Are your Christmas memories based on “reel” life or real life?
When I think back — w-a-y back — a golden-brown turkey is roasting in the oven and a freshly baked apple pie cools on the kitchen counter. Their scents waft thru the house down the corridors of my mind. They stir up memories of my Mom fixing our holiday meal.
The plate of cookies and glass of milk I left for Santa are both empty. Only his note to me remains. A treasured memory.
Lately, I’ve begun to question these idealized moments.
This might be the result of one-too-many reruns of the 1983 classic film, “A Christmas Story.”
Parts of this movie, set in the 1940s, bear more than a passing resemblance to some events in my life. One example, take the kid’s tongue stuck on the freezing flagpole. Our youngest daughter, Jenn, did that, and I don’t think even a triple-dog-dare was involved. But there were similar unfortunate results.
In the movie, 9-year-old Ralphie (played by Peter Billingsley) wages a relentless campaign to get “the Holy Grail of Christmas gifts: a genuine Red Ryder 200-shot Carbine Action Air Rifle.”
His Mom shoots that idea down with “the classic mother BB gun block: You’ll shoot your eye out.”
Ralphie, who’d been scheming for weeks to get his “mitts on one of these steel beauties,” is not easily discouraged. He just switches tactics.
Fortunately, I don’t recall our girls bombarding us with pleas for a special toy. I do remember a frustrating 2-year search for Cabbage Patch Kids just before Christmas. Each time, no luck.
Then, after one Christmas, after we’d paid exorbitant prices at a flea market … Then, the dolls are flooding the stores.
Our daughters still have the dolls, and we have another great story to tell.
What I wish is that everyone finds their own special moments linked to this holiday season. Ones that will linger long after the wrapping paper has been ripped from the gifts and trampled underfoot.
May they be quiet, joyous moments that sneak up on you and leave you grinning throughout the year.
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Photo: family/Nutcracker Suite performance