Merry Christmas/Hanukah/holidays everybody!  This is Jeff here doing a quick blog about what’s a tradition I usually do during the Christmas holidays!

So like everyone we have traditions we do when this time of year comes around. For me it’s busting open the old VHS and popping in two video’s, Disney’s Sing-Along Songs and Batman Returns!

*The best Batman of the franchise in the 90’s*

*The real Disney and not that preteen nonsense!*

For the first one I truly loved watching the sing-along one given it has the typical songs related to Christmas time. I have a couple of favorites and can’t decide which one is top since I find them all good but I’ll say “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” and “Sleigh Ride”, they are so upbeat.  Upon watching them recently it gave me lots of nostalgia and reminding me what I liked about Christmas from when I was a kid. The songs brought me much happiness as a kid and even now; it’s something you can sing to even if you aren’t the best singer. It’s supposed to make you feel warm and hopefully that even though life may kick your butt at times and it might not seem like there are people who care, it’s this that reminds you that there is something to humanity. Of course that could be my own feelings coming out as I type this (LOL).

Another is my all-time tradition that I will pass on to my own kids (when that happens), which is Batman Returns. That movie came out in 1992 when I was around 7 or 8 years old. I was a big fan of the Batman movies and even though Batman Forever was cool and Batman and Robin (which is the worst one but I enjoyed it) Returns holds a very special place in my heart. Batman Returns it introduces Selina Kyle (Catwoman)  and Oswald Cobblepot (Penguin) in somewhat different origins compared to their comic book counterparts. As a kid I didn’t pay attention to the comics but I got the gist with these characters and didn’t get all uptight how they were being portrayed.  The movie stars Michael Keaton, Michelle Pfeiffer and Dani DeVito as the trio who make the movie with Christopher Walken as Max Shreck and Michael Gough returning as Alfred Pennyworth, the best one IMO.

This movie as directed and produced by Tim Burton who did the first Batman film in 1989, a fact I didn’t know about till I was much older. I found this movie to be good and even though comic fans might get butt-hurt by how simplistic it is with making Penguin not be this mob boss that rules the underground of Gotham but a person who was abandoned by his parents due to having flippers or Selina’s decent into madness by being dropped out of a window and brought back to life from random stray cats, it’s a hidden gem. The movie plot takes place around Christmas so it’s the perfect thing to watch if you don’t want Hallmark Channel feels (nothing wrong with that just so you know).

Another tradition I had going on was watching Cartoon Network’s Christmas specials for two days but given that time has long passed and this generation muscled itself in with crappy cartons (along with Nickelodeon and Disney) it left me bitter with how far my generation has come. I think we had a good thing going with Christmas content and these channels just perverse itself with absurdity. I guess I’m saying it got too commercial to an extent.

Opening presents isn’t as exciting being an adult I’m finding out. Sure I got some stuff from mom and appreciative but I don’t open it with the excitement I once had. I can vividly remember waking up and going downstairs after watching Batman Returns, since I woke up far too early and had to wait till 7 or 8, with my mom down there and her seeing me very happy.  From action figures to game systems/games, it was awesome sauce, especially since I was an only child. Sure I gripe not having any siblings growing up with me but it has it has its advantages at times.

In 92 I ended up getting a Batman Returns Batcave, which I still have to this day and I loved it! Playing with my batman action figures with some X-men stuff was the bee’s knees! Another Christmas I got the X-men cartoon Blackbird jet; man I played so many random adventures with it. Middle School years I still had that hope of Christmas and even though I hated that time of my life the holidays brought me some solace to say the least.

It’s rather hard trying to decipher my own feelings of becoming somewhat jaded with life but still retain my nostalgia for the holidays. Sure I’ve changed with not doing everything you can do from back as a kid but I can look back with such fondness and smile that I truly do love the holidays with all my heart even if I don’t say it.

No matter what happens the holidays is a time of family/friends and peace on earth. Yeah the latter sounds like a dream but it’s that feeling of hope which makes it all worth it. Again that’s my inner nostalgia talking.

I wish everyone a happy holiday!

This is J signing off!