The Nanny: The Christmas Episode

Screen Shot 2014-11-30 at 9.27.55 PMMr. Sheffield is not going to be home for Christmas. His kids even know that he uses a personal shopper to buy all of their gifts. Fran asks little Gracie, who is too cynical to believe is Santa, what she would ask of him for Christmas if she did believe. Gracie says that she would wish for her dad for Christmas. Well, I think we know where this episode is going.

So Mr. Sheffield decides to go out of town to raise money for a children’s charity instead of spending Christmas with his own children. She did, however, convince Mr. Sheffield to pick out the children’s gifts himself. What she didn’t realize, is that he also picked out a gift for her as well in lieu of a Christmas bonus. So she pawns the gorgeous vase he got her in order to pay for the gifts she had already charged on her credit card. But Mr. Sheffield gives her this beautiful speech as snow falls on him in the doorway (soon) about how he picked it out just for her and hopes she will cherish it, etc, etc.  Screen Shot 2014-11-30 at 9.25.09 PM

So Fran rushes back to the pawn shop and pawns her grandmother’s watch (a family heirloom) in order to get the vase back. In a weird kind of not really gift-of-the-magi situation, Niles alerts Mr. Sheffield to the situation and he tracks down the watch at the pawn shop. But it isn’t her grandmother’s watch. It’s some random stranger’s watch. Then Mr. Sheffield accidentally sits on the vase and ends up in the hospital with chards of glass in his butt. Screen Shot 2014-11-30 at 9.25.18 PM

But hey they get to spend Christmas together and Gracie believes in Santa because her wish came true! Mr. Sheffield tells Gracie that it was his Christmas wish to spend time with them too. (Uh yeah okay but that didn’t stop you from scheduling a fundraiser on Christmas Day…)

Very Special Lesson: Sometimes it takes a Jewish Nanny to remind a WASP family of the true meaning of Christmas.

I’ll Be Home for Christmas

Christmas1So great was my JTT fever that I begged my mom to get this movie on pay-per-view, which means I saw it in like the summer. And I loved JTT so much that I wasn’t even jealous that it wasn’t Christmas in my world. I haven’t seen this movie since that pay-per-viewing. But that’s all changed now. This is viewing 2.0.

So first off here are some things that were lost on me as a kid. I didn’t understand that they were in high school. It’s pretty obvious that they are boarding school kids, but when I was an elementary school kid, I thought that I was watching a movie about college students. And I’d like to assert that it was actually a fairly reasonable assumption on my part because JTT starts off this movie by buying tickets to Cabo San Lucas for he an his girlfriend (Jessica Biel) to spend Christmas. Even as a kid, I knew that romantic holiday getaways were reserved for legal adults. Or so I thought. But like apparently JTT is such a sneaky high schooler that he actually manages to secure those tickets and a three bedroom condo on the beach. It’s a Disney movie, so that must be why there are three bedrooms for two people.santa beard

Lately, I’ve been really feeling my inner 90’s kid. I think it has something to do with the fact that my brain is like “holy crap you’ve been around for a quarter of a century and what is happening in your life??” This has led to a large desire on my part to go back to kindergarten immediately. Clearly, that is not an option, so I’ve been embracing 90’s specific nostalgia extra hardcore lately.

So with all that in mind, I have to say. This movie is so 90’s. I cannot even handle it. I am 11.5 minutes in right now and I had to pause it to take a breather. So far the following things have happened:

  • JTT referred to the internet as “the net”
  • The cool kids talked about trying to sneak into The Viper Room
  • Jessica Biel has a Lisa Leslie jersey on her dorm room wall
  • JTT helps the cool kids cheat on their exams WITH BEEPERS
  • People have been using so many cordless landlines!!!
  • Robby from 7th Heaven is hitting on Mary from 7th Heaven but it is NOT okay because she is with JTT in this movie.

So Robby (for purpose of this film, Andy) so badly wants to get with Mary (for purposes of this film, Allie) that he goes full on sociopath and sabotages JTT’s beeper cheating scam, so that he can then rally the cool kid to kidnap JTT and strand him in the middle of the desert wearing a Santa suit. I mean it’s all fun and games until someone dies in the middle of the deserts all because of a beeper cheating scam. So anyway, the reason why it’s particularly awful that JTT is stuck in the middle of nowhere as Santa is that his dad has managed to discover the Cabo San Lucas tickets and bribed JTT with a 1957 porsche if he comes home for Christmas Dinner. Moreover, he has exchanged the tickets for two plane tickets to New York (since Allie got super mad at him for trying to sneak her away to Mexico when she just wants to go home to a snowy, family-filled holiday). roadtrip

When JTT doesn’t show up to go to the airport with her, Allie gets all mad at him for being a slacker. She isn’t into Andy, but he offers her a ride home and she feels like she should take it. I mean hello there is a MISSING CHILD and no one calls a police officer? See why I thought they were all adults in this movie?! When JTT finally manages to call his dad to explain his circumstances, his dad thinks he’s just making up an excuse and dragging his feet about coming home.

So from here on out when cut in between JTT trying to get to New York (for both the porsche and his girlfriend) and Andy trying to seduce Allie. Allie in this movie really reminds me of Jo from The Facts of Life, but I believe that she really does love JTT and is not in a secret lesbian relationship with her roommate. But like anyway, it’s easy to see why Andy likes her.) Also, their road trip features this non-“Barbie Girl” song by Aqua. Yep. I mean holy crap the 90’s, am I right?

Stop the presses! JTT just said “Yeah, no duh” non-ironically! And he says this while trying to reunite a police officer with his scorned wife. Oh my! But now that I’ve interrupted the flow of this commentary, I would like to ask a simple question. How come all of these teenagers are driving themselves home for the holidays? When I was in college people still had to have their parents pick them up at end of the semester. Where did all of these people get cars? They obviously come from super wealthy families. But like their parents are just like no it’s cool, honey, you drive home cross-country with a mere acquaintance and stay in multiple hotels. And I’m not even talking the obvious hanky-panky. I mean like I actually cannot fathom staying in multiple hotels as a high school senior and driving from California to New York. I would have lost my freaking mind with stress, and also I don’t think anyone would have let me into a hotel room. I think they would have called the department of social services.

Okay wtf someone just rented them the honeymoon suite! Okay, now I’m concerned about the obvious hanky-panky. He has been so creepy this entire time and now she is forced into sharing a sex-room with him?! Disney, like who are you guys?! But like I guess he is kind of sweet because she makes him wear all of his clothes (including his mittens) to make sure that he has to behave himself, and he’s totally game put everything on including winter coat and mittens. He also sleeps on top of the sheets. But that actually may have been so that he did not die of heat stroke.

ill-be-home-for-christmas-1998-12Okay, so JTT does a ton of obnoxious stuff in order to try to get home, but the most ridiculous (and the only one I feel super obligated to point out) is find a weird man who is about to eat some straight up raw meat and then passing that raw meat off as a liver that needs to be donated to Allie (at a hotel room) STAT. It’s pretty hard to keep all of this from Allie (the porsche, the fake liver, etc.) and she calls him a “butthole,” which in 90’s teen-speak I think means they broke up. But this gives way to Andy and JTT getting to ride the rest of the way home together and like it’s hilarious! Omg 90’s teen stars! (Also, why do all of these people live in New York and go to school in California? The have SO much money. Why aren’t they at NMH or Phillip’s? This is such a party boarding school, isn’t it. This is like the Faber College of boarding schools, isn’t it?) I got a little distracted and anyway JTT ends up in a Santa race. Why did I get distracted? I spilled water all over my untreated wood coffee table. Why do I have an untreated wood coffee table? Because it was free on the street.

Okay, so Wikipedia says that JTT participated in the Santa race because Andy decided that he was ultimately too jealous to be nice to him/give him a ride and then JTT had to enter this race because the prize was an airline ticket and he has to get home. But it turns out that the mayor always wins the race and gives the money to the less fortunate, so JTT gives him the winnings even though he won the race.

JTTJessicaThen JTT’s kid sister takes pity on him and buys him a plane ticket with her life sayings. (Um what happened to must be 18 or older to call?) But JTT cannot get on the plane because he doesn’t have ID. So then he like stows away in the dog kennel area I think…and manages to survive that…only to be tossed off of a metronorth train (how did he get to metronorth form the airport?!?) and then he finally makes it home by holding onto the roof of a car. Oh wait just kidding! Not home yet! Nope, he has to use a sleigh stolen from a parade for that. Well, this kid is just straight up squandering his chances of getting into a good college. But hey! He does eventually get the girl. And then he intentionally shows up late to dinner, so that his family will know that the car was not the important thing!

jonathan_taylor_thomas_jessica_biel_gary_cole_i'll_be_home_for_christmas_001*Oh and by the way Robby from 7th Heaven is actually named Eddie in this movie, but I had already written 1000 words calling him Andy, so I figured it was just easier to make this note at the end of the post. Also, I didn’t know where to write about this earlier, but there’s a weird scene in which JTT removes Robby/Eddie/Andy’s towel in the hotel room in what I guess is supposed to be an inappropriate power play, but also isn’t showing your girlfriend some other guy’s naked body like probably not the best move?

Very Special Lesson: JTT just commands an audience man! He’s so fun to watch. Sorry he wanted to leave acting and like study and get degrees and stuff. But he’s probably a better person for it. We should all strive to be more like JTT. And I think also something like home is for the holidays and cars aren’t as important as people?

Also, shout out to *Nsync for providing the credits music. They made a great holiday album guys.

I feel like I just wrote an Opus. Did any of you make it this far?

Sweater Weather

Alas, the Christmas season is upon us. I was inspired by the Coloring for Grown-Ups Holiday Fun Book and decided to design a few of my own holiday sweaters. Here are the descriptions (clockwise) the “display the tree” sweater. Nothing says Christmas like a gigantic evergreen splayed across your chest. The “winter wonderland sweater,” favorable due to its flexible wear either on Christmas or anytime until mid-January. The “’tis the season for sweets” sweater, which in this case involves a candy can but could also involve a gingerbread house. And finally, the “aunt”sweater. This gaudy and loud sweater is usually favored by aunts at family dinners.

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Draw your own and send it to me at theveryspecialblog at gmail dot com. I’ll post it during the holiday season!

Very Special Shopping List

Today is the biggest shopping day in America, and as far as I’m concerned, the dawn of the apocalypse. Black Friday scares me first and foremost because of, oh I don’t know, the threat of physical violence. But I also hate the whole frantic consumerist nature of it, in spite of the fact that I do enjoy saving a few bucks. Anyhow, I’ve decided to be topical and give you a shopping list of all things very special. But you can stay home and buy these things online. Or don’t buy them at all. I’m trying to make all of my gifts this year. I’ve started already because I’m worried that I’ll mess them up and I need time to start all over again.

Okay, so let’s get this list going!

For the movie lover:

You can purchase a  Back to the Future Part II 2015 hat in 2014. That’s just before these will be on the market, people! Give your loved one this timely gift, so they can say they had it first! $24.99 at Think Geek.

For the saccharine couple in your life:

This is perfect for that couple that you have to spend time with as a couple because they aren’t individuals at all. You can give these as a joint gift and then they can pretend they gave them to each other. $16 at TulaTinkers.

For the person who likes Apples to Apples and Cards Against Humanity and needs another group matching card game:

This is a game that’s entirely made up of matching “Hello my name is _______” with “You __________ prepare to die.” $24.99 on Amazon.

For the Baker:

‘Tis the season for gingerbread and eating your favorite characters! $11.99 at Think Geek.

For the Fashionista:

Clarissa totally had the best fashion of the 90’s and now you can give the gift of fashion to a young girl in your life. This historical paper doll will teach America’s youth about the important historical character, Clarissa Darling, in a fun-filled and creative manner. $15 at sweetandlovely.

For the Board Game Fan: 

If you previously happened upon a list of boardgames based on TV Shows and were just dying to purchase one for your television obsessed, board-game fanatic friend, then look no further! $30 at Uncle Johns Band.

For the Art Lover:

We all know how our favorite diabetic babysitter struggles with the temptations of sweet treats. This amazing print is available for that friend who can’t let go of her favorite children’s books and also likes fine art prints. Unless I snatch it up myself first. $25 at daisychurch.

For the friend who likes to be cozy:

Kowabunga, dude! This is sure to make anyone the best dressed at the holiday sweater party. Give your loved one the gift that keeps on giving, warmth. $14.99 at Kohl’s.

For the Book Lover:
I’m listing two suggestions in this category because both options are so great that I just can’t decide which to pick.

I think you can guess what the first book is about, but let’s talk about Operation: Clean Sweep. I thought that this would have something to do with saving the beach since resident activist Jesse is featured on the cover. But you can’t judge a book by it’s cover. This is a book about risky behavior. It’s about teenagers dating con artists in Las Vegas. What? I’d like to invite you to read the full description below:

Screen Shot 2014-11-27 at 12.38.48 AM
I mean I guess it does kind of involve environmentalism…

You can get both Best Friend’s Gal and Operation: Clean Sweep for only $7.95 at Treasure Trove Books.

If you know someone who likes to read children’s books adapted from mediocre television series, but Saved by the Bell isn’t really here thing, then might I suggest another option. Full House Stephanie: Phone Call from a Flamingo, featuring the thrilling tagline “Are the flamingoes a cool club or bad news?” Once again, I am going to refer you to the back of the book for the ultimate authority on whether this gift is the right option for you. $1.50 at Retro Vintage Mart. Very special lessons undoubtedly abound.