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Christmas Magic to Soothe a Cold

Posted by Somebody's Mother on 2:01 PM
It had to happen; I’m getting sick, yes, sore throat, chills, runny nose the whole bit, and Christmas is coming. I should be shopping, baking cookies, decking the halls, and jingling bells, but all I want to do is lie on the couch and watch Christmas shows. If I haven’t the energy to “deck them halls,” as Lucy told Schroeder in the the Charlie Brown Christmas Special, then I’ll just have to watch someone who can; maybe an animated character who is immune to animated cold germs.

What do I watch? Being the age that I am, I mostly say phoeey to the new Christmas specials, and that’s probably a mistake. Why, just this past week, the three Canadian tenors were belting out carols as was the remnants of Barenaked Ladies on CBC. I go for the classics.

In no particular order, (I’m too sick to prioritize), here are some of my wacky Christmas TV favourites:

A Christmas Carol and all its manifestations: My favourite, of course, is Scrooge with the irreplaceable Alistair Sims as Ebenezer. I own it on DVD …my kids hate it. So we go with some other versions like The Muppet Christmas Carol with Michael Caine. Surprisingly, they do use a lot of Dickens’ text, but they also have singing vegetables and dancing rats. Then there’s that old classic, Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol. I’m ashamed to say that I know some of the songs by heart.

Speaking of Muppets, there’s also the other Muppets Christmas Specials. I’ve managed to buy two as I’m a big fan of the work of Jim Henson and Frank Oz. In my favourite, the Family Christmas (1987) Fozzie surprises his mother by bringing the whole gang to her farmhouse on Christmas just as she greets Doc and Sprocket of Fraggle Rock who have rented the house for a quiet Christmas. They don’t get one. The DVD is very disappointing because songs have been cut as Henson only got the rights to use some of the songs for a one-time TV special. I tend to watch it on a tired, old videotape that also has A Charlie Brown Christmas which I still love.

A Christmas Story with Darren McGavin and Peter Billingsly: Set in the 1940’s, it’s the story of Ralphie, a boy who wants an official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model air rifle, and is thwarted by the inevitable, “You’ll shoot your eye out.” This is a Christmas Eve favourite that we watch year after year. You can buy it at Archambault, by the way.

Off beat favourites include: Garfield’s Christmas where the greedy and gluttonous Garfield learns the true meaning of Christmas with lots of songs packed into thirty minutes, and the Claymation Christmas, which we must watch on VHS as I can’t find it on DVD for under $30.00. This show is simply a series of carols that have been animated in the Claymation way, and it’s really a treat. The California Raisins do a jazzed-up version of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. Yes, those raisins sure can sing.

So if you’ve come down with a cold, like me, don’t let it get you too far down. Lie on the couch slurping chicken soup or tea with lemon and honey, and be prepared to make a leap of faith that with Christmas magic, everything will be all right.

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