The Crankee Yankee always wonders why I love the same old Christmas movies each year. I can’t help it; I will always love them. In no particular order, these are my favorites:
- “A Christmas Carol,” starring the wonderful Alastair Sim.
- “It’s a Wonderful Life,” starring Jimmy Stewart.
- “Love Actually,” starring two of my favorite actors; Colin Firth and Allan Rickman.
- “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” with Boris Karloff as the voice of the Grinch.
- “A Christmas Story,” from the writings of author Jean Shepherd, with Peter Billingsley playing the part of Ralphie Parker.
- “Miracle on 34th Street,” starring a young Natalie Wood.
- “Holiday Inn” starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire.
I can’t count how many times I’ve watched them all. Most of them I’ve laughed through and cried happy tears over. It’s a tradition of Christmas that I just love.
This is the first year since my mother died in 2015 that I have felt like celebrating Christmas. It’s the first time in those three years I’ve put up the little three-foot artificial tree that my parents had for years; it is still decorated with the tiny ornaments put on the tree by Mom herself. This is the first Christmas that seeing that little tree hasn’t made me cry; this is a happy Christmas this year.
I also saved some of Mom’s Santa Clauses as well. There is one tall one that I had commissioned with an artist; it stands nearly 12″ tall. This Santa is wearing a blue velvet cloak trimmed in white fur, and he holds his holly tree stick and carries a velvet sack over his shoulder. In it are toy skates and ballet slippers, a tabby cat, holly, a trumpet, and more.
I set up a small table for the Santas; the commissioned one, plus four other small Santas. I added a beautiful stained glass angel playing a flute, and beside her is a stained glass Christmas tree with little stained glass presents underneath it. I was with Mom when she saw it, and I coaxed her into buying it. She loved it and put it out every Christmas.
There is just something about our own Christmas traditions that are both meaningful and delightful. I think that honoring these traditions can take us back to our childhood times as well as enjoying the memories of all those Christmases past. Even though many of our family members have gone on before us, we can think of them and all the Christmases we enjoyed with them.
When I was a young girl and was developing a genuine figure, Mom took me to the store and bought me my first bra. At Christmas that year, she gave me three more bras and a girdle (can you believe that we girls actually wore them back then?). The card that came with the gift read “How firm a foundation!” Mom and I laughed our heads off over that one. It still makes me laugh.
Happy Christmas season; may we all remember the past and look toward the future.