Thursday, December 22, 2011

tomorrow i can say...

from here!
When I was a little girl, and Christmas was like candy-bliss-crack-pops that fell from the sky (you know how it was), this day was also iconic. Every year, on December 22, I would proudly announce to all within earshot (and sometimes, just to myself--over and over again), "Tomorrow I can say, 'Tomorrow's Christmas Eve!'" I'm not sure if this tradition soothed me or added to the unbearable, pee-my-pants excitement, but it happened every year. Even well into high school and college, I was bereft if a December 22 passed without my acknowledgement of it being the day before the day before the day before Christmas.

I was a weird kid.

Sadly, after more than a quarter of century of life, I am no longer jittering in any corners over impending holidays. And, if I am, it's for completely different reasons.

In general, I fear I am becoming a disillusioned old grump. Not just about Christmas. I kind of hate movies all of a sudden, for example. Not that there aren't films I adore and always go back to, but the industry just makes me sick. There is significantly less magic in Hollywood to me, now. I look at images of that sign and all I see is money, money, money, power, power, beauty, fame.

But I can't help it... I still watch.

Christmas is a little bit like that. Somewhere along the way, the magic got warped. Don't get me wrong, it's definitely still there. Whenever I think of A Christmas Carol, It's a Wonderful Life, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, A Charlie Brown Christmas, The original Grinch cartoon, or, you know, the birth of Christ and the good news of "God and sinners reconciled," I feel it. I'm there.

Then, I chance to walk inside a Walmart (another necessary evil, ugh), and see this sign:

and now I am physically ill.

I don't even have a problem with Santa Claus. Not really. Not if the point is believing in things you can't see, or embracing generosity, or actively participating in a world-wide fantasy for one night of the year (I still like to set out cookies and milk, knowing full well that my dad is the one who will partake-- I love the act of welcoming the fairy tale. Also, of feeding my dad cookies in the middle of the night). Elf is another Christmas staple I love, as well as The Year Without Santa Claus, and it's because of that, the belief. The magic. The wide-eyed-ness of childhood.

And then there are the flops. If you guys have been reading for a while, you know that my husband and I love Phineas and Ferb. More than any twenty-six-year-old, childless couple should. Because I mean, seriously. It's the best kid's show on TV.

But their Christmas episode? Holy cash cow. So depressing. If you haven't seen it, the basic premise is that, by accident, all of Danville shows up as "naughty" on Santa's list.

You remember in The Grinch, when all the Whos came together and sang, even after the old green meanie took away their things, and his heart grew three sizes? Well. In Phineas and Ferb, the opposite happens. They get on the radio and sing to Santa about how they all "thought they were good."

Sigh. I expected more, you know?

Okay, so, now that everyone's like, "Why is she talking about Christmas specials after bemoaning both Hollywood and the holiday?" I'll add that this won't be the most concise, point-driven post, or anything. I have five minutes before I need to be across the street at the theatre for our second-to-last performance, and I want to put this up before my blog goes another day untouched.

On a positive note, one of my favorite things to do, while I can, is to not do any shopping until the week before Christmas, with no definite plan of what to get. And tomorrow is that day! A weird Christmas tradition? Yes. But not quite as bad as, "Tomorrow I can say, 'Tomorrow's Christmas Eve!'"


  1. Hehe I like your Christmas tradition. My siblings and I definitely do the "today's the day before Christmas eve!" thing, anyway... :D

  2. That sign kind of epitomizes Christmas commercialism.

    I think it's a good tradition. :) The day before a holiday can be a lot of fun . . . why not look forward to it?

  3. I love Phineas and Ferb, but I haven't seen that episode. It is sad that they give in to the Christmas commercialism.

  4. I try to hide it but I'm not a huge lover of Christmas. It's got better since I've had the kids though :-)

  5. I love Christmas, myself... but then, I don't have a TV, so I miss the subliminal and not so subliminal messaging of the holiday... I also buy mostly fair trade gifts for people, or things that will benefit an organization like Invisible Children... It is possible to maintain the magic of the season. But you sort of have to put your fingers in your ears and shut your eyes and say "La la la la la! I'm not listening!" every time mainstream... or really ANYONE else tries to convey what Christmas is about to you. Because... everyone's version of Christmas is not going to be the same one as the Christmas of your childhood. That's just part of growing up... even yours will change. I just hope it's for the better :)

    <3 You Julie!

  6. Ha! I love your 22nd tradition! I don't get excited about that day, but today, Christmas Eve Eve, we have a big family party, and then another one tomorrow. And then, of course, Christmas Day! So this is the start of the fun for us.

    And don't even get me started about Walmart. Buh.

    P.S. My word verification was jolyz. As in, hope your holidayz are jolyz. :B

  7. the fact that you mentioned Christmas Pageant made me smile a lot. i miss u so flippin much and we have to hang out when i get back from texas!!!


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