Why hello there, everyone! Guess who?!
No, not Big Bird. Seriously, where would you even get that idea?
Nope, this is in fact your old frenemy ShadeOfLight speaking, and I’ll be your new recapper for Thursdays! It has already been announced that TheManChild will be absent for a while due to personal reasons, and we wish him all the best in difficult times. In the mean time, I’ll be filling in for him. As for me, there’s not too much you need to know about me to be honest. It should be obvious that I’m a gamer, and a huge Nintendo fanboy at that, and on top of that I love to write. I’ve been a regular here on Destructoid for about two years now, pouring my heart into a blog every now and again, and this feels like an awesome step in my internet career. As for the rest, well, we’ll see how much of me I can expose in my weekly “Shadeisms” sections, won’t we now?
I do want to mention that I already feel right at home among the other recappers. I’ve already been hugged by the guys, I’ve been called a bitch by Smurfee, Phil has professed his love for me at least twice and everyone else also made me feel most welcome. And that’s while I haven’t even done anything yet! By the way, I want the records to show that bbain is the best hugger out of all of them. Sorry guys, but he’s just so gentle!
So without further ado, how was Christmas for all of you? For me, it was alright I guess. I’ve actually been studying for most of it. I live in one of the few countries in the world where they don’t really observe Christmas, so I barely noticed it this year. We remember Jesus and everything, and we have dinner with the folks, but Christmas just isn’t really a thing over here, if that makes any sense. We don’t give out presents on Christmas either. Instead, we have our own holiday on December 5th called “Sinterklaas” (this is actually where you got the name Santa Claus from). There are a few key differences, though. Sinterklaas is a much more stately fellow than Santa, he comes by steam ship rather than by sleigh, and instead of elves his helpers are black people.
Now, I know that sounds incredibly racist, but…but…
Actually, I got nothin’; it’s probably racist. It’s not something we really think about over here, it’s just part of the tradition really. Besides, we tell our children that those helpers are black from soot, since they have to climb down chimneys all the time. I honestly have no idea if that makes it better or worse. Click at your own risk.
Whereas I’ve never really done much for Christmas, I have created my own sort of Christmas ritual nonetheless. Every year, I make a point to watch three very specific Christmas movies:
The first is The Muppet Christmas Carol, which is the best version of the classic story and shut up it is! Despite being a Muppet movie and having the necessary humor in place, this is a surprisingly touching movie. Tiny Tim’s death gets me every time, as well as Beaker giving his scarf to Michael Caine once he turns good. Keep in mind that in this movie, Tiny Tim is a goddamn puppet frog, and it still holds up. This is my feel-good movie of the year, and I never get tired of it.
The second is The Nightmare Before Christmas. This is a relatively recent addition to the list, but I can listen to those songs all year long. Which is to say I do. My favorites are “Poor Jack” and “This is Halloween”.
The final one is going to take a little more explanation. I’m talking about the French film “Joyeux Noël” (“Merry Christmas”). This is a dramatization of the 1914 Christmas truces during the First World War. For those of you who don’t know, on the 24th of December 1914, several divisions of German, French and British soldiers decided to lay down their arms for the night. They left their trenches and celebrated Christmas together with the “enemy”. There are reports of joint masses and burials, exchanges of food and liquor and even soccer matches between people who should have been mercilessly slaughtering eachother. What was once a battle field literally became an impromptu soccer field. People have observed that during the soccer games both sides “advanced more in one night than they had done in months prior”. My country managed to stay neutral during the First World War (we tried to during the Second, but Hitler was having exactly none of that), so it should be difficult for me to relate to this…but it isn’t. It is one of the most inspiring stories I have ever heard, and Joyeux Noël is a great movie on the event. We are really reminded once again that if everyone in the entire world at one point looked at each other and realized that despite any differences we are all people with family, friends, hopes, dreams and feelings, our world would be a better place. This movie really shows the soldiers coming to that realization, and how it changes everything.
I know Christmas is over already, but you really need to see this movie. Go look it up, there’s still time. This is the absolute best movie you could ever see at Christmas, and you need to go do it right now. I won’t budge on this.
And while you go and do that, let’s get to the caps!