Surviving the Holidays

Author’s Note: Original Post Date: December 23rd, 2011

THAT’S IT. I’m officially out of old content, for real this time. I think. Anyway, this February 27th please read about holiday movies and surviving the season. How delightfully apropos! 

Thanksgiving is over and, if you are reading this, you braved the madness of Black Friday and survived…or you wisely barricaded yourselves indoors to avoid the masses of zombie shoppers. In any event, you have advanced to the next round of holidays. Congratulations, you have leveled up!

Hope those Black Friday lines were worth it!

Hey, DT! Convince me! So….why: Any holiday movie at all?

Film has played an important role in our society since its creation and implementation. Through its use, we have been able to document important events and create stories that have the power to entertain or enlighten the world. Over the years, we’ve experienced both the most beautiful and most horrendous things the world has to offer through the lens of a camera. It’s only natural that such a big part of our lives can, if used properly, become a large part of our holiday tradition. This is not to suggest that we rip open our presents and immediately seek refuge with the nearest electronic device. (As perfect an idea as it may seem, sometimes…) Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, Festivus or (insert holiday of your choice here), this is a great time to reunite with family and friends and share a deep bond of fellowship, admiration and love (Or, drink beer & play Xbox in your underwear. DT does not judge.) If you can find the time amidst the frantic cooking, cleaning and gift-wrapping, you may discover it’s also a great time to get together and catch up on those movies you’ve been meaning to watch.

Instead, give this a shot: Whether you’re with loved ones or flying solo this year, try to set aside a small window of time in which you can watch something meaningful. If you’re religious, perhaps there’s a holiday special a few channels over. If you’re in the mood for a laugh, pull out a silly DVD and give it a spin. Whatever you decide, discuss it afterward. Try to ask each other some questions. Did you have a favorite scene? What, if anything, can be learned? When I began to think of a proper movie to focus on for this week’s Titan Town, I had a variety of options. Should I go with a tried and true holiday classic, such as It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)? That would have made a good option. It’s usually on TV every year, especially during the holiday season, and I try to make that one of my yearly traditions. The only problem is that countless others do, as well. While I will inevitably end up discussing a film here that you’ve seen before, I’m not taking a big risk asking you to enjoy It’s a Wonderful Life over the holidays. Perhaps I should focus on a newer film? Love, Actually (2003) and Elf (2003) are two semi-recent films that have been working their way into the role of “holiday staple.” Who doesn’t enjoy a feel-good Christmas love story or the sight of Will Ferrell cramming himself into a pair of yellow tights? (Actually, I only watched Elf for Zooey Deschanel but that’s neither here nor there.)

Helloooo, blonde Zooey.


While you’re here, check out:

As I said, there are countless options for you to enjoy this holiday season, and there is no “wrong way” to enjoy your holiday. While this place is called Titan Town, the fact is that it’s not just MY corner of the Internet. I want to share it with each of you. (Note: I may be a bit messy, but you’ll always have my share of the rent on time. I’m really not that bad, honest. I practice good hygiene and I’m decent at warding off potential intruders). With that being said, I opened up the Twitter floodgates to see what films the lot of you enjoy. I’m going to share with you some of the responses I received, and toss in a few of my own at the end:

So, what’s your favorite holiday film? What makes you enjoy it?

@jrehor: “Christmas Vacation…family tradition to watch it together. Honorable mention: Bad Santa for its pure irreverence.”

(Thanks for your input! I, too, make it a habit to catch “Christmas Vacation” once a year. I have not yet had the pleasure of watching “Bad Santa.” Maybe this will be the year!)

@ItsAFez66: “But I don’t have a favorite holiday film! DAMN YOU.”

(Oh my. Well, that’s ok. Might I suggest another viewing of the Doctor Who specials?)

@Bmarkovich57: “A Charlie Brown Christmas. Nothing better than some Peanuts gang for the Holliday seasons. Honorable mention – Die Hard, for obvious reasons.”

(Excellent choices. I see we are both members of the “Die Hard is a Christmas movie” club.)

@Packerken: “A Christmas Story. Have to watch it every Christmas Day. Everyone loves triple dog dares!”

(You shouldn’t watch this movie. You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.)

@packers_sweep12: “Christmas Vacation….Christmas with the Kranks is a distant 683948284th.”

(Your rank of 683948284th is much kinder than mine!)

@captelaino: “So many good ones! Have to cheat and give you two. 😉 Favorite animated: The Snowman. LOVE the soundtrack. Favorite live action: 1947 version Miracle on 34th Street. Maureen O’Hara is perfect. Always tear up at the end.”

(Two are allowed, especially when they both kick ass! Well done.)

@foundinidaho: “I have a few…but my favorite is A Christmas Story. My Dad had a Red Ryder BB gun, I did and my son does. :)”

(So many successful stories of Red Ryder BB guns…did A Christmas Story lie??)


Who brings a DVD to a gunfight? You do!
(Well, anything can happen over the holidays…)

Thanks for the responses, all. There were a few selections that I try to catch every year, a few that I haven’t seen yet, and a couple classics that had completely slipped my mind. It’s great to see so many of you with a holiday tradition that involves the silver screen in some shape or form.

I know I’m not alone in this (it was mentioned above, and in countless locations across the Interwebz), but I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest a film that’s a bit…untoward. At least, it is when it comes to branding it a holiday movie. I’m going to go with….Die Hard (1988). And here is why:

Nothing says happy holidays like a sweaty, bleeding Bruce Willis crashing through your window. Yippie-kay-yay!
Die Hard takes place at Christmas. “So what,” you ask? “A lot of movies do, and they aren’t necessarily Christmas movies.” I see your point. Also, “hey! Look over there!”
Any film that contains the line “Now I have a machine gun. Ho ho ho” becomes an instant Christmas classic. This is a rule.
Die Hard contains the song “Christmas in Hollis” by Run-D.M.C.
“Don’t you have any Christmas music,” a disgusted John McClane asks his limo driver, Argyle. Argyle’s response? “This IS Christmas music!” Argyle is a wise man.
It is better to give than to receive. This is true for bullets, head butts, hand grenades…and hugs.
Die Hard made Forbes’ list of “Top Ten Best Christmas Movies of All Time” FORBES, people.

There are many inspiration lessons to be learned from Die Hard, perfect for the holidays! Memorize them. Teach them to your children. Recite them. Live by them.
Some of these lessons include:

*The importance of family
*The importance of being prepared
*The importance of hiring a somewhat competent security staff
*The importance of not being a dick
*The importance of not inviting any of John McClane’s relatives to your holiday party (They will be kidnapped, and there will be explosions).
If this list doesn’t convince you, then I’m afraid there’s nothing else I can do except watch Die Hard again. Now, the language is pretty offensive so if you have kids, you may want to wait until after they’ve gone to bed for the evening. Or, make a game out of it and substitute your own words: “Fudge you!” is pretty cool, and makes me hungry. Mmm, holiday fudge.

This is the end…

Regardless of how you end up spending your holiday, I wish you and your loved ones a safe and happy experience. May you get everything you desire (within reason) and maybe a few things you didn’t even know you needed. Whatever you end up watching, or not watching, I hope it’s enjoyable. Drop me a line and let me know what you decide to do.

“Titan Town” will return on Friday, December 30th…just in time to help ring in the New Year! In closing, as John McClane would say…“Happy Trails!” – DT

Editors Note: Your fearless leader’s birthday is also on the 30th. Buy me something French, that goes for all of you.

Author’s Note: Dick Chang ruined my life and ate all my steak. I’m going to call him Uncle Rico from now on. 

Editor’s Note: I fixed DT’s fuck-up after he tried to fix my fuck-up, so, you’re welcome. Also, you don’t want to know how DT taste tests to see if his cows got in an onion field. It’s gross.


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