"And to this purpose"

"If people like to read their books, it is all very well, but to be at so much trouble in filling great volumes, which, as I used to think, nobody would willingly ever look into, to be labouring only for the torment of little boys and girls, always struck me as a hard fate; and though I know it is all very right and necessary, I have often wondered at the person's courage that could sit down on purpose to do it." (In other words: rambling analyses, opinions, ideas, views, and comments from an English major, Essay/paper-writing enthusiastic, Austen-loving Master Librarian on, well, Jane Austen...and a whole lot of other things, too.)

"Celebrated Passages are Quoted"

Heidi's favorite quotes

"What is it really like to be engaged?" asked Anne curiously. "Well, that all depends on who you're engaged to," answered Diana, with that maddening air of superior wisdom always assumed by those who are engaged over those who are not."— L.M. Montgomery

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Muppets, The MoTab, and The Fontana

For all of my life, music and Christmas have always gone together. Music plays a huge role in my life, but at Christmas time, our home was saturated with it. Mom liked to keep holidays in their places, so growing up we did not start listening to Christmas music until the Thanksgiving meal was over. But we had a family tradition of how that music began, one that started either when I was quite the young little thing, or perhaps even a year or two before. At a friend’s home, my parents were discussing Miss Piggy and they mentioned a record that they had which had John Denver and the Muppets singing Christmas songs together, specifically Miss Piggy's Christmas is Coming.
 Already fans of John Denver and the Muppets, my family was intrigued. They listened. They loved. And our copy (whether record, cassette tape, or CD) of John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas Together was the first of all the Christmas music we would begin the season with. It still plays a part for me, as I have my own CD copy—one of the best presents my mother has ever given me when I was celebrating Thanksgiving in Nauvoo.

It was with great joy over a decade later to find the TV special they filmed based on that album. We taped that on to VHS. While not every scene in that is my favorite, I will watch it specifically for the songs from the album that I have grown up with.

But that was not the first Muppet Christmas-y thing our family added to our holidays. For as long as I can remember we had a taped-off-TV copy of The Christmas Toy, which movie would make me cry when the toys sang “Old Friends, Dear Friends.”
 Heavens—it still does as I was doing so only 2 weeks ago while decorating my home with my own copy of the movie playing.

The Muppet Christmas Carol came out around my 7th grade year—the year I first read/studied the play in school. I still think it is one of the most brilliant adaptations ever. And probably one of the very few that shows Scrooge as he is in the book—already beginning to change from the Ghost of Christmas Past’s visit and not out of fear because of his and Tiny Tim’s bleak future. Being the family Queen of the Taped-Off-TV Acquisitions, I made sure to add this to our collection very quickly, though we bought the VHS a year or two later. I have my own DVD copy of it now. It is watched every year, because it wouldn't be Christmas without it,

Around this time, we discovered one of the best gems ever on TV: The Muppet Family Christmas. My mom and I were immediate fans. The rest of the family joined in pretty quickly, too. I never stop laughing at The Icy Patch.

And EVERY year as I bake my Christmas goodies I find myself inevitably quoting Janice:

This was an immediate taped-off-TV addition. I have been able to procure a copy on DVD for my mother in later years, but still have been unable to get my own. It’s a tragedy that hopefully will be remedied in some year soon to come.

Other Muppet Christmas things have come along that have added to the humor of the season. Just last year my brother posted this on Facebook for the family to enjoy:

(I should add here that my family of 8 kids + 2 parents is full of many diverse personalities and interests. But there are three things to which all of us can come together on: the Gospel of Jesus Christ, games, and the Muppets. So it isn’t just that we like the Muppets. They are a mutual interest that brought us together in our earlier years and still do so today.)

It isn’t the Christmas season for me without the Muppets. Nor is it Christmas without the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. My parents owned a substantial amount of Christmas music, and a good deal of it was MoTab. I bet there are family members who can still quote from the hilariously fabulous “Night before Christmas” song on the record we’d listen to. (Specifically “his droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow!”) I always feel at peace when MoTab sings Christmas—not just the sacred ones but also the upbeat or silly or fun ones. They help bring home to me the true meaning of Christmas—the gift of the Savior to the world.

Muppets and MoTab. It isn’t Christmas for me without them. Which is why when they announced Sesame Street Muppets as guests of the annual MoTab Christmas concert, I was floored. I had to go. But my name wasn’t drawn from the ticket pool. I was resigning myself to not get to be a part of this, when a friend of my roommates gave her tickets for the concert. And she asked me to go with her. And it is one of the best Christmas presents of my life! Not to mention that the amazingly talented, gorgeous, possibly single ;-), Broadway star Santino Fontana will be with them. I got to hear him at the Pioneer concert and was blown away.
He might soon rise up among the greats like Josh Groban and Dallyn Vail Bayles.

This concert, for me, honors my life full of Muppets plus family plus family memories, Broadway and singing and music, MoTab’s presence and influence, and my Savior. A truly wonderful Christmas season it is!