Saturday, December 06, 2014

Rainy Christmas

It was just murky and damp when I got up this morning. I finished Very Merry Christmas Songs as I had oatmeal for breakfast, then moved into more Disney. Mickey's Christmas Carol is Disney's half-hour adaptation of the classic Dickens story, with Mickey as Bob Cratchit and Uncle Scrooge as his namesake Ebeneezer Scrooge.

After I finished my oatmeal and Cranberry Flummery, I headed out. I want to check out the craft fair I saw advertised for a church in Haddon Township. Turns out it wasn't really much of a fair. There were two rooms with one table for kids' crafts and a couple of tables selling knitted or needlepoint ornaments, pins, and magnets, and some beaded or glass jewelry. On the other hand, they were good prices. I bought a red and white crocheted butterfly, a needlepoint poinsettia magnet, and a needlepoint Christmas tree pin for a dollar.

It was starting to shower as I rode home, I spent my remaining hour or so before work crocheting and having a quick bowl of soup for lunch. I ran a couple of religious-themed shorts as I worked. The Small One is Disney's other popular half-hour theatrical short. A little boy tries to sell his tiny, elderly donkey in a large city in ancient times, but has no luck...until he meets a kind man named Joseph who needs a donkey to carry his wife to Bethlehem. Touching and gentle, this lovely tale deserves to be better-known. To my knowledge, it's only available packaged with Mickey's Christmas Carol and a couple of holiday cartoons on two different Disney DVD sets. It's only solo release was on video.

Charlie Brown's mind is also on the more religious side of the holiday in the first and most beloved of the Peanuts prime-time specials, A Charlie Brown Christmas. Chuck's fed up with the constant grab, grab of the holidays and of his friends. He sees a school pageant as a chance to revive his flagging holiday spirit. He's made fun of when he brings home a dilapidated, natural tree after the others requested a huge metal monstrosity. It's Linus who finally reminds them all of what Christmas is really all about.

Rankin-Bass' first of four religious-oriented Christmas specials was The Little Drummer Boy in 1968. (It also featured its first female narrator, Greer Garson). The drummer of the title is Aaron, an orphan who wanders the desert with his animals and his drum music. He hates people because his parents were killed by bandits, which left him believing that all people are evil. Being kidnapped by a troop of traveling players, headed by a wily desert sheikh (Mel Ferrer), doesn't change his mind. It takes an encounter with three wise men and a baby in a manger who can perform miracles to change his mind about people and about love.

I headed to work shortly after Little Drummer Boy ended. By this point, it was pouring, but I had no choice. Everyone I know is at work. I had to ride to the Acme and arrive soaked.

Thankfully, that was the worst that happened all night. We were busy the entire evening. Not only is the weather lousy, but we're still in the beginning of the month. A lot of people are starting to prepare for holiday parties and baking, too.

My schedule next week is, barring any other problems, perfectly normal for this time of year. Only one late day, Monday; otherwise all afternoon and early evening work. Tuesday and Wednesday are off. Good thing, too. It looks like we'll be getting some more nasty weather Tuesday in particular. I wasn't planning on doing another major trip for a while, either. I'll concentrate on wrapping gifts and getting all of the cards and packages that are going out of state to the post office this week.

I had a longer grocery list tonight than I have the past few weeks. I had to restock vegetables and fruit really for the first time since the Farm Market ended. I bought cranberries, apples, bananas, Brussels sprouts, carrots, and grapefruit. Had to restock white and brown sugar before people start buying it for their Christmas baking. Grabbed more of the Acme generic Multi-Grain Cherrios and what looked like the last box of those tasty Cranberry-Sage Triscuits. Picked up a pop-can of pizza dough to make a quick personal pan pizza for dinner.

They had a variation on the spring Duncan Hines velvet recipes that were so well-received on Father's Day, this time in red and green. I bought myself a box. If the mix is as good as it was earlier in the year, I may make Jodie a Red and Green Velvet Cake instead of her usual pudding pie. She loved those red and blue velvet cupcakes so much earlier this year!

The rain was down to a misty shower when I rode home. I still got damp, but nothing like at noon. It's since picked up; I can hear it outside the bedroom window as I type this.

I ran Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed In at the House of Mouse as I put everything away and made what became Spinach, Chicken, and Mushroom Pizza. Mickey and the guests at the House of Mouse are stuck inside, thanks to a huge snowstorm. Don is feeling grouchy, so the others run cartoons both old and new to get him in the spirit of the season. Mickey is at his wit's end when Donald won't respond, but Jiminy Cricket may have the answer.

This is cute if you're a fan of House of Mouse or the regular Disney characters. However, it's also currently out of print and not that easy to find. I wouldn't recommend it unless you don't have Mickey's Christmas Carol (which makes up most of the second half of this "movie") or you want a copy of the hilarious version of "The Nutcracker" with Mickey as the Nutcracker, Minnie as Clara, and of all characters, Donald as the Mouse King.

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