Monday, December 12, 2016

Special Christmas Special Post

'Tis the season to make cookies and watch lots of Christmas specials.

This week is my last week of the semester, which means this week I'm doing a ton of grading. Which means, in turn, that I spent this last weekend doing all the things I knew I wouldn't have time to do during the grading, such as seeing the Mormon Tabernacle Christmas Concert and the lights at Temple Square on Friday night:


Baking Christmas cookies Saturday:






And watching Christmas specials Sunday:




(It wasn't that Christmas special; I save that one for later. It was actually this one):




I'm an adult. I watch cartoons. No regrets.

Anyway, I love Christmas specials. They're rare TV fare. It may not seem like it now, when all TV seems to offer are Christmas specials, but think about it. We only get them one month out of the year. Might as well enjoy them when they're here.

Especially the Phineas and Ferb one. That one's gold.

Why do I love them so much? Well, there's the festivity of the Christmas special. We see them and know it's a holiday season. There's also the nostalgia. The old specials that I watched as a kid take me back to the first time I saw them, and even the ones I haven't grown up with still remind me of being a kid and waiting for Santa to come.

But I think it's also the goodness and innocence in so many Christmas specials. They seem to be overwhelmingly hopeful and optimistic, even in shows that aren't by nature that way. There's something pure about Christmas that changes what it touches.

Yes, there are bad specials. There are the poorly made and annoying. I think that's more a crime of bad writing than a crime of genre, because there are the good ones, too. Here's a short list of some of (I think) the best, not in any kind of order:

1. A Charlie Brown Christmas
2. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the animated one)
3. A Year Without a Santa Claus (Rankin-Bass is classic)
4. Elf
5. Arthur Christmas
6. The Nutcracker
7. The Muppet Christmas Carol (or any good Christmas Carol retelling)
8. It's a Wonderful Life

Yes, Elf is a movie. But it's a good one. Arthur Christmas is another good, little-known Christmas movie. Nutcracker counts if you can find a good performance, same with Christmas Carol. I could keep going, honestly. There are so many good options out there.

I love me a good Christmas special.

NOTICE: SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION AHEAD -

Hey, by the way, are you looking for a good gift for a book lover, especially a young book lover? Don't mind if the book comes 4 months late? Then maybe you should consider Under Locker and Key by yours truly as a Christmas gift! Here's the link to the Amazon page:

Under Locker and Key by Allison K. Hymas

Or maybe put it on your own wish list. It's up for pre-order!

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