My Movie List for Yule

December 16, 2022

Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Make the Yuletide gay
Next year all our troubles will be miles away

This song, from Meet Me in St. Louis, is for people who struggle through the season. Every time Judy sings about our troubles being out of sight (next year), I hope that’s true – although the joyous Christmas deferred seems more unlikely with each passing year. But it occurred to me today that it’s always been true. My troubles of last Solstice are a vague memory, and I have a whole new set of problems. The challenges of last year have been met, or else they seem less daunting.

Along the lines of struggling Christmas is my favorite lesbian movie, Carol. The movie captures the desperation of the era. People have suffered through the Depression and WWII and there’s a compulsion to express joy. We’re together again, the material deprivations are in the past, we must be happy. No one wants to admit that there are deeper issues that need to be addressed. A satisfying movie, despite the somber themes.

I would say nobody could match Cate Blanchett for a sexy Yuletide performance, except there’s the sultry Kim Novak in Bell, Book and Candle. Jimmy Stewart atones here for the sappy It’s a Wonderful Life. Also starring Jack Lemmon.

Speaking of Jack Lemmon, here’s another favorite with a Christmas theme, one which also dwells on the vapidity of the season. The Apartment, has Shirley MacLaine as Lemmon’s pert love interest and Fred McMurray playing a real skunk.

It’s actually a television episode, not a movie, but Christmas dinner with the Fishers in Six Feet Under deserves an honorable mention. The first episode of the series, where the patriarch dies, also takes place on Christmas.

Best wishes of the season. Holly Jolly and all that. That’s it for now from your queen of dysfunctional Christmas. If I have time this year, I’ll make a video collage of tacky outdoor holiday decorations. But no promises. If I don’t get to it, I know you’ll muddle through somehow.

Solstice Again

December 18, 2020

I spent most of yesterday working on the Solstice video, and then it didn’t survive publication. Here it is again.

I’m taking the rest of the year off. See you at the New Year.

Solstice 2020

December 18, 2020

Happy Solstice!

Enjoy the video. I’m taking the rest of the year off. Check back at the New Year. Hearth

Happy Solstice!

December 21, 2018
Clockwise: Maple Tree buds, Red Salamander, East Branch Ausable River, Sunset on McKenzie Mountain

Happy Holidays, Frozen Shoulder Edition

December 14, 2018

Shoulder injury continues to heal. Can’t resist sharing this inevitable version of a winter classic. Made to order for the silly season. Greetings from a frozen place, and if the cold never bothers you, you definitely don’t live here.

Blessings of the Season

December 22, 2017

Early 20th Century Postcard by Carlo Chiostri.

From Invoking Animal Magic:

There are a few positive Christian legends about spiders. In one story, spiders decorate the Christmas tree with their webs, which is why tinsel is applied to holiday trees today. In another a spider spins a thick web over the cradle of Baby Jesus to hide him from the wicked King Herod. Since Christmas is the most pagan of Christian holidays, it seems reasonable that some pagan solstice stories about spiders became woven with Christian themes.

Happy Holidays everyone!