Posted tagged ‘Christmas’

My Favorite Moments During “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas”

December 19, 2015

In the beginning of the cartoon, the Grinch talks about stopping Christmas from coming.     His lips move, but his teeth remain in the same space.   That always fascinated me, ever since I was a kid.

Grinch Constant Teeth

The expression of pure joy as Max thinks he’s going for a sleigh ride…

Grinch Max on Sleigh


…and the Grinch’s immediate reaction.  (“Yeah…right!” ).    Especially when the pom-pom of his hat drops.   That’s classic Chuck Jones animation.

Grinch Max Sleight Part 2


The Grinch slithering among the gifts like the snake that he is….

Grinch Slither


The fire truck with the super-strong ladder,  which can boost the Grinch to the top of the tree.   I always wished I could have a toy like that. .

Grinch Fire truck

Grinch Fire Truck 2


Cindy Lou Who, who is no more than two”    Compare her to the size of the Christmas decoration, she must be about 8 inches tall.   Also notice that she and the other who children have antennae.  Does that mean they’re part insect?  Grinch Cindy Lou Who


“And the one speck of food he left in the house, was a crumb that was even too small or even a mouse”.    And then he STEALS it…!!!  The poor mouse’s sad expression is priceless.

Grinch Crumb

Grinch Crumb 2


The scene where he steals the ice-cubes.    Think of this:  it’s 20 below outside…the town is covered in ice and snow.   The Whos could always go out and get ice any time they wanted.    But the Grinch still takes the trouble to take the ice cubes from their fridge and put them in his bag, where the will be useless and melt.    Just to prove a point…because that’s the kind of a-hole he is.  🙂

Grinch Stealing Ice


The scene towards the end of the movie, when the Whos were still happy, even though the Grinch had stolen their gifts.  And the Grinch puzzled and puzzled,  till his puzzler was sore, and then he had his epiphany.   You can tell when it happens, when the background color changes.

Grinch Puzzling 1Grinch Puzzling 2.

And then ,the true meaning of Christmas came through, and the Grinch found the strength of ten Grinches, plus TWO

I always loved that “plus TWO”.   It just ads further emphasis to his complete transformation.

Grinches Ten Plus Two

And I don’t know what kind of critter a “Roast Beast” is.   It apparently has at least two legs, but the inside looks like pure solid meat with no organs or bones or gristle.  That’s MY kind of meal.

Grinch Roast Beast 1

And you can keep slicing it and slicing it, and it never gets smaller and you never run out of food.

Grinch Roast Beat


Three Sentimental Decorations

December 23, 2013

Cock-eyed Cardinal

When I was about 13, my grandma was in the hospital for a few weeks.     When she left,  she bought her grand kids gifts at the hospital gift shop (because that’s what Grandmas do).

I got this plastic cardinal with the plastic eyes glued on crooked.  It’s cheap, and actually kinda ugly, if you think about it.

But I’ve kept it all these years, because Grandma bought it for me.

Every year, when we’d decorate the tree, I’d take it out.    And every year my Dad would roll his eyes, and tell me to get rid of that piece of junk.

And every year,  I’d still insist on putting it in the tree and his blood pressure would go up.

Dad and Grandma are gone now.

But 35 years later, I’m still putting up the cardinal.


Cardinal IMG_5891

Silver Pine Cone

It’s nothing much to look at.   A pine cone spray-painted silver, with a nail in it so you can hang it on the three with a thread.

I got it a few years ago.   Friar’s Mom said my grandpa made this.   She remembers it from when she was a little girl, before she went to school.

Which would date this around 1944-45.

And that’s what I think is pretty cool.

Pine Cone IMG_5898

High Birds

This would be going back to the early 70’s, when I was 6 or 7.    My grandfather gave me, my brother and my sister one of these birds for the Christmas tree.   They had real feathers on them, and we’d throw them to make them fly.   I though these were the coolest decorations ever.

We’d also have a contest, to see who’s bird would end up highest on the tree.   We’d go tippy-toes on chairs and push them as high as they could go.

Someone would always be messing with the other person’s bird, putting theirs higher and and re-locating the other siblings’ bird lower in the down.    It was mostly my brother and myself that would do this…and this pissing contest would go on for days, if not weeks.

I think we did this well into our 20’s.

Bird IMG_5895

Christmas-Themed Doodles

December 22, 2012

I did this one months ago, with no thought of Christmas.

But I like the red and green colors.

So it goes with the season.

2012-12-20 Red Green Doodle)a

I can see where my mood changed as I drew this.   I had started in the upper-right, with mostly rectangular shapes.

2012-12-20 Doodle (Fall 2012) IMG_0372

Then, as I went lower, I started drawing repetitive patterns.

I can’t tell you what all the shapes mean.

But I do know towards the bottom, I was going for a Lucky Charms and a Pac-Man theme.   Plus some Christmas trees.


I like this one.   It totally surprised me.

2012-12-18 Train Doodle

It started out as a total random blob of shapes.  But then I discovered it kind of looked like a train locomotive.

So I finished drawing it that way.


Friar’s Six Most Annoying Christmas Songs That Will Make You Cringe

December 13, 2012

Up on the Housetop (The Jackson Five)

Ugh.  Nothing like listening to a hyper pre-pubescent Michael Jackson scream the same lyrics over and over.

Back when his voice was even higher than what we’d make fun of when he was an adult.

Cringe-worthy moment:  The “pitter Patter” dialogue that starts as 2:00.

(Good Lord).

I dare you to listen to this from beginning to end, without running from the room screaming.

Go on.   I DARE you.


Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Most depressing.   Christmas song.   EVER.

Nobody ever sings this in a happy way.    Nobody.

Especially Judy Garland.

Cringe-worthy moment:   Look at the poor kid at 1:30.

Gee….are we having FUN yet?

The only redeeming part of this scene is the first part.    I had to look at this several times before I realized that Judy is cranking a box making these MONKEYS dance around.

Everything is better with monkeys.


Earl the Christmas Squirrel

I didn’t think it was possible to find a Christmas rodent song more obnoxious than Alvin and the Chipmunks.

But here we are.

Cringe-worthy moment:  “He goes nuts over coconuts….”.

Nice rhyming.

But sorry.  It doesn’t count  when the SAME WORD is repeated.


The Little Drummer Boy

I never liked this song.

And the TV special didn’t help.    What an obnoxious kid.

He just annoyed the hell out of me.

Still does, in fact.

Cringe-worthy moment:  Where I start to lose it is when he starts to play and the “Room Poom Pooms” in the background reach a crescendo.

And “The ox and lamb kept time”




A Song for a Winter’s Night (Sarah McLachlan)

Way to ruin Gordon Lightfoot’s 1967 original, Sarah.

You’ve transformed what was a sentimental, heartfelt ballad into a tortured-intellectual estrogen-fest.

Cringe-w0rthy moment:  The “Dood n doos” in the background.

That alone ruins the whole song.

When I hear this, I dont’ know whether to slit my wrists, or go into a coma.


Christmas Shoes

This is supposed to be a tear-jerker song.   It’s about a little boy who wants to buy Mommy some shoes he cannot afford.

So that she looks good for Jesus.

Because, you see…there’s “not much time”, because she’s on the deathbed.

Oh…give me a BREAK.

Yeah, it’s supposed to be sad.

Except it’s so over-done, so over the top, and the video is so over-acted, that it’s NOT.

In has the opposite effect.

It just makes me want to make FUN of it.

Cringe-worthy moment:   When all the little children start joining in the singing at 3:40.

It’s a good thing I was in the Burger King drive through when I heard this in my car.

Because if I had been on the road, I’d probably have driven into on-coming traffic to end my misery.

Christmas Cars

December 23, 2011

Soon, it will be Christmas, and it will be time to take out my Matchbox cars again.

This is a little tradition I’ve started.

I’ve loved Matchbox cars, ever since I can remember.

I used to get them a lot.    I remember as early as ages 2 and 3.    That would have been circa 1967, before Hot Wheels even came out.

I’d get them for Christmas or a birthday.  Sometimes, for no reason at all.

My grandparents would buy them for me.  Or aunts or uncles.

Or my Dad.   He might walk into a store with me, and we’d pick one out together.

Some Matchboxes would be trucks.   Some would be cars.

Others would be  “Models of Yesteryear”, which were old-fashioned cars from the early 1900’s.   Those were special, and I only had 2-3 of  those.

I cherished and played with all those little cars for years, and I still have a lot of the original ones.

But they’re not much to look at today,  with all the scratches and dents from hours of play.

Yet I still hold onto them.


Fast forward 40 years.

I still collect Matchbox cars.

Not the cheap plastic ones they make today from China,  but the original ones from the 60’s and early 70’s, from my childhood

They”re hard to find these days.   They’ve become “collectible”.

The odd antique store might have them.  Or you can  buy them on Ebay.

And to get one in mint condition is quite a find.


So imagine my surprise when, one day about 8 years ago,  my Dad gave me a present.

A friend of his was moving,  Dad explained, and was selling some of his things.   So Dad had bought a few items, which he thought I might like.

He gave me a box and when I opened it, I found a Matchbox car wrapped in tissue.

And another.

And another.

And other.

When I had finished, it was over a dozen.

I couldn’t’ believe my eyes.

Mint condition “Models of Yesteryear”,  no less.

Including some cars I’ve always wanted, but never had.

And also brand-new versions of the old beaten-up wrecks I still held onto.

It’s like I had hit the Mother Lode.

Now, you must realize, my Dad wasn’t the type of person who displayed his emotions openly.   In fact, he could be a bit gruff, at times.

But when he saw my face, and how excited I got became,  he started to get misty-eyed, and I’ll never forget that moment.


Dad’s gone now.

I still have those precious cars, and keep them wrapped up in tissue and the box they came in.

But I take them out once in a while, to look at them.

Especially on Christmas Day.

Because it reminds me of my Dad, who I kinda hope might be watching.

And it reminds me of the time he thought of me,  and got me that one special gift.

It might not have been the most expensive or fancy thing I’ve ever gotten from him.

But it was certainly the best.

Friar’s Christmas Wishes

December 22, 2011

Forget world peace.

Here’s what I’d like to see for Christmas 2011.



All the fruitcake on the planet will be loaded onto one huge rocket, and launched into the sun.



It’ll be against the law to give clothes as gifts to any kid under 10.



The Turkey Stuffing Fairy will see to it that turkey stuffing everywhere will be raisin-free.



Charlie Brown will finally stop taking crap from Lucy.



The Abominable Snow-Monster will get to keep all this teeth, this time.



Children’s Aid will get involved, and see to it that those poor Frosty kids have decent winter clothes, for a change.

Friar’s Best and Worst Christmas List

December 15, 2008


Best Christmas cartoons

  • A Charlie Brown Christmas.  This has become such an integral part of our culture that they even sell “Charlie Brown Christmas Trees“.
  • The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.  A timeless masterpiece combining the genius of Dr. Seuss, Chuck Jones and Boris Karlof.
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. How can you go wrong with Burl Ives, misfit toys, Yukon Cornelius, Bumbles and Elf dentists?
  • The Polar Express .  This one will still be a favorite decades from now…I love those awesome scenes from Santa’s workshop.

Lamest Christmas cartoons

  • Frosty Returns (Shittiest.  Christmas Sequel.  Ever.)   It’s a far cry form the original Frosty.  Jimmy Durante is rolling over in his grave.
  • The Little Drummer Boy (I never liked that wuss, or his stupid song).  I felt sorry for the lamb that died, though.  Even though Baby Jesus later brought it back to life.
  • The Grinch Who Stole Christmas (the movie version).   Seriously.   WTF?    (Note to Hollywood:   Just because you CAN make feature movie based on a 25 minute cartoon, doesn’t mean you SHOULD.)

Christmas movies I have to see every year

  • National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (The exploding cat, the killer squirrel, and Chevy Chase’s Gigawatt Christmas lights are the best!)
  • A Trailer Park Boys Christmas (especially Ricky’s heart-warming speech in church!)  It brings tears to your eyes.  🙂
  • It’s a Wonderful Life  (goes without saying.)

I never could get this one right:

  • Who were the Three Kings?   (Balthazar…?   Moltar…?  Shabaz…?)

Religious Christmas carols that make me nostalgic and give me goosebumps

  • Hark the Herald Angels Sing
  • O Holy Night
  • O Come all Ye Faithful
  • Angles We Have Heard on High

Fun Christmas songs that put me in a good mood for the holidays

  • Grandma Got Run over by a Reindeer
  • Linus and Lucy’s Theme (from a Charlie Brown Christmas).    Actually, it’s worth buying the entire CD.
  • Blue Christmas (the Elvis Version, of course!)

Christmas carols that make me cringe and want to drive into oncoming traffic

  • The Little Drummer Boy (any version, any artist).  Parum-pah-pum DUMB!
  • Earl, Earl, the Christmas Squirrel. (No, I am NOT making this up).   “He is nuts for coconuts, and macadamias too…”.
  • Up On the Housetop (by the Jackson Five, sung by a pre-pubescent Michael).  You’ll want to gouge your eardrums out.

I never could understand this:

  • A virgin giving birth.   (…REALLY?)   Even as a kid, I sensed the priests didn’t like discussing this one.

New Christmas trends I’m not too crazy about

  • Christmas crap in the stores the day after Halloween.   (There oughta be a law:   As long as there are still leaves on the trees, NO CHRISTMAS merchadise!)
  • Political Correctness trying to remove all reference to the word “Christmas”, lest anyone get offended.  (Wah!)   I’m sorry, it’s Christmas…Deal with it!
  • Those cheap0 6-foot inflatable snow globes that have rotating Merry-Go-Rounds inside  (They’re abominations!…burn them!  BURN THEM!)
  • LED Christmas Lights.  (Yes, I know they save energy, but for crying out loud, my WATCH gives off more light!)

Gifts guaranteed to make a man happy

  • Food.
  • Toys (radio-controlled things, and/or  power tools)
  • S-E-X (Like, duh.)

The Golden Rule of what NOT to get a woman

  • Anything that can be plugged in (i.e. toaster ovens, irons, vacuum cleaners).   Unless you enjoy sleeping on the couch.

Gifts that will make your nephews love you (or their parents hate you)

  • Toy guns with obnoxious sound effects.
  • Toys that encourage aggression (i.e. foam swords and shields..BAM! BAM! BAM!)
  • Musical instruments (especially from the percussion group).
  • Chocolate anything (watch them gobble it down and get all wired).
  • Toys with 1,000 pieces that Daddy gets stuck putting together.

Lamest christmas gifts ever

  • Clothes (for any boy under 15).
  • Donations to a charity in your name. (Hey, if I’m not getting anything, fine.  But do you have to rub it in and remind me why?)
  • Fruit-cake (seriously…who ever actually EATS this shit?)
  • Oranges in the stocking.  (Hello…the year 1903 just called…they’d like their novelty gift idea back).
  • A lump of coal (seriously…has anyone actually ever received this?)

My favorite holiday foods

  • Egg Nog (Endorsed by the American Association of Cardiologists).
  • Anything to do with melted cheese and/or smoked salmon.
  • Turkey with stuffing (on Christmas Day only, NOT for the next  29 days of leftovers).  And don’t forget the mashed potatoes shaped into a volcano so you can pour in the gravy.
  • Chocolate ANYTHING. (Bonus points for Toblerone!)

My least favorite holiday foods

  • Vegetable trays with raw broccoli and raw cauliflower.  (Come ON…!!  That’s the equivalent of giving out toothbrushes on Halloween!)
  • Mincemeat pies (I have a phobia against squishy raisins in any food).
  • Turkey stuffing with RAISINS in it (see above).  Gagggggg.
  • Trifle.  (For a similar texture, why don’t I just take angel-food cake and pour water on it?)
  • Cheap Dollar-Store Christmas chocolate that tastes like wax.   (Watch out for melanine and lead!)

Most over-stated Christmas cliches

  • If only we’d act like it was Christmas all year long, instead of just one day a year“.  (Gee, I never heard THAT one before!)
  • At this time of year, let us not forget those less fortunate than us.” (As opposed to the OTHER 11.5 months?)
  • It’s better to give than to receive“. (Okay, tell you what.   YOU give, I’LL receive.  And we’ll compare notes afterward.)   🙂