Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Repost: A Christmas Story

This is a re-post of a post originally appearing on December 17, 2011.

One of my recently acquired Christmas obsessions is the fun and enjoyable 1983 movie A Christmas Story. Based upon writer Jean Shepherd's semi-fictionalized account of a young boy, Ralphie, experiencing the Christmas holidays in 1940s Indiana with his parents, his younger brother, and his neighborhood friends. I love movies that convey a time period with great detail, and A Christmas Story clearly fits into this category. 

This movie contains one of the funniest scenes ever, where one of the young protagonist's friends gets his tongue stuck to metal pole in the cold of winter. The main story line, however, also full of funny moments, concerns Ralphie's ongoing quest to obtain a BB gun for Christmas, despite the objections ("you'll shoot your eye out, kid") of various adult figures, including his mother, his teacher, and a store Santa Claus.   

But I think the main reason I find this movie so enjoyable is that its a rather realistic, yet fun, holiday movie that doesn't take itself too seriously. It involves a rather average family doing their best to enjoy the holidays amidst
dealing with everyday life. Ultimately, this movie is about having a Merry Christmas with what you have, and with those you have around you.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas in the '80s

Band Aid's "Do They Know Its Christmas" is both one of the most memorable and meaningful '80s songs, so I have to put it first. An effort to provide aid to victims of an African famine, this song featured a variety of '80s musicians in a memorable recording captured in this video.

I did a previous post on this blog about this wonderful song and effort.

This year, fellow '80s blogger Rediscover the '80s did a fascinating post about "Do They Know Its Christmas," about little known trivia regarding the song. Did you know that the iconic cover for this song was made by the same artist who did the cover for the Beatles' classic Sgt. Pepper album?

John Mellencamp did a lively rendition of the classic Christmas song, "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus," which served as his contribution to the 1987 album A Very Special Christmas to benefit the special olympics. 

Billy Squire's 1981 song, "Christmas Is The Time To Say I Love You," has Eighties written all over it, and is fully in the Christmas spirit. 

Wham's 1984 song "Last Christmas," has got to be one of the most classically '80s Christmas songs and videos ever made. You can just feel the frosty air, and feeling of Christmas in the mid 80s.

Here's the Waitresses, whose songs include "I Know What Boys Want," and the theme to the very '80s TV sitcom Square Pegs with the very New Wave Christmas song "Christmas Wrapping."

Here's Madonna's contribution to the A Very Special Christmas compilation, her version of the classic "Santa Baby."

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Alf Learns The Holiday Spirit

As an example of how just about anything could get on television in the '80s, theres ALF... which stands for Alien Life Form.  Alf was the title character of an '80s TV sitcom, whereby the friendly alien resides with an '80s American family after his spaceship crashes.

Someone posted on Youtube some clips from a Christmas program featuring this character. I haven't actually seen the Christmas program, but it looks like Alf is learning about the holiday spirit, and getting it right.

Speaking of '80s television, and '80s Christmas festivities, fellow '80s blogger Dougsploitation has a post on '80s era TV Guide covers. Very cool, check it out.

UPDATE: And Rediscover the '80s has an excellent collection of '80s Christmas specials on video.  Check it out!!  Looks like Santa came early this year with '80s era memories as presents.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Frankie Say 'Tis The Season

Here's a 1984 Christmas feature from Frankie Goes To Hollywood, the provocative group that gave us controversial hits with "Relax" and "Two Tribes." But here, theyre in the holiday mood, with "The Power of Love."

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Tis the season. . .

The holiday season is upon us again, and its around this time I always remember this 1977 Coke commercial, with the wonderful sentiment. 

This always makes me feel good, and brings back memories.

And heres a version that played in the '80s, with the same song, and featuring Disney characters.

Happy Holidays to all.

May this be a Merry Christmas season thats just beginning...

and to those who celebrated Hannukah, best wishes too!!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Cyndi Lauper- She's So Unusual

Cyndi Lauper was one of the iconic musical stars of the '80s, and representative of the colorful, freewheeling, and individualistic quality of '80s culture.

Lauper was artistic from an early age, attending a special school for the arts-inclined. Her music career largely began as part of the late '70s, early '80s new wave music group Blue Angel. But most of the music listening public first became aware of her with her first big hit "Girls Just Want to Have Fun."  The video, a fun loving expression of '80s quirkiness, featured both pro-wrestler "Captain" Lou Albano, and Cyndi's real-life mom, Catrine. The 1983 album which featured the song was accurately titled She's So Unusual.

As a young noncomformist, Lauper experimented with outrageous clothing styles. She also experienced rejection, such as when she had rocks thrown at her by un-accepting peers who treated her individuality with contempt. However, when she reached her massive popularity in the '80s, this quirky individuality and wild fashion became one of her trademarks.

Sensitivity was also one of Lauper's qualities, as expressed through both the song "Time After Time," and its video. 

Lauper continued to express her quirkiness, individuality, and sensitivity in her next album, 1986's True Colors and the song of the same name.

In the years after her '80s fame, Lauper continued her creativity as a musician and performer, and continued to extoll individuality and tolerance. Recently, Lauper won rave reviews as the writer and composer of the musical Kinky Boots.