Since I'm delving into this Blogmas theme, I thought why not let you further into the Christmas crazy that lurks within? Recurring theme, I love all things Christmas. Which absolutely includes Christmas movies. What constitutes a Christmas movie is somewhat open to interpretation. With some people I know loving to argue that Die Hard is a Christmas movie. I eye roll real hard at that. Especially when I have co-workers who enjoy bringing this up on a pretty much daily basis. I'm talking movies that are generally about Christmas or Christmas related. Over the years, I've built up a bit of a collection of these movies.
I'm rather proud of some of the less well known movies that I have. For instance, did you know that there is a He-Man and She-Ra Christmas special? There is and it is He-Man and She-Ra fantastic! I'm also a fan of basically every Rankin/Bass movie that I can get my hands on. The Life And Adventures of Santa Claus being one of their less well known holiday movies (I'm also a fan of some of the other, non-Christmas holiday specials they did). And admittedly, I have some specials that are really only amusing for their not so greatness, such as Santa With Muscles, starring Hulk Hogan. Yes, you read all of the correctly. I have no shame in my Christmas game.
As I started accumulating Christmas movies, I thought it would be fun to have a weekend day that was dedicated to watching just Christmas movies. And so started my annual Christmas Movie Marathon. But I don't do just any slap shod, random Christmas movie day of gluttony. Oh no. Please believe that I take it to the next obsessive level. That's right, I bring in my next true love, Excel.
I have a spreadsheet that has a listing of every single Christmas movie that I own, with the run time of each movie. I then have a separate tab for each year that I do the movie marathon (this year marks the 12th year, with last year being a skip since I was up in Seattle watching the Browns play the Seahawks), so that I can work out the lineup for that year and back reference previous years as I continue to rotate out specific spots in the line up so that there are some different movies getting shown each year, with certain movies being an annual staple. I know, who doesn't do that, right? But it gets better.
I don't just have the movies listed in the order that they'll play, I have specific breaks throughout the day scheduled in, as well as a three minute window in between movies. This 3 minute window allows people to get up and get food, use the restroom, stretch their legs or whatever. It also gives me some time to change out DVDs. That's right, I have my annual Christmas movie marathon scheduled down to the minute. THAT is the level of crazy that I operate on. :) To give you an idea, here is an example of a lineup from a previous year:
|8:00 AM||The Muppet Christmas Carol|
|9:32 AM||Claymation Christmas|
|9:59 AM||The Year Without a Santa Claus|
|10:52 AM||He-Man and She-Ra: A Christmas Special|
|11:40 AM||Santa Claus is Comin To Town|
|12:29 PM||45 min. lunch break|
|1:14 PM||Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer|
|2:08 PM||Frosty the Snowman|
|2:35 PM||Frosty's Winter Wonderland|
|3:02 PM||A Charlie Brown Christmas|
|3:30 PM||A Garfield Christmas|
|3:56 PM||How the Grinch Stole Christmas|
|4:24 PM||Classic Holiday Stories|
|4:59 PM||Prep & Landing, Prep & Landing Naughty vs. Nice|
|5:43 PM||60 min. Dinner Break|
|6:43 PM||National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation|
|10:01 PM||Fred Claus|
|11:46 PM||The 11th Annual
Christmas Movie Marathon is over until next year|
I provide the breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a variety of holiday themed items sprinkled throughout. It makes for a deliciously indulgent day. The number of people that are in my house at any one time fluctuates, as it's obviously a pretty long day and I would be very much surprised if anyone other than me was able to make it through the whole day. Depending on the number of people that show up for a particular movie, I'll have the dogs loose in the house if there aren't too many. If there's a lot of people, it's just a lot easier to have them barricaded in my bedroom or some portion of the house, depending on how I have things layed out that year. I've toyed with rearranging furniture in three different orientations in my current house to try and figure out what works best. I'm still working on it.
Two years ago, when Miley was still a sassy wee hopper, she was thoroughly enjoying glomming onto my cousin James.
Heffner was not without his own lovin from my cousin Andrea. :)
This year's movie marathon was a little different than previous years. For one, the timing. I usually shoot for hosting it the Saturday before Christmas, as long as Christmas doesn't land on the immediate Sunday. This year, my sister was due with her son on Christmas Eve, so we moved the date up in the hopes that she could make it to the marathon before popping out the wee hopper. Babies, however, just don't understand time lines, and my nephew came early.
The other change up this year was that I ended the marathon before 11pm. With so many holiday gatherings and activities to fit in, I needed tonight free so that I could attend a holiday party hosted by some friends that I definitely wanted to attend. I had toyed with the thought of ending the marathon early (it's not like I won't watch these movies on my own!) before, but this year I had an actual reason to. I'm not sure if I'll continue with this plan or not, but it does allow for more flexibility in the day.
I also limited the guest list more than I usually do. While the list of people I would LOVE to invite is lengthy, my 1,100 sq ft house can only really accommodate so many people. So I kept things intentionally small, to see how that worked out. I think the number of people was good and it also has me thinking that maybe, just maybe, I could fit in one big marathon and one or two smaller marathons so that I don't feel like I'm leaving anyone out. That is the last feeling that I want to give anyone, especially this time of year. I do not want someone to feel that they are intentionally left out. Going on at length about trying to manage personalities, backgrounds, etc. of various people I know in a group setting so that all parties are comfortable and mesh well, could be a novel in and of itself and really starts going beyond what this blog is about. But it most definitely is a factor when I plan any group gathering.
While this post is not super heavy on the dog side of things, the movie marathon itself requires a little bit of back explaining outside of the dogs. This year the dogs were gated in the crating/training area of the house. There was enough food out (cough, Dominic, cough) and enough people, that having both dogs free roaming in the house wasn't really going to work. They still got plenty of attention and loving from various people and from my parents in particular. So their day was not entirely boring, they just weren't allowed to plop themselves into the laps of unsuspecting visitors. ;)
Happy December 3rd!