At Large with Tom Williams >> Checking some Christmas lists

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This is a time for lists.

Santa’s is the best known list but people all over are making lists – invitations to holiday parties, gifts to be purchased, what they’d like to get as gifts and things to do before 2011 ends.

So, with that in mind, once again here are some lists that should be in the spirit of the season.

Top 10 Christmas Films:

1. “It’s A Wonderful Life” – the Jimmy Stewart classic might be corny but it has entertained generations.

2. “Miracle on 34th Street” – Edmund Gwenn as Mr. Claus in a story built around Macy’s in New York.

3. “A Christmas Story” – a man narrates his attempt as a young boy to get his hands on a Red Ryder BB gun.

4. “A Christmas Carol” – Alastair Sim as Scrooge in the classic Dickens’ story.

5. “White Christmas” – Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye bring the Christmas spirit to life.

6. “Home Alone” – Macauley Culkin makes his way through the holidays after his family leaves him behind.

7. “Love Actually” – eight stories in one English-based film, with a great soundtrack.

8. “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” – Chevy Chase finally gets the house lights to work.

9. “Elf” – Will Ferrell as Buddy the Elf.

10. “Black Christmas” – there are murders on campus focusing on a sorority house.

10 Best-Selling Christmas Songs:

1. “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby (1949)

2. “The Christmas Song” by Nat King Cole (1961)

3. “All I Want For Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey (1994)

4. “Feliz Navidad” by Jose Feliciano (1970)

5. “Santa Claus is Coming To Town” by Bruce Springsteen & Bon Jovi (2003)

6. “O Holy Night” by Celine Dion (1998)

7. “Little Drummer Boy” by David Bowie & Bing Crosby (1977)

8. “Merry Christmas Darling” by Carpenters (1978)

9. “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” by Brenda Lee (1958)

10. “Jingle Bell Rock” by Bobby Helms (1957)


Top Singers of Christmas:

1. Bing Crosby

2. Andy Williams

3. Perry Como

4. Gene Autry

5. Josh Groban

6. Mariah Carey

7. Beach Boys

8. Carpenters

9. Elvis Presley

10. Nat King Cole


Top 10 Christmas Books:

1. “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens

2. “The Polar Express” by Chris Van Allsburg

3. “The Life & Adventures of Santa Claus” by L. Frank Baum

4. “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” by Rick Bunsen

5. “The Night Before Christmas” by Clement Clarke Moore

6. “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” by Dr. Seuss

7. “Nutcracker” by Ralph Manheim

8. “Christmas Treasury” by Louisa May Alcott

9. “The Very First Christmas” by Paul L. Maier

10. “Eloise at Christmastime” by Kay Thompson


Top 10 Christmas TV Specials:

1. A Charlie Brown Christmas

2. Bing Crosby 1977 Christmas Special

3. How The Grinch Stole Christmas

4. A Christmas Together: John Denver & The Muppets

5. Glee Christmas Show

6. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer

7. A Chipmunk Christmas

8. Carpenters at Christmas

9. A Muppet Family Christmas

10. The Little Drummer Boy


Cost From 12 Days of Christmas:

1 Partridge in a pear tree - $205

2 turtle doves - $125

3 French hens - $165

4 calling birds - $520

5 gold rings - $750

6 geese-a-laying - $210

7 swans-a-swimming - $7,000

8 maids-a-milking - $58

9 ladies dancing - $6,294

10 lords-a-leaping - $4,767

11 pipers piping - $2,562

12 drummers drumming - $2,776

This Year’s Total Cost: $25,432

2011 Total Cost: $24,253


Top 10 Christmas Websites:


10 Christmas Wishes:

For Jay Gillian: a 36-hour day

For Rick Travers: a run on blueberries

For Chris Christie: a couple new fleece jackets

For Dave Coskey: no more storms like Sandy

For Mitt Romney: a peaceful 2013 with no worries about the 47 percent

For Jerry Beebe: another peaceful cruise

For Ed Rendell: a best seller

For Roy Gillian: a hit album of his piano favorites

For Butch Gleason: a return to the meatball circuit

For Bobby Barr: continued success in politics

For all the rest, a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Happy Kwanzaa and Happy New Year. Or, to simplify – Happy Holidays!

Words of Wisdom: “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas, how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no child-like faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies!”

(Francis B. Church, from the New York Sun in 1897)

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