|A white Christmas ... a new(er) car ... and the grill (note: |
the fire isn't as close to my car as it looks in this photo).
I don’t think it has anything to do with childhood memories, or even falling prey to Hallmark Channel overload (I watched 13 Christmas movies this year) during which every movie has a snowy Christmas Eve scene thirty seconds after everything has been resolved.
Okay, maybe subconsciously childhood memories or perfect movie endings have shaped my desires, but thankfully we had a snowstorm last Thursday, so I got my white Christmas. We even had a little snow on Christmas Eve, so maybe I am trapped inside a Hallmark movie.
Other than the snow and a few other instances, this Christmas was a bit unorthodox for me. Not in a bad way. Just in the truest sense of the word – it broke with convention.
It started last week when my mini-van was dying. I’m not really a mini-van sort of guy, but at the time I bought it, it was the best vehicle on the lot in my price range. So I became a soccer single guy (doesn’t quite roll off your tongue like “soccer mom,” does it?). But it’s been sputtering over the past month or so and the perpetual check engine light wasn’t just for Christmas decoration. So, I traded the mini-van for a new(er) Ford Focus with a warranty.
When I drove it off the lot a day after the snowstorm, evening was setting in. The melting snow was turning to ice and that’s never a good time to drive a new(er) car for the first time. I was also late for a Christmas party. And I had to drive across town to pick up a friend first.
I crept along the icy streets and was a nervous wreck by the time I picked up my friend. But we made it to the Christmas party safely and I was laughing in no time.
So, unorthodox situations aren’t always a bad thing.
On Christmas Day, my family gathered at Mom’s. We followed our orthodox annual routines – I grilled steaks and chicken in single degree weather, we ate a huge meal and we opened gifts.
Afterward, we went unorthodox.
Rather than watching football or a Christmas movie, I popped in a few home videos (yes, videos) of Christmases past and we oohed and awed over hairstyles, tight jeans and various other fashion faux pas of the 1990s. But once we got past those, we shed tears of joy and sadness over seeing and hearing loved ones who are no longer with us.
As I watched the videos, I realized how poor my memory can be sometimes. My parents divorced when I was eight and after that my sister and I spent Christmas Eve with my Dad’s side of the family and Christmas Day with my Mom’s side – or so I thought. One video showed all of us together on Christmas Day. I have no memory of that, but I’m thrilled that we recorded it.
After the celebration was over and I was back home, I decided to watch “A Christmas Story.” So many people make it part of their annual tradition, but I’ve never seen it. At the risk of offending nearly everybody, I turned the movie off at the halfway point.
I expected a nostalgic, corny, cheesy trip down memory lane. But the movie stepped over all three lines, into the ridiculous. The scene in which Ralphie envisions himself going blind one day because his mom made him wash his mouth out with soap that contained a dangerous chemical did it for me.
Overall though, I enjoyed the mixture of unorthodox and orthodox Christmas moments this year. How about you? Have anything unusual, or even usual, to share about the way you spent the holiday?