A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library. ~Shelby Foote

Friday, December 23, 2005

Friday's List: What Makes Christmas Great

Been a while since I did a Friday list. My bad. But in the spirit of the season, this seems terribly appropriate:

20) Bill Murray. Particularly in Scrooged, but really any Bill Murray movie will do.
19) Elves. Paricularly when they look like this.
18) Santa. The tradition is weird, when you really stop and think about it, but it's so woven into the tapestry of our country these days, that Christmas just wouldn't be the same without the big red guy.
17) Presents. What a wonderful thought-- give something nice to the people you care about. Pity it's become so commercialized.
16) A Christmas Story. So many hilarious and touching moments in this film. The pink rabbit pajamas, the Major Prize, Christmas dinner at the Chinese restaurant, double dog dares and frozen flagpoles. Awesome film.
15) It's a Wonderful Life. Schlocky? Yeah, more than a little, but damn fine nonetheless. And who among us doesn't choke up, just a little, at the "angel gets its wings" moment?
14) Snow. Pain in the butt most of the time, it just doesn't seem as Christmasy without a blanket of white stuff on the ground.
13) Christmas Dinner. Probably second only to Thanksgiving for sheer groanage factor. And somehow the fact that it's snowy and cold outside makes being inside, warm and stuffed all that much better.
12) Christmas Carols. Not the Dickens creation-- the songs. Some of the most beautiful music ever written are Christmas songs-- Silent Night, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, The Messiah, Oh Little Town of Bethlehem. Marvelous stuff.
11) Christmas Trees. Another strange leftover from pagan times, but a very cool strange leftover. Though I never really have understood "flocking" your Christmas tree.
10) A Christmas Carol. Certainly not Dickens' most literary work, but perhaps his most affecting because of its simplicity. I prefer the Alistair Sim version. Though Mr. Magoo will do in a pinch.
9) Christmas candy. Cookies, candy canes, peanut clusters, carmel corn, boxes filled with mystery chocolates, chex mix, and more. And Alka Seltzer.
8) Christmas cards. It's cool to hear from folks that we otherwise have little or no contact with over the course of a year. Helps to keep alive ties that otherwise might wither and die.
7) How the Grinch Stole Christmas. NOT the Jim Carrey monstrosity. The original. Whomever thought to get Boris Karloff to narrate this was a genius! Genius is also a good way to describe the job Karloff did narrating this gem. One of my fondest Christmas memories is my father belting out "Your a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" every year. Particularly the unwashed socks verse.
6) Christmas decorations. Not before Halloween, mind you, but in the proper scheme of things I do love Christmas lights. They make the beginning of the long cold winter much easier to bear. Though this is just tacky. All things in moderation, folks.
5) Children's faces on Christmas morning. I am trying to soak this up from kids as much as I can, because this magic will not last. I will try to remember to bring in actual pictures of my kids opening presents next week so I can replace this generic picture from the '80s.
4) A Charlie Brown Christmas. Linus' speech gives me chills each and every time I hear it.
3) Friends. When things get too hectic during the holidays, take some time out with them.
2) Family. Give yours a hug and an "I love you." Good for the soul.
1) The birth of Jesus. Nothing can top the birth of our savior-- except Easter, and that's several months away yet. Really, the only thing that needs to be on the list-- but a one item Friday's list would be kinda silly.

Merry Christmas everybody. May the season bring blessings and peace to you all.


Good list, Nick. I would have made Number 13 plural (Christmas Dinners), though. The thing that I think might have a chance to give Christmas a higher "groanage factor" over Thanksgiving is that it seems that there are more places to go to visit, snack, and eat (multiple family get-togethers and the like). Of course Thanksgiving is usually a huge feast, whereas the meals are much more spread-out over Christmastime. Either way, it's family and friends and that is truly what makes it all great.

Merry Christmas, to Nick and everyone else here!
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