While the hospital was preparing our dog for discharge yesterday, I saw Santa Claus Is Coming To Town for the first time in decades. It was playing on the flat-screen television in the waiting room. They showed The Little Drummer Boy immediately afterward.
I've always loved these old Rankin/Bass specials with their jerky, stop-motion animation. The Little Drummer Boy never struck me, then or now, but Santa Claus Is Coming To Town was one of my favorites. Even after I grew up, I still tried to watch these shows each year, but I somehow always managed to miss Santa Claus.
Let me tell you, when you're impatiently waiting to bring home a very sick dog that's already put you through a week of stress and worry, this is the show you want to be watching. I could barely take my eyes off it, whether the scene had Kris Kringle, that honking penguin, Burgermeister Meisterburger, the Winter Warlock ("Winter, please!"), or local schoolteacher Miss Jessica, who for a puppet could really work that "sexy librarian" look (something I never quite picked up on as a child).
And then you have the songs. Like this one:
I've had this song running through my head ever since yesterday afternoon. And I've been singing/whispering some version of it to our dog, as I coax her recovering body with that unwieldy Elizabethan collar up and down the stairs.
Whoever came up with the idea of playing these old Christmas specials in the waiting room rather than The Oprah Winfrey Show or The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer is a genius. I owe him or her a big Christmas present.