Most memorable Christmas gift?

Oh that’s easy – it would have to be the massive G.I. Joe Headquarters, pictured below

This was the biggest G.I. Joe toy I ever got, I think apart from the tank or helicopter (complete with ‘Wild Bill’ somethingorother, wearing a cowboy had and two six-shooters). The tank may have been my first motorized toy gift, actually.

Christmas movies and TV shows

I’m well into my movie-watching, as anyone who knows me can attest to, but when it comes to my holiday viewing pleasures I tend to stick with the tried-and-true stuff – movies I know I’ll like – rather than risk wasting time one something I’m not sure of.

In the US and the UK there’s a big emphasis on making the holiday programming easy for the various TV channels, and they set the computer to fill a day of programming with consecutive episodes of things like Bond movies, nature shows, documentary series and that sort of thing – kind of like how on Memorial/Remembrance Day the channels are stuffed full of WW2 documentaries.

I’m not really sure how Bond movies came to be a Christmas/Thanksgiving staple, but whatever – I think it’s because it’s the longest-running movie series the programmers can get the rights to.

I do like how the British TV shows have holiday specials…and I don’t mean a Christmas-themed episode of Friends or CSI – I mean it’s a common occurence to have the cast and writers from a long-defunct TV series get together to make a special show, long after the series ended. If you’re familiar with the The Office (UK) or The Royle Family, you know what I mean. Even less-popular shows I like such as Still Game (a Scottish show about two old Scotsmen) have a couple of holiday specials here and there. Every show doesn’t have a special, but sometimes when a TV series ends and the fans want to know ‘what happened next?’ and the creators of the show want to get together again, a really good follow-up holiday special gets made.

So anyway, here are the movies I like to watch every Christmas, in no particular order:

A Christmas Story (the one with the leg lamp and the kid who wants a BB gun)
The Nightmare Before Christmas (the animation is amazing, the songs are fun, the story is great)
Trading Places (an Eddie Murphy classic, and set around Christmas/New Year’s)
Elf (one of Will Ferrell’s greatest flicks)
…dammit I can’t think of any more! I’m going through my DVD set tonight to pick out movies to watch during the Christmas break, so I’ll add any more I find.