Friday, December 21, 2012

The Richest Man In Town

When they sing of "the most wonderful time of the year," do they mean 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve, when TBS begins its 24-hour, 12-straight-showings of "A Christmas Story" and NBC starts its annual screening of "It's A Wonderful Life?"

TigerBlog thinks so.

TigerBlog has seen both movies about a million times each, or at least enough so that there are no surprises in store at all in either. And in truth, he has DVD versions of both of them, so he doesn't need to watch them on Christmas Eve.

And, of course, there are the odd times in, oh, April or July or something, when TB will switch over to youtube for a quick fix of his favorite scenes.

From "It's A Wonderful Life," it's the moment at the end when Harry toasts George with "to my big brother George, the richest man in town." For the record, even typing the words gets TB a tad misty; it's impossible for him to watch the scene without tearing up, even after all the times he's seen it.

From "A Christmas Story," there is more than one.

If he had to pick just one, it would also be the end, in the wildly politically incorrect scene when the Parker family ends up in the Chinese restaurant on Christmas night.

Click on the link and watch the mother the entire time in the clip. They must have had to film that scene a billion times and finally gave up, realizing that she'd crack every no matter how many times they tried it.

Then there's the scene where Ralphie lets fly the "big one, the eff-dash-dash-dash" word. That's hilarious.

Still, there's nothing quite like watching them on Christmas Eve, in the moment themselves.

And those aren't the only great Christmas productions. There are dozens of them.

There are so many great holiday movies, especially the ones that mix in some laughter and hijinks along the way before the heartfelt ending. And the TV specials, like "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" or "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" or any of them, especially the granddaddy of them all, "A Charlie Brown Christmas."

Every kid loves to watch them. Every adult loves them too, because of how they immediately take them back to their own childhoods.

Of course, just about every TV show has its Christmas episodes, so many of which are classics. And all of the Christmas carols, of which TB has more than 50 on his iTunes.

And there are the Christmas lights and ornaments and all. TigerBlog saw one street along the Delaware-Raritan Canal were each of 12 houses decorated as the "12 Days Of Christmas," with each house having a display of each of the nights in the song.

TigerBlog is a huge Christmas fan, which doesn't make him unique among people on Earth. Perhaps the whole being Jewish thing makes it not quite a religious moment for TB, but as he always says, Christmas is also a federal holiday, the only religious federal holiday in the United States.

TB loves to ask people what their Christmas traditions are, and it seems that just about everyone as the same routine for the holiday, whether Christian or not. Some of these traditions are decades and generations old, and TB knows that each time he asks someone, the response is always given with great fondness, as if they cannot wait for it to start all over again.

TB also knows some people whose birthdays are right around Christmas, including his 11-year-old friend William, whose birthday is today. And Nancy Donigan, who works in the compliance office here and whose birthday is Christmas Eve. And others - all of whom get offended at the suggestion that they might get one present to cover both Christmas and the birthday.

The world of Princeton Athletics grinds to a halt for Christmas, with a seven-day break between the men's basketball game tomorrow night at home against Bucknell until the men's hockey and wrestling teams resume play Dec. 29.

Other than exams, nothing else causes that big of a break in the athletic schedule here during the course of the academic year. Only Christmas.

The NBA has give games scheduled on Christmas Day, which might make for decent TV ratings but is an unfair burden on those who have to work at them, especially radio/TV/media relations/medical staff types who have to go on the road and can't even be home in the morning.

At Princeton, pretty much everyone can be home for the holidays, which is no small feat considering how many different directions they all have to scatter in to make that happen.

And that's as it should be.

This weekend gives you a last chance to get the Christmas shopping done, and then it's Christmas Eve on Monday and then the holiday on Tuesday.

TigerBlog will be back Wednesday, and as such, he wants to wish everyone the merriest of Christmases.

May everyone be, as Harry Bailey said, "the richest man in town."

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