Friday, December 21, 2012

On Christmas

December 20th, 11:53 P.M. LIVE from the doomsday countdown on the West Coast, we bring you a crucial update from the blog-o-sphere.

In most other parts of the world it is already the 21st, aka Doomsday. However, if the Mayan's just happened to be calculating the end of the world via PST, then there are still seven minutes left of this great planet.

If I believed any of that mumbo jumbo (well, I do love a good conspiracy theory) then I guess I'll go out tip tapping away on a keyboard thinking about the holidays. "It's The End Of The World As We Know It" is also promptly queued up. Seems perfect. I wonder if R.E.M is receiving extra high amounts of royalties this year?

Tis the season to be jolly, but through all these predictions of the apocalypse and the senseless acts of last Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School, it is a sobering reminder that Christmases won't last forever. I know I'm not the only one who is trying to slow down and take in the little things more than any year before.

For most people all that scrumptious food, gathering of family, classic films, games, and finding the perfect gift for someone  is the holidays. For me, I love all of the above, but when you have the continual heart of a child, it encompasses so much more. For those of you who understand, you won't laugh, but rather nod in approval when I say it's about the "magic".

It's true! For one season of the year we band together as a culture, actually put aside issues, to instill in children folk the wonderful tale that one man travels around the world delivering presents all in one night. Pure magic! I like to say I don't believe in Santa anymore, but deep down I can't help but continue to adore the idea of him.

Even for those who don't focus on Old Saint Nick, no matter how many years pass by, when the calendar grows closer to December that powerful feeling of light, cheer, and festivity breeds excitement.

Christmas is all about what each person makes of it, and that's why it's great. It doesn't have to require a lot of money, as hanging a paper chain, or placing a sparkly handmade ornament on a shelf, or hearing a jaunty carol on the radio can ignite a little spirit and extra happiness for a group of days each year. Who wouldn't want to participate in that?

Whenever I think of how much I ooze the zest for holiday spirit, one movie that I seem to reference a lot, and specifically one character, comes close to matching it. In 1989, a little girl obsessed with Christmas, Jessica Riggs, nursed a reindeer back to health, and now the clever film Prancer has become synonymous with Christmas.

When it comes to Christmas entertainment it seems like people fall into two categories; those who love the comedy spectrum (the Christmas Vacation's and Christmas Stories) and those who cherish the sappy magical canon (the Christmas Carol's and It's A Wonderful Lifers). Prancer is definitely for those who fall into the last category.

The editorial, "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Clause" , is a piece of writing I love. It perfectly captures the energy surrounding the holidays.

This piece is where the main theme of Prancer comes from, with Jessica fitting right in as the modern day Virginia. She is convinced that the reindeer she found is one of Santa's, and even though her brother, dad, and best friend try to convince her otherwise, her love of Christmas won't stop her from finding a way to get Prancer back to Santa before Christmas Eve.

All of her efforts build to the end, where her high octane spirit has turned a curmudgeon (and crazy at its best) Cloris Leachman and most of her town into holiday appreciators once again. Most importantly her distant father (Sam Elliot) is also feeling the cheer again, and reads aloud a portion of his daughters favorite book; fittingly the "Yes, Virginia" editorial in picture book form. The scene that always makes this emotional lady choke up is at the 2:00 mark in the video above. He just reads it so well.

It is now after midnight and the world hasn't ended (yet). Looks like we all have a little more time to bake a batch of Christmas cookies, sing a holiday jam, or snuggle up with some family and friends to watch a classic movie like Prancer or any other Christmas favorite.

From one festive nut to another, I hope everyone is truly enjoying the Holidays in their own way.

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