Monday, December 05, 2016

Preparing for the Holidays

It was raining when I got up this morning. By the time I got to breakfast, the rain was gone and the sun was starting to emerge. Ran Santa Claus Is Coming to Town while I ate. Another Rankin-Bass stop-motion classic, this one is their version of the origins of everyone's favorite holiday gift-giver. Kris Kringle (Mickey Rooney) is an orphan raised by a group of toy-making elves in the mountains. He tries to bring their wares to Sombertown in the valley below them, but the cranky Burgomeister Meister Burger has outlawed toys. When Kris insists on ignoring the town's rules, he's declared an outlaw...but time has a way of making outlaws into legends. Kris' legacy will outlast the burgomeister and become one of the most beloved of all time.

Made my bed, then dusted the entertainment area for the next hour and a half. This is where the TV, DVD player, Wii, DVDs, video games, and non-fiction books on media are. (The CD player is also in here, mainly so I can listen to the radio on it.) I'm doing a thorough dusting, which means moving everything and dusting under it. I also cleared out a bunch of items I hadn't read or listened to or looked at in ages, mainly books, CDs, and cassettes. (I just cleared out the DVDs not long ago.)

Put on a couple of dubbed specials as I worked. Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus tell the tale of the little girl who wrote to the New York Sun asking about the existence of Santa, and the editor's touching answer.

Papa Bear and the cubs are determined to find The Bernstein Bears' Christmas Tree, come heck or high snow. Unfortunately, every tree they decide on is already the home to woodland critters. The animals whose homes they spared have a surprise waiting for them at their tree house!

Bugs Bunny's Christmas Tales is a Chuck Jones anthology of three original Looney Tunes holiday shorts. The first is a condensed Christmas Carol, with Yosemite Sam as Scrooge and Bugs as Nephew Fred. The second has Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner chasing each other through the snow. Taz and Bugs headline the third, which has Bugs mistaking Taz for Santa when he accidentally ends up in the big guy's red suit.

Headed out around 1 to run a quick errand. I wanted to get to the Oaklyn Library to do some volunteering and drop off my donation. They were busy for them, with a couple of older women on the computers and CNN on the TV. I organized DVDs and took a look at the board books. My donation was appreciated. The librarian said one of those ladies grabbed a book before she could even organize it.

When I got home, I had a quick lunch while watching Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales. The fourth and final (to date) Peanuts holiday show was really just created to fill out airspace with Charlie Brown Christmas. That said, there is some cute material here, including Sally writing to "Samantha Claus" and how she gets a tree and Snoopy dressed as a corner Santa.

Spent the next hour and a half cleaning the bedroom. The bedroom takes forever to dust. This is where I keep most of my collections - my toys, stuffed animals, dolls, action figures, and fiction and children's books. All of those things have to be moved in order to clean under them. It can take a while, and that's when I don't stop to read the books! Listened to instrumental holiday albums while I worked, including three Manheim Steamroller cassettes, my two Glenn Miller Orchestra "In the Christmas Mood" cassettes, and the last Happy Holidays CD I didn't do yesterday, which has a mostly classical selection.

After I finally finished, it was time to put up the first Christmas decorations of the season. I keep anything that needs to go out first - the garlands, nativity, wreath, mistletoe, placemats, linens, box of New Year's party items, and poinsettia magnet. Most of these are pretty easy to figure out, except the garlands. They get draped over all the windows in the house. Trouble is, it's hard to tack them into the wooden panels on the walls in most of the apartment. The majority of them are twist-tied to unused curtain rods.

Once the decorations were up, I did some writing. Chewbacca and Rey free Han. She sends the duo to rescue Leia. To her horror, Ben has gotten the Nutcracker on the ground. He's already sliced his arm and back and is close to hacking him into splinters.

To her surprise, she manages to call the blue rock candy sword to her hand. When it does, it changes her into a beautiful fairy princess, the Dewdrop Fairy. She's now ready to take on Ben head - and wings - on.

Broke for dinner around 6:30. Made a fried egg and cheese wrap and Cranberry Flummery while watching Frosty the Snowman. We return to Rankin-Bass for the tale of a snowman who comes to life, thanks to a magician's hat. When it starts to get warmer, a little girl and a rabbit vow to return him to the North Pole...but the lousy magician who once owned that hat wants it back and is on their trail.

Finished the night with Lego Star Wars. I like Indiana Jones. His blaster has stronger bullets than the lasers used by most of the characters, and the whip makes him useful as a long-range fighter. He's also got this nifty metalic sheen on him. I tried "Secret Plans," "Falcon Flight," "Betrayal Over Bespin," and "Jedi Battle" and managed to complete the latter two.

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