Christmas Crybaby


Cuz nothing says "Christmas" like a man recognizing his own mortality.

Cuz nothing says “Christmas” like a man recognizing his own mortality.

Yesterday, in a rare lull in school related obligations, I decided to go ahead and do my Christmas decorating. Now that I’m a grown up and married and living far away from my folks and siblings Christmas feels different: it’s a lot more effort to get into the spirit of it without feeling put upon by the amount of extra work required to shop and decorate and so on. We don’t have kids. We don’t have plans to have people over. The Curmudgeonly Lion doesn’t feel strongly about decorating the house (although I think he secretly enjoys seeing it once it is decorated) so it has been difficult to motivate myself to haul out the bin of Christmas stuff and spend the requisite amount of time assembling it.

After several days of over thinking it, I decided that it was worth it to make the effort. I’d already pulled the Christmas bin out of storage so all I needed to do was bring it into the apartment and start setting up. The biggest task is always the tree, but it just wouldn’t feel like Christmas without it. It didn’t seem right to set up the tree while watching Law and Order SVU so I decided to put in a Christmas DVD.

Now when it comes to Christmas movies, I know everybody has their favorites. A lot of people watch “It’s A Wonderful Life” and apparently “Love Actually” has become a perennial favorite as well. There’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (animated and live action- I’m on Team Animated for this one) and the “Charlie Brown Christmas Special” which I never quite liked but always watched because my Mom liked it. But if I had to list the movies that make my little Grinch heart grow three sizes they would be:

  1. The Muppet Christmas Carol
  2. The Bishop’s Wife
  3. Mixed Nuts

I began with Muppet Christmas Carol. It made me cry.

The older I get the more I cry at kids movies. It’s terrible. “Mary Poppins” makes me bawl like a baby. I almost started crying while watching an excerpt of “Mulan” in class a few weeks ago. We won’t even talk about “Big Fish”. I fear that I am becoming a sentimental old fool, but I don’t mind too much: I’m glad that movies can still move me even as I am learning how to steadily chip away at the magic that makes them happen.

Being a production student takes a lot of fun out of movies: I find myself being impressed at focus pulls and wondering what lenses were used. I admire the lighting technique. I listen for production sound with background hiss. I get annoyed by wall-to-wall music in ways that I never noticed before. In the case of “Muppet Christmas Carol” I kept noticing all the open flames on and around very flammable muppets made of feathers and fluff (Hazardous shooting forms!). I try to keep these comments to myself but the Curmudgeonly Lion assures me that my running commentary has gotten a lot more technical since I started classes.

So the Christmas spirit may have come with a sprinkling of tears, but that’s OK: there’s no shame in sentiment.

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on December 9, 2013.

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