Old Favourites on DVD

For last nights edition of Coast2Coast Movie Nite my friend and I started our annual tradition of watching Christmas movies by watching Home Alone.

Home Alone is a movie that I watched many, many times with the oldest of my two J’s. He used to watch it all year round. I was surprised to realize that I had not actually seen Home Alone for several years now. Even when the boys gave me the Home Alone Collection for Christmas last year, I had not viewed the movie. It was every bit as fun as I remember it being. It was also interesting to me that the music in Home Alone sounded a lot like the music in Harry Potter. My curiosity led me to do a little Google research where I discovered that the reason for that is because both movies were directed by Chris Columbus and the musical director for both was John Williams.

In watching this old favourite again it started me thinking about how much fun it was when I was a kid to wait each year for favourite specials and movies to come on tv. How much more special they felt. I recall the treat it was for my sister and I to do the bed and bath routine and then settle on the couch with a snack waiting for Bass/Rankin Rudolph or Santa Claus is Coming to Town. Do you remember the joy of seeing the opening sequence for The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, Frosty the Snowman or Charlie Brown’s Christmas? I do. I got that feeling again recently when I discovered a new Halloween Toy Story Special on ABC a few weeks ago.



Part of the joy of movies on DVD is watching what you want when you want to. As I write this I am watching Judy Garland, Bing Crosby and Peter Lawford in Easter Parade. EasterParade
I have been searching for a copy of this movie for a very long time and was extremely excited to see it available for order on the TCM website. http://www.shop.ca That is why I am watching it today but I have to say that after this it will sit on the shelf and I will not see it again until Easter. I love watching some things whenever the mood strikes me but I love even more the thrill of the once a year viewing, something specific to a season or moment in time. Like when they used to show Elvis movies for a week leading up to the anniversary of his death. Or the ritual I have of wrapping Christmas gifts while watching White Christmas, Little Women and Meet Me in St. Louis.

It makes me a little sad that my grand-nephews will never know the excitement and angst that comes from those moments of anticipation while waiting for that special to come on. The oldest of the two loves Nightmare Before Christmas. He watches it all the time, walks around the house singing songs from the movie. But what does he have to look forward to? What does all this instant gratification do to us? Maybe it isn’t that big a deal but it makes me feel as though it’s just one more thing that takes a little of the magic out of the season.

Whether you watch them on DVD or wait for them to come on Tv, I wish for you the joy of enjoying those treasured moments with those people most special to you.


I Love Christmas Music

It’s true. Despite the fact that I work retail and am forced to listen to the same songs every day on a loop, often versions that I dislike, I still love Christmas music. In fact I am one of those people who will listen to Christmas music any time of the year.

Every year I go looking for something new to add to my collection. I scour iTunes and  HMV in anticipation of finding a new song or album to love, the one to top my Christmas playlist. In a world full of great song writers you would think it would be easy to find cd’s full of new songs about Christmas and the holidays. Sadly I find this to be untrue.

Every year I buy my Mom a new Christmas cd for her birthday in November.  This year it was Rod Stewart’s album Merry Christmas, Baby. A good album and it features Michael Buble (another favourite of Mom’s) on a duet of Winter Wonderland. Of the 13 songs available only one was unfamiliar to me, Red Suited Superman.

I love Rod Stewart’s voice. I love Michael Buble’s voice. There are a lot of artists out there that I love but must they all sing the same songs? On a cd of 12 or 13 songs must ony one of them be an original tune? One of my all time favourite Christmas albums is Nsync’s Home for Christmas partially because of the fact that out of 14 songs on this album only 2 of them are classics and partially because the songs are very pop and catchy!

Don’t get me wrong I love the classics too. I just don’t need 16 different version of Winter Wonderland or Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire. Not to mention my horror of Barbara Streisand’s version of Jingle Bells. I appreciate that she tried to make it her own and add some flair but it’s just terrible.

I love iTunes for this reason. I can buy Rod Stewart’s Red Suited Superman or These Kids Wear Crowns Red White and You

or Cee Lo Green’s All I Need is Love featuring the Muppets without buying the whole cd.

If you haven’t heard All I Need is Love you should really check it out!

I was very excited to hear that this year Olivia Newton John and John Travolta were releasing a Christmas cd. As someone who grew up adoring Grease, how could I not be excited? Even though the cd is primarily classics I had to have it. The one song that I was new to me, I Think You Might Like It,  is a lot of fun and their playful version of  Baby, It’s Cold Outside made me smile. They have a lot of guest stars on this album which adds a nice bit of flair to the old classics but still it’s probably going to be those two songs that I listen to the most.

My search continues for new and fun Christmas songs. If you’ve got a new favourite please share it with me. And any singer/songwriters out there, please give us something new to enjoy!