Just in time for Christmas, the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity brings you the Clean Coal Carolers! Their repertoire includes such classics as Frosty the Coal Man, Deck the Halls (with Clean Coal), Clean Coal Night, and Oh Technology. Of course, the Scrooge-like bosses of the ACCCE, suffering from an incredible lack of Christmas spirit, took the Carolers off their website only a couple of days after they were posted — but thanks to the magic of YouTube, you can still revel in the festive sounds of the season. [more inside]
Musical Fruitcake. Almost all Christmas songs are a little schlocky. But some are even worse than that.
Almost no traditional Christmas carols were written by Jews (though there have been rumors). But sometimes it seems like almost all the best 20th century Christmas songs were. Many people are dimly aware of this, but few know its full extent. I have compiled a list, with representative performances. [more inside]
Christmas Caped Crusader Tis the season for heartwarming news filler, perhaps, but the video of this guy at the children's hospice makes me think he's the real deal. When the cameras stop rolling, though, do stunts like this make people give more deeply or more often to charity?
Book sales are down. Powells, the largest independant bookseller in the US, is asking staff to scale back hours or take sabbaticals. Will you buy a book from an independent bookstore this Christmas?
What's the worst part about the holidays? The consumerism? The awkward office parties? Belligerent relatives and needy offspring? No, its holiday music, especially those involving former heroes [NSFOP]. This year, give the gift of non-suckage.
Silent Night in English, German, Irish, Arapaho, Czech, Italian, Finnish, Russian, Hungarian, Swedish, Norwegian, Portuguese, Japanese, French, Spanish and another 120 languages. The official song of the Christmas truce. [more inside]
Christmas is coming, but while the goose may be getting fat, your wallet is not. And you’re dreaming of a green Christmas. How, you ask, can one decorate a home economically and with consideration for the environment? This depends on what you’ve got sitting around the house already. Do you have lots of old Christmas cards that always seemed too pretty to throw away? Use them to make a star or two, tree ornaments, angels, gift boxes, a basket, a wreath or a small tree. [more inside]
New Hampshire's Drawing Room at the Edge of the Universe. A Christmas carol for the coming depression. A ballad about accidental second chances. A canceled fireworks display leads to a midnight balloon ride and a mysterious quest. Welcome to Atoms, Motion, and the Void. You are the guest of septuagenarian Sherwin Sleeves, and these are his stories. [more inside]
An antidote to the holly jolly malaise: Few Christmas carols contain as much blood and suffering as "Down in yon forest." It was first documented in England by Ralph Vaughan Williams, but John Jacob Niles found an even gorier version in North Carolina (Alfred Deller's rendition). [more inside]
Move over Alvin & the Chipmunks. The BBC has "been out talking to animals all over the UK to discover exactly what they'd like for Christmas...find out what they had to say here!" [more inside]
Caga Tio: The World's Misunderstood Yule Log (NSFW) El Tío de Nadal, better known as Caga Tío, is a Catalan Christmas tradition. [more inside]
80s era holiday television complete with antenna, TV guide, and remote.
"This year, Americans are planning to spend over $400 on Christmas gifts. Instead of buying things we can’t afford, here’s a way to do something more meaningful." Via
A Matter of Loaf and Death is the new BBC Christmas short from Nick Park and Aardman. In the mock murder mystery, Wallace and Gromit start a new bakery business, Top Bun. The short, Park's first since 1995, will introduce a new love interest for Wallace, Piella Bakewell, a bread enthusiast.
Make this Christmas special. Spend it in Ralphie's house! Bunny suit and Lifebuoy soap included. For an extra fee, the owner will convince you to lick a metal pole and then shoot your eye out. [more inside]
no fat clips!!! features a cornucopia of music videos, short movies, commercials, and other kinds of short visual entertainment from around the world, all available for immediate viewing and as high-quality-format downloads. [more inside]
Coming soon to a theater near you: An American Carol (not to be confused with the Dickens Christmas time classic). This new film by David Zucker features a slave-owning Michael Moore look-alike who is punched, slapped and otherwise cajoled by ghostly generals and country music stars into learning the true meaning of America, and a thing or two along the way about how to be a man.
NetClassixFilter: The next time you're standing clueless in the greeting cards section of your local drugstore franchise, you'll be wishing you'd visited the Gallery of Unfortunate Greeting Cards instead. For all your holiday needs: Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, Weddings, 4th of July, Hallowe'en, Birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and of course, Washington's Birthday. [via Cap'n Wacky] [more inside]
The Monarch & Dr. Girlfriend’s "Fairytale Of New York." The annual Venture Bros. Christmas song. (Previously)
77 year-old Robert Schoff spent Christmas Eve wedged upside down in the opening of his septic tank. And how was your Christmas?
"In the Late December" (MP3 link), by Greg van Eekhout, is a Nebula award-nominated story about Santa Claus and the end of the universe, and is Escape Pod #138. (By the way, this is a very dark story -- there's no sex or violence but this probably isn't suitable for kids, where "kids" is defined as a stereotypical aggregate of child-like characteristics. Yours may be different.)
Audio of Dylan Thomas reading his poem "A Child's Christmas in Wales". (real media and mp3)
Time to kill while waiting for Santa to arrive/dinner to digest/family to leave? Well, here's a Very Special Holiday Episode fpp just for you. God bless us, every one. [more inside]
Peace on Earth - 1939 Disney animation directed by Hugh Harman. And Goodwill to Men, a 1955 remake by Hanna-Barbera.
What to my wondering eyes should appear but the suggestion that "A Visit From St. Nicholas," the classic poem which has defined the American Santa Claus, from red suit and big belly to reindeer and chimney-delivery method, was written not by classics professor Clement Clarke Moore but by poet and military man Henry Livingston. Though some think the authorship controversy is sugarplum vision of Livingston's descendents, other scholars the claim: literary 'detective' Donald Foster agrees (though his sleuthing record is not unblemished). Leading historian of Christmas Stephen Nissenbaum, says that either way, St. Nick is the product of the same social world, that of the wealthy white elite in the New York of the early Republic. If the claim is true, then in the convoluted history of the manuscript we've gotten some reindeer names wrong.
Santa's Ghetto: Stirring art from behind the Jerusalem Wall.
Enjoy a heaping helping of old time radio with classic Christmas specials from The Jack Benny Show. [more inside]
You're A Mean One Mr. Grinch l The Grinch Song lyrics. l How the Grinch Stole Christmas documentary: a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of this perennial favorite. Featuring never-before-seen animation tests and interviews with director Chuck Jones, Audrey Geisel (Dr. Seuss' widow), composer Albert Hague, vocalist Thurl Ravenscroft, and Seuss aficionados Tim Burton & Danny Elfman, this 1994 special from cable channel TNT contains a sleigh-load of information for Grinch fans. [more inside]
Invaders from the Ice World is a Silver Age DC Comics story (available here as a PDF in its entirety) about the time living Snowmen who shoot lasers from their eyes came to attack the Earth. Merry Christmas!! (found via I'm Learning To Share)
Fairytale of New York... censored! No, not now... Shane will make 50 this Christmas... Sadly not Kirsty.
It has now been several years since Jacquie Lawson, an English artist living in the picturesque village of Lurgashall in Southern England, created an animated Christmas card in 2000. The e-card, featuring her dog, Chudleigh, her cats, and her 15th-century cottage, was sent to a few friends for their amusement. Those friends sent the e-card to others, and within weeks Jacquie was inundated with requests from all over the world to design more e-cards. [more inside]
"It serves 125, takes eight hours to cook and is stuffed with 12 different birds..." [via Cynical-C]
Merry Christmas, Mefites! Even if you don't celebrate Christmas, you might enjoy this fun bit of flash goodness.
Vintage Christmas Wax The Edison Concert band never sounded so good.
Straight No Chaser (Indiana University men's acapella group) performs this hilarious rendition of "The Twelve Days of Christmas." Want to perform it with your own acapella chorus? You're in luck. The sheet music is available as an inexpensive digital download.
Jean Shepherd was one of the greatest storytellers ever to be heard on radio. The Jean Shepherd Project collects recordings of these historic broadcasts, converts them to mp3 files and makes them available to be revisited by his longtime fans and by those who wish to discover what great American storytelling is all about. [more inside]