I love Christmas stories that are about redemption. Stories like A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and I love them even more when they're re-told in a way that everyone can enjoy. The Muppets Christmas Carol is one such re-telling. I watch this everyone year and I'm desperately looking forward to watching it with my little girl on Christmas Eve. The story and subsequent redemption of Scrooge had always been a favorite and it always reminds me that no matter how bitter and angry a person seems, it most likely because they regret their choices but just don't realise it yet. If you were in Scrooges position, of seeing the things people would say about you after you died? Would it be kind? Generic? Nasty? It's a hard question and I dread the answer. I'm hoping that people will remember me for my... uhh... enthusiasm when I die, because if I do have one vaguely positive quality and it would definitely be enthusiasm.
The other story I love is The Nightmare Before Christmas. This is a dark, slightly warped, story about a Halloween town citizen (a skeleton, no less) who wants a change of lifestyle and seems to think that kidnapping Santa is the way to go about it. I really love t his story, mostly because the general moral seems to be "what you're looking for is right in front of you"
Both of the things above are important messages, especially at Christmas when we're thrown into a festive world of baubles and carols and expected to be cheery and good-willed to everyone despite the fact that someone is elbowing you to get the last, slightly squashed, carton of pre-made brandy custard. (this *actually* happened to me at the supermarket yesterday).To sound slightly cliched, we forget what Christmas is really about.
But you know what really bothers me about Christmas? Besides to gaudiness, the fake family solidarity, the madness at trying to juggle not one, but two "different" families which include 4 grandparents, 2 great-grandparents, 4 half-step grandparent thingies, 5 Aunts, 5 Cousins and 1 small, toddling child who really just wants everyone to leave her alone so she can play with the wrapping paper and boxes. It's this ridiculous way people try and dictate how you should celebrate it. Every time I turn around the T.V, radio, billboards and catalogues are screaming at me the remember what the holiday is all about. Funny.. I thought it was about presents and too much brandy custard (sans custard), but no, apparently it's about power tools,toys, donating time, donating money and Jesus (mostly like in that order). I want to celebrate Christmas my way which means too much food, too much booze and watching the inevitable melt down as my family tries to deal with having to spend more than 1 hour all packed into the same room.
So, this year, my Christmas is going to be about redemption. I'm *not* going to get involved when my Nanny start spouting racist hate, I'm *not* going to roll my eyes when mum burst into tears and tells me all the ways she screwed up in raising me (yes, I'm *that* fucked up, my mother thinks it's her fault!) but I AM going to smile and give her a hug and tell her that I'm fine and I'm happy and that she has always done the right thing by me. After all, isn't lying what Christmas is all about?