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All I Want for Christmas

As every year, by mid-December I am hardcore entrenched in the holiday spirit.  I’m a curmudgeonly grump 11 months of the year, but when December 1st hits I throw on my favorite Christmas albums (John Denver & the Muppets, Vince Guaraldi Trio, Phil Spector, and all of those woven with very frequent repetition of the pop perfection that is Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You”), throw some lights around the place (my aims tend to outpace my follow through so nothing too many at Chez Lauren), and watch all the best holiday classics, especially the woefully underseen The Christmas Toy, which is basically Toy Story before Toy Story and even better (yeah, I said it). It takes a hardcore assault of holiday cheer to turn that frown upside down, but I am up for the task.

So though we have a full week left of work before it really becomes Christmas, I’m pretty much thinking of nothing else.  Thus, here’s what you should feel free to give me for Christmas, if you are so inclined:

  • A universal Schedule A. For the uninitiated, by which I mean lucky, Schedule A is shorthand for the list of countries at the back of a US or UK contract that spells out which countries the UK publisher gets exclusively.  So US contracts have either exclusive or non-exclusive rights in everything except the Schedule A in their contract, and UK publishers have exclusive rights only in the Schedule A in their contract, which means that if there are separate US and UK publishers, they have to have matching Schedule As (Schedules A?).  Which would be a lovely system if I didn’t have to spend so much of every year fighting the same fight about which places should be in that Schedule A.  It’s not that hard, and yet…(No, really, guys, I ask for this every year for Christmas and for my birthday, and no one ever gets it for me, but it is my super duper #1 wish and please, please, please.)
  • A month off to read my towering piles of pleasure reading and work reading and magazine reading and everything else reading.
  • An engrossing, compelling, clever, and mind-blowing popular science proposal.  I’ve found some close-but-no-cigars in 2013, but I think 2014 is going to be the year.
  • Fiction to represent that is so captivating that it can keep me awake on my pre-coffee morning commute or on my couch later that night after a long day at work.  If unputdownable were a word and not a horror show inflicted upon society by sadists, I would want something unputdownable.
  • Santa’s elves to come vet any contracts, send any mail, read any queries, and answer any emails that might come in while we’re closed for the holidays, so that the blank slate I will work so hard to achieve next week won’t be completely eradicated by January 2nd.
  • Peace on earth, good will towards men, the criminalization of animated GIF making, you know, the biggies we all agree on.

 

Thanks in advance, you guys!  And happiest of all happy holidays to anyone with anything to celebrate this month.  If you don’t have a holiday to celebrate, I recommend inventing something.  You, too, deserve baked goods, presents, and Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Ice Cream and Violins Day is You.”

5 Responses to All I Want for Christmas

  1. Kevin A. Lewis says:

    Ditto on all the above, (although you’re kind of by yourself on the esoterica of contracts) and here’s hoping you’re not one of the meanies piling on to poor Carrie Underwood for not having the stage presence of Julie Andrews… (Hey, Kings of Leon ain’t exactly Led Zeppelin, y’know) I try to avoid waxing serious about the holiday season, but in my research for some of the odd stuff I’m sending round the circuit thius year, I’ve discovered Christmas is an almost primordial event in the consciousness of Northern Europeans; Comrade Stalin (let me repeat that-STALIN!!!) held Christmas parties for the kids of the Party faithful where the head of the NKVD dressed up as Father Christmas, and while he was busy eliminating his fellow Russians faster than the birthrate replaced them,he released a Party directive OKing Christmas trees for the proleteriat. I’m not even going to go into Christmas in Berlin… Having said that, I have to mention that I find It’s A Wonderful Life depressing as hell, and recommend Christmas In Connecticut with Barbara Stanwyk instead, and the only thing that sinks A Christmas Story at my house is the 1983 Rodeo Drive rat’s nest hair style that Ralphie’s mom sports, which totally breaks the otherwise-perfect 1947 atmosphere. Her fellow moms would’ve given her a forcible makeover, I’m sure. God bless us all and Tiny Tim, too!

  2. Lynn says:

    When I first read this post, I was ready to comment – “Oh Lauren, don’t get Kevin started on Christmas songs!” LOL! Well, I see I’m the one who’s going to rant a bit. I love Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas Is You. And, of course, Vince Guaraldi Trio (what’s Christmas without A Charlie Brown Christmas?) but I’m sorry , A Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector just doesn’t cut it. Don’t get me wrong, I love The Ronettes, Darlene Love, etc., I just don’t want a Christmas gift from Phil Spector! When I think of him, I think of Lana Clarkson. I can’t help it, so I’ve found other singers who can sing I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) and other tunes just as well.

    I agree, there are more upbeat Christmas films than It’s A Wonderful Life. Christmas in Connecticut is one, White Christmas, Holiday Inn, and Miracle on 34th Street are also good. I hate to admit I’ve never seen A Christmas Story or The Christmas Toy. Yes, there are people like me!

    Sorry I can’t help you with Schedule As and contracts, but I can wish you and everyone a Merry Christmas (yes, I said it) and a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful New Year!

  3. Kevin A. Lewis says:

    As a holiday, there’s way more ghosts than Halloween, that’s for sure. The George C. Scott Christmas Carol from ’84 is one of the great ones, and for those who like family films with the kids, you may want to watch out for Holiday Inn… It’s a favorite and hands-down one of the best musically, but it’s got a really painful Lincoln’s Birthday blackface number early on that almost sinks the vibe. Story goes that Bob Crosby, who was doing the orchestra work for brother Bing, was fanatically jealous of Glenn Miller who was working on his own Christmas film down the street, which featured the fantastic Nicholas Brothers, a break-dancing pair of black dancers better than anything on their set, so he arranged to have the forever-embarrassing blackface number put in by way of an flip off. Holiday trivia, y’know?

    • Lynn says:

      Kevin, where do you come up with these gems?

      • Kevin A. Lewis says:

        Hmmm…My wife pointed out that for someone who spends a lot of his day changing the channel to avoid the Batkid (or whoever else the heartrending poster munchkin happens to be at the moment) and making rude noises at the Hallmark Channel for their 24/7 Single Parent Christmas Marathon, I seem to have an awful lot of Yuletide Treasure stashed away. It’s a little weird, I admit, but hey, it’s nowhere near as Xmas all-in as Monroe on Grimm, and he’s a werewolf, for cryin’ out loud! Also, as a writer, you pick up on details-and when you find yourself throwing aside better stuff than a lot of people are packing up to take to market, you know you’re eventually going to have to add some more catacomb space…

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