I’m suspicious of Carrie Underwood’s version of The Sound of Music (airing tonight). I mean, I love The Sound of Music. I watched it sporadically as a child, but it really started to sink in as a favorite a few years ago when I went to my first Sound of Music sing-a-long. If you haven’t had the pleasure of attending one of these, then you best get on it. There’s nothing quite like singing Edelweiss with 15,000 other people.
But I digress.
I don’t have TV, but I’ll probably find some way to watch this new version. However, I discovered that my main issue was with the casting of Carrie Underwood. Sure, she has a great voice (which I admit begrudgingly as I’m not a country music fan), but she’s just too cutesy patootsey. Like an overdose of sugary sweetness. Blech! I mean, there’s absolutely an innocence to Julie Andrew’s portrayal of Maria, but there’s also an incredible strength and depth present. I’m not opposed to there being new versions of this musical, but I just wish that there was better casting taking place. Why does Hollywood have to ruin everything?
All that to say, this new version is not one of my favorite things. What are my favorite things (at this moment) you ask? Here goes:
- Kinkade Kitsch: Last month I was introduced to the awesomeness that is the War on Kinkade. Truly, this is the only thing that could redeem the work of Thomas Kinkade in my eyes. And it’s brilliant! I came across a Kinkade calendar at Hobby Lobby the other day and found myself longing for a “War on Kinkade” version. Wouldn’t that be spectacular?
- The Advent Project: Biola University’s Center for Christianity, Culture, and the Arts has the loveliest Advent resource on the website. There are some thoughtful advent devotions out there this year, but I’m really enjoying this particular offering with its creative collaboration of visual arts, music, and Advent reflections.
- Christmas movies: I’m just enjoying re-watching some of my favorite Christmas films once I passed the Thanksgiving mile stone (i.e. official beginning of the Christmas season in my eyes). So far I’ve watched The Holiday (OK, maybe not the best film, but Kate Winslet makes any film a step or two better), White Christmas, and Little Women (not officially a Christmas movie, but the story begins with that holiday – close enough for me). Still to come: Elf, A Christmas Story, It’s a Wonderful Life, and Holiday Inn. There’s something so homey and cozy about sitting down with a warm beverage in your pj’s while watching a favorite holiday film.
- Christmas music: Hooray for Christmas music! It’s fun to return to my old favorites as we enter into the Christmas season. I’m also enjoying some newer offerings, including The Brilliance’s Advent music and Sufjan Steven’s Silver and Gold (check out I’m a Christmas Unicorn). As long as we stay away from Christmas Shoes, we’ll be fine.
- Trader Joe’s Christmas goodies: Trader Joe’s just gets me. Especially during Christmas. Even though it’s where I do my everyday grocery shopping, I still get excited. You never know what new and exciting products TJ’s will have to offer. I just have to be careful when I go there. Otherwise I may end up buying every type of Christmas cookie and chocolate that they offer. I’m especially fond of Pfeffernusse and Candy Cane Jo Jo’s.
- Jimmy Fallon’s turkey mash-up: OK, so I didn’t catch this till after Thanksgiving, but it’s such a hilarious glimpse into pop culture right now. My favorite moment? The lip-syncing kitty accompanying Carrie Underwood’s spoof of Wrecking Ball (Butterball).
- Mokiki Does the Sloppy Swish:Somehow this video became an inside joke at my family’s Thanksgiving celebration. The best part? On Sunday, my dad filmed our family doing their version of the Sloppy Swish in front of a restaurant. I was sad to miss out on this moment, but it just provides further proof that my family is awesome.
- The Problem with Christian Music: Here’s a great blog by Michael Gungor on the state of the Christian music industry. I think nailed it on the head. His argument about the music industry’s marketing machine could be extended out to the publishing and conference spheres as well. I’m frustrated by the state of these industries, but I’m also curious to see what shifts will take place in the years to come.
- Pope Crush: I think I might have a crush on the Pope – and I mean that with all due respect. But let’s be honest – haven’t a lot of Evangelicals being feeling similarly? I feel as though every other week I’m reading another article about him that just increases my respect for him. Refusing an elaborate living situation for a simple apartment. Continually showing tangible love to the poor and forgotten. And now sneaking out to help the homeless. I look forward to seeing how his leadership will shape the Catholic church.
Well, all I missed was “rain drops on roses and whiskers on kittens.” I hope you are enjoying your favorite things on this first week of December.