kottke.org posts about Christmas
A surprisingly moving micro-oral history of "How we made: The Muppet Christmas Carol":
When I met Michael Caine to talk about playing Scrooge, one of the first things he said was: "I'm going to play this movie like I'm working with the Royal Shakespeare Company. I will never wink, I will never do anything Muppety. I am going to play Scrooge as if it is an utterly dramatic role and there are no puppets around me." I said: "Yes, bang on!" He was intimidating to start with, but he's a delight.
Netflix will air a Christmas special starring Bill Murray and directed by Sofia Coppola. That is an amazing collection of proper nouns all together in the same sentence.
Written by Sofia Coppola, Bill Murray and Mitch Glazer and directed by Sofia Coppola, A Very Murray Christmas is described as an homage to the classic variety show featuring Bill Murray playing himself, as he worries no one will show up to his TV show due to a terrible snow storm in New York City. Through luck and perseverance, guests arrive at the Carlyle hotel to help him; dancing and singing in holiday spirit.
(via several kind people)
Christoph Niemann uses cookie dough, cookie cutters, and sprinkles to recreate the Bible's book of Genesis. More or less.
Communications agency Quietroom came up with a tongue-in-cheek set of brand guidelines for Santa Claus outlining a brand refresh for the jolly Pole dweller.
On Twitter the other day, I asked:
Someone please write this article: profile of people who give their spouses automobiles for Christmas. Do they exist? Are they insane?
@bswest pointed me towards this 2005 NY Times piece, A Lexus for Christmas? It Happens.
"I didn't think that happened until I sat on the showroom floor and heard someone say, 'I'm not going to pick the car up until the 24th,'" said Rosario Criscuolo, the owner of two Lexus dealerships in Michigan. "It blew my mind. But if your wife needs a car, it's a good way to do it, right? It saves you from having to go to the malls."
Mr. Criscuolo said that each year, about a half-dozen customers wait until Christmas Eve to pick up their new cars.
And the demand for the oversize red bows is so strong that Lexus stockpiles them in a warehouse near its North American headquarters in Torrance, Calif.
The cybersanta Twitter account searches for tweets containing the phrase "I want a ______" and replies. Like so:
One of the items in this year's Christmas catalog from Neiman Marcus is a dinner for the buyer and a guest with "the brightest minds of modern literature, journalism, and the arts". Among those who may be in attendance at said dinner are George Stephanopoulos, John Lithgow, Nora Ephron, and Malcolm Gladwell.
The price: $200,000.
In recent years, the gifts on offer have grown increasingly extravagant and ridiculous: a modern Zeppelin for $10 million, a 3-hole golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus for your back yard for $1 million, and a private concert with Elton John for $1.5 million. (via girlhacker)
Why I Celebrate Christmas. "[Santa Claus is] clearly what Jesus would be if he was real. Nobody would ever consider nailing this omnibenevolent deity to anything, would they? Nor does he hold anything against you longer than a year." (via cyn-c)
James Surowiecki discusses the waste of holiday giving. "Waldfogel's main finding is that, in general, people spend a lot more on presents than they're worth to those who receive them, a phenomenon that he calls 'the deadweight loss of Christmas.'" This is one of my big problems with the whole Christmas thing. Related: gift cards worth billions of dollars are left unredeemed each year.