Top 10 Classic Christmas Cartoons, Christmas Songs

Some of the best music on holiday playlist comes from classic Christmas cartoons. The Rankin-Bass ones were my favorite. Remember "The Island of Misfit Toys" and what about "Da Who Dores" from the Grinch (not a Rankin-Bass, but old and well-loved)? Or the Harry Simeone Choir doing "The Little Drummer Boy." Seems like every country/rock/rap/pop singer does a (typically horrible) rendition of that one. Bob Seger's was okay, but even he said "little baby" when it should be "Baby Jesus" or better still "Baby Jesu." And none come close to the old choral one.

Old folks like me will also remember when we could see holiday cartoons only when they came on TV once a year. In my youth (circa 1964), most kids had televisons and some even had color TV (woo-hoo, high tech!) My parents were of the "TV stunts kids' imagination" mentality. We didn't get TV till I was eight. Fortunately Grandma and Grandpa had a plug-in drug so I could get my TV fix. I remember the rumor would go through the classroom if a Christmas classic was coming on that night. 'Cause in those pre-cable TV, pre-VHS days, if you missed the program when it aired, too bad for you until next year. The Christmas holiday classics took on something of a religious ritual for us. Here are the creme de la creme, along with companion musical selections. read more

Best Christmas Movie Music Soundtracks and CDs

Christmas is a sensual experience: Christmas smells like pine and cinnamon. Christmas tastes like smoked ham and marzipan. Christmas music lifts us out of the dreary and into the divine. Here are Christmas holiday movie soundtracks that will delight your senses. I don't think that it would be possible for me to list all my favorite Christmas songs. But I can direct you to some glorious Christmas movie soundtracks. For my suggestion of "A Christmas Carol," I'll just add that when I wrote this, I couldn't find the soundtrack. The composer Nick Bicat responded, saying it was available from his website, as is his "Scarlet Pimpernel" CD and other scores he's composed. Best Christmas Movie Music Soundtracks and CDs

Grand Haven Michigan's Musical Fountain

Grand Haven, Michigan boasts the World's Largest Musical Fountain, a system of sprinklers and colored lights set to music. Another aspect of the show comes at Christmas--a musical narrated nativity show. Children snuggled in winter gear and car seats, eyes shining. Windows rolled down despite winter cold, to hear our beloved Grand Haven Musical Fountain narrate the Bible Christmas story. Giant nativity figures cascade down Dewey Hill. Christmas lights twinkle and Christmas carols tinkle. A larger than life Christmas tableau with a huge star to light the way. This is a favorite Sachteleben holiday memory: one that we have been enjoying for over two decades now. Grand Haven Michigan's Musical Fountain

Straight Edge XXX Teaches Clean Living, Abstinence Through Punk Music

In 1980, a punk rock band called Minor Threat, wrote a song called 'Straight Edge' in response to rampant self-indulgent lifestyles associated with punk rock. Straight Edge has blossomed into a healthy lifestyles sub-culture promoting abstinence, vegan, drug-free lifestyles. The notorious black X or XXX icon worn as a tattoo or design on the back of the hand symbolizes a Straight Edge member's resistance to drugs, alcohol, promiscuous sex and meat-based diets.

Straight Edge members commit to a five-pronged pledge of 'Discipline, Resistance, Commitment, Conviction, Persistence '. Under this motto, members also refrain from eating meat and animal by-products (follow a vegetarian or vegan diet) and practice clean lifestyles, swearing off from promiscuous sex, drugs and alcohol, including cigarettes and caffeine.  Straight Edge XXX Teaches Clean Living, Abstinence Through Punk Music