Throwback Thursdays: A Muppet Family Christmas

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Sometimes when you rewatch children’s movies that you loved as a kid, you sadly realize how stupid they actually were. You may have loved the movie as a child, but as an adult you can understand why your parents hated when you would put it on. But every so often you rewatch one of your favorite movies from when you were young and are filled with a warm glow because it’s just as heartwarming and beautiful as you remembered. For me, this was the case with A Muppet Family Christmas, one of my all-time favorite childhood Christmas movies.

It has come to my attention recently that a lot of people have never seen A Muppet Family Christmas, and that just baffles me, because it is by and large the absolute best Muppet Christmas movie. Yeah, it is better than A Muppet Christmas Carol; it really is.

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Throwback Thursdays: Santa Claus is Coming to Town

If you watched stop-motion Christmas movies as a kid, I’m sure you have a favorite. Maybe it’s The Year Without A Santa Claus, or maybe you love the Bumble from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. This humble blogger’s all-time fave is Santa Claus is Coming to Town.

If you recall my last Throwback Thursdays post, I revisited A Troll in Central Park and realized it was kind of a terrible movie. Upon re-watching this week’s topic, I had a similar revelation. Santa Claus is Coming to Town, based on the Christmas song of the same name, is pretty darn hokey. Unlike A Troll in Central Park, however, it definitely still has its charms.

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Oh, My Pop Culture Jesus: The Whitewashing of Christianity

So this is kind of sort of a Christmas post, but before you say that Christmas was several weeks ago, technically Christmas lasts until the Baptism of Christ. That’s today, so that makes this post in January acceptable.

Not too long before Christmas this past year, Fox News once again stirred up some controversy about race in a debate of whether or not Santa was white. This eventually led to a comment that Jesus was also white.

Pictured: What Jesus most likely actually looked like.

Pictured: What Jesus most likely actually looked like.

As someone who studies theology for a living, both comments are utterly laughable to me. But it’s also pretty par for the course when it comes to Christianity. Many figures from Christianity, especially early Christianity, were not white, but as Europe became more Christian, the myth of a white Christ started to predominate. Now, there is nothing wrong with white people having pictures of Jesus, Saint Nicholas, or any other saints/religious figures that look like them. In the same way that people should be able to see themselves in pop culture, people should be able to see themselves in religion. This is why, if you look hard enough, you can find religious iconography of Jesus portrayed as almost every nationality. As religious scholar Reza Aslan says, though, there is a difference between a personal Christ and the real-life historical figure, Jesus. Jesus was a poor Aramaic-speaking Middle-Eastern Jew, not the blonde haired, blue-eyed white guy you see in most Jesus movies.

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Oh, My Pop Culture Jesus: The Real Meaning of Christmas

True-Meaning-Of-ChristmasIt’s that time of year again—that time when people put up trees in their houses, visit relatives we don’t plan on seeing for at least another year, and gather ’round the television for the plethora of Christmas specials invading our regularly scheduled programming. Most of these specials have a common theme: the true meaning of Christmas. But the thing is, we can’t seem to agree on what that meaning really is.

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Oh, My Pop Culture Jesus: Geek Nativity Scenes

I consider myself pretty religiously progressive, not just within my faith, but also in my attitude toward the way secular culture treats my faith. I know that, while Christmas is a Christian holiday, many other religions have celebrations around this time of year. Furthermore, Christmas has been adapted to be more secular, so that non-religious folks can share the love and give gifts without all the religious bits. I get it. I’m okay with it. I understand, but there are certain things I find inappropriate.

I love geeky Christmas things. Daleks in Santa hats, superhero Christmas ornaments and stockings—I love it all, but I do feel offended by the geek nativity scenes.

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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Musical

She’s at it again! Tessa Netting, fangirl extraordinaire, is doing her Broadway/Sci-fi/Fantasy fanart in this awesome little musical masterpiece. If you don’t recognize the tune, consider this my Christmas gift:

Tessa Netting in Billy ElliotTessa was a member of the original Broadway cast of Billy Elliot the musical which was where I was first introduced to her. She was hilarious as the Broadway’s original “Spastic Starfish” and I loved her so I’m very glad that she now does fun stuff like this online and on stage. She often does events with other awesome creative fans like the StarKid folks.

I thought this would be worth sharing since I think we’re all pretty fond of Tolkien around here and Tessa’s gone ahead and made an awesome video with his characters. I’ve gotta say, her costumes and wigs are pretty impressive! I mean they’re not like, convention-level cosplay but they’re pretty varied and detailed enough to make the characters distinct and recognizable. Her re-written lyrics fit the measure of the song very well so I have to say kudos to Tessa for a job well done.

Plus she’s combined The Hobbit with Rent and Christmas, making for an awesome video for fans of all kinds to enjoy during the holiday.

Merry Christmas!

The Wonderfully Weird Rankin/Bass Christmas Specials

rankinbassHoliday greetings, lovely readers! Before you get to sipping eggnog, snogging under the mistletoe, and overdosing on tinsel, I want to wish you a Merry Christmas! And what does Christmas mean? That’s right, Christmas specials! Every Christmas since I was a kid I would park myself directly in front of my television and watch a never-ending series of stop-animation Christmas specials. I recently realized that the storyline for each special was actually pretty strange. Some were weirder than others. I’m going to cover the more memorable of these specials, beginning with the greatest reindeer of all.

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