Tag Archives: Clark Griswold

‘Tis The Season

If there’s one thing I love about this time of year it’s the sweaters. Yup, sweaters. My personal favourite is argyle, so much so that it was even incorporated into name of the coffee shop trio I was a part of a couple years ago: Argyle Speedo

Now that I think about it, I think it might be a bit of an obsession. I mean, I’ve got several pairs of argyle socks and at least five or six argyle sweaters. Hell, at work all the aisles of cubicles are named and I recently moved into aisle ‘A’ a.k.a. “Argh! Aisle”.

I almost bought another argyle sweater today at Old Navy (30% off!) but heard my wife’s voice echoing in my head from yesterday. Something about possibly wearing sweaters that aren’t argyle pattern. I can’t be certain because all I heard was “argyle” and I drifted off into a colourful diamond dreamland.

Even better than argyle though, is the quintessential holiday garment: the ugly sweater. These have become such a hit that people are throwing ugly sweater parties where each attendee has to wear the ugliest sweater they can find. In the little village where we live (Hespeler, within the city of Cambridge, Ontario) there was an ugly sweater float. Even the NHL has a line of ugly sweaters you can purchase directly from their web site (I have an Ottawa Senators one that’s positively horrible looking).


I did a bit of research on the topic (one Google search) and naturally ended up at http://www.uglychristmassweater.com/ where they claim that none other than Bill Cosby is considered to be the “father” of the ugly sweater. While hard to argue with such a spectacular array of terrifically gauche knit attire, I’d like to think that good ole Sparky Griswold, a character made famous by Chevy Chase in the holiday classic movie “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”, played a larger role from a pop culture perspective.

Whatever your fashion style choices are for the season, try to have fun with it. Me? I’ll be stocking up on argyle and ugly sweaters and getting out my stretchy pants for the big Christmas dinner at my sister’s place and the in-laws on the 27th. I’ll be wearing this:

Tweet me a picture of your best ugly sweater: “Hey @andrewbutters here is my best #uglysweater”

~ Andrew

Danny F*$&@! Kaye

Well, it’s almost the end of the year, and there will be many people taking some time off work over the next couple weeks. I’m no exception. I am on vacation this week and it couldn’t have come at a better time. I just wrapped up a major project at work and I still have a few things to do before Christmas; not the least of which is watch some excellent holiday movies.

My all-time favourite by a landslide is National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation starting Chevy Chase. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen it, but it’s more than a few, and I can’t get enough of it. With my kids getting a bit older now (11 and 7) I felt it was time they were introduced to this holiday classic. I had them close their eyes for the diving board scene and I “out of the blue” coughed loudly when Clark Griswold dropped the F-bomb. Other than that, it was perfectly only slightly inappropriate. It got laughs out of them and they weren’t playing Minecraft so I’m happy.

A couple weeks ago we took the kids to see what you’d think would be a more suitable movie, Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn. This is a 1942 classic starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. It’s a good movie with some great old-time music. It was perfectly enjoyable but did get a bit awkward afterwards trying to explain to the kids why there was that one scene where a man and woman sang a number in blackface with an orchestra of actual black folks. I guess those wholesome good ole fashioned values didn’t always hit the mark.

Another Irving Berlin classic, White Christmas, will be watched as a family this year with Fred Astaire being replaced by Danny Kaye. My wife and I have seen the stage production and it’s quite enjoyable. I know my daughter will like the music and my son the dancing so it should be a good time. No f-bombs and no blackface that I know of.

Other flicks that might make an appearance at some point over the next few days include: Miracle on 34th Street (1947), Home Alone, A Christmas Carol (1951), Scrooged, Elf, Sound of Music, It’s A Wonderful Life, Frosty the Snowman, How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966), and of course Charlie Brown Christmas.

No matter how you choose to spend these last days of 2013 I hope you get to spend it with people you love and care about, and for those who celebrate on the 25th I hope you have the hap hap happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap danced with Danny fucking Kaye.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mk74WprmZxY?rel=0]

~ Andrew