How about that? I managed to get some form of memory in my blog post title to go along with my upcoming Feb. Intrigue, Circumstantial Memories. But that's not really what my post is all about.
To counter Tracy’s bah humbug, albeit very funny, posts about the worst Christmas songs ever, I thought I’d open the discussion to the best Christmas performances ever. You’ll come to see that I mean “performances” in a very loose way.
I think my favorite performance of the Christmas season is The Nutcracker ballet. I grew up in northern California, and my dad took me and my sisters to see The Nutcracker performed by the San Francisco Ballet at the War Memorial Opera House several times. I loved it – the colors, the costumes, the ginormous Christmas tree, the music! Now that I live in southern California, I still try to catch performances of The Nutcracker here and there. I have two boys, and I took them to see it last year. Despite several smirks and sniggers about men in tights, I think they liked it. They were already familiar with the music since I play it a lot during the Christmas season – I even break out in dance now and then – talk about smirks and sniggers!
Another Christmas performance I enjoy during the season is the Glory of Christmas at the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, replete with live animals and angels flying above on wires. The music is wonderful and the Crystal Cathedral itself is amazing (picture on the right).
On a much smaller scale, my older son’s middle school choir (he insists he’s only in it for the easy A and all the girls – at least there are no tights involved) performed at a church along with the high school choir. Since I used to be in performing choir in high school, it brought back fond memories. It was also a sing-along. The words to some of the Christmas carols were projected on a screen, so I was in heaven singing carols in between the choirs’ performances.
OK, so that’s music and dance. There are tons of great Christmas movies and TV shows. I watched one of my favorite Christmas movies the other day – Love Actually. If you haven’t seen it, it’s made up of about ten different stories about couples and wannabe couples during Christmas. My favorites are the one with Hugh Grant as the Prime Minister and the story with Colin Firth as a jilted lover, who heads to the south of France to write after the break-up with his girlfriend (he writes murder mysteries!). The scene where the Prime Minister is going door to door on Christmas Eve in a “dodgy” part of town looking for a former employee is classic Hugh Grant. And when the Colin Firth character returns to find his housekeeper at a restaurant with her family and almost the entire town following him it is both hilarious and heart-warming – brings tears to my eyes every time. I also enjoyed Fred Claus last year and Elf and all the oldies.
I don’t often see one of my favorite Christmas TV specials from when I was a kid. It’s A Christmas Carol, but it’s the cartoon version with Mr. Magoo as Scrooge. It was scary and funny and made quite an impression on me when I was a kid. Please tell me someone else remembers that version!
The best Christmas show ever though has to be the one I performed on my own. I think I was about 11 or 12, and I played a few Christmas songs on my flute, recited "‘Twas the Night Before Christmas," and sang some Christmas carols. I performed in the living room of our house for my family…and I charged them something like a dollar each for admission! One of my sisters refused to pay because she wasn’t interested in seeing the show, but my dad paid for her and made her watch. LOL It was very dramatic as I performed in front of the lighted Christmas tree. Hmm, I wonder if my siblings remember that and if it ranks among their favorite Christmas performances ever.
So what are some of your favorite performances for the season? Mine pretty much range from the ridiculous to the sublime.
Don’t forget, I’ll choose one poster to receive an autographed copy of either The Stranger and I or A Doctor-Nurse Encounter or if you want to wait until Feb., you can receive a copy of Circumstantial Memories, or heck, if you're looking for a red hot Christmas you can request one of my Mia Varano titles.