Dec 19, 2017
A three-week Advent really messed with me this year. I wasn't ready. I'm still not ready. I watched two Christmas movies this year and I felt that they were just out of obligation. I wanted to really hold onto Christmas movie traditions until I was in the spirit. It also didn't help that we tried this Advent thing that our pastor recommended. I'm not sure I get it all the way, but he wrote something about minimizing the decorations until Gaudete Sunday to avoid the secular commercialization of the season. He offered it as a challenge and my wife's response was "We're doing this!" So, we tried it. I'm not sure I get it, but my house, in its normal state of being littered with hardened Play-Doh and LEGO figures, didn't get me in the mood.
Besides, I had to rewatch Star Wars: The Force Awakens before The Last Jedi came out. I had to.
This leaves me in a state of carefully considering what Christmas movies and shows are really worth watching this season. I'm not saying that I'm really going to watch all of these things before Christmas, but they are heavy contenders.
Scrooged (1988): Directed by Richard Donner and starring Bill Murray and Karen Allen, this might be my favorite adaptation of "A Christmas Carol." "But, whoa, Tim!" you might be exclaiming to your reading device of choice in front of your loved ones, "What about A Muppet Christmas Carol?" This is where I always lose my readership. I don't love A Muppet Christmas Carol. Let me clear the air and say that it is fine and far more family-friendly than Scrooged. (I remember Scrooged being R-rated, but my DVD now says it is PG-13. You'll learn about my secret war with the MPAA in future columns.) I love The Muppets and the entire concept of muppets, but I really have a hard time being emotionally connected to a stuffed Tiny Tim. That's where the story resonates, so I need my Tiny Tim to deliver. Scrooged does better than any other adaptation at delivering a perfect Tiny Tim dismount. (I am not referring to the Mary Lou Retton joke in the movie.) I know I should apologize to fans of the Alastair Sim Christmas Carol, because it seems that I'm making enemies left-and-right with this Christmas-themed column, but Scrooged is really good. Scrooged is for adult audiences, but the movie is really funny and really touching--maybe while you're wrapping presents. It's on TV all the time. If not, you can download it on your digital service of choice.