The Christmas Messenger

Here is a Christmas special which I haven’t seen since I was about 6 or 7. It’s “The Christmas Messenger” starring Richard Chamberlain, and narrated by David Essex. The special is a series of animated vignettes which recite Christmas carols as poetry, with some live action too featuring Richard Chamberlain as a mysterious stranger appearing in a Victorian village, listening to Christmas carols while speaking cryptically.

The animation is pure early-to-mid 70s; lots of mystical imagery – like a Yes album.

Merry Christmas!

Part One:

Part Two:

Part Three:

New Youth For Middle-Age

They say that 30 is the new 20, 40 the new 30 and so forth. In some ways perhaps this is must be a marketing ploy, extending the boundries of demographics to keep people buying toys. But, whether this is a by-product or a cause of this shift, I think the sentiments are true. Well, they feel true. I don’t feel as though I am the same as someone who was my age in 1979. For me, adults when I was a kid were solidly adults. They didn’t indulge in the things which a lot of people the same age indulge in now. Maybe that’s because there was less stuff to indulge in back then. But again – who knows.

I was watching Frosty the Snowman with Maya last night. She was less interested in it than I was. It was made in 1968, and is a firm part of my childhood. So I thought I’d pass it along. But, as it turns out, it’s still aimed at me. I know every frame of that little Christmas special.Heat Miser and Snow Miser It’s embroidered into the fabric of my Christmas expectations. The same goes for A Year Without a Santa Claus, possibly the first TV special I’d ever seen which anthropomorphized the two solitudes of nature – Heat Miser and Snow Miser. Now, I can use the word anthropomorphized in a sentence correctly. In 1978, I couldn’t. But, that damn TV special hits me in the very same way it did then – I love it.

Watching it with Maya is great; she sits with me and cuddles a bit. But there is a certain level of pleasure which comes out of having an excuse to watch it without feeling weird about still loving it. I just wonder if this is a sign of the times – when everything in our past gets thrown into the pop culture spin cycle to the point where “growing out of something” is a concept that our Western culture has grown out of. In this repect, it seems that 39 is the new 9. I think that this is promising in an age of war, political instability, environmental degradation, and general cultural uncertainty. Maybe our ability to be captured by wonder as we were when we were children will be one of the tools we’ll use to save ourselves.