These Are a Few of My Favorite Things: The Thanksgiving & Christmas Edition
#1- THE MACY'S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE
Well, Thanksgiving 2021 is in the books and I kicked off the day yesterday the way I have for most of my life. Ever since I was a little kid, I have been obsessed with the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. That has absolutely carried on into adulthood. Yesterday, I do what I do every single Thanksgiving. I planned my entire morning around watching the parade. In fact, I had it on both televisions in the house so I wouldn't miss a single second as I moved from room to room.
I love everything about the parade (well, Al Roker's debatable) and I watch NBC from 9am when the broadcast starts til Noon when Santa rolls by the front of Macy's. I love the balloons, the bands, the Rockettes, the floats, the really bad lip syncing by all the celebrities who ride in the parade. It's my jam.
And, the one thing I look most forward to each year are the performances by cast members from a variety of Broadway shows. Some of you may know that I am a huge Broadway fan and Kevin and I go to NYC every year and see something like ten to twelve shows in a week.
This year's Broadway performances didn't disappoint at all. There were appearances by the casts of Moulin Rouge, Wicked and the new musical SIX.
#2- RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER
There are lots of Christmas TV specials, but none ever resonated as much for me as the Rankin/Bass Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. That story and special are pure magic. I felt that way as a kid. I still feel that way as an adult. It's the quintessential coming-of-age story. And, trust me, I was completely bummed when I realized that I missed it last week.
That said, by the power of YouTube, I found it!!
#3- THE SWISS COLONY MAGAZINE
When I was a kid, there was one random year we ordered gingerbread houses from Swiss Colony. I can still recall the UPS driver dropping them off at our house. We were PUMPED to a) build and decorate them and b) destroy them with our teeth.
Now, I am such a geek that I used to have a selfie of myself holding a Swiss Colony magazine. LOL! Look! Ya'll know. When we were kids, the Sears, JCPenney and Service Merchandise Christmas catalogs were the stuff holiday dreams were made of. But I lived for the Swiss Colony magazine. The petit fours, those multi-layered Christmas tortes, those gigantic assortments packs with cheese wedges, meat logs, condiments, nuts and candies. I wanted to order EVERYTHING.
I have to admit that I am a little bummed this year. I didn't receive my catalog in the mail. I'll take full ownership here. I haven't ordered from Swiss Colony in years. But I was able to visit SwissColony.com and drool all over my laptop screen. There are about 157 things I want to order this year. And I just may do it so I get back in their good graces and they'll start sending me that catalog again.
#4- THE REF
Even though I am sharing a few of my favorite "holiday" things with you, I feel like I should be completely transparent. I am kind of a Scrooge. Honestly, if it wasn't for Kevin, there would not be a Christmas tree or any decorations at our house. I am not a fan of disruptions in my routine at home. So, the idea of decorating a tree, leaving it up for a month, then taking it down and putting it away for eleven months just seems slightly insane to me.
So, a few of my favorite things about Christmas are actually rather cynical and dark. There's certainly a "naughty" part of my list to go with the "nice" parts. LOL!
I always giggle to myself when people share their favorite Christmas movies. A lot of times, those movies are really sappy and emotional. Yeah, not mine. My favorite Christmas movie of all-time is about a burglar who, on Christmas Eve, gets trapped in the home of possibly the most dysfunctional family on Earth.
My favorite Christmas movie is The Ref!
I. LOVE. THIS. MOVIE.
The Ref is diabolically fun and perfectly captures those family gatherings where the strain of forced happiness just makes you want to pop a vein. When the family tension in this movie boils over, it's a friggin' scream. The one-liners fly like daggers and, for me, this is the Christmas movie gift that keeps on giving.
#5- MARIAH CAREY'S 2014 CHRISTMAS AT ROCKEFELLER CENTER PERFORMANCE
Mariah Carey has given some brilliant performances during her career and she's given some real stink bombs. I am sure many of you remember her epic New Year's Eve fail in Times Square a few years back.
That was certainly interesting. May 2017 rest in peace. But, for me, her most classic performance is a completely butchered rendition of her most successful and popular song.
Do you remember her 2014 performance at NBC's Christmas at Rockefeller Center? Mariah was asked to sing her holiday mega-smash "All I Want for Christmas Is You", but it didn't go well. At all.
I rounded up two videos for you. Here's one taken live by an audience member in the front row. It doesn't take long, even from that vantage point, to realize that Mariah's Polar Express is about derail off the tracks.
Shortly after the broadcast, this gem surfaced on YouTube. Someone isolated the mic feed. Brace yourself, my little elves. You may want to put ear muffs on.
After Mariah's performance, fingers were pointing in every direction. Show producers were blaming Mariah (she allegedly skipped soundcheck). She was blaming them.
No matter what happened, that performance, for me, is now an all-time Christmas classic. It's part of my holiday tradition and I listen to it every single year.
So, there they are- a few of my favorite things. And, yes, I realize it's a tantalizing blend of naughty and nice. But if the reindeer are going to be up on my rooftop, they need to understand that's how I roll.