Let our columnists guide you on a nostalgic holiday media binge

Music

It’s possible that a majority of Americans are unaware that, between the end of November until early January, you are legally allowed to listen to non-Christmas music. Many people have trouble coming to grips with this fact, and are often at a loss for what to listen to with their newfound listening freedom. Luckily, I’ve got the word on all the best music-related activities to enjoy in these coming weeks.

Grimes recently released a new album, while T-Pain is set to release Stoicville: The Phoenix, a fitting title for a man who has seen an unprecedented creative rebirth in 2015. Also keep an eye out for announcements from artists who have been working on their albums for so long that the wait is now unbearable. In my first seasonal blurb of this year I wrote about Frank Ocean possibly dropping more details about his new project. A whole semester has gone by, and I now have the most baseless hope that sometime this holiday season, we will all be blessed by Ocean’s new album.

As for non-listening activities, this is the best time of the year to beg your relatives to buy you an instrument. Use the wonderful purgatory between semesters to learn a new skill, or make a song or two; you can pour your angst about Aunt Brenna’s overly political Thanksgiving discourse into your lyrics and melodies. Lastly, listening to holiday music is totally acceptable, just whatever you do, don’t watch the music video for “All I Want for Christmas is You” with Justin Bieber. This is one incarnation of the Biebs that we’d all be better off forgetting.

Jake Witz

Literature

Seasons inspire emotions in us, there’s nothing new about that. I’ve always adored winter—especially the snowy kind—because it has always translated to nostalgia and reminiscing. For those who’ve had books define seasons and times throughout their life, nostalgia comes back strong during winter. And so I find myself longing to pick up books I’ve read too many times to count, beginning with Lewis Carroll’s penning of Alice.

It’s not the first time I’ve written about “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking-Glass,” and it likely won’t be the last. What Carroll managed to capture in a seemingly imaginative children’s book has enough creativity, wisdom and madness to last anyone a lifetime. The depth of Carroll’s writing is the kind that gives everyone the inspiration to not only embrace but celebrate the lunacy inside of them.

Roald Dahl is that one author that no one should grow up without, and no adult should forget to revisit. His stories had just enough incredulity, laughter and fight to have you believe in the good winning out in the world. From the magical world into which Charlie is enveloped, to Matilda’s wit and spirit in the face of the awfulness of adults.

So with the first holiday of the season rolling around, consider finding yourself an old friend within a book that once brought you joy. In the midst of all the food we’ll be stuffing ourselves with, it’ll do our hearts good to remember why we love stories so much.

Maham Hasan

Movies

The snow is on the ground, students are sliding down Bascom with dining hall trays and the holiday spirit is undoubtedly in the air. With Thanksgiving and Christmas on the horizon comes a hearty helping of movies to enjoy, both on television and in the theaters.  ABC Family released the schedule for their “25 Days of Christmas,” with movies like “The Polar Express,” “Elf,” “The Santa Clause” and a plethora of other holiday films lined up to get everyone ready for the holidays. Also included on this list is a personal favorite of mine, “The Year Without a Santa Claus.” As a kid I would always look forward to watching the stop-motion classic. To this day, “Heat Miser Song” still gets stuck in my head when I think of Christmas.

This is the perfect time to enjoy holiday-themed movies, but it is also a wonderful time to head to the theaters to catch the new films premiering this season. “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2” already hit theaters last week, and the highly anticipated film, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” is set to premiere Dec. 18, just in time for Christmas. There are many things to look forward to in the coming weeks, and movies—both old and new—are definitely among them.

Samantha Marz

Television

It is the time of year when television is stepping up their game to give us some holiday cheer. What has me excited for the upcoming holiday media craze is Netflix’s new holiday special, “A Very Murray Christmas,” with the talented Sofia Coppola directing. It is coming to our favorite streaming site on December 4, and features a long list of famous faces making an appearance. These include George Clooney, Rashida Jones, Amy Poehler, Michael Cera, Jason Schwartzman, Maya Rudolph, Chris Rock and even Miley Cyrus. These celebrities, playing themselves, are trying to make it to Bill Murray’s Christmas television special but a snowstorm jeopardizes his plans.

The last time Sofia Coppola worked with Murray was for the critically acclaimed classic “Lost in Translation.” Coppola is the master of making something extraordinary out of the ordinary, and Bill Murray is a perfect match for such a reflexive and Woody Allen-esque special. Something tells me this will be the star-studded holiday special that “Valentine’s Day” and “New Year’s Eve” were attempting to be. Christmas films struggle to produce a quality that was once the norm, with films such as “Miracle on 34th Street” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.” I may be biased, but being a huge Coppola fan, I trust that a tasteful holiday special is in the works that could pose to be a new classic.

Ben Golden

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