Monday, December 18, 2017

The Ghosts of TV Christmas Past

There's only a week left. Not even that, really. Six days. 

I've almost missed it. Almost.

But I'll take those six days and deem it not too late to share a holiday blog. It's my favorite time to write and I always have so much to say, but I've just been letting the voices in my head hash it out so far this year. No more! I'm silencing those voicesor at least sharing their cacophony with a larger audience.

And now this...

Thanks to the wonderful world of streaming TV we can now visit the ghosts of TV past whenever we want to. I have a regular playlist of episodes from beloved shows that always give me what I needbe that laughter, comfort, or really, I'm looking for laughter, here.

As I snuggled down to watch one of these yuletide shows, I realized I had never shared these holiday treats with you. So, in an effort to right that grievous wrong, here is a (partial) list of must-see holiday TVaccording to me.

"How the Ghosts Stole Christmas" The X-Files

If you like your holiday more maudlin and ghosty, but have tired of the "A Christmas Carol" trope, then this is one show that will not disappoint. This episode is the epitome of all the things I love, love, LOVE about The X-Files. It showcases Mulder and Scully in all their believing and skeptical (respectively) glory.

Mulder lures Scully to a haunted manor and basks in the perfection of his own words as he tells her the tale of the ill-fated young lovers whose spirits walk the halls each Christmas Eve, "I think I just gave myself the chills."

Scully is characteristically impatient and wants to go home to wrap presents (which are already wrapped when they pan to them) and get on with regular happy-family Christmas things.

The interplay between Mulder and Scully is just right and so much fun, as is the entire episode. The ghosts are played delightfully by Lilly Tomlin and Ed Asner and they push the limits of Christmas ghost shenanigans.

Photo: X-Files Wiki
It's a spooky yuletide caper and one very much worth a look. When the agents uncover two corpses under the floorboards and Scully notes that "she's wearing my outfit," Mulder's pithy response is, "How embarrassing."

Little gems like that are scattered throughout, along with plenty of eloquent discourse about what the holidays really mean and our desire to believe in things greater than ourselves like ghosts (which, according to Scully, don't exist).

"It doesn't take a degree in psychology to understand the unconscious yearnings that these imaginings satisfy..the longing for immortality, the hope that there is something beyond this mortal coil, that we might never be long without our loved ones...these are powerful powerful desires. I mean, they're the very essence of what makes us human...the very essence of Christmas, actually."

"A Very Supernatural Christmas" Supernatural

Photo: The Winchester Family Business

For those who yearn to ring in the holidays with some horrific ancient lore and two really hot guys, Supernatural's got you covered. They even throw in a healthy dose of really earnest Christmas spirit. 

The show starts out with a little boy witnessing the magic of Santa (his costumed grandpa) delivering gifts under the tree. This Christmas dream-come-true is rudely interrupted when Santa gets yanked up the chimneyleaving nothing but a bloody boot behind.

Needless to say, other merry-makers start to go missing as well, and it's not long before Sam and Dean come sniffing around. Other than the usual monster-of-the-week formula, this episode is interspersed with cut-backs to childhood memories of a Winchester family Christmas. 

A poignantly sad moment that still grabs a few laughs is when big brother Dean presents young Sam with presents on Christmas morning, saying that Dad just couldn't wake Sam up. Sam tears in only to find a Barbie doll and a sparkly baton.

Photo: The Supernatural Fox Sisters
"Dad must think you're a girl," Dean says. But Sam gets what really happened, and in a show of gratitude and brotherly love hands Dean the special present he was saving for their father (it's the Samulet!). 

In between soft, gushy moments and saccharine-soaked displays of holiday spirit on steroids we get to see the boys hilariously sing a Christmas carol, shop for "fussy" wreaths, andof coursebeat the shit out of "Anti-Claus."

It's a rollicking good time and is the perfect Christmas treatment from a show chock-full of angels, magic, and spirits of every kind.

"The One with the Holiday Armadillo" Friends
This is hands-down my all-time favorite funny holiday sitcom episode period. It's frickin' hilarious!! And I still laugh out loud ridiculously every time I watch it. It never gets old. 

If you haven't watched it, you need to. I'm not going to tell you anything about it. Just go watch it. Right now. I mean it. 

Photo: Pinterest

"All About Christmas Eve" Will and Grace

I have a dream. And it's to spend Christmas Eve with my kiddos in a swanky hotel room overlooking Times Square, wearing a fluffy white robe, downing champagne, and calling room service, housekeeping, maintenance, and anyone else we can lure to our room so we can employ the age-old tradition of caroling. 

It's a fantasy that was inspired by this episode and I'm going to make it happen one day, if it's the last Christmas fantasy dream thing I ever do! 

Photo: Previously TV

Did I forget to mention the flashing? You're welcome NYC! 

Happy Christmas & God Bless Us - Every One!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Fireworks - Take Two

This post was originally published in July 2010, but I find the sentiment still rings true. I have made some updates to reflect the changes in the constellation of my life over the past seven years, but thought this entry was well-suited to kick off the blog after a six month respite. Enjoy!

I couldn't find a fireworks pic, but thought this beach sunset could stand in!

On my way home from Terri's one Fourth of July a few years ago, I saw brilliant explosions of color and light through my windshield and in my rearview mirror. I was surrounded by fireworks. And it was awesome.

It got me thinking about how many bright, scary, fun and always surprising explosions happen in our lives all the time.

Savannah graduating from high school. (Then college, then getting a big Director of Communications job and traveling to foreign lands like Colombia and Australia all by herself.)

Savannah's graduation from the U!

Gabi's irresistible snicker at an "adult" joke she just shouldn't get. (And turning into an adult who knows who he is [TYLER], who has weathered impossible storms like a pro and who can to grab a beer with me at The Local.)
Momma & Tyler
A puppy nuzzling my neck. (Living with TWO dogs and finding out I secretly love it.)

                                                Alexis (RIP 6.20.16)

Seeing Bachelor #2 drive by me smiling and waving in the Kaysville 4th of July Parade. (Finding the right guy for me at my brother's wedding and getting engaged in the company of sea turtles on a Hawaiian beach.)

The sea turtles on the beach!

The ring!

The guy!

A bevy of young, 20-something guys vying for my affections. (This would still be totally awesome, but the vying has most definitely cooled.)

Terri's mom having emergency exploratory surgery to find the source of internal bleeding after a "routine" operation. (Discovering the frailties of all of our parents, and starting to see them in ourselves.)

The surge of support and love triggered by a text message prayer chain. (AMEN!)

Every day we have many "fireworks" moments. Moments that cannot be ignored. That call us to full attention--whether in awe, in excitement, in happiness, in fear, in gratitude, in anger, in sorrow or in laughter.

The form and delivery of these everyday explosions are varied and often unexpected, but what can be relied upon is that they will happen. It can be that touch on your hand that still feels thrilling after years of marriage or that accidental glimpse of your child being completely themselves when they think no one is looking.

It can be an inexplicable feeling of calm in the middle of a furious emotional storm that you fear may overtake you. Or the simple joy of breathing in the air after a rainstorm.

Some days we are searching for miracles
                                            and others they just show up,

                        out of the night sky,

                                                  in our rearview mirror.