Thursday, December 17, 2020

An Old-Fashioned Christmas

 Awoke to a glowing morning, all clean, fresh, and white. The next-door neighbors own a snow blower and were just clearing off the path to my apartment when I pulled out Tales Told Under the Christmas Tree. This anthology features Hanukkah stories as well as ones for Christmas. My favorite by far is the story of the young boy from Austria coming to live with his aunt and uncle in the US during the Hanukkah season in the late 40's. He's used to Nazi persecution and not being able to openly celebrate his faith, and his relatives' huge party overwhelms him. It takes a special gift to make him feel more at home.

Colliers Harvest of Holidays also features Hanukkah stories. My favorite in this one comes from More All-In-the-Family. The girls are delighted to enjoy their mother's potato pancakes and play the dreidel game at a family party. Henny goes back for her mother's umbrella and ends up with all the nuts she can carry home.

Put on The Bernstein Bears' Christmas Tree while eating breakfast and getting ready for work. Papa Bear takes the cubs up into the mountains to find a real tree in the wilderness. They keep being chased off by animals who don't like them trying to chop down their homes. Papa figures out too late that the animals want to celebrate Christmas, too, but there's a surprise waiting for him and the cubs when they get back to the tree house.

Worked on writing for an hour after the cartoon ended. Tom orders another member of his crew, Robert Walden, to help Gene out and give him more details on the plan. Robert asks Gene about Charles - he was his teacher years ago on land.

Called Uber shortly after I got offline. This time, I had no problems getting there or back. The roads were clear enough for most Uber drivers to get through. Thankfully, the cell phone waited to die on me until I'd already gotten through to a driver. 

Work was...dead as a doornail for most of the afternoon. Even rush hour was mildly steady at most. I did a lot of standing around or cleaning. No major problems at all; was in and out.

Went straight into scrambled eggs with spinach, mushrooms, and cheese for dinner when I got home. Made Cherry-Coconut Bars, the last cookies I give away for Christmas, while watching The Stingiest Man In Town. I go further into the original live-action version of this vintage TV Christmas Carol with Basil Rathbone and Vic Damone at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Did Sale of the Century as I went online. The champ just kept right on dominating. He bought two of the three Instant Bargains and won at least one Fame Game. The other man came on strong in the end, but he just pulled ahead in the Speed Round. Picked up 3,000 on the Match the Prizes board.

(Oh, and from a commercial I caught during Sale, it looks like Buzzr's going to do a Match Game New Year's Eve marathon. On one hand, I'm a bit surprised they're doing this so soon after the Betty White Christmas week. Match Game will likely be a big part of that - Betty made frequent appearances on that show. On the other hand, the Match Game New Year's episodes are hilarious, and I enjoyed watching them on New Year's Eve last year. The marathon will be a great way to end a difficult year on a high note.)

Finished out the night online, writing my review and watching another version of A Christmas Carol. My favorite film version is the 1951 British retelling with Alistair Sim. Sim wonderfully nails Scrooge, especially his redemption in the end. I love how the char woman completely and understandably freaks out in the end when he's giving her money after barely acknowledging her for 30 years. 

Did The Ghost and Mrs. Muir after that ended. "The Ghost and Christmas Past" from the second season is another riff on Christmas Carol. Stingy Claymore Cliegg (Charles Nelson Reilly) finds a baby in his car. He turns it over to Mrs. Muir (Hope Lange) and her family, but barely helps with the money for its care and won't bargain over a Christmas tree. It takes a strange and familiar dream on Christmas Eve to make Claymore realize the importance of charity and giving, especially to family...and the ghost Captain Cliegg realize his dream of being a part of the family. 

Oh, and hope all of you who celebrate it had a wonderful Hanukkah this week! 

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