Nathan (vovat) wrote,
Nathan
vovat

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Hooray for Santy Claus!

Hey, it's Christmas Eve! Honestly, I'm probably more excited by the lead-up to Christmas than by the actual day. I'm not that great at picking out gifts, and this year I'm not even sure when I'll be able to bring my family their gifts. I do have some comments on Christmas-related media for you, though.

bethje loaned me her copy of A John Waters Christmas, a collection of twelve Christmas songs that Waters himself picked out. It includes Tiny Tim (the "Tiptoe Through The Tulips" guy, not the "God bless us, every one" kid) singing "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer," the Chipmunks singing "Sleigh Ride," and two songs schmaltzy enough as to give "Christmas Shoes" a run for its money in that department. One is about a kid wishing Jesus a happy birthday, and the other about a little girl in an orphanage.

On Saturday night, we watched the Mystery Science Theater 3000 version of Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. MST3K was a show that I liked when I was able to watch it, but thanks to not having cable, I really didn't see that much. It's something with a really simple concept, endless potential for humor, and weird copyright issues that pretty much guarantee there will never be a complete DVD set.

Last night's holiday viewing was Home Alone, a movie that I've seen God knows how many times. But hey, that's what I'm supposed to do, right? I remember the commercials that had kids bragging about how many times they'd seen it. I think it might be the first film that I can recall being advertised that way. Of course, even a kid will probably start noticing all the stuff that doesn't make any sense after seeing it multiple times. One thing that Beth has pointed out a few times is Kevin's increasing bloodlust. Most of the stuff he does to the burglars is in self-defense, but it gets to the point where he's not content to just trap them, but starts taunting them and enjoying their pain. I actually only saw Home Alone once in a theater. I think the only movies I saw multiple times on the big screen were Aladdin and The Lion King. Oh, and I think Star Wars as well, although I barely paid attention the first time. At least, I seem to remember my dad taking me to see it and my not being interested, but the first Star Wars movie came out the year I was born, so it must have either been one of the sequels or a re-release of the original. I don't know. Getting back to the main topic, I'll admit that I did see Home Alone 2 in the theater. I can just imagine the brainstorming session that went into that movie. "Kids loved Home Alone, so let's make the same exact movie again. Only this time, we'll set it somewhere else, and remove any semblance of realism." I didn't see the third or fourth one, though, aside from a few minutes of one of them on TV. Not only was it terrible, but it had as much to do with the first two as Halloween 3 did with the rest of that series.

Finally, I just watched Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town, which I might have seen as a kid, but I can't quite remember. It's a different origin story from The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus (which, of course, was also adapted by Rankin-Bass in later years), but I have to wonder if the writers were familiar with L. Frank Baum's story, since it included some of the same elements (the young Claus being abandoned and adopted by magical beings, his hanging around with animals, enemies trying to stop Santa from delivering his toys). It also incorporated some elements that weren't standard in Baum's time but were by 1970, like the North Pole home and Mrs. Claus (Baum's Santa was apparently an old bachelor). Comin' to Town implies that Santa is Teutonic, even though the real St. Nicholas was supposed to have been Turkish. A lot of our current Christmas traditions do have German origins, though, and I believe Santa Claus as we know him was largely a Dutch creation. I've read that the earliest versions of A Visit from St. Nicholas gave the last two reindeer's names as the Dutch Dunder and Blixem, although they were later changed to the more familiar German Donner and Blitzen.
Tags: albums, holidays, movies, television
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