Christmas Freak

The merriest corner of the Internet

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Love Actually, Actually

Stock your fridges with milk and canned food because I’m about to storm on this party. Love Actually actually isn’t good. Too many plot lines, most of them upsetting and antithetical to the Christmas spirit. The deceptively cheerful DVD cover does not warn the viewer that half an hour in, Emma Thompson is going to discover that Snape has been cheating on her. Very sad. Not festive at all. Nor does it warn us that Keira Knightly, who seems to be blissfully married, is going to kiss her husband’s best friend, giving him hope that she will one day dissolve her happy marriage because said friend showed interest in her. A cruel and incomprehensible choice on her part that’s disguised as harmless because it takes place on Christmas and is swathed in seasonal cheer. Most baffling, though, is the story of the young man who has to travel to America to meet women because we are told he has no redeemable qualities other than his British accent, which is only appreciated in the U.S. What kind of Christmas lesson is this? I concede that the Liam Neeson plotline is okay, though the airport scene is silly and overblown at best. If you absolutely must watch a depressing film that happens to be set on Christmas and stars Snape, may I suggest watching Die Hard instead? The cover accurately depicts the contents, and the ending is far more gratifying.

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The Nightmare Before Christmas

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I often fear that this blog gives you the wrong idea about me, so let me clear the air. I love all autumn holidays, not just Christmas. I truly the value the three-day weekend granted to us on Pre-Pre-Pre-Pre Christmas, otherwise known as Labor Day, the gateway to the season. I collect challah, honey cake, and babka recipes all year long in anticipation of the High Holiday Pre-Pre-Pre Christmas feast. One of my favorite ways to celebrate Pre-Pre Christmas is to carve a nativity scene into my pumpkin, dress up as an elf, and go to Rite Aide while everyone else is trick-or-treating, to watch the employees pack away the unsold candy and fill the shelves with ornaments, tinsel, and wrapping paper. I adore Pre-Christmas, which exists primarily for stuffing & pie recipe testing, and marks the date when radio stations can finally embrace the festive spirit sans angry grinch callers…but I’m getting ahead of myself.

We’re only at Pre-Pre Christmas, and on years when I don’t have a Rite Aide “party” to go to, I do the next best thing: I collect all of the decorative spider webbing from outside and spin it into a santa beard, turn the jack-o-lanterns into spiced pumpkin bread, and watch Tim Burton’s A Nightmare Before Christmas. A musical, a scary movie, and an intimate and startling portrait of a true Christmas Freak all wrapped up in one, it’s the ultimate holiday primer, and is beloved by Halloween freaks and Pre-Pre Christmas freaks alike. Go watch it and release your inner Jack and make your own strange and troubling Christmas.

Heavy Paper Stock

and a snug envelope and a ballpoint pen ripe enough to turn punctuation into heartfelt blots and misspelled words into beautiful cursive. Put on a baggy sweater and write someone a note under the dim light of your desk lamp, then fall asleep dreaming of wintery nights in shades of brilliant white and ivory linen, pearl cotton and classic cream; a line of watermarks barely visible beneath the snow.

 

ios7 Ringtone Twinkle

Spring is the season of Discreet Christmas Music. I stumbled across this ringtone while changing the settings of my iphone, and was immediately transported to back to 1994, when I first saw the cover of Mariah’s Merry Christmas album and knew I had found my place in the world. Set this as your ringtone! It’s the perfect way to sample Christmas while still feigning interest in the ancillary seasons of spring and summer. No one will suspect.

Four Haikus that Settle the Great Marshmallow Debate

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I.

Big marshmallows are

so overrated. They are

only good for s’mores.

II.

How many beats does

“s’mores” have? One? But what about

the apostrophe?

III.

Half a bag of small

marshmallows can fit in one

hot chocolate. True!

IV.

Plus they’re best for s’mores;

they melt faster and coat the

graham evenly.

Put on Darlene Love’s Winter Wonderland

and feel yourself being transported to the holiday tree-shopping montage in your own personal romantic comedy.

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