Okay, so I just finished that whole “novel” thing I was working on, and after another month or two it’ll be completely finished. For now though, all apologies for a week or two without any blogology-ness (good word, Jordo). Right now, I’m in the midst of righting a few new (longer) blog articles, but until then, I figured I’d share a few personal, holiday memories/ideas/nostalgia for ya…

Couldn't think of a better name for this list...my bad.

Holiday Movies

1.) The movies. The best movies are always on during the holidays, not even to mention the fact that some of the best movies of the year are released during Nov-Dec. From the 24-hour James Bond and Dirty Harry marathons on TBS/TNT during Thanksgiving to the 24-hours of A Christmas Story & It’s a Wonderful Life, the movies just can’t be beat. I mean, anytime you can get your friends, parents and siblings to all sit in one room and see a movie made more than fifty years ago (Miracle on 34th Street, A Christmas Carol, White Christmas, etc.) you know it’s a special time. Plus, with the newcomers like Elf, The Santa Clause, The Nightmare Before Christmas and ::cough::cough:: Die Hard (look it up, it’s a Christmas movie…), the holiday movies are only gettin better! (For more holiday movie ideas, check out this list…)

2.) The Family. You get to hangout with family you never get to see, usually, that’s good. But on the flip side, you have to hangout with family you never get to see, and for some family members, there’s a reason you usually don’t see them on a regular basis. However, in the end this is great thing. People on their deathbeds rarely regret spending too much time with family members, so I figure playing tag with nephews, having nieces give you makeovers, and getting your ears talked off and cheeks pinched off by grandparents has gotta be worth it in the end…it is. Just trust me already.

3.) The Weather. I know I might need to coax a few of you on this one, but…C’mon people! For those of you who love that beautiful sun of ours, just think about all those wonderful coats, jackets and scarves you bought last spring and never got to wear because that evil sun was always hanging around too much. Enjoy the gorgeous clouds, the hammering rain, and the (depending on your location) wondrous snowfall! Light up those fireplaces, turn up those heaters, layer up those  sweaters and enjoy some good books and hot chocolate by the fire/tv/something-ablaze/etc.

4.) The Clothing. I know, it’s sorta related to the last one, but still, when else do you get to layer up and dress like those people who live where that snow stuff falls?! Even though we’re in California, it’s fun to pretend it’s cold outside at 60 degrees…at night…in December… (suck it, Boston, Illinois, Ohio, South Carolina readers!). Plus, even if you’re one of those people who tries to get away with wearing that scarf in June or your favorite beanie in August, you can wear them both proudly so instead of people staring at your weirdly they’ll be too busy staring at their own breath (and/or pretending to smoke invisible cigarettes…c’mon, you know you do it.) Plus, it’ll give you a few extra layers to conceal your newly-acquired holiday fun meal weight till you have the time (or New Year’s resolution) to get back your lovely little figure in the Spring.

5.) The Decorations. It may not be everyone’s cup o’ tea, but decorations are probably my favorite part of Christmas (sorry Jesus!). It’s something that just about every neighborhood does and almost every family as well (sorry Jews!). But either way, as soon as the lights are up, the nativity scenes are on the tables and the gingerbread houses are attractive flies, you know it’s officially the Christmas season (sorry Thanksgiving!). Plus, that special day in which the family gets together and decorates the tree, house, and puts up all the lights (some families are organized enough to make this traditionally the weekend after Thanksgiving…not mine) is just one of the most special, nostalgic, loving warm aspects of the holidays. Just can’t be beat.

6.) The Presents. It had to be in the list somewhere, right? Presents are always fun, and all, but really (and I know it’s been overdone) what could be better than the mass excuse to get presents for the people you love? Normally, it’d be weird to buy a $200 sound system for your friend, even though you know he really wants it. But during the holidays? BOOM! Great gift idea! That 25 year anniversary metal album re-release box-set than your neighbor would buy if she had the extra cash? SNAPS! Great gift idea! And don’t even get me started on the massive amount of $4 DVDs from Best Buy I tap into every Black Friday. BOOSH! Great gift idea! That point being, getting gifts is okay and all, but “stuff” is overrated. Doing your best to brighten others’ days though? Priceless.

7.) The Sports. The massive amount of sports that the American public is inundated with throughout the holidays in monumentally…awesome. From the World Series (I’ll count it) and beginning of the NBA Season to the NFL Playoffs and all those glorious Bowl games, the sports scene throughout the holidays is plentiful. Plus, there’s the Thanksgiving Day NFL games, rivalry week that same weekend, the Heisman announcement, Christmas Day NBA games, and (as if everything else weren’t enough) Tim Tebow–see “Greek god” in Wikipedia). But I digress. My point = the sports during the holidays is the best time of year for collegiate and professional athletics. Watch, scream, cheer, pummel, believe, Tebow.

8.) The Food. I hope I don’t have to convince anyone about anything within this category. Having just spent an amazing weekend in Novato, CA at the Wood’s household, I know just how good the good, sweet Lord intended our sustenance to truly be. Turkey, Ham, Stuffing, and Pies, whatever it is you feel guilty eating plentifully, you will enjoy throughout the holidays for dinner, lunch and many a breakfasts. Just remember, you can always workout a bit more in the Spring.

9.) The Tree. Another aspect of the holidays that I didn’t really get to participate as fully in as a child, is that of the Christmas Tree. It’s a beautiful thing. I know it comes from some pagan ritual in which they sacrificed babies or ate zombie livers, but still, it’s a pretty sweet tradition. When I was a kid, after weeks of familial procrastination, my older brother and I would drive to the local Christmas Tree lot and snag up the cheapest 5-6 footer available (Charlie Brown’s included), strap it to the roof of the Helmsian minivan, and try to somehow secretly surprise our mom by setting it up, decorating it a little bit, and then vacuuming up all the stupid little needles…from all over the house…even the bathroom. How the hell did…? Anywho, we’d continue decorating the tree with a few ornaments and childhood trinkets with the madre and all (most years at least) put the star on top together. Just the idea of having such a special, family-oriented, momentous tradition like that is special enough, but then a few weeks (or days…) later there’d be a buncha prizes under the tree too! Can it get much better?! Then my mom would make a birthday cake for Jesus 9Tand it would get a little weird…and delicious…

10.) The Break. Okay, so I know the assumption of national Christianity is a little lame and that the majority of people in the U.S. don’t really even know why Christmas is there or for whom, but I think most people can still appreciate the 2-3 week break we all get (in academics at least) during the holidays–or at least the few days off around Thanksgiving and Christmas within other professions. It’s such a great time to spend with family, catchup on homework, decorate the house/tree, play some video games, watch some good sporting events and/or holiday movies, and do well, just about every else on the list without having to skip work/school. Such a special time in the fiscal year.

Thanks for taking the time to read this short list of awesomely tubular holiday things. Hopefully, I’ve inspired you to somehow enjoy the holidays even more than normally. And always remember, when enjoying the refreshing taste of the holidays, please drive safely and save the Christmas present wrapping till you get home.

Happy Holidays, People!

3 thoughts on “It’s A Wonderful Life

  1. CoR says:

    Andy Long was just telling me yesterday how Die Hard is one of his favorite Christmas movies. Haha.

    And wait a minute: Jesus doesn’t even make the top 10? That’s cold, Benny.

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