By Wayne William Cipriano
You may have noticed that Christmas is over. BUMMER!
We try to prolong the season by using several techniques that work to one degree or another.
We open presents over many days (weeks?) because, as we all know, Christmas is all about presents, and when the presents are gone, Christmas is, too.
The baked goodies are consumed with the knowledge that once they are gone, there will be no such goodies until next year.
We wait to take down the decorations for a long time, disassemble the tree and pack away the lights and stuff as a last Christmas chore.
None of those techniques worked this year. I had a special gift for Rosalie and I wanted to make it a big deal, so she has to get it last, building up to it. As we open gifts alternately, they were all opened on Christmas morning, mostly because I didn’t want to wait to see how she reacted. So much for stretching out the season by working our way slowly through all the gifts.
The baked goodies, even individually wrapped (and that much harder to scarf up quickly) and sparingly set out, disappeared this year much faster than ever before. Were there fewer to begin with? Was there a growing concern for my burgeoning waistline resulting in diminished cookie availability? Were far too many goodies given away to persons who were not me?
And now, almost imperceptibly, decorations are being carried off. The tree trimmings are slowly being packed. Christmas cards received are being stored. And there is no way that the “normalization” of the house as these glitzy accoutrement are removed can pass unnoticed. Everything looks so “plain” and will seem so for a month until we get used to it again.
My brother has the right idea. He leaves his decorations up all year long. He plugs them in around Thanksgiving and pulls those plugs some time after new Years Day, but never removes them so he never has to deal with Christmas Decoration Withdrawal Syndrome (CDWS). Jim even helps his neighbors escape CDWS by keeping those lights and decorations on the house and in the yard and occasionally turning them on for no particular reason, just to give his neighborhood a rush. What a guy!
Considering the very weird weather we had this year, we barely got through the Christmas Movie Rotation – it was so WARM! There is no definite order for the flicks and only one hard and fast rule: Polar Express, according to Rosalie, can only be viewed when there is snow on the ground. It was anyone’s guess if we were ever going to see it this year. The other members of the Rotation, Miracle on 34th Street, A Christmas Carol (the Alister Sim version), National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, and of course, It’s a Wonderful Life all have a guaranteed viewing every year.
We watched A Christmas Story (kid’s tongue sticking to an icy metal flagpole, Red Ryder CC Gun envy) for the first time after hearing so much about it for so long, and we were disappointed. I guess it was built up too much in our minds. Anyway, it didn’t make the Rotation.
I’m hoping to someday tape Henry Winkler’s rendition of A Christmas Carol, called, I think, An American Christmas Carol, which I have seen only once, but while it might have been the setting, I remember it as the best of all the Carols. Perhaps it will make the Rotation.
I ran across a movie last week that doesn’t have “Christmas” in the title and about which I had heard comments that inclined me to avoid it. No way was I expecting it to have anything to do with Christmas or the like. Man, was I wrong!
After I watched it, I was sure that it belonged on the List. Rosalie did not watch it because, like I said, I wasn’t expecting much and she’s pretty selective as to what she’ll watch. I, on the other hand, will watch ANYTHING. Now that I’ve seen it I am going to surprise Rosalie with it next year by slipping it into the Rotation and not tell her anything about it. We’ll see what she says. She’ll be shocked, as will you, and then, I’m sure, you’ll all agree with me that it is a candidate for the Rotation.
I’ll let you know how it goes. Christmas is a mere eleven months away!