Look toward the east, O Jerusalem*

by chuckofish

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Call him a stick-in-the-mud, a dinosaur, a fusty throwback, but indeed, jumping into the fray the day after Halloween was akin to hitting, and holding, high C for a couple of months, while a bit of patience saved Christmas for Christmas morning and kept the holy day fresh and new.

I re-read Shepherds Abiding by Jan Karon over the weekend and enjoyed it thoroughly. Although I agree with Father Tim about getting ahead of ourselves in regards to the Christmas season, we did go ahead as usual and buy our trees. They’re not up yet–they’re in the garage for now. I’ll try to get the little one up in the dining room this week, but I’m not going to stress about it. At least I don’t have a bad cat to deal with like the boy does.

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In between getting organized for Christmas, doing laundry and sundry household tasks, and going to a baby shower for daughter #3,

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I watched Donovan’s Reef (1963)–a film which the New York Times described at the time as “sheer contrivance effected in hearty, fun-loving, truly infectious style.” I would agree with that assessment whole-heartedly.

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It takes place at Christmas and includes an amusing Polynesian Christmas pageant, so I count it as a Christmas movie.

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Directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne and Lee Marvin, it is heavy-handed in the Irish humor department, but if you’re in the right mood, it can really hit the spot. (Shot in Hawaii, the scenery is beautiful as well.) I was in the mood.

I also went to our Advent Service of Lessons and Carols on Sunday night at church. I read lesson five, from Baruch:

Look toward the east, O Jerusalem, and see the joy that is coming to you from God…

We sang quite a few of my favorite Advent hymns and the choir sang and the bell choir played. Then I went home and ate chili, which the OM had made, and we watched Gregory Peck as King David in the technicolor extravaganza David and Bathsheba (1951).

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Despite GP’s awesome presence, it was pretty bad and not surprisingly, as it is based on one of the Bible’s more sordid stories.

So back to Christmas movies already.

*Baruch 4:36