Residents find outlets for holiday overload

Posted: Monday, December 13, 2004

Up to your tonsils in tinsel? About to go batty over hanging bulbs? You're not alone.

With the calender crammed with yuletide choirs, many Kenai Peninsula residents are looking for leisure activities to offset the hours of decorating, vacation planning and numerous trips to shop for that perfect gift.

Yet, even these reprieves still seem to fit the holiday theme.

"I like to see Christmas movies," said Wylie Chandler of Soldotna. "They make you feel good, and with the snow, and Santa, it's part of getting into the holiday spirit."

Chandler was in line to see "Christmas with the Kranks," which stars Tim Allen as a man so fed up with the commerciality of Christmas, he decides to skip the holiday and go on a vacation with his wife instead. But when his daughter decides at the last minute to come home, he scrambles to create Christmas from scratch.

"Tim Allen always has something funny out during the holidays," Chandler said.

That's true, as at the Kenai location of Blockbuster, Allen had a couple of movies in their special holiday-themed movies section, including "The Santa Claus" parts I and II.

"We try and rent Christmas-themed movies every year at this time. It gets us in the holiday mood, and it's something we can all do together, which is nice," said Debbie Jameson of Kenai.

There were many festive movies to choose from, such as "Scrooged," "Home Alone" and "A Christmas Story," which chronicles a young boy's attempts to acquire a "genuine red Ryder 200-shot carbine action air rifle" and his doting mother's classic response, "You'll shoot you're eye out."

However, Jameson said she has her own family favorites, which included "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and National Lampoon's "Christmas Vacation."

Brian Robinson of Kenai said he likes holiday movies that have more of an adult theme, such as "Bad Santa" and "Elf," starring Will Ferrell, the popular comedian from Saturday Night Live.

"They're both hilarious, " Robinson said.

Although theaters and video rental stores are popular venues during the holiday season, some folks still take in a holiday tale the old-fashion way -- by reading a book.

"I came looking for 'Polar Express,'" said Tonya Hayes of Kenai, who was perusing the shelves at River City Books in Soldotna.

The book by Chris Van Allsburg is about a young boy who is swept away by Santa and taken on a Christmas Eve trip to the North Pole.

The book also was made into a movie that played in theaters last month, but Hayes said she wasn't interested then.

"I just wasn't quite in the holiday mood yet when it was playing, but like the old saying goes, I believe the book is always better than the movie anyway," she said.

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