Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Quick drive-by

No I haven't departed this life, but my Internet connection at home is on life support. I hope to remedy that today. It will be Easter at Christmas; the resurrection will occur.

Christmas was nice. Glad it's over. I can only take so much holiday cheer.

More to come.....

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Touching the snow

Seven days to go, and I'm finally feeling a little of The Christmas Spirit (R).

Friday night, I went to my godchildren's school for their annual Christmas production. It was so cute! They had everyone from K-3 to 5th grade take part. The little K-3s were just adorable, and the K-4 (the class their cousin Hannah is in) was cute too! So I got to see all three kids perform. It was really good work, considering it's a somewhat smaller private school.

Usually, children's choirs are a reminder of times I took part in the children's choir at church -- some pleasant memories, and others where I go "what were we thinking?" These kids were good, and you could tell the music teacher really had worked with them. They didn't sound like a typical children's choir -- where half have the deer-in-headlights look and stand there bug-eyed and twisting around because they don't know what else to do ... while the other half screams out "Away In A Manger" because they don't know what else to do. No, the kids actually sang, no one screamed out the words off-key. A few did have The Look, but not for long.

Then last night, I went to the dance recital for Rebekah and Hannah. It was very cute, and they each did a great job. Rebekah was in four segments, Hannah in one (she's in Pre-Ballet). Then we went downtown to see the Christmas Village sponsored by a local hospital. It was kind of neat. They had a carousel for the children, but the rest of it was food sales. But they also had a snow machine -- to give it a real holiday feel. Now, bear in mind that yesterday afternoon, it was 70 degrees here; definitely NOT your average December high! But when the sun went down, it got pretty nippy -- perfect to haul out the snow maker! And the kids loved it. I got a couple of pictures of them holding their hands out and looking utterly delighted.

I think that's what did it for me -- that childlike sense of wonder. They knew it was from a snow maker and didn't really care. All they wanted was to touch the snow.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Just not in the mood.

I can't get into Christmas.

I guess I'm becoming more like my dad -- for him, it's just one more day in the year, religious significance aside. He doesn't get into all the hoopla and hubbub. His philosophy is "if I want something, I'll just go get it, or save up until such time I can go get it." Mine is the same.

But now along comes all the marketeers pumping up the expectations for the holidays. All the sparkly, expensive gifts. All the big fancy gatherings. All that warm, gooey, gushy feeling -- my God, it practically oozes through the screens.

Well, sadly for many people, the Norman Rockwell Christmas is a farce. (Apologies to Mr. Rockwell, he was just doing his job). People change, times change, and somehow we get all nostalgic at the holidays and try to live up to all those expectations we had as kids. Think Clark Griswold and the conversation he has with his dad. Over the years, I've developed a great definition for nostalgia: feeling sentimental for something that actually never existed.

As for me, I just want to celebrate the religious significance, exchange small gifts with loved ones, and not succumbing to the marketing pressure of what the perfect Christmas should be. I don't have to go all hog-wild and decorate like mad, or listen to holiday music 24/7 or spend $$$ that I don't need to.

Realism for Christmas. What a concept.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The one Christmas show I can't watch.

When I was a little girl, I saw a Rankin-Bass production called Nestor the Long-Eared Donkey. It's the story of a poor picked-on donkey who is ridiculed by the others for his excessively long ears, but who eventually becomes the hero, by taking Mary & Joseph to Bethlehem.

I think I was about 6 or 7 the first time I saw it. Oh my sweet Lord, I bawled like a baby. I was a very sensitive child, and I just couldn't stand to see someone being picked on for something they couldn't help -- like Nestor and his ears. Well, that just did it for me. I never saw it on TV again. I don't know if it was merely that our stations didn't carry it or if it went back into the R-B vaults.

Fast forward to somewhere around 1996. I saw it offered on VHS in a catalog at church/work. I told my coworker about not being able to watch it, and we laughed a little about it. Then in 2002 (I think), I was flipping channels and got to ABC Family. The next show on tap was "Nestor" ..... oh my. I really so wanted to see it, but I wondered if it was just my childhood tender heart that had caused me to cry my eyes out over Nestor. Surely now that I was an adult, I could handle it.

They got me again. I cried over Nestor -- not as much as I had that first time, but I needed a tissue. My brother laughed at me; I didn't care. Nestor's story broke my heart all over again. Sure, he was the hero at the end. But he went through some serious crap along the way, all because he was different.

Guess a tender heart doesn't easily go away, does it?

I can watch Christmas Vacation and laugh my butt off. I can watch A Christmas Story and die laughing (especially during the "fa-ra-ra" scene, among others). But put Nestor on and I become a puddle of tears.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Christmas Music, 24/7

God deliver us.

We have two Adult Contemporary stations, and around Halloween they start salivating all over themselves to see who's going to be the first with the Christmas music. They start with "weekend previews" -- okay, do I really need a preview of Christmas music? Uh, most of it I've heard for years.

I hate it. I remember when one of those stations was an easy listening/MOR, and they would do 24-hour Christmas music on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. That was it. But then again, none of the other stations shoved Christmas music down everyone's throat.

Call me the Grinch or Scrooge or whatever. I am so tired of it already. I don't listen to these stations anyway unless a song I like just happens to come on. One of them I pretty much flat refuse to listen to, because it's owned by a certain media conglomerate that wants to rule the world (doesn't everybody? Didn't we learn that in '85?). Anyway, I do my best to avoid them most of the time.

But I find myself hoping to catch just one Christmas song on there that I love with all my heart. So I will punch up their frequencies. And I've yet to catch this song on there. I drove to Atlanta last weekend and happened to catch it on one of their stations: the Christian station. I didn't know whether to be happy at hearing it or sad that the dadgum CHRISTIAN station was playing it. Because believe me, when I hear this song, the last thing on my mind is a manger in Bethlehem. But that's another post for another time (heh heh heh)........

Play the song more often. It can't be any worse than Mariah screeching the hell out of "Oh Holy Night" (to which I think, "Oh holy Jesus...."). And how many damn times can you play Bing and "White Christmas"? ENOUGH ALREADY!