outdated piece of holiday nostalgia but I had a copy of it when I was a kid and then it turned up again in my adult life on a DVD full of public domain Christmas oddities and I’ve been enjoying it ever since.

Another of my early favorites to start the season off with is The Jack Benny Program Christmas episode, which also shows up on plenty of public domain collections. In the episode, Jack goes Christmas shopping and ends up leading store clerk, Mel Blanc, to a nervous breakdown as he changes his mind over which gifts to give to his friends and coworkers. Funny stuff and I love any old Christmas shows that show what department stores looked like in the 1950’s.

 
1989 movie Prancer


2) What Christmas program or scene brings you to tears?

It’s gotta be Prancer. The end of Prancer gets me every time.



3) What's your favorite quote of dialogue, song lyric, or sentiment from a Christmas program?

My favorite Christmas song lyric has always been “And this song of mine, In three-quarter time” from Frank Sinatra’s Christmas Waltz. It’s just a neat rhyme that always makes me smile…and sing along.

Favorite quote from a program goes to Lucy Van Pelt: “Look, Charlie, let’s face it. We all know that Christmas is a big commercial racket. It’s run by a big eastern syndicate, you know.” From A Charlie Brown Christmas, of course!

4) Is there a Christmas program that unintentionally frightens you--or turns you off?

I wouldn’t say there are any Christmas programs that frighten me. I was very turned off by Disney’s feature length take on A Christmas Carol, the one with Jim Carrey. I guess there are so many cheerful and happy versions of the story that I just didn’t care for any of the dark choices made in that animated film.



5) Name one character from Christmas entertainment with whom you closely identify? and explain why.

I’ve always closely identified with Charlie Brown, but he’s not exclusively a Christmas character. I can certainly relate to George Bailey…but so does everybody else.  As sad as it may be, I think my schoolyard days probably went a lot like Rudolph’s. Perhaps the red-nosed reindeer is the character I identify with the most in Christmas entertainment.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Christmas in July 2016: Net

"Lights, please!"
 
Christmas in July 2016: Net from It's a Wonderful Movie (Your Guide to Family Movies on TV)

1) What Christmas episode/special/or movie always puts you in the holiday spirit?

A Charlie Brown Christmas! Because, it tells the true story of Christmas - and it gives that cheerful, hopeful, Christmassy Spirit!!!

The Linus moment is my favorite, of course, but I also adore when Sally, with her child-like innocence, dictates her letter to Santa Claus - to her big brother, Charlie Brown!

A Charlie Brown Christmas has it all... "Santa Claus, HO HO HO, and Mistletoe"... and best of all... what Christmas is all about - the birth of the Christ child!!!

I always get chills when all the children sing "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" at the end... it's simply heavenly!!!


from Mr. Krueger's Christmas (1980)

 2) What Christmas program or scene brings you to tears?

Mr. Krueger's Christmas with an older Jimmy Stewart is so incredibly touching. It always brings me to heartfelt tears. As we watch Mr. Krueger celebrate Christmas alone, our hearts are drawn in to this lonely man and his cat George... and his day-dreams on this lonely, but sweet Christmas Eve.




3) What's your favorite quote of dialogue, song lyric, or sentiment from a Christmas program?

My absolute favorite line of dialogue comes from It's a Wonderful Life... at the very end when Harry Bailey returns home and lifts his glass to his brother and says... "A toast to my big brother George: The richest man in town." I gulp every time I hear Harry say it, and seeing George's reaction is priceless! Truly one of the most beautiful cinematic moments ever! 

4) Is there a Christmas program that unintentionally frightens you--or turns you off?

The only thing I can think of is the last ghost in A Christmas Carol. Sometimes, depending on various versions, he can be rather spooky! Overall, the story is beautiful, though!


Judy Garland in Meet Me in St. Louis.

 5) Name one character from Christmas entertainment with whom you closely identify? and explain why.

I would have to say Esther Smith from Meet Me in St. Louis... along with the happy, loving, musical family!!! Like her character, I love singing, scheming, and dreaming!!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Christmas in July 2016: David Branch

 
Christmas in July 2016: David Branch

1) What Christmas episode/special/or movie always puts you in the holiday spirit?

Miracle on 34th Street, especially when they air it on Thanksgiving nite. I think it's the perfect movie to settle down with a turkey sandwich and usher in the holiday season. It's a longstanding tradition in my family.


 
2) What Christmas program or scene brings you to tears?

The final scene in It's a Wonderful Life when George opens up that book and reads the inscription from Clarence. "George, remember, no man is a failure who has friends. Thanks for the wings, love, Clarence. Gets me every time. A close second was the last scene of The Flintstones when Fred realizes that Santa had gotten out of his sick bed to make his Christmas merry. "NO one can ever tell me there's no Santa Claus....



3) What's your favorite quote of dialogue, song lyric, or sentiment from a Christmas program?

"I intend to prove that Mr. Kringle is Santa Claus." said by Mr Gailey/John Payne in Miracle on 34th Street. It gives me goosebumps.

4) Is there a Christmas program that unintentionally frightens you--or turns you off?

Bad Santa initially turned me off with the language and sexual situations, but I have since grown to really enjoy the movie. Willie will never change, but it was really cool how the kid got to him in the end. He just had to get that toy to Thurman Merman,lol, loved it.



5) Name one character from Christmas entertainment with whom you closely identify? and explain why.

George Bailey, the common man who genuinely cares about people and will do without personal fame and fortune if it meant that he could help a friend.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Christmas in July 2016: DX Ferris

from Community
 
Christmas in July 2016: DX Ferris of 6623 Press

1) What Christmas episode/special/or movie always puts you in the holiday spirit?

Charlie Brown is the longtime champ, but the Community musical episode ("Regional Holiday Music") is pure Christmas magic.


 
2) What Christmas program or scene brings you to tears?

This American Life episode with Truman Capote reading a truncated version of A Christmas Memory. The year I realized one of my kids was 8 like little Buddy, man, Niagara Falls. I first read A Christmas Memory in school: I stumbled across it in an English book and read it when I should have been doing something else. I don't know if I've ever felt that alone and overwhelmed in my life, suddenly having that riveting, depressing story rattling around in my head in the middle of Tuesday, stuck in school.

 
from Scrooged


3) What's your favorite quote of dialogue, song lyric, or sentiment from a Christmas program?

"Now, more than ever, it is important to remember the true meaning of Christmas. Charles' Dickens' immortal classic, Scrooge: YOUR LIFE JUST MAY DEPEND UPON IT." — Francis Xavier Cross

4) Is there a Christmas program that unintentionally frightens you--or turns you off?

Speaking as a parent, I find Frosty the Snowman terrifying. Poor Karen is out in the snow in shorts. And she has so little parental supervision, she's allowed to wander off for a day or two, nearly catch her death of cold, then return at all hours of the night. Whatever is going on in her household, she is barely better off for returning to it. No, I shouldn't say that; maybe her mom's a single mom who has to work a lot. Maybe there's another town cop who's been desperately trying to find her. Maybe. Even when I was a kid, that special stressed me out.


 
5) Name one character from Christmas entertainment with whom you closely identify? and explain why.

Charlie Brown. The poor little guy just wants things to be good. He's so wrapped up in his own head — and a black cloud of bad luck — that he can't figure out how to make it happen. And nobody ever wants to take the ride with him. Did you say "identify with"? I mean, that reminds me of somebody I know. Somebody else, totally. Not me. I'm not crying. You're the one who's crying. My allergies are bad this year.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Christmas in July 2016: Donna Bock

 
Christmas in July 2016: Donna Bock

1) What Christmas episode/special/or movie always puts you in the holiday spirit?

Well, I've said it in your past two Christmas in July extravaganzas...Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer will always come to mind,  I've loved it for so long.  It's my favorite, it puts me in the holiday spirit, and it screams CHRISTMAS!!!  In November, I start checking out the TV listings to see when it will air (I'm 60 years old).  When my kids were little, I couldn't wait to watch it with them.  When we bought our first VHS recorder, we watched it over and over again. Now I have a grandson, and I watched it with him last year, I will be spending a lot of time with him over the summer, and I will surely sneak it in at least once!



2) What Christmas program or scene brings you to tears?

In Meet Me in St. Louis, Judy Garland singing to little Margaret O'Brien, "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas," always brings me to tears.  Then Tootie destroys her snow people.....stick a fork in me, I'm done!



3) What's your favorite quote of dialogue, song lyric, or sentiment from a Christmas program?

I love Christmas Eve on Sesame Street's song "Keep Christmas With You."  The whole scene gets me teary eyed.  And when they start signing the song....FORGET IT!    (This could be part II of question 2)

"Keep Christmas with you
All through the year,
When Christmas is over,
You can keep it near.
Think of this Christmas day
When Christmas is far away."

4) Is there a Christmas program that unintentionally frightens you--or turns you off?

This is a long story....and it's not really a Christmas program. 
When I was little..very little (remember I'm 60), The Little Rascals had a short program where a burglar broke into one of the Rascal's homes.  The little kid woke up to see a dark bearded man over his bed.  The kid asks him who he was, and burglar says, "I'm Santa Claus." This upset me to no end, I'm a big Santa fan.  When I questioned my mother about this dark bearded Santa, she told me he was a fake/bad Santa.  For the longest time, every time I watched the Little Rascals and this show was played I had to say out loud, "You're the fake/bad Santa, You're the fake/bad Santa,You're the fake/bad Santa." Also, whenever I went to sit on Santa's lap, I would always ask my mother if I was going to the real Santa or the fake/bad Santa.

Moral of the story, don't tell your kids negative things about Santa (or anything else), it may stay with them forever!


 
5) Name one character from Christmas entertainment with whom you closely identify?
 and explain why.

Rosemary Clooney in White Christmas.  I want to sing "Sisters" with Vera Ellen so bad!...and maybe kiss Bing Crosby too!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Christmas in July 2016: Randall Buie

 
Christmas in July 2016: Randall Buie

1) What Christmas episode/special/or movie always puts you in the holiday spirit?

It is not Christmas without at least one viewing of Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol.  In 1977, many years before I bought a video recorder, I made an audio tape of Magoo by placing a microphone against the TV speaker during a broadcast of the syndicated version.  That sufficed me until the official release to home video in the mid 80s.



2) What Christmas program or scene brings you to tears?

Several years ago I purchased a Shari Lewis Christmas DVD.  The DVD contains three Christmas themed programs from Shari's Saturday morning program of the '60s.  In one episode, everyone is preparing for the holidays but Lamb Chop is unexpectedly grouchy and wants nothing to do with the celebration.  It is finally revealed that she is in a bad mood because she is broke and feels bad that she cannot buy a gift for her friend.  Her confession and the resulting reconciliation scene really gets to me, probably because I recall being in the same predicament several times during my life.



3) What's your favorite quote of dialogue, song lyric, or sentiment from a Christmas program?

Strange as it may seem, I really enjoy hearing Ernest P. Worrell singing "O Christmas Tree" in "Ernest Saves Christmas".  Such deep lyrics -- ""O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree." Second place would probably go to a line in "The Lord's Bright Blessing" from the Magoo program -- "Start smiling and enjoy with me the miracle of now."

4) Is there a Christmas program that unintentionally frightens you--or turns you off?

Not an entire program, but one line in A Garfield Christmas always makes me cringe.  Jon Arbuckle and his pets visit his parents' farmhouse for Christmas.  Early Christmas morning the family wakes up and opens their gifts.  The mother then says "Well that was a wonderful Christmas."  What?  It's 7AM on December 25.  Christmas is not over.  The belief that Christmas ends when all of the gifts are unwrapped is foreign to my family.


from Mickey's Christmas Carol

5) Name one character from Christmas entertainment with whom you closely identify? and explain why.

I spent my forty years of professional life in the Finance and Accounting world.  I've always used the character of Ebenezer Scrooge as a guide of who not to be.  Here is a man that surrounds himself in the world of money and lives most of his life shutting himself off from the world of humans and emotions just so he can expand his wealth.  The pursuit of a financially secure life is important, but so are family, friends, and enjoyment of the now.