Saturday, December 22, 2007

Random Holiday Thoughts

• That old SNL skit, “The Lost Ending to IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE" isn’t half as funny as you remember.
• Conversely, ELF seems to get better with each passing year.
• Egg nog really is delicious. Especially in coffee.
• Even most ardent Christmas music haters can’t deny the awesomeness of Jimmy Smith’s CHRISTMAS 1964 (aka CHRISTMAS COOKIN').
• But they should really also get to know the majesty of the holiday sounds of Frank Sinatra, Julie Andrews & Andre Previn, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Ramsey Lewis, Brenda Lee, James Brown, Nat King Cole, Kenny Burrell…
• But it's true, contemporary Country, R&B and over-vocalizing Pop stars can destroy even the most indestructible carol.
• There are really few things in this world I find more beautiful than Christmas lights.
• Damn global warming.
• You are the sweetest, most thoughtful chick ever
• How on Earth can someone have grown up in this country and never seen A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS?
• Speaking of, Paramount home video REALLY needs to get on that special edition DVD (although since it's currently out-of-print, perhaps my dreams will come true...).
• Clarence was right.
• How did we ever get all this stuff done before online shopping?
• I’d love to edit a collection of Christmas comic book stories (with the Archie tales from the 60s given top billing).
• When I master the technology to burn better DVD compilations, watch out!
• Being too cold is far preferable to being too hot.
• Snuggly is a good adjective.
• You don’t have to believe in God to believe in “Peace on Earth, Goodwill towards men” (In fact, given all the violence in the world begat by religion, it’s probably an easier concept to get behind if you DON’T).

This time of year, I always get a lot of raised eyebrows from people who know me primarily as a somewhat cranky cynic who tends to reject a lot of what our culture tries to shove down our collective throats. You’d think I’d be just as cynical about Christmas, especially as it (like everything else) does become more and more commercialized and overexposed every year. Besides, don’t I totally reject the ostensible reason for the season? What the ef?

The fact is, this is and will always be my favorite time of year, regardless of my somewhat rabid atheism. But Christmas has certainly evolved over the years (and it’s always combined elements from secular celebrations) and, like most other holidays, it can mean different things to different people.

Certainly, I have a huge affinity for the usual stuffs of the season: the decorations, the music (shut up, it’s great), the gift giving and receiving, the parties, the cards (which I didn’t do this year, sorry), the TV Land Merrython (the DVR is set for Monday), the possibility (ever-decreasing, but still existent) of snow, cookies for breakfast, etc. But I am aware that Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.

To be honest, this has been a fairly rough year for me. My Dad almost bought the big one, Mom had her own health issues, as well as my dear Aunt Pix, and even my baby bro’ gave us all cause for concern. In November, I lost my one regular freelance gig (and a big chunk of my income), and have yet to do anything to build on any momentum I may have built by doing the MTV column for two and a half years. (Not to mention how incredibly awful the state of this country and the world is right now, thanks in no small part to our Naked Emperor).

But through it all, I’ve had a really good group of people around me (not the least of which is a certain designer hottie) who always made me feel better. And so, in addition to all the festive trappings of the holiday, Christmas is mostly, for me, a chance to not only be grateful for the people in my life that make it worth living, but to let them know it. Not that I’m not cabable of being a mushy bastard the other 11 months, but, well, it’s more acceptable this time of year to tear up and tell someone how glad you are they’re in your life.

That and egg nog. I really love that crap.