a newspaper man adjusts his pen

Monday, November 23, 2009

Bring on the sappy holiday flicks

“Where do you think you're going? Nobody's leaving. Nobody's walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We're all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We're gonna press on, and we're gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny Kaye.” - Clark Griswold

Cheech Marin: No, aw, man, you don't know who Santa Claus is, man!

Tommy Chong: Yeah, well, I'm not from here, man. Like, I'm from Pittsburgh, man. I don't know too many local dudes.

By Amanda Gillooly

About this time of year, I think everybody needs a shot of Christmas. The retail stores know it. They’ve been pimping red-and-green merchandise since they started stocking the shelves with the season’s first candy corn.

Every year I try to wait as long as I can to once again make myself a toadie of The Christmas Spirit, which for me usually means multiple viewings of “It’s a Wonderful Life” a date with my soul mate, Cousin Eddie and a mistiness about the eyes.

Whether it’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” or George Bailey running through Bedford Falls hollering, “Merry Christmas, movie house! Merry Christmas, Emporium! Merry Christmas, you wonderful old Building and Loan!” if I am watching, I’ll be sobbing.

But it isn’t Christmas to me, not even close to Christmas, until I hear “Father Christmas” by The Kinks and “Santa and His Old Lady” by Cheech and Chong.

I hadn’t heard them yet, so I sought them out on YouTube and had a good chuckle. And that’s what reminds me of the so-called Christmas spirit more than most anything else: Unrepentant jolliness. Silly, crooked smiles. Natural merriment and uncontrollable nostalgia.

At least that’s what I like most about this time of year. Thanks to those guys, I’m ready for twinkling lights wound around pine trees, visits with old friends, wrangling with wrapping paper and the wishful thinking that comes free with mistletoe.

And all those things will help me cope with holiday traffic and people who have huge cutouts of Santa holding signs that say, “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” (now THERE is a mixed message).


Scott Beveridge said...

Since you brought up Macy's, the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade on NBC always gets my Christmas mojo started. If you had any doubts that I'm a nerd...

Amanda Blu said...

Thanks for letting me know that, Scooter. But I never doubted it for a minute. ;)

Carolyn said...

Hi Amanda (and Scott) - nice post. I'm always looking for people who look to George Bailey every year to bring them into the spirit of things. In addition to watching George Baily, I have to see Ralphie eat some soap, hear the Waitresses sing about Christmas Wrapping and watch the video of Bing Crosby and David Bowie discussing Peace on Earth (can it be?). Then I'm totally in it.

I wrote a song called George Bailey, would love for you guys to take a listen, maybe even review it? You can hear it via my website below.

Have a happy Thanksgiving!
Carolyn Sills