Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas 2009!

I mean just what tht title says! This will be my last post before Christmas Day, as I'll be crazy busy tomorrow with holiday preparation. Plus, my 6-year-old daughter (who's awesome, BTW) will be singing with our church choir at a special children's mass on Christmas Eve. Go Megan!

Today I just have a few last-minute clips, but they're by no means throwaways. First, a lovely home movie from an anonymous person who set it to music. This captures perfectly the way we want Christmas to be. And if we're lucky, they way our Christmases were and are.



Next, a great song from a great special. Here is Bob McGrath singing "Keep Christmas With You" from Christmas Eve on Sesame Street. I'd also like to dedicate this to the late Alaina Reed Hall, who played Olivia for over a decade on the show. She passed away on December 17th at the age of 63 after a long bout with breast cancer.



Finally, a Me and You Christmas tradition, because it deserves to be.



I'll check back in a couple of times next week, as I'm home all week on Christmas vacation. Home with family and friends, the way God intended.

I truly wish all of you a blessed, Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Gift of Ages

Today's post is a very special one, and one that I've been looking forward to for a month now. This video is called "Gift of Ages," and was made by someone on DeviantArt.com. There's really nothing I can say except this is one of the most beautiful things I've seen in a really long time. I literally cried the first time I saw it. Simply watch and be moved!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Spirit of Christmas, "The Nativity"

Just three days left! Here is the second part of the Bell Telephone-produced special The Spirit of Christmas, this time presenting "The Nativity." Even with marionettes, the story is beautiful. Enjoy!


Friday, December 18, 2009

Spirit of Christmas, "The Night Before Christmas"

Today I present part of an old special from the 1950s that aired in many cities and was sponsored and produced by Bell Telephone, which back then was the one phone company in the nation. The entire special was "enacted" by marionettes. My mother loves this special and remembers it fondly. Here is part one of the special, a recreation of the classic poem "A Visit From Saint Nicolas" aka "The Night Before Christmas." Enjoy!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Silent Film Scrapbook

Here is a quaint collection of silent film featuring Christmas scenes from the early 20th century. I love seeing footage from Christmases long past. Thanks!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Motivational Santa

With Christmas just a week away, you may need a bit of motivation to finish your holiday preparation. Look no further than Matt Foley, your motivational Santa. This is one of my favorite skits from Saturday Night Live by the late great Chris Farley. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Eric Cartman, "O Holy Night"

Many of the Christmas items I've posted on the blog the last two years have been heartwarming, life-affirming treats. This is not one of them.

Please enjoy famous tenor Eric Cartman of South Park fame with his barely coherent version of the solemn classic "O Holy Night," with help from good friend Kyle--and a cattle prod.



For more South Park Christmas fun, click here.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Ziggy's Gift

There are less than two weeks left to Christmas! It's time to wrap up your gift getting, literally and figuratively. You should finish your decorating as well. I'm still not finished getting gifts or decorating, which pains me greatly. But I know exactly what will cheer me up--this awesome special!

Ziggy's Gift first aired on ABC in December 1982, and it's a wonderful story that is one of my alltime favorites. The comic strip everyman becomes a streetcorner Santa and runs into some adventures involving a a thief, con man, and police officer trying to contain the silliness. It's a shame the special is never on TV, but it is readily available on DVD (which I purchased a couple of years ago). If you've never seen this special before, and chances are good you haven't, by all means enjoy it now. This belongs right up there with Charlie Brown and the Grinch. Thanks!



Friday, December 11, 2009

Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus

There is a new Christmas special airing on CBS tonight at 8pm ET/7pm CT called Yes, Virginia, loosely based on the famous letter to the editor of the New York Sun newspaper written by Virginia O'Hanlon. The special looks charming--here is the trailer.



This is not the first time the event has appeared in animated form. Here is a special from 1974 which also dramatizes the story. This special was produced and directed by the late, legendary Peanuts animator Bill Melendez. I've wanted to see this special for years, and now I have the chance along with you. Enjoy!



Thursday, December 10, 2009

Good Will To Men

Following up on yesterday's post of the 1939 MGM cartoon "Peace On Earth," here is a remake of that cartoon entitled "Good Will To Men" from 1955. Produced by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, this cartoon takes the same theme and demonstrates that humans hadn't learned anything since the original cartoon was made. We still haven't.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Peace On Earth

Today I offer one of two very special MGM cartoons, an original from 1939 and a remake from 1955. This original is entitled "Peace On Earth," and features an elderly squirrel teaching a pack of squirrel children the meaning of the titular phrase. This is a cartoon short with an unusually serious tone than most cartoons of the era. It's moving and well worth your time. I'll feature the remake tomorrow. Thanks!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Charlie Brown Christmas Promos and Snoopy's Christmas

A Charlie Brown Christmas airs tonight on ABC at 8pm ET/7pm CT! If you don't plan on watching it, you don't love Christmas! Even though I have the special on VHS tape (and now finally on CD), I still have to watch it when it airs on broadcast TV. There's something special about the communal aspect of watching such a heartwarming program. And of course, as I'm such a Peanuts freak, it's required viewing.

Here is the first promo made for the special, airing way back in 1965.



Here is a quick promo from the 80s for both A Charlie Brown Christmas and, in my opinion, its spiritual counterpart, How The Grinch Stole Christmas. These are the alpha and omega of Christmas specials, and it was always fantastic when they were paired together!



Finally, here is a treat from a creative YouTuber. Someone created a music video for the song "Snoopy's Christmas" with footage from Peanuts specials. It adds up to a holiday delight!



Thanks! Remember to watch the show tonight!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Raggedy Ann & Andy in The Great Santa Claus Caper

The first weekend of December is over, and we inch closer to Christmas. Today we do so by enjoying the adventures of Raggedy Ann and Andy in The Great Santa Claus Caper. one of Santa's reindeer enables their help to ward off an ingenius wolf from spoiling the big day. Thanks!



Friday, December 4, 2009

The Night The Animals Talked

Today I present an animated TV special from 1970 that I've never seen before. The Night The Animals Talked spotlights the animals in the stable with Mary and Joseph on the night of Christ's birth. Below is a commercial for the special followed by the special itself. This looks to be a sweet telling of the first Christmas. Enjoy!



Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christmas in Sweden

Here is an old black and white film from the late 40s/early 50s showing how Christmas is celebrated in Sweden. This film was produced by the Swedish American Line, a shipping line that transported goods between Sweden and America. It's always interesting to see how other countries celebrate the holiday. I especially like the mention of Santa Lucia Day. My wife attended her grandparents' church as a child when they had its yearly celebration of the day. Enjoy!



And in further celebration of Swedish Christmas--sort of--here is one of my favorite Christmas novelty songs, "I Yust Go Nuts at Christmas" by Yorgi Yorgesson, complete with fake Swedish accent. Thanks!


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas Comes But Once A Year

Here is a classic Christmas cartoon from the 1930s called "Christmas Comes But Once A Year." An old toymaker visits an orphanage to fix inferior toys left by Santa Claus. Personally, I have a problem having Santa exposed as being a subpar toymaker, but the cartoon has its charms nonetheless. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas TV Commercials

I hope you enjoyed yesterday's offbeat Christmas commercials. I bring more commercials today with a more traditional feel to them.

This is a cute Pepsi commercial that demonstrates that you don't need to be the newest or flashiest thing to be loved.



Next are three commercials for a different kind of beverage. Enjoy good Christmas times with Budweiser, Miller High Life, and Lowenbrau.





I want these Glass Wax Stencils for my window!



Need help with gifts for the men in your life? Sears can help!



It wouldn't be my blog without a McDonald's commercial!



In this cute clip, the Kelloggs cereal mascots get together to celebrate the holidays.



Finally, here is my favorite of the batch. This is a remake of an older commercial for Corn Flakes in which three young siblings try to stay awake to see Santa as they coax him with Corn Flakes instead of cookies. They're only partially successful in seeing the big guy. What a great commercial!



We're just getting started with great Christmas stuff. Stay tuned!

UPDATE: A quick shout-out to Erick of the Wonderful Wonderblog (which, of course, you should check out). I received the prizes I won from his blog during the Countdown to Halloween. Thanks Erick, you rock!

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