"Here, on the island of misfit toys..." Once upon a time, when I was a little girl, teenager, and grown-up, I always loved listening to this particular Christmas cassette that my parents had. It had a lot of really nice songs on it, like "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer," and "Silver and Gold." It was a solid tape, featuring standards such as "Holly Jolly Christmas," but there were some songs on it that kind of confused me from time to time, like, "We're a Couple of Misfits," and "The Island of Misfit Toys." I thought these tunes were kind of avant-garde for your standard Burl Ives holiday tape, but I had an imagination and used it to make sense of lyrics such as, "We may be different from the rest, who can pass the test, of what is really best?"

A few years ago, one December eve when I was a wee undergraduate student, I cozied up to the tv and began watching some stop-motion Christmas special that I had never seen before. As I became wrapped up in the adventures of a wannabe dentist elf and a young Rudolph, I came to the unbelievable realization that this was the explanation to the strange songs on my Burl Ives tape! It was a soundtrack, a soundtrack to a wonderful little movie!

I was overwhelmed. How could I have gone through life, ME, of all people, knowing nothing of this special, but feeling a special warmth when I heard a sweet female voice singing, "There's always tomorrow, for dreams to come true; tomorrow is not far a-way."

Now I watch it faithfully every year, and I know that Rudolph's coy girlfriend Clarice sings that heavenly song, and that Burl Ives is a mustachioed snowman, and the misfit toys are the cutest damn things I've ever seen.

In fact, I'm watching it right now, and the little misfit dolly just exclaimed, "I haven't any dreams left to dream!"

You can't beat that.

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