Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Dispatch From Escalatorville: Every Mother's Child Is Gonna Spy...

Later on, we'll conspire -as we dream by the fire...
It's been a bit chillier in the Nation's Oldest City of late. We're not immune to low temperatures here, but it always seems to come as a shock to most residents, and especially visitors. The complaints start as soon as the wind chill brings us down to the mid-50s - as if the Tourism Board advertised that Florida would have its own privatized weather system. C'mon people, not all of Florida has Disney money...

The chill does serve to remind us once again what time of year it is. The blast of cold bringing to mind the winds and snows of Christmases past, thoughts of fireplaces, Santa Claus, and lengthy journeys devised to bring gifts to kids. The cold air and our frigid fingers should also serve to remind us that it's the time of year to warm our hearts as well.

No matter what celebration you espouse at this time of the year, chances are - its roots are in kindness and joy. It's a time to share a smile with a stranger, to share grade-school jokes with co-workers, and time to remember that- yes, if you are able to read the words I've posted here - you are more privileged than the majority of humanity.

In hard times, so called, we tend to be a bit more selfish - especially in the financial department. Yet, we should hold fast to the memory that this is not the season of getting. It is indeed the season of giving. Remember, please, that the notion of giving highlights the advent of, and crowning moments within, our existence - and it's a notion far far older than money.

Deck The Halls, Hit The Decks
I went to the local Christmas Parade this year, it's always an odd juxtaposition of the segments of this little burg's community. This year, the Pirates Ship immediately preceded a unit comprised of WW2 veterans. I wonder if the planning committee thought that out. Did it occur to them that parade spectators would get to see overly made up drama geeks firing cannons directly at the few remainders of the greatest generation that still exist in our town?

And Caroling out in the Snow...
Anyone who has known me for more than ten minutes knows that I am a fiend for Christmas Music. Yet another reason why this is my favorite time of year. Whether it's a 1950's "novelty" record from Augie Rios to Mannheim Steamroller, I have a special place in my heart for Yuletide themed musical wonders (with the exception of that damned "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" drek.)

In my mental cataloging of Christmas hits and ephemera, I have noted something similar in all of the following "Christmas" songs:

Jingle Bells
Jingle Bell Rock
Winter Wonderland
Baby, It's Cold Outside
Let It Snow
I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm
Sleigh Ride

Y'see, these rumored "Christmas" Songs have no mention whatsoever of anything specifically related to Christmas. No Jesus, No Santa, No Rudolph, No Shopping. Nada. (Check Out Lyrics if you don't believe me).
Bewildering, huh? Well, you know what this means.

We can now sing them all year long.

Holidays In The Video Age: Betamaxmas.com and Beyond
It wouldn't be the holiday's without another list, so here is some noteworthy entertainment for you. Click on the links and enjoy:

One of the best of the Rock N' Roll Christmas Songs, especially of the 1980's, was a gem from the always underrated Billy Squier. See how many early MTV Veejays you can find in the video for Christmas Is the Time to Say I Love You

Also a favorite is the Royal Guardsman's Snoopy's Christmas, someone put together some footage from a Charles Schultz show, and it looks like this

It's Christmas all over the world, although I'm not sure I know what anyone in Japan is actually doing.

In other parts of the world however, Christmas goes way beyond what we know of it here. Mr. Steve's is always very informative.

Finally, a Christmas rarity - it's a Pink Floyd Christmas, no really - a Christmas Song By Pink Floyd

I hope that brings some Yuletide Cheer, have a great holiday and a happy new year!
-The Gang At Escalatorville
"De-Humbugging Since 1971"
escalatorville@yahoo.com for letters to/from Santa