November 30th, 2009

What Movies Get You in the Holiday Spirit?

Holiday traditions are vital to drumming up holiday spirit.  For me and my family, one of the most crucial is the mandatory viewing of certain films.  Like special holiday foods or decorations, these movies are carefully squirreled away until the frantic end of year draws near.  Then, we dig them out from their dusty hidey-holes and view them with copious quantities of eggnog, cookies and other treats, thinking, “Ahhhh…… the holidays are here.”  Somehow, the season doesn’t feel quite right without them.  So, what’s on my viewing list?

1.    It’s a Wonderful Life (1947) – A great movie for percolating warm, fuzzy feelings and remembering what the season is all about.

2.    Elf (2003) – We’ve watched this one so many times that I know the lines by heart.  And what other film has a narwhal as a character?

3.    A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973) and A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) – Pair these together for a high-dose nostalgia injection of holiday cheer.

4.    Home for the Holidays (1995) – This film gets my vote for funniest holiday flick.  Poor Holly Hunter goes home to see her dysfunctional family, creating many cynical and hilariously awkward moments.

5.    The Grinch Who Stole Christmas (1966 cartoon version) – Boris Karloff has an awesome voice and I always get a little bit teary when the Whos in Whoville all hold hands and sing.

6.    A Christmas Carol (1999) – Patrick Stewart makes a great Scrooge in this Dickens classic and it always makes me want to try steamed figgy pudding.

Click here to see a list of holiday movies you can check out from Cecil County Public Library.  And tell us – what movies do you watch to get in the holiday spirit?


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November 23rd, 2009

Girls Like Football, Too!

Traditionally, Thanksgiving is regarded as a time when we come together with our families, give thanks for the blessings of the past year, relish in our favorite home cooked foods and bask in holiday traditions.  Now, I’m all for traditions, but one that gets on my nerves is the stereotype that girls don’t like football.  Love of the game has about as much to do with gender as whether you like turkey or pumpkin pie.  So, if you’re a guy or a gal, football aficionado or not, here are my top reasons why watching a whole lotta football should be a mandatory holiday tradition for all!

1.  Football makes yelling acceptable, and it’s fun and stress-relieving to yell. While holiday shopping recently, I saw a magnet that said, “When in trouble or in doubt, run in circles and scream and shout.” Hey, it’s what kids do, and we can certainly learn a thing or two from children. Football games are an excellent opportunity to lose your temper and basically act like a 2-year-old without the time out.

2.  Football is not that hard to understand. If you feel clueless about the game, here’s a simple breakdown:  there are four 15 minute quarters and two halves. (On TV with commercials, about 4 hours). There are 11 players and three types of teams: offensive (they score the points), defensive (they stop the other team from scoring points), and special teams (they kick field goals and only play at certain times). The offensive team tries to advance moving the ball towards their goal line by at least 10 yards in 4 tries, called downs. The defense tries to stop them, or intercept the ball, etc. A touchdown is 6 points, an extra point conversion (which you can only get after scoring a touchdown) is 1 point, and a field goal is 3 points. The goal is to get more points than the other team. When in doubt, just scream and yell when everyone else does.

3.  Football is an opportunity to eat delicious, diet-shattering food. OK, I’m a girl, and I watch my weight, but any diet expert will tell you that no matter what diet you’re following, it’s important to indulge yourself, and I allow that once a week. During football season, I choose Sundays –- for nachos, chicken wings, and meatball sandwiches. And really, are we counting calories on Thanksgiving?

Maybe the most important reason to watch a little ball this season is that it brings family and friends together and encourages team spirit. And in times like these, couldn’t we use a little more of that?

Let us know your favorite football traditions and who you’re rooting for this season. Even better…Superbowl predictions. Personally, I say, “Go Ravens!”


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