Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas Eve (Movies)

The 12 Days of Christmas Eve (2004)

Calvin has an accident and wakes up to find that he's essentially dead...He's meets Nurse Angie who is his guardian Angel and he is told, ala Scrooge that he has 12 days to set things right with the rest of his family and his life...or else. Shannon provides most of the laughs in her own usual manic way, basically hammering Calvin over the head on what he has to do. And of course in the end we have Calvin discovering the true meaning of Christmas and he sets things right with his family. The performances were very good it's just too bad there wasn't more of an original story for them to work with.
*Thank You Tim Janson from Amazon for the synopsis*

Trans-Siberian Orchestra - The Ghosts Of Christmas Eve

Trans Siberian Orchestra - THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS EVE - now available for the first time on VHS and DVD - is a unique fantasy trip through the magic of Christmas. Narrated by award-winning actor Ossie Davis, the production takes us on a journey of a runaway little girl's decision to return to her family after she enters a rundown theater for shelter and encounters an old caretaker who guides her on her journey. This magical story - which features appearances from Atlantic recording artists Jewel and Michael Crawford - was filmed entirely on location at the newly refurbished and historic Loews Jersey Theatre in Jersey City, New Jersey, and includes performances of such tracks as "O Come All Ye Faithful," "Good King Joy," "Christmas Canon," "Music Box Blues," "Promises To Keep," and "This Christmas Day,".

Eve's Christmas (2004)
On Christmas Eve, a high-powered exec's guardian angel offers her a chance to live her life again with a different spin.

Christmas Eve (1986)

Story of a well-to-do elderly woman, who befriends the homeless and volunteers her time with children, who learns she has an incurable illness and wants desperately to reunite her three grown grand children (who are scattered across the U.S. living their own lives), with their estranged father, her son. She hires a private detective to search for them so as to try to get everyone together on Christmas Eve A heart warming story line that most can relate to. Loretta Young brings her strength, intelligence and charm to this role. My regret is that I can't find this film on VHS to add to my collection. I would love to be able to enjoy it over and over and over again.

Christmas Eve (1947)

Eccentric Matilda Reid (Ann Harding) wrestles with a greedy nephew who seeks court action to have her declared incompetent so he can "administer" her wealth. But a caring judge will intervene if Matilda can rally together her three adopted sons on Christmas Eve to help her keep the estate. Unfortunately the sons have gone in wildly different directions: one is a bankrupt playboy, the second is a hard drinking cowboy intent on a flirtatious social worker, and the third is tangled up with a Nazi war criminal. Is there any hope for Matilda?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Lord & Taylor Window Display New York City

I found myself down near Lord & Taylor this morning, and I had my little camera with me, so I took some pictures of the window display. There is some glare, but they came out pretty OK.

Christmas 1950

Christmas 2010
That TV in the background was really playing Rudolph. It has to be the smallest tv I'd ever seen.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas Movies?

These following movies I have either read or heard were Christmas related in some way. Perhaps just a scene or two, or maybe it is Christmas themed, I don't know, I haven't seen them. But I plan to watch them this year, if possible.

Room For One More

Anne and "Poppy" Rose are the average American family, with three quirky kids. Anne has a good heart and gives lost cats and dogs a home - and one day also the orphan Jane, a problem child who already tried to kill herself once. At first Poppy is worried and wants to get rid of her, but with love and patience they finally manage to integrate her into the family. Just then Anne invites another orphan, the aggressive handicapped Jimmy-John, to their summer vacation.

Susan Slept Here

Mark Christopher is a successful thirty-five-year-old Hollywood screenwriter who has suffered from partial writer's block since winning an Academy Award and has been unable to produce a decent script. One Christmas Eve, he receives an unexpected and very unwanted surprise present.


When Miss Vicki's father dies, she becomes the world's greatest philanthropist. Unfortunately, she is flat broke! Her loyal butler, Claude Fitzwilliam, leads the household staff to rob from various businesses by charging goods to various wealthy people and misdirecting the shipments, all to keep Miss Vicki's standard of living. After Fitzwilly's mother died Miss Vicki helped raise him and he loves her like a mother and would do anything for her. With Fitzwilly's encouragement, Miss Vicki writes a "Dictionary for Dopes" which contains all possible phonetic spellings of a word, and gives the reader the correct one, and for that she needs a secretary. Juliet is the one who is hired, soon she is caught up in the intrigue and falls in love with Fitzwilly. They agree to carry out one more caper before they get married, to keep Miss Vicki comfortable for the rest of her days.

The Wingless Bird

"On Christmas Eve, 1913, Agnes Conway is working in her family's confectionery shop when she meets well-to-do Charles Farrier. Despite their different backgrounds, Agnes and Charles are immediately attracted to one another. But Agnes soon becomes preoccupied with a family crisis that has consequences far worse than any of them could imagine"--

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Radio City Rocketts


No Flash Photography, No Audio or Video equipment, No SLR camera's with Zoom Lenses Digital or otherwise....yeah right. I was descrete, I was in the 2nd Mezz, and had my 18-200mm zoom lens. No flash needed since I set the ISO to 1600. I got some pretty good shots for trying to hide the camera. I love this particular shot because it has movement and pattern.

I have never been to see the Rocketts before. I lived in New York all of my life, and for the past few years I have wanted to go, but it was too expensive. Oddly enough, the year I don't have a job is the year I can go. Me and my daughter went, although my son is home for the Thanksgiving holiday, he had no interest, and mom didn't want to go. We had a good time, this was a great treat for us.

We went to TGIFs for lunch, did some looking around at the St. Bart's Holiday shops.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Random Christmas

The Gathering (1977)

A crusty businessman, facing his last Christmas, makes an eleventh hour attempt to pull together the family which he shattered by allowing them to become second to his work and which he left years earlier. The Emmy-winner as Outstanding Special of 1977-78.
*Not out on DVD yet.

In The Good Old Summertime
102 min.

Musical remake of "Shop Around the Corner" involving two feuding store employees who are unknowingly engaged in a romantic relationship as anonymous pen pals.
(Movies like this: Shop Around the Corner, You've Go Mail, It Happened on 5th Avenue)

All Mine to Give
103 min.

This DVD's cover art, which is original to the movie's release over fifty years ago, has a tagline that reads: "Six kids on a true and wonderful adventure!" This is one of the most misleading teasers in cinematic public relations history. It has the reader imagining a sextuplet of young ones perhaps sledding on particularly icy mountains or facing down some Scrooge-like, anti-Christmas archnemesis. In fact, it's about children losing both parents to highly contagious diseases and having their family rent permanently asunder.

This tale is based on a true-life story set in Wisconsin. Robert and Mamie Eunson (Cameron Mitchell and Glynis Johns) are Scots who have just landed in America (the year is 1856), having been invited there by Mamie's uncle. They arrive in the tiny logging village of Eureka, only to be informed that both uncle and his cabin have been incinerated in a house fire. The Eunsons are assisted by the friendly locals in reconstructing the house and Robert takes to tipping timber. It should be noted Mamie is heavily pregnant upon their reaching Eureka; she delivers baby Robbie soon after the cabin is completed. Robert eventually starts a successful boat building business and Mamie gives birth to five more children: Jimmy, Kirk, Annabelle, Elizabeth, and Jane. The Eunsons are prospering and happy--until little Kirk is diagnosed with diptheria. Mamie and Kirk are quarantined while Robert takes the other children away. The boy recovers, but the goodbye kiss he gave Dadda before his departure proves fatal, and Mr. Eunson succumbs.

Mamie takes to working as a seamstress and Robbie becomes the man of the house. Things stabilize, but only briefly: tired and work-worn, Mamie contracts typhoid. Knowing she won't survive, she charges her eldest with finding good homes for his siblings. After her death, Robbie does exactly that, dispatching his brothers and sisters to kindly townsfolk. Stoic and resigned during the process, he does break down when he's alone and sees the tree outside the homestead where his father had carved the names of the children into the bark. Baby Jane is the last to be handed over--Robbie stands at the door of a house and asks the woman who answers, "Will you take my sister, ma'am?" Pathos, lachrymose, mourning, and gloom! (It reminds me that in Great Britain, this movie was released under the title The Day They Gave Babies Away...*gulp*!)

He then turns and trudges, solitary and struggling, up a hill in a snowstorm. You may ask, "What does this horribly sad tale have to do with Christmas?" Robbie is breaking up the clan on Christmas Eve, wisely thinking people are more likely to accept taking in an orphan while filled with the holiday spirit.
Thank you M. Thomas from Amazon for this very indepth synopsis.

A Holiday for Love
95 min.

Warm holiday drama in which an executive forced to cut the jobs of many people working at a small-town tractor factory gets a big surprise when he's mistaken as the savior of the local economy.

Holiday Affair (remake of 1949 movie)
93 min.

Story of a young single mom and her son. She's having a hard time getting over the death of her husband and has been dating a young attorney. She meets another young man who sells her a toy train for use in her job but her son thinks it's for him for Christmas.
Thank you Family Man from Amazon for the synopsis.
Said not to be on par with the original starring Robert Mitchum.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Christmas for Adults (but kids can watch)

Christmas Angel
90 min.

Ashley has been on her own all her life. She feels even more alone this Christmas as she searches fruitlessly for a job. The seasonal cheer around her only rubs salt in her wounds as she scrapes by to support herself and her dog, Dash. But her neighbor, Nick, knows exactly what to do. He offers her a job, to be his assistant in the best work-helping others. There's one catch that Ashley must honor though-she can't tell anyone that her new boss is a sort of Secret Santa, helping others anonymously. Through her new job, Ashley meets Will, a writer for a business magazine who uncovers what Ashley is doing, and more importantly, Nick's involvement. As Ashley and Nick help people in need, Ashley tries to protect Nick's secret, and her own heart, while Will must weigh the consequences of what he does.

Moonlight & Mistletoe
88 min.

Heartwarming and hilarious story of a father and daughter who single-handedly attempt to save Christmas ... in Santaville. Arnold plays Nick, the owner of a year round Christmas theme park. After three years, his estranged daughter Holly returns home to find the spirit of Christmas in Santaville has dwindled, taking the family business with it. What starts out as an attempt to bail out her dad, ends up rekindling Holly s belief in Christmas all over again. The snowflakes will fly in this holiday film the whole family will enjoy!

A Christmas Proposal
90 min.

Two lawyers dueling over a proposal to turn a quaint mountain town into a ski resort discover they are former childhood sweethearts. Lisa is fighting to protect the hamlet, big city attorney Rick represents the developer who wants to plow it under. But when a car accident forces Rick to stick around, the small town, and his former beloved, begin to work their magic on him.

The National Tree
88 min.

When his Sitka Spruce tree is chosen to be planted outside the White House as the new national Christmas Tree, the teenager is charged with the task of getting it across the country for delivery. During his journey, the young traveler must decide whether the fame the tree has brought him is worth losing the gift that has meant so much to him and his father.

The Christmas Choir
85 min.

Based on a true story, The Christmas Choir is the inspiring account of how one man can make a remarkable difference simply by giving of himself. Workaholic accountant Peter Andrews has overlooked Christmas, friends and even his fiancé for far too long. As a result, his life begins to fall apart. But a chance encounter with a homeless man named Bob changes everything and inspires Peter to start a choir that eventually goes on to enormous success. With the help of the unconventional Sister Agatha and his newfound friends at the shelter, Peter learns that Christmas is not a season but a state of mind and that everyone deserves a second chance at life and love.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Christmas Movie Challenge, Happy Thanksgiving

My Christmas Movie Challenge is going very well. Since November 15th, I have watched 5 out of 10 Christmas movies that I've never seen before. These are movies that have to do more with Christmas than not. I've watched others like "Boys Town" and "Room for One More", that has a Christmas scene or two, and I've not seen those before either, but these listed are very Christmasy. I have posted some reviews of these movies in earlier posts and some will be in later.

A Christmas Without Snow
Home for Christmas
The Angel of Pennsylvania Avenue
The Night Before, The Night Before Christmas
Santa Jr.

5 more to go.

Tuesday was our Thanksgiving Mass, it was nice as usual. We are having our holiday's this year in the lower church as they are renovating the main church. We sang our little hearts out.

My son will be home today,, and will leave on Sunday, but will be back at Christmas time for one month.

My mom will be coming over tomorrow afternoon, and spend the night so she will cook some food and I will cook some food on Thursday. It will be nice to be under one roof for dinner, this has not happened since last Christmas.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Back to Family - Christmas

Booky and the Secret Santa
90 min.

It's Christmas time and Booky is trying to bring her family the best Christmas possible. But it looks like she is going to need a miracle when her family falls on hard times when her dad loses his job. Watch as Booky teams up with friends, family and a very secret Santa to save Christmas.

Christmas in Canaan
96 min.

DJ and Rodney don't like each other from the start. Rodney thinks DJ is an ignorant white farm boy, and DJ thinks Rodney acts too smart for his own good. After a school bus scuffle between the two, DJ's father and Rodney's grandmother come up with a clever solution that brings the boys closer than either of them would like. Living in Canaan, Texas in the 1960's does not make it easy for a black boy and a white boy to forge a friendship. It is only amid the magic of an unforgettable Christmas that DJ and Rodney discover a land of milk and honey where hope and love make all the difference.

A Golden Christmas
95 min.

After a magical summer together, a nine-year-old boy whispers his heart into the ear of a best friend. With a loyal, golden dog by their side, the boy and girl bury a time capsule of keepsakes then they go their separate ways.

Years later, looking for a fresh start, a man and woman each return to the place they felt most at home as a child. But a comedic case of unknown identity has them competing for the same childhood memories, and Christmas escapades ensue. For the sake of their happiness, they must discover their common past before they turn each other s lives completely upside-down.

Can a golden dog lead them home?

The Christmas Story Lady
94 min.

An elderly lady has a gift for storytelling that brings a troubled family together and envelops them in a world of imagination.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Christmas Movies - Recently Watched

The Night Before, The Night Before Christmas

In the film, Santa’s chief elf accidently unleashes Christmas a day early, causing his sleigh to crash and land on Angela Fox’s family rooftop. Santa suffers from amnesia and needs the help from the Foxes. While the Foxes help Santa, they help themselves too as they rediscover the meaning of Christmas and the importance of family.

This was a cute movie. It was released this year so it isn't dated. It is still coming on the Hallmark Channel this season. I recommend!!

The Angel of Pennyslvania Avenue

When an unemployed Detroit man is arrested for a crime he didn't commit, his three children is determined to get him out of jail in time for Christmas and they decide to enlist the help of "the most powerful man in the world" - President Hoover. En route to the White House, they meet an array of colorful characters.

Well all I can say is that sometimes acting is really really really bad. But it can be overlooked in a Christmas movie. This story is based on facts. Apparently there was a little girl who went to the White House to see President Hoover in hopes that he would help get her father released from jail. It was dramatization of the a touching story.

A Christmas Without Snow

A divorced woman moves to San Francisco from Omaha after her divorce. Leaving her young son with his grandmother while trying to build her life again, she joins the choir of a local church. A tough, curmudgeonly, perfectionist choirmaster, is hired and attempts to whip the choir into shape for a Christmas concert. The choir group overcomes issues including ageism, racism, teen angst, small group divas, middle-aged relationships, single parenthood, the plight of struggling low income churches, and replacing the old with the new. Slow-paced, but with issues that still ring true today. A must view for any adult choir group.

I may have mentioned this movie last year, but I only got to watch it. I didn't realize this revolved around an adult choir, this was a treat for me since I am part of an adult choir, and trust me, it is pretty on point. A dated movie (1980), faded color, not very good acting, but what the heck, it is Christmas, we can live with a few bad movies. This movie falls under Faith and Spirituality, although I don't understand why. Because it takes place in a church? Whatever, I enjoyed it, but I'm sure this movie isn't for everyone.

Home For Christmas

The movie centers around a wealthy young girl who takes in a homeless man (Mickey Rooney) during the Christmas Holidays. A bond of friendship and trust grows between them that results in both of their lives being dramatically changed. However, when a secret from the man's past surfaces, he returns to the streets without any goodbye or explanation to the young girl or her family. Will an unexpected Christmas miracle heal all troubles?
*Thanks Straight Arrow from Amazon for the synopsis*

This was a sweet movie. Although dated (it was from 1990 and it shows), you can look past that and enjoy a story of forgivness.

The Good Witch’s Gift

Catherine Bell returns as Cassie Nightingale, the witch who runs a gift shop and bed-and-breakfast. She and her fiancé, Jake Russell, the chief of police there in Middleton, have been engaged for months, but have been unable to set a date, both being too busy. He wants to get Cassie the perfect Christmas gift, and decides he’ll get her the one thing she always wanted, a family. He wants to get married on Christmas Eve.

It’s far from smoothing sailing before the special day. Jake catches sight of a familiar-looking man walking around town, and his fears are realized. It’s Leon Deeks, who has just gotten out of prison, having served ten of a fifteen-year sentence for a robbery there in Middleton. Since Jakes was the guy who was behind putting him away, he isn’t sure what type of business Leon has being back in town.

I got to see this one, it was really sweet. It is a nice love story for the holiday. This is part of a trilogy, but I've not seen the other two movies. This one is family friendly too.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

More Cute Family Christmas Stuff!


A moving Christmas tale about a young orphan named Boo who is taken in by his aunt. When a homeless man shows up at their door it appears he has some strange powers that he wishes to bestow on Boo and the family, leading to a magical tale full of seasonal cheer.

A Small Miracle: A Christmas Story
25 min.

On Christmas Eve, a poor old woman plays her accordion in the street. Apart from two children, the passers-by ignore her and by the end of the day she has to sell her accordion to buy some food. Worse is to come. On her way home a thief steals her money. She discovers that he has also vandalized the church-the little Nativity figures lie scattered on the floor and the collection box is empty. The old woman restores order and sets off exhausted towards her caravan. But before long she collapses in the snow. And now the magic begins. The little Nativity figures come to life and carry her safely home. They make sure that her good deeds are rewarded so that in the morning she wakes to the most wonderful Christmas she could ever imagine. The traditional nativity characters feature in the story but the setting is contemporary and the plot touching and original.

Mrs. Miracle
90 min.

Overwhelmed widower Seth Webster is searching for a housekeeper to help him with his unruly six year old twin sons. "Mrs. Miracle" mysteriously appears and quickly becomes an irreplaceable nanny, chef, friend... and matchmaker.

Recipe for a Perfect Christmas
86 min.

First-time food critic JJ Jenner is a cute but bookish 24-year-old whose transformation from low-level magazine writer to coveted food columnist faces just one roadblock--her free-spirited, scene-stealing mother, who shows up unannounced for the holidays. Low on energy and patience, and desperate to get some work done, JJ sets her mom up with Alex, a sweet and ambitious young chef, in exchange for reviewing his struggling restaurant. When writer's block suddenly hits, JJ begins to recognize that her true feelings for Alex may be the problem. As Christmas nears, JJ learns that her mother is just as vulnerable and insecure as she is, and that love and family are worth risking everything for.

A Christmas Snow
111 min.

The plot is centered around Kathleen, a hard business woman who has been greatly hurt by the past. Right before Christmas her boyfriend Andrew asks her to look after his daughter Lucy while he is away on a business trip. The fireworks between the daughter and possible future mother make a story in itself. Then the enigmatic Sam comes on the scene, as delightfully played by Muse Watson. This mysterious figure appears to be a homeless man on a quest. He is taken in by Kathleen, and a major snowstorm and the failure of electricity force the three to live together through Christmas.

Thank you Dr. Fred of Amazon for your synopsis.

Christmas Hope
86 min.

Starring Madeleine Stowe. No synopsis found anywhere. Don't know what it is about (sorry). Ratings are middle of the road 5 out of 10.

Christmas in Wonderland
98 min.

Wayne Saunders (Patrick Swayze) is forced to leave L.A. to move to Edmonton CA. The kids get lost in the mall the youngest wants to see Santa. After visiting Santa a wish comes true they find a bag full of money. The only problem is, its counterfeit cash and the problems start, after they go on a spending spree.

Thank you movie buff "love my mac" of Amazon for your synopsis.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Learn about Christmas

Rick Steves' European Christmas

Rick Steves' European Christmas DVD provides a vivid and authentic portrait of how Europeans celebrate the holiday from England to Norway, Burgundy to Bavaria, and Rome to the top of the Swiss Alps. Included are 14 complete live concert performances of music. The 2004 Midnight Mass at St. Peters Basilica (Pope John Paul II) is featured with highlights of Christmas traditions up in the loft with the finest choirs, and into the kitchen with grandma and her best-kept holiday secrets.

A Victorian Christmas
92 min.

When you think of an Old English Christmas most of the seasonal images that immediately spring to mind belong to the Victorian era. Snowy landscapes, beautifully decorated fir trees, chirruping Robins and mountains of festive food nostalgically take us back to a time when Christmas really was celebrated in style. Queen Victoria was personally responsible for a number of our traditional seasonal customs and the great author Charles Dickens created an image of Christmas in his world-famous novels that colours every aspect of our modern day celebrations. "A Victorian Christmas" has been designed to take you on a fascinating journey of discovery, exploring the traditions and customs of this most significant mid--winter festival. From feasting to game playing, carol singing to gift giving, the Victorians stamped their hallmark on Christmas for all time. So, sit back, relax, take a cup of good cheer and enjoy a very merry, Victorian Christmas.

Biography - Santa Claus
50 min.

Celebrate the enchantment embodied within the legend of one of history's most beloved figures. Though rooted in various religions, Santa also symbolizes the secular spirit of generosity. Adored by children worldwide, but often with a different name and emanating from disparate myths, he continues to create instantaneous mirth and joy. Join us on a jolly journey through time to reveal his roots--from the Roman Befana to the Germanic Berchta and Knecht Ruprecht, from Saint Nicholas to Santa Claus.

The History of Christmas
200 min.

Showcasing a full, in-depth look at Christmas traditions, this set features four insightful programs, all compiled to make one Christmas extravaganza.

Advent & Christmas in old Germany
70 min.

The festival, celebration, and tradition of Christmas in Germany is massively important to the German people and is an integral part of German culture, with the country sporting some of the most glamorous and spellbinding celebrations and markets in the world. During the festive period, thousands visit the magical Christkindlesmarktes and join the Christmas festivities to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.In this DVD, Elmar Gunsch and Greg Marston take us on a magical journey through glittering Christmas markets, fairy tale winter landscapes and alpine bars with popular Christmas music, as well as investigating a selection of the most beautiful cribs in Germany.We experience the opening of the world-famous Nurnberger Christkindlesmarktes that accommodates over two million visitors during the Christmas period and admire the living crib of monastery Andechs. We also meet the genuine Father Christmas and are told a Christmas story by the Nurnberger "Baby Jesus".The DVD also explains the old Rothenburger dedicating night, the traditional mountain Christmas and the world-famous Dresden Striezelmarkt, one of Germany's oldest-dated Christmas markets which dates back to the 1400s. Finally, the Dresden Cross Choir is featured and perform Christmas carols. A white wintry Germany during the Christmas season form the conclusion of this sensational journey about the customs and culture of German Christmas history and will serve as the perfect tool to get you in the mood for the festive period.