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What will you watch, listen to during this Christmas season?

With the warm spring-like weather that has blanketed the area over the last few weeks, it may be a little difficult to remember Christmas is a little more than a week away.

Sunday, December 16, 2001

With the warm spring-like weather that has blanketed the area over the last few weeks, it may be a little difficult to remember Christmas is a little more than a week away.

But if you’re looking to get in the holiday mood, you may want to turn to the arts for a little yuletide spirit.

Christmas music varies as much as the musicians that perform it. Holiday music comes in every shape, size and form from the Backstreet Boys pop-bopping "Silent Night" to Placido Domingo belting out "Ava Maria." With Christmas music, pick your favorite band, and more than likely it will have a Christmas album.

In addition to the classical music, such as Tchaikovsky’s "Nutcracker," or George Frideric Handel’s "Messiah," the Trans-Siberian Orchestra offers classical music – with a twist.

The group, which was founded in 1996 by Paul O’Neill, combines rock music with symphonic orchestra. Their albums, "The Christmas Attic" and "Christmas Eve and Other Stories" present standard Christmas tunes with a different flair.

The CD, "Our Favorite Things," offers another classical presentation of Christmas standards with performances from artists such as Charlotte Church, Vanessa Williams, and Placido Domingo.

Blues musicians are also represented in the holiday music lineup. B.B. King’s CD, "A Christmas Celebration of Hope" and Nat King Cole’s "Christmas Song," may help set the Christmas mood. And the CD, "Now That What I Call Christmas," new for this year, features music from Perry Como, Michael Bolton and Harry Connick, Jr.

Pop musicians are also bringing Christmas tunes to the MTV generation. Jewel’s "Joy – A Holiday Collection" features a Christmas rendition of her song "Hands" and MTV gets in on the act with "MTV: TRL Christmas" features Nsync, Christina Aguilera, and Mariah Carey. Destiney’s Child released "8 Days of Christmas" and Toni Braxton has her release "Snowflakes."

Christmas music is also available for the little tykes in the family. "Kwazy Christmas" from the Looney Tunes, "Elmo Saves Christmas" from the folks at Sesame Street and "A Very Merry Chipmunk" by none other than Alvin and the Chipmunks line the aisles of your favorite music store.

The Christmas holiday also means the kids will be off from school and most people will have a day or two away from work. So, there’s plenty of opportunities for the family to get together, make some popcorn and slip a movie into the VCR or DVD player.

Of course, there are the standards, "Miracle on 34th Street," "Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus" and "A Christmas Carol," but how about some newer Christmas-time comedies.

"Trapped in Paradise," a 1994 flick directed by George Gallo is a yuletime comedy starring Nicolas Cage, Jon Lovits, and Dana Carvey. The plot isn’t the normal Christmas movie. Three brothers rob a small town bank but the kindness of the townfolk sets them on the straight and narrow. The movie is rated PG-13.

Then, there’s the "Home Alone" series that follows the antics of a New York kid left to fend for himself over the holidays.

"The Santa Clause," a 1994 movie directed by John Pasquin, and stars Tim Allen and Judge Reinhold also provides a new-Christmas story fit for family moving. The movie is about a divorced father, Tim Allen, who accidentally kills Santa on Christmas eve. Due to a magical clause, Allen’s character is then recruited to take his place.

Then, there’s the hallmark holiday comedy classic, "National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation."

The 1989 movie directed by Jeremiah Chechik and starring Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo and Randy Quaid, follows the misadventures of the Griswold clan.

Visions of a "perfect" Christmas holiday with friends and family quickly dissipate from Clark Griswold’s (Chevy Chase) head as his offbeat family, who put the "fun" in "dysfunctional," runs amok. The movie is rated PG-13.

So no matter what your holiday plans, there is sure to be something for everyone.