The Merriest of Christmas moments to everyone checking into FH
for a few minutes this Christmas Day!
Christmas is always a time to look back, these days more than ever. Last Christmas, I was sure that in 12 months, we'd be looking back at the misery that was 2020 in the rear view mirror. But.. as we all knows, objects are closer than they may appear. Seems Covid was closer than we all thought, and once again this Christmas, we're in for a non-traditional less social holiday season.
Like most of you, I'm tired of the pandemic, but even more, I'm tired of people complaining about the restrictions and limits. The intent is to keep us alive and healthy, and given over five million citizens of the world have died from the virus, those of us still breathing are pretty fortunate. So I'll eat turkey with two people instead of eight, big freaking whoop!
To be honest, last year I didn't really mind my socially distant Christmas. It was the first year without one of my parents alive, and our big family gathering was going to be different anyway. It seemed almost a relief not to gather together, especially given my father had only recently died. This year however, was going to be different. I had family coming, and was looking forward to things getting back to normal. Best laid plans...
I'm not complaining, I still have plans and sometimes, through change, and even pandemics, new traditions are born. Last year on Christmas Day, I dropped off gifts and visited my Goddaughter and her parents. I usually do it every year, but normally, we visit inside. Last year, we went for walk on the beach near their home. I love beach days, but oddly, more in the Autumn and winter than in the summer.
We exchanged gifts on a windy beach and even took a long a tiny tree to push into the sand. This year, we're all looking forward to repeating the new tradition tomorrow afternoon. There is no snow expected, so except for the bitter wind currently surrounding my home, I'm looking forward to the two hour drive to the beach. Sure, it's not bacon wrapped chestnuts in front of the fire, but without the pandemic, beach days, would never have been apart of my Christmas day routine.
No matter what your doing this Christmas, with goddaughters, family and friends, furry babies, or on your own, I wish you a Merry Christmas, and a few meaningful moments and maybe...the start of a new tradition or two.
Each Christmas, I attempt to profile an actor who had an iconic role in a holiday film. Past Christmas Day entries have included; Jimmy Stewart, Zach Ward, Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Zach Galligan. One of my favorites was on child star Mark Lester who appeared in the Christmas/horror flick, Who Slew Auntie Roo. I loved the film, and enjoyed reading about Lester's career.
Douglass Montgomery (1933)
This year, I found it hard to find an actor to feature. I decided then on a character. Little Women isn't specifically a Christmas film, but due to it's Christmas and winter scenes, is often associated with the holiday. One of the few male characters, and the only young male character of note is Theodore 'Laurie' Lawrence. Laurie is kind character closely connected to the March family, especially close to both Jo, and eventually Amy.
Peter Lawford (1949)
Over the years, Laurie has been played by hundreds, if not thousands of actors, on stage and on the screen. Most notably, Laurie was played on film by Douglass Montgomery in 1933, Peter Lawford in 1949, Christian Bale in 1994 and Timothée Chalamet in 2019. Other well known actors to have taken on the role include: Joel Grey,(1958) Richard Gilliland, (1978) and High School Musicals Lucas Grabeel (2018)
Christian Bale (1994)
The only two Laurie's that I've actually seen are Montgomery and Bale's. Despite my love of Chalamet. the 2019 version remains on my 'to watch' list. I tend to be stubborn when it comes to watching re-makes, even though each of the versions I listed was a re-make itself. The book by Louisa May Alcott was first published in 1869 with the first film version I believe being in 1917, with Milton Rosmer as Laurie, and again in 1918, this time with Conrad Nagel as Laurie.
Timothée Chalamet (2019)
'I shall never stop loving you; but the love is altered, and I have learned to see that it is better as it is.'
Laurie to Jo
Jonah Hauer-King (2017)
When I was researching actors who played Laurie, there was a recent one that I'd not heard of before. British actor Jonah Hauer-King played Laurie in an adaptation for British television. The three part mini-series aired on the BBC in 2017. I'm guessing most of you haven't heard of Hauer-King, but an upcoming role in a new film has me thinking he's going to be one to watch. See more o the Hauer-King on the NEXT PAGE HERE:
I love tradition, especially at holidays and today mark's one of my favorites. This Christmas mark's the 6th anniversary since I first featured one of Nebeker Christmas Elves. It was back in 2015 that photographer Gordon Nebeker first shot one of Santa's hot helpers decorating his home and trimming his tree. Since Mr. Herzog (HERE:) first decked those halls, several different enticing elves have climbed that stepladder, naked of course, to deck Gordon's halls and decorate and put the topper on his tree.
Many of you will undoubtedly recognize this year's holiday helper. I first featured the novelist with an exhibitionist streak back in 2014. (Beyond) Since then, I've enjoying more of Tim's work and his collaborations with Gordon. We've seen Gordon shoot Tim around the house, (HERE:) underwater, (HERE) and for his book, Love In The Afternoon. (HERE:)
Tim makes the perfect Christmas Elf with his tight body and stature making it easy for him to deck the highest of halls and the tallest of tree's. Given his love working in the buff, this holiday assignment was right up his alley. When Gordon first sent on the results of the shoot, I had to smile at Tim's red speedo. It was an image of Tim in a speedo, a blue one, that had me first drawn to his work as model. I had to ask Tim about his passion for speedos, and his time as an Elf. So, without further ado, an Elf on his Self.
Where did your passion for speedos come from?
My love of speedos goes back to being a teenager growing up in the countryside who had no access to erotica, only to National Geographics and encyclopedias and vintage magazines and so forth. Speedos were the closest thing to nudity that I was able to experience back then. The amount of exposure they permitted fascinated me. So did the thought of what that super-tight fabric stretched over my genitals would feel like. When I got my first speedo at 19 when I was in college, I also realized how no other guys were brave enough to wear them in public, even the ones who were on the swim team, so wearing a speedo gained the added attraction of being different and defiant of social norms. Plus the swimmer body has always been one of my physical ideals, and the swimmer body is inseparable from the speedo.
Speedos have gone from being the norm on beaches to being rather rare. Has this had you re-think the choice, or embrace it even more
It's made me embrace it even more. I try to set a good example to others by sporting a speedo. If we have to wear something at the beach, there is no logical or aesthetic reason why it shouldn't be speedos. And again, it's a way to defy social norms in a civilization that is increasingly cowardly about exposing the body.
When I first featured your modelling work back in 2014, you were ambivalent about featuring full nudes. You seem to have embraced it, curious about the change?
I've always loved nude modeling since my very first shoot in 2009. However, at the time we began talking, I was facing a lot of disapproval from certain family members and from someone I then considered a close friend, all of whom were trying to convince me that I shouldn't be flaunting my body online. Out of courtesy to them, I was trying to keep my work more discreet at the time. However, that pressure is no longer on me, so I'm now free to live my philosophy of promoting the nudist lifestyle and its physical, psychological, and ethical benefits through my exhibitionism.
Do you remember how you and Gordon first connected?
Absolutely! We met on Instagram, where I'd been following him for a year or so before I ended up taking a trip through Massachusetts one summer and he invited me to shoot with him. It's been a series of very fruitful collaborations ever since! -What was your first impression of Gordon and his of his work.? I fell in love with his underwater shots to start with. So few photographers do those and they're very unique. His soft lighting and use of graceful curves also appealed to me. So did his focus on nude models. His Lake Powell shoots were especially thrilling. I like elegant erotica that expresses how wonderful it is to be naked and sensual, and that's exactly what Gordon conveys in his work.
Do you any stories or memories of your work together?
Many! At our very first shoot, he shot a fantastic image of me in the lotus position underwater, which was challenging to get and took a few attempts, but which turned out so beautifully. Then there was last year's spring shoot with Conner out at the nudist resort in the middle of the Everglades. That was an amazing day of running around naked in the woods--and discovering an abandoned cabin that had obviously been rigged up to support a sex sling at some point much more recently! And this past spring we did a highly erotic shoot with another adorable model which I'm hoping will see the light of day soon.
Was Gordon's dog Benji around for the shoot?
Benji was fortunately away for the day. He always puts my spandex mesh shorts at risk with his jumping, haha.
What was your first thought when he asked if you'd be a Christmas Elf?
I was delighted! I've always thought about doing a seasonal Christmas shoot each year. Last year I had a very fun shot to share that a talented friend of mine took. This year I was busy with a lot of other things and hadn't planned out what I might do, so when Gordon asked me to serve as his elf I was very excited. I've never decorated a tree naked, though I was naked a lot while working on repainting the cabin of my sailboat if that counts as decorating.
Any new books or upcoming shoots or projects?
Several: I have a new erotic novel coming out sometime in January. It's called Corran of the Mojave and explores how nudity, promiscuity, environmental awareness, and social and political freedom are all related. I'm also writing a nonfiction book on how human biochemistry influences cultural evolution. On the modeling front, I'm hoping to work with Henning von Berg during the next couple months, which has been a dream of mine since 2010. More prosaically, I'm in the process of selling my sailboat and moving back ashore, which has its complications but will make modeling and writing much easier.
Although not a reindeer, model Hansel Wellington is defiantly one sexy buck. If he were one of Santa's reindeers though, I'm pretty sure he'd be Dasher. Dashing, suave and debonair is exactly what photographer Tom Nakielski (Lights On Studio) was going for with his latest holiday shoot. I love the look and feel Tom and Hansel captured in the shoot, so much so... it inspired me to add a red smoking jacket to my Christmas list!
In addition to Gordon Nebeker's Christmas Elves, it was back on Christmas Day in 2015 that Tom's work first appeared on FH. As viewers know, Tom's imagery, especially his holiday shots, have been a regular part of the site since. Hansel deserves all the credit for bringing Tom and I together. After profiling Hansel's work with another photographer, the Detroit based model sent me on some holiday shots that Tom had recently taken. The rest as they say, it history!
I'm thrilled then to have Hansel back where he belongs, buck naked in front of Tom's camera for another FH holiday shoot! The shoot almost didn't happen. Time and Tom were ticking and December had already arrived. Tom had planned to shoot Hansel for a New Year's theme and had tentative plans to shoot with another model for Christmas. Things didn't exactly go as planned...
A couple of miscommunications and a broken cell phone meant the model for the Christmas shoot ended up being a no show,. As you can see though, things all worked out and Christmas came together. Tom gave Hansel a call and it was Hansel to the rescue! Both dashing and helpful! Tom says he always enjoys working with Hansel, and knew he always gives his all. So.. one holiday became two and they covered a lot of territory (holidays) in their three hour shoot which included several wardrobe changes and setups.
'The Christmas set was fun because Tom is all about the FLOWERS, really, they must look perfect. The Poinsettias were in a continuous battle against gravity -and she is a cruel mistress. Suddenly they would all fall to the floor, and then needed to be meticulously rearranged before the next photo. Repeat several times. LOL! I think it wasn't about the flowers as much as Tom wants all the details perfect and wants the pics to look the absolute best! And I really appreciate that about him. Tom's attention to details and his fun attitude always make for the best photos and shoots.'
Included in those numerous setups was a callback to one of the props and one of setups from their 2015 shoots. For those who remember, and also those who don't, for part of that shoot Hansel was grasping his very long candy cane while straddling a rather massive Christmas wreath... Check some of the shots from six years ago, and the ones shot just a couple of weeks ago on the NEXT PAGE HERE:
I think we all had a relative who had a fake silver tree. In my family, it was my great aunt Gwen. We weren't really close with Gwen or her family, but my father took us to visit her every Christmas. I still remember her gaudy silver artificial tree. It was on a table in her living room. There were no lights on it, just a few red ornaments.
I used to hate that tree, but as I get older, I look back on it's shiny silver limbs with fondness. Whenever I see a silver tree I'm instantly taken back to my childhood and those Christmas visits. Now don't get me wrong, I can't see myself ever having a silver tree, well... not for a few decades, when I become a great uncle. I do love the retro feel of silver tree's in imagery, especially when they're accompanied by a hot holiday hunk.
I first featured the work of James Laws (Retrobeefcake) this past Halloween. Since then, his 'retro' styled images have been a regular part of holiday celebrations on FH. I love the images that James and his model friend create and the retro vibe so detailed in every shot. Pouches do make the most tempting wrapping for the most delicate of packages.