Category Archives: Christmas
After a twelve year hiatus, Kings Island has brought back the popular Winterfest event. The holiday-themed celebration ran primarily through the 1980’s featuring live shows, ice skating and lots of seasonal treats. I had never personally attended any of the previous incarnations of Winterfest, so when the park announced its return I was interested in checking it out. As it so happens, we had an unseasonably warm holiday weekend, so it seemed like the perfect time to visit Kings Island.
Happy Holidays LeBlog readers! During my week in Florida this season visiting family I managed to fit in a visit to Walt Disney World’s newly reimagined shopping and dining district. This is the area that used to be called “Downtown Disney” (and a couple of other names prior to that), but was re-christened as “Disney Springs” with the updates. As you may see in the above video, this involved more than just a few new vendors and a fresh coat of paint. Join your own Daffy Stardust as I tour the entire thing, offer my thoughts on a few food opportunities, and witness the exciting new holiday drone show. Yeah, Disney is putting on a nighttime show that features over one hundred drones flashing different colored lights and flying in tight formations to create a new kind of entertainment!
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a look at the Lebeau family tree. But this year is going to be very different from previous tours of the tree. That’s because things have changed a lot for the Lebeau family over the last year. Last Christmas was a particularly stressful time for us. We had sold our house and we had just over a week to move out. Just about as soon as the kids had opened their presents, we were putting things in boxes and putting those boxes into storage. I will save that whole story for another day, but the happy ending is that we wound up in a new house which we love. That came with some unexpected changes which effected how we celebrate Christmas.
As classic as the original trilogy of Star Wars movies was, who are we kidding? The lasting love many of us have for George Lucas’ space opera series has at least as much to do with the associated toys we managed to get our hands on. After all, Star Wars and its immediate sequel The Empire Strike Back, were released at a time when home video had not yet become prevalent. Even when Return of the Jedi hit theaters in 1983, mainstream U.S. consumers were still a year or two away from thinking of watching movies at home as something that could be a common occurrence. Without the ability to constantly revisit the movies, we reinforced the existing stories we’d seen on the big screen and invented more stories of our own through the time-honored tradition of play.
George Lucas famously held onto licensing rights when his contract was written up for the making of the first movie, and we all helped to make him a very rich man. In a sense, we are guilty of creating the circumstances under which the reviled prequels happened. But nobody was actually prepared for how popular Star Wars would become. The movie opened as a ‘B’ feature and got kicked out of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood after just two weeks because of a pre-existing contract. Kenner secured the licensing for creating toys, but couldn’t produce them fast enough, leading to kids going to Sears and coming home with a piece of cardboard promising them a set of action figures once the darn things got made. My parents wouldn’t buy us a piece of cardboard, but as soon as the figures were actually in the store they happily let us choose one. I don’t think they quite understood at the time that wouldn’t be close to the end of it.
For several years these were some of my favorite and most coveted toys. I didn’t come close to collecting it all, but I sure feel like I got my share. Join me as I rank my favorites!
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Longtime readers of Le Blog know that one of my holiday traditions is an annual tour of the family Christmas tree. If all goes as expected, this should be our final Christmas in our current home. Last year, we started putting the tree in the basement which was out of the way. This year, with everything we have going on, we kept the tree downstairs. Hopefully next year, you will see the tree with a new background. And maybe even a new tree. We’re not sure this one will be making the move with us. So here we go for what will hopefully be the last time in this location, here’s a look at what’s new on the Lebeau Family Christmas Tree.
As we wrap up our look back at movie robots, it’s time to review the results of our Pop Culture Quiz.
Participation was down this time around. Not sure if it was due to lack of interest or something else. Scores were down a bit too. The average was just over 40%. The high score was 70%. There were two respondents who tied for first place with the rank of Terminator. No Brainiacs unfortunately. We did have a Sleeper which means someone scored less than 20%. Just to put that in perspective, the law of averages means you should score 25% if you guess.
Now that we know how everyone performed, let’s review the questions.
As we wrap up our look back at 1995, it’s time to review the results of our Pop Culture Quiz.
I felt like the 1985 quiz was a little trickier than usual so I wanted to go easy on you guys this time. But not too easy! Sure enough, there was a slight uptick in average scores. We’ve been hovering around 40%. This quiz, the average was up to 48%. Not bad at all.
As we wrap up our look back at the movies of 1985, it’s time to put your memory to the test with a 1985 pop culture quiz. This one is hard! I have adjusted the scoring system to reflect that we’re dealing with some obscure movies from 30 years ago. Heck, there’s even a question about a commercial for mashed potatoes. Good luck with that one!
The quiz starts after the jump.
Trip planning for this year’s winter break had been on hold. Things were uncertain in the RB household, at least for 2/3 of it. My daughter had been asking daily about a possible water park excursion or preferably a Chicago trip, but my son stated he was not going to feel like celebrating anything if he didn’t get into his school of choice. RB wasn’t sure of vacation days to take and, more than anything, even a full year later, the memory of last year’s winter Chicago trip was still in the back of everyone’s mind.
Not that a good time wasn’t had by all in 2013. We had arrived in Chicago a year ago on the train, unhindered by steady snow squalls. For whatever reason, RB, who used to work in an industry where the weather was the first and greatest factor in how your day was going to go, and thus who of all people should know better, instead had blissfully regressed into a state of mind where the falling snow was nothing more than a beautiful sight. As the train pulled into Chicago’s Union Station, the rate of snowfall had accelerated rapidly and all the passengers who lined up in the taxi queue looked like snowmen.
This holiday season the family and I decided to spend a few days in the historic district of Williamsburg, Virginia. Despite living in nearby Virginia Beach since I was seven years old, I had not visited this impressive recreation of 18th century life in thirty-four years. I guess it’s better than the people who live in New York City their entire lives without ever seeing the Statue of Liberty, but it is a shame I didn’t take better advantage of the opportunity while I was living so close to such a treasure. Our family trip this year has done a little to darken the fading traces of the picture of the place I had gathered as a ten year old.
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Today, believe it or not, is Christmas Eve. December just flew by, didn’t it? Doesn’t it always? I had hoped to have this episode posted back when we were still running the Christmas Movie Bracket Game. But you know how things get leading up to the holidays. If you don’t, well, they get crazy. So after several delays, it is my pleasure to present Daffy and my Christmas episode in which we discus our favorite Christmas music, movies and TV specials.
I don’t know that I can do this episode justice. It gets weird fast. Hope you like it.
2014 has just flown by! And December always seems to be the fastest month of the year. It seems like only yesterday we were starting the Christmas Movie Bracket Game. And now here we are at the end of the game and I am happy to announce the winner. In a stunning upset, the winner of the Christmas Movie Bracket Game is…
Somehow it seems it is already December! Where did 2014 go? But the tree is up and we’re counting down to Christmas again. Last month, we had a lot of fun with a Saturday Night Live bracket game which tied into the Chevy Chase episode of our podcast. So for December, we’re bringing the brackets back with a holiday spin which will also tie into a very special Christmas episode of Lebeau’s Le Show.