Saturday, December 25, 2004

Jumping in To Save George

Christmas, 2004. I posted a few family pictures here.

The kids got up before the crack of dawn, or at least it seemed like it. We still haven't developed any Christmas traditions, so the present-opening carnage unfolded quickly and chaotically. Think feeding frenzy. We went to 9am mass (because of the wife and kids i am among the world's most devoutly Catholic agnostics) and then we came home to begin the eating. Most of the rest of the day is lost in a haze of constant eating and drinking. I think i watched a basketball game on TV, and i spent some time playing with the Indo Board, our communal present.

I talked to my dad today and he said it was 15-below in Indiana last night. It was about 70 here today, but i didn't have the heart to tell him. Although i don't miss the cold, i do miss Christmas in Indiana, since my best memories are from the farm where i grew up. The only present i remember getting from those days is, strangley enough, a bb-gun. It was a fairly high-powered gun, rather than the Red Rider style gun from A Christmas Story, but still. What i do remember is my mom getting up to make turn-overs, one of the handful of times during the year when she'd cook. I remember my sister and i trying to guess what the presents were, and the orderly process of disbursing presents. I remember the Gregg shorthand that my mom would use to mark the packages so that she could remember what was inside. I remember Christmas dinner at the huge old dining table that we only used at the holidays. I remember the annual visit from my great aunts, Vi and Corinne; and trips to my cousins' house. I remember the cookies.

I watched It's A Wonderful Life again this year. I think Jimmy Stewart as George is just great (and i love most of his other films too); but i like Clarence the angel better for some reason. George is all about doing the right thing and sacrificing for the community, yadda yadda yadda. But Clarence goes for the grand gestures, like altering the space-time continuum just to prove his point, and jumping into the river to save George (and Ward Bond wrestling Henry Travers to the ground has to be one of the greatest character-actor scuffles of all time).

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