Christmas

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u56OqFjs1dg Frank Capra's classic film It's A Wonderful Life — starring Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey — takes place in the fictional town of Bedford Falls, but some say it's a dead ringer for Seneca Falls in upstate New York. "I really believe this is what inspired Capra. It's got the canal, it's got names of the streets, it's got the Victorian houses — I mean, it's got it all," says Karolyn Grimes, who was six when Capra cast her to play Zuzu, George Bailey's...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tU5Rnd-HM6A The holiday competition to warm the cold cockles of our hearts is sure heating up. Last month, weeks even before Thanksgiving, British retailer John Lewis loosed the first volley with its annual Christmas ad. The long, cinematic commercial had nearly everything: a cute kid, an ambitious dog (named Buster) — and a dash of humor to thread them together. Now, that powerhouse ad finally has a worthy rival — from Poland. Since Allegro, a Polish online...

James Goulden

An Austin-based choral group is planning their San Antonio Christmas performance. The group is Conspirare , and their Art Director, Craig Hella Johnson, describes the group this way: "A musical family of singers who come from all over the country. From New York and Minneapolis and Seattle and some small places in between, and certainly we have some in Austin also."

So, it's that time again. For the next month, we're all in for a whole mess of holiday-themed music and movies. This wouldn't be a bad thing if it weren't so deeply joined with the endless commercialism that now defines the season. Retreating from this commercialism is exactly why I watch Miracle on 34th Street each year, as I did this Thanksgiving. To me, it's one of the most charming holiday movies ever made. But this time round, with all that's going on, I found something remarkably...

You know it from the first few notes of Thurl Ravenscroft's barrel-chested performance — singing "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" with the same flair he brought to playing Tony the Tiger in Kellogg's cereal commercials — Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a holiday classic. The animated film turns 50 this year, airing on NBC about three weeks before its actual birthday. And it is, admittedly, a little weird to call a 26-minute cartoon about a green guy who learns not to steal...

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