The Golden Girls: Twas the Nightmare Before Christmas

Dorothy is being kind of a Scrooge, but for good reason. She’s not feeling the holiday spirit because everything is so commercialized and her wallet can’t handle it. (Ugh girl, I feel you.) Rose suggests that they all celebrate “St. Olaf Style,” which luckily does not involve herring or strange festivals this time, but rather involves everyone making gifts for one another.

Rose gives Dorothy a maple syrup spigot, very handy in Miami, and Blanche gives everyone a nudie calendar, entitled “The Men of Blanche’s Boudoir.” All of the girls are traveling this Christmas, so they exchange gifts early. The following morning they all plan to travel to the airport together after picking Rose up from work. (This is back in her days of working at a Crisis Center.)

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Dorothy and Blanche arrive to pickup Rose from her office while Sophia waits in the car. However, Rose is with a client so they have to sit in the waiting area. As they finally prepare to leave, a man in a Santa costume enters the office and holds them up at gun point. He doesn’t plan on robbing them though. He just doesn’t want to spend Christmas alone. ūüė¶

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Omg he even brought presents for everyone. And theses ladies are like WAHHH WE’RE GOING TO MISS OUR FLIGHT. Chill, girls. You need to hang out with this poor guy who brought you all gifts.

Oh wait, Rose makes a pretty good point. They’re not entitled to give him a good Christmas. And he’s being pretty darn selfish.

After a while, Sophia gets tired of waiting in the car. She walks into the office and immediately spots the Santa’s gun as a toy. They all rush to the airport, hoping to make it in time to catch their flights.¬†Miraculously, they do make it to their gates in time! And then everything is grounded for a weather delay.

They go to a diner and feel sorry for themselves. When the waiter/cook (he’s the only guy working at the diner)¬†comments on what a nice family they are, they realize they’re very fortunate to have each other (and to not be spending Christmas alone like the Santa at the Crisis Center). They want to do something nice for the waiter/cook so they convince him to go home for an hour to be with his family while they watch the diner…uh okay…

If that wasn’t implausible enough, it suddenly begins to snow. In Miami. This hasn’t actually happened since 1977. Yeah, I looked it up.

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Very Special Holiday Lesson: Sometimes the best families are the ones you choose.

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: Christmas Show

c9df4f74b38b4aa0d7c9f6e137bce254Will and his extended family are hitting the slopes for the holidays, which Will says is “for white guys named Sven and OJ Simpson” (because this was back when people thought OJ Simpson was delightful and hadn’t yet realized he is a colossal turd person). They’re all driving separately to the airport (omg please say this is going to turn into a¬†Home Alone episode) and Uncle Carl hands out the tickets in advance.

Hilary is horrified to learn that the tickets are coach. I don’t know if any of you flew coach in 1991 (and granted my legs were a lot shorter back then) but I remember the seats being a LOT roomier. I shudder to think what Hilary would say if she got a coach class ticket these days. She’d probably opt to stay in Bel-Air and skip out on the ski trip all together.

The whole extended family goes skiing. Even Will’s mom join them. When they all meet up at the rental house (where sadly, Carl is left without a bedroom because of some kind of rental mixup) Will is horrified to learn that his mother has a boyfriend. She won’t share much info about the new relationship.

Later on, a man knocks on the door of their chalet and asks to use the phone. Carlton invites him in, but Will shuts the door in his face. Everyone tells Will he is being callous, but¬†I get it. YOU DON’T KNOW WHO THESE PEOPLE ARE! Will says, “unless he is on a mule with a pregnant virgin he ain’t getting in here.” Aw, Christmas jokes, guys!

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Will gets out voted and they let the guy in. He doesn’t immediately kill them and because this is¬†The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air¬†and not¬†Dateline he probably won’t. OH MY GOSH HE HOLDS THEM UP. DUDE PULLS OUT A GUN.

To all the haters who judge a healthy dose of paranoia, let this be a lesson to you.

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The thief take literally everything, including some toilet paper and a used pregnancy test. Uh. Okay. They better be sending the Special Victims Unit when the cops respond to this because what the actual f***(this is a family blog…well not really…).

With no gifts and no possessions, the family gives each other the present of their presences. They go around the table and say what they plan to do for their families and how these commitments will be their Christmas gifts. They plan to spend more time together, listen to each other more, and be more like the best qualities that they recognize in each other. Ugh, I’m tearing up. The holidays, dammit.

Then they all sing “Oh Holy Night.” It’s pretty. (Carlton wanted to sing a solo. They act like he cannot sing but Alfonso Ribeiro has a lovely voice. But they all sound great together too.)

Very Special Holiday Lesson: The best gifts are immaterial.

Boy Meets World: Easy Street

There’s a lot of financial pressure around the mv5bmjg1odywnzgynf5bml5banbnxkftztgwnjk1otu2mje-_v1_uy268_cr870182268_al_holidays, and if you have the time you may be in the market for a seasonal job. And that’s how Cory ends up working for the mob.

Cory is a “gopher” at Little Paulie’s restaurant and Shawn is working “down at the docks” in a “union job.” Woah, how did a sixteen year-old kid land that as a Christmas job?

Meanwhile, Eric offers to drive Loni 500 miles so that she can spend Christmas with her family. Remember, Loni? She’s the cute blonde who worked at the Matthews’ outdoor store. Remember that store? Whatever happened to that store?

Shawn uses his 8:30 am lunch break to visit¬†Cory. Who takes an 8:30 am lunch break, you ask? 16 year-olds who started working at 3 am in a clear violation of child labor laws. There’s no way this is a legit union job. Cory brags about his “cushy” job and even has Shawn come to the restaurant to visit him. That’s when Shawn notices that this restaurant is clearly run by mobsters.

hqdefault4Cory quits his job immediately and Shawn fills the vacancy. Shawn becomes so dedicated to his mob-job that he skips school to work longer shifts. “Jobs like this don’t come around very often,” he says. It turns out Shawn is of the high-risk teen population that would take a low-level position with the mob.

Yep, I bet you didn’t think you’d see a very special episode, let alone a very special holiday episode, dedicated to this sensitive subject. But that’s what’s so great about¬†Boy Meets World. They’re not afraid to tackle the tough-stuff.

Shawn buys Cory a gorgeous and pricy watch for Christmas, but he’s gotten a taste of the good life and he’s thinking this shouldn’t be a Christmas-only job. That’s right. Shawn is looking to become a career criminal. I mean, based on his character development up until this point, I am not entirely surprised. But I didn’t think he was the organized-crime type. He has higher aspirations than I expected, and I have to commend him for that.

3844-4-12On Christmas Eve, the “restaurant owners” ask Shawn to deliver a box to a warehouse and bring back an envelope. They promise to find him “something a little more permanent” if he successfully completes this task. Cory meets Shawn at the warehouse and tries to get him to walk out on the middle of a job for the freaking-mafia. Are you trying to get him killed, Cory?? Also, are you stalking him? How did you find this sketch-ass warehouse? Do you even have a drivers license at this point??

Dude, Cory, at this point, Shawn needs to deliver that box and you need to get out of there and totally forget that you even know where that warehouse is. They do not deliver the box and in a Christmas miracle, the mob does not kill either of them.

P.S. Loni and Eric never make it to her parents’ house. They end up in a blizzard and Eric gives himself a concussion trying to get out of the car underneath 4 feet of snow.

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Very Special Lesson: I can’t even come very-special-lesson this. I mean I feel like you should just never work for the mob, but I also feel like this episode painted a really unclear picture of what it’s like to work on the streets in organized crime syndicates. Also, I’ve just started watching¬†The Wire so it’s quite possible that I am a little on edge right now. Happy Holidays!restaurant

Home Improvement: Home for the Holidays

Randy comes home from Costa Rica for Christmas and is immediately pissed that things at the Taylor house haven’t stayed¬†exactly the same since he left.

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He buys his whole family a protected tree in the Costa Rican rainforest, but Tim is more excited about the cool lights that Brad and Mark got him for the roof. It’s an admirable gift, Randy.

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But you shouldn’t have been surprised that your dad was more into Christmas lights. He’s been waging a full-out war with Doc Johnson next door for at least seven years. And this year he’s taking on Al. So…

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Then Randy¬†speaks some Spanish with Wilson and that’s pretty cool. I can’t figure out if my Spanish is just that rusty or if his accent sucks, but I admire the effort.¬†Randy¬†is so short that he has to stand on the bottom rung of the fence to talk to Wilson lol.

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So Randy deals with the fact that things have changed without him and Jill admits that she and Tim should have made more of an effort to spend time with him. I mean he did come all the way from Costa Rica.

Also, Al defeats Tim in the holiday lighting contest. I think Al needed this win.

Very Special Lesson: This show sucked without JTT. Why did they even do a final season without him???

The Golden Girls: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

the-golden-girls-0Stan shows up with at the girls’ house and tries to get them to invest in a new business plan for manufacturing fake vomit. They slam the door in his face, of course.

Meanwhile, it’s really hot in Florida on December 23rd. None of the girls feel like shopping, so Dorothy decides that they should try “Secret Santa” this year so that they only have to pick out one gift. The only problem is that no one wants to be the recipient of a gift from Rose. She gives really weird gifts, like Yodeling Lessons. And Blanche is going to be stuck with a Rose gift this year.

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But she actually gets her an awesome gift. It’s a really shiny gold blouse, which is definitely something Blanche (or any of the GGs would love to wear). We don’t get to see what they other girls buy for each other. I guess Rose was the only shopper they could make kind of interesting.

219286Anyway, all of the girls decide to help out a Rose’s church, feeding the homeless. They’re really just looking to unload some fruitcake, but I guess it’s good to get volunteers any way you can. But when they get there they find out that Stan is homeless. He put every last penny into a novelty item of Santa wearing sunglasses and driving a fire engine. But the supplier only delivered the Santas on Christmas Eve. Oh and also Stan’s wife has thrown him out of the house.

Wow. I actually feel bad for Stan.

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Rose’s priest tells the girls all about homelessness and how most people are only two or three paychecks away from being homeless. And it turns out that nothing has changed in 30 years: stagnant wages, rising rent, you know the drill.

ggsoupkitchenBut Dorothy gives Stan a pep talk on how he once saved Christmas for their kids when they had no money. He convinced them that Christmas was actually December 26th and stole a tree from someone’s trash. He decorated it and they all had a nice holiday. I guess you can kind of see why Dorothy once loved this guy.

So Stan gives all of the little homeless kids the novelty fire trucks and I’m actually tearing up. Ahhh damn you,¬†Golden Girls.

 

Very Special Lesson: Even jerks can be okay sometimes and if they’re okay around the holidays then that’s even better.

Sabrina, the Teenage Witch: Christmas Amnesia

Sabrina’s aunts are like ridiculously into Christmas. They’re wearing some pretty intense Christmas garb and acting even more peculiar than normal. But Sabrina’s cranky about Christmas. She gets frustrated with the lights and¬†would rather use magic than deal with decorating by hand.tumblr_mxvld8zhm71rijmvyo1_400

Sabrina’s aunts decide to engage¬†her in a myriad of¬†Christmas activities in an effort to make Sabrina more festive. But with each thing they try, she only gets less and less spirited. So finally they let her go to a party at the coolest club in the other realm on Christmas Eve. She’s such a grouch they decide to just spend Christmas Eve dinner without her.

But it turns out the other realm party is really creepy and awful. The only reason Sabrina was invited is that she is anti-Christmas spirit. The people at the party are throwing darts at a board with Santa’s face on it and watching a TV showing people celebrating Christmas.

That’s when things get really creepy. They zero in on Sabrina’s aunts eating without her and decide to make it even “more pathetic” by tricking them into thinking Sabrina came home for dinner, but then she of course doesn’t show. Like how creepy is that if witches can just watch each other? Like do they watch each other in the shower? Ick.

Sabrina is so disgusted that she rushes home to celebrate with her aunts. But when she gets there, she finds that she has erased Christmas entirely. (She turned off the TV and accidentally hit “erase” prior to leaving the other realm party.) Side note: Salem once destroyed the holiday “Bobunk” in much the same manner. What’s Bobunk? Exactly.

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Sabrina tries to save Christmas by spreading Christmas cheer to everyone. And it turns out that Christmas is actually pretty creepy if you don’t know the traditions.

For example, Sabrina gets arrested when she dresses up as Santa and yes all a random child in a department store when she doesn’t sit on her lap. She also sounds like a nut because she keeps walking around singing Christmas carols but like they just sound like jibberish to everyone else…

But when she and her aunts get snowed in, Sabrina realizes “all the hoopla of Christmas isn’t as important as spending time with your family.” Whoops, the spell is reversed!

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Very Special Lesson: Actually, I’m not sure what they were going for her. Sabrina didn’t like “the hoopla of Christmas” so it’s not like she was overly materialistic and needed to learn the “true” meaning of Christmas. She already spends a ton of time with her aunts and obviously never wanted them to suffer…oh wait yeah I guess she wasn’t supposed to skip Christmas Eve Dinner. So yeah. Have dinner with your loved ones and skip the crappy party instead.

 

A Very Murray Christmas

I have to admit, after Scrooged, I thought Bill Murray had probably given all he could give to the Christmas film community. But then Netflix kept showing me trailers of A Very Murray Christmas and I was just dying to watch it.

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They finally released it last night and it’s less than an hour long. (The ideal Christmas Special length, as far as I am concerned.) Like¬†Scrooged, Bill Murray is not excited about Christmas in¬†A Very Murray Christmas. But it’s more like a dejected sad kind of “not happy” instead of his uninhibited malice in¬†Scrooged. He’s also playing a fictionalized version of himself, so if meta-humor is your thing then you might love this.

Anyway, I’ll try to adhere to my rule of not spoiling anything modern, but this is one of my new favorite Christmas Specials for three reasons:
1. It shows how inseparable joy and sadness can be in the holidays. 19insideout-master675
2. It’s really very funny.
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3. The music is charming. Don’t expect the best vocals ever, but you will be entertained. And you can check out the soundtrack here.

 

DIY Advent Calendar

This year I decided to make my own advent calendar. I used this instructable to make mini origami envelopes, which I then filled with fun little tasks or activities. I mixed them all up, so I wouldn’t know which slip of paper ended up in which envelope. (Except for when I knew I’d be out of town this month and I wrote “Have a great time at Disney World” for those specific envelope dates ūüôā )

This was very easy. All you need is:
-Cardstock (for the base of the calendar and for the envelopes as well)
-Slips of paper (for the prompts)
-Tacky Glue (to put it all together)
-A metallic sharpie to write dates on the envelopes

I used Washi Tape to sick this to the back of my front door, but it’s up to you how you want to adhere it and to what surface!

Full House: A Very Tanner Christmas

Good Evening Very Special Readers! And a very merry Christmas Eve to you as well!

screen-shot-2012-11-07-at-1-24-35-am‘Twas the night before Christmas and all the Tanners could do was be demanding. Becky demanded a midwestern blizzard in San Francisco. Danny demanded Stephanie and Michelle stop trying to open all of the presents, including his gift for long-distance girlfriend, who had to cover local Swedish news? Stephanie and Michelle (as previously mentioned) demanded all of the presents in the world ever. But perhaps worst of all, DJ demanded that Steve give up his dream of going to college because it would mean that he had to move to Florida.

Jesse set out to teach the little girls the real meaning of Christmas, while also trying to fix his wife’s broken prairie Christmas dreams. Danny helped DJ deal with her broken heart. Joey did nothing but make stupid jokes.

Kimmy Gibbler also tried to help her dear friend¬†DJ¬†get over an awful break up by inviting the entire wrestling team to the Tanner’s family party. They all lined up to kiss her in front of her three male parental figures, but DJ loved Steve too much to go through with it. So Danny helped her realize that she was being a jerk, and that he and Vicky find a way to make things work even though she has to be a Swedish news anchor. ¬†hqdefault

Lucky for DJ, Steve is such a forgiving boyfriend that he snuck into her family gathering as Santa when she wouldn’t take his calls. This was not at all a weird thing. It was also not weird that everyone mistook Steve for Joey even though Steve is a 17 year old boy and Joey is a thirty-five year old man with no real career or family. Alas, that is the power of a Santa Suit.

Vicky also showed up in a Santa suit because that is how you mend broken relationships in the Tanner household.

So how did Jesse teach Stephanie and Michelle the true meaning of Christmas? He let them talk about presents all day and then took them to a homeless shelter on Christmas just to show them what selfish little brats they were because guilt is the best way to nurture compassion.

And Becky finally got her white Christmas because Jesse filled the backyard with one of those snow machines that a ski resort uses. And it didn’t melt. Not even a little bit. It was a Christmas Miracle.

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Very Special Lesson: I hear the ladies really like the Santa suits.

Growing Pains: It’s Not Easy Being Green

Don’t you just love it when TV Shows name themselves after grammatically correct versions of songs by¬†Muppets? No? Well, maybe that’s just me.¬†Leonardo-Dicaprio-growing-pains-cast

Anyway, this title works two ways. First, there’s an evergreen tree that Alan Thicke is really struggling with. Second, Kirk Cameron is super jealous that his girlfriend (and IRL future-wife) is going to be spending the holidays modeling bikinis in Jamaica. I find this offensive both within the show and in meta-terms. It’s offensive in the show because she is a model and this is a super great opportunity for her. It’s the equivalent of a fictional¬†Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, and this woman lives on Long Island. She obviously hasn’t done well enough for herself to transition to the city or LA or wherever, so like please celebrate that this is her break through moment and be a supportive boyfriend, okay???

dda169b6d2ab4f4c7dcbf24e68de0085_600x400It’s also meta-offensive because Kirk Cameron basically ruined a struggling actress’s Growing Pains¬†career because he found out that she had once posed for¬†Playboy. He seemed¬†to¬†cast her out of¬†Growing Pains¬†by throwing his weight around. I’m not sure of the exact details, but I know this has been widely reported, so Google away, people. Also the way they wrote her out of the show was terrible. The actress I am referring to is Julie McCullough and she played this wonderful love interest for Kirk/Mike Seaver. So great was their chemistry that the writers even had them engaged to one another, but right about this time Kirk discovered her “transgressions” and being the loving Christian that he is, decided to crucify her for them. So they wrote this woman out of the show by having her leave¬†a beloved sitcom star at the alter with nothing but a Dear John letter. So basically the audience could think nothing other than “Wow. Julie is such a bitch.”

Honestly, I’m not trying to advocate for¬†Playboy, but I am advocating against slut-shaming or forcing your own beliefs on another person. And the reason that I find this so particularly annoying in the context of this episode is that I remember from hearing boys talk in high school that¬†the¬†Sports Illustrated¬†swimsuit edition accomplished many of the same goals as¬†Playboy.

But Kirk/Mike isn’t upset with Kate for showing off her assets, he’s upset because he’s worried that the photographer is a lech. It turns out that he’s right about that, but we only get to discover that he is correct in his suspicions because he gets a little stalkerish and shows up in Jamaica unannounced. At first, Kate is happy to see him because she thinks he’s come down to surprise her for the holidays. But when she learns that he showed up because he’s worried about the photographer trying to make out with her, she tells him off. So I like Kate is basically what I’ve learned from this episode. And I end up liking MIke too because he pretty much realizes that he has been a huge jerk, and that trusting someone also means accepting that you can’t control everyone who makes a pass at her.

In other news, Alan Thicke is a control freak about the Christmas tree, so his wife (Joanna Kerns) sets up an alternate tree for the kids to decorate. He realizes he’s been a total loser and forgotten that the meaning of Christmas is togetherness, not trees affixed in their stands with a level. So then adopted-Leo DiCaprio¬†(yes it’s the Leo DiCaprio season, everybody!) and the rest of the children throw a ton of tinsel at this thing and we all learn to love again.¬†

And you’d think that like everything was great with the whole relations between genders and whatnot, except that Carol has been in a jealous spiral similar to Mike’s–and hers does not end in the same manner. She’s jealous of her boyfriend’s assistant for being too hot. And so she breaks up with him. Like an asshole. Then at the very end of the show, he sends her flowers and tells her that he fired his assistant because he loves Carol.

I really hope this assistant has a good lawyer because I would sue the pants off someone who fired me for being too hot on CHRISTMAS EVE of all nights. Also, I don’t like woman-on-woman violence, Carol Seaver, and I’m making a note of this. However, I will give you a pass because it’s so clear that you are in the throes of anorexia nervosa right now. It breaks my heart to see someone so malnourished¬†and know in part it’s because a show that I¬†grew up loving made her the brunt of fat jokes for years even though she was never overweight. And even if she was, it’s not only cruel but also lazy writing. And that’s not cool.

Very Special Lesson(s): Fat jokes are evil. It’s not nice to destroy your coworkers careers. Don’t sneak around checking up on your significant others. And calm down about the Christmas tree.