Gone to the dogs

The last week or so I've been yearning to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas. I've not seen the holiday special in probably 15 years, maybe even closer to 20, as it's been that long since my little girls would hunker down in front of the television to watch the annual roundup of holiday goodness. Lately I've been missing that and figured it's high time to partake of the holiday goodness myself, even if I have to do it alone.

So over the weekend I popped in my Charlie Brown VHS (yes, VHS ... why upgrade kids' shows to DVD at the empty nest stage?) to watch on the TV in the study as I worked at my desk. And get this: Despite having no children or grandchildren around to watch such things with me, I certainly wasn't alone -- I was joined by my darling dogs, Mickey and Lyla.

Together we watched Charlie Brown lament the commercialism of Christmas, hanging on every note from Vince G., every Snoopy shuffle and every puff from Pig-Pen.

Since we had the time -- and the TV had their attention -- I decided to pop in How The Grinch Stole Christmas, too. It's been just about as many years since I've seen the Grinch special, I think, and I was sure Mickey and Lyla had never been to Whoville at all.

So we went there together. I enjoyed the sweetness of Cindy Lou Who while my canine companions relished the harrowing heroism of Max the Dog.

Thanks to Charlie's Snoopy and Grinch's Max, Mickey and Lyla were as intrigued by the shows as I was.* I'm not so sure they'd have been as amenable to watching holiday fare with me if the featured selection had been dogless dither such as Santa Claus is Coming to Town or Frosty the Snowman.

While visiting Bubby for Thanksgiving, I caught snippets of Santa Buddies with Bubby, and I've been thinking that's a holiday movie Mickey and Lyla would enjoy. So I'm watching for it to go on sale after Christmas. I figure since my one and only grandson lives 819 miles away and I must rely on my dogs to keep me company -- even when it comes to watching holiday shows -- I might as well include a doggy feature especially for them now and then. I understand there's a Santa Buddies sequel available, too, so if they're good, I'll go all out and make it a double feature.

I'll be buying both Santa Buddies movies on DVD, though, so we can watch them on our 54-incher in the family room instead of on the tiny tube in the study. My TV-watching buddies Mickey and Lyla will surely appreciate life-size holiday buddies on the big screen come Christmastime next year!

*Truth be told, the dogs slept through much of both shows. But it still was nice to have them hanging out with me while I watched the ol' holiday favorites.

Holiday question of the day:

Overall, would you say you've been more naughty or more nice this past year? Do your loved ones -- the ones playing Santa -- agree?