Christmas Movies

I have decided that its time for a list post.  This one is a list of my favorite Christmas movies.  Every year we are given more and more christmas movies to enjoy, and some are good, some are bad, and some are so bad they are good.

But I’ll just stick to my favorite five, in no particular order.

  • Borrowed Hearts

Borrowed Hearts is a 1997 CBS Christmas movie starring Roma Downey and Erik McCormick.  The premise of the movie is a bit cliche:  Sam Fields’ Buisness partner Dave lies to a potential investor that Sam has a family, so they need to hire one for a few days.  None of the actors work out, but in stumbles in Kathryn and her daughter Zoe, who seem to fit.  He convinces her to be his pretend wife for a few days, which due to Mr. Delcampo’s extended stay ends up staying over Christmas.  Its a cute movie, and has Hector Elizondo as DeCampo.

(I would put a clip here, but alas most of the clips on Youtube appear to be either the complete film or another film all together.

  • White Christmas

So here’s my traditional movie on the list.  I grew up watching this movie.  Even though its a little oddball (Its a part musical, so its not suprising) its a fun movie to watch.  Plus I love Danny Kaye, and Rosemary Clooney has a wonderful voice to listen to.  There are two main plots to this story. Phil and Judy want to live their own lives, so they push Bob and Betty together an in attempt to get the two to focus on something else for awhile.  Except it backfires when Betty gets some misunderstood gossip from the General’s personal assistant about Plot #2.  That plot involves Bob and Phil trying to pull together a show and a special reunion of their war buddies to aid their favorite commanding officer whose hotel in Vermont is not doing as well as he would hope.

Its also Irving Berlin Music which shows up in a lot of musicals of the time.   And then there is this scene:

  • Love Actually

This is a lovely assembly movie. It begot a bunch of less awesome assembly holiday based movies, but I can forgive it.  For one it has an awesome cast including Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Andrew Lincoln, Martin Freeman, Emma Thompson, Laura Linney and many many more.  Although some of the various plots are a bit annoying (Poor Andrew Lincoln for example plays a creepy best friend in love with Best friend’s wife) the overall film is cute and the various examples of love and relationships are splendid.

  • Nightmare before Christmas

This is a Christmas movie AND a Halloween movie.  The premise of the movie is that Jack, the king of Halloweentown, finds himself bored with his life.  It never seems to change.  One day while walking his ghost-dog, he stumbles into Christmas Town and Suddenly is awash with new things to do.  He’s going to do christmas up in style.

Except things don’t go as planned, because its hard to explain Christmas to citizens who live Halloween.  This is my favorite Tim Burton film.

  • The Holiday

Another cute movie (my big requirement for a christmas movie is it be cute) where two woman switch places for a vacation before Christmas to Take a break from some crappy life happenings.  My favorite plot line of the move is the one for Kate Winslet, who not only finds happiness, but also finds her own personal strength and ‘gumption’ through friendship with her temporary neighbors.  Sure, its ultimately a romance, but the friendship is one of the highlights of the movie.

Happy Canada Day

This is a week for National birthdays, apparently.  Today is Canada’s “birthday”.

Canada was originally a bunch of seperate colonies, but on July 1, 1867, the Consitiution Act/British North America Act united three of them into a single country within the British Empire.  It was called Dominion Day until 1982, when it was officially renamed Canada Day.

The three colonies joined together were Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the Providence of Canada.  The Providece of Canada was then divided up into more providences (Ontario and Quebec). Since then the country has changed both in shape of the providence (there are now 10), and their governmental relations with the British Empire (They still are under the Queen, but the UK parliment has no say in their government anymore)

The actual day as a holiday was not started until 1879, but only as a day for local communities to celebrate.  Official celebrations started in 1958, although not popularized till the 1980s.  It is held on July 1, unless it is a sunday then the legal holiday will be held the following Monday.

So here’s wishing all my Canadian friends a happy Canada Day.   Thank you for being a good neighbor.

Canadian Flag
National Flag of Canada (of sorts)

Memorial Day

This weekend is Memorial day weekend.  I wanted to stop for a moment and thank all the men and women who have served this country in its armed forces or diplomatic corp who have worked hard to keep our country free and safe. Thank you for all you have done.

graves-1277181_1280

Memorial Day has been celebrated for over a hundred years, developing in the years following the Civil War as a day to pause in remembrance of the men who died during the War. At the time it was called Decoration Day, in reference to the fact that it involved people deocrating the graves of deceased soldiers.

It is not clear where the celebration started (Although Waterloo, NY likes to claim it was them, and others say Charleston, NC) but it soon became something celebrated across the nation.  However,the first purposeful celebration of it happened in Columbus, Georgia, where a group of women decided that on the anniversy of the final surrender of the confederate army, April 26, they should make sure to go out and decorate the graves of vetrans with flowers.  They mailed letters out to various newspapers across the country, and it became a national, abit southern, effort in 1866.

It soon was reported in Northern Papers after the southern women made a point to also decorate the graves of Union soldiers burried in the south and people began to join in on the activities.

On May 5, 1868 General John Logan, who was national Commander of the Grand Army at the time, declared that May 30th would be dedicated to the decoration of graves of those who died for their country.  He choose that day to avoid choosing a date of a battle.   However it wasn’t till 1873 that states started to recognize the day (starting with New York) and it was largely only celebrated on Logan’s date by the North.  Southern States continued to celebrate on dates of their own choosing.

After WWI, the day went from celebrating simply those who died in the civil war to those Americans who died in any war.  In 1971, Congress passed the National Holiday Act and set Memorial Day as a three day weekend, making Memorial Day the last Monday in May as well as making it an offical Federal holiday .  Southern States started to observe Memorial Day after WWI, but also kept seperate days to celebrate those who died as Confederate soldiers.

 

The Story Behind The First Memorial Day 

Memorial Day History

History.Com Memorial Day

US Department of Veteran’s Affairs:  Memorial Day History