Saturday, December 01, 2018

It's the Holiday Season, Charlie Brown

It was still sunny when I rolled out of bed this morning. I celebrated the nice day and the beginning of the holiday season with breakfast and A Charlie Brown Christmas. Chuck is frustrated by the way his friends seem to care more about what they're getting for the holidays this year than what they're giving. Lucy suggests he direct the school Christmas pageant, but the kids don't listen to him and seem to be more interested in turning it into a jazz concert. He and Linus are ordered to bring back a tree. They find a tiny green tree, but are ridiculed for not buying one of the glittery tinsel trees that were in style during the 1960's. It's Linus who finally reminds the group of what the holiday is really all about.

Moved on to It's Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown while doing dishes and getting organized. This later special from 1992 drops the linear story in favor of a series of skits about the Peanuts and their holiday activities. Snoopy acts as a Salvation Army Santa. Sally writes to Mrs. Claus. Peppermint Patty tries to avoid school work and attends Handel's Messiah with Marcie. They both end up in the school Christmas pageant, along with Sally, who tries very hard to remember her one line. Meanwhile, Chuck sells wreaths door-to-door to earn money for gloves for the Little Red Haired girl.

First stop of the day was the laundromat. I had a big load this week, including towels. While it was busy, it wasn't quite as bad as last week. I easily managed to get a washer and a dryer. Worked on story notes and ignored the dull nature shows on TV.

Went home to put everything away and have an Apple-Banana-Cranberry Smoothie for lunch. Listened to Old Navy Classic Christmas, a collection of vocal and big-band holiday selections, while folding my load. Switched to a condensed Peter Pan children's record version of A Christmas Carol during lunch. The unique thing about this one is how Scrooge remembers things he said or did to others (mainly from the opening chapter) in flashbacks as he travels through time with the Ghosts.

Went back out after lunch. I had a few quick errands to run, starting with a short stop at the Oaklyn Library. I've had bags of books and DVDs to donate back there for months, but I'd either not have time to bring them, or would forget about them. Dropped two bags with the librarians, who were pretty much the only people there by quarter of 1. They were sorting through them when I headed out.

The clouds were starting to gather, even as I rode down the White Horse Pike to Dollar General. I spotted yet another mouse in the kitchen. Picked up a mouse trap, along with sponges and a few small things for Amanda.

Did a few chores when I got home. I made the bed, mainly to keep all the blankets I use during the winter from falling off it, then scrubbed the kitchen. It was fairly grungy, probably due to my eating more at home lately.

Ran A Garfield Christmas Special while I cleaned. Garfield's not too happy when Jon drags him and Odie to his parents' farm for the holidays, but he eventually bonds with Jon's tough, sarcastic grandmother. While Jon and his brother Doc Boy beg their father to read them stories about Binky the Clown, Odie makes a gift of his own, and Garfield finds something in the barn that may make Grandma's Christmas a little merrier.

Spent the rest of the afternoon working on my story. Scrooge follows Lando, Anakin, and Ben to outside a work house. Leia and her helpers Kes and Poe Dameron give out Christmas boxes and clothing. Lando donates food from his tavern, while Ben gives out books and Poe and Finn greet each other as good friends. Ben says he's proud of the work Leia does, but she wishes she could do so much more.

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Had leftovers, then made the Apples Rolled In Autumn cookies from that one-bowl cookie cookbook Lauren sent me last year. Oh yum! It's basically an apple-spice cookie, and it comes out amazing. The lady who wrote it is right that it's apple crisp in a cookie form.

Worked on the cookies while watching the 1991 animated Beauty and the Beast. I cover one of my favorite Disney movies at my Musical Dreams Reviews blog.

Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Finished the night watching The Nutcracker Prince on YouTube. This 1990 Canadian animated movie is one of the few versions of The Nutcracker that sticks more to the original story The Hard Nut than to the ballet. Clara (Meghan Follows) is given a nutcracker (Kiefer Sutherland) by her Uncle Drosselmeyer (Peter Boretski) for Christmas that has quite a backstory. He was once a young man who cracked a very hard nut for a princess under the spell of the wicked Mouse Queen (Phyllis Diller). Angry, the Queen turned him into a nutcracker. She died shortly after, leaving her son (Mike MacDonald) the new Mouse King. Clara stops the Mouse King from harming her beloved Nutcracker and her other dolls twice. After the second time, the Nutcracker brings her to the Land of Dolls. He wants her to live there forever, but she's not a doll...and there's still the Mouse King to contend with...

Yet another imitation Disney animated film from the 90's. I actually find this one to be quite charming, especially the fine voice cast and decent animation. It is on DVD, but you might be better off watching it online.

The Nutcracker Prince

Incidentally, the rain finally started while I was making the bed. It's showered, though never heavily, for the rest of the night. It's supposed to continue through tomorrow morning; we'll see how that goes.

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