Wednesday, December 18, 2019

More Christmas Favorites

I enjoyed Thomas’ post on Monday about favorite Christmas movies and books, though I have to admit I’m always taken aback when someone names Die Hard as their favorite Christmas movie. I don’t really think of it as a Christmas movie. I think of it as a great action flick. But, hey, what makes a Christmas movie, anyway? It is set around Christmastime so I guess that’s good enough.

I read my share of Christmas cozies. Any time there’s a Christmas-ish cover on a mystery I check it out so I was pretty excited when I got a chance to write my own mystery set around Christmas, Ghosts of Painting Past. It’s the latest (and 5th) installment in my Aurora Anderson mystery series.

My personal favorite Christmas book is Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. I try to read it around this time every year or at least have Patrick Stewart read it to me. Not in person, alas, but he did record a wonderful audio version years ago when cassette tapes were still common. I believe it was reissued on audio CD in the early 2000s.

Not surprisingly, my absolute favorite Christmas movie is a version of the story: The Muppet Christmas Carol from 1992. Michael Caine is great as Scrooge and you can’t beat Gonzo as the narrator, Kermit as Bob Cratchit and Miss Piggy as Mrs. Cratchit. Plus there are some nice songs. My second favorite is Holiday Inn which Thomas also mentioned. I've seen both of them more times than I can count.

We can’t forget those TV specials, though. I grew up on A Charlie Brown Christmas and Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, both of which debuted in the 1960s. I have them on DVD and still enjoy them to this day.

Then there’s the Christmas music. I have a huge selection of holiday music from Big Band versions of songs to Bing Crosby to Chris Botti’s Christmas album to Lindsey Stirling and Barry Manilow and Michael Buble and, well you get the picture. But my favorite Christmas album of all times is one I remember from my childhood, one that my father picked up at our local Firestone tire store. Yep, tire store. Back in the 60s and 70s, both Firestone and Goodyear produced some great albums that they either gave away or sold in their stores for $1. Firestone produced 7 volumes. The one we had was Volume 4, which included songs by Julie Andrews, Vic Damone, The Young Americans and Dorothy Kirsten among others. I played it over and over again growing up. Two songs in particular that I love are on this album: Julie Andrew singing The Bells of Christmas and Dorothy Kirsten and the Young Americans singing I Wonder as I Wander.

I hope you all are having a wonderful holiday season and get a chance to enjoy your own favorite books, movies, TV shows and music with your friends and family.


Donna S said...

I just love these lists of favourite Christmas movies and books. I can never resist watching Chevy Chase and the group in "Christmas Vacation" - must have watched it a hundred times and still roll on the floor laughing. I have one movie on video called "One Magic Christmas" with Mary Steenburgen which is just wonderful and was pulled as there is a fella who sits in a tree but people thought he looked like a child molester so the movie has been pulled and never shown. It is a real tear jerker and hubby and I watch it every year. Another favourite is "A Christmas Story" about the boy who wants the Daisy rifle. And Miracle on 34th Street - the old one with Natalie Wood. And "A Christmas Carol" with Alastair Sim.

Sybil Johnson said...

I've heard the bit about One Magic Christmas before but still haven't seen it. And I love A Christmas Story too.