By Matt Elliott
Are you having trouble getting festive this holiday season? Are you tired of the same old Christmas carols and Christmas movies that come on television every holiday season? For those of you that want to celebrate the holidays this year but are dying for some variety this Christmahanukwanza, the Entertainment section would like to offer some suggestions to help celebrate the holidays.
Everybody has seen “It’s a Wonderful Life”, a “Christmas Story,” and “Charlie Brown’s Christmas.” However nostalgic or commemorative these classics may be, it is time to make some Christmas classics for a new generation.
“A Christmas Carol” is such a great Christmas story, but Ebenezer Scrooge can really kill a good egg nog buzz. 1988’s “Scrooged” with Bill Murray is a hilarious take on Dicken’s classic that follows a cynically selfish TV exec (Murray) who is haunted in a manner similar to old Mr. Scrooge.
If you have built up tension from shopping or if you find the holiday season inspires a need to watch a slasher film, “Black Christmas” is the movie for you. The 2006 version, which is gorier yet less suspenseful than the 1974 original, could be just the thing for those of you that need a release during the season or that feel watching sorority girls get hacked apart on Christmas Eve is the best way to be festive.
If you’re going to be spinning a dreidel or drinking some Manischewitz during December, Adam Sandler’s “Eight Crazy Nights” is a hilarious movie full of Sandler’s wild character’s and humor that follows a young man cynical about the Festival of Lights who rediscovers the meaning of the holidays. The movie sports hilarious guest voices from Saturday Night Live.
If lighting advent candles and decorating your Christmas tree bring out your bad side, first of all, you should probably re-evaluate your life, second of all, you should watch “Bad Santa.” In this dark comedy, Billy-Bob Thornton plays an alcoholic Santa con man who teams up with his fellow elf to rip off a shopping mall run by John Ritter, in his last film appearance.
If you are full of egg nog, fruitcake, and Nat King Cole’s “Christmas Song,” grab some Colt 45, throw out the yule log and burn some Christmas trees instead with Afroman on his holiday album, “A Colt 45 Christmas.”
With a mix of Christmas carol parodies and original songs, Afroman is up to his normal hi-jinks with songs like “Afroman is Coming to Town” and “The 12 J’s of Christmas.” If you want a Christmas album your parents probably won’t enjoy, this one is for you.
For those hip-hop heads that can’t bear to tear their ears away from bass-thumping and rhyme-spitting gangstaliciousness, there are a couple mainstream Christmas rap albums that could pimp out Santa’s sleigh and give his elves a posse-chant to sing to while they build toys.
“Christmas on Death Row” is an urban Christmas album with a mix of Christmas rap and R&B renditions of classic carols. Tracks like “Santa Claus Goes to Ghetto” and “Party 4 da Homies” reassure the listener that even rappers can celebrate the holidays while keeping it gangsta at the same time.
If you aren’t feeling quite that rebellious with your musical tastes, Sufjan Steven’s released an excellent alternative Christmas album with a more traditional feel. “Sufjan Stevens: Songs for Christmas” sports 42 songs, some class carols and some written by Stevens himself. If you are already a fan of Stevens, then you will love this intimate Christmas album that could easily become a favorite for future generations
If none of these suggestions prove to help you celebrate this holiday season, here is one last bit of advice. Go to wherever you call home this holiday season, and cook a holiday recipe with your family. Nothing helps the holiday season “set in” better than some holiday baked goods. Cooking can allow you to spend much-needed time with your family at home, where everyone belongs during the holidays.