Monday, December 26, 2005

After Christmas -Relaxation

"Remember, George: no man is a failure who has friends" --Clarence Oddbody AS2

So how was everyone's Christmas?

This is how my son and I celebrated Christmas:

Starting on Christmas eve. I began to clean the apartment up to get it ready for the celebration. I could never be confused with a good housekeeper, especially when my son is the antithesis of a housekeeper. So after sweeping up the trash into 3 large piles in different parts of the apartment, which took considerable time, I sat down on the couch for a short break, and started switching channels on the TV, looking for a Christmas themed show.

Have you noticed lately how difficult it is to find a Christmas themed TV show on TV on Christmas eve? I don't mean the hour and half hour long sitcoms and dramas on regular network TV. I mean the old standard Christmas movies we used to watch every year, and could be found easily, especially on Christmas eve.

I did find 2 old favorites. "It's A Wonderful Life" was on the local channel here, and TBS was running a 24 hour long marathon of "The Christmas Story".

Nothing but "The Christmas Story" for 24 swallow-every-pill-in your-medicine-cabinet-and-chase-it-down-with-liquid-Drano hours. For those of you who still enjoy watching "The Christmas Story" over and over for 24 throw-yourself-off-the-highest-cliff-you-can-find hours, I apologize. But I get a little sick of "You'll shoot your eye out" after the first several hours.

So I watched It's A Wonderful Life." I still like it.

I heard that it was a box office bomb when it came out in the 40's. Apparently the holder of the rights to it didn't protect it when the rights expired, and the television people discovered it was unprotected, and so, since they didn't have to pay royalty's for showing it, they showed it over and over again till people liked it. Perhaps that's the same reason we get 24 cut-yourself-open-and-pull-your-guts-out hours of Ralphie.

My favorite old movie about Christmas is a 1945 movie called "The Cheaters". You can no longer find this classic on TV, or, as I found out, even on tape or DVD somewhere.

It is about a wealthy man who dies and leaves his entire fortune to a poor waitress in a small cafe in an out of the way town somewhere in the Midwest. If she cannot be found within a certain amount of time, the estate would revert to the man's family, who, when they find out the terms of the will, find the girl first and invite her to stay with them for Christmas as part of their annual act of good will. Of course, they don't tell her about her good fortune. Along with her, they also invite a down on his luck drunk, who happens to be an out of work Shakespearean actor, to spend Christmas with them. He is their true annual charity case. Doing that every year helps them alleviate the guilt they feel for being greedy b**tards the rest of the year.

Needless to say, the family is shown the selfishness of their acts by the eloquent bum, and their hearts are warmed by the girls kindness and optimism, and I guess I don't have to reveal how it all ends.

But I digress. I fell asleep watching "It's a Wonderful Life" (Although I did wake up long enough to hear Clarence get his wings).

The first thing I did Christmas morning, after the usual formalities, was gather up all the trash I had swept up the night before, and bag it and take it to the trash. Well, after I opened my Christmas present my mother had sent me. Besides a $30.00 Walmart gift card my sister sent me, the shirt my mom sent me was all I got for Christmas. That's typical. I am grateful for the thought. I bought my son a hoodie and some groceries for his meals with the gift card.

My son had, as usual, a very nice Christmas. I got him an Apple ipod, and a friend of his got him some skateboard shoes, (NIKE) and another (better) hoodie. My mother sent him a book. I don't even know if he knows how to open one of them things! His mom, who usually sends him the money that her parents send her for him every year, usually around $200.00, somehow forgot to send him anything this year, and he is showing signs of disappointment.

Christmas is, after all, all about the kids, now, isn't it?

But again, I digress.

After I finished cleaning the apartment, I prepared Christmas dinner. A 14 1/2 pound turkey, (with my special poultry rub) some mashed potatoes (Country Crock), black eyed peas (my son's favorite vegetable), cranberry sauce, and for dessert, pumpkin pie. I didn't bake hot rolls this time because of the unfortunate incident with the hot rolls at Thanksgiving.

And while the turkey was roasting, I washed the dishes. Well, we needed something to serve dinner on and something besides our fingers to eat it with! The turkey didn't come out as good this time as it did on Thanksgiving, but I think I may have cooked it a little longer. That's probably why.

After dinner, I again attempted to find a Christmas themed movie on TV. I did run across a choral concert singing Handel's "Messiah", but my son wouldn't let me watch that. He was kind enough to at least let me watch them do the Hallelujah Chorus" before he wrested control of the remote from me. I love that song. I want it for a ring tone.

Eventually, I went to sleep early. Usually I blame the sleepiness on Triptophan, but It wasn't that this year.

After cleaning and washing and cooking and fighting for the remote control, I was just plumb exhausted.

I hope your day was at least as good as mine.


The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Not just Wonderful Life, but Miracle on 34th and Christmas Story were also not box office smashes when they were released.

I've noticed for several years how all my old favorites growing up which came on once a year, are no longer. I suppose it's because there's such a wide variety of choices now, along with dvd rentals. Wizard of Oz...The Hobbit animation... Lion, Witch and Wardrobe animation....and then all the Christmas Holiday specials used to come on every year.

Too bad you don't hear Hugh Hewitt. On his program, they covered an hour or two of Handel's Messiah; not just listening to clips of it, but covering the history and analyzing it. You would have been enthralled, I'm pretty sure.

Erudite Redneck said...

Sounds like a fine time was had by all! :-) (BTW, Dr. ER has got me watching "The Bishop's Wife now every year a couple of time, even though it's kind of chick-flickish.)

Pamela Reece said...

Sound like a special day for you and your son. I'm glad you got to rest and relax!

Whatcha cookin' for New Years?

Mark said...

Oh, I neglected to mention...I also watched 2 of my favorite John Wayne Movies on TMC who for some reason was showing a sort of John Wayne Film feastival. (Real Christmassy!)

They are:

! The Quiet Man

2. True Grit

Anonymous said...

Never heard of that film "The Cheaters", but will look for it. I've got a suggestion as well; it's an animated film called "The Happy Elf". It was released just this past December, and follows the story of an elf trying to bring Christmas to a sad town. Worth seeing if you're bored of the bbgun movie.