Saturday, December 04, 2010

Christmas countdown 2010: 21 days to go!

Today, enjoy the movie trailer for one of the greatest Christmas movies of all time, the 1951 version of A Christmas Carol. Alastair Sim is absolutely wonderful as the grumpy Scrooge... and equally as convincing as the newly reformed happy Scrooge! This is an absolute delight. Do yourself a favour and don't bother with the colourized version. Stick with the original black-and-white edition.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Christmas countdown 2010: 22 days to go!

Today's Christmas countdown video is a wonderful 1949 Donald Duck cartoon called Toy Tinkers. If you're like me, you've likely seen this throughout your childhood on television many times.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Christmas countdown 2010: 23 days to go!

Today, it's time to enjoy one of the most beloved pop Christmas songs of all time: The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late).

Believe it or not, the song was #1 on the Billboard singles chart for four weeks -- from December 22, 1958, to January 18, 1959 -- and remains the last Christmas song to hit #1 on any of the U.S. Billboard charts.

Not everyone gets enthused about the Christmas holiday

Hump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Moncton Times & Transcript
Editorial section

Well, the holiday season is upon us and the demands on our time are going to be more than what we're used to. While the quiet Christmas Eve filled with soft music, a beautifully lit tree, the dog and cat cuddled up next to the fire and the kids fast asleep waiting for Santa are all picture-perfect, it takes a heck of a lot of work to get to that point.

Let's just say that the house may not be quiet and peaceful because it was planned that way. Everyone may be just too exhausted to stay awake!

If your pets are like mine, they spend most of their time playing with the tree ornaments while you're not looking. To cats, especially, all those tangling ornaments are like magnets to a piece of metal. At some point, they're going to connect when they get close. It just can't be helped.

The lead up to the holidays is extraordinarily busy for everyone. There are gifts to buy, decorations to put up, cards to send, people to see, and lots of cooking!

Everyone wants the perfect holiday.

I'm no different. Like many others, I pretty much go crazy at this time of the year. In the next week or so, I'm sure I could attend a Christmas party every night of the week if I were so inclined. Every business group, company and association is having some sort of soirée to thank their clients and friends for a wonderful 2010 and to get a head start on chatting about the business and work to be done starting Jan. 1.

Every year, I promise myself that I won't get too caught up in the craziness but wanting to be perfect during the holidays is an affliction that many of us suffer from at this time of the year. Everything has to be just "so" and everyone has to be happy. While that may not be the case for everyone, I think it's an honourable thing that so many of us try especially hard at this time of year to make others happy. I think it certainly shows in the faces and moods of people around us.

While many of us love the holidays, the same can't be said of some. The holidays, for them, represent sadness or stress. For some, a special person in their life may have passed away during the holidays or some other personal tragedy befell them such as a marriage breakup, accident or illness. For others, especially those with not-so-happy family lives, the holidays mean memories of a lot of arguing and tears.

It's a sad statement that most of the people I know who don't like the holidays have terrible memories of an alcoholic parent. Holidays during childhood were spent cleaning up messes, avoiding a drunken tyrant or spending their time being embarrassed by a liquored-up mother or father who ruined family gatherings.

While those of us who did not have to deal with an alcoholic parent as a child associate the holidays with toys, happiness and time off from school, those who lived with a parent who drank too much associate it with everything bad about life - only exaggerated. When I hear Jingle Bells, it puts me in a good mood.

When the people I know who grew up with an alcoholic parent hear Jingle Bells, they're conditioned to dread the next few weeks.

Let's just say that if the parent drank a lot before, when the holidays arrived it just got exponentially worse. It was bad enough when there was no "reason" to drink (not that alcoholics need a reason), but when there was indeed a "reason" (i.e. the period from mid-December to New Year's that we normally associate with the term "holidays"), then it was just that much worse.

I can't imagine having to have grown up like that. I'm glad I didn't. The worst thing that happened to me was trying to get to sleep with burning eyes from all the cigarette smoke in the house. Growing up with two parents who smoked meant that I was more or less used to the smoke, but when the air in the house was literally blue due to a gaggle of smoking adult relatives over to visit and play cards on Christmas Eve, the smoke would billow out of the back door whenever someone arrived or left. I swear, someone driving by would have thought the house was on fire.

It must be so difficult to be sad and depressed during a time of year when people feel so much pressure to be happy as a lark. It must be like feeling thirsty and walking through a desert . . . or hungry for an apple and showing up in an orchard after it's been picked clean. What you need isn't what you're getting.

And people like me probably aren't much help, either. I love the holidays and must admit to not having the most patience for people who don't enjoy them as much as me. It all comes down to what we were conditioned to and what we relate this time of the year to, I guess. For me, it's about family, gifts, a beautiful church service (although I haven't been to church on Christmas Eve in a few years - hopefully no one from church reads this), and lots of hugs and smiles.

For others, it's quite the opposite. Their conditioning and memories are not good in relation to the societal pressure to be not only just "happy", but quasi-elated beyond belief.

For those of us who love the holidays, let's make an effort this year to pull off a miracle for our friends who don't associate the holidays with pleasant memories - no matter the reason, be it personal tragedy, negative family issues, illness or what have you.

The best gift we can give the holiday non-lovers is our patience, understanding and best efforts at creating happy holiday memories for them. And if that doesn't work, let's just shut up about the whole Christmas thing when they're around.

You're welcome!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Happy Hanukkah

Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah, so Happy Hanukkah to all my Jewish readers! Here's a fun song from Adam Sandler...

Charlieissocoollike: Magic Mars Bars

Another entertaining Charlieissocoollike video!

And this is my 3,000th posting to Brian Cormier's Blogtastic World!

Today's Hump Day column...

... is about people not liking the holiday season. Now that it's December, we're only 24 days away from Christmas, and the planning, organizing, buying, etc. are in full gear! It's enough to drive even Christmas lovers (like me) completely nuts!

There are those, however, who associate the holidays with a very sad time of year... those who prefer to say, "Bah humbug!" to the entire season.

Check out Hump Day in the editorial section of today's Moncton Times & Transcript. It will also be posted online here tomorrow.

Remember, if it's Wednesday, it's Hump Day!

Christmas countdown 2010: 24 days to go!

Today's Christmas offering is a film made in 1898 (yes... 1898) called "The Visit of Santa Claus":

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Kevjumba: Getting jiggy with the Jumbas

Christmas countdown 2010: 25 days to go!

Today's retro Christmas cartoon is "Popeye's Mistletoe" from 1955:

And here's another great Popeye Christmas cartoon -- "Seasin's Greetinks" from 1933:

Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas countdown 2010: 26 days to go!

Here's "Bedtime for Sniffles", a really nice Merrie Melodies cartoon originally released on November 23, 1940. Watch the fun as Sniffles tries to stay awake on Christmas Eve to see Santa Claus.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

RIP Canadian comedic actor Leslie Nielsen (1926-2010)

Canadian veteran comedic actor Leslie Nielsen passed away today at the age of 84. He is most famous for his hilariously deadpan roles in the Airplane and Naked Gun movie franchises.

Christmas countdown 2010: 27 days to go!

Animals of YouTube sing "Deck the Halls":