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

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HDTGM All-star Jessica St. Clair joins Paul, Jason, and June (via Jury Duty) to discuss the Hallmark classic The Spirit of Christmas. They break down everything about this story of a young lawyer who finds romance with a spirit that takes the form of a human 12 days before Christmas. Plus, Paul shares his ghost sighting story. This episode is brought to you by Watchmen on HBO, Squarespace (www.squarespace.com/bonkers), Simplisafe (www.simplisafe.com/bonkers), and The Adult Swim Podcast. Subscribe to Unspooled with Paul Scheer and Amy Nicholson here: http://www.earwolf.com/show/unspooled/ Check out our tour dates over at www.hdtgm.com! Check out new HDTGM merch over at https://www.teepubli…wdidthisgetmade Where to Find Jason, June & Paul: @PaulScheer on Instagram & Twitter @Junediane on IG and @MsJuneDiane on Twitter

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I also wrote that Daniel's hair was like a Brooklyn baristo. It was old timey in the way steampunk is old timey which is to say, fiction. 

My understanding was that Daniel appears in the middle of December and the innkeeper just was like, "okay I will leave" and left him alone to read (or jerk off) or whatever. Like Jason, I was also perplexed by him ironing. Because if I became corporeal for 12 days I wouldn't do any chores. That innkeeper would have to clean up after me. Daniel also had an old iron, the kind you heat up with a fire. Where'd he get it? Is that inn still using old irons? Someone should introduce them to electricity.

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. 

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33 minutes ago, Elektra Boogaloo said:

I also wrote that Daniel's hair was like a Brooklyn baristo. It was old timey in the way steampunk is old timey which is to say, fiction. 

I don't know if they said when Daniel was murdered, but Prohibition ended in 1933. The undercut was definitely a popular hairstyle for men in the 1920s and 1930s. The version Daniel has is certainly more modern but it's not an outrageous hairstyle for a prohibition era man.

I don't know if it's popularity died because of WWII, but I've always suspected that. Hitler and the Hitler youth had a similar haircut to the modern undercut. I remember when it first started coming back in style a few years ago, I remember reading fashion message boards talking about the "Hitler youth" haircut and how to ask for it without specifically asking for "Hitler youth" since that's an awkward conversation at the barber.

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If your property is haunted and located in Massachusetts, where Spirit Of Christmas is set, there are laws regulating if and when you must disclose this to the potential buyer. According to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 93, section 114

"...(c) that the real property has been the site of an alleged para psychological or supernatural phenomenon.

No cause of action shall arise or be maintained against a seller or lessor of real property or a real estate broker or salesman, by statute or at common law, for failure to disclose to a buyer or tenant that the real property is or was psychologically impacted.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, the provisions of this section shall not authorize a seller, lessor or real estate broker or salesman to make a misrepresentation of fact or false statement."

The short version is, if I'm reading the law correctly, a homeowner does not have to voluntarily disclose their house being haunted. If the buyer asks, you can't lie about it supposing you believe the house is haunted.

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Baccarat does not involve dice or a board. You can play it at home, all it takes is a deck of cards ( or more ) and 2 people ( or more ), but unless there's money/beans/booze/whatever involved, you'd be bored out of your mind.

 

I'd totally be down for a " Jessica St Clair Explains It All " type podcast, especially if Jason featured heavily just to ground it to reality ( in a Jessica St Clair + Jason Mantzoukas pairing, Jason is the straight man ).

 

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42 minutes ago, grudlian. said:

I don't know if they said when Daniel was murdered, but Prohibition ended in 1933. The undercut was definitely a popular hairstyle for men in the 1920s and 1930s. The version Daniel has is certainly more modern but it's not an outrageous hairstyle for a prohibition era man.

I don't know if it's popularity died because of WWII, but I've always suspected that. Hitler and the Hitler youth had a similar haircut to the modern undercut. I remember when it first started coming back in style a few years ago, I remember reading fashion message boards talking about the "Hitler youth" haircut and how to ask for it without specifically asking for "Hitler youth" since that's an awkward conversation at the barber.

Yes, my gay (Brooklynite) friend has this cut and when the alt-right started having it too he was very upset. 

 

Thanks for the laws on haunted property. I kept wondering why they didn't mention the ghost and charge people MORE to see him. It could have been a tourist attraction. I kept waiting for Kate to suggest this. 

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Anyone have an idea what the Lifetime fast food murder movie Jessica was talking about might be? I can't find any evidence of it on the interwebs. Maybe an episode of some TV series?

Also, I think the ghost rules in The Spirit of Christmas inspired the most recent season of American Horror Story. 

Edited by Scopi
correcting Hallmark to Lifetime

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Okay, I'm listening to this now, and I'm going to try not to comment as listen, but June is absolutely right - the leads had a ton of chemistry. There was a certain sparkle in their eyes in some of the scenes where I truly wondered if the actors might have had something going off camera. I don't know, maybe they're just phenomenal actors, but if you didn't notice it, you're deader inside than the sexy hipster ghost in this movie.

ETA: OMG! Sorry! I just resumed the episode. I literally turned to my wife last night and said that this movie was Canadian as fuck! lol

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1 hour ago, Elektra Boogaloo said:

Thanks for the laws on haunted property. I kept wondering why they didn't mention the ghost and charge people MORE to see him. It could have been a tourist attraction. I kept waiting for Kate to suggest this. 

For sure this. Turn it into a haunted house tour in October and the 12 days leading to Christmas is obvious. You could probably pay for half the year in that month and a half. If you can't get the rest of the year paid for in an old timey, New England inn, what are you doing?

I don't remember why the law firm needed the sale to happen by the end of the year. But the ghost only shows up for 12 days. Why didn't they schedule an appraisal anytime that isn't December 13-25? A sale this important and time sensitive seems like someone could have planned around that.

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Well, to Jason's point, this movie was filmed in Massachusetts, so I guess that must explain the lack of chemistry.

 

;)

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Is this the first podcast episode where someone has joined via text?  HDTGM still innovating after all of these years.  The absurdity of the situation made me crack up with every June interjection.

My favorite part of this movie was how the ghost world was still very bound to earthly law with Daniel being restricted by the property line rather than just haunting the house like a usual ghost story.  If over the years the inn had sold off some of their property to a neighbor would Daniel still be able to go into that area or would he be bound by the newly drawn property lines?

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This ep made me realize how much I miss hearing Jessica St. Clair on a weekly basis. Great stuff...except the part where they ragged on Paul's childhood yet again. Tsk tsk

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I recognize that it’s common in these types of movies for someone to watch over their love interest while they sleep, but let’s not forget how utterly disgusting and ridiculous people can be while they sleep. Aside from just your standard twitch and snore, people are also prone to talking, drooling, and farting in their sleep. So, no thank you sexy, steam punk baristo ghost. I’d rather maintain some small bit of my allure and take my chances with the restless, malevolent hell spawn  currently plotting my destruction.

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I still don't understand why sexy ghost's fiance gave him the "blessing" of coming back for 12 days of Christmas every year.

And she must have done it after she died? Unless they found Mr Sexy Rum Runner out dead in the snow and then she (for some reason) wished he could experience the the 12 days leading up to Christmas over and over until ... some lesson happened?

I also enjoyed St Clair yelling at Jason that they needed to stop screaming during the episode when they got too excited.

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10 hours ago, grudlian. said:

The short version is, if I'm reading the law correctly, a homeowner does not have to voluntarily disclose their house being haunted. If the buyer asks, you can't lie about it supposing you believe the house is haunted.

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

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My favorite old-timey quirk of Daniel-san's is how he eats an apple with a knife. Let's bring that back people!

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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?

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The newspaper headline on the story about Daniel says “Missing, Feared Dead.” He very clearly died within sight of the porch. He can see the party guests and I would imagine someone should have seen him, before or after he was hit. Even if they didn’t see him that night, how is it possible that no one searched the woods before they wrote an entire article about his disappearance? Everyone knew he was expected to come home that night. Wouldn’t you search nearby first before you put anything in the paper?

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The behavior of the tavern lady and the way people behave around her with regards to Daniel makes no sense.  This is a small town and this inn closes every two weeks in December for several years.  There have been newspaper articles written about how it closes because of a ghost.  Yet she asks the innkeeper to let her use the inn as if she’s unaware of why the inn is closed.

Then the innkeeper and Kate go to lengths to try and hide Daniel’s true identity from her, but there’s pictures of Daniel all throughout the house. And I would imagine that the story of his murder is probably the biggest thing to have ever happened in that town, so surely everyone would be familiar with him and his story. How does she not put two and two together?

Similarly, the sheriff seems to just think Kate is crazy when she claims there’s a ghost in the inn.  Does he just think all young women are hysterical loons or has he never heard why the inn closes every year?

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7 minutes ago, The Bee’s Knees said:

The newspaper headline on the story about Daniel says “Missing, Feared Dead.” He very clearly died within sight of the porch. He can see the party guests and I would imagine someone should have seen him, before or after he was hit. Even if they didn’t see him that night, how is it possible that no one searched the woods before they wrote an entire article about his disappearance? Everyone knew he was expected to come home that night. Wouldn’t you search nearby first before you put anything in the paper?

I believe Lily was the only one expecting him back. When she tells his brother that Daniel promised he’d be there, the brother says, “A promise is only as good as the man who makes it.” I’m also guessing the guy who killed him disposed of his body. So it’s possible that it was a few weeks before he was actually reported as missing.

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5 minutes ago, Cameron H. said:

I believe Lily was the only one expecting him back. When she tells his brother that Daniel promised he’d be there, the brother says, “A promise is only as good as the man who makes it.” I’m also guessing the guy who killed him disposed of his body. So it’s possible that it was a few weeks before he was actually reported as missing.

Oh ok. Maybe “expecting” is the wrong word. I thought the party guests knew he was on his way home, whether they believed he would make it on time or not. When the present-day inn keeper said they found his body in the woods near the property line, I thought it was the same spot where he was knocked out.

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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 Daniel’s been out breaking the law, but that 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. If she had not done so, based on how he had lived his life, he would have probably just gone straight to Hell. Her gift was to give him 12 days each year as a living man, for as long as it took, for him to absolve himself of his sins. 

He is finally able to accomplish this by confronting and forgiving his murderer. At the end of the movie, because he is still entangled in Lily’s phantasmal loophole, being currently more alive than dead, he is given a choice of either moving on or staying alive. 

And I know Jason felt Daniel did Lily a bit dirty by choosing Kate at the end, but from his perspective, he’s a century removed from that relationship. How long is he supposed to pine for the person he believes quickly jilted him for his brother. He may discover the real reasons behind it, but that doesn’t necessarily mean those feeling will come rushing back.

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11 hours ago, Elektra Boogaloo said:

Yes, my gay (Brooklynite) friend has this cut and when the alt-right started having it too he was very upset. 

 

Thanks for the laws on haunted property. I kept wondering why they didn't mention the ghost and charge people MORE to see him. It could have been a tourist attraction. I kept waiting for Kate to suggest this. 

I vaguely remember hearing about a real-life hotel that charges double for a supposedly haunted room. Wanna say it was the Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC, but I’m getting no relevant results on Google.

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6 minutes ago, The Bee’s Knees said:

Oh ok. Maybe “expecting” is the wrong word. I thought the party guests knew he was on his way home, whether they believed he would make it on time or not. When the present-day inn keeper said they found his body in the woods near the property line, I thought it was the same spot where he was knocked out.

Hmmmm...that’s a good point. Maybe he was covered in snow and they didn’t discover him until the Spring thaw ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

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