Last week was definitely challenge filled, not just for me, but for some people I hold very near and dear. To try to shake off a little of the stress and struggle, I decided it was time. Time for my annual Christmas movie watching marathon. And I know we haven’t even hit Thanksgiving yet, but if retailers and programmers are going to skip straight from trick or treat to have a holly, jolly Christmas, I might as well jump on the Polar Express.
You may be asking yourself, hey, isn’t she Jewish? But if you are, we really need to have a long conversation. Call me. Because that question has been asked and answered, debated and decided. Yes, I am Jewish, yes I believe in the teachings and precepts of my religion. And, yes, I love Christmas! No disrespect intended to anyone. I’m not celebrating Christ’s birthday. I’m celebrating the somewhat secular annual event that I was raised with, the one that involves happy, scampering children, caroling characters in Victorian garb, figgy pudding, stockings hung by the chimney with care. That Christmas. That now also includes a month long fest of cheesy movies, all leading up to the epic finale slam on Christmas Eve, It’s A Wonderful Life.
I can’t help myself. I love them all. Especially every version of A Christmas Carol, with my favorite varying each year between the George C. Scott version and Alistair Sim’s classic black and white version. And the last few years have produced a plethora of just the sort of movie I love, the soppier the better, via Lifetime and The Hallmark channel. These movies all run along the same lines. Someone (orphan, struggling single mother, forgotten grandpa) has a crisis (no parents, jobless, no joy). Extra points if the lead character is portrayed by a former beloved sitcom start (Ed Asner, Marilu Henner, little Rudy from the Cosby show, all grown up). Various good townspeople jump in to help them, and by the end of the two hours, everybody has learned a nice lesson about the magic of Christmas, and everyone is better because of it. I LOVE this shit!
My kickoff movie was strong. I have no idea when it was made, or what it was called. But it starred Nancy McKeon, she of the sassy Jo from Facts of Life. See what I mean? And she was this super successful, executive, but gosh, something just seemed to be missing from her life, single lady. So when she gets in a car accident on Christmas Eve, and is rescued by a kind and handsome stranger, she is surprised to find out he is her husband of 10 years, complete with the precious two little kids and the charming house. He manages the homeless shelter. She is the head of the church guild. And she can’t remember any of it. On Christmas Eve!
Oh, what will happen? I have to confess, I was a little worried that the children were going to be unduly traumatized, what with their mother not remembering them and all. On Christmas Eve! But they seemed to go right with the good time flow. Jo learned an important lesson about what really matters. And, as you may suspect, all ended happily. Well, except for the little tikes, who actually ceased to exist when Mommy-Not Mommy regained her memory. But she got to keep the hunky husband (to be), and all was merry and bright.
If you think I am being snide or sarcastic about all of this, let me reassure you, I am not. My tongue may be positioned slightly towards my cheek, but I really do love this stuff. It’s my comfort food, my virtual Little House, my electronic snuggly. And in a year that has been more challenging than most, I am more ready than ever for my festive boost. So come on down, Scrooge McDuck, I am donning my gay apparel and ready to troll the ancient yule-tide carol. Oh, and have yourself a very happy Chanukah!
The end, for now