It’s time for another Chanukkah post in which I discuss eight topics. (One for every night of the holiday in case you couldn’t figure that out.) The topics usually relate to each other in some way, but not always.
We had my family over for Chanukkah dinner on Saturday night. (I know, technically the holiday hadn’t started yet, but that’s when our schedules allowed us to meet.)
Despite Cujo being a little under the weather, everyone seemed to have a pretty good time. The Cutlet and her cousins played a rousing game of dreidel. I told them that the winner would win some of Grampy’s money (even though he didn’t agree to this stipulation ahead of time, he graciously went along with it), and in the end I think the game was declared to be a three-way tie.
Sadly, the game was not played with a Dr. Dreidel. I really don’t know why I don’t have one of these yet. If anyone is looking for a last-minute gift ideas…
As for gifts I did receive, Mrs. Cutter bought me a “Marvel Mystery Box” which basically consists of a bunch of random stuff they had lying around Marvel Comics headquarters. There was a “Trust Me, I’m a Superhero” T-shirt, a glass featuring everyone’s favorite obscure Marvel character Moon Knight, and a stack of random comics from the past thirty years.
It’s cool reading these random comics completely out of context. A couple of them were printed in the nineties, and it has made me remember just how awful that decade was for comic books. Everything was gritty and extreme, and all the artists tried to draw like Rob Liefeld and Todd McFarlane!
I’m now filled with regret at how much money I spent in comic book stores in the nineties. I could have spent that money on other worthwhile pursuits like…um…video games maybe?
Speaking of things from the nineties, I see Adam Sandler has updated his Chanukkah song yet again.
It’s tough for me to believe that the original version of the song is 21 years old now! Even with the updates, I’ve heard this song way too many times in my life. I think it’s about time we got some new songs about the holiday.
In the Saturday Night Live clip in which the song was first introduced, Sandler mentioned that there weren’t a lot of Chanukkah songs out there. So why hasn’t anyone else come up with one? Considering how Sandler dominates the airwaves during the holiday, you’d think that some other Jewish artist would love to get a piece of that action. (Adam Levine, I’m looking in your direction!)
This made me curious as to what other musicians were Jewish. Looking at this link, I was shocked to see that Michael Bolton was Jewish.
Is Bolton kind of cool now? It felt like Office Space delivered his reputation a killing blow, but between Jack Sparrow and appearing in funny commercials, it’s almost like it isn’t completely embarrassing to say that you like the guy.
You know what wasn’t funny? The movie Trainwreck. Our au pair recommended it to us, and since Mrs. Cutter is a fan of Amy Schumer, we decided to give it a watch.
The reviews of the movie weren’t very positive, and I understand why. Trainwreck was similar to This is 40 where halfway through, it stopped being funny and just became depressing. That’s one of my pet peeves: Comedies that stop being funny and start attempting to become serious and poignant.
The au pair also recommended seeing The Night Before, but we’re seriously questioning her judgement now.
The Night Before is about a group of friends who go out and party the night before Christmas, but I can’t recall ever actually doing anything exciting on Christmas Eve. I’ve spent the past eleven(!) Christmases with Mrs. Cutter, and we always spend the night hanging out with her family. Even in my pre-Mrs. Cutter days, I don’t think I ever did much. It seemed like all my friends were busy doing family stuff. I’d usually just stay in and watch Christmas Vacation with my parents.
Here’s one drawback to having children: It makes it much more difficult to watch Christmas Vacation. Even if the children allowed me with enough time to sit and watch a movie, I don’t think it’s necessarily appropriate for the Cutlet to watch. (And no, I don’t want to watch the edited for television version, because that version sucks.)
On the other hand, there are plenty of television specials we can watch together. The DVR is set for Mickey’s Christmas Carol, Rudolph, and The Year Without a Santa Claus. She’s already watched Charlie Brown Christmas, completing the Peanuts holiday special gauntlet that begins with “Great Pumpkin.”
Honestly, I’ve never been that big a fan of a Charlie Brown Christmas. I know that it’s kind of the whole point of the character, but I feel the kids are unnecessarily cruel to Charlie Brown in this one. To be fair, it’s not like he doesn’t bring some of it on himself. Come on, Chuck! You know that tree sucked. If you want to get that tree for your own personal use, that’s fine, but if you’re buying one for others, get something a little nicer!
To all my Jewish and non-Jewish readers alike: May you all have a very happy Chanukkah!