Welcome to Dino Drac’s Daily Holiday Diary! Check back for teensy little updates every day between now and Christmas!
Tuesday, December 6th:
I found it. The special ingredient that’s been missing from my Christmas season. THAT CANDLE!
Picked this baby up while out grocery shopping, because apparently you can buy Yankee Candles in the string cheese aisle now. It was way too much money for what’s assuredly an old overstocked candle, but whatever, it smells fantastic.
It lives up to its “Christmas Cookie” title, but it more specifically smells like a tub of Pillsbury cake frosting. I adore it. I love Christmas candles, but they’re way spottier than the Halloween ones, with many of them being too soapy or pungent. This one is just right.
It’s the greatest thing I could’ve found today, because between podcast prep and Funpack prep, I’m basically going to be living in my little office for the next week. At least it’ll smell like cookies in there, now.
Monday, December 5th:
By now you might be counting down to Christmas, but real ones are counting down to Christmas leftovers. It’s the secret weapon in combating the post-holiday blues.
I took the above photo after Thanksgiving a few years back, so while the foods will be a little different at Christmas, the idea is the same. Our parties always involve way too much food, so it’s become customary for everyone to stuff take-home tins with as much as they can reasonably carry.
There’s a certain art to it. It’s like filling your plate at a Chinese buffet, but way grosser.
The next day, I like to eat the cold leftovers straight out of the tin. Just me, the couch, the cats, and a big foil box full of cold ricotta, hard bread and yesterday’s olives. It’s great. Might be my favorite part of Christmas.
Sunday, December 4th:
This year’s bizarre Christmas experiment involved gathering 50 (!!!) Sebastian ornaments from McDonald’s 1989 Little Mermaid promotion, and decorating my tree with nothing but those.
I’m not sure I’m gonna let it ride (I actually like the tree bare), but for the moment, it’s pretty interesting to have 50 (!!!) wide-eyed crustaceans staring at me.
I like to think of it as Sebastian’s family reunion. Fifty crabs laughing and hugging at their big holiday shindig. Course, the further I take that thought, the less inclined I am to remove the ornaments. How could I break them up now?
Saturday, December 3rd:
Here’s NBC’s Sunday Night Movie intro to Batman Returns, which remains my favorite Batman-related thing ever. (And yes, it 100% counts as a Christmas movie.)
This broadcast is from February of ‘95, which was the film’s network television premiere. Network premieres were still huge events back then, so despite already owning Batman Returns on VHS, I absolutely watched along that night.
It’s funny. While both Batman ‘89 and Batman Forever feel like products of their respective times, Batman Returns doesn’t. It’s an impossibly unique film that logically shouldn’t exist in the form that it does, but don’t count that as me complaining, because I ain’t. It’s beautiful, it’s weird, and it’s still the best.
Friday, December 2nd:
The Holiday Pie is back at McDonald’s! Warm vanilla custard in a sugar-glazed pastry, topped with rainbow sprinkles. It’s sugary as hell, and not completely unlike a Hostess Ninja Turtles Pudding Pie.
The rollout on these is spotty. My advice is to use the McD’s app to toggle through nearby locations until you find one that has ’em. That’s what I did last night, leading to a longish drive to a Strip Mall Mickey D’s that I hadn’t previously visited since they still had lacquered Fry Guy statues attached to the walls.
They must’ve just baked a batch before I got there, because the telltale stink of Holiday Pies smacked me as soon as I walked inside. The pies are sickly sweet in a mostly-great way, but it’s really the scent that puts them over the top.
I’m now very interested in buying three dozen Holiday Pies to drag to my family’s Christmas Eve party. Nobody will eat them, but they’ll still make the place smell like the Main Street Bakery in Disney World. That’s worth 20 bucks.
Thursday, December 1st:
Surprise! After a mostly-dead November, you probably thought I’d tossed the idea to do a Christmas version of Dino Drac’s Daily Halloween Thing. In truth, I almost did. It’s been a nutty few months with a thousand things in flux. Still, I knew I’d be mad at myself if I didn’t do something, so here I am, with absolutely no fanfare!
The idea is to add one small holiday-related thing every day between now and Xmas. This will all be super laid-back and chill, so imagine me writing these entries in pajamas with one hand in a bag of Doritos. I won’t be plugging the Daily Holiday Diary often on social media, so it’ll be on you to check back for updates!
(And let’s use the comments section as a General Holiday Thread, too. Whether you’ve eaten some new holiday junk food or had a weird run-in with a Mall Santa, feel free to share those stories, all month long.)
Keeping it simple for today’s entry, here’s me and Halloween the Cat, in front of our Christmas tree. It’s one of those inexpensive pre-lit trees that take two minutes to assemble and only look real from a mile away, but I like it. (And I love the way the light bounces off my frames!)
PS: In case you didn’t notice, Dino Drac’s Christmas Jukebox has been reactivated for the season.
What, you thought we forgot about you? Of course not! Time for the Purple Stuff Podcast’s fifth annual review of an old Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! The tradition continues!
This year, me and Jay are tackling the 1988 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. This one was sneaky good. It didn’t seem to pack much of a punch on a quick browse, but the more we watched, the more we were convinced that THIS was the parade to cover.
Join us for a deep dive into the highlights, which featured everyone from Garfield to Sandy Duncan to Spider-Man. We’re even covering some of the commercials that aired during the original NBC broadcast!
As a reminder, the Purple Stuff Podcast is also on Patreon, where you can grab an exclusive bonus show every month. Join up today, and you’ll also gain access to dozens of our past bonus shows! November’s is dropping soon, so stay tuned!
…oh, and how’s this for a side dish? You can watch the entire 1988 Macy’s Parade right along with us! We got our hands on an excellent copy that had all of the original TV spots still intact. Enjoy, and say hi to Willard!
Thanks so much for listening, and for sharing the show around! Means so much to us. Happy Thanksgiving!
Dino Drac’s November Funpack is here! And full of holiday cheer! Take a gander, why don’t you:
UNITED STATES ONLY! LIMITED SUPPLY!
Let’s talk turkey. Official subscriptions are currently maxed out, so if you’re a current subscriber, congrats, you’re locked in! If you’re NOT a current subscriber, I have a very limited number of spares to sell on an individual basis. Skip to the bottom for ordering info, and be quick!
Everyone else, keep on reading to learn about everything in this month’s box! Read More…
Welcome to Dino Drac’s Daily Halloween Thing — an old school blog-within-a-blog! Updated every day between now and October 31st! Hang out in the comments and make this one of your daily Halloween pitstops.
Monday, October 31st:
Happy Halloween, everyone!
Thanks for spending another Halloween season with me. I’m just now realizing that this was the TWENTIETH annual Countdown, which is insane for many reasons, not the least of which being that some of you have been around for all of them!
It’s not empty positivity when I say that this was probably the strongest Halloween season in the past 20 years. Frankly, we were overserved! I remember the too-early sightings of things like Frute Brute and Mtn Dew VooDew 4, and how worried I was that frontloading the season would make for a flat October.
How wrong I was! Even after an absolute onslaught of foods, movies and promos, we got hit with the 1-2 punch of major promotions from McDonald’s and Burger King. Hell, even Sonic came in under the buzzer with those Ghostbusters spoons.
As for this year’s Countdown, I hope you all enjoyed it. I know it was a much different format, and I’m sure that some folks missed the “old way.” At this stage of doing this, when I obviously have less years in front of me than behind, it’s important to trust my instincts and passions and let them guide me. That’s what this year was all about.
Aside from the five videos I created and the several podcasts I cohosted, I felt very fulfilled by Dino Drac’s Daily Halloween Thing. I want to thank everyone who continually dropped by, with an extra special thanks to those of you who commented along with it. I can’t remember the last time I checked the site’s traffic, so it’s really the interactions that let me know if anything I’m doing is landing.
What’s next? Well, the holiday season, of course! I’m going to take a few days to catch my bearings as these past few months have truly been a whirlwind, but I plan to do a version of this Daily Thing for November & December, too. Stay tuned for word on that, and for more new videos that are already kinda/sorta underway!
For now, though, go grab some peanut butter cups and throw on Dream Warriors. Make what’s left of the Halloween season count. You’ll miss it when it’s over!
Sunday, October 30th:
I’m spending Devil’s Night making goodie bags for tomorrow’s trick-or-treaters… assuming we get any, since we’re due to get rain and Monday isn’t exactly the best day for Halloween to begin with.
This has been an annual tradition for a while now. To this day, I can still remember the exact houses that gave me something extra special back when I was still trick-or-treating. I’d like to think that I’m passing along those same vibes. What kid will forget getting a black pumpkin bag stuffed to the brim with candy? Hell, I even threw in a pair of plastic vampire fangs!
Happy Halloween Eve, all! Read More…