Seems to me, Christmas was more fun when I was a kid.
At least, some of it was.
I’m not one that wants to go back and revisit my childhood. Now, if I had the chance to switch places with someone and experience theirs, I’d consider it, but for my own childhood, I’m glad it’s over.
That being said, there are some things that were just a lot better when I was viewing them through younger eyes. Christmas and growing up has it’s issues.
Take Christmas specials for example.
Charlie Brown’s Christmas…I liked that show as a kid. Now? Now I want to punch Lucy in the head. Or throat. And tell her to quit being such a nasty wench to everyone, especially Charlie Brown. Hey, Lucy, ever hear of BULLYING?! And then there’s Charlie Brown’s sister, whats-her-face…Sally. That’s it. She’s creepy obsessed with Linus, and a complete dim bulb. Whiny to boot. She can go plunk her butt in time out until she grows a brain, and quits whining. Linus? For a blankie obsessed kid, he’s got quite the superior snot attitude, doesn’t he? And poor Charlie Brown…that kid’s got some serious issues. Needs a therapist, STAT!
Chimpmunks…Oh dear holy old cheezits…singing rats. I swear, there’s some sort of switch that gets flipped at puberty, that makes the Chipmunks turn from kinda cool to listen to, to thinking that they’re the REAL reason Van Gogh lopped off an ear. And I wonder why Dave didn’t just call up an exterminator and rid himself of the destructive little rodents. I mean sure, they were good for his career, I guess, but Alvin was a destructive, narcissistic jerk, and are you seriously telling me that Dave wouldn’t have completely lost his snot, and one good heavy WHUMP with a shoe, and the trio becomes a duo, know what I mean? Oh, c’mon, you can’t tell me you haven’t thought about it. Or, are thinking about it now, and agreeing that there’s no way in Hades you’d tolerate high-pitched, squeaky singing 24/7 without losing your mind, and coaxing them all into a blender. Or microwave.
Then there’s the claymation cartoons. Rudolph, Santa, Frosty…As a kid, I thought they were all pretty cool. Now? Well, I kinda hope that the Abominable Snowman eats Rudolph. And I think Santa and Co are all big jerks. Especially Rudolph’s dad. If I’d been good old Rudy, and Santa came to me to save Christmas? “Do it yourself, Fat Boy. I’m not good enough for your reindeer games, remember?”
What the heck is with the bullying in kids cartoons? Peace and joy my butt. “We’re going to treat you like crap, make some half-hearted apology because we’ve decided we can use you after all, and you’re going to be so grateful to finally be included that you’ll forget all about us running you out-of-town!” And Land of Misfit Toys?! What kind of cruel jerkface is Santa, making a train with square wheels? Seriously?! Get some quality control at least, Big Guy. Sheesh.
Not to mention…well…the animation is pretty hokey.
BUT…even though I now shudder and wince my way through some of the Christmas specials, there are some that I still adore.
The Grinch…the orginal, if you please, with Boris Karloff. None of this live action, Jim Carey crap, thank you very much. Seriously, that one gives me such major creepies, I can’t hack it at all. The whole emotional back story, with him being tormented (MORE BULLYING!) as a kid…just go away. I love the original, thanks. I don’t want to know about the Grinch’s emotional issues, or why. I just want his heart to grow several sizes, carve the roast beast, and listen to Boris Karloff sing.
It’s a Wonderful Life: I’ve watched that movie so many times, and I love every moment of it. I was completely aghast to discover that I’d married a man who’d never seen the movie. Now, he watches every year.
I’m not claiming he watches it exactly willingly but he’s admitted to liking it, and he likes me, so he goes with it. He, however, claims that Die Hard is a Christmas movie. No, no, it is not. Explosions, shooting, death, destruction…these things do NOT say, “Peace on Earth, goodwill to Man.” Just because it HAPPENS at Christmas does NOT make it a Christmas movie.
So sayeth the Imp.
Miracle on 34th Street. Again, only the original will do. Sure, the kid is cute and all, in the remake, but nobody compares to Natalie Wood as the little girl. Stinking love that movie. The end scene, the cane in the corner? Love, love, love.
And, of course, there are the other realities of Christmas that you just don’t see as a kid. The budgeting, the shopping, the sheer planning and freaking WORK that goes into pulling this whole thing off. I know, I know, scale back, don’t be materialistic, knit sweaters out of belly button lint that you collect all year, make toys out of toilet paper rolls and dried Bazinga poop.
Frankly? I don’t have the time, the energy, or the creativity for that. I’m too old, too tired, too disabled for that kind of effort. I don’t do crafty. Never have, even before when I had two working hands/arms. I’ve helped make six PEOPLE, that’s the extent of my ‘crafty’. (Top that, Martha Stewart! Sure, you can make a centre piece out of driftwood, sparkles, and fairy tears, but HAVE YOU MADE SIX BABIES? No? THEN I FREAKING WIN. Stuff that in your perfectly decorated chimney and smoke it, Martha baby!)
I try to teach my kids the meaning of Christmas, love, joy, peace on Earth, the Ultimate Gift that God gave the world with His Only Son. (And He didn’t arrive in perfectly coordinated, hand painted wrapping paper, with paint made from unicorn farts and handwoven silk ribbon either, Martha! Stables. Manger. Livestock. Choke on a hunk of holly, Martha.)
*ahem* I may have a few latent issues with Martha Stewart.
I get the shivers and a lump in my throat every time I listen to Mary Did You Know. Watching my kids joy Christmas morning? It’s as close to pure wonderful as my life gets.
And that’s very, very sweet indeed.
And I’ll secretly hope that Martha gets decked in a hall somewhere.
We all need our dreams, especially in the season of miracles, am I right?