Category Archives: Christmas

Photoblogging: Coraline’s 1st Letter to Santa

Coraline dictated a letter to Santa. She also decided on the menu of chocolate chip cookies, which she helped make, and chocolate milk, because surely Santa would prefer chocolate over white milk.

Coraline dictated a letter to Santa. She also decided on the menu of chocolate chip cookies, which she helped make, and chocolate milk, because surely Santa would prefer chocolate over white milk.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Christmas, coraline, personal, photoblogging, photography

Faves: Christmas Movies

I’m feeling extra-Christmasy this year. Despite being behind on shopping, it’s hard to not be in the spirit when you have a True Believer in the house (see: Coraline). There has been much talk of elves coming to prep the house for Santa, which cookies the big man in red would want, white or chocolate milk, and so on.  So in honor of my Christmasy mood, I thought I’d share with you my favorite Christmas movies. This is where my sister will shout, “WHERE IS HOME ALONE?!” Which, while it’s a movie I enjoy, it’s not one of my all-time favorites. She knows which Christmas movie holds that extra-special place in my heart. My whole family knows. Which is why they keep the TV remote away from me on Christmas day.

Note that at least half the movies on my list are not kid friendly. I don’t want to hear it if your kids wake up screaming that gremlins are going to get them or crying about being gifted slipper socks or Advent calendars filled with Nyquil caplets.


Billy gets the cutest, neatest Christmas present ever (Mogwai!), until it’s not so great. This movie could easily be categorized as a horror comedy thanks to some pretty gruesome Gremlin deaths and genuinely scary moments. Which is why this movie will not be watched by my sensitive kid until a few years from now.

Bad Santa

You will never look at Lauren Graham the same way again after the dressing room scene. Trust me on this. And Billy Bob Thornton gives a kid quite possibly the most depressing/disturbing treat-filled Advent calendar ever, which is why he is the titular Bad Santa.

While You Were Sleeping

Cute rom-com? Check. Set at Christmastime? Check. Starring Sandra Bullock? Check. It’s all good.

Sleepless in Seattle

Cute rom-com? Check. Set at Christmastime? Check. Starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks? Double check. It’s all good.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

As much an animated movie about Halloween as it is about Christmas, this is a modern-day stop-motion classic. Which will also not be seen by my sensitive kid for a few years: It can be a bit creepy for the young ones.


Bill Murray makes this movie as Frank Cross, a soulless TV executive (cough) who produces atrocious holiday insta-classic TV specials.Everything about this movie is sarcastic and twisted, which is why I love watching it every Christmas.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Dysfunctional family. A cat chewing through Christmas tree light cords. The best sled ride ever. A classic. Enough said.

The Ref

This is the second most-adult Christmas movie on my list. A deliriously demented look at a miserable marriage made worse by visiting relatives but better by a motor-mouthed criminal, it is not for kids or anyone offended by profanity: It’s Denis Leary at his most Denis Leary. And Judy Davis delivers quite possibly the best line reading ever.


This is such a silly, good-natured, kindhearted Christmas movie, that it’s one we can and will be watching with Coraline. I run hot and cold when it comes to Will Ferrell, but I love him in this as Buddy — he does a great job as a sweet, naive man-child in a world he doesn’t understand.

A Christmas Story

I can’t tell you how giddy I was a few months ago when Coraline saw our DVD of A Christmas Story and asked what it was about. I told her — and how it is Mommy’s favorite Christmas movie EVER — and she asked to watch it right then and there. So. Proud. “The Ralphie Movie” is already a favorite of hers, so my work here is done.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Christmas, christmas faves, movies

A Long-Awaited Date With Santa

Song Lyric of the Day:

He’s making a list / And checking it twice / He’s gonna find out / Who’s naughty and nice / Santa Claus is coming to town

Fred Astaire / “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town

Yesterday we took Coraline to visit Santa Claus at the mall. She’s been asking since January to see Santa again as he made quite the impression last December, so it’s been a long year of:

“Is Santa at the mall? Is he there yet?”

“When will Santa be back?”

“I don’t want to see the Easter Bunny! I don’t like the Easter Bunny! The Easter Bunny is friends with Santa?!?”

“When will Santa come back to the mall?”

“Is Santa at the mall again?”

“Mommy, I saw Santa at the mall! He waved at me!”

“I’m going to be brave and talk to Santa.”

“I get to go see Santa after Thanksgiving.”


Hamming It Up

Coraline hamming it up while waiting in line to meet Santa.

Since Cora’s been talking about Santa all year long, Rich and I figured she’d either go through with a solo visit like she’s been saying (“I’m going to be brave!”) or she’d end up choking at the last minute. She did us proud, though. She waved and yelled hi when Santa entered the courtyard and took his seat. Then when it was her turn, she held my hand on the way to Santa’s chair, happily swinging her free arm the whole way. Once in front of him, she smiled and said, “Hi, Santa.” I asked her if she was ready to sit down with him and if she was going to do it by herself. She said yes, I placed her on Santa’s lap, and my brave girl came through.

Coraline and Santa Claus

Coraline finally gets her moment with the man in the red suit.

I stayed close by since Rich and I are trying to get gift ideas out of her. Whenever we’ve asked what she was going to ask Santa for, she’d answer, “Christmas presents!” What kind of presents? “Toys!” So she hasn’t been terribly helpful there. Today, though, the first thing she asked for was books — she is her parents’ daughter, after all. When Santa asked which ones, I gently reminded her about the Ladybug Girl series and how she mentioned wanting Dora books. She also asked for princess dolls (there’s a big set at Target she’s got her eye on). The last thing she asked Santa for was “Blocks.” Then a few seconds later: “Legos!” Since Santa realized he wasn’t going to get too many specific requests out of her, he asked if she’d like surprise presents. You can imagine how excited she got at that prospect.

Asking for Presents

Coraline asking for books, princess dolls, and Lego blocks.

I think she would’ve hung out with Santa all day if it had been possible. She wished him a merry Christmas and we went on our way. Once we were a little ways away from the courtyard, she hollered, “I. SAW. SAN. TA!”


Coraline at home celebrating once again how brave she was when she saw Santa Claus.

I predict it’ll be maybe three days after Christmas before she asks, “When can I see Santa again?”

Leave a Comment

Filed under Christmas, coraline, personal

Christmas Faves: A Charlie Brown Christmas

One of my favorite Christmas specials as a child was a A Charlie Brown Christmas. And although I haven’t sat down to watch it in its entirety in a few years, I thought I’d include it among my Christmas Faves since it still holds a special place in my heart. I also thought I’d share it since I know how much my sister loves it, and it’s nice to share some Christmas cheer with a loved one.

Bookmark and Share

Leave a Comment

Filed under Christmas, christmas faves, video

Christmas Faves: "Christmas in Hollis" by Run DMC

This was a favorite Christmas song during my childhood (still is). I was listening to this song on my stereo Christmas Eve when I heard my allegedly asleep little sisters, then about 5 and 7 years old, in their shared bedroom next door whispering that they heard bells. After a few minutes of intense discussion, they deduced that it was because Santa had landed on the roof. The beginning of this song has bells in it. My sisters swore they heard the bells from Santa’s sleigh at the same time I was listening to it. Coincidence? To this day, I still like to think not.

Bookmark and Share

Leave a Comment

Filed under Christmas, christmas faves, christmas in hollis

Photoblogging: Gingerbread House

The first-place winner at the 2009 Knoxville Fantasy of Trees.

Bookmark and Share

Leave a Comment

Filed under Christmas, fantasy of trees, photoblogging, photography

Christmas Faves: Steve Martin’s Christmas Wish

I still remember the first time I saw Steve Martin’s Christmas Wish on Saturday Night Live. I was in high school when it first aired, and it’s a testament to this skit’s staying power that it’s still as funny as the first time I saw it. I think this made such an impression on me not just because of Steve Martin’s perfect delivery, but because of how he starts out with seemingly noble, altruistic wishes, but quickly gives voice to the things he really wants. Which is something we can all relate to.

Funny videos

*After much searching, I found the video on

Bookmark and Share

Leave a Comment

Filed under Christmas, christmas faves, christmas wish, faves, video

Christmas Faves: "The 12 Days of Christmas" by The Muppets & John Denver

You can’t go wrong with puppets. Especially when those puppets are The Muppets. As in The Muppets and the late, great John Denver singing “The 12 Days of Christmas.” Watching this reminds me that I really need to get The Muppet Show on DVD. The only thing that would’ve made this clip better was if Beaker had joined in.

Bookmark and Share

Leave a Comment

Filed under Christmas, christmas faves, faves, the 12 days of christmas, video

Christmas Faves: "Oogie Boogie’s Song," The Nightmare Before Christmas

The last few years, I’ve used Christmas song lyrics to celebrate the holidays. This year, I thought I’d try something different. To that end, I’ll be posting a video from a favorite holiday movie or music video of a favorite holiday song. First up: “Oogie Boogie’s Song” from The Nightmare Before Christmas. As someone who never let her inner goth girl fully shine, the dark, twisted humor of this movie filled me with glee the first time I saw it — and it has with every viewing since. What better way to kick off some holiday cheer than with a song about the Oogie Boogie Man holding Santa Claus hostage?

And don’t worry — the rest of my Christmas Faves will go live in the morning starting tomorrow.

Bookmark and Share

Leave a Comment

Filed under Christmas, christmas faves, video

The Soul-Sucking That Is Christmas Shopping

Christmas Song Lyric of the Day:

Bundled up against the cold / Lines wherever gifts are sold / Each shop window displays a Christmas scene

Barenaked Ladies
/ “Green Christmas

After having a fun time at my friend’s birthday party last night, which included playing
the Game of Life: The Simpsons Edition (longest game ever), eating way too many tacos, and staying up way too late, I spent most of today making lists of gifts I still have to shop for and then running all over town trying to cross everything off said lists.

What was it like, you ask? In short, I think 97% of Knoxvillians were out shopping today. The seventh circle of hell was centered around West Town Mall and the Centre at Deane Hill. I couldn’t even find a parking spot in the Turkey Creek shopping center that includes Borders, so I had to leave without getting everything crossed off my lists today. (Let me just say I never expected Best Buy to be the easiest store to get in and out of today.) Oh, and I gouged my hand open while picking up supplies at PetSmart and was basically dripping blood around the store. Good times. After hours of shopping hell, I got home late in the day and decided I just didn’t feel up to going to a Christmas party we’d planned on attending tonight. Thankfully, since Rich was also running around taking care of shopping errands today, too, he was on board with staying home and doing nothing. My nothing consisted of playing Rayman Raving Rabbids on the Wii, while Rich’s nothing consisted of playing games on his computer upstairs.

Sadly, we have to venture out again tomorrow and finish shopping and run more errands. As long as I don’t end up with another shopping-related injury, I’ll consider the day a success.

1 Comment

Filed under Christmas, Christmas shopping, knoxville, turkey creek