Thursday, December 06, 2018

Dreaming of Christmas

Slept in this morning and didn't roll out of bed until 10:30. Good thing my only plans for this morning was was finishing the Christmas decorating. I have tons of knick-knacks I only put up once a year, and it took me almost two hours to find places for them all.

Some of them, like Holly the Christmas doll, the small wooden nutcracker, the incense log cabin, and the big resin Santa statue, were gifts. The Eckards Beanie Baby-style star, tree, and candy cane, the stuffed printed elves, the poinsettia-print teddy bear, the folksy gingerbread people and star garland, Max and Ruby's Christmas basket, and the Santa and Mrs. Claus salt and pepper shakers are refugees from Mom's Christmas collection. I found the porcelain teddies in Santa outfits and Winter Cinderella fashion doll at thrift shops. The fabric and plastic poinsettia garland I circle Santa with came from a now-defunct dollar store in Westmont. My Beanie Baby bears Herold the angel, Ginny "The Beginning," Wallace, and Mr. Jingles (1998 Holiday Teddy) and the nifty vintage Disney Christmas tin came from yard sales. Jessa and Joe gave me another Christmas Beanie teddy, Gift the angel. The stoneware reindeer plaque and two hand-painted candle holders came from the McHughs. Lauren gave me the elf-themed basket with the candle votive.

Listened to the Very Special Christmas series while I figured out where everything went. I found the first one on LP at a yard sale last year, and the second on CD at the Voorhees Library fall book sale in October. Unlike most of the other Christmas collection series I own, this one continues on CD and download to this very day. My favorite numbers from the 1987 LP include Madonna's cute version of "Santa Baby," Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band really rocking "Merry Christmas Baby," and Stevie Nicks' lovely "Silent Night." Favorites from the second collection include Ronnie Spector and Darlene Love having fun with "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree," "Jingle Bell Rock" by Randy Travis, and "Christmas Is" by Run D.M.C.

Watched The First Christmas: The Story of the First Christmas Snow while making a Banana-Mocha Smoothie and chocolate chip muffins for lunch. Angela Landsbury narrates this tale as Sister Teresa, a kindly nun who takes in a blinded orphaned shepherd named Lucas. The fussy priest (Cyril Ritchard) thinks he should be in an orphanage, but Teresa persuades him to let the boy stay through the holidays. All Lucas wants for Christmas is to at least feel snow...and he may get his wish on Christmas Eve night, after Teresa helps to rescue his runaway sheep, who were accidentally let loose by three boys who wanted to tease him.

It was past 2:30 when I finally headed out to hit the Haddon Township Library. As it turned out, there wasn't much for me to do there. They were saving the kids' DVDs for someone else, and the others had all been shelved. I went through the adult titles, but that was it. It was so quiet, I was in and out in a half-hour.

I did take out some DVDs. Grabbed A Christmas Carol: The Musical and the Doris Day/Danny Thomas vehicle I'll See You In My Dreams to review at my musical blog. Continued my occasional exploration of the movies of the 90's with The Preacher's Wife, the remake of The Bishop's Wife with an all-black cast that includes Courtney B Vance, Whitney Houston, and Denzel Washington. The library has tons of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood collections. I picked up Recipe for Fun, which seems to focus on food-themed episodes. Also found a collection of holiday episodes of current Disney Junior shows and one of the three-episode Scooby Doo collections, Scooby Doo and the Snow Creatures.

As soon as I got out, I went straight home and on the computer for some writing. Ben Solo, now known as Kylo Ren, watches as the other workers at First Order Savings and Loan - Hux, Phasma, and Umaro - bring him things that had once belonged to a deceased person to sell. Scrooge doesn't hear the man's name, but considering that the list includes things like bed curtains and silver tea spoons and Phasma makes a crack about his blankets being the only warmth he ever had, he gets the idea that the man they took these things from isn't very popular. There's something very familiar about those objects...

Broke at 6 for dinner and to watch I'll See You In My Dreams. I cover this charming take on the life of lyricist Gus Kahn at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog:

I'll See You In My Dreams (1951)

Finished the night after a shower with two Mickey Mouse Christmas specials from the Disney Junior Holiday set. The holiday episodes for Mickey and the Roadster Racers are thankfully intact, with both the Racers and Happy Helpers shorts included. It's a "Happy Hot Diggity Dog Holiday!" when the entire group participate in a scavenger hunt-race to win a star tree-topper. Chip and Dale are hoping to get the star for one another and join Goofy and Donald respectively in the race.

Minnie, Daisy, and Cuckoo Loca  are "Happy Holidays Helpers!" when they're called on to do a series of Christmas-related jobs for the others, like digging Grandpa Beagle out of his front door, untangling Donald, Goofy, and Mickey from a string of lights, and playing elves for Santa Goofy at the local department store. They're so busy, they think they don't have the time to set up for their own Christmas party, but there's a surprise waiting for them when they get back.

Switched to the older Mickey Mouse Clubhouse for "Mickey Saves Santa." Mrs. Claus comes to the Clubhouse to tell the gang that Santa and his sleigh are stuck on top of Mistletoe Mountain! If they can't get him off the mountain by Christmas Eve, there will be no presents! Mickey and Donald head off to rescue him.

The disc includes two Disney gang-themed shorts. "Oh Christmas Tree" is one of the Minnie's Bow-Toons. In this mostly dialogue-free tale, Minnie wants to decorate their tree with bows and pink lights. Daisy wants snowflakes and bright lights. They nearly destroy the tree...until they realize their decorations can work together. Minnie, Daisy, and Cuckoo Loca also turn up in a short from a newer series, Chip n' Dale: Nutty Tales. They're trying to take a photo for their Christmas card in "Snow Bunny's Business." They try to build a snowman for a festive backdrop, but they build it on top of a bunny's hole. They're dismayed when the bunny destroys their creation, but he and his friends make up for it by making their own snow rabbit.

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