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Christmas Carol Countdown- Day 13

Day 13: Santa’s Beard by The Beach Boys

The Beach Boys’ Christmas, released in 1964, is a great Christmas album.  A few of these songs get regular air play- Little Saint Nick, Frosty the Snowman, and The Man with All the Toys in particular.  There are a few other goodies on the album that you don’t hear too much. One song is Santa’s Beard. It’s a cute little original song, which depicts someone taking his little brother to meet Santa. He hopes he doesn’t pull on Santa’s beard because the child wants to believe it’s the “real” Santa. Of course the child does just that, discovers it isn’t really Santa, and is told that it’s just one of Santa’s helpers. I hope that you enjoy this upbeat tune and I also hope that your child doesn’t pull on Santa’s beard this year!

“Santa’s Beard”

I wanna meet Santa Claus, the real real Santa
I wanna meet Santa Claus, the real real Santa
I wanna see Santa Claus, the real real Santa
He wants to meet ol’ Santa Claus

I took my brother to the department store
He wanted to show Santa his Christmas list
He stood in line and he shook like a leaf
He’s only five and a half goin’ on six

He said, “Is that (that Santa) really Santa Claus, really really (the real Santa) Santa Claus?
Is that (that Santa) really Santa Claus, really really Santa? (I hope he doesn’t pull Santa’s beard)
Is that (that Santa) really Santa Claus, really really (the real Santa) Santa?”
Hope he thinks that’s Santa Claus

I picked him up and put him on Santa’s lap
And then he pulled the pillow out of his shirt
He yanked the beard right on off of his chin
And in his eyes I could see he was hurt

He said, “You’re not (not Santa) really Santa Claus, you’re really not (the real Santa) Santa Claus
You’re not (not Santa) really Santa Claus, you’re really not Santa (he shouldn’ta pulled Santa’s beard)
You’re not (not Santa) Santa Claus, you’re really not (the real Santa) Santa”
He’s just helpin’ Santa Claus

He’s just helpin’ (helpin’ Santa) Santa Claus, the real (the real Santa) real Santa
He’s helpin’ (helpin’ Santa) Santa Claus, the real (the real Santa) real Santa
He’s just helpin’ (helpin’ Santa) Santa Claus, the real (the real Santa) real Santa
He’s just helpin’ Santa Claus

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Christmas Carol Countdown- Day 11

Day 11: Snow Miser and Heat Miser from The Year Without a Santa Claus

The 1974 Rankin-Bass stop motion classic The Year Without a Santa Claus contains many nice tunes, but none are quite as catchy as the Snow Miser and Heat Miser songs.

Written by Maury Laws and Jules Bass, the songs feature Dick Shawn as the Snow Miser, George S. Irving as his brother Heat Miser, and their respective minions singing the praises of cold and hot weather. Every once-in-a-while I’ll hear the Big Bad Voodoo Daddies’ version on the alternative station, but that’s about it. This song definitely deserves more airplay!

Snow Miser’s Version

Snow Miser: I’m Mister White Christmas, I’m Mister Snow.

I’m Mister Icicle; I’m Mister Ten below.

Friends call me Snow Miser, whatever I touch,

Turns to snow in my clutch.

I’m too much.

Minions: He’s Mister White Christmas, he’s Mister Snow.

Snow Miser: That’s right!

Minions: He’s Mister Icicle; he’s Mister Ten below.

Snow Miser: Friends call me Snow Miser, whatever I touch,

Turns to snow in my clutch.

I’m too much.

I never want to know a day that’s over 40 degrees,

I’d rather have it 30, 20, 10, 5 and let it freeze!

Minions: He’s Mister White Christmas, he’s Mister Snow.

Snow Miser: That’s right!

Minions: He’s Mister Icicle; he’s Mister Ten below.

Snow Miser: Friends call me Snow Miser, whatever I touch,

Turns to snow in my clutch.

Too much.

All: Too much!

Heat Miser’s Version

Heat Miser: I’m Mister Green Christmas, I’m Mister Sun.

I’m Mister Heat Blister, I’m Mister 101.

They call me Heat Miser, whatever I touch

Starts to melt in my clutch.

I’m too much.

Minions: He’s Mister Green Christmas, he’s Mister Sun.

He’s Mister Heat Blister, he’s Mister 101.

Heat Miser: They call me Heat Miser, whatever I touch

Starts to melt in my clutch.

Minions: He’s too much.

Heat Miser: Thank you.

I never want to know a day that’s under 60 degrees,

I’d rather have it 80, 90, 100 degrees!

(Speech)

Oh, some like it hot, but I like it really hot!

Minions: He’s Mister Green Christmas, he’s Mister Sun.

Heat Miser: Sing it!

Minions: He’s Mister Heat Blister, he’s Mister Hundred and One.

Heat Miser: They call me Heat Miser, whatever I touch

Starts to melt in my clutch.

I’m too much.

All: Too much!

Christmas Carol Countdown-Day 7

Day 7: Here We Come a-Wassailing/Here We Come a-Waffling

This is a traditional carol from England that originated in the 1850s. In some versions, “wassailing” is replaced by “caroling,” which is actually only one part of wassailing.  Wassailing was the tradition of going door-to-door singing carols in exchange for a bite to eat and a cup of ale from the wassail bowl, which typically contained an apple flavored alcoholic beverage. I first remember hearing this song as a child when my older brother participated in the Philadelphia Revels Christmas shows. Here’s an old Philadelphia Daily News article from 1989 explaining a little bit of what the show entailed.

Last year, through the magic of YouTube and Google Chrome, my husband and I spent a day watching some of our favorite childhood Christmas specials. He introduced me to A Claymation Christmas Celebration, which I had never seen before. It included a funny segment in which a group of caroling dogs mistakenly thinks that the song is Here we Come a-Waffling. Comedy ensues as one of the hosts attempts to correct them, but has no idea what wassailing actually means until another group of carolers comes on the scene to set everyone straight.

Here We Come a-Wassailing

Here we come a-wassailing
Among the leaves so green;
Here we come a-wand’ring
So fair to be seen.
Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail too;
And God bless you and send you a Happy New Year
And God send you a Happy New Year.

Christmas Carol Countdown-Day 2

Day 2: (Everybody’s Waitin’ for) The Man with the Bag by Kay Starr
A swinging number written in 1950 by Irving Taylor, Dudley Brooks, and Hal Stanley and first popularized by Kay Starr. The Man with the Bag = Santa Claus. I’ve seen some conjecture on the internet that it is secretly a reference to a drug dealer—the Christmas version of Guns N’ Roses’ Mr. Brownstone, if you will.  Some people have wild imaginations. I’ll take the song at its face value, thank you very much.

The song gained some renewed popularity back in the 90s when it was featured on an episode of Ally McBeal, and has enjoyed a number of cover versions, but I’ve yet to hear any of them on the local radio stations. Enjoy this upbeat number, and may the man with the bag bring you everything you wish for this Christmas!


(Everybody’s Waitin’ for) The Man with the Bag by Kay Starr
Old Mr. Kringle is soon gonna jingle
The bells that’ll tingle all your troubles away
Everybody’s waiting for the man with the bag
‘Cause Christmas is coming again
He’s got a sleigh full, it’s not gonna stay full
He’s got stuff to drop at every stop of the way
Everybody’s waiting for the man with the bag
‘Cause Christmas is coming again

He’ll be here
With the answer to the prayers that
You made through the year
You’ll get yours
If you’ve done everything you should extra special good
He’ll make this December the one you’ll remember
The best and the merriest you ever did have
Everybody’s waitin’ for the man with the bag
Christmas is here again!

FastPass+

For those of you who aren’t up to speed with Walt Disney World’s recent changes, they have made a major alteration to their FastPass system. In the old system, any park guest was able to go to a machine outside of a ride and, depending on availability, use his/her park ticket to retrieve a FastPass which would give the person a window of time during which he/she could come back later and ride with little to no wait. Another FastPass could be obtained at the start of the current Fastpass ticket’s return time or after two hours, whichever was earlier. The new system that is being rolled out allows ONLY Walt Disney World Resort on-site guests to book three FastPasses per day up to 60 days in advance. You can only use your FastPasses in ONE park per day, and the experiences are tiered ( if you are visiting Epcot, you can’t get a FastPass for BOTH Test Track and Soarin’, for example). Non-resort guests will be able to make same-day FastPass+ bookings using kiosks located at the parks. The old FastPass machines have been phased out of Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom already, and by the end of the month, they will be gone from all four parks.

The nature of our stay provided us a unique perspective from which to view FastPass+. Bear with me as I attempt to explain the details, because this might get a tad confusing (as if it wasn’t confusing enough already)!

About a year ago, we knew we would be headed down for Marathon weekend, so we purchased our tickets in advance through The Official Ticket Center. They have a deal to get a 5th day free when you buy a 4-day park hopper. When it came time to book a hotel, we chose the Dolphin. We wanted to be in the Epcot area for the weekend, and with the teacher discount, the price could not be beat. At the time of booking, we only planned to stay Thursday to Sunday because we had no idea what our schedules would be like. As the Swan and Dolphin are not Disney-run hotels, they were not participating in the Magic Band testing phase. Guests of Swan and Dolphin were, however, allowed to make same-day FastPass+ reservations using kiosks at the parks. As we got closer to the trip, we decided to extend our stay, and chose to take advantage of a cheap rate at All Star Music. Because a part of our stay was now at a Disney resort, we received Magic Bands after all. In order to make our FastPass+ reservations for the second part of our stay, we had to link our park tickets to the band.

Yes I fell for the MagicBandit money grab, but only to support The Muppets.

Yes I fell for the MagicBandit money grab, but only to support The Muppets.

Before we delve deeper into the details, I’d like to point out that since our physical tickets from Official Ticket Center were the old style with no RFID chip, we decided to use our bands for park entry, now that the tickets were linked. We were NOT eligible for advanced reservations for FastPass+ but could make same day reservations at the kiosks by showing a Swan/Dolphin room key. While we weren’t looking particularly hard, we didn’t notice a kiosk until our 3rd day, and chose to use the old “legacy” FastPass system with our hard park tickets. Since we left our bands on after using them for entry, it may have appeared to some that we were double dipping (meaning using both the old and new FastPass systems). My husband was even given a hard time by a cast member at Tower of Terror over this. Soon, all parks will be FastPass+ only and this won’t matter, but I just wanted to note that there are exceptions. Just because someone who has a band on is also getting a physical ticket does not necessarily mean they are working the system.

Our first real experience with same day FastPass+ was when we went to Animal Kingdom. We found the kiosk near the entrance, and waited in line. There were about four people in front of us. There were two physical kiosks and a cast member who had an iPad. She was the one who ended up helping us. She was able to link everyone in our party together, and make us reservations for Expedition Everest, Kilimanjaro Safari, and Primeval Whirl. This took a little bit longer than it really should have. We wanted to be out of Animal Kingdom by 1pm. The major flaw in the system is that you cannot input what times you want. You have to first select the “experiences” you want. After that, it requires some finagling to bump up the times, and sometimes, earlier slots just aren’t available. Luckily for us, the Cast Member was very helpful and after a few minutes of tapping buttons, she was finally able to get us exactly what we wanted.

We had a less successful experience at Disney Hollywood Studios. We had booked FastPass+ for Star Tours, Tower of Terror, and Toy Story Mania. When we got to Star Tours shortly after the park opened, it was a walk on. Just like with the old FastPass system, we thought, “Why would we waste a FastPass on a walk on?” So we rode the ride twice using the regular line. We tried using the My Disney Experience app to switch Star Tours to something else, even a later Star Tours ride, but we weren’t having much luck. We found the FP+ Kiosk and waited in the line. This wait took a little longer than the one at Animal Kingdom and the cast member was not able to help us this time, so we just decided to forego using the last Fast Pass since we had plans to head to Epcot soon.

We happened to be in the Magic Kingdom on January 14, the day FastPass+ went live. On this day, you would have to be blind to miss a FastPass+ Cast member or kiosk locale, as they were swarming everywhere, along with plenty of Disney “suits.” We were approached multiple times and asked whether or not we had been able to make our selections for the day. There were no obvious issues from what we could tell, but the park was practically empty. Case in point: we had a private ride on Dumbo the Flying Elephant about 20 minutes after park opening.

Nobody else in sight

Nobody else in sight

Our Own Private Dumbo Ride

Our Own Private Dumbo Ride

We chose Big Thunder, Peter Pan, and Space Mountain as our FastPasses (Splash Mountain was closed for refurbishment). I’m very glad that we did choose those rides, because again, everything else was a walk on. This leads me to another point- Don’t trust Disney’s posted wait times. They were wrong more often than not. One time we got in line for Pirates of The Caribbean with a posted 45 minute wait-it only took 10 minutes to get loaded onto the boat. Under The Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid was consistently listed as 20-25 wait, but was a walk on both times we rode it. Because of the low crowds, we got to ride everything we wanted to and most things multiple times, but I’ll be interested to see how this all pans out during more crowded days.

The biggest PRO of the FastPass+ system is clearly not having to run around the park like a mad man collecting FastPasses. Once everything is set, the new system works out rather nicely on low to medium crowd days. Those are the nicest things I can say about it.

The CONS outweigh the PROS for us at this point. The MyMagic+ app is very buggy and can be frustrating to deal with when you have an issue or need to make a change. The limit of 3 FastPasses will be tough on busy days for those who have learned how to maximize the old system, and that doesn’t even touch on the fact that you are limited to one park in which you can book FPs AND that the experiences are tiered. Lines at Guest Relations are longer than usual, and each guest is taking a long time to get his/her problem resolved. My husband asked a CM at one of the kiosks if they are having a lot of issues with FP+ and guests being confused and he said “yeah… kind of…” His partner CM was quick to whisper “Job security!” to him and then she went into a spiel about how great everything is. Many people will be duped into wasting FastPasses on rides that are walk ons to begin with. At Spaceship Earth, we overheard a cast member calling out “Don’t use your FastPass! It’s a walk on.” I could go on and on but this post is long enough already.

Have an opinion about FastPass+? Leave a reply!