Friday, December 25, 2015

Larry Christmas, Everybody

Well, we made it. It's the 25th, and the sun's just starting to come up. I've got the tree lights on, casting a warm glow in the dark, the grass is... er, green... and except for the fact that my allergies are really acting up today, I think it's gonna be a nice one. This has been a hard Christmas season, losing my mother-in-law earlier this month, and today we'll honor her memory with an Italian Christmas dinner. (I'll also honor my Grandma's memory by making fudge, which I hope turns out alright, because I've never done it before...) But there have been good times, too, and I want to thank everyone for their condolences and their support. I especially want to thank Chris for his unexpected gift of Legos, Kelly for the book I was most looking forward to this year, Becca for a gigantic stocking full of my favorite candy, GameStop for having a way marked-down copy of Lego Jurassic World, Dad for an immeasurable amount of help, Heath for donation that helped us when we needed it most, and Carl and Kate for the gift that made Star Wars possible (and will doubtless help make it possible three or four more times).

This year's Christmas haul:

:: Song of the Week: "When the River Meets the Sea"
:: Calvin and Hobbes, 1989
:: Muppet Monday
:: Peanuts, 1973
:: "The Virgin's Slumber Song"
:: Mutts
:: Tumblr Finds I
:: Tumblr Finds II
:: Song of the Week: "Ríu Ríu Chíu"
:: Calvin and Hobbes, 1990
:: Muppet Monday
:: Peanuts, 1974
:: "It Won't Seem Like Christmas"
:: Tumblr Finds III
:: Song of the Week: "Silent Night"
:: Peanuts Stamps 2015
:: Muppet Monday
:: Mutts Again
:: Peanuts, 1975-1978
:: "One More Sleep 'Til Christmas"
:: Throwback Thursday: Christmas Edition
:: Good Yule
:: and whatever else might be hanging around from Christmases past.

Holiday or no, have a safe and peaceful day. My local Walmart is actually closed until tomorrow, so this is a day when unexpected miracles can occur.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Good Yule

Throwback Thursday: Christmas Edition

That's me on Christmas 1976, my first. That's my maternal grandfather holding me. He lives in Des Moines now. That house is the house I grew up in (in Woodridge, Illinois), and you know, the entire time we lived there (until 1990), we never changed that curtain...

Here I am again with Grandpa in 1977, my second Christmas. For the first time, those wrapped presents behind me have really caught my eye. My Mom always used to buy similar wrapping paper to that design.

Christmas portrait, 1977.

Christmas 1978. In the top picture, with my Mom, and in the bottom picture, with my Grandma. I wonder how much longer we had that rooster lamp. This was in Texas, at the military housing in Fort Hood where my Dad was stationed. Of interesting note to me is the Santa Claus ornament, which I still have; it's on my tree right now.

Also, those ball ornaments on the tree were covered in colored thread. They didn't make it into my adulthood.

Me and Jayne at Christmas in 1979, Jayne's first Christmas. She was 11 and a half months old. This is at Grandma and Grandpa's house in Woodridge again, which sometime in the next year would become our house when they Grandpa's job transferred him over to Guam.

Also, Christmas portraits from '79. I wonder how I was feeling that day. I just feel like I have that look of "Let's just get through this." Also, you can tell my Mom is still cutting my hair. Oy.

(My Mom hates it when I make fun of my hair in these old pictures, but c'mon, look at it. Look at it.)

Christmas 1980, and the house is now our permanent residence. I have some of those other ornaments still, too. And I still have that stuffed dinosaur! It's on a shelf in the bedroom.

And the 1980 Christmas portrait.

And here's the one from 1981. Same turtleneck, or a different one? I'll never know for sure. Gosh, I used to be in a good mood a lot of the time as a kid...

Merry Christmas from 1981 and my kick-ass Yoda shirt! Damn, I'm full of the swagger you only have when you're five. My hair looks good grown out like that, too. It looks... very 1981. Damn, after this photo, let's go to Showbiz Pizza and play Pac-Man, and then we can listen to New Wave bands on the radio while we head to a second run theater to catch a showing of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Damn, I think I'm going to do all of that stuff today...

Xmas: "One More Sleep 'Til Christmas"

SamuraiFrog's Essential Christmas Songs #33. I've already had one Paul Williams-written Muppet song up this seasonal go-round, but what a perfect time for this one.


My Christmas posts are really just a way to keep my holiday spirit going each year; just stuff to set the mood. As I've said, pop culture Christmas means more to me than anything else, probably because it just reminds me so much of being a kid and... maybe not happier, but easier personal times. That said, I've talked before about the personal connection I have to this movie and the very beginning of my relationship with Becca and my friendship with Carl. This movie, like no other, is my Christmas.

And I always remember how I put it on my Christmas mix one year and, while driving in the dark, Kermit sang "There's no such thing as strangers when a stranger says hello" and Becca said back "Hello." It just warms me.

One more sleep.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Xmas: Peanuts, 1975-1978

1975

1976

1977

1978

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Xmas: Mutts Again

Monday, December 21, 2015

Muppet Monday

Xmas: Peanuts Stamps 2015

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Song of the Week: "Silent Night"

SamuraiFrog's Essential Christmas Songs #32. I don't really know much about this version of "Silent Night" or where it comes from, nor do I know much about this iteration of The Impressions. (This record is from 1976, when nearly all of the original members were long gone.) But I've just always dug this funky, lighter, less somber version of the Christmas standard.