Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday Christmas Movies

It is the Sunday after Thanksgiving. It is also that day of rest between Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. We need to rest from all that shopping, I guess. Forty percent of the national non-essential spending for the year occurs during the Season. Not that there's anything wrong with that -- as much as I bemoan the commercialism of Christmas, I delight in giving gifts and I do not mind receoving them, either. That being said, I just have to note that Sunday, the day of rest, ain't. Shoppers are flooding the stores, planners are planning the holidays, and retailers are absolutely hopeful. And, for a time, our focus is firmly on each other, what will please you, what will fit, what to feed you when you come, how you plan to get here, where everybody will stay, how will the weather be. The weather, by the way, up here is cold enough that last night's dusting of snow is sticking on the ground, just a slight pure white accent to the mood that is threatening to overtake me. It's a wonderful mood, filled with all that hope and the wish to be generous. This year, generosity will have to find other, less concrete forms. Diane and I will have to be creative, something I know we are both good at being. This afternoon we start decorating. For various reasons, we are going to skip a real tree this year and rely on our old, faithful, very fake two foot tabletop model that we set up in 2001, the year we went to Holland together for the very first time, leaving the day after Christmas and not wanting the burden of dismantling a real tree the afternoon before our departure. There is a warm fuzzy attached to the tree, and a small heartache knowing that trips to Holland are much desired but far, far away. Up here in Montana we both feel a little displaced, trying to fit our traditional celebrations into an already existing array of traditions. We have ideas for 2013, centered around Saint Nicholas's feast day, but in 2012 that day is coming too quickly and the funding for a proper celebration is coming too slowly. We have to plan our events far in advance while living our lives day to day. That last line sounds like a nice, balanced Hallmark moment, the kind I hope to build into a mountain of moments remembered fondly by my grandson Xander. I already have a mountain of moments, a calendar filled with perfect days spent with my wife, my family, my friends. I want more of them. More than anything else in the world, I love perfect days. The sun is out, the sky is blue, the snow is still sticking around. Di and I are watching a movie on the Christmas Channel, better known as Hallmark. These, mostly, are fairly bad films, and no one will argue with me on that -- even, I suspect, the filmmakers themselves. But every now and then one shows up that is almost good, or even pretty good, or even as good as some of the stuff in the theaters we have to pay to see. And good actors, writers, producers, cameramen, directors, grips, makeup artists, and the rest, get work. Their paychecks ought to help them get through the holidays with relative comfort, and I laud them for that. I begrudge them nothing, and I am entertained, as well as given the opportunity to tell you how bad or almost good the films are. It's sort of like starting your day with sugar plum faeries dancing through your head, a hot steaming cup of coffee by your side and your snow shovel at the ready. Sounds like a good beginning to a perfect day to me.

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