Friday, December 17, 2010

Preparing for the Mad Truffle Dash

Tonight is the night.

My dishes are clean, the kitchen is sparkling, little bottles of liquor are lined up on my spice shelf.

Baby, it's truffle making time.

I plan on going through 15 pounds of chocolate, if you're looking for an idea of how many truffles I'll be making - nevermind the other ingredients (which are a secret, so you don't get to know about them!!) - I'm about to make people seriously happy with some good Christmas presents!

Flavors will include:
Eggnog (with spiced rum)
Dark Chocolate with Grand Marnier
White chocolate with Chambord
Dark/White Chocolate with Peppermint Schnapps
White Chocolate and Amaretto
And numerous others.  Last year, my fave was a dark chocolate and Tia Maria mix, but I didn't buy any more TM, so it's unlikely that will happen with my budget in rapid shrink mode.

If these truffles sound awesome to you - you should buy some from the woman who taught me all I know (and who ships to wherever) - she has some new flavors, including a Chai Tea (which I sadly haven't had a chance to try yet!)  - check her out at

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Greatest Christmas Movie EVER

Do I really need to do anything other than use that title to let your mind wander?  Obviously - I'm talking about National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - one of those movies I've been watching since it came out, and will watch, with religious fervor, until I'm dead.  There's a possibility that I'll be buried with a portable dvd player with that movie playing.

I am not normally one to recommend you go buy things (unless you want to buy me things, and that's totally up to you), or enter contests or anything of that nature (I'd actually usually prefer people not enter the contests I enter because it messes up my odds - but 'tis the season!) - I just entered a contest to win a set of the glass moose mugs! 

I entered to win a set of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation Moose Mugs from Dear Crissy!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Updated List of Streaming Christmas Movies on Netflix

*Updated as of November 12, 2017 - if you're on Facebook, like the page, and you will see when there are updates.
This is what I call an act of love…
12 Dates of Christmas - Do you love Christmas and miss Saved by the Bell? Or maybe just one of those two? Come on, this is an ABC Family Christmas movie - if you like one, you like them all.  Watch it here before it airs this December!

12 Dog Days Till Christmas - I don't think I can really do a better job describing this movie than Netflix.  A foster child finds out the animal shelter is closing, and only has 12 days to find homes for all the dogs. 

Abominable Christmas - Two little Abominables trying to escape an evil scientist meet a young girl and spend Christmas with her family.

Abominable Noel - Nope, it's not about the worst Christmas ever - it's about Abominable Snowmen joining with humans for Christmas!

All American Christmas Carol - Reviews are NOT very positive - apparently this is a bit of a twisted take on the classic "A Christmas Carol" "Scrooge" story, with Taryn Manning (of OITNB fame these days) playing the Scrooge character, and being given the opportunity to turn her life around with the help of three ghosts (one of whom is played by Meatloaf).

All I Want for Christmas - Nope, it's not a typo, it's another Christmas movie!! What's the best reason to start dating again? Because your child wants a new father, that's why.  

America's Funniest Home Videos: Hollidazed - I think we should have some sort of a contest - how many dads do you think are going to get hit in the crotch with plastic baseball bats this Christmas? Closest guess gets to pick the next movie!

Angels in the Snow - a grumpy family on a Christmas vacation take in a stranded family.  There is apparently a big twist at the end, don't read the reviews if you don't want spoilers.

Back to Christmas - This has the undeniable look of a Hallmark or Lifetime style Christmas hit! The description claims a woman wakes up a year later to a Christmas do-over; personally, I think I would use my knowledge of the future to do some smart investing, but I suspect we're going into romance town. 

Bad Santa - Willie and Marcus are the absolute worst Santa and Elf, because of the fact that they are awful people, and are criminals.  This is a really dark movie, but it does have some serious sweetness at its core. This is NOT a movie for the whole family, unless your whole family is comprised of adults.

Bad Santa 2 - They're back! The worst possible Santa and Elf duo return, with the help of Kathy Bates as Willie's mom.  I haven't seen this, but the original was pretty spectacular.

Bob's Broken Sleigh - this is a newer movie (2015) - It appears that the premise is that a little elf (Bob) is trying to upgrade Santa's sleigh - something goes wrong - there is a crash (will Christmas be canceled!?!?) - and he needs help to get back up in the air. 

Bojack Horseman Christmas Special - This animated special isn't for the kids, it also probably isn't for you unless you're into the show.  

Casper's Haunted Christmas - poor Casper, that annoyingly friendly ghost has to scare someone before the big day.  I'm not even referred to as a friendly ghost, and I would feel bad messing with someone this time of year.

Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Christmas, The - I haven't seen this - but the pictures showing up do look true to the original illustrations in the Cat in the Hat, and other Seussian hits.  It appears to be a cartoon - which is a big positive for me - as Mike Myer's terrifying turn as the Cat in the Hat ruined live action for me in the genre. 

Christmas Belle - I'm partial to Beauty and the Beast when it comes to fictional characters named Belle - but I'm willing to give this a try.  Will this beautiful Belle be able to thaw out the icy rich dude whose antique collection she's cataloguing?  

Christmas Bunny - This movie has been coming and going from Netflix over the years, and I still haven't watched it yet!  A young girl finds an injured rabbit on Christmas Eve, and brings it to "the Bunny Woman" for help.

Christmas Candle, The - Susan Boyle is in this historic holiday flick about a new minister coming to town and messing with some good old fashioned Christmas traditions.

Christmas Cracker - This is a documentary about people who are obsessed with Christmas.  I'm king of disappointed that they didn't try to interview me, but I'll get over it. 

Christmas Crush - One question: what kind of school does their reunion at Christmas time? Seriously, I've only seen this in movies, in the real world aren't they always in the summer? This is a cute little flick, I've seen it, and it's about a woman getting to reunite with her high school crush at her reunion (at Christmas).

Christmas Horror Story, A - Yes, it's gory and horror-y, but it's also Christmasey and it has William Shatner.  I watched this, it's entertaining, but forgettable.  However, if you're a horror movie gal like me, I say give it a try.

Christmas in the City - This stars not only Ashley Williams, who seems to star in 50% of my fave holiday flicks on the Hallmark Channel, but also singing star Ashanti!  Someone's boss fires a department store Santa who happens to be THE Santa.  What's he doing working at a department store? You'll have to watch to find out.

Christmas in the Smokies - Made for TV holiday magic, I tell you!  A woman trying to save her family's farm; an ex who is a famous musician? What more could you want? Oh yeah - it takes place at Christmas time!! 

Christmas is Here Again - This animated Christmas romp stars Jay Leno, Ed Asner, Kathy Bates and a bunch of other people.  I'm watching it just for the star power.

Christmas Kiss, A - Reviewers seem pretty split on this ABC-Family/Lifetime style Chick Flick.  A woman who has trouble with her boss, for some reason kisses a random gent on an elevator, only to discover that he is the boss's boyfriend.  

Christmas Kiss II, A - A sequel to A Christmas Kiss? You had me at, well, the fact that it's a sequel to that movie.  It looks to be a new host of characters, so give it a watch, and let me know what you think. 

Christmas Miracle at Sage Creek - According to reviewers this is an "old west" style Christmas movie, reviews are pretty mixed.

Christmas on Salvation Street - a widowed minister and his family move to the inner city, which will take some adjustment.

Christmas Prince, A - This one comes out November 17, 2017, so you'll have to wait a few days (unless that date has already gone past, then you're all set).  It's a made for Netflix special about a journalist and a Prince, and CHRISTMAS. 

Christmas Project, The - When I saw the first screen capture, I thought it was a movie from the 1980s, but it was made in 2016 - some reviewers say it channels "A Christmas Story," and apparently is about four boys who have to make gifts for their bullies?

Christmas Ranch - This one's got all the big hits - naughty teen has to spend the holidays with Grandma on a ranch of all places, connects with a horse, tries to save the aforementioned ranch, learns an important lesson, and has a super merry Christmas.  I'm guessing - but I'm pretty sure I'm right.

Christmas on Salvation Street - This new addition has no reviews so far - so my only information is from the synopsis - a Widowed Preacher moves his family to the inner city. 

Christmas Star, A - It turns out that if you're born under the Christmas Star, you have magical powers.  In reading the description, I wasn't really convinced I wanted to watch it.  Then I checked out reviews, and noticed Kylie Minogue and Pierce Brosnan in it - needless to say, I've added this to my wish list. 

Christmas Town - I've never seen this relatively new made-for-tv looking gem.  A single mother visits her father, whose town is "Totally Consumed with Christmas" - my kind of place!

Christmas Wedding Baby -  I haven't seen this, and nothing in the description has anything to do with Christmas - so maybe that's someone's name? I really don't know.

Curious George, a Very Monkey Christmas - I do love those cute little Curious George cartoons, along with the Man in the Yellow Hat, it appears the two of them are having a hard time deciding what to give each other for the holiday!

Dear Santa - I'm a sucker for Amy Acker, and this is a really cute made for TV Christmas movie about a woman who finds a little girl's letter to Santa, and ends up getting involved.

Dogwalker's Christmas Tale, A - A privileged young lady has to decide between a handsome guy and adorable dogs and her super rich boss.  What do you think she'll decide?

Dreamworks Happy Holidays from Madagascar - You get a hit of Valentine's Day and then two Christmas specials! 

Dreamworks Holiday Classics - while the word "classic" might be pushing it - only time will tell!  Four holiday tales involving your favorite (?) Dreamworks' stars - the digital casts of Madagascar, Shrek, and How to Train Your Dragon.

Dreamworks Shrek's Swamp Stories - time to join everyone's favorite ogre in some fun holiday theme adventures.  Not only does this have Christmas - but Halloween as well!

Evergreen Christmas - I know that if I had a choice between being a musician and running a Christmas Tree Farm, it'd be a no-brainer - obviously Christmas Tree Farm - the heroine of this story has some indecision though.

Fireplace for Your Home: Classic - this has festive holiday music along with beautiful snowy scenes - wonderful for those of us anxious for winter in the middle of July!

Get Santa - Santa gets arrested? What kind of world are we living in??  Thankfully, a father-son team is going to get him out of there!

Good Luck Charlie: It's Christmas - This looks like a 2011 Version of a Full House Christmas (not the plot, but the family friendly TV show made movie length silliness), the ratings are actually quite good - I've never seen the show, but I just might have to watch the movie!

Gremlins - no, this is not a feel-good holiday hug fest.  But it's an awesome little time machine back to when I was a little girl.  If you haven't seen it, you must.  If you haven't seen it in twenty years, why the heck not watch it again?

Happy Christmas - Here is a Christmas movie starring Lena Dunham, Anna Kendrick, and Melanie Lynskey - three of my fave lady actors. Reviews are mixed, but one introduced me to the term "mumblecore." I'll be watching, for the actors alone. My moms watched this one recently and said it is "AWFUL." 

Heart of Christmas, The - This looks like a sweet but sad movie - a family with a child with terminal cancer wants to give him one last Christmas in October. Reviews are mostly good. 

Hector - Reviews are pretty much unanimously positive about this unconventional British film about a homeless man reconnecting with his family around the holidays. 

Holiday Baggage - Time to see if getting the whole family together for the holidays will rekindle relationships.

Holidays - another collection of holiday themed horror shorts.  There is just one Christmas story on here, but, in general, if you like horror movies, you should give this a try.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas -  This is not the animated classic, it's the 2000 version with a terrifyingly green Jim Carey, and it does attempt to address the anti-consumerism themes of the original.  Also, there is incredibly catchy music and some fantastic hair styles.

How Sarah Got Her Wings - It's Christmas and what's an angel-in-training to do? Earn those wings!

I Am Santa Claus - This is a documentary following professional Santas.  I watched a similar movie a couple of years ago, and it was wonderful - this certainly looks worth a look!

In the Land of Magic - You have a wicked goblin, Santa, and a mule named Napo - this is an animated flick for the youngest members of the family.

Koala Brothers Outback Christmas, The - I'm not familiar with the Koala Brothers - but it appears it's a British show for the littles.  It is some sort of adorable claymation and I recommend it on that alone!  Seriously - who doesn't want to watch two koalas flying an airplane and tracking down their penguin friend in Antarctica? 

Kung Fu Panda: Holiday - Here is one of those newer "holiday" movies; it's winter, it's a special, meaningful holiday, etc. etc. etc. In this new arrival, Po has to deal with some wackiness, and then learn the meaning of Chris- Oops - I mean - the meaning of "Winter Feast."

Legend of Frosty the Snowman, The - Word to the Wise: this is not the original Frosty movie - this is circa 2005, and reviewers say it is a pale comparison.
Magic Snowflake - the Sequel to Santa's Apprentice.  So - watch that one, and then decide if you're up for a second dose.

Mandie and the Forgotten Christmas - Well, I can't say I recommend this one - most commonly seen in the reviews are mentions of the racism and sexism.  I would certainly leave this off my list this year.

Mariah Carey's Merriest Christmas - Say what you will about MC, she sure can belt out a Christmas tune.  This is a variety show with a bunch of other celebrities, singing, and a reading of "Twas the Night Before Christmas."

Marry Me for Christmas - A lot of movies remind me that we need to get rid of the idea that people MUST get married for happiness.  This movie, like that one with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds, follows the theme of  fake fiance.  I have a hunch that they will fall in love in the end like (spoiler alert!) Holiday in Handcuffs.  But there's always the chance this one will make the point that you should be happy with yourself, and don't require another person for your own satisfaction.

Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mickey Mouse - This is a Christmas special with a number of Disney Christmas shorts (I haven't seen this one - but I highly recommend Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas, so I think this is probably worth checking out).

Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas - Three cute Disney cartoons: Mickey & Minnie play out one of my favorite O. Henry stories: Gift of the Magi; Donald's three wacky nephews play out a Christmas version of the movie Groundhog Day; and Goofy and his son Max figure out that Santa is real.  *Most disturbing part: when all of the ducks at the table get excited about eating a beautifully roast turkey.

Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas - I am imagining this to be the sequel to Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas.  According to Netflix's description it's a holiday battle between Mickey and Minnie and that mean ol' Scrooge McDuck.

Miracle on 34th Street - This is the absolutely wonderful 1994 version of this holiday classic.  I love the original, and I really feel this remake stayed so true to the message.  It's wonderful, and you should show it to your children to make sure it's a part of their childhoods.

Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir:  This is the Christmas special for an animated show about a girl who transforms herself into a superhero (Ladybug).

Mule-Tide Christmas - This looks like a digital flick for the youngest of the youngsters.  You've got wicked goblins, a certain jolly old elf who wears a red suit, and his trusty mule.  Sounds good (for the 5-7 crowd) to me!

My Dad is Scrooge - Reviews say this is a good one for the littles, that the talking barn animals are adorable, provided your age is still in the single digits.

My Little Pony: A Very Minty Christmas - These are the middle age ponies (from 2005 - they're updated from the mid-1980s ponies I knew, and prior to the new ponies that have inspired the Bronies movement).  I think there could be some very valuable nostalgia.

My Santa - This looks pretty cute - a woman falls for a mall Santa - the usual story, but this has a twist - he's actually the REAL Santa's son!

Nightmare Before Christmas, The - This is a classic - while it is (according to Burton) actually a Halloween movie, it's definitely a Christmas classic in my house.  The music, the visuals, and the story are all wonderful for all ages.

Noel - This one is filled with some powerhouse actors - Robin Williams, Penelope Cruz, Susan Sarandon, Paul Walker. I've not seen this in quite a few years, but remember it being a sweet holiday drama.

Pee-wee's Playhouse: Christmas Special - If you're ready for a trip down mid-1980s memory lane - this is the special for you!  If Pee-wee himself isn't enough to pull you in - you've got Zsa Zsa Gabor, Frankie Avalon, Oprah, and even KD Lang to join in the fun!

Perfect Gift, The - Ruben Studdard (of American Idol fame) stars (and most likely sings) in this lesson on what Christmas is really all about.

Pete's Christmas - Groundhog Day meets Christmas Day.  I know Elmo already tried this whole "Christmas is Every Day" thing - it sounds like Pete's having just as hard a time.
Power Rangers Samurai: Christmas Together, Friends Forever - I admit that the Power Rangers have never really grown on me.  I will also admit that I sat through countless hours of them when I was a babysitter to a family with four young sons.  I might even sit through them for 23 more minutes to see this special!

Power Rangers Super Samurai: Stuck on Christmas - here we go - some more Power Rangers (for those of you who are into that sort of thing). 

Radio City Christmas Spectacular, The – If you’ve not had the opportunity to see these incredible women perform in person – I think you should jump at any chance you’re afforded (we saw them for the first time last winter in Boston – they are AMAZING). Luckily for everyone, those who have, and haven’t seen the Rockettes perform – you can watch the show on your TV or computer – seriously – this is awesome stuff!!

Ref, The - Rich people taken hostage on Christmas Eve? It stars Denis Leary? I'm in! Reviews call this a well written dark comedy.

Russell Peters Christmas, A - This 2011 movie was filmed in the style of a 1970s variety show.  Guests range from Michael Buble to Pamela Anderson. I've not seen it, so I'm hoping someone will be able to give me a good review.

Santa Buddies - those rascally golden retriever pups are at it again - Christmas style!

Santa's Apprentice - What DOES happen when a young orphan is picked to be Santa's successor? He becomes an apprentice of course!
Search for Santa Paws, The - If you liked Santa Buddies, you definitely want to watch this prequel!  If your children like Santa Buddies, and you need an hour and a half to enjoy a couple of glasses of wine, then they definitely need to watch this!

Small Town Santa - If you live in a small town, and arrest an intruder claiming to be Santa, be warned: you are about to get a full-size-sample of the Christmas Spirit!

So This is Christmas - Check it out - Vivica A Fox is in this movie about a group of underprivileged kids and their holiday pageant.  A note to parents: though this is categorized as family friendly, the reviews say otherwise, that there's heavy drug use and violence in it.

Spirit of Christmas, The - I've actually seen this one - I can't remember if it was on Lifetime or the Hallmark Channel.  This hardened woman goes to stay at an Inn to sell it, but ends up meeting (and maybe falling in love!?) with a handsome ghost from the past (an actual ghost, like "boo" not just a ghost from her past).

Thomas and Friends: Santa's Little Engine - Guess who's guiding Santa's sleigh!! Nope - it's not Rudolph - it's THOMAS!!!

Three Dogateers, The - Three dogs, with the help of Santa go after the thieves who broke into their owner's house at Christmas time.

Trailer Park Boys: Live at the North Pole - I think the title really says it all.

Trailer Park Boys: Xmas Special - I'm not a Trailer Park Boys fan, so I'm going to leave this to you to discover on your own.

Tree Man - a documentary about the people who cultivate the most cherished of holiday memories - Christmas Trees!

Uncle Nick - Reviews are pretty much split - people either love or hate this dark comedy - it's apparently very dirty and twisted, which means I'll probably like it. This is the story of one awful brother making his slightly less terrible sibling's holiday party a failure.

Very Minty Christmas, A - My little ponies (I think these are the original ponies - or O.P. as the kids should say) celebrate Christmas.

Very Murray Christmas, A - If you love Bill Murray, and appreciate what an oddball he is - I think you'd better put this on the agenda for running in the background at this year's cookie baking party (which is exactly what I did last year, and probably will do again in 2016).
White Christmas - Quite possibly the greatest movie ever made.  Fact: my sister and I can perform the "Sisters" routine in its entirety, and sing the song together on a regular basis. If you've never seen it - watch it! If you've already seen it, why aren't you watching it again???