Reader's Exchange

'Twas the month before Christmas..

Thomas Nast Santa...and my brain's in a fog,

Just pondering topics

For the library blog.

Actually, a few tense moments spent wrestling a bulky wreath onto my banister last night reminded me how many opportunities we have to regard December as an ordeal.  Regardless of one's religious orientation, festivals and commemorations in the next few weeks occupy our attention.  Holiday tasks can provoke either delight or misery, and most of us have acquired traditions guaranteed to sustain us in the proper spirit.  Here are a few for starters; I hope you'll send in comments to pass along yours:

  • Parodies of "The Night Before Christmas" (original title, "A Visit from Saint Nicholas").  Has any other literary entity been re-worked or imitated as much?  As an English major, I love the adaptation that begins "'Twas the nocturnal segment of the diurnal period preceding the annual Yuletide celebration...", but you're certain to glimpse your own pick.  For "The Biker's Christmas", "A Mom's Christmas", "A NASCAR Christmas", "A Genealogists's Christmas", and many, many others, see's With Apologies to Clement C. Moore.
  •  Choosing a seasonal book to share with friends and loved ones.  Last year, we purchased copies of Lemony Snicket's The Lump of Coal for our book group.  It's like "Bullwinkle" cartoons--written for children but most appreciated by adults.  
  • Watching our family's designated version of A Christmas Carol.  At our house, only the George C. Scott edition will do.  What is your favorite?



Bill said:

We like to read the mass-produced Christmas letters our friends send and keep a running total of mentions of: weather, health, and death.  Last year death won, but, then, we're getting older.

# December 3, 2009 11:49 AM

Will Hampton said:

Linda, my family's not nearly as cultured as yours. We have two traditions. First, the Elvis Christmas album plays as we decorate the trees. (No one, and I mean NO ONE, sings "Blue Christmas" like the King.) Second, we watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Does that mean we have a White (Trash) Christmas? ;-)

# December 4, 2009 8:29 AM

Linda Sappenfield said:

Few would disagree that "Blue Christmas" and National Lampoon are classics--unlike one of my personal favorite decorating-the-tree carols: The Beach Boys singing "We Three Kings".  (Note that I didn't claim "family favorite".  This selection clears the room every time.)

# December 4, 2009 10:47 AM

Shannon McIntire said:

Since It’s a Wonderful Life no longer airs everyday during the holidays, I try to make a point of pulling out my DVD and watching it at least once. I cry every time.

I also like to spend one Sunday baking while listening to Christmas music. I find baking relaxing but I can’t do it very often because I eat the results.

I love the George C. Scott version of A Christmas Carol, too. The animated version out now with Jim Carey is pretty good as well. They made some interesting choices when depicting the spirits although I could have done without the obligatory chase sequence.

# December 15, 2009 5:27 PM
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