1. RobertAnthony
  2. Motivator Love Fool Sherlock Holmes
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  4. Monday, 11 December 2017
As Christmas and the holiday time is upon us I thought I would ask you all in the forum how it's done where you are in your part of the world. I am looking to start with this short intro so I can post something more in depth with links later on.
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Undo snow in Australia. In fact Christmas time here is is kinda the hottest time ever. So that’s fun.

We’re actually from China originally, and having been in Australia for like 10 years now, I still can’t say for sure what is the Christmas tradition here. I think everyone does their own thing. Some people do beach parties. I think I’ve heard of sandmen being built instead of snowmen.

There are theme parks on the Gold Coast where I live that get artificial snow and cooling to make it a “white Christmas” like elsewhere. I think that becomes a popular attraction here as many try to get a feel of how the festival is like in Europe and the US.

I’d like to hear from Kiwi how it’s done in NZ.

Our family used to be Christian so we took Christmas a bit more seriously before. But then, Christmas wasn’t a Chinese thing so we didn’t really get into many of the standard Christmas traditions. Now none of us are, mum’s agnostic and my brother and I are atheist so we just see it as a time to do some fun stuff. The things we do vary. I reckon I’ll probably hang with a few mates.

The cool thing is Xmas pretty much coincides with a few Chinese festivals that occur near the end of the year, so while our relatives aren’t doing Xmas they’d be celebrating nonetheless and we can do it with them.
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OK, so now that this has been established, let me start with my traditions. Being of Italian dissent, and a Catholic, Christmas is massive both ways. On Christmas Eve, we don't eat meat, instead it's fish and pasta (I think a certain KD may go for the pasta!). We have what's called The Feast of the Seven Fishes. It's where families have all kinds of seafood...scallops, shrimp, cod or bacala, sometimes smelts (yuck!) maybe sole, salmon and a pasta dish. No meat is eaten according to tradition.

And also the 12 days of Christmas to me start on Christmas Day and end on Three Kings Day or The Epiphany. So to mom and/or at least myself, any gifts we get between those days count as Christmas gifts.

Now the next tradition is mainly NYC being as I live near there, but some may think of it as silly. But...when you were watching the Christmas Party scene in Reign, did you notice on the TV...a Yule Log? To me that's the producer's shoutout to Supergirl's NYC station, WPIX Channel 11, which since 1966 has been the home of the ORIGINAL Yule Log. Could it be one of National City's TV stations is modeled after PIX 11 (Alive)?

But how did this NYC Christmas tradition get going? Well it was all due to the then General Manager Fred Thrower. According to The Yule Log dot com (yes there is such a site)

He reflected on all those residents of the city who had never been exposed to the alluring crackle of a Christmas Eve fireplace.

It also was a safe way for residents in the brownstones in the five boroughs to enjoy a fireplace. Needless to say the show was a big hit. But it ran into a snag.

The first and original 1966 version of the Yule Log, filmed at Gracie Mansion, aired each Christmas Eve until 1969 when the film/tape degraded. And also a film crew from WPIX ran afoul of then Mayor John Lindsay when a room in Gracie Mansion suffered some minor burns. But it was too much for Lindsay supposedly. A new Yule Log was filmed in 1970 (in California!) as a replacement, and has aired ever since.

But then in 1989, the log was extinguished. Christmas morning that year would be the last time the program would be seen due to a managerial decision to remove it from the airwaves.

Then enter Chip Arcuri a musicologist who also runs the Yule Log website...and in a way the 9/11 attacks. Months after that dreadful day, New Yorkers felt their innocence was lost and they had to be taken back to a simpler time. That Christmas, WPIX brought back The Yule Log...and ratings were needless to say hot. The Log had come back with fire and desire and a new generation being introduced to this tradition and past generations being ready to welcome back an old friend.

But that's not the end of the story. Last year, one of New York TV's holy grails, the ORIGINAL Gracie Mansion 1966 Yule Log was found. It was digitally remastered from the original film, albeit on a loop of a fire and broadcast for all to see. The 1966 Log, long assumed to be lost to the ages was found last year and restored for its 50th anniversary. It will air as a one-hour presentation exclusively on Channel 11 on Christmas Eve. And like everything else these days, you can watch it on social media, or even stream it.

From WPIX's website,

The 1966 Yule Log

Will stream on and Facebook Live (on PIX11 News, PIXYuleLog and WPIXArchives Facebook pages) from 6-7pm.
That's Eastern Standard Time.

Then on Christmas Day, the 1970 Yule Log

Will feature a new hour of music produced by Lawrence F. “Chip” Arcuri, the creator of fansite. Will also stream on from 8am-5pm

Will air on Facebook Live 9am -1pm (on PIX11 News, PIXYuleLog and WPIXArchives Facebook pages)

Clips will be available for repeat viewing on PIX11’s channel on Roku/Apple TV/Amazon Fire TV Stick/Android TV

The Log will be live tweeting @PIXYULELOG on twitter during the broadcast

If you are able to do so, head over to The Yule Log fansite which I have linked to here and try streaming the log. it's often imitated, but never duplicated.

And to paraphrase the end tagline from WPIX Editorials given by the late Richard N. Hughes, vice president of news operations from 1969 to 1995 What's your Christmas/holiday tradition? I'd like to know.

Yes I am guilty having grown up with channel 11 for as long as I can remember, from their "11 Alive" days through the WB and now CW. Cartoons, movies including Superman, sports (my Yankees) and other things, 11 was my childhood station.

And yes, the PIX building on 42nd Street, was The Daily Planet in the first two Donner films. Actually, the building was known as The News Building, as in The NY Daily News which owned the station until Tribune took it over in 1991. By that time, the Daily News moved out.

If you have Facebook, the WPIX Archives is a great place to see one of the biggest collections of New York TV...and growing. Especially dig their 1970's's a trip, man.
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