Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Charlie Brown Christmas Deluxe Edition

TVshows onDVD has the complete scoop, or at least press release, for the upcoming Peanuts Holiday Collection releases. Here's the bit about the Deluxe Edition of A Charlie Brown Christmas...

A Charlie Brown Christmas Deluxe Edition features the re-mastered Christmas special in an updated look that still maintains the integrity and feel of vintage Peanuts. The Emmy and Peabody Award winning classic features Charlie Brown who has the Yuletide blues. To get into the holiday spirit, Lucy advises Charlie Brown to direct the Christmas play and put up a great tree. Charlie Brown takes the advice, but the tree he finds is short, spindly and not very green, prompting everyone to make fun of him. However, the real meaning of Christmas works its magic on the Peanuts gang and they all end up in the holiday spirit. The Deluxe Edition contains bonus features including:
  • A new featurette: A Christmas Miracle: The Making of A Charlie Brown Christmas - An in-depth look at how the producers brought a newspaper comic strip to animated life in a new medium. Under tense pressure and with many doubters, the show creators were able to create Peanuts in a new medium and make the show a smash success.
  • Digital downloads of 2 songs from the popular soundtrack
  • A bonus episode: It's Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown
A Charlie Brown Christmas Deluxe Edition will be available as a stand alone DVD as well as being part of the Peanuts Holiday Collection which also includes deluxe editions of It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown and A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Cool Yule Christmas Comics @ My Merry Christmas is offering free weekly Christmas Web Comics courtesy of Cool Yule Comics. Up so far are:

Bingo Saves Christmas : It's Bingo the Wonderdog on a wild adventure to help save Rudolph and Christmas!

The Adventures of Andy Claus: He's the son of Santa and he's got the keys to the sleigh!

...with more to come.

Toyland Premiere @ Animated Toast

Animated Toast takes a look at the 1934 Walter Lantz produced cartoon Toyland Premiere which is two of my favorite types of old cartoon in one. Firstly it's a Christmas cartoon - huge shock there - but it's also one of those toons that features animated celebrities (impersonated) and I've always really dug those. Plus there's a very special Disney-related guest...

festive flickr: Waterfall and Christmas tree, Trump Tower (by jane_sanders)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

W. T. Grant - A Very Merry Christmas, Volume 2 @ Cheerful Earful

Cheerful Earful brings a bit of late summer holiday cheer with the 1968 compilation W. T. Grant - A Very Merry Christmas, Volume 2. There's no tracklist up yet but Inkydog writes..
"There are some great tunes on this one, a little bit of everything from orchestral to country to folk. This album was released in 1968, when Bing was still with us and the name Anita Bryant wasn't spoken with a sneer."

Listen to the Living Christmas Tree

CaptainOT, proprietor of the wonderful A Christmas Yuleblog, writes about Fort Wayne's Living Christmas Tree extravaganza and links to the show's site where you can stream, and then hopefully purchase, their excellent Christmas CD.

festive flickr: Only 24 More Gummi Days Till Christmas! (by Sister72)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Jackie Gleason's All I Want for Christmas @ Christmas Forever

Christmas Forever Favorite Christmas Records blog has the 1969, tworecord set, All I want for Christmas by the great Jackie Gleason. Many folk only know about Jackie Gleason through his landmark sitcom The Honeymooners or maybe his occasional forays onto the big screen (The Hustler, Skidoo, Toys, Smokey & the Bandit) but there was a time when he was one of the kings of easy listening.

I wonder how many other kids found Gleason albums, while rummaging through their parents record collections, and expected a comedy album only to be lulled into a state of zen-like relaxation by the soothing sounds of E-Z style Gleason.

According to Wikipedia:

Throughout the 1950s and '60s, Gleason enjoyed a secondary music career, lending his name to a series of best-selling "mood music" albums with jazz overtones for Capitol Records. Gleason felt there was a ready market for romantic instrumentals. He recalled seeing Clark Gable play love scenes in movies, and the romance was, in his words, "magnified a thousand percent" by background music. Gleason reasoned, "If Gable needs music, a guy in Brooklyn must be desperate!"

Gleason could not read or write music in a conventional sense; he was said to have conceived melodies in his head and described them vocally to assistants. These included the well-remembered themes of both The Jackie Gleason Show ("Melancholy Serenade") and The Honeymooners ("You're My Greatest Love"). There has been some controversy over the years as to how much credit Gleason should have received for the finished products; Henry has written that beyond the possible conceptualizing of many of the songs, Gleason had no direct involvement (such as conducting) in the making of these recordings. Red Nichols, a jazz great who had fallen into hard times and led one of the groups recorded, did not even get session-leader pay from Gleason.

festive flickr: 12 Days of Christmas Stack

12 Days of Christmas Stack (by senses working overtime)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Upcoming Christmas Mystery Novels

M.C. Beaton's 18th Agatha Raisin mystery in soon to be released paperback!

Anne Perry's Christmas Mysteries
Two holiday novels provide the perfect combination of mystery and murder mixed with a generous helping of Yuletide cheer.

When her daughter and son-in-law plan a Christmas vacation to Paris sans hers truly, Grandmama Mariah Ellison travels to the chilly, windswept Romney Marshes to spend the holiday with old friends. But when the body of a fellow guest is found lifeless in bed, Grandmama senses foul play and takes it upon herself to assume the role of amateur detective–uncovering startling truths about the victim . . . and herself as well.

Dominic Corde is thrilled to “fill the robe” as substitute vicar in the village of Cottisham while the Reverend Wynter is away on a Christmas holiday. Upon arrival, Dominic and his wife, Clarice, wonder how they will be received by the congregation. But the Cordes soon discover that they have more dire matters to worry about. It turns out that the Reverend Wynter isn’t on holiday at all–and that something very sinister has transpired.
Previous Holiday Shopping Posts

Johhny Cash Christmas Specials
Upcoming Holiday Cookbooks
Christmas DVD Preview
Doris Day Christmas Special

festive flickr: joyful holly (by senses working overtime)

joyful holly (by senses working overtime)
joyful holly (by senses working overtime)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Off season updates...

CaptainOT, of the beloved A Christmas Yuleblog, may not have posted much recently but he's certainly been a busy guy, and that's a great thing for holiday music fans! Check out his summer update here.

The Tone King, from the Twelve Months of Christmas blog, has also been keeping busy with Christmas related stuff including putting together an original charity compilation. Lots more info here!

flickr favs: A King Kong Santa on the Empire State (caruba)

Friday, August 15, 2008

flicker favs: frosty comic (4c514) fc

Two more Johnny Cash Christmas Specials in Oct. brings new of great joy for country music fans. On Oct. 7 Shout Factory is releasing two more rare Johnny Cash Christmas Specials - 1978's show featuring guest appearances from Kris Kristofferson , Rita Coolidge and Steve Martin and 1979's installment featuring Anne Murray, Tom T. Hall and Andy Kaufman (as Latka!).

You'll be able to buy the two new releases separately or in a box set with last years releases of the 1976 and 1977 specials (which are also still available separately).

Complete press release info, song and guest lists, and box art over at

The Miracle on 34th Street (1955) @ Internet Archive

Wow! Never thought I'd get a chance to see this 1955 television adaptation of the classic holiday film Miracle on 34th Street, let alone get it as a free download! This version stars Theresa Brewer, Thomas Mitchell and Sandy Descher and also features the likes of Whit Bissell, Macdonald Carey and Dick Foran.

flickr favs: 3D Card (eclectic gipsyland)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

It’s A Fanboy Christmas II: The Wrath of Claus

You Sound Like a Robot is holding a contest to win a free copy of The Great Luke Ski's latest filk* CD, "Baconspiracy". As an added bonus you can also grab a couple of tracks from the disc including the holiday themed "It’s A Fanboy Christmas II: The Wrath of Claus"!

* Filk? You may well ask... there are, apparently, loads of slightly competing definitions but here, courtesy of Debbie's Filk FAQ is one I think is pretty good:
Gary McGath: “Filk music is a musical movement among fans of science fiction and fantasy fandom and closely related activities, emphasizing content which is related to the genre or its fans, and promoting broad participation. Filkers are people who participate in this movement.”

flickr favs: festive (tamelyn)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

David Rose Christmas Album @ Christmas Forever

Christmas Forever is sharing The David Rose Christmas Album.

Upcoming Christmas Cookbooks

One of the greatest joys of the holiday season is the chance to renew our many family and community traditions of cooking and sharing wonderful goodies from the kitchen. Here are some of the most interesting, and yummy sounding, holiday cookbooks coming out over the next couple of months...

I'm a sucker for the whole Victorian Christmas experience so I've already pre-ordered Charles Dickens - A Christmas Dinner. Elizabeth David's Christmas is a new American edition of food writer David's posthumous collection of Christmas related articles. I highly recommend it.

It goes without saying that I've already got my order in for Christmas Beer!

"The All-American Christmas Cookbook provides a state-by-state tour of America's favorite Christmas recipes from Alabama's Pecan Divinity to New York's Oyster Stew to Utah's Quick Peppermint Stick Cake. With classic regional recipes and beautiful vintage artwork from holidays past this cookbook will put everyone in the Christmas spirit from sea to shining sea."

flickr favs: US-227765 (RegRpostcards)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Yule Tube: Christmas DVD Preview

Here's the first of an occasional series looking at this year's new holiday releases on DVD.

The Warner Brothers Holiday Collection Vol. 1 & Vol. 2

We start with a pair of terrific collections of , mostly holiday themed, family flicks from Hollywood's golden age.

Vol 1 contains the 1938 version of A Christmas Carol starring Reginald Owen, the brilliant Barbara Stanwyck vehicle Christmas in Connecticut, Boys Town with Spencer Tracy and Mickey Rooney and The Singing Nun with Debbie Reynolds.

Vol.2 includes the one film in either set that I haven't seen - 1947's screwball comedy It Happened on 5th Avenue (also available as a stand alone release, as most of the films in these collections will be). I'll really looking forward to checking it out.

Also in Vol. 2 - the heart warming (and tear jerking) All Mine to Give, Robert Mitchum in Holiday Affair and the Greer Garson led bio pic Blossoms in the Dust.

The modern Christmas Comedy Classic A Christmas Story is getting a big re-release push with a pair of Special Edition/Gift Sets. Not only do you get this timeless holiday treat of a film with all the DVD extras found on the previous Special Edition release but there are cookie cutters, a recipe book and even a branded apron. If you've made the leap to blu ray you also get a "leg lamp stand".

And here are a few other releases of note coming up this holiday season...

flickr favs: Day 1 - 25 Days of Christmas 2007 (by Phil Peck)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

YuleTube: Doris Day Christmas Memories DVD announced

Over at there's wonderful news of MPI's upcoming DVD release - Doris Day Christmas Memories. From the press release...
"For five successful seasons, superstar Doris Day starred in her own CBS-TV series, The Doris Day Show. For the first time, all three Christmas episodes (A Two Family Christmas from 1969, It's Christmas Time In The City from 1970, Whodunnit, Doris? from 1971) from the program are presented together, with the added bonus of a new audio commentary track by Doris herself!...'
Extras for the October 28 release will include rare news reel footage, bonus songs and more. Suggested retail is a super reasonable 14.98 !

flickr favs: Vintage Wrap (treasureup)

Friday, August 1, 2008