30 October 2007

Holiday Media

My order from Amazon arrived yesterday, or rather "orders," since three DVDs were supposedly shipped on the 20th and three on the 23rd, but they both arrived this afternoon, the one supposedly shipped on the 20th a bit worse for wear—one side was bashed in and retaped, with the packing slip missing. So they'd better all work because I can't return them. <wry grin> (The post office worked "beautifully" on this one; the tracking on the second package still says there is no information about the shipment.)

Anyway, two of the six were Christmas oriented: of course I ordered The House Without a Christmas Tree as soon as it was available—and I watched it as soon as it arrived—of course. I love this story. I love the little girl who glories in being intelligent rather than in clothing and material things. I love the nurturing grandmother. And I love the portrayal of the seemingly unloving father (who actually shows his love in small ways) who is not made out to be a soulless tyrant but a desperately grieving man.

The DVD is perfect as well except for the last scene where James speaks to Addie about her mother for the first time; there are odd, faint red horizontal lines when the camera is close-up on him. Not sure if this is my particular DVD or in the entire run.

I also purchased Rick Steve's European Christmas, but haven't watched it. This has run on PBS and I have "the companion book," as they say, but I haven't seen it, and the DVD has 45 minutes of additional footage.

I also have the Voyagers! set finally, which contains, among other things like the best "bread and butter" clip show I have ever seen ("The Trial of Phineas Bogg"), "Merry Christmas, Bogg," which is a warm and occasionally amusing episode taking place on both the night of George Washington's crossing of the Delaware and another Christmas Eve with Samuel Gompers fighting for labor rights where Jeffrey meets his grandparents.

My check has cleared, so I'm awaiting a video I've wanted for years. Back in the 1980s PBS ran something called Simple Gifts: Six Episodes for Christmas, six short animated stories narrated by Colleen Dewhurst. One of the stories is a memorable narrative about an Ice Fair and a doomed romance on the frozen Thames. This was released to video, but only to libraries and educational institutions. I tried to borrow it earlier this year through Interlibrary Loan, but you can't borrow video. By luck I have found this copy online. Supposedly the case is not in the best of shape but the video is sound. We'll see.

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