As I type this, Thanksgiving is looming upon us.  So what theme would be appropriate for this time of year?

I've already said my piece on "Miracle on 34th Street".  Still, that Macy's Parade ran through my head when I was thinking about this page.

Trouble is, I wasn't about to post a whole bunch of pics of high school bands marching to "Jingle Bell Rock".  Ah...but what about the most well-known of Macy's Parade traditions?

The balloons...

Nope, don't have pics of them either.


My favorite balloons through the years were ones like Superman (duh...), Spider-Man, and the ever-popular Underdog.  The common theme, and thus, our theme for this month (no surprise if you've actually looked at the new graphic up there...):  Super-heroes!

Y'know, shopping can be a pain.  Even when you're a millionaire like Bruce Wayne.

More so when you're chemically induced into spending your hard-earned cash on Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn.

Other parts of shopping can be disturbing...try running across Detective Harvey Bullock running a stakeout as Santa Claus...

Makes a holiday visit by Clayface seem a touch comforting...

Sometimes it's just satisfying to ring down the holidays on an old fiend...

And toast the New Year with an old friend...

Truthfully, I didn't care much for the redesigns of this series.  Still don't.  Must say, though, this set of vignettes posing as a complete episode was about as enjoyable as any Bat-episode that's come across my television.  Ultimately, flashiness had to be set aside in favor of strict characterization...a difficult task, considering the time restraints.  Difficult, but executed to great effect.

Let's now go back a century or so, and consider the "plight" of the Countess of Morcar.

Hmmph, "plight".  The woman has just way too much money, and people around her too willing to take it.  Well, money, or they'll snatch her prized jewel while she's out Christmas shopping.

What, then, does a robbery have to do with the goose Sherlock Holmes (played brilliantly, as usual, by the late Jeremy Brett) holds in his hand?

Take a guess...I'll wait...

"The Blue Carbuncle", being the name of the gem and the title of the last story of Brett's first run of Holmes stories on British television and PBS, showed sides of Holmes' personality not always seen.  As always, his intellect and attention to detail were first and foremost.  Yet here, we see he's not really a morning person.  His exercise of basic manners are hit and miss.  He actually has a sense of humor (who'da thunk it?).  Occasionally he can show mercy to those that may not really deserve it.

And he can wrap up a nasty little mystery before Christmas dinner...

You might be quibbling with me now about including Sherlock Holmes in a look at super-heroes.  You may have a point.  I maintain that the Holmesian intellect borders on a mutant power...but as atonement, I'll now offer up an adventure of the greatest super-hero of them all.

Or, at least, the "Lois & Clark" version...

Written by series star Dean Cain, the second season episode "Seasons Greedings" took a rather upbeat look at the holiday season.  The villain plot was, frankly, I'm overlooking it here.

Instead, I'm looking at the earnestness of Clark Kent trying to help an orphanage Santa (played by Dick Van Patten) make the season brighter for his young charges.

The search by Lois Lane for some meaning in her Christmas.

A Super-sleigh ride by the Daily Planet staff to help out the orphans.

And in the end, a private moment of two friends being there for each other.

Not too shabby...

Before the birth of Christ, holidays were observed at this time of year.  Most notably, the celebration of the Winter Solstice.  Many of those traditions are still in effect today, including the bringing into the home of evergreen trees, to signify that life goes on, even during the darkness of winter.

Those trees were often decorated...but the chakram of Xena, Warrior Princess wasn't a standard ornament...

In retrieving the weapon, Xena and sidekick Gabrielle found themselves in the middle of a pre-Dickens tale of woe.  Orphanage.  Greedy, thoughtless king.  Foreclosure.

The situation being Dickenesque, naturally a Christmas Carol visitation or three would be in order.

Being a Xena episode, a fight would be in order...albeit this time armed with weapons in the form of toys built by reluctant helper Senticles (Get it?  They're in Greece, so they have a "Senticles", not a "Santa Claus"...ok, nobody's pretending this thing wasn't hokey...)

And with the help of some friends - or reasonable facsimiles thereof - the solstice was saved...

(You just might not want to ask about the unicorn...)

Finally, here's an episode from the initial incarnation of Batman: The Animated Series entitled "Christmas With The Joker".  Though I know better, I'm tempted to write this one up with the voice of William Dozier (producer/announcer of the 1960's Batman series) ringing in my ears...

Oh, what the heck...I'm going to consider this a present to myself.  Play along...what have you got to lose?

"We have already seen..."

"A daring Christmas tree?!?!?"

"A snowy vigil!"

"It's A Wonderful...Joker?!?!?"


"POP goes The Joker!"

"And to all, a Dark Knight!"

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