ROUND TABLE: This Christmas film list is merry but not quite right

For your Christmas reading enjoyment, perhaps by that leg lamp in the window: a website called Ranker reports that viewers rated “A Christmas Story” the greatest Christmas movie of all time.

I don’t disagree with the choice, but I both quibble with and vehemently protest entries on the overall top 10 list. (Also, I feel compelled to note that the Ranker founders apparently did not sniff out the double meaning of their own homonym. You gotta have a good sense of spell.)

Going down the movie list: Buddy the elf, Rudolph, Snoopy — check, check, check.

Key players indeed, on any Yule film team.

Here’s the full list:

  1. A Christmas Story (1983)

  2. It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)

  3. Home Alone (1990)

  4. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

  5. A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

  6. How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966)

  7. Elf (2003)

  8. Scrooged (1988)

  9. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)

  10. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Sneaking in like an uninvited Christmas party guest is “National Lampoon Christmas.”

I know; it’s a totem of popular culture. I guess every Christmas tree has that one garish ornament.

Well, the bright side of the “A Christmas Carol” snub is that “Jingle All The Way,” and “Christmas with the Cranks” failed to make the list, nor did the 2007 “Grinch” or “Bad Santa.”

When I did a casual poll of fellow staffers during out company party on Tuesday, “A Christmas Story” led the way with five or so picks.

“The Polar Express”, “A Nightmare Before Christmas,” and “Fred Claus” were three others.

More “what’s your favorite movie” answers:

“Definitely ‘Christmas Vacation,’” Megan Slenning said.

“Does ‘Die Hard’ count?” asked Ben Mitchell.

“You mean, other than ‘Bad Santa’?” said Adam Lapierre.

Everyone has their own opinion but there is one thing I can’t figure out: Ranker’s curious omission of any version of “A Christmas Carol,” I say, “Hmmmm-bug.”

Andy Taylor did mention “A Muppet Christmas Carol, citing its chief strength: “Michael Caine as Scrooge.”

Any Scrooge at all, I say — even Mr. Magoo in the 1960s animated version.

Give me Reginald Owen in the classic 1951 version.

Tom Lanctot gave his vote to “White Christmas” but another lump of coal in the Ranker list was no “White Christmas” or “Holiday Inn.”

Sure, and while you’re at it, stock the Whitman’s Sampler without the caramel chew.

You might as well have a list of all-time great Chevys and leave off the ‘57.

Or open a coffee shop called We Don’t Do Lattes.

It’s like making a list of all-time baseball movies and leaving off “Bang the Drum Slowly.”

While you’re at it take Lou or Babe out of the Hall of Fame.

Come on. A “best Christmas movies” list without Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye? It’s a crime, and ranker than many.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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