Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Time

This isn't a post about the meaning of Christmas. Watch the Christmas episode of Community to get that answer. This post is just about things that I love about Christmas and this time of year.

1. White Christmas

The best Christmas movie ever. Hands down, no contest. Danny Kaye, Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera Ellen (if you think she looks like an anorexic dancer it's because she was - people shouldn't really look like that). This movie is watched multiple times during the month of December in our house and it never gets old. It's got music, dancing, comedy, romance... it's just so good. Here's a list of specific things I love about this movie (this is in no way a comprehensive list):

A. Bing's smooth, silky voice
B. Rosemary Clooney's smooth, silky voice
C. Danny Kaye's matching jacket, pants, socks, and shoes in "The Best Things Happen While You're Dancing" number
D. "Well how do you like that? Not so much as a 'kiss my foot' or 'have an apple'."
E. "We'll follow the old man wherever he wants to go,
      As long as he wants to go opposite to the foe
      We'll stay with the old man wherever he wants to stay
      As long as he stays away from the battle's fray
F. Vera Ellen's phenomenal dancing skills. Seriously, phenomenal (watch "Choreography" for specifics)
G. The fact that Rosemary Clooney was 26 and Bing was 51 when this came out (ok, I don't love that part of it, it just makes me laugh).
H. The fact that the first half of the Minstrel Number has absolutely nothing to do with the second half.
I. The best version of White Christmas ever.

To sum up, I love everything about this movie. Except for the fact that Vera Ellen was anorexic. Random fun little fact, Danny Kaye died three days before I was born. I always figured we were friends in heaven for those three days.

2. Christmas in Connecticut

Second best Christmas movie ever. Barbara Stanwyck and Dennis Morgan. I say that like they're both great actors I love when in fact, I haven't seen either of them in anything else. But I do love them both in this. It's corny and predictable, but I still love it. It's hilarious and Dennis Morgan is pretty dreamy... Not dreamy enough to marry after knowing for two days (spoiler!), but it's still a fun movie. And one of my favorite quotes is from this movie. When Barbara Stanwyck shows her Uncle Felix her new mink coat, Felix says, "nobody needs a mink coat but the mink." I love this not because I'm anti-fur (I have no strong feelings either way on that, surprisingly enough), but because it's hilarious and I love Felix. Do me a favor and borrow this movie from me. Or just get it for $7 on Amazon.

3. Chocolate Crinkles

I don't know why these are our Christmas cookies of choice, but they are. I don't think we make them any other time of year besides Christmas. But when we make them, boy do we make them. Dozens and dozens and dozens. The dough is actually chilling in the fridge now and I'm going to bake them as soon as I'm done writing this post.

4. Snow

Although a White Christmas is rare these days. Blasted climate change... :)

5. My mug

This is the coolest mug ever. Hand made, weirdly shaped, and beautiful. I bought it at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia on one of the many occasions we went out to Charlottesville, WV for the horse races. Anyway, Harpers Ferry is the site of a Civil War battle and has fewer than 300 residents today. It's super cute and quaint and has a lot of history and fun shops for tourists. One had some amazing pottery made by people all over the country and this mug caught my eye. I can't remember how much I paid for it, but it was way more than a mug would generally cost. I've definitely gotten my money's worth out of it though with all the hot cocoa I drink in the winter. This mug seriously is great. Also, it's dishwasher safe.

6. Ableskivers

Heavenly. Fun little bits of deliciousness from Denmark and pretty much the only way we celebrate that aspect of our heritage. They're similar to pancakes but way better. Usually we dip them in powdered sugar but we tried something different this year and it requires a back story. A couple weeks ago I went to a friend's house for dinner and turns out they had made ableskivers with a real ableskiver pan. This was the first time I had ever seen ableskivers anywhere but my house so I was pretty excited. Anyway, they made them with a cinnamon/sugar mix in the middle and I recommended trying this with my family because it was so awesome. Now that we know how to put stuff in the middle, I have a feeling we'll be trying a lot of new fillings. Ableskiver, after all, means apple dumpling so we should probably try them with some kind of apple filling sometime.

7. Paella

One of the many reasons I love being Quarter-Rican and our traditional Christmas dinner. Turkey schmurkey, ham schmam, goose schmoose. Paella is the only way to go on Christmas. My mom has a special paella pan (caldero) that she pulls out once a year. Puerto Rican rice, pork, chicken, and veggies, usually garnished with shrimp or shellfish. Puerto Rican food is 100% delicious (especially since sea food is more the exception than the rule) and this is the quintessential Puerto Rican dish. Mmm... I'm excited for next Sunday if only for this.

8. John Denver and The Muppets and Nat King Cole


My two favorite Christmas albums (although James Taylor, Christmas Belles, Bing Crosby, A Brasillian Christmas, and Parranda NavideƱa deserve recognition as well). These epitomize Christmas for me. To me, Christmas is synonymous with Nat King Cole and John Denver with The Muppets. They're both fantastic. 

Just to point out, the worst things about Christmas are the traffic and the Forgotten Carols.