tv Good Morning America ABC December 25, 2014 4:00am-6:01am PST
. good morning, america. and merry christmas. this morning as you gather with your family around the tree, we are unwrapping the meaning of the season. a year of change for christians worldwide. cardinal donald here to talk about what it all means. and our christmas gift guide. you opened the high-tech presents, but now what? how you can get the most out of your electronics while they're fresh and brand new. two of the biggest traditions, the rockettes and the nutcracker. ginger and michael take us behind the scenes. and our own winter wonderland. tony bennett and lade gaga with a special performance.
their take on the christmas classic right here as we celebrate christmas on "gma." >> happy holidays. ♪ ♪ singing songs of good cheer and we do say good morning, america on this christmas morning. everyone there celebrating at home. we to want let you know that we are on tape this morning. so we could be home too spending the holiday with our families. trust us, we don't look like this at home right now. >> we're all around the tree. we have a special holiday show this morning. we hear the nyu madrigal singers, back with us again this year. singing all morning long. >> back by popular demand. >> beautiful. and coming up, christmas breakfast, part of the morning for so many families. and we have great recipes to
spice it up. that's cuoming up. and we go to ryan smith. >> good morning and merry christmas, i'm ryan smith. christmas celebrations are well underway at the vatican, hoetly land and down under. lama hasan has the details. >> reporter: overnight, pope francis was ushering in the christmas day. and he said the world needed more tenderness and warmth. calling on believers to have more empathy towards family and friends. the pope then had a special message to the iraqi christian refugees escaping from isis because of their religion. in a phone call, telling them, dear brothers, i am close to you, very close to you in my heart. i embrace you all and wish you a
holy christmas. in bethlehem where christians believe jesus was born, thousands flock to the mass followed by a concert. around the world, celebrations were getting under way from solemn masses in iraq and indonesia where they were remembering those killed in the 2004 tsunami. to the sublime, this is christmas australia-style. surfers catching raies and waves on the beach. and let's not forget about the animals at the zoo in melbourne. they get to feast on their favorite dish and unwrap presents too. in japan, they weren't running out of santas. traveling all the way from the north pole where the elves were feverishly working hard. and the royal family are celebrating christmas day at the queen's sprawling estate, attending a church service before heading off for a big christmas feast. the queen arrived by train last week to make sure all the preparations are in order.
ryan. >> sounds like a wonderful celebration. thank you. extreme weather overnight giving last minute shop aers scare. the damage caused by a brief surge of strong winds in ohio. the roof torn off this nearby storage building. no one was hurt. apparently all the drivers were inside the mall. meanwhile, people are picking up the pieces in the deep south where at least six tornados swept through. this is what's left of some homes and businesses in columbia, mississippi. winds there topped 125 miles per hour. one of the twisters killed four people and at least 50 were injured. a lab technician at the cdc in atlanta is being monitored for 21 days after possibly coming into contact with ebola. the virus was used -- was being used as part of an experiment, and the official says it was on a sealed plate but wasn't supposed to be moved into a lab where the technician was working. the cdc has launched an internal review of the mistake.
and former president h.w. bush said to be feeling better this morning in a houston hospital. he had a good day on christmas eve and his prognosis is positive. he was hospitalized on tuesday suffering from shortness of breath. and new protests near ferguson, missouri, over the shooting of an armed black teenager by a white cop. officials in nearby berkeley say this incident is different from the one involving michael brown. for one thing, there's surveillance video and shows the victim pulling a gun on the officer. the mystery over the abandoned armored car found in texas has been solved. the driver, suspected of stealing $200,000 along with another man are under arrest in colorado. and police say they were able to recover the money as well as some weapons. the men will return to texas next week to face charges. and a reversal by sony pictures. thousands of movie goers watching "the interview" in the
theater today. releasing the noef movie at the center of the hack attack to more than 200 theaters nationwide. the stars were at a cinema in l.a. last night to introduce it. it's already on demand. and wild comeback against western kentucky in the bahamas bowl. check this out. this 75-yard play, not one, not two, but three laterals. they had trailed by 35. but the touchdown had them within a point. check that out. they went for two, and the pass failed. western kentucky wins a wild one 49-48. that's the news this christmas. now a check on the weather.
all of us love the excitement in our kids' eyes when they open the presents. but we christians trying to be true to the deeper meaning today. i spoke about that with cardinal donald who. >> merry christmas. what's inspiring you this christmas season? >> i think of all the things this surface, this christmas is really a time of spiritual renewal. and i think a lot of it has to do with pope francis. this is a christmas in which people around the world have already had a touch of francis. and we talk about -- >> for the second year now. >> yes. but they've experienced him now for some time. we talk about the francis effect, i think this christmas
we're seeing a little bit more of that. an openness of people to the realizization that things really can be better. that it is possible to be kind. it is possible to be compassionate. >> could you have imagined two years ago, a little more than two years ago, that the kind of change we have seen would be this profound? >> it really is dramatic, isn't it? and i think part of it is people -- and i'm not just speaking about catholics, but so many people -- having looking for, waiting for some encouragement. he brings the same message. but he has a way of showing us how you do this. >> and you have worked so closely with the pope. you're a close adviser to him. you go to rome twice a month. tell us something, you know, that others wouldn't know that -- that exemplifies and
illustrate this is point. >> i think the basic simplicity of his lifestyle is one thing. but the kindness and the concern he has for others. and this is not a generic others, it's individual people. he comes to meetings. it used to be when we would go to the meetings, after the work was done, we would have a quick audience with the pope. he comes to the meeting, pulls up a chair. the first time he came, he carried in his black briefcase and opened it up and pulled out some papers and said this is the material you sent me. he said, i'd like to get started on this. but before we do -- he reached in and he pulled out a medal and gave it to one of the others. you asked me to bless this. here it is.
it's just all -- it's with a simplicity. >> simplicity, such kindness in a season where it's easy to lose the message in all the chaos surrounding. >> he's saying to all of us, maybe not in so many words, but he's saying it in a more effective way, let's brush aside all the things that really become encumberments and encrust things. why don't we just focus on christmas is a time of love? it's a time of family. it's a time of carry. it's a time of just being there one for the other. why don't we just do that? >> and in the year ahead, the pope giving a great gift to the people of the united states. >> yes, won't that be exciting? he's already confirmed that he's coming to philadelphia. and we, of course, are hoping he's going to come to new york and washington. some of us are hoping more for washington. but that's the nature. >> yeah, of course. >> but to have him here.
and i think it'll be a great moment, again, because people intuitively take to him. and if he's here, that many more people will be able to see him and experience what we're talking about. >> we look forward to the visit. merry christmas. >> merry christmas to you. god bless you, george. >> i am looking forward to that. >> an electrifying trip. >> the cardinal's voice is so soothing. what he's saying, and the way he's saying. the nutcracker is the most popular ballet in the world and a true holiday tradition. this year george balechene's version is celebrating the 60th anniversary. ginger, you went behind the scenes. >> was that you? >> mine was not as graceful. not making the cut this year. but, hey, i had fun.
♪ the pageantry, the tradition. the nutcracker. brought to life by the new york city ballet at lincoln center. but it starts here behind the scenes where the costumes, the studios and the magic begin. hello. how do i look? >> fabulous. >> yeah, i haven't ever worn this. i feel kind of weird. part one in the crash course, becoming a mouse. i feel like my dog would like to chase me right now. that's what i feel like. my teachers and fellow mice, charlotte, lisa and grace. the most difficult part of the dance? definitely the costume. you know i did a sky dive live and it was more easy than this? no sooner had i become one with the mouse head that i was thrust into a new costume, candy cane. it's like it was made for me.
daniel albrecht has been dancing the candy contain role in the show-stopping number for 16 years. and he says it's all about that hoop. >> not regular, it's made out of bamboo. >> reporter: my middle name is not graceful. just when i thought i was getting pretty good. >> right. >> reporter: down, pivot. daniel shows me how it's really supposed to look. now that i was warmed up, it's time for my swan song. oops. wrong ballet. i mean, plum song. as in sugar plum fairy. with the help of sterling and andrew, i learned a thing or two about lifts. like that's sterling's. and these -- well, these are mine. >> good. yeah. >> reporter: not bad for a day's work. i am nutcracker ready. and now we know why i quit ballet at age 4.
>> no way. >> no, they were so incredible. and these people do it every year. what was so great, every it's brand new. the music's the same, the dances are the same, but the dancers change. go and see it. it's outstanding. >> you were outstanding. my own little sugar plum fairy. >> maybe in the mouse costume. move on. for so many of us, wouldn't be christmas without a charlie brown christmas. the cartoon classic is turning 50 and still teaching kids the true meaning of the holiday. and abc's sara haines has more. ♪ christmas time is here >> reporter: it's the story of a great big holiday, a little bitty tree, and a group of kids trying to make sense of it all. >> i just don't understand christmas, i guess. >> reporter: but while it may seem like a charlie brown christmas debuted only yesterday, believe it or not the beloved christmas special is now in the 50th year. do you realize that's been around for 50 years?
>> you're making me feel old. >> and i feel young. >> reporter: that's right, charlie brown turning the big 5-0. >> charlie brown feels the depression. trying to find a deeper meaning to life. >> this commercialism won't ruin my christmas. >> reporter: and interestingly, the christmas special known for frowning on the commercialism of the holidays was sponsored by coca-cola. it was featured in the special. check out this now-deleted scene of linus running into a coca-cola sign. and the original closing credits. the popularity has spawned dolls, toys, and an appreciation for what are now called charlie brown christmas tree. what do you call it? >> charlie brown christmas tree. >> it's the blanket around it. >> reporter: you knew that was linus' blanket. >> of course glr for adults and
kids alike, it's the magic. so happy birthday, charlie brown. take it from your legions of fans. you haven't aged a bit. sara haines, abc news, new york. >> every time e i hear that song. that was great, sara, thank you. and now to the gadgets you have probably already opened up were your gifts. what do you do? we turn to becky worley for a look at how to get the most out of them once they're out of the box. >> reporter: santa was good to you. phones, fitbits and streaming video devices were top tech gifts. you get to play with them. but to get the most out of your gadgets, here are a few things you could do right now. let's start with fitness bands. they need to be customized to you. our team here at "gma" tested them out and showed that they can have a pretty big variance
on distance and steps. these devices act as pedometers, using an algorithm to count steps, and they were reporting three different daily step count totals. so to maximize accuracy, measure your stride and input that into the device today. now streaming media devices, chrome cast, fire stick, roku or apple tv. you will lose the remote. there it is. that thing's tiny. and many don't even have remotes. but they have apps that let you control the device from your smartphone. install it now. added bonus, it may allow you to look at photos and videos from your phone on the big screen. all wirelessly. also, if possible, hard wire that bad boy. yeah, it can work off your wi-fi, but just trust me on this. you don't want your neighbor's baby monitor or others to stop
you from bing what washing "nashville," right? and finally, a new phone. but bad news, more than a quarter of you will crack the screen in the next couple of years. oh, man. and it'll cost you $150 or more to get the screen replaced. yieks. you have three options, apple care or a similar insurance plan, that's 99 bucks. or you can get a case -- the iphone 6 is easier to hold with a case. this thing's skinny. or at the very least get a screen protector. you'd be surprised, but in my experience these things guard against cracks and screen breakage as well as a case. and remember, if you have a new replacement, sell that old gadget. you generally get the best price on ebay. an iphone 4 is going for about a hundred bucks.
using gadget recycling like gazelle or next worth, that's easier, but the price is $60 less. so happy holidays, and a geeky new year. for "good morning america," becky worley, abc news, oakland, california. >> and to get more tech tips and tricks on goodmorningamerica.com on yahoo. >> we're looking at our phones n now. do we have the right? all right, coming up, "gma" is kicking it with the rockettes. michael is. he goes behind the scenes, the world famous dancers. boy, does he keep up. and carmelo anthony giving back tort holidays and inspiring young kids. and the best movies of all time. some of the unforgettable scenes that so many of us are enjoy this morning. and listen and enjoy the nyu madrigal singers and choir. ♪ we wish you a merry
christmas ♪ ♪ we wish you a merry christmas and a happy new year ♪ i'm specialist brandon stanley with the band in ku warks ait. merry white christmas. >> to my family in charleston, merry christmas! ♪ and may all your christmases be white ♪ suffering from the flu is a really big deal. with aches, fever and chills- there's no such thing as a little flu. so why treat it like it's a little cold? there's something that works differently than over-the-counter remedies. attack the flu virus at its source with prescription tamiflu. and call your doctor right away. tamiflu is fda approved to treat the
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♪ oh christmas tree, oh christmas tree ♪ ♪ na da da da da ♪ oh you better not pout you better not cry i'm tell you why ♪ ♪ santa claus is coming to town ♪ ♪ oh christmas tree, oh christmas tree however green your branches ♪ ♪ oh christmas tree, oh christmas tree your branches are unchanging ♪ ♪ la da da da da ♪ da da da da ♪ oh christmas tree, oh christmas tree da da da da da ♪ ♪ he's making a list, check it twice ♪ ♪ gonna find out who's naughty and nice ♪ ♪ santa claus is coming to town ♪ ♪ oh christmas tree, oh
christmas tree ♪ ♪ how lovely are your branches ♪ oh christmas tree, oh christmas tree ♪ ♪ how lovely are your branches [ singing in german ♪ ♪ oh christmas tree, oh christmas tree ♪ >> we're done. ♪ how long your branchs are to be ♪ ♪ you better watch out you better not cry better not pout i'm telling you why sant
♪ i'll take your hand ♪ i ought to say no, no, no ♪ mind if i move in close ♪ at least i'm gonna say that i tried ♪ ♪ what's the sense of hurting my pride ♪ ♪ i really can't stay i bet it's cold outside ♪ lovely and funny from will farrell's rendition. love these christmass. all the great scenes. and bringing a lot of them to you this morning. good morning, america. we are not here right now. we're actually home with our families. but we wanted to do a special christmas show for you. >> is it live or memorex? also ahead this morning, if
you're in new york city, you might be heading to radio city music hall to see the rockettes. michael went behind the screen to see how they prepare for the annual christmas spectacular. had a great time. >> he does nothing halfway. michael strahan, that's just not right. hall of fame and -- >> i don't know. >> he could have a second career. also, we're going to show you how nba superstar carmelo anthony is giving back. his special holiday charity for underprivileged kids, helping them to celebrate and teaching them an important lesson at the same time. >> we'll get to that. but first to michael strahan and the rockettes, a new york city institution. michael went behind the seens. take a look. ♪ jingle bells, jingle bells >> reporter: the radio city rockettes make it look easy, the kicks, the costume changes. that hair. that makeup.
but how hard is it really to be a rockette all day? lucky me, the ladies invited me to find out. all right, "gma," i'm here at radio city music hall. i'm so excited. you know why? because i'm about to become a rockette. hel hello, ladies, how are you? >> hi. >> reporter: first step to being a rockette, warming up. they are in up to four shows a day, kicking more than 300 times per performance. they prepare by stretching. >> get the arms pumping zbl. >> reporter: and they stretch -- i don't know about this. and they stretch. there are perks to all the hard work. the rockettes say there's no need for a special diet. they burn up to a thousand calories each performance. and once all stretched out, 15 years of football? i think you're better athletes than we are. >> you're not done yet. >> reporter: it was time for the dancing to begin. >> one, two, drop it.
three. hold, four. we're going to drop one, you're going to kick your right foot, jump, kick your left foot. and then you're going to do a big pose at the end. >> reporter: and with the steps down, right, center, four times in the center. well, pretty much down, it was time to add some music. i'm so nervous now. the music is going to be so fast. and my head's going to be spin. che check this out. ♪n. check this out. ♪spinning. check this out. ♪ ♪ okay. i don't know what just happened. ♪ a day with the rockettes, now that's what i call kicking the
holidays into high gear. ♪ one, two, three -- >> rockettes! >> reporter: for "good morning america," michael strahan, abc news, new york. >> i mean, we all burst into applause watching him. strahan, you rock. >> i love the huddle he had with them too. okay from so from an nfl superstar to an nba superstar. carmelo anthony giving back in a big way. scoring with the big melo christmas event. giving kids from a challenging environment a chance to celebrate the holiday and encouraging them to achieve more in their lives. and ryan smith has the story for us. >> reporter: nba all-star carmelo anthony is known for making magic on the court. but this time of year, you can find the new york knick spreading it off court as well in what he calls a very melo
christmas. it for six years, it's the nba superstars way of giving back to middle schoolers. at that able, you're growing up physically, mentally, emotionally. and you don't know what you want to do or be. >> reporter: at the center of the event, a movie, opening night of "a night at the museum 3." the price of admission for kids he invite td, writing an essay about what they do to give back. or as he calls it, to be more. did you write to be more essays? >> i help my mom watch my brother. >> i help with the school in my hometown. >> reporter: it challenges tweens to help others, and it's to be more. aka, baltimore, maryland. the kids sat down with him to see the film and meet a special
guest. you brought ben stiller here tonight. >> seeing ben on the big screen and in person. >> reporter: what's it like in your home? >> food, joking, family members, taking it down memory lane. that's a great christmas for me. >> reporter: any goals coming up in 2015? nba-wise? on the court? >> to be better than 2014. anything in 2015 can be better than 2014. >> reporter: it wasn't the knicks win-loss record that preoccupied him. it was the kids. there was melo smiling along with him. they make his day just as much as he makes theirs. a lot of times when you see athletes do this, they might do it at a distance. what makes you want to give back directly to the kids? >> it's only 90 minutes out of my day to be able to come in and spend 90 minutes with some kids. that's going to have a life-long impact on them.
if you're not willing to do that, something's wrong. >> reporter: for these tweens, this christmas, those hugs, memories of a lifetime. for "good morning america," ryan smith, abc news, new york. >> way to go, melo. huge basketball triple header the wizards and the knicks at noon. and the oklahoma city thunder taking on the spurs. i'm taking my espn voice. talk about king james and the cleveland cavaliers facing off against your miami heat. check your local listings. we're going to give ginger a break and check your local weather right now. right now. go ahead, check it.
and are you missing doing the weather today? >> yeah. but, you know, i'm just probably sweating enjoying some lake effect snow. >> that's true. coming up, the best christmas movie moments. we share some of our favorite. and the ultimate holiday survival guide. how to cut the calories on your favorite holiday dishes. [vet] two yearly physicals down. martha and mildred are good to go. here's your invoice, ladies. a few stops later, and it looks like big ollie is on the mend. it might not seem that glamorous having an old pickup truck for an office... or filling your days looking down the south end of a heifer, but...i wouldn't have it any other way. look at that, i had my best month ever. and earned a shiny new office upgrade. i run on quickbooks. that's how i own it. ♪ but the fire is so delightful ♪
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♪ and we're back now with the best christmas movie moments of all time. many of you will be probably be sitting around with your families this morning watching your favorites. and there are so many good choices. abc's chris connelly has some of the true standouts preside. >> reporter: even for the holiday season, there's often overlooked cinematic or tv surprises. like this version of dickens a christmas carol, a musical version starring the cartoon character mr. mcgoo. ♪ did you recall that "die hard" takes place on christmas eve. >> if this is your idea of christmas, i have to be here for new year's. >> reporter: or the original
"star wars" characters had their own primetime network holiday special. >> i know your family's waiting. i know it's an important day. >> reporter: a tree-trimming party for will farrell's big screen skills. "elf" is among the 21st century's most satisfying holiday films. >> santa, not san ta. >> reporter: a sweet comedy fueled by farrell's charm and zoed zoe. winsome. >> madame. >> nothing too fancy. >> reporter: denzel washington and the late witney houston are at their most luminous in "the preacher's wife." >> oh, god, please don't sing it. >> reporter: it's a christmas song that's given hugh grant his financial freedom and enabled his super officialialty in bonn
about a boy." it's a christmas din their puts a bow on this winning tale of unexpected connection and community. ♪ some holiday movie haves hidden horse. fa heros. famed great directed "the grench who stole christmas." >> christmas day will always be. >> reporter: and a young christian bail and claire danes can be seen in 1994's "little women." >> reporter: the national lampoon's vacation film hit a peak 20 years ago with christmas vacation. lights out funny, unless you're a cat. >> i told you had too many plugs in one outlet. >> oh, god.
>> wow. >> reporter: kids in bed? no, seriously, they're sound asleep, right? nothing goes with spiked eggnog quite like bad santa. >> let's watch you disappear. >> reporter: and the ho ho no. billy bob thornton and a sizzling lauren graham. >> merry christmas. >> reporter: several manifestations of grownup romance starring hugh grant, colin firth and more. many find this holiday heaven, but it's "love, actually." >> i know -- >> and my personal favorite, "bad santa." i recommend. hey, we to want hear from you. what is your favorite christmas movie of all time. go to goodmorningamerica.com on yahoo and cast your vote. and coming up, gift cards, always popular for the holidays. but the question is are they practical or impersonal? i often wonder that.
talking about it coming up in the heat index. and then deck the halls, a special performance from the nyu madrigal singers and jazz choir. >> everybody, we just want to say merry christmas and happy holidays to our family in seattle, washington. >> wish my family merry christmas. love you, miss you. >> happy holidays. [ female announcer ] just about anywhere you use sugar, you can use splenda® no calorie sweetener.
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well, look at that fireside. oh. and we are so delighted to have back with us this year, again, the nyu madrigal singers and jazz choir. they have been with us throughout the morning. and they have a wonderful performance for us right now. here, "deck the halls" ♪ deck the halls with boughs of holly fa la la la la ♪ ♪ tis the season to be jolly ♪ fa la la la la la don we now our gay apparel ♪ ♪ join the ancient yuletide carol ♪ ♪ fa la la la la ♪ see the blazing yule before us ♪ ♪ fa la la la la la ♪ strike the harp and join the chorus ♪ ♪ fa la la la la
♪ come with me in merry measure ♪ ♪ fa la la la la la ♪ while i tell of christmas treasure ♪ ♪ fa la la la la la ♪ la la la la la la la ♪ soon again the old year passes ♪ ♪ fa la la la la la ♪ hail the new year lads and lasses ♪ for your very first christmas. i hear you're quite the expert at waking people up in the morning. let me show you how grandma does it. ♪ you're daddy made this when he was a little boy. ♪ this is your dad in my house, where he had his first christmas. thanks for making the coffee. well look who's up. i'm really glad you're here, mom. me too. ♪ look who's here! for kohl's big after christmas me too. sale & clearance you'll find great early bird specials until 1pm!
walgreens knows the holidays are full of surprises. that's why, whenever the need arises... walgreens is always right around the corner, so you can get in and out in no time. and help keep the magic in your holidays. at the corner of happy and healthy. most stores open christmas day. you've been part of this family for as long as i can remember. and you just mean so much to all of us. the holidays wouldn't be the same without your crescent rolls. we got you a little something. we got you jeans. it's about time. pipin' hot pillsbury crescent rolls. make your holidays pop! hey guys...guys! pillsbury cinnamon rolls, with cinnabon cinnamon,
♪ sleigh bells ring good morning, america, it's 8:00 a.m. on christmas morning. and to regift or not to regift in the rules to follow to avoid getting caught. and should you be doing it in the first place? and spicing up your christmas breakfast. chef daniel here is show you how to make if your best ever. ♪ as we go along all that and tony bennett and lady gaga taking us to a winter wonderland as we say -- >> good morning, america. and the nyu madrigal singers and jazz choir joining us all this christmas morning as we say merry christmas.
we hope you're having a wonderful day. we are as well. good morning, america. right here, right now. >> and we are all pajamas. we are not here. >> not at all. what kind do you have? i have the feet in. the onesie. >> the flannel with the slippers. love it. >> oh, yeah. >> cozy robe. yep, cup of cocoa. >> the reason that we're doing that is we, like you, want to be with our families. and we want our crew, too, our hard-working crew to be home with them too. that's why we're on tape this morning. >> all right, everybody. also coming up, the big question, to wrap or not to wrap? that is the question. some say it really is part of the holiday season, others say it's a giant waste of paper and time. and we're going to debate this hot issue. >> all right. dave zinczenko is here with the holiday survival guide. how to eat your favorite dishes
without affe packing on the holiday pounds. >> first to ryan for the news and weather. good morning. hope you're having a great christmas holiday, i'm ryan smith. we begin with the deep south cleanup after the extreme weather. tornados, flooding and strong winds killing four people. it's taking some of the merry out of christmas. abc's matt gutman has the latest. >> reporter: storms scouring kentucky with 55 mile per hour winds, slamming trees on trucks. heavy flooding in georgia, record rain in tallahassee and a confirmed tornado in north carolina. and mississippi still digging out this morning. an ef-3 twister slinging 125 mile per hour winds late tuesday, tossing semis, obliterating homes and businesses and tipping over this ambulance with a patient inside. it was there that we found danny patterson picking through the
remains of his body shop. >> i was in the truck, and sat in the bottom. the spin was spinning around. >> reporter: he was shocked and gladdened that his employee survived. ed you you wound up in there and under the debris? >> we sang a song at church, that christmas changes everything. and it makes me very thankful. i guess it has changed my christmas. >> reporter: crew this is morning have restored power to parts of the town. where neighborhoods once stood, locals bent over salvaging what they could. this was michael wilson's home. >> i ran through the door, everything was still here. i grabbed them and laid on top of them. within five minutes -- five seconds, it was gone. >> reporter: now drying out, memories of better times. but wilson and his mother-in-law feeling blessed. >> they're going to be with me for christmas. can't ask for no more. >> reporter: for "good morning america," matt gutman, abc news,
new orleans. now to christmas around the world. start with the vatican. pope francis delivering the annual christmas message today. that follows a late night mass at st. peter's basilica. and francis had a special message for iraqi christian refugees, calling on them to stay strong despite the threat of isis militants. they were gathering by kjds light, gathering at a church less than ten miles from many iraqi fighters are battling the forces. after hearing the pope's words, they parade for peace. in bethlehem, pilgrims gathered for mass at the church of the nativity. built on the spot where christians believe jesus was born. crowds were smaller because of the deadly conflicts in gaza this summer. and president obama with family in hawaii. playing a round of golf with the prime minister of malaysia.
he was glod about the release of "the interview." the president had called the decision to pull the film following threats from north korea a mistake. and check out this wild scene from a road in hong kong. nearly $2.5 million had flown out of the back of an armored van. the driver didn't realize it until it was way too late. people stopped their cars, bringing traffic to a halt to get out and collect the money. authorities say anyone found with the stolen cash will be prosecuted. now here's a christmas gift you might call a fister full of dollars, washington nationals pitcher tweeted a bar code for a free drink at starbucks on him. he has more than 23,000 followers. but a few hours later, he announced that his account was drained. definitely grounds for disappointment. and finally, a family surprise for a woman in nashville. her grown children told her if a blue balloon came out of the box, a boy, if pink, a girl.
they opened the box, and the balloon was green. and there was something more. >> yay! >> look at that. that was her son who had been serving in afghanistan and was home for the holidays. they didn't know he was coming home. and, oh, we're told it's going to be a girl. that's the news this christmas. now let's get a check on the weather where you are.
♪ it is our christmas edition of our "gma morning menu." and this morning in "pop news," folks wearing ugly christmas sweaters for a good cause. we'll explain. and so many people unwrapping gift cards, are they practical or impersonal? and this guy, dave zinczenko is with us, with the holiday survival guide. how to cut down on the calories while still undulging in christmas. this is what i get? thanks. and the sounds of the nyu madrigal and jazz choir coming up on this christmas morning. cheers, my friend. ♪ love everywhere too bad some cash back cards only let you earn bonus cash back at a few places. then those categories change every few months. sometimes it's drug stores, then it's hardware stores. nothing says "happy holidays" like a shovel. fortunately there's the quicksilver card
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♪ what's up, we're florida georgia line, wish you a very merry christmas. >> very merry christmas. >> happy holidays. >> happy holidays. >> merry christmas. >> what's up? this is your girl, fergie, wishing everyone a happy holiday. >> good morning. >> happy holidays. [ laughter ] >> it's a good thing we don't have an act. >> that's great. >> so nice. everybody, we have a special edition of "pop news" for you. it's the christmas edition. so let's begin with ugly sweaters, shall we? can't go wrong.
some of us take it to a whole new level. >> i had no idea. that was a sweater. >> i agree. >> there were sweater elements in that. i have the suit. amy went cape. and ginger. and this is the merriest 5k on the planet. suiting up in ugly sweaters. and there's a partnership with save the children. an organization dedicated to investing in kids and their futures. ugly sweater runs are happening in boston, chicago, memphis, new york and more this year. and thanks to everybody who participated. >> that's great. >> smile on the face, sweat on
the brow and a good cause. and also in "pop news," wouldn't be a holiday edition without furry friends getting in on the festivities. we turn our attention to two zoos who didn't want their residents to miss out. lemurs and sea lions at the welsh mountain zoo in north wales got to unwrap gifts galore. inside were some of their favorite treats. just fun to watch them. and then lucky chimps at the zoo in sydney, australia. they do something called christmas in richmond every year. what they do is they put the boxes out and allow the chimps to figure out what's inside and open them. it's very, very good mental stimulation, which i think most kids would agree with on this christmas morning. >> absolutely. >> and it's fun to get presents. and i have a "pop news" christmas toast. write this down, chef dominique
who invented the cronut has made these, cookie shot glasses. they are so delicious. i may or may not have already tasted mine. but there is a special edition one for the holidays. you get a set of five here. all different flavors. i want to hear what you think of your flavor, what you got. there's chocolate chip, snickerdoodle, oatmeal cranberry. >> this is oatmeal with vanilla nut. it's great. >> we know you love that. >> you can eat the shot glass too? >> already eating it. >> look at you. >> you can get these in downtown new york. and we want to say to everybody, cheers. we hope you're enjoying your christmas morning. >> cheers. >> thank you, lara. >> cheers. >> cheers. >> i'm going swallow it fast. we have a special christmas edition of the heat index. >> it is so good. first up, popular gift around the holidays, gift cards. we have been debating this all morning long.
researchers say they're on track to surpass $124 billion in sale this is year. there's a debate, are they impersonal or the perfect present because when you give to someone, they get exactly what they want. i have this fight with ali. i like getting them. but she refuses. no way. >> it's impersonal. but i enjoy getting them. >> my nephews ask for gift cards. >> should question get over that perception? you're being thoughtful and allowing that person to choose something they love. change the perception. >> you know they like it. >> one size fits all. >> all for gift cards. >> yeah. >> we love this gift. if you have gift cards for this, send them my way. this is tricky, you get a present you know that you'll never use. can you gift it to someone else? and if you do, when is it okay? daily finance laying out the rules here. first, it has to be new and
unopened. >> that's good. >> also, only regift a present if it's something you would have given them anyway. all right. and -- >> i just regifted this to george. this is my half-eaten cookie cup. >> and i walked away. i want to try this one. >> you do? >> it's a little bit different. there's one other item, make sure you're not giving the item to someone in the same circle as the person who gave it to you. >> you don't to want hurt the feelings of the person you gave it to in the first place. >> the cardinal rule -- >> that's true. >> champagne goes back and forth between our friends that live close. bring it over, give it back. >> somebody drinks it. >> i got a purse one year, and the card was in it to somebody else. >> oh, no. >> oh. >> i did. so everybody won. but i felt embarrassed for the person. >> did you tell them? >> no, no with no. >> now they know. you don't know who they are.
we are eating cookie cups at home. some people get wrapped up in this one as well? do you have to gift wrap for the holidays? a ali's a wrapper, right? >> yes. >> some people say it's a waste of time and paper. what do you think? >> what do you mean? >> my mom -- santa always wraps at our house. i think it's the excitement of what's inside. >> especially when there's children. older, a gift bag is all right. >> i have the store wrap it. >> i love that. >> when they're babies, they only like the gift wrap. they like the gift wrapping better than what's inside half the time. >> are you good at it? >> it's the only thing i can do artistically. >> i'm coming to your house, dropping off the presents. >> it's fairly obvious by the fact i have eaten the chocolate chippedble glass, i like chocolate. i headed to a sweet place, if
you leave chocolate as much as i do. you need to visit here with your family. mine got to experience it all. welcome to the town they call the sweetest place on earth, and the iconic hotel hershey. we wanted to get into the christmas spirit, what better place than chocolate down, usa? hello. our first task, making a delicious chocolate wreath. >> i have a nice layer of just chocolate, and dark chocolate. we make different truffles. >> and the chocolate is glue? >> yes. >> reporter: we are going to make truffle balls? >> we are. i'm going to show you how to make it. first the chocolate, put it in your hand. and you can just pick your balls up. >> reporter: at a party people could stop by and pull whatever they like off, right? or you could just go like this. oh, my god, so good. next, it's andrew's turn, a
martini with a cocoa twist. >> basically all you're going to do, take your martini glass, rim it in chocolate. perfect. and then we're going to do the same thing with hershey's cocoa. and the next thing, we have hersheys kisses here. put one inside of each glass. >> real chocolate. >> all right. and now the construction of the cocktail. ice. and then we've got some vanilla vodka. we've got some chocolate vodka. and also some of the chocolate-flavored liquor. and go ahead and add your ingredients. i bet you're a professional shaker. >> well, my sister was in "cocktail". >> a bartender with a line for everything. >> well done. right into the glass. >> it's the middle of the day, but i think we taste it. cheers.
>> i think i need to be the judge. >> well -- >> cheers. happy holidays. >> cheers from chocolate down. >> reporter: cheers. and to cap off the perfectly sweet afternoon, decorating a gingerbread house. with a very special visitor. >> merry christmas. >> ho ho pz ho. >> that looks so funny. millions of americans pack on pounds in the holiday season. it's part of the deal. if you gain a little weight during the holidays, you will have a tough time losing it. i'm the bearer of bad news on this christmas morning. but we have tips from this guy. this is our eat this, not that holiday survival guide with dave zinczenko, director of -- tell me your titles? >> nutritional wellness, abc news -- >> eat this, not that. and that's what we're talking about. eating this, not that. talk about the apps. always around.
we can make them less sinful. >> this is a christmas classic. spinach art choke dip, it gets high jacked by full-fat may owe. we're going with olive-oil based mayonnaise. this is going to cut the calories and fat in half. >> and the taste? >> you can almost go back for seconds because everything's cut in half. and here's a great tip. use a plate and make sure you don't stand there getting involved in mindless eating. you're going to eat fewer calories than if you're standing there. >> doll lop of the dip, a lot of the individuall veggies. portion it out. >> don't pile up the plate. >> you must know me. and this is one of the cull commit plits. >> half day's worth of saturated fat. it's ald monday milk. 30 ounces, eight ounces.
and you're going to save 200 calories and culture the saturated fat in half. and here's a great tip. you are going to go for bubbles. clear drinks like champagne because you're not going -- >> always. >> unless you're on the cast of real housewives, then you might guzzle it. and watch out for mixed drinks. tonic has as much sugar as a can of soda. >> and then lasagne, they are healthy, well, not healthy, but feel good to eat. >> this is the go-to christmas dinner. here what we're swarping out is the mozzarella and the fatty ground beef. >> sounds like the good stuff. >> this is ricotta cheese. >> love ricotta. >> and chicken sausage. from 800 calories down to the low 400. >> no chopped meat. >> no -- there is meat.
>> but instead of. i love the chicken sausage. >> sit at the table. don't go to the couch. you're going to do mindless eating again. eat as a family. studies show you're going to eat less. >> all right. and hopefully not because you're dying to get out of there. and now dessert. >> dessert. you have pecan pie, apple pie. pecan pie, over 800 calories a slice with ice cream. you're nuts if you eat it. have apple slices. you can have two slices. >> you don't need to. >> yes. you are going to save 400 calories and plenty of fat. >> stay away from the pecan pie. don't go nuts. i love the things you do. so good. saving calories, just buy apple. these are great tips. you are the best. merry christmas to you, my friend. check out goodmorningamerica.com and we'll be right back with a special performance from tony bennett and lady gaga. and, of course, the new york
madrigal singers and jazz choir. don't go anywhere. ♪ the leaves are so unchanging ♪ not only green when summer's here but also when it's cold and dreer ♪ ♪ oh christmas tree, oh christmas tree thy leaves are so unchanging ♪ >> wish everyone in new orleans a happy holidays and a merry christmas. >> i would like to say merry christmas and happy holidays to my daughter in virginia beach, virginia. mommy loves you. >> we are combat regiment 15. and we are supporting in twin palms, and we want to wish you a merry christmas.
♪ sleigh bells ring are you listening ♪ ♪ in the land snow is glisten g glistening ♪ ♪ a beautiful sight happy tonight walk in a winter wonderland ♪ ♪ better enjoy that, tony bennett, lady gaga, singing winter wonderland. they had an album of jazz standards. she's dressed up. >> yes, she is. look at this. and we do say merry christmas. we are on tape this morning to spend time with our families as well. also ahead, going to take you behind the scenes of the disney parks "frozen" christmas celebration. i had the opportunity to host it this year down at disney world. and we have a very special look behind the scenes to share with you. i've got to get down to orlando.
>> yeah. >> a little fuel. and we have daniel hoome. our friend. special christmas breakfast. so excited about this. you are the co-owner of know mad. and everything here is part of nomad's brunch. what makes the perfect brunch? >> you want to get -- especially on christmas, you want to get the family together, have comfort food, happiness, deliciousness. here in my house i only have girls. >> same thing. >> same thing with you. so we're making this. i couldn't make it -- they need a croque. it's a fancy word for a ham and cheese sandwich. you don't need to be a chef to make a great brunch. >> doesn't hurt, though. >> doesn't hurt. and as a chef, we work late. it's hard to get up for
breakfa breakfast. so at nomad we decided to do a brunch all day. >> all right. perfect for christmas. >> so here we have a beautiful ham roll. but you can use any bread, use an english muffin. and then you just want to toast it. and then a -- a tip to make your perfect eggs at home. you put the eggs into a cookie cutter. anyone has a cookie cutter at home. so when you cook them. -- >> great idea. >> the shape of the bread. >> or canadian bacon. >> we have canadian bacon. then when we melt the cheese, we just put the eggs on top. >> look how perfect that is. that's a lot better than my ham and cheese sandwich. >> and for the cheese, because i'm swiss, i like to use gruyere cheese. >> what do you top it with? >> a sauce, more cheese.
>> so beautiful. >> look at the presentation. >> but it's really about getting the family together. so you can see we have with all the family style. yeah, it's our chicken and waffles. it's chicken and french toast. and apples. we have some baked eggs. >> yum. >> we have some smoked fish. we have some potatoes. short ribs. >> now these all look beautiful. but are they family-friendly in terms of making them? >> absolutely. all these things you can make ahead of time. you can prepare the night before and then just put it in the obvious the next morning. and it's really about that for me too. you know, i don't want to be in the kitchen to cook brunch all day long. >> right. >> you know, you want to do something that's delicious and simple. i like to put it just in the middle of the table so it's family-style. >> you have a special swiss christmas tradition? >> i think the rushdi there is
pretty much as swiss as it gets. but honestly, like in switzerland, we didn't really cook brunch that much. it's not that common. so when i got to the u.s., i definitely had to study a little bit. >> well, you studied well. you have mastered this. this is incredible. >> what i love about this, it's the perfect mixture. because i can never decide, so i want to have breakfast or lunch. this is kind of both. >> you know what robin's feeling now? >> granola. >> and the granola. >> called that earlier. >> when you were here last time -- >> yes. >> what's it about you? how do you make it? >> well, we use maple syrup. it's almonds, pistachio. >> it is delicious. >> dried cherries. yeah. i can't believe you haven't been to our brunch at nomad. >> i can't believe that, george. >> i've been to the dinner a few times.
>> you were saying that's one of your favorites. >> one of my favorites, absolutely. all this is great. see the dishes and get them at nomad. and get the recipes on our website, goodmorningamerica.com on yahoo!. now the local weather. >> and we will be right back with the very special holiday performance, tony bennett and la lady gaga. >> merry christmas. >> happy holidays. >> what's up, guys? wishing everybody a very merry christmas and a happy new year. see you soon. >> happy holidays. >> happy holidays, america. >> i want to wish you guys a happy
>> happy holidays. ♪ sleigh bells ring are you listening ♪ ♪ in the land snow is glistening ♪ ♪ a beautiful sight happy tonight ♪ ♪ walking in a winter wonderland ♪ ♪ gone away is the bluebird ♪ here to stay is the new bird >> that's me ♪ he sings a love song as we go along ♪ ♪ walking in a winter wonderland ♪ ♪ hey ♪ in the meadow we can build a snowman and pretend that he is carson brown ♪ ♪ if you say are you married we'll say no man but you can do the job when you're no town ♪ ♪ later on we'll conspire as we dream by the fire ♪ ♪ unafraid the plans that we made walking in a winter wonderland ♪
five, six, seven, eight. merry christmas, america. >> happy holidays. >> happy holidays. >> hey, we are the band perry. have a very merry christmas. >> like to hear that from everyone, especially our troops. that's nice this morning. and we have to remember that today and every day. christmas, such a magical time for many. and this year i was fortunate to spend some time in the magic kingdom as one of the hosts for the disney parks "frozen" christmas celebration. "frozen" is the keyword there.
okay? i had a chance to go behind the scenes as it came together and even ran into a few special guests. ♪ it's a magical try effect that. santa, mickey and goofy kicking off christmas disney-style. and this year we painted the town icy blue for the epic "frozen" takeover. in position and hard at work as the crowd welcomes disney's royal sisters, anna and elsa. one of the many things i love about magic kingdom, being here, you never know who you're going to run into like royalty. hello, elsa, anna, food good to you. >> you too. >> reporter: and your new friends. >> isn't it amazing? >> reporter: i haven't spotted olaf. >> he does like to explore this kingdom. >> reporter: just like that, there's olaf making his way down
disney's main street. and check out the honorary ice cutter. yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is tim tebow with an axe. i even met a real life cinderella, mariah sullivan, a young woman who overcame enormous odds and was named the boys and girls clubs of americas youth of the year. how are you? >> doing great. >> reporter: a pleasure to meet you. >> the pleasure is mine. >> reporter: tell me what this experience means to you. >> grateful to be here today. the boys and girls clubs have been my family, my hope when i have none. and they're the reason i'm here today. >> reporter: what's your message to the young people? >> it's very important to use your obstacles as steppingstones to get where you need to be and reach your full potential. >> wonderful. your chariot awaits. so many magical moments in the happiest place on earth. and you can watch a disney parks
did you get chips for the party? nope. (ding) cheese plate? cheese plate. no, i made something better. you used the oven? boom. pillsbury crescents. make the holidays pop. ring ring!... progresso! it's ok that your soup tastes like my homemade. it's our slow simmered vegetables and tender white meat chicken. apology accepted. i'm watching you soup people. make it progresso or make it yourself
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this morning, great with you guys. it's a very, merry christmas for everyone today. >> have a wonderful day today. and thank the nyu madrigal singers and jazz choir. happy to share christmas with them again this year. and so many people behind the scenes at "gma" who work so hard to get the show on the air every morning.
>> and a huge thank you to them and to each and every one of you. merry christmas to everyone. >> merry christmas. ♪ ♪ jingle bells jingle bells ♪ jingle all the way ♪ oh what fun it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh ♪ ♪ oh jingle bells jingle bells ♪ oh what fun it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh ♪ ♪ dashing through the snow in a one horse open sleigh ♪ ♪ o'er the fields we go laughing all the way ♪ ♪ bells on bobtail ring making spirits bright ♪ ♪ what fun it is to ride and sing a sleighing song tonight ♪ ♪ oh jingle bells, jingle bells jingle all the way ♪ ♪ oh what fun it is to ride in a one horse open slide ♪
♪ oh jingle bells jingle bells jingle all the way ♪ ♪ oh what fun it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh ♪ ♪ now that light is bright go it while you're young take some girls and sing this sleighing song ♪ ♪ get up off your way and on your feet and you should feel an open sleigh and crack the whip ♪ ♪ jingle bells, jingle bells job jingle all the way ♪ ♪ oh what fun it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh ♪ ♪ jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way ♪ ♪ oh what fun it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh ♪ ♪ ♪ jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way ♪
♪ snow what fun it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh ♪ ♪ oh jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way ♪ ♪ oh what fun it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh ♪ ♪ dashing through the snow in a one horse open sleigh ♪ ♪ o'er the fields we go laughing all the way ♪ ♪ bell on bobtail ring making spirits bright ♪ ♪ what fun it is to ride and sing a sleighing song tonight ♪ ♪ oh jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way ♪ ♪ oh what fun it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh ♪ ♪ jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way. ♪ oh what fun it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh ♪ ♪ now the ground is white go if while you're young take the girls tonight and sing this sleighing song ♪
♪ get up off your feet and go and hitch an open sleigh and crack to victory ♪ ♪ jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way ♪ ♪ oh what fun it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh ♪ ♪ oh jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way ♪ ♪ oh what fun it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh ♪ ♪ ♪ jolly old st. nicolas lend your ear this way ♪ ♪ don't you tell a single i soul what i'm going to say ♪ ♪ christmas eve is coming soon now you dear old man ♪ ♪ listen what you'll bring to me tell me what you can ♪ ♪ when the clock is striking 12 when i'm fast asleep ♪ ♪ down the chimney broad and black with your pack you'll creep ♪ ♪ all the stockings you'll find
hanging in a row mine will be the shortest one you'll be sure to know ♪ suzi wants a sled, nelly wants a picture book yellow blue and red ♪ ♪ now i'll live to you what you give the rest choose for me dear santa claus you will know the best ♪ ♪ jolly old st. nicolas lean your ear this way ♪ ♪ don't you tell a single soul what i'm going to say ♪ ♪ christmas eve is coming soon now you dear old man ♪ ♪ whisper what you'll bring to me tell me when you can ♪ ♪ we wish you a merry christmas ♪ ♪ we wish you a merry christmas ♪ ♪ we wish you a merry christmas and a happy new year ♪ ♪ good tidings to you wherever you are ♪ ♪ good tidings for christmas and a happy new year ♪ ♪ we wish you a happy hanukkah ♪ we wish you a happy hanukkah
♪ we wish you a happy hannukkah and a happy new year ♪ sneet good tidings to you you're you are ♪ ♪ we wish you a joyous kwanzaa and a happy new year ♪ ♪ good tidings to you wherever you are ♪ ♪ good tidings for kwanzaa and a happy new year ♪ ♪ we wish you a merry christmas ♪ ♪ we wish you a happy hanukkah we wish you a joyous kwanzaa and a happy new year ♪ ♪ we wish you a merry christmas ♪ ♪ we wish you a merry christmas ♪ ♪ we wish you a merry christmas and a happy new year ♪ ♪ good tidings to you wherever you are ♪ ♪ good tidings for christmas and a happy new year ♪ ♪ we wish you a happy hanukkah ♪ we wish you a happy hanukkah
lines. more people will be spending christmas morning in the dark because of an unwanted visit from mother nature. >> there will be smiles on the faces of hundreds of bay area children because of a last minute burst of toy donations to people who made it happen. they are smiling, too. >> good morning, everyone, on this christmas day, 2014. i am eric thomas. >> i am leyla gulen. merry christmas. >> christmas morning for you means double duty. >> it does. my gift to you: a beautiful day to get started. live doppler hd shows we have crisp conditions to wake up to and no return so the rain made its way through bay area yesterday and it was gone in a flash and now we are left with clear skies and cooler temperatures. in fact, it is a gorgeous sight looking toward san francisco and the bay bridge. we have a cool and breezy christmas day but the winds are subsiding and a cooler