Monday, October 17, 2016

We Interrupt These Newsday TV Books to Bring You a Little Christmas.

Every year at this time, I wonder when is the appropriate time to begin my holiday celebrating in earnest. There have been years I waited until after Thanksgiving, hearkening to the days of my childhood when that weekend brought such TV fare as Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol and March of the Wooden Soldiers. Of course all the Yuletide specials were only shown in this five-week period and thus only able to be seen then--a handful of homes had VCR's but for most, "home video" was an unknown quantity, consisting of a massive console TV and, if not rabbit ears, a rooftop antenna. Whenever I've waited this long to start in on the season, it always feels like I've cheated myself because it goes by so quickly.

In the last few years, the wife and I have ceremoniously begun the festivities around the weekend before Halloween. She is similarly afflicted with the Noel nuttiness and is a savvy shopper to boot, and so she is usually done with her Christmas gift buying around St. Patrick's Day. She is more than happy to bust out all the presents she's bought (and then more-or-less forgotten) for wrapping on the dining room table while some artifact from my collection of 70's TV plays in the background, a Bing Crosby or Carpenters special, or Fonzie forlornly spending Christmas Eve alone in his garage, or the Solid Gold Dancers gyrating lasciviously to "We Three Kings." It can be tough to get into the spirit when everywhere around you is still festooned with glowing pumpkins and plastic zombies, but it seems to be working out.

As a kid, I remember trying to listen to Christmas music in mid-October and not finding it especially tenable, felt a bit silly really. But a few years after my mom's death, I had a dream where she told me it was okay to listen to one Christmas song at 11:15pm on October 16th. Donna and I have practiced this since, but last night I didn't have anything at the ready so we settled on singing the swinging Glenn Miller version of "Jingle Bells" to each other and bopping around in the kitchen a little bit. (We're in our forties, but sometimes you'd think we're in the 40's.)

This is all in explanation of why I have uploaded my first Christmas commercial to YouTube today. (I would have preferred to have done it last night at the appointed hour, but that's life.) It's one I've been looking forward to posting, as it is not only for a New York-area supermarket chain, Shop Rite, but it features the great actor William H. Macy behaving like a total doof. It's not online anywhere as far as I can tell, so please now enjoy it, and perhaps even feel a twinge of the impending season without lamenting the prematurity of it. Maybe we need a little Christmas, right this very minute...


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