how I started watching holiday movies in the summer

It is exhausting to even begin to sketch how the last 2+ years of the global pandemic have completely changed the course of all of our lives. Rather than digging into all the human loss, lost time, weight gain and what you have to do, let’s talk about the weird things we started in the spring of 2020 that are now part of our everyday lives. i go first

I started a Christmas movie podcast with my partner. Well, before you groan too much about someone telling you about this another podcast, stay with me.

In the first episode of 12 Days Pod, Cara and Dan discuss whether Kevin McCallister has the makings of a serial killer, whether Joe Pesci and Danny DeVito are interchangeable, and whether John Candy has a love interest.

In case you don’t know who I am, I’m Cara Zelaya, the content strategist here at Daily Kos. I was hired as our social media coordinator in January 2019 and have carved an odd little niche for myself here. You may not know what I’m doing, but every time you see an RSS-filled story of ours on yours Twitter or Facebook Feed, you’re watching an episode of The Brief, listening to The Downballot, or seeing a graphic of us on your Instagram that I most likely helped create.

All of that was an exaggerated way of saying, starting a podcast wasn’t only an exercise in self-indulgence – it was also a way for me to learn new skills that I could apply to my job. Also, I like Christmas. Sue me. I know that in progressive areas the sickly commercialized holiday gets a bad rap, especially in the circles I’m in as I’m not religious at all, but here we are.

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I was so damn sad and so scared and I needed something to heal my inner child as my therapist likes to say. I wanted to watch Christmas movies with my partner, I wanted to make funny comments about them, and I also wanted to poke fun at the whole concept of having serious opinions about movies at a time when it feels like there is nothing but an endless supply of tragedy for us serious opinions on. And so 12 Days Pod was born.

12 Day Pod is a Christmas podcast about vacation movies hosted by a couple who disagree on what a typical vacation experience is, and laugh even more.

In 30 minutes or less, you can listen to me, a sarcastic immigrant feminist with a cool job in progressive media, and my partner Dan, a Midwestern water scientist with the general demeanor of a golden retriever (that’s a compliment), how they shoot the shit about the healthiest topics.

Where did we start? Home alone. Probably every millennial’s first John Hughes film. So there I was, deep into my third or fourth week of isolation, with just my newly moved in partner and Kevin McCallister and his antics. I’m telling you – it healed.

Later I told some friends about this new creative project of mine and the memes started coming. My favorite was this:

I’ve been talking about Christmas movies for two years now. And while we don’t release new episodes until about 10 weeks before Christmas, we start watching movies in the spring and editing episodes well in advance, so there’s never a gap in our release schedule.

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Each episode follows the same format: we talk about what our relationship with the film is, what we think it could be about if we’ve never seen it before, a general synopsis of the film, things we liked and didn’t like , a fun facts section, and then we rank the film based on the 12 days of Christmas. Did we think “Home Alone” was “a partridge in a pear tree” or “twelve drummers drumming”?

I hope you all check out the show – I think if nothing else it will add a little bit of ease to your day.

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