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    • Black River Santa
      By Black River Santa
      Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) was born on this day in 1840, in Votkinsk, in the Russian Empire. Though he never played Santa Claus, the score he wrote for the two-act ballet, “The Nutcracker,” adapted from E.T.A. Hoffman’s story, "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King," is part of our collective Christmas soundtrack, and attending a stage performance is an annual family tradition for many during the holiday season. I know this has to be a @Drosselmeyer favorite!

    • Drosselmeyer
      By Drosselmeyer
      so - took my wife on a double date with our son and his girlfriend to see Nutcracker and the 4 Realms  this evening.  Since the movie has been discussed in anticipation, now it is time to share thoughts about the movie now that I have seen it.....
      Earlier today I was expecting to write about the Lone Ranger movie - as an old school Lone Ranger purist the new movie was a poor representation of the original characters - at best it was a gross retelling of the story that in no way represented the intent of the original TV series.  This is what I expected from Nutcracker....that was the comparison I expected to make.....
      but I was wrong.  The movie was not based on the storyline of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker - but another story using some of the characters called The Nutcracker and the Mouse King.  I won't say too much about the plot for those that want to see the movie - but it is a different story all together - somewhere between Alice in Wonderland and Narnia.  Clara is an intelligent young girl whose mother has passed and left her a puzzle box gift.  Her Uncle Drosselmeyer knows she has to journey to the land of the realms to restore the balance her mother had there when she was queen.   Aside from the names of the characters and the fact that the story happens at Christmas - there is nothing much else it has in common with the Nutcracker ballet.  Even the Nutcracker music is more for ambiance than part of the storyline (the ballet shows up in the story to tell the narrative of Clara's mother).    (by the way - some of the stuff in the trailers is not even in the movie...)
      Part way into the movie my wife and I looked at each other and predicted who the true villains and heroes of the story were - it wasn't that deep.  It was a lot of CGI and a pure steampunk fantasy.  But we had a nice evening out.  Time well spent with family.  Don't expect a big Hallmark Christmas movie.  Don't expect the Nutcracker ballet.  It's just another Disney fantasy movie....

    • Drosselmeyer
      By Drosselmeyer
      I had seen this discussion in the sidebar previously....
      I did not see it in the theatre - but I did pick up a copy and I have to say I was impressed.
      I would agree that the title is a little pompous - Charles did not invent  Christmas - to me the movie played not as a documentary but more as a historical fiction - a story build around what we know of his life and the history of the time - no one can know what was in his head, but the movie did a great job of capturing his imagination - his characters were real  to him - he spoke with them - and they "haunted" him....
      I think the idea of "inventing" was more to the place where his publishers commented that Christmas was passe - not all that much more than an "excuse to pick a mans pocket every 25th of December" - Charles used the story and his characters to compel an understanding of the dreadful price of greed and the richness vs. being loving and giving.  (note the historical reference in the end that due to his book charitable giving exploded) With this story Charles created a fresh inspiration to what had for many become a mundane holiday....
      Most interesting to me was that Charles identified primarily with Scrooge - Scrooge was his own personal demon that he could not reconcile - it was not until he recognized that he could change that he was able to let Scrooge change and be redeemed.
      Perhaps a little heavy and slow at times - but overall I really enjoyed the movie - at the end it conveyed not much more than the same moral lesson than "A Christmas Carol" - but it does so through the story of the life of Dickens - not Scrooge....
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  • Our picks

    • If You Have the Post Christmas Blues You’re Doing Christmas Wrong
      The post-Christmas blues are a very real thing. Once the date of December 25th has passed the specter of December 26th is an ominous marker to many. It sits there on the calendar like the Ghost of Christmas Yet-to-Come. Silent and foreboding, the very image of the hooded Angel of Death it seems to be. And why not?

      Just about anywhere you look Americans are tossing trees to the curb, ripping down lights from rooftops and radio stations are flipping back to everyday music. What took months to build gets deconstructed in a matter of a couple of days.
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    • Auld Lang Syne
      Every New Year’s Eve at the stroke of midnight, millions around the world traditionally gather together to sing the same song, “Auld Lang Syne”. As revilers mumble though the song’s versus, it often brings many of them to tears – regardless of the fact that most don’t know or even understand the lyrics. Confusion over the song’s lyrics is almost as much of a tradition as the song itself. Of course that rarely stops anyone from joining in.
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      • 2 replies
    • Merry Christmas, My Friend
      Every year around this time, some variation of this poem is circulated online. The poem is generally credited to “a soldier stationed in Okinawa” or more recently since September 11, 2001, “a Marine stationed in Afghanistan”.

      However, the poem’s true author is Lance Corporal James M. Schmidt.

      Originally entitled, “Merry Christmas, My Friend”, Corporal Schmidt wrote the poem in 1986 while serving as Battalion Counter Sniper at the Marine Barracks 8th & I, in Washington, D.C.

      That day the poem was placed in the Marine Corps Gazette and distributed worldwide. Schmidt’s poem was later published in Leatherneck (Magazine of the Marines) in December 1991.
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    • Is it time to start calling out Bad Santas?
      Is it time to start calling out Bad Santas?

      Do you think we should start calling out those in our community whose actions or behavior is unbecoming of Santa Claus or Mrs. Claus?
        • Wow
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      • 94 replies
    • Backlash Building Against The Man Who Invented Christmas
      Backlash Building Against The Man Who Invented Christmas

      September 7, 2017


      There is a new Christmas movie headed to theaters this Christmas about Charles Dickens about his creation of A Christmas Carol and Christmas purists hate it. Already.

      The film has a stellar cast that features the dreamy-eyed Dan Stevens as Dickens and the legendary Christopher Plummer as Scrooge. Here is the trailer:

      “This is a very presumptuous film,” said Christmas fan and would-be film critic, Arnold Yates, via MSN. “Charles Dickens was great but he certainly didn’t invent Christmas. Bah Humbug!”

      That sentiment is growing online as the preview makes the rounds.
        • Confused
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      • 14 replies
    • Seeking recognition
      Seeking recognition is a downward path for a legend who performs his tasks in the veil of night.

      Recently, a fellow portrayer of Santa posted an image on Facebook that they constructed to look like a magazine cover with him on it and several story snips like many publications have on their covers.  You may have seen it if they are your friend on Facebook.  It looks okay.  The composition is good, but the rendering when uploading it to Facebook became distorted it and it is quite pixelated when you look at it from a development standpoint.
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      • 13 replies
    • Not Everyone Can Be Santa!
      Yes, I said it and it is not meant to hurt anyone’s feelings. I do view many Facebook sites along with websites and posted photos. Frankly, many of these postings should have never been put on public display.
        • Thanks
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    • Are you the 'real' Santa?
      How do you answer this question?

      "Are you the 'real' Santa?"

      Read all the replies...
      • 91 replies
    • Infringement? Make up your own mind.
      In the last couple of days, on several different social media and bidding sites, an item has been offered for sale that in my opinion is cause for suspicion.  I would like to bring that product to your attention.

      There is some disagreement over whether or not it is an infringement or not.  I believe it is close enough to be considered as an infringement, but that is not the only the reason behind my post.
        • Like
      • 31 replies
    • Why Bass Pro Shops’ longtime Santa won’t be back this Christmas
      Why Bass Pro Shops’ longtime Santa won’t be back this Christmas

      Christmas is going to be a little different this year for families whose traditions include visiting Santa at Bass Pro Shops. Paul Davis, who spent the last nine years as the Bass Pro Santa in Ashland, will not be there anymore.
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