The Island of Misfit Toys comes to life this year

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“We’re on the Island of Misfit Toys,
Here we don’t want to stay.
We want to travel with Santa Claus in his magic sleigh….
A pack full of toys means a sack full of joys
for millions of girls and for millions of boys,
when Christmas Day is here…
The most wonderful day of the year!”

Ahhh, my favorite song from “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” You always know that Christmas is near when “Rudolph” comes on TV.

Well, you used to know that, back in the day, when Christmas didn’t start until after Thanksgiving, and we took the time to celebrate each holiday as it came, enjoyed it, and then moved on to the next one.  Nowadays, Christmas starts on Labor Day, and frankly, I’m already getting tired of it at about the same time I’m getting tired of finding new ways to prepare leftover turkey.

It takes a lot of discipline to ignore all the red and green trimmings when you go shopping for Halloween decorations and Thanksgiving dinner, but I give it a mighty effort. I actively avoid out-of-season sections. I don’t like my holidays leaking all over each other any more than I like my food slopped overlapping on my plate. I like a nice neat scoop of mashed potatoes, next to the sweet potatoes, next to the stuffing, next to the turkey. They can touch, but they should never overlap.

Some call it OCD.

Eh, bite me, Some.

Sadly, either I missed “Rudolph” on TV this year, (oh yes, you better believe I will still watch it from end to end!) or they just don’t air it anymore because it’s just too sad and tired, now that there’s a computer animated angle to the classic stop-motion story. The new, slick version is called “Rudolph and the Island of Misfit Toys,” and it’s blasphemy, I tell you, BLASPHEMY.

There are three Christmas traditions that must never be altered or copied in any way: “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” and the stop-motion version of “The Little Drummer Boy.” There is no animator, no computer, that will ever capture their charm, and to attempt to do so is like dressing the Mona Lisa in Prada. It’s just WRONG. The imperfections of the originals are what make them special.

But, apparently I’m in a minority here, because it seems that all three of my childhood Christmas classics have, ironically, been tossed onto the Island of Misfit Toys. No children want them anymore. They only want those hypnotic computer generated stories nowadays.

Children are losers.

So, here I am, all brokenhearted and nostalgic because there’s no more Rudolph on TV to herald the arrival of Christmas, and then I realize that life has stepped in and provided all the characters for my favorite scene: The Island of Misfit Toys. Oh, joy!!! They’re all here! Just look at the Republican candidates, and they’ve sprung to life!

You have Charlie in the Box, who is unloved because of his name. “No child wants to play with a Charlie in the Box,” he laments. Ah … Rick Santorum, we feel your pain. (Go ahead, google “Santorum” if you don’t get it.) Eww. I’m not touching that! No way, no how, will that ever be elected president!

It would be too sadly obvious for the goofy cowboy riding an ostrich to be Texas governor Rick Perry. No, Perry is actually the water pistol that shoots jelly. Everything that comes out of his mouth is ooey-gooey, sticky slop.

Newt Gingrich, of course, is the fat, white, over-stuffed elephant, covered in red dots. Dots of adultery, dots of shady financial deals, dots of outrageously harsh and clueless statements about poor people and Occupiers, dots of pomposity, and just like the dots of measles and chicken pox, they keep multiplying and multiplying, and eek … who wants to cuddle up to a diseased elephant? Not me.

The Choo Choo with square wheels on its caboose — clearly Mitt Romney. He looks really slick and great up front, but he just can’t seem to pick up any speed. It’s the square wheels, dude. More accurately, you ARE a square wheel. You’re so square, you probably still SAY “square.” You are the lame-o who keeps trying to look slick and sexy, and get our attention, and it’s just not ever, ever, ever going to happen. We will never want to date you. Never. I’ve seen celery with more testosterone. Please stop calling us.

Then we have Dolly for Sue, who, to look at her, has no visible defects at all. She’s Michelle Bachmann, adorable, simple and sweet. And then she speaks. Nothing but a fluffy-head. Ah, Michelle. If you’d just stop talking, you might, by default, get elected because by comparison, you’d seem like the least bad choice.

Ron Paul, he’s that bird that can’t fly so he swims like a fish. Yup, a libertarian can never fly in our constricted two-party system, so, you’re trying your best to swim like a Republican. It’s not working. We can still see what you are.

And then there’s that little blue airplane that looks absolutely perfect, and keeps elbowing its way into the scenes but no one notices. Not a clue why it’s even there, let alone on the Island. That’s, ummm, what’s that guy’s name again … Jack, Jeff. Uh, John … John … Hunter? Oh yes! Huntsman! Yeah … we just really aren’t interested. Go be a news anchor or Sears catalog model or something.

Yes, all the beloved “Rudolph” characters are here! And what makes this Christmas story even better than the original — Santa and Rudolph are not going to come along on Christmas Eve and get these misfits off the island. Misfits they are, and misfits they will stay.

Better luck in 2016, Republicans.

— Email Debra at; read more of her work at, and

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