Three days to go!
As a retail worker, I appreciate the sympathy of customers who comment on how sick I must be of Christmas music. You’re right, and you’d be surprised at how much I appreciate your empathy on a day-to-day basis.
But as a shameless lover of Christmas, dammit I want to enjoy some Christmas music too, I just can’t listen to Boney M or Elvis anymore, and I didn’t want to listen to Coldplay in the first place. The biggest let down was when I couldn’t stand the Fairy Tale of New York any more, I loved that song for it’s bitter outlook and oddly joyous anger, love and hate balanced in equal measure, and now I’m bored of it. (more…)
Fifteen days to go until the jolly man in red descends down our chimneys once again, in the world’s greatest game of Thief. But don’t you worry, he’s not going to rob you – Only put some things down your stockings. Oo-err. But never you mind what this phantom of kindness is doing late at night, creeping around – He means well!
However, if you can’t rely on Santa’s most recent sat nav system, then you needn’t worry! We’ve devised a Top 10 worthy to stuff your stockings, so strap yourselves in – We’re going to sleigh you with these Top 10 Geeky Stocking Fillers. Before we rush into this one and unwrap all these awesome gifts, the base rule for this was: It should fit in a pretty standard sized stocking, rather than a sack. It should also be relatively inexpensive (The maximum price of an item is £15).
10) Tabletop Minis
Quick and easy, something nice for the tabletop gamer in your life, or just someone who likes to build and paint creatively. The beauty of a new mini is that you can’t go too far wrong, at least if you’ve got the right genre. A good looking mini isn’t just a pretty ornament, but can often serve multiple uses; today’s cleric is tomorrow’s captain of the guard, what’s a power-armoured soldier now could easily be a cargo android in another game. Alternatively there’s no reason not to canibalize a gifted mini for spare parts, your new pirate could sacrifice an arm to give your ranger a musket.
There’s a surprising amount of high-quality, cheap miniatures, and even miniature scenery out there that’d make a great gift for gamers of all stripes, or someone with a penchant for crafting and painting might find a new challenge in a model they’ve never seen before. And if your recipient has a particular fandom, by-and-large you’ll find a miniature out there for them too.
Not Borderlands though, I tried.
9) Dice Games
I’m sure you’ve probably at least heard of the game Zombie Dice if you’re on this website? If not, then don’t worry – It’s a teeny tiny little game that features some specifically labelled dice. You roll them, check the action, keep score and keep going until someone is a winner. There’s also Cthulhu Dice, which is exactly the same, but with more insanity involved. Simple, easy, small – Perfect stocking filler.
But what if that special geek doesn’t actually want a dice game? Well, you can very rarely go wrong with a special set of dice. Websites are popping up all over the place, offering custom dice sets, so why not check them out?
8) Cardboard VR Headset
Right, so get this. In the year 2014, VR was definitely becoming a reality. I mean, it was all brand new and all a bit fledgeling, but it was certainly on our horizon. Jump forward a year or two and BANG! We’re hit by wave upon wave of Google Cardboard-wannabe’s – but this is a great thing to the average consumer.
If the geek in your life loves a little bit of cheeky tech, then why not consider buying a VR headset for their phones? They come either pre-built or flatpacked, depending on the package you pick up. They have cheap little lenses inside of them and bang – You can see in a VR world. How exciting is that? It’s all rather new, plus they have to have a relatively good phone, but hey – They can get involved with VR right now for dirt cheap.
7) Giant Microbes
Did you always want to give someone the plague, but you were never sure how to get hold of it? Want to post anthrax to a friend without getting arrested? Want to smack people in the face with yeast but couldn’t get a solid handful? The good news is you can get these and many more microbes, cells, viruses and parasites in plushy and adorable form.
This season you can give the gift of gangrene, cholera, or blood. There are also… less tasteful options for the people in your life with a sick sense of humour, basically anyone with whom you’ve played a game of Cards Against Humanity. That said, many of these little gifts have a far friendlier side, right now if you give your friends the Zika virus, some of the proceeds from the sale will also go towards supporting relief for those currently suffering in the recent outbreak.
6) Booster Packs
We’ve a tendency to collect, is that fair to say? We like stuff, and the stuff we like, we want more of. Boosters of collectible card games, Lego minifigures, Minecraft mystery boxes, Marvel dice, all of these little randomly selected additions to our ever growing collection take just a sliver more space away and yet add so much value.
Plus boosters are often cheap and easy to grab a fistfull of and shove them in with some of your well thought out and carefully selected presents. Didn’t get the card you wanted? Don’t blame me, blame the booster.
A specific example of high-quality geeky t-shirts at an amazingly good value. These guys are regulars to the convention scene and yes, I’ve got quite a few of their t-shirts. They’re comfortable, they’re light and they look amazing. The designs are really well thought out and I often get comments on the ones that I wear.
But it’s as if they are aware that Christmas is a thing. They do a whole section dedicated to £10 t-shirts. From sizes Small to XX-Large, there are plenty of different designs which are of a high quality. So, why not get that geek in your life a super cool t-shirt from some guys who are also absolutely super cool.
4) Love Letter
How very sweet. Or… actually no, not very. If anything this is a cutthroat and underhanded little game in which all players are seeking to win the favour of the princess, and using their sway in court to pass a token of their affection to someone as close to her as possible.
It’s actually one of the most simple games I have ever played, consists of no more than sixteen cards and a fistful of tokens all contained in an elegant drawstring bag, and you never have more than two cards at a time. It takes moments to learn, but time to master, as you start counting every card in play, guessing what each play could mean.
This is a very specific present, but hold on there. This speaker is teeny tiny, at something daft like 6cm tall by 6cm wide. Yeah no, that’s the size, it’s teeny tiny and it’s been on offer for £8 for quite some time. It’s typically only £15 normally and I’d gladly pay the full price, but I got 2 for the price of 1 and £1 extra. Well worth it.
This is the speaker that’s inside of our brand new GOCade (more info on that to come by on Mondays article). This is also a teeny tiny speaker that was vastly superior to our little TVs sound quality… And it’s loud as hell. It’s amazing, for such a tiny little device and so we figured, if you’re looking for a gift for an audiophile, this is that gift. What’s more, it won’t break your bank, but it might break your windows!
For every fandom there is merchandise, most of them made by Funko of course, but there’s always your Fallout bobblheads, special edition statuettes, or a comicbook shop’s glass cabinet filled with superbly made sculptures that most certainly should not appear in someone’s stocking – too big and too pricey. A well made, high quality figure needn’t be big or pricey, but they’re a lovely way to celebrate your fandom, or perhaps show your understanding for that of your friends and family.
Of course it’s always hard to find space for these things, and a tough decision to be made as to whether or not to keep the box – always worth debating your resale value – but no reason to let such considerations hold you back from getting some for other people. You never know when you might stumble across that unique find, or the one thing they’ve wanted but would never buy for themselves.
1) Nerf Gun Jolt & Darts
If you’ve never had the power of the air-propelled pistols in your hand, you’ve been missing out. I received my first Nerf Gun during the 2014 Super Secret Santa and you know what? I’ve kept it ever since – So if The British Bumpkins ever read this, huge thank you to both. I remember who gives me gifts – Especially when they own up to it!
So Nerf Guns are really simple little things. You put a spongy little foam dart into the a slot, then you aim the Nerf Gun at your friend and POP! You pull the trigger and your friend explodes backwards in a firey inferno, screaming “OH GOD WHY THE NERFS?!” Thankfully, this is just a dramatisation of what happens when I get hit by a Nerf Dart. The truth is, they don’t hurt what so ever and they’re great fun. I often have fired them off of walls, letting them come bouncing back to my hands and doing it all over again.
We’re getting somewhere near the bottom, almost time to start interacting with the relatives, overeating, and silently dreading returning to work. All the good stuff is gone, but there’s still a couple of packages down here before you reach the satsuma that’ll end up back in the fruit bowl before dinner.
Posters – GeekOut Posters
Ah yes, the poster is a very simple concept that everyone can buy into. I mean, it might be that the special geek in your life is really into Minecraft. There are posters dedicated to Minecraft. What about Game of Thrones? Don’t you worry: There are definitely posters for the hit show! Heck, posters are a perfect and relatively inexpensive item to put down somebodies stocking. You can even buy specific poster tubes, which again are relatively inexpensive and can be picked up at your local post office. Lovely.
Wait a minute, what’s this?! Your favourite website that produces Top 10s every single week without fail also sell posters?! Let us know in the comments if you need one for Christmas! We’ll do a Christmas deal! That’s right, 3 posters for £1.50 + PnP! That’s just 50p per poster! PnP will be £3.50! Just £5 for three posters, ho, ho, ho that’s a merry deal for you! (No serious, leave us a comment and we’ll sort you out.)
This is a bit of an odd one. Personally I’ve no dislike of vouchers, it’s not exactly high-effort but it shows a lot more consideration than cold cash. Both are a kindly gesture for sure, but at least a voucher shows better knowledge of the recipient, and who doesn’t like some control over what they get for Christmas; wishlists exist for a reason. But here’s why we dumped vouchers into the honourable section.
Would you really expect to see a voucher in a stocking? Envelope, sure. Cards, or even the bit of card it card it was hung upon in the first place, but surely a stocking is no place for it. A voucher is flat, easily folded, spindled and mutilated beyond use, and a stocking is usually filled indiscriminately with assorted stuff. By all means get your friends and family a voucher (perhaps Steam, League of Legends, or the local bookshop, keep it geeky folks) but if you’re going to load it into their stocking then you’re weird, and frankly wrong.
We’re all out of wrapping paper for all of these amazing gifts, so why don’t you get on down to your local shops to pick some of these up? I mean, after all, we’ve given you enough ideas to start buying gifts for that geek in your life, so why don’t you just get on with it?! Honestly, we couldn’t tell you anything else to buy – But you can tell us what we should do a Top 10 of next week by voting in the votes below! We’re fast approaching the end of the year..!
Now of course, we didn’t accommodate those boys and girls who were naughty – They don’t deserve geeky goodness, but perhaps a pop with a Nerf Gun will put them in check. What do you think of our list of geeky goodies in a stocking? What will you be putting in a Christmas stocking soon? As always, leave a comment below, or over on Facebook, Twitter or Reddit.
Christmas Trees are a major tradition that a lot of people don’t really even think about; they just do it. Think about it for a moment – Where’s the logic in bringing a tree into the house and covering it in tinsel, baubles and ornaments? Really there’s none, except for the sake of upholding tradition. But it got me thinking for a moment: What if we broke tradition, by making it into our own? What if, just what if, we could keep the tradition of having a Christmas Tree in our house, but completely turn it into a representation of ourselves? Here’s my guide to decorating your tree this Christmas season.
The legendary festive demon is making something of a resurgence, especially as more and more of us become increasingly jaded towards the consumerism of the season and start to wish for a giant goat-man to come and stuff the mean people into a big sack and drag them away.
Sadly I’m not even sure the 2015 family horror film Krampus ever made it to my local cinema, which is a shame, because the trailer had me immediately curious. I’m a fan of the mythology, and I was more than a little curious as to what could be made from it. Having seen it, I think I still have a lot more to be curious about. (more…)
For the first time in a very long time, I decided to make a video of me playing a game. However, as it’s the season to be jolly, I thought I’d indulge myself in a spot of Christmas gaming. After all, Christmas is a time full of massive consumerism and product awareness: How bad can a Christmas-themed game be? Well, you’re in for a treat with this one…
‘Tis the season to get geeky!
We’re fans of Christmas around here, and we really don’t care how or if you celebrate some holiday or other around about this time of year, or even if it’s even winter where you are (you crazy people in other hemispheres and ecosystems) we will continue to do what we do best, and what we hope all of you are doing every day of every year: Geeking Out as hard as we possibly can.
Here’s what you can look forward to…
Don’t think we’ve forgotten about that YouTube channel of ours. It may have been a little while since it last saw activity, but don’t think it has simply been neglected, because despite all outward appearences GeekOut is a hive of activity; plans are afoot.
We begin this Sunday with “Quite possibly the worst game I [Tim] have ever played”. For this month you can expect a flurry of winter and christmas themed GeekOut Plays, if you have any suggestions of games we can sample, let us know in the comments, or on Facebook and Twitter.
Not one, not two, but TWO GeekOut Bristol MeetUps. And yes, there is a difference between two and TWO, these ones are better.
December 10th, the first of our duo sees the return of Super Secret Santa, participants put there gifts in and get one back, with no way to know who you’re buying for or who’s buying for you. The thrills! Next week’s MeetUp features special guest, me! And if you’re a fan of the pre-meet-meal, the vote is live now to choose a venue.
The second is New Years Eve, information should be appearing on our Facebook page this week. This event will require the purchase of tickets, and spaces are limited.
As ever, our Saturdays will feature the weekly geekly Top 10 as chosen by you, the reader. Expect seasonal options to pop up on the vote to get us through the most wonderful time of the year. But of course, that’s not all we’ve got planned.
We’ll be reviewing those best loved geek classic films such as A Nightmare Before Christmas, and taking the time to appreciate those lesser loved greats like Rise of the Guardians and Krampus: The Reckoning.
Tim will be discussing how you can geek up your Christmas tree, and I’ll be discussing the power of cold weather in games.
All in all this month is shaping up to be a great way to wrap up the year, but you still have time to get involved, even if you can’t join as at a Bristol Meet. We still accept submissions for articles or article ideas, and we love to hear your thoughts and suggestions for the site, so get in touch via our contacts page or our social media pages. And because it’s December, and we can finally say it without fear of anyone declaring it “Too Soon”…
Get ready for a Merry Christmas.
I love this time of year, and yes I’d go so far as to say that I get more than just a little geeky around about now. Hard to blame me, it’s a time of year where families come together to share food and presents, and while for many of us that’s a time that generates stress, conflict, and bankruptcy, I shamelessly adore Christmas.
If you think it’s a commercial thing, you’re spending too much in too short a space of time. If you think it’s lost all meaning, you’re a couple of thousand years too late. If you hate Christmas, you’re either doing it wrong or have a very grave and indisputable reason, you have my condolences, you deserve a Merry Christmas more than most.
Saturnalia, pulled from the Roman adoption of pagan solstice, is the source of most of our traditions at this time of year, especially in Britain, Europe and America. The feast, the evergreens, the lights, all stem from assorted Viking, Gaelic, and Celtic rituals along with dozens of others, comprised of the rituals in celebration of many religious figures, Yule, Odin, Horus, and of course Jesus.
Santa himself has deep roots in the same mythologies, hence the frosty abode and eternally full beard. However, he’s not the only mythic beasty roaming abroad, and not all of them are giving out presents. We all know Krampus snatches up children in a sack with many a rattling of chains, but there are some parents out there who may prefer a visit from the Christmas Ogress Grýla, a horror from Icelandic lore who eats bad children, except for her own brood of seasonal tricksters, the Yule Lads, a band of trolls who steal food and things over Yuletide.
There is the ever-famous Zwarte Piet (Black Peter), who in certain cultures is the politically incorrect Robin to Santa’s jolly-old Batman. As the name might imply, Peter is most often depicted as being black-skinned, originally because he was a messenger to Saint Nick who sent reports of mortal behaviour via the chimney, but later with a retelling of the medieval book Golden Legend, Saint Nicolas gained a miracle to his name, the saving of a slave boy. All perfectly innocent, but so were the black and white minstrels at one time. Things have a tendency to change with the passing of time.
Same with Christmas…
December 25th Around The World
The amalgam of holidays and rituals that come together at this time of year are not merely limited to the gathering of families, and sharing of home, hearth, food and gifts. And in places where winter is not a near-fatal experience that drives those to resort to sacred rites invoking the return of the sun, gathering together for survival is less essential than beating each other half to death to settle old scores.
In fact most cultures do something sometime around midwinter, most commonly on the 25th, and though the course of the calendar has shifted a little over the centuries so that the year’s shortest day (in the northern hemisphere) no longer falls on the exact date, it’s still incredible to think that almost everyone on the planet is coming together to celebrate at once. Some are political (India’s Good Governance Day, Taiwan’s Constitution Day), others are historic (Quaid-e-Azam Day, Malkh Festival), some atheists celebrate Newtonmas, the birthday of Sir Isaac Newton.
Famously, Axis soldiers invited Allied soldiers to a few games of football in no man’s land on Christmas day 1914, (Weihnachtsfrieden, Trêve de Noël) along with gift exchanges and photographs. Sadly the impromptu celebrations were not universal, and many soldiers suffered worse than foul-play during the truce, and the unsolicited camaraderie resulted in harsher orders coming down from the powers that be for fear that the common soldiery would start to doubt the war. Does that make the legendary day any less special? The incredible power of a single, universal day of joy shattered rivalries and broke the absolute rule of the officers and joined to nations at war at their most basic level.
I start my shopping in August, often before Christmas starts showing up in the warehouses of shops (although not much before, tinsel starts showing up before August is even over) so I not only spread the cost across months, I’m also immersed in presents for about a third of the year. I’m spreading cost, saving myself some effort in December, and thinking about other people more than I should as a retail worker. Yesterday I suffered with people coming to me with last flailing grabs for Christmas presents (a laptop is not an afterthought you over-paid halfwits) and resenting me for not having it in stock! Imagine the smugness I felt.
And yes, I like getting presents! My gaming group always get me the most awesome stuff, doesn’t matter how much they spend, be it a couple of pounds or a couple of dozen, they know me, and know exactly how to make me smile. I like to think I do right by them, this year I put together a kind of Loot-Crate style box of mini-presents, some generic, some specialised, sounds like I’ll be doing the same again next year, although with different stuff inside.
Oh, and thanks Tim for my present, you mean a lot to me too. It hasn’t stayed in the kitchen, it just photographed better against the kettle than the mantelpiece.
Season’s greetings from GeekOut South-West. Join Timlah as we look through Christmas 2015 and see what’s in store for 2016.
Oh Christmas Tree, oh Christma—
SANTA GET AWAY FROM THAT TREE!!!
Oh hi all, this is it you know? We’re at the end of the year and we’re about to see Christmas 2015 just pass us by like a gentle breeze. It’s oddly warm for this time of year here in England, so the science buffs amongst you can tell us reasons for this down in the comments below. Now that’s out of the way with, what have we been doing and what’s in store for the New Year?
This past week, I was at my sisters’ wedding after party in typical costumed fashion. I made a tricorn hat, with a crocodile tooth pattern and the brim of the hat was lined with feathers. I had to wear high heels and tights. I had to wear a large coat and a jabot, who on earth could I possibly have been cosplaying as? Well, of course, it had to be Captain Hook!
The coat, waistcoat and jabot I actually rented from a small business here in Bristol called Fancy Dress Fanatics. They are a brilliant company who stock many wonderful costumes. Please do go and check them out. I took a few pictures of their store when I was in there (With their blessings), so you can see for yourself just how well stocked they are. They were incredibly well priced at £25 for the three pieces for rental and the staff were very attentive. They knew what worked with what and where everything was. I had many people comment on the quality of the outfit, from the coat, to the attention to detail of the hat. Sadly, I had no eye-liner available nor any way to stick a ‘tashe and eyebrows to my face in the short time I had to get changed, but I am pleased with the result.
Once the night was over, all I had to do was make sure all of the costume pieces were in good condition, on their original hangers and back in the bag. Popping in to see them was nice and easy and the deposit was £30 (as an incentive for you to bring the outfit back!) I really enjoyed wearing the outfit and we got some great pictures out of it.
So that’s what I was up to on Monday hence I didn’t do my usual post slot (Thanks Joel for picking up my slack!) Then yesterday, we had the incredibly talented Chris Lock do his second post on his Replacing the Mighty Keeper series. If you’ve not read these articles yet, I really recommend you do. He’s going through Dungeon Keeper-like games and reviewing them, comparing them to the real deal. We’re going to record a video of us playing Dungeon Keeper, too.
Both Joel and I are really into the spirit of the season. In fact, just yesterday, I was sat in work with a Hawaiian Santa shirt on and a Santa hat, so clearly I’ve been infected with the good tidings and cheer. Because we’re so in the mood of the season, we went ahead and bought a Christmas present for one another. I received a mug from Joel which says something that is similar to “Worlds’ Best Boss” except it was the exact opposite of “best”. I meanwhile went for a more neutral “Worlds’ Okayest Employee” trophy for the guy. Merry Christmas Joel!
Over the holidays you may have seen we’ve not stopped our post schedule. We declared we were going to have an article out every single day and we’ve not let you down yet. There’s a post associated for every day on GeekOut, so we’re doing something right. Even if one or two posts (especially around convention seasons), were just place holder posts for the real thing to happen the following day. We’re always keen for feedback, so please let me know if you’ve got ideas for what we could or should cover here on GeekOut.
Next week, we’ll have finally finished 2015 and it’s been a roller-coaster of a year for us all. There have been some seriously great moments, but please take a step back to remember some of the tragedies of the year. With the terrible bombing of Paris, to the Syrian refugees, we’ve seen some dreadful things occur in the real world. It’s rare I bring the real world into an article here on GeekOut, but we’re aware these things happen and I would implore all of you to do your bit you’re your local communities where possible. Remember people are people, regardless of what your political views are.
2016 is looking to be a terrific year in terms of what we’ve got planned here for the website, so I think it’s finally time to unveil a few things I’ve been thinking up as of late:
- I don’t want us to be GeekOut South-West forever. In fact, we’ll be looking to move over to a brand new name: GeekOutUK. I’ll be retaining the GeekOutSW.com domain which’ll link you directly to GeekOutUK.com. It’s a small change that makes a big difference. We want to be all inclusive: we want to be UKs top geek community.
- Coupled with that, I want to start developing this site away from WordPress.com and make a dramatic move over to WordPress.org… But I don’t want to lose what we already have. I’m working tirelessly these days to improve the website and keep producing content, because I believe what we have and what we can have is something truly special.
- GameBlast [link]. Just sayin’.
- MORE COSPLAY FROM TIMLAH!
This isn’t a comprehensive list of what we’ve got planned. Some of the website changes we have planned for early-to-mid next year is simply huge, but because of how big some of them are, I don’t want to tell you about them until we’ve actually gotten them confirmed… But next year, we’re making some changes around here – We want this site to be more interactive, more accessible for you all to take part and we want to build on our existing community and then some.
Christmas video games are few and far between, probably because the deeper meaning of the holiday would have religious connotations which doesn’t make for the most riveting of games. Once in a while, a game attempts to pull the cracker laid before it and hope for the best. Garden Rescue: Christmas Edition is one of these games that has attempted to quell the beast that is the season to be giving, but does it get much in return? Timlah investigates this incredibly cheap game on Steam.
Garden Rescue is another damned tower defence game, but I went into it with no knowledge as to what it was. Once again, we’re greeted with plants fighting off bugs to stop them from eating the plants at the very end. But this isn’t any normal edition of Garden Rescue, this is the Christmas edition which means we’re not saving normal plants. No, we’re saving the mighty colourful Christmas tree from being eaten by bugs. How these bugs could damage such huge trees is beyond me, but nevertheless I’m here to set the record straight with this title. Is this a game you should consider getting this Christmas, or steer clear of like a blizzard?
It’s hard making a game that’s compellingly Christmas enough. It’s not exactly a season full of greasy men running around with guns that act as proof of overcompensation, though in the other extreme it’s not a season of eating dots and enemies. No, this is a season to be jolly, to be happy and to be sharing, caring. How can you convey this in a video game? Not very easily is the answer, but it’s easy enough to turn any game into a so called Christmas game with a little bit of skin altering.
I don’t feel it’s fair to slap Christmas onto games like this, as if it were me, I’d expect this to be way more Christmas themed than it actually is. The game, as you’ll see in the gameplay, is basically just a typical tower defence game. Don’t get me wrong, it actually is relatively enjoyable, especially for such a low price tag. Developers have to make these kinds of games if they want to get anywhere in the games world, but hey; A little more transparency when declaring your game is a Christmas game would be nice. Interestingly, this title was made by Big Fish Games, who are masters of the casual gaming market. However, this is the same as any other title in Garden Rescue, but it just happens to have the enemies in Christmas Stockings or bobble hats and Christmas trees instead of normal trees. There’s also a slight difference in the way the maps look.
I’ve not played other Garden Rescue games, but based upon what I’ve played here, I wouldn’t need to. It appears as if all of the Garden Rescue games would be the same, but perhaps with some slight variation in level design and of course the overall skin of the game. But the game itself played fairly nicely and for the sake of a couple of quid, I really can’t feel as if I’ve missed out on anything here. If you’re looking for a casual game to pass the time, you might want to consider Garden Rescue this Christmas.
That’s it, hope you enjoy the video and enjoyed this look at Garden Rescue. Please remember to like, comment and subscribe to the GeekOut YouTube channel, where I show off my gameplay ‘skills’ and Joel has done a whopping interview with Professor Elemental on there, you should check that out if you haven’t already. Remember to keep it geek this Christmas and have a great holiday season. Check us out on Facebook and Twitter!
We’ve all watched Dicken’s Christmas Carol retold a thousand times in a thousand different ways, the same with It’s A Wonderful Life, which in many ways is the same film – guy gets a new appreciation for life when a supernatural entity tells him how great Christmas is. How many more times must Santa be saved? Must we all learn the harsh reality of the joyous fleeting moment by watching our magically animated friend perish beneath the sun’s paradoxically life-giving rays? Can the true meaning of the season be learned anywhere other than Charlie Brown’s piano?
There’s a lot more films out there than those that are brandished at us all December long. From the undervalued or apparently unseasonal, there’s loads of films that fill you with as much of the joy of the season. So let’s look at them, and then maybe watch a few while everyone else starts yelling about the Grinch. (more…)