just ponderin'

… on christmas movies. asterisk.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAToday is a big deal official holiday in Dingleville.

It’s Decorating Day.

There are fires in the fireplaces, pancakes and bacon have been consumed. Big plastic bins are appearing from the basement.

The transformation has begun.

The only help I require is the hauling of things from downstairs. I take it from there.

When bins are emptied, my elves magically disappear them (I think they go back to the basement, but I’m not sure.)

Wait.

There is another thing I require.

The elves can watch TV, but the TV has to seamlessly blend into the decorating theme for the day.

Hence, they have to choose a Christmas movie.

We have a ton, so it isn’t hard.

We have the classics: Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, The Year Without a Santa Clause (Yes that is a classic! Snow Miser, Heat Miser? Need I say more?!), It’s a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, A Christmas Story, A Charlie Brown Christmas…etc. (I say etc. because we have more. I also say it so that you don’t get hung up here trying to figure out which ones I’ve missed (Yes, you thought about doing that. You know you did.)

We also have some contemporary Dingle faves: Elf, Miracle on 34th Street (the remake), Home Alone, Home for the Holidays (with Holly Hunter and Robert Downey Jr….hilarious), The Family Stone (again, pretty dang funny), Love Actually. Again, ‘etc.’

And there are even movies that aren’t technically Christmas movies that are so wintery or magical or something I can’t put my finger on, that they are considered okay for playing on Decorating Day. These include Serendipity with John Cusack and Kate Beckensale, The Holiday with Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz, and You’ve Got Mail (They have Christmas in that movie, and they string twinkle lights in the bookstore window. Plus it is my sickie movie, so if I get a cold or worse on Decorating Day, it has to be available and ‘legal’ to watch).

So fine.

There are a lot of movies to choose from and no one should complain and all of these movies add to the ambiance that is Decorating Day.

So then, a few years ago, after much banter and discussion, we added Die Hard.

I think the whining…er…discussion began in the male ranks of the family when Gabe said he didn’t want to watch any of the Christmas movies we had, so we all had to come up with a Christmas link for something Gabe did want to watch.

Clearly, Die Hard fit because there is a scene in it where John McClane has killed one of the terrorists and sends him down, in the elevator, and when the door opens you hear screaming and the scene cuts to a dead terrorist in a Santa hat with a note taped to his chest that says, “Now I have a machine gun. Ho, Ho, Ho!”

How could I argue with that?

So now Die Hard is an official Dingle Christmas movie and totally okay for playing on Decorating Day.

So this morning, after pancakes, Sam said he wanted to choose the first movie. He didn’t feel like Die Hard so began asking about other movies. From the kitchen, I yelled that it had to be a Christmas movie, as I heard him rifling through the DVD cabinet in the other room.

Sam: “How about Wrong Turn 4“?

Me: “That’s a horror movie.”

Sam: “But blood is red.”

John: “And red is a Christmas color!”

Me: “No.”

Sam: “But there’s snow…”

Me: “Fine. But because of snow. Not blood.”

Sam: “Yessss!”

I go back to designing the chalkboard for my kitchen mantel.

Sam: “Rambo!”

Me: “No.”

Sam: “But there’s a ton of Christmas stuff in the scenes.”

John: “Plus it’s winter!”

Me: “Fine.”

I start coloring with chalk again.

Sam: “Lethal Weapon!”

John: “Totally.”

Me: “Fine.” (I know that movie opens with Jingle Bell Rock as the background music, so there is no need for me to balk at it since I’ve already approved a horror movie based only on the fact that it “has snow”).

Then it just got wHierd.

Sam: “Silence of the Lambs?”

Me: “Make your case.”

Me again: “Wait. Are you going to say that the title says ‘lamb’ and lambs were present at the birth of Jesus?”

Sam: “No. I was gonna say that the cop that Hannibal hangs up in the jail, all spread out and stuff, looks like Jesus on the cross.”

John: “Brilliant!”

Me: “Well, at least you got religion in there somewhere.”

More slapping, sliding and searching through the DVD cabinet by Sam.

Sam: “Mr. and Mrs. Smith?”

Me: “Why?”

Sam: “Well…the word ‘Christmas’ has an ‘s’ in it… and the word ‘Smith’ has an ‘s’ in it…”

Me: “Uh. Huh.”

And it just went from there.

So as it stands, I am finishing up this post and getting ready to string the snowy pine garland down the kids’ railing (I have to use colored lights on that one, because they demand colored lights visible from their bedrooms all season long. Once I used white lights and they said it just wasn’t the same, and I quote, “level of Christmas joy” when they woke up every morning (and I can’t have that fiasco happen again)).

After that, I’ll head downstairs to find a few more boxes and haul them up myself.

What?

Oh. Why don’t I have my ‘elves’ haul up the containers for me?

The elves are distracted.

They are watching the movie, Zodiac, based on a notorious serial killer who terrorized Northern California in the late ’60s and early ’70s.

Okay, I was certain I knew what the argument for this one would be before I even asked the question.

I figured my nearly perfect husband would pipe up with the point that Robert Downey Junior was the star of John’s favorite Christmas movie, “Home for the Holidays” and therefore was only one degree of separation from Zodiac (also starring RDJ).

Nope.

Sam and John argued that the killer operated over a multi-year period. And, this period of time would have included … you guessed it…

Christmas.

Ho.

Ho.

Ho.

Thanks for readin’.

Elena Peters

midlife blogger & pinterest master

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