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Tag: Happy Holidays (61-70 of 344)

PopWatch Confessional: What's the most ridiculous gift you received for Christmas this year?


Aside from the off-chance you received a gift as (intentionally) awful as the ones these poor kids did on account of one unseasonably cruel Jimmy Kimmel, there was bound to be at least one ridiculous present that wound up under your tree this year. (Unless, of course, you somehow know perfect gift-giver Leslie Knope.) READ FULL STORY

Kid rock star Dan Zanes on his favorite Christmas music

Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Chances are if you’re a kid or have a kid or know a kid, you love Dan Zanes. And quite possibly,  if you’re reading this right now, you’re hanging out on Christmas Day trying to figure out what kind of holiday music to listen to that’s not on a lame loop at your local mall’s Crate and Barrel. Well, Dan Zanes can help. And considering he just released a new album of holiday music,  Christmas in Concord, the Grammy-winning musician knows what he’s talking about. “There’s a lot out there because it used to be part of the deal when you were a singer,” says Zanes. “I really like Christmas music. And a lot of them are really good songs, but they just don’t sound the same in July.” Here’s his advice on how to capitalize on your one day when you can justify morning-until-night Christmas songs:

1. “My favorite Christmas record is the Bob Dylan Christmas record [Christmas in the Heart]. I think it’s incredible. I think his singing is so good, the arrangements are so great. It’s a real celebration of Christmas and that’s part of why I decided to make Christmas music. I was inspired by the fresh sound.”

2. “Joan Osborne’s [Christmas Means Love] is really nice if you want a contemporary record. But I like it because she’s keeping tradition alive.”

3. “The Christmas music that came out of Memphis, in the ’60s when the R&B people did it, I love. Aretha Franklin did some really nice stuff.”

4. “You could check out the Louvin Brothers, who were precursors to the Everly Brothers.”

5. “It hasn’t happened yet, but the person I would really like to hear do a Christmas record would be Asa. I think she could do a really nice one.”

What do you say PopWatchers? Do you agree with Dan Zanes’ picks? What are your favorite songs to listen to today?

Lunchtime Poll: Would any of you blockheads buy Charlie Brown's sad little Christmas tree?

For our final Lunchtime Poll before the holiday weekend, I thought we’d check in with Charlie Brown — the only person Linus knows who can take a wonderful season like Christmas and turn it into a problem. “Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you’re the Charlie Browniest.”

In A Charlie Brown Christmas, after Lucy tasked him with getting the biggest aluminum Christmas tree he could find for the kids’ play, Charlie Brown instead picked a funny-looking hidden gem that was just like him: barely viable in a sea of brightly colored commercialism, sprouting just a few tufts of foliage in random directions, and in desperate need of a little love.

“Gee, do they still make wooden Christmas trees?” wondered Linus. “It doesn’t seem to fit the modern spirit.”

I’m sitting three inches away from my parents’ glorious so-fake-it’s-real Christmas tree right now and must admit I find it very alluring. (DANCMSTR Dee and Barnacle Bill have always understood the importance of maintaining a modern spirit.) But I think I would buy a sad little Charlie Brown tree for my own sad little apartment. I’d call it a “statement piece” and decorate it with lightweight tinsel fringe, a single strand of sequined caramel corn, and a gem-encrusted Dancing With the Stars bangle to support the “trunk” like Linus adorably did with his blanket.

“Everything Annie touches turns into a disaster,” my regretful visitors would say, and I’d nod solemnly and then press play on Dragonette’s modern-day Charlie Brown anthem on my iTunes. They may be right, but those commercial dogs are not going to ruin my Christmas.


Lunchtime Poll: Would you eat maple syrupy spaghetti with Buddy the Elf?

To me, one of the most amusing things about Buddy (Will Ferrell) in 2003’s Elf — and there are many — is his insistence on sticking to the four main food groups of his species: “Candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup.” Buddy’s ridiculous pasta concoctions rivaled Ally Sheedy’s Cap’n Crunch and Pixy Stix sandwich in The Breakfast Club in terms of sheer sugar per square inch. That is no small feat.

Whoa — was Ally Sheedy’s Breakfast Club character an elf? Did Allison Reynolds arrive at John Hughes High after passing through seven levels of the Candy Cane Forest and the Sea of Swirly Twirly Gum Drops? I would not be surprised. I feel like I’ve just figured out the answer to EVERYTHING.

My approach to sampling new cuisines is similar to Buddy’s: “Is there sugar in [dish in question]? Then YES.” But we’re not all as nice as Mary Steenburgen, and not everyone’s willing to go through life actively courting diabetes, even if the feelings of an adorable overgrown elf are at stake.


David Letterman's tradition of odd holiday traditions

Think holiday traditions and mistletoe, eggnog, and caroling come to mind. David Letterman’s Christmas includes target practice at a giant meatball, the Lone Ranger, and singer Darlene Love.

Each has become part of CBS Late Show lore through the years, their appearances anticipated by fans like wrapped presents under a tree. The meatball, the Lone Ranger, and Love all return Friday. READ FULL STORY

Lunchtime Poll: Which 'Love Actually' couple ended up staying together the longest?

Have you ever wondered what happened to all the couples from 2003’s Love Actually? I watch it often enough that I’ve spent way too much time thinking about this. ‘Tis the season to watch Love Actually with your family and have to listen — for the thousandth time — about how much your dad hates that sleazebag secretary Mia for ruining Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson’s marriage!

Let’s think about this for real. David and Natalie (Hugh Grant and Martine McCutcheon, pictured) made a great couple in that they were so different, but would their relationship crumble in the national spotlight? Uncle Jamie (Colin Firth) and his Portuguese housekeeper-turned-fiancée Aurélia had good chemistry despite that pesky language barrier that prevented them from communicating before their tear-jerking proposal scene. Sometimes things are so transparency. Peter (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Juliet (Keira Knightley) had a pretty good shot — especially if Mark (Andrew Lincoln) never showed up to convert them both into Walking Dead zombies and if she continued to keep him interested by wearing wild and crazy things like white cropped sweaters in late December.

Actor stand-ins John and “Just Judy” probably had the most in common. Little drummer boy Sam and his American sweetheart Joanna were probably destined to fail — but that’s fine, because they were so tiny. Meanwhile, Daniel and Carol (Liam Neeson and Claudia Schiffer) just might beat them all. They’d only just met when the movie ended!

I’ve listed all potential long-term couples below. Vote! READ FULL STORY

Happy Hanukkah! (Conan O'Brien-Human Centipede edition)

The smell of latkes frying, the sound of children giggling over gelt, the sight of a human centipede menorah crawling out before a giant red-headed late-night host… ah, it must be Hanukkah!  READ FULL STORY

Ryan Gosling and Jim Carrey celebrate a very drunk Christmas

Two timeless holiday traditions — a reading of  “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” and… booze — have been melded together by FunnyOrDie. The holiday edition of their “Drunk History” series features a sauced telling of the classic poem, as Jim Carrey, Ryan Gosling, and Eva Mendes are put through the slurred paces. An inebriated whiskey-lover named Allan struggles through the nearly 200-year-old tale, though he knows he stumbles when he says lines like, “The children were hung…”

Gosling’s “spring” from his bed could use a little work (but then again, why would anyone be in a rush to leave a sleeping Eva Mendes?). Carrey — best known as a Grinch or at least a Scrooge — finally gets to play the jolly big guy here, reminding us why Santa always has a rosy red nose and cheeks. Watch the NSFW clip below: READ FULL STORY

Lunchtime Poll: What did 'Home Alone' kid Kevin McCallister grow up to be?

One of my favorite holiday movies is the 1990 home security comedy Home Alone. Does anyone better embody the spirit of Christmas than Polka King of the Midwest John Candy as he offers Catherine O’Hara a ride in the back of a van from Scranton to Chicago? You gotta love the Kenosha Kickers! (I never appreciated them at the time; now I think they’re one of the most brilliant parts of the whole movie.) Also, sometimes when I see “Merry Christmas” emblazoned on something, I hear those words as spoken softly by Old Man Marley in the sad church scene. You’d think I’d imagine them as spoken by Santa, or my parents or something — but nope, it’s the scary snow-shoveling neighbor from Home Alone. Whatever works!

I’ve recently been wondering what Kevin McCallister might have made of himself. Crafty little freak, that one. He’d be a thriving, well-fed, hopefully non-vampiric 29-year-old today. On which of his many talents — interior design, trickery, sabotage, coupon-clipping — would Kevin choose to capitalize? Would he get his own OWN program following the cancellation of The Nate Berkus Show? Would he and his monogrammed backpack resurface on TLC’s Extreme Couponers? Would he become an all-grown-up spokesperson for aftershave? The founder of an institute for infectious “you’re such a” disease research? The possibilities are as endless as Kevin’s quest to reach Buzz’s tarantula on the stairs to the third floor.

I’ve listed some career options below — vote or suggest your own! READ FULL STORY

Yup, the 'Calvin and Hobbes' snowmen are still as hilariously morbid as ever -- VIDEO

It is absolutely mind-boggling to me that Calvin and Hobbes — the great American comic strip by Bill Watterson — left our newspapers 16 years ago this month. It is a true testament to the enduring hold the strip has on our imaginations that this miniature re-creation of Calvin’s deliciously macabre snowmen still feels as funny and endearing now as Watterson’s strips of them did back in the ’80s and ’90s. Check it out below, and then tell me, PopWatchers, what are your favorite Calvin and Hobbes moments? READ FULL STORY

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