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It's that Time of Year

Mr. Popper's Penguins 

We watched it last year at least three times, and when viewed again this year, we still giggled all the way through it.  That warrents its addition to the list.  Jim Carry again, so if you are not a fan, you probably won't like it.  He's out of costume, and plays a rather cold but sophisticated character.  Thawed by the end of the movie, of course.


I was never a particular fan of Will Ferrell (unless you don't count Cowbell), but this movie is original, charming, funny, has a great soundtrack, and Will is utterly charming in it.  When you call our home phone in the month of December, you will hear Chris say, "Buddy the Elf, what's your favorate color?"

We can't figure out why Grace The Girl doesn't like it.  Perhaps letting a very tired seven year old who still believed in Santa watch a giant elf having a fist fight with a fake Santa wasn't the best idea.  She's never quite gotten over it. 

I did ask her the other day if she still believed in Santa.

She said, "I don't see any reason not to."  Wise Girl.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

If we let her, Grace would watch The Grinch 24x7.  (So would I.)

A Charlie Brown Chrismas

I have both the movie and soundtrack version.

Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol

When I want to watch this movie, Chris runs upstairs to his cave and puts on the Twilight Zone marathon, and Grace buries her nose in a book.  Seriously.

Mr. Magoo is an annoying cartoon character I couldn't stand as a kid.  Politically insensitive, it likely wouldn't get broadcast in today's world.   It's the music that gets me.  It took me years to find it for sale and now seems to be back in the mainstream. 

Miracle on 34th Street

Lots of remakes, but there's not beating Natalie Wood in her very first role.  I don't even mind the colorized version.

The Lion in Winter

Katharine Hepburn, Peter O'toole, and at the beginning of their careers, Anthony Hopkins and Timothy Dalton. 

Its a Wonderful Life

Never one of my favories, but Chris loves it.  Its also on everyone else's list.

A Christmas Story

Recently voted by a poll in Vanity Fair as the most overplayed movie.  Thanks, TNT.

The Men Who Built America

Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, Carnegie, JP Morgan and Ford.  You know their names.  Now watch their stories.  One of the best historical documentaries we've seen.  You might do better at The History Channel website and get all five segments together.


On a music side, we have all the standards, but a very recent addition is a recording from Bruce Cochburn.  He's not your mainstream musician, nor is this group of songs your mainstream Christmas.  But it is different, and beautiful in a haunting way, and has become the first piece of music we play on the morning of December 1st.

James Taylor at Christmas

This would not have made the list since it's more of a jazz rendition of the old standards.  However, his rendition of Auld Lang Szne has made me listen to what we normally hear when the ball drops in a very different way.

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