Friday, December 5, 2008

We need a little Christmas...

As cynical and sarcastic as I am 11 months of the year, when it comes to Christmas, I'm as merry as a school boy and as giddy as a drunken man (to paraphrase the post-conversion Scrooge). I love the cheesy music and the kitschy decorations and the same tired movies and television specials I've watched countless times. I love the traditions and the memories and festive yuletide cheer. Sure, the reality of the season often doesn't match the hype, and the joy is in the build up more so than the actual day, but none of that matters. Yes, it's a time of crass commercialism, but I choose to believe that people really are kinder and more caring this time of year (statistics prove that in the United States at least, the majority of annual charitable donations are made in the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day).

To prove what a sentimental slob I am about the holiday, I freely and publicly admit this: I still get choked up during the closing moments of It's A Wonderful Life when Harry Bailey raises his glass and offers this toast "To my big brother George, the richest man in town" (cue assembled cast singing Auld Lang Syne). Even though I know it's coming, I still weep like a baby.

To kick off the Yuletide festivities here at the Museum, I present a bit of holiday kitsch. Here's a husky-voiced Lucille Ball performing We Need A Little Christmas from the the 1974 film version of Jerry Herman's hit musical Mame:

I am second to none in my admiration of Lucille Ball's prowess as a comedienne, and I Love Lucy is still one of my favorite all-time TV shows (and proving it's appeal is timeless, my 10 year-old son Connor loves it also). However, that performance falls in the "so bad it's good" category. And how creepy is that Santa Claus mask that Lucy wears? Still, I chose that video for it's sentiment as much as it's kitsch value (here at the Museum, we love kitsch almost as much as we love Christmas).


  1. are you kidding? I'm the Grinch, mate, a proper Ebineezer Scrooge, full of " bah! humbug! " and " tosh! ", the original grumpy old bastard at Christmas, and EVEN I CRY LIKE A LITTLE GIRL AT IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE!!!

  2. I guess we're just a couple of old softies, Joe. Or is it that we cry because we suspect that people in real life will never be as nice as they are in a Frank Capra movie? No, that can't be it; that would be too cynical and I try to stow my cynicism away during the month of December.