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Christmas Favorites — Part II

December 17, 2011

Since part one of my Christmas favorites covering food, drinks, and music (which can be found here), not much has changed. I’m in the same spot, surrounded by the same Christmas decorations. I still have a mug of peppermint tea by my side. The difference is the lack of music. Yes, no music. I just finished reading a book by one of my favorite authors and will be using a Christmas movie as my background noise instead of my favorite Michael Bublé album.

Being an avid supporter of the ebook movement, it felt weird to set down with a physical copy of a book by an author I adore. However, I can’t quite replicate the accomplished feeling of closing a book I just finished on my NOOK. So, I embraced it and sat down in the chair next to a fake burning fire and read Holidays On Ice by David Sedaris. Holidays On Ice is a collection of six Christmas-themed stories which add up to a mere 140 pages making this an extremely quick read. Such a quick read, I didn’t move for three hours and finished it in one sitting. The book delivers what it promises: Christmas stories. However, they are Christmas stories told in a sarcastic, witty manner that exemplifies what I love about David Sedaris. The opening story, Santaland, is the tale of his adventure at the age of 33 as a full-time Macy’s Santaland elf. Yes, it’s as funny as it sounds. The story follows his daily activities as an elf, the training to become an elf, and what was my favorite: interacting with children and their parents. My second favorite story in the collection was Dinah, the Christmas Whore. Yes, that is really a story’s title in the book. In short, it’s the adventure of David and one of his sisters to rescue a prostitute from a bad place and amazingly this experience becomes a great memory to bond his family together.

I don’t necessarily have many favorite books that are centered around a Christmas theme mainly because I’m usually more into nonfiction pieces similar to memoirs and personal essays. However, Holidays On Ice definitely fit that ticket, providing just that with holiday flair and a healthy dose of humor.

Changing topics to movies… I have a few things to point out beforehand. Firstly, do not expect me to list A Christmas Story as one of my favorites. I loathe that movie. Secondly, I worked at Hollywood Video for two years so I at least act like my taste in film is impeccable, though these may not be the best examples. Lastly just remember, “the best way to spread Christmas cheer, is singing loud for all to hear.”

As I’m sure you may have assumed after the last line, Elf is definitely my favorite Christmas movie. It is extremely quotable, Will Ferrell is absolutely hilarious, he also looks ridiculous (in a good way) dressed as an elf, and the soundtrack is spot on. While working at Hollywood Video, Elf would go into the DVD player usually before Thanksgiving and would stay there until New Year’s. I always made sure of that. What isn’t to love? My only complaint is that it isn’t real. That is all.

My second favorite Christmas movie is easily How The Grinch Stole Christmas with Jim Carrey. Similarly to Elf, I find nothing wrong with it. It is simply perfect. It makes me laugh and it even pulls on my heart strings. Max makes me want to venture out until I have found a dog exactly like that, only allowed to come home if my mission is a success. Add to all this Where Are You Christmas? performed by Faith Hill and I’m all over it.

Next up as odd as it sounds, is Arnold Schwarzenegger’s gem of a movie, Jingle All the Way. I’ll be honest about this one. I have no idea why I love it so much. There is just something about it I love. Certainly not Arnold’s acting… But I digress.

Other movies I enjoy this time every year include a few obvious ones such as Home Alone, Babes in Toyland, and The Polar Express. One Christmas movie I love yet am embarrassed to admit is To Grandmother’s House We Go starring the Olsen twins. Similar to Jingle All the Way, not sure why I love it, but I do. A made-for-TV Christmas movie I watched often as a child is A Mom For Christmas. Can I tell you who is in it? Not without consulting IMDB. I will say that had it been released this year, everyone would love it and be crying: it’s that kind of made-for-TV movie. I haven’t seen it in what feels like ages, but I know it is lurking somewhere on a VHS waiting for me to find it.

Similar to music, I feel that movies are necessary to completely get into the spirit of Christmas. However, I’m always left wishing that my favorite Christmas movies were instead my Christmas reality. I have recently decided if I want the Christmas movie reality, I need to get this ball rolling. The next phone call I receive will be answered: “Buddy the elf, what’s your favorite color?”

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