Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Star In the East

I spent an off-and-on sunny morning where I've been for most of the week - in the kitchen, this time making Cranberry Bread for my next-door neighbors. Ran Christmas In Connecticut as I worked. Elizabeth Lane (Barbara Stanwyck) is one of the most popular magazine columnists in America, a model housewife and mother whose menus and advice are beloved by her readers. In reality, she's a city girl who can't boil water and gets the tantalizing recipes from her older friend Felix (S.K Sakall). When her boss (Sydney Greenstreet) invites himself and a handsome soldier (Dennis Morgan) to her non-existent farm for Christmas, she panics...until she remembers that the boring architect who has been constantly proposing to her has a farm. She accepts his proposal, then wishes she hadn't when she meets the good-natured, fun-loving soldier. It's a long and crazy holiday, but in the end, Elizabeth does finally learn that honesty really is the best policy, especially where love is concerned.

A cute romantic screwball comedy with a great cast. I especially like Sakall and Greenstreet as the two very different bosses. Recommended for fans of romantic comedy, the cast, or those looking for lighter holiday fare.

The Christmas In Connecticut DVD I have comes with the Oscar-winning 1941 short A Star In the East. J. Carrol Naish plays an embittered Italian motel owner who believes that people are only out for their own gain. A kindly wayfarer tries to persuade him otherwise, but all Nick sees at first are the obnoxious, demanding people who are renting rooms in his motel. At least until a young Hispanic couple shows up, looking for a room. It turns out the woman is pregnant...and the reactions of Nick's customers reminds everyone that goodwill is more abundant than you might think.

Switched to the Rankin-Bass special The First Christmas Snow as I made Dark Chocolate Cranberry Muffins to take to work for dinner. Lucas is an orphan shepherd who is blinded in a lightning storm. He stays with the kindly nuns and priest of a local church while they try to figure out what to do with them. He's especially fond of Sister Theresa (Angela Landsbury), who tells him about this wondrous thing called snow.

Did the other Christmas episode of Perfect Strangers as I ate leftovers for lunch and got ready for work. The fourth season episode "Gift of the Mypiot" has Balki and Larry staying in Chicago for the holidays this time. They're both excited about their big party on Christmas Eve, at least until Balki invites his obnoxious boss Mr. Gorpley to join the festivities. Gorpley is a jerk to everyone and doesn't make himself very welcome. It turns out he never had a real Christmas, but Balki knows how to make his holiday a little merrier.

Work was pretty much the same as it has been for the past week - busy during rush hour, steady-to-quiet otherwise. Other than a few mildly cranky customers, there were no major problems, and I was in and out.

My friends Linda and James Young from Atlanta, Georgia sent me a package. It was on my front steps before I left for work, but I didn't have a chance to open it until after I'd gotten home. There were three wrapped gifts. One was to be opened Christmas Eve, one Christmas Day, and one now. The "now" package held a sweet yellow wooden star with glitter and my name on it that Linda made herself, a beautiful bookmark with beads, shell, typewriter, and "Believe" charms on the end, and a book of inspirational Christmas short stories called The Spirit of Christmas. Good idea - I was going to read Christmas short stories next week after I finish my traditional chapter-a-day reading of A Christmas Carol. Thank you, Linda and James!

No comments: