Sunday, December 25, 2011

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This Christmas...Will be the Best Christmas

It would be remiss of me to let this day pass without any mention from me. Christmas is, after all, my favorite holiday. I admit, however, that despite my constant playing of songs both traditional and not so (truly, Chicory Tip's "Merry Xmas Everybody" is a forgotten gem), I am not at my most Christmasy this year.

Christmas, more than most other holidays, is all about tradition. The songs, the decorations, even the movies, are all important aspects of the day not just because of their thematic relavence, but also because of the history and memories we associate with them. There's watching A Christmas Story for 24 hours with the family...hanging up each ornament on the tree with my sisters, from my Godfather Drosselmeyer purchased at a makeshift Christmas shop at the performing arts center to my older sister's "Baby's First Christmas" ornament from the late '70s....baking and decorating cookies with mom, using the same cookie cutters we've had for about twenty years....

And this year, I've broken with tradition. I'm in Los Angeles with my best friend, and in thirty minutes, I'll be on my way to work...til midnight. And one is apt to think, "Oh, poor me, Christmas is ruined, it's not Christmas at all, boo hoo...." And indeed, I've been like this for most of this week. Dreading Christmas because it would remind me of what I'm missing and what I have to do instead.

But then I started talking to my co-workers. To the married father of three who has to work the late shift on Christmas Eve. To the woman who has had to work the past three Christmases, wishing she could be with her family. To the guy who moved here to pursue his dream, leaving behind his friends, family and girlfriend, and now has to catch a few minutes on the phone in order to spend Christmas with them.

And you know something? I'm pretty lucky. Not only do I live with my best friend, who's also here for Christmas, but I made friends at work. I have a little community to call home in my apartment complex. The class I graduated with, some of the best friends I'll ever have...they're out here, too. I'm getting double my pay, too, which is certainly a plus. And I get to do for others what I've been having them do for me for years. I'm giving them a chance to spend Christmas with the real miracle workers.

In Hugo, Georges Melies says to a little boy who visits his film set, "If you ever wonder where your dreams come from, look around: this is where they're made." People need the movies, and I am proud to help provide that service. You've cooked, bought presents, put up with the fam...let me handle the popcorn, the hot dogs, the entertainment. Christmas, after all, is a time to spend with those you love. And I don't know about you, but I love Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Hoyte von Hoytema, Janusz Kaminski, Diablo get it.

So Merry Christmas everybody! Or as Burl Ives would say:

Have a holly jolly Christmas
It's the best time of the year
I don't know if there'll be snow
But have a cup o' cheer

Have a holly jolly Christmas
And as you walk down the street
Say "hello" to friends you know
And everyone you meet

Oh, ho, the mistletoe, hung where you can see
Somebody waits for you
Kiss her once for me

Have a holly jolly Christmas
And in case you didn't hear
Oh, by golly!
Have a holly jolly Christmas this year!

1 comment:

TomS said...

Warmest Wishes to you, walter, for a Merry Christmas and holiday season. Your best friend is a lucky person indeed, to have you as a roommate.
Please come "visit" me on-line soon... and also, let me know what you have been doing movie-wise.
The year has been challenging, and I admire your resilience as you make your own adjustments to a new life and establish new traditions.