Let’s talk about why A Christmas Story should be crowned the greatest Christmas movie. Holidays are ostensibly about family and the memories we make when we are with our family. The plot of A Christmas Story is not a big, showy production. It is simply about young Ralphie’s Christmas with his family and his hopes for the perfect Christmas present. Remember your childhood? Remember when you thought about what you would get for Christmas for at least a month? This is the highly effective hook of A Christmas Story. The story is told through the unique story device of an adult Ralphie providing the voiceover in retrospect.
As a child, my father sat the family down to watch A Christmas Story. I was initially uninterested. In the years holidays that ensued and the highly effective 24-hour cable marathons, pre-cutting the cord, watching A Christmas Story at least biannually became one of my family’s traditions.
This film is intentionally dated and intentionally cheesy. It is a way to connect to the child you were. When I watch this film with my father, it takes him back to his childhood. This is not because his childhood was exactly the same as the film. As an adult, I too experience nostalgia with this film.
This movie touches on many childhood struggles that a lot of us went through: the perfect Christmas toy, wearing giant snowsuits against your will, performing like a monkey at your parents’ request, meeting Santa, childhood fights, and dares. Most importantly, A Christmas Story is so effective at putting us in Ralphie’s shoes that we get to experience our own childhood again, even if it was actually superficially different. It is family friendly fare that is perfect to put on when everyone is gathered together this holiday season.
C’mon, let’s choose A Christmas Story as the greatest Christmas movie! Please join me in checking out the rest of the contenders over on the LAMB
The theme of the Marvel Collector Corps’ box for December 2015 was Guardians of the Galaxy. I am a huge fan of this movie and look forward to the sequel(s) with great anticipation. I’ve also been interested in subscribing to this box since the spring of 2015 when it was first released, but it was a combo of waiting for the right theme to come along and having a few bucks when it did that caused me to wait until the December box.
Believe it or not, this box is a great source of controversy, among both geek box subscribers and the huge Funko community of fans. Why? When the original idea for this series of boxes was released, it was stated that each box would contain an exclusive Pop and a shirt. Up until this box, every other box has delivered this original promise. This box contained neither.
Initially, I was also disappointed. I did change my mind when I saw the fun items. That combined with the movie, quality and value, had me keeping this box (and not flipping it on eBay, like many others). Since then the description of future boxes has been changed, but I would still say that this was marketed with a bait and switch mentality. Emails and other promo pics and videos leading up to the release, did strongly hint at conventional Pops being included.
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Groot and Rocket Pop Bobblers Hanging Christmas Ornaments
Are these technically Pops? Well, they are Christmas ornaments for sure. However, they are also bobblehead Pops. They are smaller than typical Pops, but much larger than Pop mystery minis. If you sit them just so, they will support their own weight. I do not yet own the Christmas Groot Pop, but if someone did, I could see them getting a bit miffed at these. I would value this set at about $20, because I can often find full size Pops around the $10 price point and minis are usually up to around $8 a piece now. If you want this particular set, you can buy them from an Amazon seller for under $30 including shipping here.
Guardians of the Galaxy Knit Scarf
This scarf is huge and incredibly well made. It definitely fits well with the Christmas theme of the box. It is very nice and bright. Robert Sunshine and I have taken turns wearing it over the holiday season. I would value it at about $15, because normally I would say, don’t pay more than $10 for a scarf, but this is knit and huge, so I could see it selling for $20. So, I split the difference. There is an Amazon seller who has it for $17.10 here.
Star-Lord Pop Mug
So, I do remember hearing that Funko would be releasing Pop mugs in the fall, but then I promptly forgot about it, as life got in the way. This is a nice, heavy duty mug, with great detailing. P.S. The smell went away right after I removed it from the box. It was actually the packaging that smelled. I still washed it prior to use though. I have not heated any beverages in it yet, so I don’t know how it stands up to heat yet. Pop Funko mugs are currently retailing for anywhere from $11-$20 online. This particular mug can be purchased on Amazon for $17.38 here. If you are a big fan of Star-Lord, but not Pops (say what?!?), this mug is also awesome. There is news that more GOTG mugs will be released this year.
Guardians of Infinity #1 Comic
I haven’t had a chance to read this comic yet, mainly, due to my current terrible attention span. However, Robert Sunshine did and he assures me that it’s good, but odd. Plus, it’s not really Christmas themed, that’s just for this variant cover, which is adorable. You can buy this issue for your Kindle on Amazon here.
Guardians of the Galaxy Pin and Badge
approximately $5 per piece
These are what I would consider fluff or filler in most nerd boxes. They are cute but unless I start wearing some new type of style, they will probably go unused for at least a while. The $5 price point is just imho, as I wouldn’t pay more. I don’t see these on Amazon, after all they are exclusives. However, you can buy neat GOTG pins here and patches here.
about $31.95 (including shipping to the US)
Approximate Retail Value
Would I recommend buying a Marvel Collector Corps box in the future? Yes, but only if you really love the franchise that they are featuring, because you may be very surprised by the contents. The next box’s theme is Deadpool (February 2016). I’ll be buying it…if I have a few bucks.
I do not watch many children’s films because I am not a parent. When I do, I prefer them to be like this one, without any cursing, double entendres or a bunch of pop culture references. This film succeeds on all counts. The only thing I would make sure to make clear to children is not to feed dogs candy or cookies. Most importantly it features adorable puppies and a Christmas story.
It’s your basic “We need to save Christmas story” but with a twist, told from the perspective of puppies. The protagonist is Puppy Paws, soon to be successor to his father Santa Paws. Santa Paws is Santa’s (George Wendt) right hand dog. Puppy Paws is bored with North Pole life and decides to see how normal puppies live.
These “normal puppies” are the infamous Buddies. I’ve only seen one other of these series of films (so far), the not as good but still adorable Space Buddies. However, if you’ve never seen any of them you still get a brief introduction to the characters. They are Budderball (likes to eat), Mudbud (likes to get dirty), B-Dawg (enjoys rap and dancing) and Rosebud (fashionista). Human co-stars include Christopher Lloyd as the evil dog catcher and Danny Woodburn (Seinfeld) as an Elf.
Puppy Paws tries to fit in and make friends but stirs up trouble. Of course Puppy Paws learns that the true meaning of Christmas isn’t about toys. I smiled a lot and even laughed out loud at some of the puppies antics.
Many movies tend to drag in the middle, including the aforementioned Space Buddies but this one was pretty entertaining all the way through. I could be nitpicky and mention that the film didn’t include enough reindeer screen time and that I’m not sure of Wendt as Santa. Why complain about an awesome holiday movie though? The film clocks in at 88 minutes so if it isn’t your thing, you won’t be bored for too long.
I’m usually all about putting together my own playlists on 8tracks but when this one was auto suggested to me, I just had to share it with all of you. There is some crossover between this and my recent Christmas mix, but hey great minds this alike. Plus there is enough difference that I think including this is definitely warranted. This playlist is by rynow.
1. Christmas Wrapping-The Waitresses
2. Don’t Shoot Me Santa-The Killers
3. (Christmas) Baby Please Come Home-Anberlin
4. Blue Christmas-Elvis
5. Making Christmas-Rise Against
6. Merry Christmas, Kiss My Ass-All Time Low
7. Christmastime-Smashing Pumpkins
8. Virginity for Christmas-Future Idiots
9. Yule Shoot Your Eye Out-Fall Out Boy
10. Winter Wonderland-Phantom Planet
11. Xmas-Corey Taylor
12. Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight)-The Ramones
13. What’s This-Fall Out Boy
14. Last Christmas-Jimmy Eat World
15. Oi! To The World-The Vandals
16. Father Christmas-The Kinks
17. I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas-The Drifters
18. Sock It To Me, Santa-Bob Seger
19. A Great Big Sled-The Killers featuring Toni Halliday
20. 2000 Miles-The Pretenders
21. Christmas in Hollywood-Hollywood Undead
22. Xmas Eve (She Got Up and Left Me)-Rancid
23. My Christmas List-Simple Plan
24. I Won’t Be Home For Christmas-Blink 182
25. Cold White Christmas-Casiotone for the Painfully Alone
26. Happy Holidays, You Bastard-Blink 182
27. One of Those Christmas Days-Third Eye Blind
28. Happy Christmas (War is Over)-Street Drums Corps featuring Bert McCracken
This post is for those of you who also enjoy Christmas songs that rock. I grew up listening to a cassette of Christmas rock songs and will always think of Happy Xmas (War is Over) when Christmas (rocks and) rolls around.
1. Happy Xmas (War is Over)-John Lennon and Yoko Ono
2. Blue Christmas-Elvis
3. Back Door Santa-Clarence Carter
4. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)-U2
5. Father Christmas-The Kinks
6. Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight)-The Ramones
7. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree-Brenda Lee
8. Merry Christmas Baby-Otis Redding
9. My December-Linkin Park
10. Don’t Shoot Me Santa-The Killers