A “Reel” Christmas and Cherished Moments

by Judy Berman

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

  1. My husband is an avid…ridiculously avid…fan of The Christmas Story. He watches if over and over and over again…on Christmas Day. I’d not seen it until a few years ago…when I finally decided I might as well give in…and sat down. I must admit it made me laugh.

    I’d resisted watching this particular holiday reel because I’m a pushover for vintage films…Christmas in Connecticut with Barbara Stanwyck, The Man Who Came to Dinner with Bette Davis, The Bishop’s Wife with Cary Grant, David Niven and Loretta Young…and so on. They have a magic which I don’t personally find in newer pictures. But hey! To each her own.

    As a surprise for our daughter’s holiday visit with us this year, my husband dug out the bin filled with her Polly-Pockets. It was sheer delight to see our 25-year-old open each one…and rediscover her childhood. Needless to say, we are instructed to keep these girlish treasures for her children…our grandbabies…whenever that may be.

    hugs for a lovely, holiday post…hugmamma. 🙂

    1. You’ve hit on a few films I haven’t seen … or, I haven’t seen in a long time. Love many of those actors/actresses you mentioned. I did watch “Sleepless in Seattle” which stretches from Christmas to Valentines Day. I also watched “A Christmas Story” – a real hoot.
      Our grandchildren are in the photo above. That’s when our granddaughter took ballet. Now she’s into sports. They grow up so fast. It’s hard to keep up sometimes. 😉
      Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comments.

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