Sunday, December 18, 2022

Vintage Christmas Jukebox Day 5


Eleven more holiday treats from Christmases Past. 

Here's the Complete Playlist 

 Funny Little Snowman - Bobby Sabatino

All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth - Danny Kaye & The Andrews Sisters

 Remember Suite Christmas - Deanna Lee

Getting That Christmas Feeling Sherry Lyn & Dialtones

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen - Joe Brown

I Got A Cold For Christmas (1954) - The Ames Brothers

Jolly Old Saint Nicholas (1949) - Ray Smith

 Christmas Boogie - The Davis Sisters

Christmas Tree ~ The Voices of Walter Schumann, Bill Lee (Soloist) (1954)

Mele Kalikimaka (1950) - Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters

Christmas Time Is Here - Billy Scott

Ordeal By Hallmark (Part Three) Our Italian Christmas Memories , The Royal Nanny, Reindeer Games Homecoming , A Gingerbread Christmas, Holly and the Hot Chocolate...

You know how upset people got with Netflix when they felt that the Dahmer miniseries had been mistagged? That's sorta how I feel when people call these Hallmark-style products Christmas movies.

This installment of my masochistic foray into assembly line holiday fare is a bit late because after subjecting myself to watching these flicks I couldn't face revisiting their memory to write up this post - until now.

Our Italian Christmas Memories 

Yeah. I've experienced a fair few Italian Christmases over the years, and none of them were this dull, soulless, and phony.

Not a genuine or likable character in sight.


The Royal Nanny

Meh spy comedy, meh romance, meh Christmas. 

Nice to see Greta Scaachi, but that's about it. Still, not badly made, just not particularly well written. Letting a more skillful screenwriter give the script a thorough polishing would have fixed a lot. Alas...

Meh (as previously indicated)

A Magical Christmas Village 

I generally like Allison Sweeney in this kind of stuff, and it's nice seeing Marlo Thomas out and about but other than that, nada.


Let's try something from Lifetime 

Reindeer Games Homecoming 

Maybe it's because I was bummed that this wasn't a sequel to the underrated Ben Afleck action flick, but I actually, for the first time this season, dozed off during one of these. I don't think I missed much but what I saw seemed like a fairly good film school audition tape. Not scholarship material but with a few years of training, who knows, they might produce something that feels like a real movie. That would be cool.


Changing channels again to Great American Family...

A Merry Christmas Wish

You had me at Jill Wagner, and Cameron Mathison is a pro but the script...oof. I feel like I've already seen this 20 times before, and often to better effect.


A Royal Christmas on Ice

What does it say about the genre when terrible filmmaker extraordinaire Fred Olen Ray makes one of the better Christmas romances, I've seen so far this year. It's not good, obviously, but it is a professionally produced TV movie, so it automatically rises toward the top of the list. 


Good lord, this has been a slog, and I'm not convinced that switching to a pair of Up releases will brighten my mood. 

A Tiny Home Christmas 

Another real estate soap, this time it's a failing contractor trying to save the family business with some seasonal virtue signaling. Dreck.


The Christmas Retreat

Home shopping Channel host levels of acting ability pair beautifully with home shopping channel levels of production design to make this forgettable flop.


One last Hallmark joint

Love at the Christmas Contest 

Even less original than a Merry Christmas Wish. It could have been a parody but made by people with no sense of humor.


Now it's Food Network's time at the tinsel trough...


A Gingerbread Christmas 

Can you get salmonella poisoning through a monitor?

Once again proving that not only has Food Network stopped making watchable food shows, but they're picking up Hallmark's sloppy seconds and producing crappy Christmas movies.


Last, but at least not least is..

Holly and the Hot Chocolate

What's more ludicrous than food networks  Christmas movies and yet totally on brand for these times? QVC making Christmas movies. And yet it sucks less than most of what I've suffered through in this ordeal. The script has some snap to it and a few of the performances are actual performances.

Considering QVC already has higher production values than most basic cable movies so maybe it shouldn't be a surprise. 

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Vintage Christmas Jukebox Day 4

 Vintage Christmas Jukebox Day 4

Here's another collection of vintage holiday tracks, some familiar, some relatively obscure, for your festive enjoyment.

Here's a link to the Playlist featuring all of today's tunes 

  I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus - Graham Donald

  Hole In The Stocking - Denise Regan

 Santa Claus Boogie - The Voices

  The Christmas Turkey - Shad And Mike

 How Lovely is Christmas - Bing Crosby

 Rock Around the Christmas Tree ~ Big Bud (1955) 

 Tony Raymond – “The Infant King” (UK Oriole) 1962 

 Too Fat For The Chimney - Teresa Brewer

 Arthur Godfrey – “Pine Cones And Holly Berries” (Contempo) 1963 

  - A Merry Christmas At Grandmother's House - Danny Kaye & The Andrews Sisters

 Merry Christmas Polka (1949) - The Andrews Sisters 

Friday, December 16, 2022

Festive Tidbits 1973 (Los Angeles Times - TV Times)


New Christmas Releases (Cliff Richard, Neil Diamond, Cassie and Maggie, Snow Blossoms, La chorale de Y'a du monde à messe, Aled and Russell and more...)


A Neil Diamond Christmas

I'm generally a fan of Neil's Christmas stuff, and everything here is previously released, but I was fairly meh about this compilation. Maybe it's just not programmed to my taste, so don't let that stop you from checking it out.

 A Very Very Cassie and Maggie Christmas 

A fine collection of original festive tunes and engaging arrangements of old favorites from popular Canadian folk duo.

Christmas with Cliff

Cliff Richard

Another legendary artist defies the ravages of time, though not quite as extraordinarily as Johnny Mathis. Cliff's voice and delivery aren't what they once were but he's still produced a holiday album well above the standard set by many contemporary acts.  I'm absolutely grading on a curve cause I've always been a fan so listen accordingly.


Snow Blossoms: Lost Country Christmas Classics 

Terrific collection of lesser known holiday tunes

Home For Christmas
Con Funk Shun

Started slow, but after a couple of iffy tracks, the songs really start to work - Christmas Kind of Day, My Favorite Things, Do You Hear What I Hear, and Christmas for Two are prime cuts

 Second Edition: A Very South Bay Xmas 

I didn't really find anything worth hearing again apart from  Mack Ogden's My Holiday Angel. YMMV, and it's for charity, so check it out at Bandcamp

Juste après novembre

La chorale de Y'a du monde à messe

I know nothing about this group from Quebec but their Christmas album is emerging as one of my favorites this season.

Holly Jolly Christmas / On Christmas Eve - John Owen-Jones

Christmas with Aled and Russell

Solid Classical Crossover Christmas Collection


White Winter Hymnal - Jade Bird 

Not the best cover of of this tune I have but not at all poor.

Santa Train - Paige King Johnson

Lit Up Like a Christmas Tree - Aidan & the Wild