Saturday, November 30, 2013

This Post Is About Holy, Holy Christmas

Hey world! It's Christmas Time! That magical time of the year when we burn wicker yule goats, put meat in our barns for the little Nissen to eat so they don't tie our horse's hair in knots, get nice new clothing so that the giantess Gryla's pet yule cat doesn't gobble us up, and of course, look out for Krampus, Santa, and Black Peter. 

As many of you know, I am a bit of a Christmas nerd.  Not in the sense that I love shopping, ice skating, caroling, or sipping hot chocolate.  I just think Christmas is super really mega cool.  For a season, the population at large just seems a little bit nicer.  People from all walks of life and a HUGE range of temperaments all kind of come together over... well... some pretty weird stuff when you think about it.  Setting lights on our dwellings and on pine trees.  Piling up snow so that it resembles a human form.  Mythical nordic toymakers who visit good kids.  Listening to ultra mega corny music.  It's weird, right?  And I promise you it only gets weirder from there. But we love it!  

So this year I thought I'd so something pretty special.  THIS is my Advent Calendar. As our good chum Wikipedia points out, "An Advent Calendar is a special calendar used to count or celebrate the days in anticipation of Christmas. The days often overlap with the Christian season of Advent. Despite the name, most commercially available Advent calendars begin on December 1, regardless of when Advent begins, which can be as early as November 27 and as late as December 3. Many take the form of a large rectangular card with "windows" of which there are usually 24: one for each day of December leading up to Christmas Day. One is opened every day leading up to Christmas. The calendar windows open to reveal an image, poem, a portion of a story (such as the story of the Nativity of Jesus) or a small gift, such as a toy or a chocolate item. Some calendars are strictly religious, whereas others are secular in content."  SO, my plan is as follows: every day from now until Christmas of 2013, I will post a post about something weird/cool/fun/traditional/nontraditional I like about Christmas.  It's bound to be pretty wacky and educational, so stick around! 

I know most of you probably think my Christmas largely consists of Skeletons accompanying tunes by Danny Elfman, and while you'd be right that I DO enjoy that sort of Tim Burton Holiday Spirit, the fact is, archaic Scandinavian Euro Christmas is much more my thing- what with all it's warm knitted sweaters, glowing fires, and terrible fairy tale creatures.

SO! If any of you would like a taste of MY Christmas of choice before we rev this thing up and get going in full earnest, lemme suggest a few films for you (and I believe they are all currently streaming on Netflix, for those of you with Netflix accounts): First and foremost, Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale.  This is probably one of the more clever and quirky of the "darker" Christmas movies out there.  The plot: A team in the north uncovers an Ancient Nordic Sami Burial Mound that turns out to not only be the largest burial mound ever discovered, but also may or may not be the grave of the original Santa Claus.  Check it out and know that the payoff at the end is amazingly groovy.

If you get through that and wanna kick it up a notch, lemme recommend The TrollHunter. It's not a Christmas film per se, but all the sweaters, nordic winter forests, and fairy tale beasts really continues in the same vein of Rare Exports, and keeps the mood alive.  Both are pretty fun and painless movies.

And lastly, if you got through those and are ok with taking things to a much darker place (but ultimately WAY more heartwarming in the long run) check out Let The Right One In- which is surprisingly considered a Christmas film by more people than just me. It also is full of snow, sweaters, and monsters- but this one tells a love story and discusses a number of deeper themes like love, loss, loneliness, and eternity, and like I said, it all fits in pretty well thematically with the season.  So there ya go!  From now through Christmas, one post per day!  Buckle up, slurp down some lutefisk, and don't let Belsnickel find you being naughty! Happy Christmas everyone!