The snow is beginning to fall, the malls are getting crowded, and credit card companies will be threatening litigation in another few months. What's on TV? It's: Christmas Classics!
So you're sitting around in the living room, lazily lying around on your well deserved Christmas vacation from school and you've got your eyes fixed tightly on the gifts sitting underneath the Christmas tree with your name on them. Mom's making preparations for Christmas dinner that will involve a platoon of your moochy relatives coming by to eat free food and complain about the decor of your home.
You're on the phone yelling at that jackass from Jared's Jewelry who was supposed to engrave a very special tennis bracelet for your wife for Christmas and instead of it reading "To my lovely Maria, my love forever" it actually says "You can suck the chrome off of a trailer hitch, good job, toots". You get into your car to go and kick some jeweler ass and you pull onto a highway of cars that haven't moved since the sun rose in the east earlier.
Sure, these are the stages that you will endure before that glorious night of gift unwrapping but what is the thing that always lets you know, young or old, when the Christmas holiday is here, The thing that reaches to a part of you within and sparks off a feeling of true delight that you will treasure for many years to come.
That time Mom took you to the mall and let that guy in the beard scar you for life? No, not that.
As a landscape for practically every child of the time, televsion didn't fail to entertain us and when the holidays rolled around, that magic box of light radiation provided the masses with a grouping of TV shows and movies that signified Christmas so well that they remain with us to this day.
Submitted for your approval: ten examples of the classic Christmas movies / shows that we all remember as kids and the message that they provided to our young and impressionable minds.
IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER:
BABES IN TOYLAND (MARCH OF THE WOODEN SOLDIERS)
In a place called Toyland where every fairy tale character lives in reasonable harmony with one another, there is one a-hole who just lives to bust balls and be a general hump to individuals that are meant to delight children in their respective fairy tales.
Silas Barnaby. A real old timey Simon Cowell-type without the American Idol.
So old Silas happens to own the deed to Old Woman in the Shoe's Shoe and he's not one to slide on the monthly rent. With the Old Woman's social security check gone missing, she turns to two of her trustworthy tenants to help her come up with the rent and avoiding eviction.
...seriously? There are no loan sharks in this fairy tale land? You are so screwed.
Stannie Dum (left) and Ollie Dee (right) work at Santa's workshop and they promise the Old Woman that they can pull down the needed cabbage because they're in tight with Santa but after generally screwing up a huge work order, he fires them both several days before Christmas and the Old Woman is looking for a motel to stay in outside of town. Wanting to fulfill their promise, a guy named Dum and his corpulent friend named Dee think the right next choice is to break into Silas' home and take the money that they need to pay the mortgage.
"First you tell me Tijuana hookers don't contract diseases and NOW THIS. Another fine me...so damned itchy."
Being total dumbasses, they're caught and are going to be sent to an old timey Oz like prison when the Old Woman in the Shoe's daughter Little Bo Peep steps up. Turns out Barnaby has wanted to..."sheer" Bo's sheep for a while now and she agrees to marry him, he'll drop the burglary charges against the two morons.
Bo agrees and the wedding goes on, the deed to the shoe house to be given up to the Old Woman upon giving her hot ass daughter to a slimy old lech but after the vows are recited, it's revealed that is Stannie under the veil. With the first gay marriage in Toyland in the books, the deed is ripped up which really pisses off Barnaby and he promises that the streets of Toyland will run red with blood.
...what did we learn?
Well...in the face of losing your home to a cold hearted son of a bitch, two tenants that have known you for all of a few months will face exile to a land of ass rapery for you. A pair of men who managed to piss of Santa Claus with their ineptitude but also helped to fend off an attack of poorly costumed monsters with even poorer costumed toy soldiers and just their wits. Wow.
Friends without conditions rock! Merry Christmas
THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY
Adapted from a long standing song, a young boy by the name of Aaron and his exploits in a time before the birth of Jesus Christ. When his family is killed (what is it with these Christmas classics?!), he's left to wander the land with his only friends, a donkey, a camel and a sheep. He gets further pissed off with people when his camel pal is sold to the three wise men that have arrived in town for a special event.
Not quite...but wouldn't THAT have made a holiday classic?
Following a really bright star in the sky to find his camel friend, he eventually meets up with the kings and is reunited with his buddy.
Years before the establishment of health insurance, poor Aaron needed help for his little pal. With the kings suggesting either to use francinsense to heal him or get ready for some really tender lamb chops, Aaron turned to a brand new king that was seated in a manger not too far away. With everyone bringing gifts to the new king from Neiman Marcus and Target, Aaron had nothing to offer.
Except some tasty beats...
...what did we learn?
Even if your family is taken from you, orphaning you and placing you with friends that you can't take into any eatery except for a Red Lobster, and these friends are fair game for the horribleness of life to come along and screw with, a little persistence and patience will....they ran over the damned lamb! Fucking Roman soldiers!
1 ) The original message of "The Little Drummer Boy" song was that the kid (without any animal pals) wanted to give a gift but he had nothing EXCEPT for the gift of song, a gift from the heart and a truly exceptional gift indeed.
2 ) After suffering through hardships that would crack most full grown men, the orphan Aaron persisted and never forgot how much he cared for his animal friends and when he met with the newborn king, he realized that his hate was something he didn't need to carry anymore. The love for his friends was something much more important and the gift of music was from that same loving heart.
SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN
Narrated by the legendary dance sensation Fred Astaire, the historic hoofer told the origin story of the child that would grow up to be Santa Claus. Seems it all started in a place called Sombertown, a European town run by an anger issue filled man named Burgermeister Meisterburger.
Has never had an actual burger, though his cholesterol count would seem to say different.
When a baby is left on his doorstep, he passes on tossing it to his dogs and orders it sent to an orphanage but with incompitent stooges in his employee and a really mean ass wind in play, the baby gets swept into the nearby woods. Animals in the woods instead of tearing him to bits or urinating on him drag him to a bunch of woodland elves that decide to take him in. The leader of the elves, a tough old broad named Tante Kringle bypasses the adoption process and the kid becomes her son, ignoring a tag on the baby's blanket with the word "Claus" on it and naming him Kris Kringle. Kris ages rapidly in the 60 minute cartoon and eventually learns that Tante and her elf posse were extremely famous toy makers that had to shut down production because of a douchebag wizard called the Winter Warlock who was laying the smackdown on anyone traveling the mountains that he controls.
He's also got a thriving snow blower business. Yep, he's a son of a bitch.
Undaunted, Kris gave the middle finger to the Warlock and took a bunch of elfen toys to Sombertown for kids to play with, unknowing that Burgermeister Meisterburger had severely injured himself on a toy train and outlawed all toys from the town itself. Dressed in a bright red suit and passing out toys illegally, he befriends a penguin and kicks it to a schoolteacher in town who appreciates what he's doing for the children but thinks his fashion sense sucks AND he's gonna get himself thrown in jail.
The Burgermeister finds kids playing with toys, destroys them and (off camera) flogs the parents but does THAT stop Kris? No, sir. He continues to illegally enter people's houses and to put one over on the Burgermeister and his stormtroopers, Kris hides the new toys inside of stockings that they have hanging over the fireplace, which hopefully the kids have huge legs to store larger toys and for Kris' sake they turn the fireplace off at night to avoid setting him on fire.
Now an outlaw, Kris and his penguin friend decide to have it out with the Winter Warlock. Do they draw guns and settle it with lead? Do they scrap that and handle it mano a mano?
Ignore the trains, listen to the song. Damned YouTube violation copyrights....
Eventually Kris and several of his friends get busted and tossed in jail but the schoolteacher Jessica he was kicking it to asks the Burgermeister to cut the crap and let Kris go. After directing her to go play in midday traffic, Jessica pays a visit to the jail and gets some magic corn from the reformed evil wizard / prison matron Winter Warlock. He tells her to feed the corn to several vicious wolverines to give them the power to break them all out but Jessica pusses out and uses reindeer, giving them the power of flight and facilitating Kris and the others' escape. A fugitive for making toys, Kris followed in the footsteps of the Parker Brothers by changing his name and appearance to avoid prosecution.
A beard and name change in a Rankin Bass film hides all past sins. Plus, he burnt off his fingertips with hot cider. Ouch.
The Artist Formerly Known as Kris Kringle becomes Santa Claus, he and his toymaking enclave move to the North Pole to stay outside of the long arm of the law and he starts up his toy workshop. As time passes, The Burgermeister retires and moves to Boca Raton, allowing Claus to bring toys to Sombertown but the other kids of the world are like "screw that noise, what about us, mo-fo?" so Santa sets up one day a year to drop off toys to all the children of the world.
...what did we learn?
An orphaned kid can become a wanted fugitive flaunting the local laws by passing out uninspected children's toys and yet become one of the world's most beloved figures because he told the crusty old mayor of an unhappy town what he thought of his rules.
There's one guy in the world out there that wants to see you happy and he knows how to bring joy to you no matter where in the world you may be.
Yeah he taught you how to walk, but you have a criminal record now. What a trade off.
THE YEAR WITHOUT A SANTA CLAUS
So now that we established who delivers toys to kids all over the world once a year, we're safe in the knowledge of the identity of the guy who brings joy to millions of kids. But if he got up one day and was like "screw you, kids.". Oh, it happened. See, Santa gets a cold and being in a pissy mood cancels Christmas. When his wife hears this and CBS threatens to sue for breach of a Christmas themed holiday special, she sends two of her worker elves out to find testimonials from people that will remind Santa about how important Christmas is.
"I just got Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Your definition of "important" is lacking."
Heading to a sweltering place called Southtown with flying reindeer Vixen to rally support, elves Jingle and Jangle...seriously...end up losing Vixen after disguising her as a dog and she gets sent to the pound. Getting ill from the intense heat, the elves plead with the mayor to set Vixen free, telling him their sanitarium laced story and instead of commiting them, he asks them to prove they are who they are by making it snow in his hotbox of a town on Christmas day. Returning to Mrs. Claus, she realizes that the only way to make it snow in a year round torrid zone is to talk to the guy that makes it that hot and the one guy that bring the chill.
Heat Miser agrees to let it snow in Southtown (H. Miser's hood) but only if Snow Miser allows it to be summery in the North Pole (S. Miser's hood). When the brothers fued over the terms of the deal, Mrs. Claus rats them out to their mother who threatens them with several thousand volts of electricity unless they do as Mrs. Claus asked. So it snowed in Southtown, Vixen was freed, it was warm in the North Pole but Santa was still unmotivated, going down to Southtown to bust Vixen out of the pound when he found out and running into some kids that wanted him to get with the presents but seeing how sickly he was decided to give him the time off. It isn't until a little girl sends him a crayon picture of herself and a cassette tape of her singing Elvis' classic "Blue Christmas" that Santa decides to back to work.
"If I have to hear one more person butcher that damned song...rest in peace, Elvis."
...what did we learn?
Badgering the hell out of a guy that gives you free toys once a year will get him out of his sick bed while he's fighting the H1N1 virus and re-affirm his belief in his job.
Sometimes even the best of us forget ourselves or our way but sometimes a show of gratitude or an authorized performance of a top 40 rock song help us to remember.
A CHRISTMAS STORY
Ralphie Parker is growing up in a time before the invention of television or computers so this kid's got it bad. His brother is a whiny little biz-nitch, his father swears like a sailor and has a fetish for lamps that look like women's appendages, and his mom repeatedly makes the same meals for him on a daily basis as to make him yet another docile kid in the early 1940's. But Christmas is coming and the one thing this suffering bastard really wants is a Red Ryder air rifle and he spends the rest of the movie working to get it, hoping and wishing for that rifle.
RALPHIE: "...no, it's not a threat. I simply know where you and your wife live. We all want a merry Christmas, don't we?
Despite his mother's concerns of him getting this simulated weapon of death and pain and partially robbing himself of his sight, he gets his prized rifle and he is filled with joy as his Christmas wish is fulfilled.
Until the dumb ass nearly does exactly what his mom feared he would. Thanks, LensCrafters.
...what did we learn?
You'll shoot your eye out, asshole!
Be careful what you wish for because unless you're wearing seriously oversized glasses, you'll be gettin' a sweet looking eyepatch this Christmas!
Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol
Using our favorite blind as hell octogenarian in the role of Ebenezer Scrooge, the classic story of a "Christmas Carol" is told once again but this time using a man who could stand to get some laser eye surgery.
MAGOO: "I'll tell you what I see. Me hiring some guys to severely beat your ass but they'll use a Christmas tree and leave you tied to it afterwards. Merry Christmas, jerkoff."
The greedy Scrooge underpays his poverty stricken employee Bob Cratchett while Scrooge basks in the lap of luxury but that kind of stuff only flies on the eleven other months of the year. On Christmas, Scrooge is gonna pay for that crap as he's visited by a ghost that shows him he was stupid in the past, he's being stupid in the present, and he's going to be dead and stupid in the future. But we're treated to a classic diddy by some ghoulish individuals that might look like people you know and love.
...what did we learn?
If you have people working for you around Christmas time with sickly children, you're going to be haunted by ghosts unless you give them a pay raise and bring them a big ass turkey from Kenny Rogers Roasters. *Now with side dishes and a two liter soda for only $4.99 extra!
If you exhibit more goodwill towards your fellow man, not just around the holidays but all year long, you will receive a gift greater than wealth and riches.
HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS
There's a place called Whoville where a large bunch of individuals called Whos reside, using oddly named technology that most certainely wouldn't work anywhere outside of Whoville but they are a tightly knit community. Except for one guy.
That'd be him.
Living at the top of Mt. Crumpett, the being known as the Grinch was not a fan of the Whos and their ridiculous society but he really got cheesed off when Christmas time rolled along and the Whos really kicked the "good will towards Who" thing into full gear. Mostly peeved about them breaking all kinds of noise ordinances, the seething gentleman seen above developed a devious plan to serious mess up the Whos holiday. Playing off of the holiday theme, he quickly stitched himself a Santa Claus outfit and proceeded to assault the Who village in the dead of night like a pissed off ninja with his long suffering dog Max.
Max's best selling autobiography "Oh, He Was A Bastard" tells the story of his life with The Grinch...
Moving through town with amazing dexterity and stealth, The Grinch managed to steal the presents, Christmas apparel, and most of the furnishings from a countless number of houses without the Whos waking up noticing. Taking his spoils to the top of his mountain villa, he waits until sunrise to listen to the Whos lose their minds about being robbed and then dump their crap off of the mountain, but then something happened.
They've got some of the best damned home owners insurance on the planet. Bite it, Grinch!
The Whos come out and sing in the town square and after covering "We Won't Get Fooled Again" and "Tommy", the Grinch realizes what Christmas isn't in the presents and stuff he stole. He should've started descent within the community and watched them tear themselves apart. But all of that singing touched the Grinch deep down and his heart grew to three sizes larger than the normal, signaling a massive heart attack that a reluctant group of Whos down in Whoville helped him with.
...what did we learn?
The true meaning of Christmas is togetherness and despite being alienated for most of your life because of your appearance or being evil, a community should welcome that monster into the homes that he just finished breaking into. Cause it's Christmas, damnit.
Forget your differences and come together at least one day of the year. You get some free roast beast out of it. Sweet.
A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS
He's bald, he's reserved, and although prone to a soliloquy every now and then, you've got to give it to this kid. His best friend Linus has a blanket fixation, his sister wants to wrap herself in that blanket with Linus and doesn't hide that fact, and his dog is more outgoing and outspoken than he is. The friggin' kid just wants to celebrate an old fashioned Christmas minus the commercialism of flashy lights and aluminum Christmas trees that flood the streets of his hometown.
Wait...where did he get the juice for the lights?
When he gets the opportunity to direct the school play, "The Nativity", he finally gets a chance to showcase what the Christmas holiday is really about. While C. Brown wants to tell the story as it was meant to be, the rest of the cast wants to have festive dancing, music, and unexpected guest appearances from wannabe celebrities.
"Yo, Charlie! I'm really happy for you and all and I'm gonna let you finish, but last year's Nativity play was the best play EVER!"
Head Bitch In Charge Lucy steps in and tells Charlie Brown to go and purchase a big pink aluminum tree for the play, suggesting to take her brother Linus along to really ground in the ridicule. But Chuck bucks the system and purchases a real tree that symbolizes the time of the year and the point he's trying to drive home.
...see, THIS is why you get rocks instead of candy on Halloween. Damn, Charlie.
Everyone bitches about his choice, causing Charlie to slip into a self doubt spiral and bringing close enough to snap and kill everyone in the auditorium until Linus comes across FTW.
...what did we learn?
Directing a Christmas play in a school where the children are superficial and the teachers communicate with you with "waa waa waa's" is simply doomed to fail unless your thumb sucking friend is there to quote scripture and make everyone feel really friggin' stupid.
In the middle of all of the present purchasing and the commotion of the holiday, try and remember what Christmas is truly about and celebrate it with others.
FROSTY THE SNOWMAN
On one magical December day, a young girl named Karen and her friends decide to build a snowman after school because Facebook and Twitter were unbelievably both down at the same time. Nearby, a half ass magician named Hinkle is fed up losing gigs to Criss Angel and he throws away his signature magic hat which Karen and her friends find. Finding it a bit on the gouache side but figuring it's just an f-ing snowman, they put the hat on his head to complete their time killer and the magic brought the snowman to life. Wanting to name him "Christopher Colombus" or "Oatmeal", Karen settled on "Frosty" and the legend was born.
"...Oatmeal? Are your parents brother and sister? What's your name? Broken Condom? Moron."
One choreographed dance routine through town later, sucky magician Hinkle saw his hat animating a lifeless mound of snow and decided to recover the hat, spending the rest of the special plotting sneak attacks on Frosty and his gang, now including a pesky little rabbit named Pocus that used to work slave wages for Hinkle. Frosty's main concern was that thanks to global warming, it was getting a little too hot for him to hang around with Karen so she and her friends made it their business to get Frosty to the North Pole. Unable to pay for a ticket because they're non working children and he's a friggin' mound of snow, Frosty, Poucs, and Karen illegally (a running theme in these specials, ain't it?) stowaway on a train to the North Pole with a-hole magician Hinkle in tow. Luckily for the melting Frosty, they found a freezer car to keep him solidified but unluckily for Karen, the human body doesn't do too well under extended low temperatures so they ditch the train and wander the frozen wilderness with Karen suffering from advanced hypothermia.
Okay, so she's slowly freezing to death. And she's in the arms of a snowman. Are we really working to solve the problem?
Not the greatest thinker in the world, Frosty bets everything on Pocus who suggests going to Santa, using charades like pantomime that Frosty finally picks up on after several more critical minutes to Karen's life. Trekking along, the group comes up on a greenhouse that would provide Karen enough warmth to avoid losing any fingers to frostbite but for old Frosty, that would be a death sentence. Sending Pocus to go and find Santa, Frosty votes against achieving a murder rap on his first day being alive, carrying Karen inside of the greenhouse and hanging out until she warms up. Unknown to them though, our a-hole magician Hinkle gets coldblooded and locks the greenhouse door from the outside. By the time Santa arrives, it's too late.
SANTA: "...I could give you a mop this year for Christmas if you like. Still grieving? Sorry."
But this isn't a bummer Christmas special as it turns out old Frosty is made of Christmas snow and as soon as Santa opens the greenhouse door, a cold rush of wind that isn't knocked back by the intense heat that melted him brings Frosty back to life. Hinkle still demanding his hat gets a verbal threat from Santa to forget about the hat or he'll be removed from Santa's Christmas list forever. Backing off and not testing his luck, Santa takes Karen back home and offers to take Frosty back to the North Pole to live, Frosty promising to return when Christmas rolls around if the rates on round travel train fare aren't ridiculous.
...what did we learn?
Around Christmas time, that which is inanimate can come to life and screw up the one chance at fame a struggling magician has BUT if he learns from his murderous deceipt and greediness, his reward is a brand new hat from Santa.
"A new hat? I asked Santa to pay off my student loans. Thanks a lot, jackass."
Christmas time is the most magical time of the year, a time when a child's imagination can create a special friend that will be with her for many Christmases to come.
RUDOLPH THE RED NOSED REINDEER
Narrated by Burl Ives who's animated to look like the fancier, money grubbing half brother of Frosty the Snowman, old Burl tells the story of Rudolph, born to Donner, one of the reindeer that pulls Santa's sleigh. A great deal was expected of the little reindeer named Rudolph. As he grew, he would learn how to properly pull a sleigh with several other reindeer, breaking their damned backs to lug around an overweight, B&E repeat offender for a 24 hour period. There was only one problem, as it were.
UNHOLY ABOMINATION! REND IT LIMB FROM LIMB, IT IS A MINION OF SATAN!
When his father and mother discovered Rudolph's mutation, his glowing red nose, open minded Donner decided to screw up his son's self esteem by covering his nose in mud so he can fit in. Mingling with the other young deer at the "reindeer games", Rudolph catches the eye of a young doe named Clarice that really wants him to "pull her sleigh" (wink wink) but after some horseplay with another reindeer, his nose cover is knocked away and everyone sees his illuminated protuberance and mock him openly.
She doesn't care about his glowing nose because he doesn't call attention to her freakishly large eyeballs. Awww...
At the same time over at Santa's workshop, all of the elves are hard at work for the Christmas rush except for one elf named Hermey that just isn't going along with the program. See, Hermey isn't interested in making toys so much as he wants to be a dentist which is kinda like a man who's brought up in a family of watchmakers going to work and declaring he wants to be a lifeguard.
"As a dentist, I work year round, have excellent health coverage AND a BMW convertable. Versus splinters in my hands, some elf idiot yelling in my face about singing songs and Santa judging me. I'll be at the BMW dealership."
Both Rudolph and Hermey give the middle finger to their perspective lives and decide to try and make it on their own, eventually running into each other and figuring two screw ups could do better than one or at least they could laugh loudly at their collective plight. Wandering the North Pole, they meet a true nimitz by the name of Yukon Cornelious, a gold and silver prospector that's been searching the North Pole for years despite Santa's warning of prosecution for such actions. He warns them to be careful because the Bumble, an abominable snowman is loose in the area and it would make for a pretty crappy holiday special if they were to get eaten.
"Crappy, but memorable. Reminds me of a song about a memorable bowel movement I had..."
Avoiding the aforementioned attacks, the trio eventually ends up travelling to the Land of Misfit Toys, a place where as outcasts they feel they'll be right at home. After the poorly designed toys remind them that they're REAL and NOT TOYS, the Toys R' Us from Hell tell Rudolph to go find and Santa and remind his fat ass about his promise to get them and deliver them to wanting kids. Fearful from constant Bumble attacks (the Bumble is drawn to Rudolph's glowing nose, for some reason it thinks it's a moth, maybe?), Rudolph leaves his friends and returns home to have it out with his father but finds the Bumble preparing to brutally ravage them. Luckily, Hermey and Yukon Cornelious followed Rudolph and while Hermey viciously rips all of the teeth out of the Bumble's mouth, Yukon Cornelious pushes it off of an embankment...falling along with it.
GERALD "YUKON" CORNELIOUS 1943-1964...wait...how is he NOT dead?
"Bumble's bounce". Good to know this while traveling up north.
Everyone's happy that the mutant freak is back and they offer weak or no apology as a powerful storm envelopes the area, making it impossible for Santa to fly his sleigh and deliver toys to the kids of the world. If only the elves could install a set of halogen lamps on the front of the sleigh to light the way...but they only make toys.
SANTA: "How much ass am I going to have to kiss to get you to do this?"
RUDOLPH: "Your new favorite color is going to be brown, my friend."
And Rudolph agreed to use his special ability to cut through the blinding snow so Santa could do his yearly job of toy dispensment, even managing to get those f-ed up toys off of that island and selling them to a local Target Superstore where kids weren't as discerning and didn't mind a Jack in the Box named Charlie.
"I can talk. What the fuck do you care what my name is? Buy me or don't. Target Superstore."
...what did we learn?
Being shunned for a bodily oddity can really suck until that oddity ends up paying off for you and those that mocked you have to eat more crow than the 747's down at your local airport.
Our differences are what make us unique, beautiful individuals and sometimes those differences can help out in the most unexpected ways.
From Dr. Pepper and his entire staff,
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!