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Photo Friday: Sing Joy

Photo courtesy of Shawn Proctor, Communication and Marketing Program Manager.


Falvey staff members Brian Warren, Library Technology Developer (second row, second from right), and John Banionis, Metrics and Assessment Librarian (bottom row, first from left), along with Nicole Subik, Director, Learning Support Services (second row, first from right), sing joyful carols to all those in attendance at the University’s staff Christmas party on Thursday, Dec. 15. Interested in joining Villanova’s Faculty-Staff Choir? The volunteer choir accepts singers of all ability levels and interests. For questions or more information please email Betsy Springuel (elizabeth.springuel@villanova.edu). Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Looking for more holiday tunes? Check out this playlist by Olivia Dunn ’23.


Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Library. Her favorite holiday albumsThe Carpenters: A Christmas Portrait and A Swingin’ Little Christmas by Jane Lynch, Kate Flannery, Tim Davis and The Tony Guerrero Quintet.

 


 


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Falvey’s Guide To Christmas Pop

By Olivia Dunn


With Christmastime approaching, it’s time to start listening and appreciating the season before it passes you by. Rather than opting for the classics such as “Jingle Bells” or “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” at every chance you get (although there’s nothing wrong with that), consider checking out the multitude of pop music various stars have offered over the years with the convenient broken-down guide provided below. Happy Holidays!

Classics:

These pop hits have stood the test of time and are just as likely to be heard on the radio as any other Christmas carol. Out of all the classics, these three are the best of the best.

“All I Want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey – Say what you want about this song, as it has gained a reputation for being overhyped, but it’s simply not Christmas without at least a few (or hundreds of) listens.

“Last Christmas” by Wham! – This song is the perfect choice for those who could do without the same cheery tone of most Christmas songs.

“Mistletoe” by Justin Bieber – Upon its release in 2011, this song easily became a staple for both middle school girls and non-Justin Bieber listeners alike.

Sleepers:

While these songs often get overshadowed by their more-famous counterparts, they are just as deserving of multiple listens throughout the holiday season.

“Cold December Night” by Michael Bublé – While Michael Bublé has become known for other famous tracks off his beloved holiday album simply entitled Christmas, “Cold December Night” deserves fame in its own right.

“Christmas Eve” by Justin Bieber – One of the more soulful tracks off of Justin Bieber’s Christmas album, “Christmas Eve” makes for the perfect listen during your family’s Christmas commute.

“Underneath the Tree” by Kelly Clarkson – Once you hear this song for the first time, you’ll never be able to get it out of your head, and you’ll enjoy every minute of it. 

Worthy Covers:

With a limited amount of Christmas carols in existence, it can be difficult to decipher which covers are the best. Over the years, these three have remained tried and true staples.

“It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” by Michael Bublé – While it was hard to choose just one cover from Michael Bublé, this song sums up the simultaneous anticipation and nostalgia associated with Christmas perfectly. 

“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by Sam Smith – This slowed-down take of a classic Christmas song is a match made in Christmas heaven with Sam Smith’s vocals.

“Winter Wonderland/Don’t Worry Darling” by Pentatonix – Pentatonix gives a fun and unique spin of “Winter Wonderland” by pairing it with Bob Marley’s fan favorite hit, “Don’t Worry Darling.”

View my full holiday playlist below. From all of us at Falvey, we hope you give these picks a listen and have a happy and healthy Holiday season! 


Olivia Dunn HeadshotOlivia Dunn is a senior at Villanova University. She works in Falvey Library as a Communications and Marketing Assistant and majors in Communication with specializations in both Journalism and Public Relations.

 


 


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Weekend Recs: Christmas Specials

Happy Friday, Wildcats! Falvey Library is delivering you another semester of Weekend Recs, a blog dedicated to filling you in on what to read, listen to, and watch over the weekend. Annie, a graduate assistant from the Communication department, scours the internet, peruses the news, and digs through book stacks to find new, relevant, and thought-provoking content that will challenge you and prepare you for the upcoming week. 

Christmas is a little over a week away, and this means that Christmas specials will begin (if they already haven’t) filling the airtime of most cable channels and streaming recommendation lists. In the spirit of the season, or simply as a way to bring some merriness into the bleak week of finals, this weekend’s recs will share some Christmas specials for festive enthusiasts and Grinches alike.

If you have 4 minutes and 18 seconds…and need some (violent) humor in your day, watch this SNL “A Christmas Carol” sketch. If you’re a fan of old SNL, you’ll be happy to know it features prior cast members, Steve Martin and Martin Short.

If you have 22 minutes…and need some Michael Scott cringe (or hilarity), watch “Christmas Party” from The Office‘s 2nd season, available in Falvey’s DVD Collection. Although The Office has quite a few Christmas episodes, “Christmas Party” was the first and, arguably, one of the best.

If you have another 22 minutes…and look forward to another Belcher family Christmas each year, watch the most recent Bob’s Burgers holiday special, “The Plight Before Christmas.”

If you have 51 minutes…and are a fan of the family-friendly classics, watch The Year Without a Santa Claus. If you have cable, you will likely have ample opportunities to catch this old-timey Christmas special, and it is, in my opinion, one of the bests. (I mean, the Snow Miser and Heat Miser songs earn their iconic status).

If you have 1 hour and 28 minutes…and have a chaotic family that keeps the holidays interesting, watch Four Christmases. An ode to children of divorce and emotionally immature parental figures, this Reese Witherspoon/Vince Vaughn comedy might just make you feel a bit better (or at the very least, validated) about your Christmas-time family antics and woes.

If you have 1 hour and 45 minutes…and want to watch a slightly newer “classic,” check out the ultimate Jim Carey holiday film, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, available in Falvey’s DVD Collection. In all honesty, this is my favorite Christmas movie of all time, so I might be a bit biased when I say it is worth a watch, but…it’s worth a watch.

Photo by Samira Rahi on Unsplash

Bonus: this recommendation practically goes without saying, but watch Elf this holiday season, also available in Falvey’s DVD Collection.

If you have 2 hours and 7 minutes…and are tired of re-watching old Christmas films, watch Spirited. Released over Thanksgiving, this film updates Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol with a comedic twist. Plus, as a bonus, it stars Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell.

Bonus: For all the MCU fans, Iron Man 3 and Hawkeye are both set around Christmas time and are perfect for those who want something only tangentially related to the holidays.


Annie Stockmal is a graduate student in the Communication Department and graduate assistant in Falvey Library.


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Photo Friday: It’s The Holiday Season

Image of Christmas tree in Falvey Library.

Photo courtesy of Shawn Proctor.

Image of Christmas tree in Falvey Library.

Photo courtesy of Luisa Cywinski.

Image of Christmas tree in Falvey Library.

Photo courtesy of Gina Duffy.


It’s the holiday season! Falvey Library staff assembled the Christmas tree on the first floor yesterday. Staff (and students passing by) were able to hang ornaments on the tree and enjoy some hot chocolate and an assortment of desserts. Stop by the library to enjoy the decorations during the remainder of the semester: The building is open 24/7. View the full listing of service hours here. Looking for research support? Subject librarians are available for assistance Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. or by appointment.


Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Library.

 

 


 


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Curious Cat: Holiday Tunes

Olivia Dunn & Ethan Shea

"Curious Cat Banner"

Happy Thursday, Wildcats! We hope your November is off to a great start. For this week’s installment of the Curious Cat, we take on a controversial topic…

Some people begin listening to holiday tunes the moment Halloween ends, but others prefer to wait until after Thanksgiving before they start rockin’ around the Christmas tree. That’s why we chose to ask some Falvey patrons when they begin listening to holiday music!

Here are the answers we received:

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“My family starts listening as soon as Thanksgiving dinner ends.”

— Kathryn Scotto ’24

“It’s 100% okay after Thanksgiving, but sometimes you just need to listen to Christmas music. I remember listening to it in October during my senior year of high school.”

— Maggie Hutchins ’24

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“I start listening on November 1.”

— Bridget Ritchie ’24

“The day after Thanksgiving.”

— Anna McCarthy ’24

“I’ll listen any time, but November 1 is most acceptable.”

— Alise Adornato ’23


Olivia Dunn Headshot

Olivia Dunn is a senior at Villanova University. She works in Falvey Library as a Communications and Marketing Assistant and majors in Communication with specializations in both Journalism and Public Relations.

 

 

 

 

Headshot of Ethan SheaEthan Shea is a graduate student in the English Department and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Library.


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Holiday Movies for Not-So-Jolly Nights

By Shawn Proctor

Even if December is totally your jam, there are likely going to be days when your enjoyment of Christma-kwanza-nakuh-yule wanes.

Will Farrell’s Elf needs to stay on the shelf, you think to yourself. Jingle All the Way can just jingle-go-away.

Wait! There are films for those days when your cheer is not in gear. Save yourself from going full Scrooge with this slate of holiday favorites that take a more sanguine approach to this season. And some you might not realize are holiday movies at all.

 

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Image courtesy of Movie Graveyard

Die Hard
There are three certainties in life: Death, taxes, and Die Hard IS a Christmas movie. There’s all of the trapping of Christmas, including snow, fun Christmas music, and, of course, Bruce Willis fashioning quotable Christmas lines like, “Now I have a machinegun! Ho! Ho! Ho!”

Dig Deeper: If you want to look back at the inspiration for Die Hard, check out Roderick Thorp’s Nothing Lasts Forever (available via InterLibrary Loan), sequel to the book The Detective, which was also adapted to film and starred Frank Sinatra.

Learn more about every film in the franchise by listening to the Die Hard retrospective series from Now Playing Podcast.

Content warnings: violence, harsh language, drug use

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Image Courtesy of Movie Scene

Gremlins
This delightfully horrific tale twists Christmas iconography into something far darker. But for every scary gremlin, there’s the mogwai like Gizmo to give you big doses of cute and cuddly.

There’s no place like home for the holidays, and nothing like chaotic mogwai (which incidentally means “monster” and “evil spirit”) to warm your heart…by possibly burning down your house.

Content warnings: violence, a melodramatic story in which Santa is disproven

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Image courtesy of Regal Movies.

Edward Scissorhands

Picture a snow globe with an idyllic town with little people and a house high up on a hill. Picture yourself inside that snow globe. Now picture a weird, gothic automaton that no one understands, except you. That’s Edward Scissorhands in a nutshell…er, globe.
This underappreciated classic features Johnny Depp (Sweeney Todd) and Winona Ryder (Stranger Things) at the height of their quirky, wonderful powers. It’s breathtaking, beautiful, and sad. And obviously directed by Tim Burton.
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Image courtesy of Arts Meme

L.A. Confidential
This is a movie where the holidays are the inciting incident from which a Los Angeles power struggle begins.
The best police force in the world is tarnished by scandal during a robbery/massacre and Christmas party that goes from “Silent Night” to melee. There’s twists. There’s intrigue. There’s enemies who become friends, and friends who become betrayers. All of this carries right through to the tense climax.
It also features a slate of amazing, charismatic actors, including Russell Crowe, Guy Pierce, and Kim Basinger.
Dig Deeper: The film was adapted from the James Ellroy novel, L.A. Confidential (available from InterLibrary Loan.)
Content warnings: racially insensitive language, violence, harsh language, Kevin Spacey (unfortunately)
Honorable Mentions:
Philadelphia is a great city for Christmas, and it has appeared in many notable films. If you want to get to know the City of Brotherly Love in cinema, be sure to check out the delightful superhero film Shazam! The film has great comedy scenes, solid acting, and a great message about celebrating found family.
Harder hitting and darker is the original Rocky. It shuns the glamor of the later films, but this Oscar-winning drama captures the ’70s vibe of Philadelphia in the winter and the unbreakable spirit of its people. With gritty moments leading to the ultimate David vs. Goliath fight, Rocky depicts the American dream, as told through a journeyman boxer who must discover the endurance to go the distance against the best fighter in the world.
Did I miss one of your not-as-cheery holiday movies? What about a classic incidentally Christmas film? Let me know!

Shawn ProctorShawn Proctor is Communication and Marketing Program Manager at Falvey Memorial Library.

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Try These Books Turned Hallmark Movies This Holiday Season

Poster of the Movie Guide—Countdown to Christmas 2021. Image courtesy of Hallmark Channel.

Movie Guide—Countdown to Christmas 2021. Image courtesy of Hallmark Channel.


Who doesn’t love Hallmark movies…Okay, I know not everyone likes Hallmark movies. So if you don’t like cheesy holiday cheer, this isn’t the blog for you. If you’re one of the people who likes Hallmark’s holiday classics (or someone who doesn’t publicly share their Hallmark fandom) you’re going to want to keep reading.

Now, before I continue with this article, I fully acknowledge that Hallmark movies are not Oscar-worthy films. Almost all of them feature over-the-top acting, quirky characters, overused clichés, and the same predictable plotlines. However, that formulized narrative is what makes them so appealing. “The human brain loves patterns and the predictability is cognitively rewarding,” explains Pamela Rutledge, Behavioral Scientist, Director of the Media Psychology Research Center and Media Psychology faculty at Fielding Graduate University. “Those predictable story arcs that draw on the standard patterns we recognize from fairytales offer comfort by presenting life as simple and moralistic…The movies provide simplistic solutions to all those stressors that the holidays can bring: family conflict, isolation or financial pressures.” 

That suspension of reality, as with any entertainment, is a form of escapism for viewers. So, while I may not inherit millions of dollars from a long-lost relative and move to a small town, and then proceed to save said small town from from financial difficulty, all the while meeting the love of my life during the Christmas season—I can reduce my stress level by getting lost in a fictional reality full of hopeful optimism.

While Hallmark is famous for its “Countdown to Christmas,” and Lifetime for “Its a Wonderful Lifetime,” many streaming platforms have also begun to produce holiday-themed films and mini-series that mirror Hallmark’s movie format. We all celebrate the holidays differently, and if Hallmark movies, or similar films, are part of your festivities—embrace and enjoy the cheesy cheerfulness. If not, make some hot chocolate, change the channel, and find another movie that will help you decompress.

If you prefer the page to the screen, try reading a book (or two) that Hallmark films are based upon this holiday season:


Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library. Her favorite Hallmark Movie is The Christmas Card.

 

 

References: Page, D. (2019, November 16). Here’s why it feels so good to watch those Hallmark holiday movies. NBC News. Retrieved November 19, 2021, from https://www.nbcnews.com/better/lifestyle/here-s-why-it-feels-so-good-watch-those-hallmark-ncna1080841


 

 


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Weekend Recs: December 3

By Jenna Renaud

Happy Friday, Wildcats! After a year off, Falvey Memorial Library is bringing back Weekend Recs, a blog dedicated to filling you in on what to read, listen to, and watch over the weekend. Jenna, a graduate assistant from the Communication department, scours the internet, peruses the news, and digs through book stacks to find new, relevant, and thought-provoking content that will challenge you and prepare you for the upcoming week. 

Thanksgiving is over, and it’s officially December, which means it’s fully time to celebrate the holiday season!

This weekend I’m providing recommendations to get you ready for the most wonderful time of the year. Take a break from studying to get into the Christmas spirit–I promise it will be the perfect stress reliever and put a smile on your face. Whether you have less than 10 minutes or the whole weekend to relax (if that’s you, tell me your secrets!), I have the perfect recs for you! 

If you have 5 minutes… and need to prioritize studying next week, stop by Falvey’s Carrel-tas Commitment station and enter to win a drawing for an exclusive study room for one night next week. In addition, you’ll be entered in for the grand prize that gives you access to the Falvey room 206 study suite for you and five of your friends during the entirety of finals week (Dec. 10-17). Read more about the contest here. 

If you have 20 minutes or a whole evening… drive around the area and look at people’s Christmas lights and decorations! Get some inspiration and then bring it down to a smaller scale to decorate your dorm room or apartment.  

If you at least 90 minutes… watch one of the movies on Den of Geek’s Christmas Movies: A Complete Holiday Streaming Guide. Seems like a big claim to have the complete streaming guide of holiday movies, but they definitely did have some good ones on the list! 

If you have 2 hours… read The Father Christmas Letters by J.R.R. Tolkien. A quick read, the book is a collection of letters that Tolkien, as Santa and Santa’s right-hand polar bear, wrote to his children and their responses. The book is available in Falvey’s collection! 

If you have 4 hours… drive into the ‘burbs and visit Shady Brook Farm’s drive-through light display! The display is on most Philly-area Christmas lists and is a must-see if you haven’t been before. After you drive through the lights, park to walk through their market, grab some hot chocolate or other drinks, and cozy up around one of their many fire pits.  


jenna newman headshotJenna Renaud is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department.


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Cat in the Stax: Classics To Read for Christmas in July

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By Jenna Newman

We’re celebrating Christmas in July, so the feeling of cheer never needs to disappear. Light a candle, snuggle up with one of these books, which are great all year round! 

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

This novel is the epitome of a Christmas classic, which is why it’s taken the coveted spot of first on my book list this week. Dickens’ classic story of Ebenezer Scrooge has been adapted for every audience and medium. My personal favorite adaptation is the Mickey Mouse Disney take starring Mickey and Scrooge McDuck. However, if you haven’t read the classic in a while (or ever!) it’s definitely worth the read this holiday season. 

The Man Who Invented Christmas by Les Standiford

If you’ve read, and loved, A Christmas Carol then the next book for you to read is The Man Who Invented Christmas. Standiford tells the story behind the story, including how Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol in a last attempt to save his career. If you like to see stories on a big screen, The Man Who Invented Christmas became a film in 2017, although it hasn’t picked up as much momentum as one may have expected. 

The Father Christmas Letters by J.R.R. Tolkien

Whether you’re a Lord of the Rings fan or not, The Father Christmas Letters is worth pulling off the shelf this holiday season. The novel is a compilation of letters that Tolkien wrote to his children each year at Christmastime. Each letter was written either from Father Christmas or a polar bear. Tolkien creates a world for his children, aiding in their belief of Santa Claus and all things having to do with the North Pole, which creates for a magical read for all.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Once again, I’ve found a way to throw my favorite book Little Women onto a book list. If you haven’t picked up the book yet, Christmas is a perfect time to read it for the first time. Little Women was originally two separate stories, Little Women and Good Wives. The first original novel and first half of what we know today as Little Women is book-ended by the March girl’s Christmas day celebrations. Greta Gerwig’s movie adaptation was also released Christmas Day 2019!

 


Jenna Newman is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department.

 

 

 


 


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Throwback Thursday: 2018 Madness and Gladness

2018 NCAA championship ornament

Happy Christmas Eve, Wildcats!

The 2018 Villanova Men’s Basketball team was a gift, no doubt. As a team, they danced through a series of double-digit victories before unwrapping a national championship. Jalen Brunson needed Santa’s sleigh to collect all of his individual awards—and pass out team and coaching accolades, too.

This year is the 101st season of Villanovan Men’s Basketball and, yet again, visions of three-pointers swish in the heads of hoops fans. Want to learn more about the previous 100 seasons while you prep for tournament season? Check out Falvey’s exhibit in the Digital Collection!


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Last Modified: December 24, 2020