. . . or, A Visit From Saint Nicholas
Well, I didn’t mean to take three weeks off from posting; I hope you’ve all been able to get along without me. In my absence from Medleyana, I’ve been writing and revising some fiction, as well as participating in the family and church activities that come with the season. As soon as anything comes of those projects, readers here will be the first to know it. I will also have a post on my favorite films and other pop culture of the year soon, but I’m still trying to squeeze a few things in before I make a definitive list. And to make up for my absence, I’ve arranged to have Santa Claus himself, Saint Nicholas, drop by to greet all my loyal readers!
In the mean time, I wish you all a happy, peaceful, and safe Christmas, and a prosperous New Year. And for my readers who don’t celebrate Christmas, I wish you a joyous holiday season! I hope you get what you’re wishing for, be it a set of chimes or a collection of holiday-themed novelty songs.
When I was a kid, this was the time of year for television holiday specials: classics like A Charlie Brown Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, of course, but also specials tied into newspaper comic strips like Garfield, Ziggy, For Better or for Worse, and . . . Doonesbury? Thanks to nostalgic Gen-Xers on the Internet and the magic of YouTube, those not-so-classic specials have gotten some renewed attention in recent years, but there are still gaps: for example, I’m still sure that I saw a Doonesbury Christmas special in the early 1980s that wasn’t the award-winning A Doonesbury Special from 1977, but I can find nothing about it. Can anyone help me out?
I like the fact that prime-time animated Christmas specials have made a comeback in recent years, even if I’m not always that excited about them (sorry, Prep & Landing: your shtick is just too similar to The Santa Clause). This year’s Elf: Buddy’s Musical Christmas, while cute, didn’t really hit the heights of the 2003 feature film on which it is based, and even the beloved Toy Story franchise only left me lukewarm with its latest installment, Toy Story That Time Forgot. Well, they can’t all be classics.
Speaking of a classic, let’s check in on the titular star of How the Grinch Stole Christmas! and see how he’s dealing with the pressures of fame:
Hmm. Oh. I see. It just goes to show: the holidays are rough on a lot of people. Let’s give the Grinch some space; we’ll check back on him later. But wait! Is that the merry sound of jingle bells I hear? Is Santa here?
Oh. . . . No, it’s just the False Santa from Elf, stirring up trouble. (NB: So there are two movies that combine Will Ferrell and Lego cities; I don’t know what that means, but I think Internet Law requires there to be a mash-up now, right?)
While we wait, how about some visuals to get into the Christmas spirit? What could be more festive than the 1954 film White Christmas?
So, this is . . . a pageant? A Living Nativity? I don’t see any snow.
Moving on, maybe Santa is here?
Oh, not quite. But what about those classic Rankin/Bass specials like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer? Surely, there must be plenty of iconic Christmas characters we can while away a cold Christmas Eve with? Like these guys:
And let’s not forget:
And then there’s The Leprechaun’s Christmas Gold; nothing says “Christmas” like leprechauns:
And what are the leprechauns staring at, Spielberg-style? Is it Santa?
Nice try. But wait! I think I hear him: it’s Santa, tapping at our windowpane! How festive!
Let’s let him in! What’s that, Santa? Okay, we can hug. I mean, sure, why not?
Wait! Aagh! No! Is there no end to these False Santas?
Well, to be fair, the real Santa Claus is very busy this time of year; but I bet you’ll never complain about your office Secret Santa again! Anyway, it’s not too soon to start dreaming about next Christmas! Season’s Greetings!