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SATURDAY December 21

Host: Mary Ito

0630 What's On columnist Aparita Bhandari offered some "it's the last Saturday before Christmas" event suggestions.
Listen audio (runs 4:00)
You'll find Aparita's recommendations in the What's On posting for today.

0730 CBC Toronto TV anchor Mike Wise offered his suggestions for "unplugging" from all your electronic devices for the holidays.
Listen audio (runs 8:44)

0800 Fresh Air's favourite film guy, Thom Ernst, offered up his very personal list of the best movie Santas. Here are Thom's selections:

6/ Ed Asner - Elf (2003) Asner channels a bit of Lou Grant into his portrayal of Santa. A perfect mix of seasonal joyfulness and dogged determination - Asner plays Santa as like an amazing employer who you wouldn't dare disappoint..

5/ Francis De Wolf - A Christmas Carol (1951) - arguably not Santa but The Ghost of Christmas Present - But if ever there was someone who fits the description of Saint Nick, it's this jolly, white-bearded spirit with a big laugh and a bundle of presents.

4/Paul Giamati - Fred Claus (2007) - You have to wonder who thought Giamti would make a good Santa...he's not the first name the jumps to my mind - but Giamati is such a great actor that he probably could have played Mrs. Claus and pulled it off. This is a Santa with family issues, a huge workload, and an important job.

3/ David Huddleston - Santa Claus: The Movie (1985) - this is the movie that wanted to be the quintessential Santa Claus movie. That didn't happen despite employing one of the Best Movie Santas ever. Huddleston is a character actor known for his work with Mel Brooks in Blazing Saddles and The Producers. His Santa looks like he just stepped out of a 1940s Coca-Cola ad.

2/ Jan Rubes - One Magic Christmas (1985) - a film by the late, great Philip Borsos (The Grey Fox) - filmed in Owen Sound. Canadian actor, Jan Rubes gained international fame as the Amish grandfather in the Harrison Ford thriller, Witness. Rubes has the look and a whimsical, magical spirit to make his Santa one of the best.

1/Edmund Gwyn - Miracle on 34th Street (1947) - Gwyn set the bar for movie Santa Claus. He's likely to be the top Santa on everyone's list. He's a magical, caring, Santa who many kids, including myself, thought was the real Santa in the role.

If you're a film fan, you'll want to check out the Reel Thom Ernst website.

0830 Countermeasure is a 14 voice, a capella group which has just released its debut CD, "14 Characters". Artistic director/composer Aaron Jensen and his fellow Countermeasure vocalist, Tara Park (who's also Aaron's wife) talked about the appeal of creating music with just the human voice.
Listen audio (runs 9:42)
NOTE: Music clearance restrictions prohibit inclusion of music originally contained in this item.
Learn all about the group and "14 Characters" at the Countermeasure