Guess what? We just got a new VCR. I’m very excited.
Yes, you read it correctly. VCR, as in video cassette recorder; perhaps you’ve heard of it.
I don’t watch many video cassette tapes, but my husband does. He buys cases of used classics and sits down very deliberately to watch them. So when our machine melted down recently, we put in a rush order.
About 99 percent of our Christmas movies are on VHS and I do like to watch those. Apparently all the good holiday specials were shown right after Thanksgiving. I missed every last of them when they aired on regular TV.
As Grinchy as I am this time of year, I rely on my Christmas favorites to lift my spirits and get me in the mood.
I like to kick things off with National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and then watch it again two weeks later, when things start to get tense around here; it helps me keep my sense of humor.
I listen to White Christmas while I’m putting the icicles on the tree and, if no one’s looking, I dance a few steps along with Vera-Ellen. I always wanted to dance like she did.
Last Saturday, The Washington Post ran a list of its readers’ top-ranked holiday-themed movies and TV specials. How the Grinch Stole Christmas came in first, while a movie I’ve never heard of—Emmett Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas, came in 20th.
All the popular classics are there, the ones you’d expect, but it was a bit disappointing for me to see many of our family’s holiday musts absent from the list.
When our son gets into town, he’ll be wanting to crank up the VCR for such video treats as Casper’s First Christmas, Jingle All the Way (see it for no other reason than a hilarious performance by the late Phil Hartman) and Merry Christmas, Mr. Bean. Take my advice and pull any one of these out of the bargain bin the next time you’re out. That is, if you still have a VCR.
Of course, A Charlie Brown Christmas is my favorite serious holiday movie. Between Vince Guaraldi’s piano soundtrack and Linus’ recitation of the Christmas story, it’s all I need. What movie or television special must you see every year?