Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Here’s my latest creation.

Married to Santa

Caroline has only two small problems this Christmas season.

1.  She has amnesia.

2.  The man who says he’s her husband thinks he’s Santa Claus.

Married to Santa is a sweet, quirky, rated PG Christmas novella.  It is available only on Amazon.

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My favorite living actor wrote a Christmas letter again to his followers.DOS1-02.jpg

Screencap source:  richardarmitagenet.com

Thank you for the warm sentiments and good wishes.  I also believe that happiness comes from helping others.

Thank you for the hours of enjoyment your work has given me.

Merry Christmas.


Link to Richard Armitage’s Christmas message:  richardarmitageonline.com

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Merry Christmas.  Here are two movies that I adore that include Christmas and New Years Eve:

I’ve mentioned these two movies before, so  I’ll write just a few highlights.  Some SPOILERS.

Promotional photo of Ginger Rogers for Argenti...

Promotional photo of Ginger Rogers for Argentinean Magazine. (Printed in USA) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bachelor Mother with Ginger Rogers and David Niven.  Savvy but starving heroine adopts a baby because everyone thinks it’s hers.  I’d love to see a remake, but with today’s DNA testing, etc., it wouldn’t happen.  I like the hero buying the heroine some beautiful clothes and taking her to the New Years Eve Party.  He’s not quite Prince Charming, and he doesn’t completely appreciate  her until the end, but it’s a fun ride.

I think the landlady who takes care of Ginger’s new baby is sweet and quirky, and I like her college student son.  I love  Charles Coburn  who plays David Niven’s rich, businessman father.  He is also charming as a match maker in The More the Merrier.  The only thing I don’t like in this movie is Ginger’s hair, which is a little too Jean Harlow for me, but it was popular at the time.   Everything else is wonderful.

While You Were Sleeping

While You Were Sleeping (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While You Were Sleeping with Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman.


One of the more recent romantic comedies that gets it right:  sympathetic, interesting characters who find themselves in a weird, funny situation and end up happily ever after.

Bill Pullman plays an honorable guy who is quietly funny and romantic.

It’s one movie I wish I had written.

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At Christmas, two feuding co-workers don’t know that their antagonist is actually the anonymous pen pal they’re falling in love with.

Great premise, full of humor and angst.

Cover of "The Shop Around the Corner"

Cover of The Shop Around the Corner

The original is Shop Around the Corner with James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan.  Stewart is endearingly awkward.    This film is black and white, sometimes stagy (looks more like a 1936 movie than 1940), and I think it could have used about ten more minutes of plot development to make it completely wonderful.  I don’t revisit this film often, but I do like it — a lot.

The first remake is In the Good Old Summertime with Van Johnson and Judy Garland.  It’s a musical, although I can’t remember any of the songs,  and fun.  Johnson doesn’t have the emotional depth of Stewart, but it’s still good.

The second remake is You’ve Got Mail with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.  This is a great movie, with the plot updated to feuding company owners rather than co-workers, and email instead of hand written letters.  My only quibble about this version is one I have for several Meg Ryan films.  Her characters tend to be living with someone and then upgrade to Mr. Right.  That might be realistic, but it’s not what I consider romantic.  However, Tom Hanks plays his part with great humor and sensitivity, so I like this version very much.

Cover of

Cover of You’ve Got Mail

While analyzing these movies, I realized that there are two things I like about them.  First, I love it when the audience knows something the characters don’t.  It’s fun to watch the leads be rude to each other when we know that they are actually in love with each other.   And second, I find the heroes in these movies tender.  They may be jerks at work, but when they discover the truth, they are kind to the heroines — especially when they take care of them when they are ill.   That melts my heart.

And gives me hope for all the grumpy, annoying people I’ve encountered over the years.

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Two modern Romantic Christmas Movies that made me long for the good old days:  SPOILERS.

Cover of "The Holiday"

Cover of The Holiday

The Holiday

Two unhappy women switch houses during Christmas and find love.  This movie had potential:  some clever dialogue and beautiful actors.  Kate Winslet and her brother played by Jude Law are particularly attractive.  However, although I like the theme of finding love when you least expect it, parts of the story I don’t like.

I find Cameron Diaz‘ character flaky, but what really irritates me is when this lonely, apparently desperate woman sleeps with a drunken stranger within minutes of meeting.   This is not a good beginning, no matter how handsome the protagonists are.  My “don’t-try-this-at-home” alarm starts going off, and I have a difficult time trusting that either of these characters will find lasting happiness because their initial judgment is so poor.

But on The Holiday’s plus side, Rufus Sewell plays an attractive swine and Jack Black is humorously sweet.


Interesting premise:  meeting over gloves in a department store at Christmas, followed by a quirky, wonderfully weird, very talky, first date.  The Pros:

John Cusack, always intriguing and sympathetic on-screen.

Kate Beckinsale, beautiful and articulate.

The Cons:

Years later, both hero and heroine are in supposedly committed relationships and they’re still hankering for the mythical romance from that one date.  I understand how the dream of the-one-that-got-away can be more attractive than the day-to-day grind of a real life love.   But part of me wonders if later, John and Kate’s characters will get bored with each other and think, “Maybe we aren’t soul mates after all.”  At the end of the movie, when they finally kiss and the music builds, I can’t help but feel sorry for their prior partners who are left behind, wondering what happened.

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Holiday Affair.

I watched about fifteen minutes of this movie years ago, didn’t see the rest, and didn’t even know the name of it for years.  I thought about buying a copy, but then read the mixed reviews and thought it might be a little too “1950’s modern” with characters pontificating about psychology and sex, so I didn’t think I wanted to watch it.  I knew the heroine was a war widow who wasn’t ready to fall in love again, so she has a nice but boring fiance until dashing (somewhat bohemian) hero Robert Mitchum shows up.

Cover of "Holiday Affair"

Cover of Holiday Affair

But this week, I bought a dvd set for about $10 that had this movie as well as Blossoms in the Dust,  a Greer Garson film that I like.    Here’s the link:


I figured it was worth the cost (less than I might spend on fast food in a day while shopping), so I bought it.

And I was very pleasantly surprised.   SPOILERS.   First:  Robert Mitchum isn’t as bohemian as some other people thought:  he’s been working odd jobs raising money to invest in a boat building business (which strangely enough, reminds me of the plot and hero in book 3 or 4 in my personal plot pipeline).  Second:  Janet Leigh, beautiful with the skinniest, yet still healthy-looking waist I’ve seen in a long time, seems sincere.  But the best part was the nice, but boring fiance (Wendell Corey).   I found him very interesting.  He’s an attorney, handles divorces, and makes some telling remarks.  He isn’t weird, boring or stupid — he is just a nice guy, but not (plotwise) the right guy for the heroine.  He is gracious in defeat, and I found myself liking him.  And the proposal at dinner scene, that some people hated, worked for me.

Overall, I liked it, and I will watch it again.

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A Norwegian Christmas, 1846 painting by Adolph...

A Norwegian Christmas, 1846 painting by Adolph Tidemand. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How did it get to be December 22nd already?  I’ve been working at my newish job, commuting, driving kids around to places, revitalizing an exercise program, thinking about The Hobbit, and suddenly Christmas is upon me, when in my mind I should still have a week or two, maybe three to get ready.

Am I going to get everything done that coulda, shoulda, oughta be done before the big day?  No.  But thanks to internet shopping, I might be able to make a credible showing.

And, I’m going to schedule the rest of the few days remaining, carving out time for a few traditions: driving around to see Christmas lights and spending one evening watching It’s a Wonderful Life.

And I’m going to slow down and count my blessings.

Life is good.

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