A year ago at this time, I was imploring everyone to please remember that Covid is far from over, and that we all need to still be vigilant.

Screen Shot 2022-12-20 at 2.21.15 PMAnd now, here it is, Christmas 2022, and many people are acting like we’re all good now, which could not be further from the truth. So please, please, please mask up, stop shaking hands again, wash them often, and above all, do not intrude on anyone else’s proximity zone.

Aside from those possibly life-saving thoughts, this holiday is a bit of a weird one for Mr. X and me. As some of you may know, my little mother died on actual Christmas Day 2011, so, of course, we didn’t celebrate again for many years. Then five years later, we finally tried “Baby-Stepping Back to the Holidays,” (which good advice you can still read here:

But then three years ago, we just gave up. We have so many beautiful decorations, holiday dishes, blankets, tablecloths, and more, but besides that it’s hard to bring ourselves to put it all out, we just don’t have the time! I don’t know where that precious commodity has been going, but it’s definitely not been on our side.

Here's a throwback to just one tiny part of my mother's "Holiday Village" on her dining room table! (Of course, just about all of those tchotchkes are gifts from your truly.) Photo by Karen Salkin.

Here’s a throwback to just one tiny part of my mother’s “Holiday Village” on her dining room table! (Of course, just about all of those tchotchkes are gifts from your truly.) Photo by Karen Salkin.

So recently, I’ve been marveling at the fact that we ever did have time to participate in December festivities! I always had tons of holiday parties and events to attend, (and write about!,) way more than in these dangerous Covid years, so how did we always manage to get a tree, decorate it, put out all the Christmas tchotchkes, shop, get not only tons of gifts for each other, (and Clarence back then, as well,) but fill about three dozen juicy gift bags for all my business associates??? And some for friends, as well. And then make a full Christmas dinner, with a few pals joining us on occasion.

This is from an upscale store.  I only wish it was in my own abode!

This is from an upscale store. I only wish it was in my own abode!

And these days, it’s all Mr. X and I can do to finish watching all the lame Hallmark movies!!! Okay, to be fair, there have been some really good ones. We actually rate every one we see. So, totally unplanned, let me tell you our top choices so far this year.

The absolute top one, (that I rated “A+++ Mic Drop!,) is Three Wise Men and a Baby. It stars three of Hallmark’s funniest and cutest guys, (Tyler Hynes, Paul Campbell, and Andrew Walker,) and thankfully, few chicks. We were laughing out loud.

The next best (receiving a rating of A+++ from me,) is We Need a Little Christmas, which is the most realistic holiday movie we’ve ever seen. There’s not even a kiss at the end! The lead characters, played by Erica Durance and Lynn Whitfield, are so believable, as is the potential love interest, Patrick Sabongui. He’s not your usual leading man, but so perfect for this story. And the little boy, Azriel Dalman, is wonderful. I was a blubbering mess at the end.

This is with whom I'd love to be watching these holiday movies!

This is with whom I’d love to be watching these holiday movies!

The surprise of the season, though, is—wait for it—Hanukkah on Rye! Mr. X always references Jackie Mason’s famous joke that things are “too Jewish” for him, so he used it again at the beginning of this one. But guess what? The movie is perfect for all persuasions! It’s actually adorable! I bestowed an A++ upon it. The shock is that perfect leads, Yael Grobglas and Jeremy Jordan, are both…Jewish! When does that ever happen???

We also enjoyed All Saints Christmas, up until the sort-of silly ending, (which lowered its mark to an A-.) It stars Grammy-winning Ledisi, so the singing in it is excellent. And we liked that her character and her former boyfriend, played by Roger Cross, have a fun relationship, as opposed to the usual “the romantic leads hate each other until they get together at the end” nonsense.

Our previous favorite, for several years now, is 2013’s Christmas with Tucker. One time, when my parents were watching my show, it went on too long before Clarence, the Singing Dog, made his appearance, and I heard my father say to my mother, “I thought the dog was on the show.” Clarence was the reason my own father watched my show! So, he would have loved this holiday film because Tucker is…a dog!!! We always remember our love of it, but this year, we tracked it down to watch again. It’s still wonderful, (and I still sobbed my eyes out at the very happy ending,) but I think that now the other three have either moved above it, or it’s at least a four-way tie.

A pretty picture, perfect on which to end this article.

A pretty picture, perfect on which to end this article.

Okay, I just talked myself into it—I have to stop writing now and join Mr. X for a few more movies before Christmas arrives on Sunday.

And don’t be concerned if you don’t see a new article in this e-zine early next week–I’ll be pretending I’m British or Canadian, and taking Boxing Day off! Perhaps I’ll even have a bit of Afternoon Tea to seal the deal.

And now, I wish you all a wonderful, joy-filled, and Merry Christmas. Stay safe out there!


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