How Charles Dickens Secularized Christmas Forever – A short but provocative argument that A Christmas Carol, and Dickens’s general concern with what Ryan Britt refers to as the privileging of class over religion, helped establish Christmas as primarily a celebration of very human virtues.
Parties over prayer is reinforced not just in the depiction of actual parties throughout the book, but also through a notion of everyone being outright childish, particularly if they are an adult. It’s as if Dickens is repeatedly saying that being youthful and exuberant and more than a little silly is actually what Christmas is about. Perhaps salvation has more to do with controlled immaturity that it does with contemplation. – Electric Lit
Paramount Now Streaming 175 Free Movies Online, Including Westerns, Thrillers & Crime Pictures – Although A Christmas Carol isn’t part of the Paramount Vault (it’s easily viewable online, however, at least if you live in the U.S.), if you love old films and want to gorge over the holidays, there are about 175 Paramount films available (although a big BOO on the damn geo-restrictions). Via Open Culture:
Back in October, we posted about Paramount Pictures’ making available more than a hundred movies free to watch on Youtube. They call the project The Paramount Vault, a digital cinematic storehouse sorted into playlists of Classics, Comedy, Action/Adventure, Drama, Horror, Westerns, Science Fiction, and Thrillers, containing such pictures as Ironweed, Hamlet, Paris When It Sizzles, King Creole, Dark City, Funny About Love, and Margot at the Wedding — all of which, unfortunately, you can only watch in the United States. (BTW, we have a big list of unrestricted films here.) – Open Culture
To Spot the Panda, Override Your Lazy Brain – You saw that the title of today’s news is “holiday fluff,” right? So, yeah. See how long it takes for you to spot the panda. – Mental Floss
People Say “I Love You” To Themselves – People are given a phrase to say to themselves in the mirror. All the phrases are the same. Saying this phrase (which, by the way, is the raison d’être of Romance), proves a challenge. A very revealing and interesting (and bittersweet) experiment. – Buzzfeed