Friday, December 8, 2023

K.A.C. 2023 - T - 17 Days ...


     1959 - Bang the drums! Blow the horns! Santa's gonna have to wait for his Christmas Eve Chimney Drop (TM), 'cause it's time for a brand-new old tradition to take place: the annual viewing of "Kalle Anka och hans vänner önskar God Jul" - a yearly tradition in Sweden that EVERYONE observes (and one that I think One Particular Household SHOULD be observing, if they aren't already!) - want to know more, and how this all got started? Click below! 

     All that noise may seem like a curse to some (read: most) parents on Christmas morning, but we can top that - ever hear the story of the UK 'Christmas Caravans'? Fast forward to 2010. They started all thanks to a series of viral ads and a marketing idea (with the special effects help of Industrial Light and Magic). They were originally hailed as a wonderful holiday brightener and a new tradition to look forward to each December. NOW? Not so much - today they're a dreaded part of the holiday, causing near-riots when they appear, with enough tears and lamentations going around for all. Crying for NOT seeing them, crying FOR seeing them, crying for WAITING to see them and them not showing up, crying for being stuck in a parking garage for FOUR HOURS while waiting for them to go by, the list goes on and on.  Oh, and did I mention the INFERNO? Yep, that's here, too - you all need to upgrade your Christmas Disaster Bingo cards if you're gonna play with the Big Boys. And wait 'till you see what all the hoopla is about! Two articles below - first, a brief history of how this mess all started, then a report on this year's disaster. Drink it ALL in ... 


     '59 was also the inaugural year of a long-standing staple in many a living room when I was a young lad - Aluminum Christmas Trees! Below are a number of (aluminum) links - turns out a LOT of people have some pretty strong thoughts on these ersatz Christmas Conifers. Turn your rotating color wheel on and get blinded by all the info:

          Retro Aluminum Tree, check. Revolving Color Wheel, check. What's missing? Just the right jazzy holiday vinyl LP to set the perfect background. An aside: ye olde K.A.C. Curator starts researching these Tinsel Tidbits for the year in October, finding and going down many a rabbit hole for the obscure Peppermint Paraphernalia that peppers these pages. To get in the mood, I have Christmas LPs playing in the background (thankfully I work alone behind a locked door, so that's not a problem). Thanks to the Christmas Records channel on YouTube, I can listen to these year round (and many do). The curator there is as passionate about these LPs as I am about the weird items that abound in these entries. Currently about to hit the 400 mark (!) of albums to listen to, you can imagine they run the gamut: from sweet to saccharine, from delightful to godawful and from sacred to silly. Occasionally one will come down the Pike that is a keeper. Such is the case with our featured album from this year, Holiday Inn, by big band leader, pianist and composer Ralph Flanagan (below). The composition of the cover is perfect, as this LP sounds exactly like what you would hear in a jazzy ski resort's bar/lounge. Since there are so many albums to listen to, I usually have a 'next man up' approach, listening to each once and on to the next one. This is a rare exception, a delightfully fun mood lifting LP that I've had on loop for the day. Recommended - I know, weird, right? A straightforward, non-snarky entry for a change - a Christmas Miracle! Give it a listen below (and for those interested, I've thrown in the Wikipedia entry on Ralph):

     Join us tomorrow for a look at what a 1960 Christmas looked like. Bye!

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