Monday, December 21, 2015

Top Five Christmas Stories

Everyone likes lists, right? Let's do a list. Here are five stories you can read leading up to Christmas, and let's start with a Solstice favorite...

5. The Festival

Okay, so technically this isn't a Christmas story. But it's like Christmas. For eldritch horrors. Follow yet another hapless Lovecraft protagonist as he returns to his ancestral home for holiday festivities. And who can't relate to fungous worm relatives, amorphous flute players that think they're the best at caroling, and the traditional "ride of the unnamed winged beasts"?

And then someone mentions politics and the mask of politeness comes off...

4. The Nutcracker

Speaking of bizarre experiences, let's talk about this story. You see, Catholics have the type of godfathers that run the Mafia. Orthodox have kooky eye patch-wearing godfathers that give you magic toys that make you have psychedelic dreams. I'm not saying that makes us cooler, it just makes us stranger.

What can we say? Our favorite Christmas story involves Santa slapping someone. You come to expect strangeness.

I can't remember which book version I read over and over as a kid, but it doesn't matter, because either way, it's basically a kid having a magic-induced dream where toys are fighting mice with Forbidden Ballet Techniques, the villain is defeated by a shoe, and then they throw the most ridiculously elaborate party ever. Best Christmas ever? BEST CHRISTMAS EVER.

3. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

As we were saying earlier, hijinks can ensue at Christmastide. Such as the Jolly Green Giant showing up and challenging you to an old school Celtic beheading game! His talking severed head just adds to the festivities!

Endless fun!

But seriously, most of the book is Christmas parties. Sir Gawain's entire journey amounts to "he dressed up cool and then there were monsters OH LOOK A CASTLE", and then suddenly we're partying with Sir Bertilak and Sir Bertilak's Hot Wife. And after the beheading challenge is done? MORE PARTYING.

Who said the Middle Ages were terrible? They sound amazing.
Especially when they have this kind of party.

2. A Christmas Carol

Once was a time when telling spooky stories was just a thing at Christmas. Why? I have no idea. Possibly the consumption of alcohol was involved.

Either way, Dickens tells a spooky Christmas story that also causes the future of Christmas to change. Everyone knows about cranky old Scrooge and his hatred of basically everything.

This year, Grumpy Cat will play the part of Scrooge.

But the fact is, the story never gets old, because it's so much fun! (And quite frankly a little horrifying!) I actually loved the CGI version with Jim Carry, because Scrooge was kooky.

Still not as kooky as Drosselmeyer, but close.

It's a great story to read every year to get into the Christmas spirit.

And to quote at people who whine about Christmas-y things.

1. The Nativity Story, DUH.

I mean, apart from BEING THE BIRTH OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR we wouldn't even have Christmas without it. 

And we wouldn't have kooky godfathers either.


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