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It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year In Blogcritics

Holiday season music, books, movies, thoughts, experiences, news, etc., from your Ho Ho Ho pals at Blogcritics. Happiest Holidays to you!

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation DVD Review
They’ve been to Wally World. They’ve been to Europe. This season, things are a bit different. It’s time once again to visit the Griswold family, this time for a little holiday cheer like only they can provide. “Christmas Vacation” is…
Posted in Blogcritics on December 26, 2004 10:46 PM

It’s a Wonderful Life DVD Review
Each year, the holidays become more of a burden for everyone. Running around for gifts that are out of stock, making the trip(s) to see family, and watching the checkbook all add up to a time of the year that…
Posted in Blogcritics on December 26, 2004 09:33 PM

The Many Choices of George Bailey
After reading Dan Green’s post on It’s a Wonderful Life, I had to respond (especially because I watched parts of it again on TV last night). I too initially recoiled at the sentimentality and emotional manipulation of the ending the…
Posted in Blogcritics on December 26, 2004 02:22 PM

Books for Christmas Gifts, Yay!
My family usually gives me books for Christmas. Intelligent, thoughtful people, they find things that have escaped my notice.
Posted in Blogcritics on December 25, 2004 02:44 PM

Merry Christmas!
Or “Season’s Greetings” for the PC crowd…
Posted in Blogcritics on December 25, 2004 12:08 AM

Where’s Santa?
NORAD confirms: Santa is on his way.
Posted in Blogcritics on December 24, 2004 08:09 PM

The Friday Morning Listen
Merry Christmas Everybody!
Posted in Blogcritics on December 24, 2004 09:22 AM

MAXJAZZ Holiday
MAXJAZZ is a little label out of St. Louis with an extraordinary roster of traditional jazz vocalists like Carla Cook, Rene Marie, LaVerne Butler, and Mary Stallings, who all emphasize taste, precision, swing and melody over showmanship and histrionics, lending…
Posted in Blogcritics on December 23, 2004 10:21 PM

Heart: A Lovemonger’s Christmas
Once the female equivalent to Led Zeppelin, Heart is back in 2004 spreading some yuletide fun on A Lovemonger’s Christmas, the band’s second release this year, after June’s Jupiter’s Darling. Both albums mark quite a comeback for Heart, being their…
Posted in Blogcritics on December 23, 2004 03:19 PM

The Hebrew Hammer
The clever premise is stretched way too thin and the film is padded more than a skinny mall Santa’s suit.
Posted in Blogcritics on December 23, 2004 02:14 PM

Christmas Movies
Well, the day is nearly here. It’s almost time for TNT to start their 24 hours of A Christmas Story. It’s almost time to see a holiday parade. It’s almost time tear into some gifts from your loved ones. It’s…
Posted in Blogcritics on December 23, 2004 07:25 AM

Martha Stewart: (Not) Home For the Holidays
Martha Stewart is about halfway through her federal five-month sentence for, I forget what exactly, but something to do with bad stock juju and lying about something she was never charged with in the first place. Regardless, she wanders the…
Posted in Blogcritics on December 22, 2004 05:31 PM

Winter Solstice
Yesterday was the winter solstice, the Druid’s Christmas, the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere with the sun tracing its lowest arc across the bleak winter sky, its life-giving energy at lowest ebb. But rather than being…
Posted in Blogcritics on December 22, 2004 02:58 PM

Cranky’s Yearly Christmas Record – 2004
Original lounge favorites.
Posted in Blogcritics on December 22, 2004 09:36 AM

A Sailor’s Christmas
A friend sent me this. I wish I could acknowledge the author but it came anonomously. For those of you that have never served understand why those of us that do or did do it. It’s love of country, family…
Posted in Blogcritics on December 22, 2004 07:48 AM

My Favorite Christmas Carol
You can tout Alastair Simms, or sing the praises of Bill Murray as Scrooge. You may believe Bob Goldthwait is the quintessential Cratchit. I disagree.
Posted in Blogcritics on December 22, 2004 05:12 AM

After the First Christmas
What was Jesus like as a ten-year-old? How about as a teenager? Christopher Moore has given us a sweetly skewed look in Lamb.
Posted in Blogcritics on December 22, 2004 04:00 AM

Meaning of Christmas Carol
It is said every year; the commercialization of Christmas is terrible. Personally, I do not buy into that philosophy that somehow, giving of gifts is evil and refraining from celebrating Christmas is not much different from how Scrooge celebrated Christmas.
Posted in Blogcritics on December 21, 2004 07:29 PM

Last Minute Shopping–An Etiquette Guide
You will have to wait in line.
Posted in Blogcritics on December 21, 2004 01:51 AM

You Bet Your Ass Assembly Is Required
Within the laughable range of one-hour assembly, I found this story quite amusing and unusually personal for a feature in a major daily: We asked Christopher Byrne, a contributing editor of Toy Wishes magazine, to pick five of the most…
Posted in Blogcritics on December 20, 2004 09:03 PM

A Christmas Story House on eBay
The house from “A Christmas Story” is listed for sale on eBay.
Posted in Blogcritics on December 20, 2004 02:23 PM

Olive, the Other Reindeer
Based on the popular children’s book, this brilliant Groening-ization is one of my favorite Christmas specials…
Posted in Blogcritics on December 20, 2004 08:59 AM

Powerpuff Girls – ‘Twas the Fight Before Christmas
I never thought I’d be telling anyone this, but I have a terrible terrible secret…
Posted in Blogcritics on December 20, 2004 08:52 AM

Judging The Blog Herald’s Christmas Blogging Awards
The Blog Herald holds its second annual Christmas Blogging Awards. I’ll be one of the judges.
Posted in Blogcritics on December 20, 2004 08:28 AM

Rockin’ Fuzz Guitar For The Holidays
The king of instrumental fuzz guitar is back again. Legendary instrumental rockers Davie Allan & The Arrows have arrived this holiday season
Posted in Blogcritics on December 19, 2004 07:23 PM

“Tis the season to attack Wal-Mart
On my way home from a Christmas shopping trip to the Sam’s Club in Charlottesville this weekend, I noticed about a dozen protestors outside Wal-Mart. A few signs caught my attention: “VIOLENT TOYS = VIOLENT BOYS” and “YOU DON’T HAVE…
Posted in Blogcritics on December 19, 2004 03:35 PM

Bad Santa
Bad Santa doesn’t hide, push aside or ignore all the pain and misery that can surround a holiday…
Posted in Blogcritics on December 19, 2004 01:35 PM

Yes, Virginia…
A modern-day answer to the classic Virginia O’Hanlon letter asking “Is there a Santa Claus?”
Posted in Blogcritics on December 18, 2004 10:18 AM

Psst! Santa (A Christmas Wish List)
My wish list for books to find under my Christmas tree includes how-to and how-not-to volumes, with some history and science fiction…
Posted in Blogcritics on December 17, 2004 04:42 PM

REVIEW: Manahattan Transfer – The Christmas Album
“Snowfall” gently falls on my ears as the first song of this Manhattan Transfer seasonal disc tremelos through my speakers, washing me carefully, quietly, steadily into a blissful state of bloody, suicidal tendencies, though within the first 10 seconds I…
Posted in Blogcritics on December 17, 2004 02:10 PM

The mystery of Kwanzaa
Finally, the scoop on this mysterious holiday. Many people – myself included until now – believe that Kwanzaa is an Africa holiday transported to the U.S. Not true. Not even close. Malcolm A. Kline, in yesterday’s USA Today, reported on…
Posted in Blogcritics on December 17, 2004 10:01 AM

A Lovemongers’ Xmas From The Heart
What a year Heart is having! They had three titles from their back catalog remastered and released prior to unveiling their newest masterpiece Jupiters Darling
Posted in Blogcritics on December 16, 2004 08:56 PM

Holiday Season Stats
Those festive folks at the U.S. Census Bureau have come up with an assortment of holiday season fun facts and statistics with a particular eye on America’s most revered seasonal tradition: buying things: Christmas Trees, Ornaments and Gifts $521 million…
Posted in Blogcritics on December 16, 2004 11:39 AM

Christmas With the Simpsons
…if you’re a casual Simpsons junkie, then Christmas With The Simpsons is probably for you.
Posted in Blogcritics on December 16, 2004 11:34 AM

All I Want For Christmas is No More Christmas Albums
Clay Aiken is releasing a new Christmas album this year. So is Mannheim Steamroller. So is Chris Issak. So are The Barenaked Ladies. So is Jessica Simpson. So is LeAnn Rimes. So is Jethro Tull. How many Christmas albums can…
Posted in Blogcritics on December 16, 2004 09:50 AM

Married Christmas: Notes for the Dysfunctional
be consoled in the knowledge that millions are going through the exact same things this time of year
Posted in Blogcritics on December 15, 2004 10:11 PM

Santa Claus A Democrat. Scrooge & the Grinch Republicans
Just when you thought it was safe to put away your Vote Bush and Vote Kerry buttons along comes findings from another political survey. This time it’s the political leanings of Jolly Ol’ St. Nick himself. Survey says….Santa Claus is…
Posted in Blogcritics Archives on December 14, 2004 09:55 PM

The Holiday Spirit
Truthfully, I hate the holidays. Or, at least the way we celebrate them in the U.S. I hate presumptiously wishing people I don’t know a Merry Christmas. I hate the excess. I hate buying people presents because I’m supposed to,…
Posted in Blogcritics Archives on December 14, 2004 11:20 AM

Christmas is gone!
All around the world Christmas is disappearing! I read on Tonguetied.com today that it’s not only happening in the U.S., but all around the world! We have the parade in Denver, the Christmas tree in Jacksonville and now this! Reuters…
Posted in Blogcritics Archives on December 14, 2004 08:52 AM

Your Christmas Rock mixed CD
Good day. Because I can not get to all of you a with patented Lono Christmas Rock 2004® CD, I am going to let you in on a set list. I have been collecting and compiling Christmas rock for about…
Posted in Blogcritics Archives on December 14, 2004 03:24 AM

Christmas Rereading – Fictional Messiahs and Jihads
A reread list for Christmas: Heinlein’s Stranger In a Strange Land, Herbert’s Dune and Shute’s Round the Bend.
Posted in Blogcritics Archives on December 13, 2004 04:30 PM

Egan on Naughty List; Coal Industry Crippled
NORTH POLE – Rumors abound that BM Rant columnist Matthew Egan has once again found himself firmly entrenched at the top of Santa Claus’ naughty list. If true, this would mark the 29th consecutive year that Egan makes the cut…
Posted in Blogcritics Archives on December 13, 2004 04:11 PM

Favorite Scrooge
Everybody has their favorite rendition of that Dickens classic, “A Christmas Carol,” and, just like everyone else, I have mine.
Posted in Blogcritics Archives on December 13, 2004 01:54 PM

“Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol” – Review
Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol is about the least special Christmas special I’ve ever seen. Bah humbug!
Posted in Blogcritics Archives on December 12, 2004 08:44 PM

Elf
I wasn’t necessarily a fan of Will Ferrell’s going into this film, but I definitely am now.
Posted in Blogcritics Archives on December 12, 2004 02:25 PM

Christmas With Frank Sinatra
Artist: Frank Sinatra Title: The Christmas Collection Genre: Jazz-Big Band-Seasonal Label: Reprise Website Media The chairman of the board, old blue eyes, the entertainer of the century-those are a few of the things people think of when Mr. Frank Sinatra…
Posted in Blogcritics Archives on December 10, 2004 09:58 PM

Charlie Brown and His Christmas Tree
Last night we watched a jewel of the TV Christmas show crown, 1965’s A Charlie Brown Christmas, with its search for the meaning of Christmas amidst commercialized children (some gleefully, some reluctantly so) and innocence lost, most pointedly symbolized by…
Posted in Blogcritics Archives on December 8, 2004 03:49 PM

Movie Review: Christmas with the Kranks
This past Friday night I was trying to pick out a movie to go see, and since there were no releases of note my choices were limited. My sister, also wanting to go to a movie suggested that we go…
Posted in Blogcritics Archives on December 6, 2004 07:14 PM

Christmas Music List
Ahh, Christmas music. Or should I say, “muzak.” You’ve all heard it, the cheesy oft times annoying drivel you hear walking through the mall, or even in coffee shops, that tell us of jingling bells, sleigh rides, dreams about white christmases, and stories of overweight bearded men who seem to know everything about your children.
Posted in Blogcritics Archives on December 6, 2004 01:37 PM

The Polar Express
While the thrilling elements help create a real “adventure” in traveling to the North Pole, the trip hardly seems worthwhile.
Posted in Blogcritics Archives on December 6, 2004 01:45 AM

Canadian Christmas Specials, eh
This week in Canada our Holiday or as they are known, “Krissmiss” Specials go all bi-coastal from The Beachcombers to The Trailer Park Boys.
Posted in Blogcritics Archives on December 5, 2004 03:59 PM

The Shalitas – Christmas Single
Imagine the Debbie Harry of “Rapture” with more sass, imagine Sheena (of ‘Sheena Is a Punk Rocker”) in the Shangri-La’s, imagine the Crystals meeting Sleater-Kinney. Ladies and gentlemen, meet the Shalitas. Honestly, an all-girl doo wop trio in 2004? You’d…
Posted in Blogcritics Archives on December 4, 2004 12:36 AM

Yule and Void
(Soundtrack: Ella Fitzgerald — Ella Wishes You a Swingin’ Christmas) Well, it’s only December 2nd and already I’m giving up on “Yule-blogging” for this year… (last year I lasted eight days!) Too much to do! Very sad–because I still love…
Posted in Blogcritics Archives on December 2, 2004 04:50 AM

The Polar Express
The Polar Express is a movie that begs the question, “How long can one stretch out a 30-page children’s book?” The basic plot of a child who boards a magical train bound for the North Pole, meets Santa Claus, and…
Posted in Blogcritics Archives on December 1, 2004 01:58 PM

CD REVIEW: Danny Wright – An Intimate Christmas
Danny Wright might be the best piano player that you’ve never heard. He has logged 15 years of recording, with over 4 million albums sold in the new age genre, and is only now making his major label debut with…
Posted in Blogcritics Archives on November 30, 2004 09:05 PM

An Uplifting Holiday News Item
This is sure to warm your heart…
Posted in Blogcritics Archives on November 30, 2004 08:59 PM

DVD Review: Garfield Holiday Celebrations
It wouldn’t be the holidays without the Garfield specials. I don’t remember when it was that I first saw these shows, but I always looked forward to them each year. This DVD collects the Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas specials all…
Posted in Blogcritics Archives on November 25, 2004 11:28 AM

Movie Review: The Polar Express
The trailers started popping up for this months ago, heralding the arrival of a potential holiday classic. Now that the film is out, I think that the word “potential” can be dropped. This is destined to be a film that…
Posted in Blogcritics Archives on November 24, 2004 11:16 PM

Capturing the Spirit
It’s that time of year when I dig deeply within my psyche and suspend all disbelief in magic and listen with my whole heart and all my senses for the jingling, tingling bells of Santa’s sleigh. Does it sound silly…
Posted in Blogcritics Archives on November 22, 2004 03:35 PM

Rhapsody Radio Christmas Rock
Rock, Pop and Soul Christmas radio for getting in the spirit!
Posted in Blogcritics Archives on November 22, 2004 11:31 AM

Holiday Game Shopping and Idiots
Another year, another holiday. Another year, more stupidity. Yes, it has already begun. People have begun their insane holiday shopping on Ebay and other Internet shopping sites. What exactly is wrong with you people? If there’s one thing I’ll never…
Posted in Blogcritics Archives on November 20, 2004 02:50 PM

A Grimly Fiendish Christmas?
At least for retailers, the Christmas season starts with the great switching on of the Christmas lights. This ritual is always supposed to be performed by somebody vaguely famous. In most towns and cities, this honour tends to fall to…
Posted in Blogcritics Archives on November 18, 2004 04:54 PM

“Band Aid 20” Now Recorded
(BBC – click pic for photo legend) The 20th anniversary version of “Do they Know It’s Christmas” was recorded yesterday and will be credited to “Band Aid 20.” BBC News entertainment reporter Ian Youngs was inside Air Studios in…
Posted in Blogcritics Archives on November 15, 2004 07:43 PM

winter’s dark days | the monday sermon
These are the down days of winter, and the sun slips like a canned apricot from the sky and it is not even four o clock and yet darkness bears down on us. For those of us in offices, we…
Posted in Blogcritics Archives on November 15, 2004 05:43 PM

The Polar Express: The Movie
The Polar Express tells a simple story simply. The biggest challenge that Robert Zemeckis had was to make a movie based on a story that was 25 pages, if that. The success of this movie is that it stays true…
Posted in Blogcritics Archives on November 14, 2004 01:27 PM

The Polar Express
In just a few pages, Chris Van Allsburg dissects the central meaning of faith in his book, The Polar Express. Can we believe in something that is beyond the natural? It is a story about the time that a child…
Posted in Blogcritics Archives on November 13, 2004 01:35 AM

Review: Polar Express
$270 million for this 2004 animated picture book to movie adaptation.
Posted in Blogcritics Archives on November 11, 2004 02:28 PM

About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: [email protected], Facebook.com/amhaunted, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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