You know that sense of nostalgia that you get, that feeling, it’s almost in your sternum. It’s that feeling that everybody is where they’re supposed to be. It’s that feeling that everything is right with the world, and it’s the best world it can be. That’s what Xmas should feel like. That’s my goal. That’s the feeling I want my kids to remember as they grow up.
We did a good job with it this weekend. We had events planned, but it wasn’t as frantic and frazzling as the previous weekend. There was time to relax a bit and feel the season. We went to something of a Xmas carnival Friday night. The kids finally got to chat with the fat man. We rode rides. The light displays were lovely. Everyone was peaceful. There was no drama. It was just about as perfect a night as one could wish for.
Saturday was bloody hot. It was not the most Xmassy-feeling day. But we did not waste it. We explored downtown and took the kids to the capital building. From a distance, our capital is sort of obnoxious – phallic-looking. Inside it’s pretty damn impressive. I thought the highlight would be going out on the 27th floor observation deck, but I think the kids liked the inside even better, with its ornate decorations. It was a good outing. Stella got a bit odd when we got to the huge statue and grave of Huey P. Long. I’m going to have to have that talk with her PDQ.
That night, Will had plans with his brother. I had promised the kids we could do campfire cooking -hot dogs and marshmallows – which they adore. Unfortunately the weather started to deteriorate due to the imminent 40 degree temperature drop. I made do. I cheated. When the kids weren’t looking, I nuked the hot dogs (call it “par cooking” if you will) and then let them hold their sticks over a candle. I think they bought it.
Then I tried an experiment. The natives seemed peaceful and agreeable, so I turned on a mommy show: Christmas Vacation. It’s one of my 5 must watch Xmas movies. They settled in, dazzled by the animated intro. They started griping almost immediately when the actors appeared on-screen. After about 10 minutes they were playing on the iPad, ignoring me and my movie. Dammit. They didn’t get the feeling.
That’s the way these movies make me feel. As cheesy as chintzy as they are. And I didn’t get there with my children this year. They’re too young. I know that. But I hope desperately that one day these movies will bring them the same kind of feeling that it they bring me. That this will be a way of channeling their youth – when things were easier, simpler, and just flat out better. Maybe next year.