Happy Boxing Day! It's a sort of grey Saturday here but we can see hints of blue. Yesterday was very stormy all day, which made for a lovely and relaxing Christmas day. We ate leftovers, we played games (we each gave one another games. So far we've played Battleship, Exploding Kittens, and Kahuna), we had a Zoom chat with Tim's family, we talked to my Mom, we read, and we watched Christmas Chronicles 2.
And there was knitting.
And there were tulips.
And my homemade present (we always exchange homemade gifts, Tim generally gets sock or a hat) is not done yet, but it will be in 2021---a deer proof vegetable garden.
Wednesday evening we had three neighbors over---Dawn and Layne brought soup, Pam brought dessert, and I brought a focaccia loaf. We ate in our garage, with the doors open, and the small kiln on 'high' so it warmed up the space. We have a nicer floor than most garages (that's a long story) so it is almost like being in someone's rec room. Later today, new neighbors CJ and Jackson (they're building a house up the street) are stopping by for a quick happy hour, and our neighbors Kevin and Patty are in town so they're coming by too. That will be in the rec garage as well.
We watched four Christmas movies this season (we usually watch one, on Christmas Eve, but it's a year unlike any other). Here is my quick review:
- ELF: I love this movie, as does Tim. It's so bright and cartoonish. It has one of the best lines in any Christmas movie: "YOU SIT ON A THRONE OF LIES." (said from Buddy the Elf to the Santa at Gimbels). The animation at the beginning is delightful. The actors are all great, particularly Peter Dinklage in a small part as a children's book 'fixer'. It is just a great movie.
- CHRISTMAS CHRONICLES: We watched the first one a week or so ago. Two kids lose their father and so Christmas is sad. The kids stay up to catch Santa in the act and chaos ensures. Santa is Kurt Russell and he chews all the scenery, but brings a lot of energy to the part. The story is kind of dumb: will Christmas be saved? Of course it will. There's a fun musical number at the Chicago jail and some good special effects, particularly when one of the kids ends up at the North Pole. It is a good one to watch once, but this won't be on our annual list.
- JINGLE JANGLE: oh the trailer looked SO GOOD: bright and colorful and energetic. And the first half hour of the movie is great--fun special effects, great dance numbers, bright and colorful. Then the middle of the movie kind of bogs down and loses that energy from the start: the bad guy becomes successful, the good guy loses it all (including his family) and it is up to a small girl, who happens to be interested in STEM, to save everything. Will it all be saved? Of course it will.
The energy picks up again at the end and it is GREAT to have a Christmas movie with a predominantly Black cast and maybe we'll watch this one again (at least the first half hour and the last half hour).
- CHRISTMAS CHRONICLES 2: We watched this last night. The kids from the first movie are on vacation on the beach and Katie (from the first movie) hates being at the beach during Christmas and her mom is dating a new guy and she's all emo. Meanwhile, a renegade elf who has turned into a human and is living at the South Pole (WHAT?) wants to bring down Santa (as one does). Renegade elf (is his name Bensicile? Just googled. Belsnickle. It's a mouthful) someone sends kids down a wormhole to be rescued by Santa so Belsnickle can sneak into the North Pole (just go with it). He wreaks havoc. Can Christmas be saved? Of course it can. This one was another 'watch it once'. This one had both Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn (as Mrs. Claus, who only had a brief cameo in Christmas Chronicles 1) and Mrs. Claus had a much bigger storyline, although it primarily involved cooking, healing sick reindeer, and looking wistfully at children as clearly she could not have her own. The biggest 'ish' in this movie was Mrs. Claus constantly calling the kids 'the children' even though they had been clearly described as teen agers. Anyway, some good special effects if you can overlook the plot holes.