Awoke to sunshine this time and a quick breakfast. Watched the original How the Grinch Stole Christmas while I ate. All the Whos down in Whoville like Christmas a lot. Too much, if you ask the grouchy Grinch up on Mount Crumpet. Tired of all the noise on Christmas Day, he dresses as Santa and takes his dog Max to steal their holiday goodies.
Ran Christmas Past while wrapping the lights and garland around the tree. This documentary covers the history of the holidays in England, as told by many of the people who lived it. Among the interviewees are a female Father Christmas, a nobleman who grew up in a Downton Abbey-esque manor house, a woman who got her first nice Christmas when she was evacuated to the country during World War II, and a Scottish couple who celebrated their first Christmas period around the same time.
Switched to Doc McStuffins as I made the bed and vacuumed around the tree. It's "A Very McStuffins Christmas" in the second season when she and her toy buddies discover an elf under the tree Christmas Eve night. The poor fellow is upset because he accidentally broke the Commander Crush toy her brother Donnie wanted badly. Doc and her toys follow him to the North Pole, the only place where a replacement part can be found quickly...but Stuffy gets lost in Santa's workshop and Lambie and Chilly have to go after him.
Amanda was supposed to arrive at 11:30. It was closer to quarter of 12 before she finally pulled in at the curb in front of the pool area. Hillcrest is in the back of Oaklyn on the end of a dead-end street and is hard for a lot of people to find. I slid in, and we headed on our way. Amanda wore her mask for most of the day. Like Lauren, she lives with her parents and was concerned for their health.
We didn't go far. She and I normally hit a diner or a local restaurant when we get together, but most diners don't have outdoor seating. There's outdoor seating on West Clinton, and since the local kids were either in school or taking at-home lessons, they were empty. It got warm enough for us to enjoy coffee, hot chocolate, chicken gyros, and extra-crispy fries from Common Grounds and Phillies Phatties together at the picnic tables.
At least it was a gorgeous day for it. The clouds had been replaced by sunshine and fairly warm temperatures, probably in the lower-mid 50's. It was still a bit windy, but not enough to make eating outside difficult.
When we got back to my place, I showed her around, and we opened gifts. Amanda always gives me fancy lotion and soaps for Christmas, and this year, she found them with kitten labels. She's a vet technician who loves her own pet kitties! I also got two "fragrance mists" from Bath and Body Works and an adorable Hallmark ornament with a kitten climbing on a hamster's cage.
After we opened presents, we started in on the tree. I have so many ornaments, I really can't hang them by myself anymore. There's metallic glass balls I bought from the Family Dollar in North Cape May and fancy glass ornaments Mom gave me for Christmas from Winterwood in Rio Grande. Mom made several folksy felt and cotton ornaments in the 90's, including a folk heart in a circle, a Santa face, and Holly Hobbie in Christmas colors. She made the clothespin toy soldiers, too. We hung candy canes and plastic Family Dollar icicles on the very tips of branches. Put characters like Winnie the Pooh in angel wings, the Disney Cinderella with her mouse friends, and Yogi Bear with his pic-a-nic basket full of candy canes out where Finley can see them when she rushes to the Cabbies. I remembered to hang the gold fabric and wood angel I bought last month from the thrift shop in Collingswood, too.
We finished that so quickly, we dressed the bears and put them under the tree. Mom started this tradition when Dad gave her a big stuffed polar bear in a red knit hat and scarf in 1987. She named him Chester, sat him on her hope chest, and surrounded him with other bears and stuffed animals in old baby winter and Christmas clothes. It was an interactive display. We'd play with them throughout the holiday season, and even swapped their knit hats for tiaras at New Year's. By the turn of the millennium, she'd grown tired of dressing them, and Keefe was too old for the display. After I moved, she turned Chester and the remaining Christmas-only bears and clothes over to me.
Even with doing the bears, there was still plenty of time to put out the rest of the decorations. The big resin Santa statue went on the ledge in my bedroom next to the tree. Winter Cinderella, with her glistening white gown, joins the collectible dolls on the dresser. The metal trays with the Currier and Ives scenes and the big Whitman tin were perfect for the square windows. The Christmas Beanie Babies and stuffed printed elves Mom sewed ages ago went on those empty shelves in the hall, as did the mini-tree I've had since college. Another garland was layered on the entertainment center, with Mom's hand-made stuffed gingerbread people nestled amid the greenery. The big sequin-trimmed snowman stocking Aunt Terri made for me when I was a toddler dangles on the book shelf in the living room; the less glittery one Mom made in the 90's hangs from a metal stocking holder on a window ledge.
Amanda and I sipped iced tea and talked about our difficult and demanding jobs and her problems with her co-workers while Tattletales was on. There was a tie for the second day in a row. This time, Scoey Mitchilll and his tough wife Claire and Bill Daily and his calm wife Pat were the big winners, splitting the pot for the red and "banana" (yellow) sections.
She headed out shortly before Press Your Luck began. Once again, things started slow, with everyone winning something in the first round and no Whammies. The champ and a young man kept swapping turns, and she got hit with Whammies...allowing a Russian refugee to sneak in and win the game.
Finished hanging paper decorations as Press ran. The two candy canes crossed were perfect for the window overlooking the neighbors' house, and some of the larger ones went on the windows overlooking the river. There wasn't room for most of the small ones, though. I still don't want to tape anything on the walls.
Worked on writing after the show ended. Gene awakens in the captain's cabin on board The Golden Medley to find a pretty British redhead nursing him back to health. Dolly Martin, the wife of one of his crewmembers Dick Martin, is worried about her husband. Everyone on The Golden Medley heard the explosion that destroyed The Marauder. She's desperately hoping he was able to get to safety before it blew.
Broke for dinner at 6:30. Match Game '75 began with Charles insisting that he was going to play without his glasses today. Jo Ann Pflug was a little too modest for the audience - and Burt Convy - when she answered a question about what Weird Willie burned to feel liberated. David "Bosley" Doyle worked with a gentleman who wrote several best-selling cookbooks who hit the double for 20,000 on Match Game PM.
Slid gingerbread into the oven while Sale of the Century was on. The champ still dominated, but not to the extent he has the last few days. He keeps jumping in too early on the questions and not having the right answers! Once again, the one woman won at a Fame Game board and the champ bought an Instant Bargain, managed to squeak by in the Speed Round, and won a trip to Jamaica on the Match the Prizes board.
Watched Broadway Hostess on TCM when I went online. I go further into this small-scale nightclub melodrama at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.
Finished the night on YouTube before the Match Game '90 premiere with the Dean Martin Christmas Show from 1972. For a show that starts with Martin singing his hit "Marshmallow World" and ends with cop Dom DeLouise giving Santa a ticket, this isn't really that Christmas-feeling. Most of the numbers are standards heard at any time of the year, including a medley of Jerome Kern songs in the finale. I did think a sequence with Dean chatting while getting his hair done by barbers DeLouise and Nipsey Russell was pretty funny.
Here's the full special, to be played in the background of your own holiday cocktail party!