Sure, it was cute when Bambi slipped all over the ice
, but the story usually ends less adorably. Upon finding a deer stuck on the ice, you can chip away the ice and let it swim free
, winch it off the ice by the leg
, or even blow it off the ice with a helicopter
, but it probably won't matter—the deer will die anyway
, and you'll just end up getting in trouble
. Just this week, eight tiny reindeer fell into a lake at a Christmas park
. Their entombed bodies are protruding through its icy surface for all the visiting kids to see. (Maybe coyotes did it
.) People have been rescuing deer from the ice every winter for decades
. If you want things to end well, let the professionals handle it
Carol of the Bells is a well known, traditional handbell song. Carol of the Belts
, not so much. (NSFW, SLYT). From Here Come the Mummies
If you lived in Canada in the 80s and 90s, then the holiday season meant one thing
: Give like Santa
, save like Scrooge.
A Humanitarian Gift Guide:
Nothing says “Happy Holidays” like a scarf from a brothel survivor. [more inside]
Knitting a sweater is like saying "I love you" 150,000 times in a row.
But it's too late for most of us to turn yarn into sweater this year (even those of us who crochet really fast
). If you didn't schedule your holiday crafting successfully
, here are some excuses for not crafting
. Don't knit or crochet? Gift ideas for your favorite crocheter
Neil Gaiman wants a Christmas tree, just one problem, he's Jewish.
And he's not the only one debating this issue. There's a discussion over at slate.com
on whether or not Jews should own a Christmas tree.
Tim Heidecker of Tim and Eric
and Davin Wood (composer on "Awesome Show, Great Job!") are going to release an album as Heidecker & Wood
. It includes an eight minute Christmas suite that they just released for free
. It straddles the line between parody and nostalgic tribute kinda amazingly.
Early in 1903, the success
of the New York production of the musical adaptation of L. Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz
got composer Victor Herbert and librettist Glen MacDonough thinking. They thought that it might be possible to duplicate that success by applying a Christmas theme to Baum's story and then sprinkling in a few Mother Goose characters. Later that year the resulting show, Babes in Toyland
, was a rousing success
. Thirty years later it was made into a movie
starring two of the greatest motion picture actors of the era, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, produced by Hal Roach
. But this post isn't about either of those productions; it's about the worst
production. [more inside]
The Digital Version Of The Nativity Story
, told through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google, Wikipedia, Google Maps, GMail, Foursquare, Amazon and more. [more inside]
Chrome for a Cause
. From now until December 19th, every tab you open on Chrome with this extension installed will help raise funds for five different charities (The Nature Conservancy
, Charity: Water
, Doctors Without Borders
, Un Techo para mi Pais
and Room To Read
Yet more holiday mash-ups, alternate treatments and bootleg remixes. [more inside]
Not in the headlines:
Swedish parlor philosophy of fair play, law and order, slooowly explained by police chief John Lind. [more inside]
(American Big Box Retailer) Target's recent holiday TV spots feature original music from several indie music acts, including Guster
, Bishop Allen
, and Blackalicious
. They've collected the songs from the ads, plus several more, into a free-to-download album
. [Direct Download if you're squicky about visting Target's site] [more inside]
"The Festival of Lights
is an annual event taking place in Lyon between 8th and 11th December 2010
. The people of Lyon place candles or little candle lamps in their windows in honour of the Virgin Mary. The origins of the festival
date back over 150 years, to 1852 when a statue of the Virgin Mary on Fourviere Hill was to be inaugurated."
Today marks 60 years since Frosty the Snowman
was released. It was recorded by singing Cowboy Gene Autry and the Cass County Boys a year after his iconic recording of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer". [more inside]
Merry Christmas music from the North Point iBand
, using borrowed iPhones and iPads
BMJ Christmas Edition
Every year the British Medical Journal
publishes a series of tongue-in-cheek papers for Christmas.
As the UK coalition government
plans swingeing cuts and students
take to the streets to protest, one mother asks us to remember the 'Nouveau Pauvre
'. Some commentators react
unfavourably to her
impending 'austerity Christmas'. [more inside]
Excuse me, have you heard the word?
(SLVimeo, Possibly NSFW or sanity)
Food Court Flash Mob
sings the "Hallelujah" chorus.
The real reason Jews don’t have more Hanukkah music is that historically, American Jewish singer-songwriters were too busy making Christmas music. ‘White Christmas,’ ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,’ ‘Silver Bells,’ and ‘The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting)’ were all written by Jews. Both Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand have their own Christmas albums. The No. 1 best-selling Christmas album of all time is from Kenneth Bruce Gorelick, the Jewish smooth-jazz legend Kenny G. American Jews have always produced a lot of holiday music, just not Hanukkah music.
American Hasidic Jewish Reggae musician Matisyahu
(not the other Matisyahu
) offers an opinion
on why there isn't more Hanukkah music and releases his own Hanukkah song called Miracle
On the flip-side, Mormon senator Orrin Hatch wrote and recorded his own Hanukkah song
last year called Eight Days of Hanukkah
"Every year my wife and I throw a party and when I send out the photos I add famous people
Midwest label Suburban Sprawl
puts out a CD of X-Mas music every winter. They've collected the last eight years of them here
. Highlights include The High Strung, The Hard Lessons, and the common lament, "Santa Just Crashed Into My House and He's Drunk as Fuck."
Thinking of giving that special someone a cat for Christmas?
Well, you need to know how to properly wrap it for placement under the yule tree. Thankfully, there's a handy instructional video for that.
Annable, perpetrator of the previously popular "Space Wolf"
* animation, celebrates Halloween with some spooky, kooky, ooky** toons: in '07 it was the zombie-themed "Last Duet on Earth"
, in '08 "Joy to the Weird"
, last year we were introduced to "Principal Skeleton"
and this year "Performance"
(Spoiler: HE'S BACK). [more inside]
It's hard to explain why this video of an anonymous family at Christmas set to Baxendale's
song Flash Gordon
works so well for me, other than to say that it just makes me happy. Maybe it will make you happy too? (also featuring Cheech and Chong, Tony Bennet, and dancing Darth Vaders)
After all the muzak, Christmas Past
- a quality Christmas song by Mick Flannery
, which he sings here with Lisa Hannigan
(who previously benefited from the Colbert bump
) at the Other Voices
festival in Dingle, Co. Kerry, Ireland. Other Voices has been running for seven years, so the archive of performances
has grown impressively.
Winter holiday traditions change with time and location, with their current forms retaining little of their old forms, wassailing
(rhymes with fossil-ing) possibly more than most. The modern interpretation of wassailing has been simplified to singing carols, though it was born of much more diverse traditions
, from a cheer of good health before battle to scaring evil spirits from apple orchards. From these origins come wassail the drink
, and that's just one of the many foods of the winter season
(Food Timeline prev.
). A few more are covered below the break. [more inside]
It's Christmas, which means the most important tradition of all: the cast of The Venture Bros.
changing your memory of a holiday classic forever. Merry Christmas from
Alvin, Simon, and Theodore Tim-Tom, Kevin, and Henchman 21
. [more inside]
On December 24th
, 1979, radio personality Alan Maitland started a tradition on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
's program As It Happens
. That Christmas Eve, Maitland read a Frederick Forsyth story that featured the unlikely meeting of a Vampire
and a Mosquito
. His telling has been re-aired every year since. [more inside]
6 to 8 Black Men.
Christmas in the Netherlands as described by David Sedaris (SLYT)
When Pope Benedict XV called for a cease fire over the Christian holiday of Christmas
the high command on both sides of no man's land called it "impossible". But the men in the icy muck and mire of Flanders
decided for themselves what was possible, what was not possible
. The future held millions of dead and wounded but the season motivated the British (along with some French and Belgians) and the Germans to shake off the traditional definitions of enemies and allies
. [more inside]
As households across the world quietly deploy presents from St. Nick, Kate Beaton
, author of the charming historical webcomic Hark, a Vagrant!
) remembers the tradition in a bittersweet light
. In spite of venerable op-eds
(and their animated offspring
), such pain moves some to question whether parents should teach their children to believe in Santa Claus at all
If you're of a certain age, you might've seen Simple Gifts: 6 Heartwarming Holiday Stories
on PBS in the late 70s or early 80s. Maybe you enjoyed it as much as I did, or maybe you still will.
Prologue, by Maurice Sendak.
1. A Memory of Christmas part one
, part two
2. Lost And Found
3. Excerpted from Orlando
, The Great Frost part one
and part two
4. My Christmas, as told by a young Teddy Roosevelt
5. December 25th, 1914
(You might otherwise know this event from the video for Paul McCartney's "The Pipes of Peace.")
6. No Room At The Inn part one
, part two
A forgotten gem from The Band
, and a Christmas Card
to all my fellow MeFites.
Twenty-two new accounts created in order to tweet John Hughes' Home Alone in real time
. Merry Christmas.
Each year from 1963 to 1969, the Beatles recorded a short Christmas message for their fans*
: The Beatles' Christmas album
. An oldie but a goodie!
“West of Arkham the hills rise wild, and there are valleys with deep woods that no axe has ever cut...”
— In the true spirit of the holiday season, Mark E. Smith presents: a reading of that classic old Christmas tale, Howard Phillips Lovecraft's The Colour Out Of Space. [more inside]
The Day Before Boxing Day
[SLYT]. From the ever-unusual Robyn Hitchcock
, and friends.