Wednesday, December 16, 2015

It's Tradition Damn It!

By Tracy Kiely

I know this is going to come as no surprise to those who know me, but the Christmas season always finds me running behind schedule. I don’t know why; it’s not like it’s a pop quiz holiday – if you own a calendar, you know when it’s going to arrive. And if you venture inside a mall after September, you get an even bigger reminder. But, every year I find myself unprepared. This means that finding time to “Reread a Favorite Holiday Book” would be on the list of Things I Have Time For – right next to “Stenciling the Driveway.”
That’s not to say that we don’t have our traditions – it’s just that they mostly revolve around re-watching movies. With a movie you can multi-task. Try addressing envelopes while reading, and you'll understand.
 I have noticed, however, that over the years I’ve become somewhat jaded. Movies that I used to love unconditionally now have developed some annoying aspects. Examples:
Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer: Okay, was Santa always such a jerk, or did this just recently happen? He’s ready to drop kick Rudolph because of his nose? No wonder the other Reindeer laughed at him and wouldn’t let him in their games.  Donner even goes so far as to jam an uncomfortable fake nose on Rudolph and then offers this little gem of wisdom: “There are more important things in life than comfort: Self respect. Santa can’t object to you now.” Great message there! Santa was like the mean girl pack leader in high school. You had to conform to his dress code or you would be unmercifully mocked. Also, what’s up with the sentiment after Yukon Cornelius falls to his death?  Well, they are all very sad at the loss of their friend, but realize that the best thing to do is to get the women back to Christmas town.” Uh – gee thanks. Let’s go back there where, if you notice, girl reindeer can’t play in the stupid reindeer games either! Speaking of Christmas town, why is the toy shop run like a sweat shop? The Head Elf is a sadistic grouch who shouldn't be in any kind of leadership role.  And, lastly, what the hell is wrong with the little red-haired girl on the Island of Misfits? Granted her dress is ugly, but that can’t be it – can it? Could it because of her red hair? Oh, god. What if Rudolph is some kind of precursor to The Sixth Sense, and the color red signifies death or tragedy?  I may need to lie down as I figure out that one.
Seriously. Why am I here? 
A Christmas Carol: There really is no polite way to ask this, but is the entire Cratchit family high? Seriously, watch it with that thought in mind. Their unrelenting giddy happiness makes way more sense if that’s the case.
What exactly is in their figgy pudding, anyway?

It’s A Wonderful Life: Yes, a tear-jerking classic. But, when George must see the hellish life that will unfold if he gets his wish to have never been born, we see that his wife Mary is a librarian who never married!  Noooooo! The horror! And, how come Mary wears glasses in this hellish future? Does marriage to George cure near-sightedness?
Thanks to George Bailey, I have perfect vision!
However, there are some that pass the test of time. We always watch Elf, A Christmas Story, The Bishop’s Wife (because – duh – Cary Grant) and Scrooged with Bill Murray.
But, despite some of my North Pole Elfish musings here, all of these movies are a part of our Christmas tradition, and I love watching them every year with my family - even if I do heckle Santa from time to time.

Merry Christmas!


Susan C Shea said...

Just watched The Bishop's Wife, which is like a comforting mug of cocoa as long as one remembers that one is not going blind just because everything gets fuzzy when the camera does a close-up of Loretta Young! No one could get away with that now. But who doesn't want a handsome angel to go ice-skating with?I mean.

Kelly said...

Yes that whole librarian thing in It's a Wonderful Life bugs me too. Mainly because I AM a librarian. And considering her life with George,(all those kids and a money pit for a house) not sure the librarian spinster gig wasn't a better choice.

And the irony of Donner preaching self respect while hiding an essential part of his son from everyone, is that some sort of in joke?

Mary Stojak said...

Just finished reading your Murder Most Austin and liked it a lot! That, and the fact that your also from Maryland, very cool. I will definitely be reading your other books when I get a chance. I'm working my way thru some stacks of books that I accumulated over the last year. You can look for a review of Murder Mosr Austin in a couple of weeks on Mary