Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Every year, about this time, I ponder what makes the season special. I suspect a lot of people do that, so I’m not unique. But my perspective on the season is unique. As is yours. I’m not one of those people who looks to the past a lot. But this time of year seems to be the exception. For me, Scrooge-like, the magic of the season is enhanced by Christmas past. I move through my day with one part of my brain tied to fond, seasonal memories. The way the tree looked, surrounded by all those pretty packages on Christmas morning when I was a kid; the memory of singing in the church choir at candlelight services when I got a little older, past gifts given and received that were special…for whatever reason.
It’s hard to pinpoint why I love Christmas so much. Despite the rush of added tasks and projects, the extra work involved in getting or making gifts, the pull of emotion the season engenders, I can’t help feeling its magic.
Maybe I like it so much because it brings out the best in me.
To me, Christmas is a conglomeration of things, past and present. As a creative person, I think my perception of this time of year has been formed by creative things. The following embody the spirit of this time of year for me.
Movie: Since family is important, Chevy Chase’s Christmas Vacation is a favorite for my family this time of year. The movie is silly and fun, absolutely, but at its core it is the perfect, farcical representation of what a lot of us experience during the holidays. We surround ourselves with family, sometimes a double edged sword, and try extra hard to create the perfect Christmas, a memory that we’ll clutch forever to our breasts as the years pass. It’s horrible to put that much pressure on ourselves, but we often do it none-the-less, and it’s usually every bit as painful as the movie portrays. My favorite line of the movie? Cousin Eddie saying,“shitter’s full”, as he empties the contents of his porta toilet directly into the sewer.” Snorf, what can I say, I’m simple!
Book: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is about fitting in, being accepted, and feeling needed. No time during the year is this more important than the holidays. People who don’t have loved ones are especially lonely this time of the year. More people die during this time of the year. It’s harder to be different, alone, ostracized this time of year. But no one really needs to be alone. This cute, inspiring movie shows us that, despite our differences, we can all find common ground, and everybody has a part to play in the grand scheme of life. It’s a heartwarming sentiment, and one I’ve treasured through the years.
Book: One of my favorite authors is Dr. Seuss. I love his books, his style. My favorite story of his is far and away How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Fun and well written, the story stands alone in my heart as one of the great classics, the embodiment of the anti-Christmas sentiment that makes those of us who love the season enjoy it all the more for its happy ending. No Grinch could withstand the sweet, sad face of Cindy Lou, or all that she represents. Only the most cynical among us truly believe that Christmas is about things. Buying things, giving things, receiving things. If you were to take away the things, the spirit would still shine bright.
That’s what makes Christmas my favorite time of year. That’s the magic of it. That’s the joy.
I hope you manage to wrap your arms around your ideal Christmas this year. But if you don’t it doesn’t really matter. If you offer love and acceptance, surrounding yourself with friends and family, you’ve already reached your Christmas dream!
Merry Christmas Everybody!