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Episode 229 — The Spirit Of Christmas (w/ Jessica St. Clair)

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Also, for next year, there’s only one choice really...

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It’s got your 12 Days connection, your Saved by the Bell connection, and it was, like Holiday in Handcuffs, an ABC Family movie. (Special shout-out to @SaraK for introducing us to this wonderful film)

 

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1 hour ago, AlmostAGhost said:

You have stumbled upon a classic law school property professor question!

The only reason I even suspected this might be the case is, when I bought my first house, I asked my realtor to specifically show me haunted houses in my price range. He told me that my state also requires you to disclose but only if asked.

My realtor was once asked to do a quick estimate (not a full appraisal) on a house he later found out might have been haunted. Like the appraiser in the movie, he was in and out in minutes because he was legit too scared to do the job. So, I don't want to say The Spirit Of Christmas could happen, but maybe????

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5 minutes ago, grudlian. said:

My realtor was once asked to do a quick estimate (not a full appraisal) on a house he later found out might have been haunted. Like the appraiser in the movie, he was in and out in minutes because he was legit too scared to do the job. So, I don't want to say The Spirit Of Christmas could happen, but maybe????

You can't rule it out, logically

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12 Dates of Christmas is on Disney+. I might watch it. A bit scared though. But then I liked (not loved) Noelle and Bad Mom's Christmas so my judgement is suspect.

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11 minutes ago, Cameron H. said:

Also, for next year, there’s only one choice really...

 

 

You've seen enough of these to know there's more than one choice! haha

12 Dates is up there tho. Christmas Inheritance is appallingly bad. A Snow Globe Christmas is a super weird premise that would be hilarious for them to talk about. 

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For those who didn't freeze frame, here is what the newspaper article says that Kate's boss shows her in the first eighth of the movie:

"Ashford County has a secret.  Hollygrove Inn closes two weeks out of the year every year since Henrietta Forsythe took ownership in 1951.  An establishment once famed for it's annual Christmas events now accepts no patrons from December 14th till December 26th.  While we can't say for sure why, we can speculate that it may have to do with visitors that have reported seeing the ghosts.  What ghosts inhabit the inn?  Many visitors come each year seeking information about the paranormal occurrences at the property sometimes booking a stay exclusively for this reason.

Henrietta Forsythe has experienced quite a bit of tragedy growing up at the inn at the end of the 19th century.  Her uncle Daniel Forsythe was involved in illegally bootlegging alcohol while the controversial temperance act was in effect.  He frequently traveled from Ashford to Canada as a rum rummer to help keep the [unclear] inn afloat.  [The rest of the paragraph is cut off]

The tragedy did not end there.  In 1934 a guest hung himself in his room.  The man used a false name and he's never been identified.  There was a kitchen fire that kept the inn closed for 2 years in the 40s until it was decided to re-open. 

The Crystal Dining Room of the Inn is particularly active, and many spirits have been spotted there at the tables or in the mirrors.  The Hollygrove Inn and has a rich and fascinating history (that is what the sentence actually says).

As this account goes: "The incident sounds very melodramatic.  I was awakened in the middle of the night by a presence in the room - a feeling that some unknown being was in the midst.  As I opened my eyes, I saw a grayish figure at the side of my bed, to the left, about four feet away.  It was not a distinct person, but a shadowy mass in the shape of a standing figure.  It remained still for a moment, then slowly floated to the foot of the bed, in front of the fireplace.  After pausing a few seconds, the apparition slowly melted away.  It was a terrifying experience.  I was so frightened I could not scream.  I was frozen to the spot...

For the remainder of the night, I could not fall asleep.  It was spent trying to conjure a logical explanation for the apparition.  It was not a reflection of the moon as all the curtains were completely closed.  Upon relating the incident to my husband, he said the ghost was included in the price of the room"

 

Virtually everything discussed in this article is infinitely more interesting than anything seen in this movie.

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6 minutes ago, AlmostAGhost said:

You've seen enough of these to know there's more than one choice! haha

12 Dates is up there tho. Christmas Inheritance is appallingly bad. A Snow Globe Christmas is a super weird premise that would be hilarious for them to talk about. 

True... ;) 

While I think Christmas Inheritance is worth discussion, that one legit pissed me off so I’d rather not.

Honestly, the Knight one that just came out with Vanessa Hudgens has quite a bit of crazy to it.

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17 hours ago, Elektra Boogaloo said:

I am also irritated by this "12 Days of Christmas" starting 12 days BEFORE Christmas. That is how Hallmark is, trying to have 12 movies each year. But the 12 days of Christmas begin on Christmas and continue until Epiphany (also called Three Kings' Day) when the Wise Men are supposed to have arrived to see the Baby Jesus. I don't know when Twelfth Night stopped being celebrated in America, but he is from the past so he should know this. I am going to hold it against him. 

I'm not sure if you grew up Catholic or not, but this was not a thing I knew about until my lapsed Catholic friends talked about how they celebrated this, so I assume this idea was really heavily adopted in only certain subsets of Christianity. Cause my Methodist ass certainly was never raised to give a fuck past the 26th lmao.

Also, slight correction on the amount of Hallmark movies each year lmao. I work in graphics for a TV listings company so I have direct contact with Hallmark's graphics in order to make sure everything shows up properly when these movies air. They premiered 40 new Christmas movies this year, and they started airing them on October 26th, because fuck Halloween right?

One more point, because this is extremely important in my household, Hallmark has three channels (the main one, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, & Hallmark Drama) and ALL of them have been taken over by their Christmas agenda. Why does this matter? Because on HMM every night at 11 PM CST they air two back to back episodes of the one and only Murder She Wrote. This means since literally the end of October my house has been without Jessica Fletcher in a free manner and this is a TRAVESTY!

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11 hours ago, Cameron H. said:

I get that couples don’t have to enjoy all the same things, but damn Daniel was pretty harsh in describing his fiancée’s taste in books as “nonsense.” I mean, you don’t have to like everything I’m into, but could you at least not act like an elitist prick?

Not to mention that presumably it was one of these books where Lilly learned the powerful magic that she used to cast her dying breath incantation strong enough to rip Daniel's soul from hell for 12 days a year.  Daniel obviously ending up in hell because he traveled to Canada for the purpose of making a profit.  Whatever Lilly did obviously isn't common knowledge or we'd be up to our ears in 12 day ghosts.

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In the episode, Paul expressed incredulity that Daniel didn’t know what a Christmas tree was, but it wasn’t so much that he didn’t know what they are (I believe there’s one at the inn during the flashbacks), but more that he was surprised that she bothered to get one. Once she explains that it has “probably been awhile” since he’s had one, he immediately suggests that they set it up.

What’s weirder to me is the idea that he hasn’t had one in awhile, as from my understanding, the owner of the inn, with whom he has lived with more or less symbiotically for decades, never once decorated for the Holidays? I mean, I get that the inn was closed during the periods of his return, but someone still lived there, right? And the inn was still open for the first part of December, wasn’t it? Just because Daniel was a Grinchy-ass, curmudgeon shouldn’t mean that the current owner should have to hide their enjoyment of the Holiday season to accommodate his rum running ass. 

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3 minutes ago, ChunkStyle said:

Not to mention that presumably it was one of these books where Lilly learned the powerful magic that she used to cast her dying breath incantation strong enough to rip Daniel's soul from hell for 12 days a year.  Daniel obviously ending up in hell because he traveled to Canada for the purpose of making a profit.  Whatever Lilly did obviously isn't common knowledge or we'd be up to our ears in 12 day ghosts.

giphy.gif

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11 hours ago, CaptainAmazing said:

It’s obvious why women find inns sexy. It’s the innuendo in the name “inn!”

Or should I say “inn-uendo?”

Thank you, I’ll be here all night. Be sure to tip your waitstaff

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So I know I'm always going to be disappointed in "historical" clothing on something like this but holy fuck. While Lily wouldn't be fully outfitted as a flapper ( because the flapper didn't exist yet), the Volstead Act was passed in January of 1920. So we have to assume this takes place in the December of that year at the earliest. If he's been at this for a while like he said he was maybe it's a year later? Either way  they had her outfitted in some Edwardian bullshit. True she lives in a sleepy little inn but they said her widowed father had come from Boston. She would have been aware of current fashion at least up to then. Even in sleepy little nowhere you could get magazines and catalogs. In fact that's how many people kept up with things and we owe such publications a debt of gratitude because they have helped us see how life was like then. Advertising alone is an invaluable tool to get an insight into how people dressed and lived. For example basically everything Daniel was wearing was an even  bigger  historical fashion sin than poor Lily. At least I can allow she might have a very old dress. He was wearing a suit from Men's Warehouse for fucks sake!  if you look at this ad from 1920 for a tailoring service you can see how different the suits aresljlek2jqtvbfs.jpg,

Jackets were much longer  and he clearly doesn't have a hipster White Supremacist hair cut. 

This is a link to the December 1st 1920 issue of Vogue. https://archive.vogue.com/article/19201201065

 

You have to be a member to read the full article but the photos of the drawings you can see are great.

for reference here's a time line of the decade from Glamourdaze an amazing historical fashion resource: 1920s-DRESS-TIMELINE-eveningwear.jpgt

 

and yes I'm up on Christmas Eve obsessing about this because some fucking asshole children are playing football extremely loudly at ONE IN THE FUCKING MORNING and I'm too sober for this shit.

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20 hours ago, taylor anne photo said:

I'm not sure if you grew up Catholic or not, but this was not a thing I knew about until my lapsed Catholic friends talked about how they celebrated this, so I assume this idea was really heavily adopted in only certain subsets of Christianity. Cause my Methodist ass certainly was never raised to give a fuck past the 26th lmao.

Also, slight correction on the amount of Hallmark movies each year lmao. I work in graphics for a TV listings company so I have direct contact with Hallmark's graphics in order to make sure everything shows up properly when these movies air. They premiered 40 new Christmas movies this year, and they started airing them on October 26th, because fuck Halloween right?

One more point, because this is extremely important in my household, Hallmark has three channels (the main one, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, & Hallmark Drama) and ALL of them have been taken over by their Christmas agenda. Why does this matter? Because on HMM every night at 11 PM CST they air two back to back episodes of the one and only Murder She Wrote. This means since literally the end of October my house has been without Jessica Fletcher in a free manner and this is a TRAVESTY!

It's a Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran thing I think? And more importantly Murder She Wrote is free to stream with Amazon Prime ! Never be without a murder in Cabot Cove again!

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On 12/23/2019 at 7:46 PM, Cameron H. said:

The gang were confused by the significance of the 12 Days and what exactly the miracle was. When Daniel’s brother and Lily are outside, he points out that the Twelve Days of Christmas is being played inside. He tells her that’s how long he’s been out breaking the law, but it is also long enough for someone to learn their lesson and repent their sins. Her miracle is to give him twelve days each year, not as a ghost but as a man, to make amends for his mistakes. That’s the significance of the twelve days. If she had not done so, based on how he had lived his life, he would have just gone straight to Hell. Her gift is to give him was to give him 12 days each year as a living man, for as long as it takes, to absolve himself of his sins. 

H

Totally agree. I was coming here to say almost exactly this. Remember that while drinking during prohibition was harmless (except to one's own liver), bootlegging was an extremely violent industry. Prohibition created a lot more problems than it solved. Daniel was involved with people who were willing to kill anyone who quit. And this is very clearly a world where Heaven exists. That seems to be where Lily is headed at the end (unless it's to be reincarnated somewhere, but the implication seemed to clearly be that she and Daniel would be together for eternity). 

I also wanted to add to the hosts trashing of Molly, the tavern owner/innkeeper love interest. Daniel says he's the best bartender around, and then something like, "Come here tonight and you can test the veracity of my claim."  And she says, "Well I don't know what you're talking about, but I'll come tonight." The only tough word there is veracity. I'm 37 and if an age appropriate lady told me on a date that she didn't know the word veracity, I would walk out. How do you make it to middle-age and never hear the word veracity? Maybe I'm a vocab snob but total turnoff. 

Lastly, the names they chose for the two brothers, Patrick and Daniel, were the two most common names for Irish men near that period. (To test the veracity of my claim, simply listen to the song "No Irish Need Apply" where the singer says "Some may think it a misfortune to be christened Pat or Dan, but to me it is an honor to be born an Irish man"). I thought it was weird to make one sound French-Canadian and the other really WASP-y. 

 

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3 hours ago, Kothel said:

Totally agree. I was coming here to say almost exactly this. Remember that while drinking during prohibition was harmless (except to one's own liver), bootlegging was an extremely violent industry. Prohibition created a lot more problems than it solved. Daniel was involved with people who were willing to kill anyone who quit. And this is very clearly a world where Heaven exists. That seems to be where Lily is headed at the end (unless it's to be reincarnated somewhere, but the implication seemed to clearly be that she and Daniel would be together for eternity). 

I also wanted to add to the hosts trashing of Molly, the tavern owner/innkeeper love interest. Daniel says he's the best bartender around, and then something like, "Come here tonight and you can test the veracity of my claim."  And she says, "Well I don't know what you're talking about, but I'll come tonight." The only tough word there is veracity. I'm 37 and if an age appropriate lady told me on a date that she didn't know the word veracity, I would walk out. How do you make it to middle-age and never hear the word veracity? Maybe I'm a vocab snob but total turnoff. 

Lastly, the names they chose for the two brothers, Patrick and Daniel, were the two most common names for Irish men near that period. (To test the veracity of my claim, simply listen to the song "No Irish Need Apply" where the singer says "Some may think it a misfortune to be christened Pat or Dan, but to me it is an honor to be born an Irish man"). I thought it was weird to make one sound French-Canadian and the other really WASP-y. 

 

I would have to disagree with you on the fact that drinking during Prohibition was relatively harmless. The United States Government actually poisoned industrial alcohol knowing it would be stolen and used to drink. Originally commercial/ industrial alcohol became "denatured", by adding chemicals to make it unpleasant to drink so people couldn't avoid a tax on beverages.  It wasn't stopping bootleggers though who hired chemists of their own to "renature" or just masked the taste anyway they could. So the government decided to add even more chemicals into industrial alcohol knowing that they would potentially kill people. They did it anyway hoping those deaths would serve as warnings to others.  It should be noted that only those who were poor would have been affected by the deadly alcohol. Rich people could afford to buy actual whiskey and other libations .  This doesn't even cover how deadly some home made booze could be. 

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I hope everybody is having or had a great Christmas and holiday time!

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On 12/24/2019 at 4:05 AM, taylor anne photo said:

I'm not sure if you grew up Catholic or not, but this was not a thing I knew about until my lapsed Catholic friends talked about how they celebrated this, so I assume this idea was really heavily adopted in only certain subsets of Christianity. Cause my Methodist ass certainly was never raised to give a fuck past the 26th lmao.

Also, slight correction on the amount of Hallmark movies each year lmao. I work in graphics for a TV listings company so I have direct contact with Hallmark's graphics in order to make sure everything shows up properly when these movies air. They premiered 40 new Christmas movies this year, and they started airing them on October 26th, because fuck Halloween right?

One more point, because this is extremely important in my household, Hallmark has three channels (the main one, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, & Hallmark Drama) and ALL of them have been taken over by their Christmas agenda. Why does this matter? Because on HMM every night at 11 PM CST they air two back to back episodes of the one and only Murder She Wrote. This means since literally the end of October my house has been without Jessica Fletcher in a free manner and this is a TRAVESTY!

Taylor, I am so indeed lapsed Catholic. But I also know this from being an English major and studying Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. 

I thought they did 12 nights of Christmas movies? Or do they have so many it is all the time now? I don't get Hallmark or Lifetime. Tell me everything. 

They need to make a Murder She Wrote Christmas special! Let's crowd funding it! 

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17 minutes ago, Elektra Boogaloo said:

Taylor, I am so indeed lapsed Catholic. But I also know this from being an English major and studying Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. 

I thought they did 12 nights of Christmas movies? Or do they have so many it is all the time now? I don't get Hallmark or Lifetime. Tell me everything. 

They need to make a Murder She Wrote Christmas special! Let's crowd funding it! 

I’m Methodist (and an English Major) and I’m also aware of this. However, my mother has worked for churches since I was eleven years old, so I might have been a little more aware of Epiphany than your average Methodist. Like, it’s a thing, but not like a super major thing.

(Also, for people jonesing for more Jessica Fletcher, it would be remiss of me to not at least mildly plug the podcast I do with my wife, Magnum, She Wrote. We’ve been watching through Murder She Wrote and Magnum, pi - swapping back and forth each week. We’re almost through Season One of both shows. We get angry a lot at Magnum, p.i. We’ve learned a lot about each other through our viewings.

Jessica-Fletcher-murder-she-wrote-415230

No one has to listen, but if you’re interested, It’s available on Apple and Stitcher :) )

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8 hours ago, Cameron H. said:

I’m Methodist (and an English Major) and I’m also aware of this. However, my mother has worked for churches since I was eleven years old, so I might have been a little more aware of Epiphany than your average Methodist. Like, it’s a thing, but not like a super major thing.

Also raised Methodist. I was aware of epiphany as a kid but we didn't do anything for it. We definitely kept our Christmas decorations up until epiphany every year.

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4 hours ago, grudlian. said:

Also raised Methodist. I was aware of epiphany as a kid but we didn't do anything for it. We definitely kept our Christmas decorations up until epiphany every year.

Super weird there are so many Methodists on the board (I think...Maybe it's not that weird). Yeah, this was pretty much what I remembered doing with Epiphany. It was the time you were supposed to leave your decorations up after Christmas. When I first told my wife that she thought it was really weird. She likes to yank everything down the next day. :)

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40 minutes ago, Cameron H. said:

Super weird there are so many Methodists on the board (I think...Maybe it's not that weird). Yeah, this was pretty much what I remembered doing with Epiphany. It was the time you were supposed to leave your decorations up after Christmas. When I first told my wife that she thought it was really weird. She likes to yank everything down the next day. :)

I should say my parents are super Methodist though so maybe that makes a difference on epiphany awareness. I think my mom was fine taking down the decorations but my dad wanted them up. Now, no one in my family decorates.

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Huh maybe they did talk Epiphany and I was just too bored to listen. My mom was never really religious so we really only went to church when my grandparents were alive for them, and then nothing ever was talked about at home lol. So I really didn't learn wtf Epiphany was about until my Catholic friends had mentioned it.

But, also, my grandmother was literally the most superstitious woman I've ever known in my entire life and she swore up and down that it was bad luck to leave your Christmas decorations up past January 1st, so we always did that lest we start our year off with bad luck.

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16 hours ago, Elektra Boogaloo said:

I thought they did 12 nights of Christmas movies? Or do they have so many it is all the time now? I don't get Hallmark or Lifetime. Tell me everything. 

They must have done this when this all started, also I think ABC Family/Freeform markets their's as 12 Days of Christmas, but now Hallmark has officially hit the amount of Christmas movies where they can air them for over 2 months straight. I'm sure there are plenty of repeats but dear god when does it stop?! This year they had such hits as "Write Before Christmas" starring Chad Michael Murray, and "Double Holiday" which is the first Hallmark Movie that I am aware of that actually represents Hanukkah as an actual holiday that can be celebrated.

Lifetime is also one of my channels and has just started these last two years trying to catch up with Hallmark. They have a significantly worse graphics department (no offense if anyone that works there is reading this but come on just slapping a still from your movie on the same generic snow scene as every other one of your movies is not making a poster).

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29 minutes ago, taylor anne photo said:

Huh maybe they did talk Epiphany and I was just too bored to listen. My mom was never really religious so we really only went to church when my grandparents were alive for them, and then nothing ever was talked about at home lol. So I really didn't learn wtf Epiphany was about until my Catholic friends had mentioned it.

I wouldn't feel too weird about not knowing it. When I say we were super Methodist, my grandfather was a minister. My dad strongly considered seminary. I was the third generation to attend a (in name only but still technically) Methodist university. And I'm only aware epiphany exists. So, if Methodists do more for it than mention it the Sunday closest to January 6, i don't know what it is.

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