The Holidays are always such a wonderful, stressful, busy time of the year. As an adult, I find that I have very little time to sit down and watch any of the television specials, so I pull my list of favorites from childhood.
And it’s funny how their message to me has changed over the years. Or maybe it's just me.
Take, for example, the stop-motion classic “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (and of course, it’s brethren “Rudolph’s Shiny New Year,” “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town,” “The Year without Santa Claus,” and others). I loved it as a child, and waited with bated breath for it to show on tv that one night out of the year. Then, in graduate school, several friends and I reminisced fondly about the show and decided to host a party to watch it once again. Fifteen minutes in, and our world was turned on it’s end. What had once been a much-anticipated holiday treasure was now a dated show about hiding your individuality and conforming to the norms of society, showcasing dentists as untrained, teeth-pulling hacks! The horror!
Now, so many years later and with kiddos of my own, “Rudolph the Red-Noted Reindeer” is once again a beloved classic. Yes, the characters might initially make fun of Rudolph for his unusual nose, but they change their minds by the end. It’s actually a wonderful show about acceptance, of self and of others. I’m sure my kiddos don’t think of it in those terms when they watch it. They just know they like it. And so do I.
Another favorite is “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” Nowadays, when I’m desperate to make Christmas perfect for the family, get the Christmas cards out with a personal note in each one, wrap, shop, bake, etc. (and that’s not even counting the normal daily stuff), I can empathize with the Grinch. All the Whos in Whoville are so blissfully happy and festive, it can really make anyone feel mean & Grinchy by comparison. Haven’t we all had those moments when we wish it would all just go away? Until the ending, when we’re reminded that the season is not about the “things.” Plus, the Grinch’s dog is adorable.
My last favorite that I’ll list is “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” It’s wholesome. It’s humorous. And when Linus explains the true meaning of Christmas, I always have to stop what I’m doing and listen… with my ears and my heart.
Because I love them, these three are on our must-watch list every year. Thus, my children love them as well. To keep from being a Grinch, my giveaway this week is simply to give everyone a heartfelt “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year” wish. Be safe. Enjoy your festivities. Cherish your loved ones. And I’ll see you in 2017!