How the Grinch Stole Christmas

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Ask any random group of people what their favorite annual holiday television show is you will likely get substantial votes for How The Grinch Stole Christmas. Based on a children’s book of the same name, written in 1957 by Theodor Geisel (better known as Dr. Seuss,) the characters were brought to life (in animated form) on television for the first time during the Christmas season of 1966 and over 40 years later, there are no signs of diminished popularity. Continue reading...

Christmas Caroling

Christmas Caroling

What we talk about when we talk about caroling -- a small group of festive singers moving door-to-door in the neighborhood regaling residents with holiday songs -- is actually the practice of wassailing, which has a history dating back to pre-Christian times. Carols, which are sung by people when they go wassailing, were originally circle dance songs associated with religious mystery plays. Continue reading...

Ribbon Candy

Ribbon Candy

Although perhaps not as prevalent as its confectionery cousin, the candy cane, there are few traditional holiday treats as regal in appearance as ribbon candy. Festively-colored and possessing a satin sheen, it has remained a staple of Christmas candy dishes since the turn of the century. Continue reading...

The Little Drummer Boy

The Little Drummer Boy

From the Production Company of Rankin/Bass, creators of such timeless holiday classics as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman, came another beloved stop-action animation offering for the Christmas season – The Little Drummer Boy. And, like most of their seasonal offerings, it is fondly remembered by many who still make it part of their annual viewing tradition. Continue reading...

Santa Claus: The Movie

Santa Claus: The Movie

Certainly a film called Santa Claus: The Movie would feature the jolly old bearded one in the starring role, right? Well, not so fast. Dudley Moore (Arthur) actually had top billing, as an elf named Patch, and Santa would have to suck it up and take a supporting role in this 1985 holiday feature. Continue reading...

Home Alone

Home Alone

When it came right down to it, Kevin McCallister had a few more sadistic leanings than your average eleven-year-old. And it turns out, that we rather like that in a young hero, especially during the season of giving. And make no mistake, Kevin had plenty to give, in the way of bowling balls, staple guns, BB guns, and that old archaic standby, a good old blast of fire – all in the name of protecting his beloved family home. His violent antics and precocious demeanor won the hearts of millions of moviegoers who made 1990’s Home Alone one of the most successful movies of all time. Continue reading...

It’s a Wonderful Life

It's a Wonderful Life

A family favorite. A holiday perennial. An American classic. Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life was all these and more, a crowning achievement of both the director and his leading man, Jimmy Stewart. Capra and Stewart had recently returned from World War II, and both wanted to make a film reflecting the unsung hero, the small-town common man who endured hardship after hardship in search of the good life. Capra found his inspiration in "The Greatest Gift," a story written by Philip Van Doren Stern as a Christmas card to the author's friends. Under the banner of his new production company, Liberty Films, Capra debuted It's a Wonderful Life just before Christmas, 1946. Continue reading...

The Nightmare Before Christmas

The Nightmare Before Christmas

The residents in the town of Halloween take delight in fright. Each creepy and ugly, they aren’t malicious; scaring is just part of their job - in the delightful 1993 holiday offering by director (and former Disney animator) Tim Burton - The Nightmare Before Christmas. In this merging of two beloved holidays, Burton brought his delightfully macabre story to life with the utilization of stop-motion animation and a wonderful musical score by composer Danny Elfman. The result was a film that quickly became a must-see during every holiday season. Continue reading...

Donny and Marie

Donnie and Marie

She was a little bit country, he was a little bit rock and roll, and they became one of the most successful brother/sister teams in entertainment history. Their wholesome mugs appeared regularly on television through the latter half of the 70s, and their wholesome music across the nation's radio stations. Make no mistake, Donny and Marie made their mark, and then some. Continue reading...

The Muppet Christmas Carol

The Muppet Christmas Carol

When he wrote A Christmas Carol in 1843, author Charles Dickens had no way of knowing that his book would be turned into literally dozens of different stage and screen adaptations. And, even if had possessed such remarkable foresight, it is certain that he never would have envisioned his character, Bob Cratchit, portrayed by a lovable green frog with ping-pong ball eyes. Continue reading...