Sunday, December 9, 2012

My Christmas Lists

Ho, ho, ho! Only fifteen shopping days until Christmas! Are you done doing yours? I am happy to say that I am. Every one of my cards and packages has been sent. All that is left is to wrap a few small gifts. Now, about my lists… No, I’m not posting a list of things I want for Christmas. Don’t worry. Instead, what I am listing are my favorite songs, movies and TV shows. Each list includes my top five along with some honorable mentions in no particular order.

Songs
1. O Holy Night – Manheim Steamroller
2.Christmas Canon Rock – Tran Siberian Orchestra
3. Boots – The Killers
4. Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy – David Bowie and Bing Cosby
5.Christmas Lights – Coldplay


Honorable Mention: O Holy Night, Silent Night and Joy to the World by anyone, Happy Xmas (War is Over) – John Lennon, Christmas – The Who, Christmas Canon – Tran Siberian Orchestra, Stille Nacht – Manheim Steamroller, Greensleeves - Manheim Steamroller, The Holly and the Ivy – Manheim Steamroller, I Believe in Father Christmas – Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Merry Christmas Baby - Bruce Springsteen.

Manheim Steamroller
Chip Davis and Jackson Berkley founded Manheim Steamroller in 1974. The eclectic group has been recording classic Christmas music with their unique twist since 1984. They have put out a total of twelve albums featuring contemporary interpretations of Yuletide favorites.

I have seen Manheim Steamroller twice, first in Milwaukee and later in Chicago. Both times were enjoyable and memorable.

Movies
1. We’re No Angels
2. A Christmas Story
3. It’s a Wonderful Life
4. Miracle on 34th Street
5. Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol


Honorable Mention: White Christmas, Bishop’s Wife, A Christmas Carol (most versions), Scrooge, and Christmas in Connecticut.
 

We're No Angels
We’re No Angels is a heartwarming movie. It is in my DVD player as I write this column. Here is a quick synopsis: Humphrey Bogart, Aldo Ray and Peter Ustinov play three escaped inmates who hatch a plan to steal from a shopkeeper on Christmas.

But their plans change when they find themselves actually growing to like their target and his family. Besides, the luckless merchant is apparently about to lose his shirt, as his business is unraveling. So, instead of robbing him, the convicts decide to help him, a mission that proves wildly complicated.

Please do yourself a favor and make an effort to see this movie. You will not be disappointed. I plan on watching it next Saturday evening.

TV Shows
1. Andy Griffith Show
2. Dick Van Dyke Show
3. Charlie Brown Christmas
4. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
5. That ‘70s Show


Honorable Mention: Mary Tyler Show, Cheers, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, The Wonder Years, Seinfeld and Hardrock, Coco and Joe.


Andy Griffith Show Christmas Episode
The Andy Griffith Christmas episode is a classic. On Christmas Eve, department store owner Ben Weaver insists Andy jail moonshiner Jim Muggins. Weaver has brought along a jug of moonshine as evidence of Jim's wrongdoing.

Andy complies with Weaver's request but feels it's only fair that Jim's wife Bess and his two young children be incarcerated as well, since they all had knowledge of Jim's moonshining. With the Muggins family in jail, Andy, Barney, Aunt Bee, Ellie, and Opie prepare a feast with all the trimmings for the family and decorate a Christmas tree.

Peeping at the window, Ben Weaver is touched with the Christmas spirit and tries to get himself arrested in order to join the fun. Andy only arrests Weaver, however, after he dumps a garbage can in the alley. Together, the men appear at the door of the jail with a suitcase full of gaily-wrapped gifts from Ben's store. Ben is welcomed and regaled with food and drink. Weaver falls asleep in one of the jail cells after finishing the jug of Jim's moonshine.

Those are my Christmas lists for 2012. What are your favorite songs, movies and TV shows during this most wonderful time of the year? I would be interested to hear. Leave your lists in the comment section of the blog or on Facebook. Merry Christmas!

Until next time…from the booth.

7 comments:

Leplume said...

You got some good ones here! Hey, remember all those great old time Christmas specials they used to have. You know, Andy Williams and such? I found snippets of them on youtube and was having a great time watching some of the musical numbers. I miss those shows! They were so kitschy but always made it feel like Christmas.

Paul E. Vagnoni said...

Perry Como was another good one. I think the Brady Bunch even did one.

bev doris beryl.cooper said...

david bowie song miracle on 34th street film .and dont know them tv shows .very good once again paul x

Anonymous said...

My favorite? 1965. I was 13 years old, the last kid left in the family and my parents were in the midst of a horrible fight, which was the norm. I asked about the tree and was told there would be no tree, no Christmas. I thought, "Shit, let's not let that happen." Went up into the woods and chopped down a pine. Put it up in the living room and decorated it myself. Had Christmas, but no presents. Don't know what was on TV that night.

Paul E. Vagnoni said...

Thanks Bev. Did "Only Fools and Horses" have a Christmas episode?

Anonymous - Did that heartwarming tale take place in the west side of Kenosha? Very touching indeed…

Sue said...

Silent Night for the song. It's a Wonderful Life followed by White Christmas for film (although my husband would choose No Angels mainly because Humphrey Bogart is a favourite actor). For TV shows would be the Morecombe & Wise Christmas Specials and Only Fools & Horses Specials. Have seen the Dick Van Dyke shows tho. Merry Christmas to you too.

Paul E. Vagnoni said...

All great choices, Sue. Merry Christmas!