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…haul out the holly

…Rudolph made us do it…

It’s the final weekend before Thanksgiving, and the annual Christmas debate is in full swing.  Everyone seems to be complaining or commenting on the same question—How early is too early?…for holiday decorations.

For the sake of full disclosure: our Christmas tree went up yesterday.  And for the sake of even fuller disclosure: Bing Crosby is crooning in the background while this is being written.

Yes, we’re “those” people.

In our defense once you’ve seen Mickey Mouse and Santa Claus ride down Michigan Avenue lighting up the holiday lights it’s hard to not go home and throw garland and twinkling lights on anything that will hold them.

But at the same time, we get it.  Thanksgiving deserves its chance to shine, and with holiday lights going up the week before Halloween, it becomes more invisible with each passing year.  Or does it?

In a way it’s accomplished the impossible, it has avoided the horrible commercialization fate that has befallen Christmas and even Halloween.

Can you imagine the horror of changing your holiday decor for three straight months? Putting away the plastic jack-o-lanterns, just to haul out the parade of Pilgrims, followed by the marching penguins and other assorted North Pole creatures. It sounds exhausting.

So, next time you get up on your soap box to protest the juggernaut that the holidays have become, take a moment and be thankful.  It could be worse.

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…bi-daily smile…

…freeze frame

It’s the home stretch before Christmas, so we had to make this Friday a Christmas Flick Friday.

But why would we stop there when we can do a full marathon of favorite Christmas movies leading up to the big day itself?

And what better way to start it than with those stop-motion classics, the Rankin/Bass  holiday specials.

I know, I know, it doesn’t seem fair to make them all share a day.  With classics like Santa Claus is Coming to Town, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and The Year Without a Santa Claus, and the list goes on and on, they could easily have had their own Christmas countdown (and then some).

If you have never seen one of these movies you have my pity and my strong recommendation that you remedy that problem immediately.

These movies contain traditional holiday messages and valuable life lessons.  For example:

  • Adults don’t believe in Santa Claus period (unless you’re the father of the protagonist)
  • Magic only works if you’re pre-nice list conversion (Winter Warlock) or Santa Claus.
  • Mother Nature can fix anything, including sibling rivalries.

Of course they don’t answer all of the questions, for instance:

  • Why did The Little Drummer Boy need a sequel?
  • Why did Mrs. Claus give up her totalitarian teaching position ( I don’t recall any other school teachers in Sombertown) for a man?
  • Why was Jack Frost not even a little bit sad about having to sacrifice his mortal form and perhaps true love in order to save the woman he loved?

Ah well, sometimes difficult choices must be made, a lesson that these classics have taught us, even if certain underlying plot points are a little dated.

Love them or hate them, but you can’t deny these gems have become a permanent part of the holiday season.

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….bi-daily smiles…

…it’s not exclusively Christmas, but it’s surprisingly poignant:

…Trim Back

There aren't fewer presents, the tree is just bigger.

You better watch out.  You better not cry, and you better not pout because Santa is profiling this year.

Yes, never fear, spineless parents, this year you don’t have to say,”no.” Santa can do it for you.

With the tough economic times, Santa is having to do a lot more than sit and smile for the photo at local shopping malls this year.

Sizing up financial circumstances and managing expectations have also been added to his repetoire.

You don’t even have to work on your Santa hand signals this year. Just make sure you dress appropriately for your current station in life. Especially if little Timmy has expensive tastes.

Sort of makes the ridiculously high price for the photo (and the joy/terror on your child’s face) seem worth it. Just think of how much you’re actually saving.
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More on the Story: NY Times

…just for fun:

…wonder

Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus.

~Francis Pharcellus Church, New York Sun, September 21, 1897

It’s been well over a century since an eight year old girl named Virginia wrote a letter to the New York Sun asking, “Is there a Santa Claus?”

The famous editorial response: “Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus” has become a beautiful and touching part of the fabric of American holiday traditions (with a little help from Macy’s).

It’s a timeless testament to faith, curiosity, and the honesty with which we all come into this world.

Of course, when the letter was originally written in 1897 the options for discovering the veracity of the tale of St. Nick were limited.

Today’s kids can very easily look to Google for guidance.  Which, along with connecting a story of childhood wonder and innocence to a department store ad campaign, makes  this blogger a little sick.

What have we done?

We can instantly connect to just about everybody on the planet and answer our own pressing questions (usually about what’s his name in that one movie) in a matter of seconds, but at what price?

Kids can text, track, e-mail, and Skype with Santa.  The jolly old elf is plugged in and easy to reach with just the click of a mouse.

Where’s the magic?

How he manages to have time to get ready for Christmas (let alone circumnavigate the globe in one night) is beyond me.

Will technology kill Santa?

No.  Santa is bigger than the Internet.   He is magic, and nothing can or will ever change that.

As far as we may advance, there are some things that will always remain.  For the true believers among us, the spirit of the season is untouchable, and no web page can dampen true spirit.

…he lives and he lives forever.  A thousand years from now, VIRGINIA, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

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“Is Tech Friend or Foe to Santa Claus?”: USA TODAY

…bi-daily smile…

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