Posts Tagged ‘family’

Making Christmas

In the movie “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” Tim Burton elegantly weaves a story about the inhabitants of Halloween Town, a fictional land where Halloween reigns supreme, all day, every day.  The town is led by Jack Skellington, a.k.a. “The Pumpkin King,” who accidentally stumbles upon a secret portal to Christmas Town, a land filled with snow, sweets, and Santa Claus himself.

Jack is enthralled with this odd land of merriment and joy, two emotions which are counter to the ennui and melancholy his character begins the film with.  He quickly decides to remedy his growing unease by incorporating elements of Christmas Town into his world, and encourages his friends and fiends to follow suit.

In the song “Making Christmas,” the residents of Halloween Town show how they plan to present their version of Christmas, despite the fact that their vision of the holiday is slightly skewed.  Watch below:

“Making Christmas” from “The Nightmare Before Christmas”

Over the weekend, I was reminded of this song as I began to contemplate my own lot during the holiday season.  I found myself feeling somewhat like Jack, the main protagonist of the story, who begins the movie dealing with a gaping emotional void and no foreseeable remedy.

Now, I am neither a skeleton nor depressed, but I have come to discover a growing emptiness in my heart around the holiday season.  I don’t love Christmas any less, mind you.  On the contrary, it still remains as my most treasured holiday and favorite time of the year…but, due to the inevitable changes of time/destiny/fate, Christmas is just not what it used to be anymore.

Keep reading, or Mr. Oogie Boogie will get you…

The 12 Movies of Christmas

My favorite movie, of all time, is Home Alone.

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Not my favorite “Christmas” movie…my favorite movie…of all time.  You know, the one with Macaulay Caulkin, the robbers, and the house full of Mousetrap-like inventions?  Yep.  That one.  It’s held the title of my #1 Film, for many years now, beating out tough competitors like Shawshank Redemption, Hook and Clue.

I don’t place Home Alone at the top of my film queue for cinematic reasons.  No actors merited any Oscar Awards for their performances, and the only Oscar Nomination went to composer John Williams (and very rightly so).  It doesn’t stand amongst films like Braveheart, Memoirs of a Geisha, or Saving Private Ryan, but it does possess an immense amount of nostalgia for me.

Home Alone, for me, became the movie to watch during the Christmas season.  It was amongst the first movies I saw in theatres, and it eventually found a very special place in the life of my family.  Every year, we’d get so excited to pull it out of its VHS case (still have it), and even though the years took their toll on the video cassette, we didn’t seem to mind the faded color or distorted sound.  The lights would dim, the 21st Century Fox anthem would ring out, and the opening title would float into my ears, making me remember Christmases of ages past.

It’s a “quotable movie” for me.  I have a few that I can confidently sit down with and, word for word, re-enact the whole film.  My favorite scenes in the film are the ones which evoke memories of laughter with my family.  No Christmas season is complete without a viewing of Home Alone (and, Home Alone 2, while we’re at it).

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“It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas”

The Christmas season is now upon us, ladies and gentlemen.  The in-laws have departed for another month, our living rooms are littered with fresh pine needles, the holiday weight gain has initiated, and “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree” will now be played 24/7 on your local radio station.  It’s undeniable:  Christmas is finally here.

My shotgun start to the holiday season began on Thanksgiving.  My family celebration was a great reminder of just how insane my relatives are…and, consequentially, just how much I love them.  I attempt to keep a normal amount of anonymity on my blog, so I won’t post each and every embarrassing picture I took last Thursday…however, I think these three pictures sum up the entire night (and how close my family may truly be to straight jackets and happy blue pills).

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Charlie Sheen’s Thanksgiving

(minus the stripper)

The insanity continues…

Thanksgiving-Palooza: Part Two

Let’s play a game….one of the following two things are true:

1.) I’ve had about 3 glasses of wine at our family Thanksgiving gathering, and I seem to love my family more than usual.

2.) Jude Law has proposed marriage, I am moving to England, and our babies will be miraculous feats of beauty.

Obviously, I don’t drink, so I will be sending out “Save the Dates” for my matrimonial union with Mr. Law….

In all seriousness, I am enjoying my family more than usual this year, and yes…I have had about 3 glasses of wine.  Determining whether the two are connected will be left up to the Gods to decide.  But, the important thing is…I am appreciating my family more and more this year.

This, in itself, is a hard feat to accomplish.  My family consists of me, my parents (who love me unconditionally…I don’t know who paid them off), my aunt and uncle, their children, and their children, my second cousins.  The overwhelmingly glaring truth about my involvement and proper place in my family hinges on one fact:  I am the only one in the 15-38 age bracket.  Let me be more specific:  I am the only one in the 22-30 age bracket…meaning, I am the only one without a spouse, children, and stretch marks.

It has been somewhat difficult for me to find my place within my family for the past few years.  When I was growing up, I was the youngest grandchild…the baby of the family…I relished an era of time that allowed me to do/say anything that would be looked upon with giddiness and awe.  That was, until , a new generation of great-grandchildren usurped my status and became the new darlings of the bunch. They pushed me off my pedestal, and left me to fend for myself…poor, lost, collegiate student that I was.  I found myself struggling to define my familial identity as a grandchild who was becoming an adult, and as an adult that wasn’t quite ready to claim that title.

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Two Hours

In a deviation from my usual blog fare, I feel the need to share with you, my readers, about a very special seminar I attended this past week.

I’m currently finishing up my certification program for music education.  At the moment, I’m about 1 1/2 weeks away from completing all student teaching requirements.  Every week, we are required to attend a 2-hour seminar on Tuesday afternoons…a seminar which sits on the tail of a very long day for me.  Typically, when I’ve attended these weekly meetings, I practice the art of sleeping with my eyes open.  It in no way reflects my feelings towards the content presented in seminar (except the paper folding lesson…THAT was boring); I just usually am so mentally/physically exhausted that I have no choice but to take a brief power nap with eyelids fully opened.  And that takes effort.  (Apparently, after a Google search, people can actually do this!)

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However, this Tuesday was different.  We didn’t learn how to fold a circular piece of paper in 14 shapes (true story). We didn’t watch a teacher go nuts while dressed up as a witch (true story).  Instead, our leader opted to deliver a life lesson to us all that will stick with me for the rest of my life.

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