Christmas is almost here, which means it’s a great time to share some more forms of art related to holiday cheer! I’ve already written about my favorite Christmas stories and songs (twice) in the past, so this year I thought it would be fun to share a short post about my favorite Christmas specials! Of course, there are several to choose from, so maybe I’ll feature more in a future Christmas blog post!
So to celebrate the holiday season, here are three of my favorite Christmas specials! Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!
1) “A Charlie Brown Christmas” (1965)
I know, everyone adds this one to their list of favorite Christmas specials, but why wouldn’t they? It’s a classic! First broadcast in 1965, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” has been a holiday favorite for decades, and will probably continue to be one for generations to come.
Charlie Brown’s quest to understand the true meaning of Christmas communicates a timeless message of how the holiday spirit can easily be lost in materialism but still overcome it in the end. Linus’ speech about the story of Christmas and the heartwarming ending scene with Charlie Brown’s tiny Christmas tree have cemented this holiday special on my list of all-time favorites. Not to mention it has a phenomenal soundtrack! I now make it a point to listen to it every December. It’s the perfect music to get into the holiday spirit!
2) “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” (1966)
Dr. Seuss was a huge part of my childhood, so of course a classic Christmas special based on one of his books had to be on my list! Continuing on the same theme as “Charlie Brown”, “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” is another great story that criticizes the commercialization of Christmas and reminds us that the holiday season should be about so much more than presents and feasts.
For as long as I’ve been watching this special, the Grinch has always made me laugh with his antics, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I get a little choked up every time his heart grows three sizes and he embraces the true meaning of Christmas. With its fantastic story, animation, narration, and music, “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” is another holiday special for the ages!
3) “Merry Christmas, Mr. Bean” (1992)
Hey, I never said anything about listing my favorite American Christmas specials! I have so many fond memories of watching Mr. Bean with my sisters, and “Merry Christmas, Mr. Bean” was always one of our favorite episodes. From playing with a nativity scene to conducting a Christmas band to getting a turkey stuck on his head, Mr. Bean never failed to keep us laughing from beginning to end. Definitely a Christmas special worth watching!
What about you? What are some of your favorite Christmas specials?
December is here! Another year has come and gone, and with the holiday season about to shift into high gear, it’s a great time for some more “What If?” Writing Prompts! This week’s batch of prompts once again centers around the theme of the holidays. See what holiday stories you can write from these ideas! Enjoy!
What if… instead of giving presents, Christmas centered around a tradition of doing good deeds?
What if… your family only celebrated a made-up non-commercial holiday like Festivus in December?
What if… you received a mysterious Christmas present from a relative who had passed away?
What if… one Hanukkah, you and your family played a mystery game in which you’d get one new clue every night until someone won?
What if… every year, at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, you had the power to make it January 1st of any year in history, but had to live that entire year until the following New Year’s Eve?
Good luck writing more stories about the holidays!
If you have any “What If?” writing prompt suggestions (for any theme), please feel free to share them in the comments below. Ideas I like may be featured in future “What If?” posts, with full credit and a link to your blog (if you have one)! Also, if you’ve written a piece based on an idea you’ve found here, be sure to link back to the respective “What If?” post. I would love to see what you’ve done with the prompt! Thank you!
‘Tis the season that ends another year,
A time we celebrate the Lord above.
The air is filled with warm holiday cheer
As families rejoice and share their love.
Evergreen trees are dressed in colored light
As door to door, the caroling choirs roam.
Outside, the falling snow paints the world white
While presents are exchanged in every home.
Children rush to the frosty windows quick
To try to see the magic reindeer fly,
Pulling the sleigh of Jolly Old Saint Nick,
Making his yearly trip across the sky.
God bless us all with peace in every way.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas Day!
Merry Christmas to all my family, friends, and readers who are celebrating! May you all have a blessed weekend and a wonderful holiday season!
With the holiday season upon us and Christmas just around the corner, it’s time for another Christmas-themed blog post! Last year I shared a list of my top ten Christmas songs, but there are so many songs I love that I decided to share a few more this year. Nothing like some good Christmas music to get you into the holiday spirit!
So just for fun, here are five more Christmas songs I love listening to around this time of year. Enjoy, and Happy Holidays!
Note: this post contains embedded YouTube videos. If you’re reading this in your email, you may need to open the page on my blog to see them.
It’s not really the holiday season until you’re hearing the A Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack everywhere you go. Last year I started my list with “O Tannenbaum“, while this year I’m going with the more iconic “Linus and Lucy”. Everyone knows this one for the famous Peanuts dance scene, right? It’s a Christmas classic!
Okay, maybe this one is a bit grim for Christmas, but it takes me back to my childhood, so I love it anyway! I’m sure most of us have seen How The Grinch Stole Christmas! at least once, and we all know this famous theme song. If you happen to know a real-life Grinch or two, this song is for you!
Yes, I know I shared this song last year too, but this version from Merry Christmas, Mr. Bean is too awesome to leave out of this list! Conducting the Salvation Army band evidently comes naturally to Mr. Bean; this is easily one of my favorite remixes of this classic Christmas carol!
Here’s another song I picked up from Merry Christmas, Mr. Bean! This one is sung by a chorus of caroling children, and it’s nothing short of angelic. One of the cutest scenes in the whole special!
Another well-known song from How The Grinch Stole Christmas!, “Welcome Christmas” covers the other side of the famous children’s story. The Whos understand about the Christmas spirit what the Grinch has yet to learn, a lesson Dr. Seuss so eloquently sums up in a few lines:
And he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!
“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store.
Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”
– How The Grinch Stole Christmas! (Dr. Seuss, 1956)
Now there’s a lesson we can all stand to be reminded of every holiday season! The company of loved ones is what truly makes a very Merry Christmas!
Bonus: if you like your holidays to be as politically correct as possible, you may get a kick out of Jon Cozart’s ridiculously hilarious Progressive Christmas Carols video. Enjoy, and have a Merry Christmas/Happy Hanukkah/Joyous Kwanzaa!
What about you? What are your favorite holiday songs, Christmas or otherwise?
It’s that time of the year again, the time when the lights return and the street comes alive with their magic.
Quietly I sit in the back seat of our car, waiting anxiously for the show to begin. My parents tune the radio to the station posted on the sign in the main house’s front lawn. A moment of static passes, then the sound comes through and I start to quiver excitedly.
I press my face to the window as a voice comes on the radio. Out on the lawn, a bear made of an outline of lights has appeared and is talking in sync with the voice in our car. He welcomes us to the show and says he hopes we’ll have fun tonight. I know I will. I always do.
When the music starts, the lights on the streets dim. Another lit outline, a toy soldier playing a guitar, appears beside the bear. He softly strums the instrument as the sound of a real guitar plays through the radio. It starts out soft, then suddenly the music flares up and the decorated houses along the street come to life. Lights flash in colored patterns atop the roofs and in the lawns. My eyes shine wide with wonder; it’s finally begun!
A voice starts to sing over the music and the bear moves his jaws in sync with the words. Around him, the lights dance to the rhythm of the remixed Christmas carol he’s singing. Snowflakes twinkle in alternating patterns on the trees. Reindeer pulling sleighs glow on the rooftops. Christmas trees spin on the lawns and flash in bright patterns in the driveway of a house behind us. Outlines of familiar characters shine through a light grid on the roof. And all the while, every single light keeps perfect time with the music. It’s a magical sight!
My parents and I watch the lights dance to a handful of Christmas songs, many old favorites, some new tunes, and each more amazing than the last. Finally, the bear returns to speaking to thank us for watching the show and to ask us for donations to a children’s hospital. My parents must be able to read my mind because they turn around to hand me a $50 bill before I can say a word. I smile as I take it before I rush outside. As I drop the bill into the donation box, I look up at the bear to wink at him. I can almost swear I see him wink back at me.
It’s the most magical time of the year. I can’t wait for next year’s Christmas light show!