Everyone seems to get busy at Christmas
Busy buying gifts. Busy going to see relatives. Busy cooking feasts and baking treats for various holiday dinners. Busy smoking cigars and cashing in gift certificates at Lucy’s Love Shop.
Well, maybe it’s just Index-Journal executive editor Richard Whiting who’s been busy handling that last item.
But, you get the point. ‘Tis the season, and everyone seems to be in a hurry.
Still, there’s just something special about Christmas. While some seem to lack the spirit, I feel like most people generally are in a better mood during the holidays. A little more giving, a little more friendly.
Everyone who knows me knows Halloween is my favorite holiday. But Christmas is a very close second. Part of that is because of the sheer, utter excitement my 5-year-old daughter, Charley, currently holds for the holidays.
The girl is fired up (and ready to go...to the North Pole). We are on full Christmas alert at the Trainor house. The Elf on the Shelf (Elfie is what we’re calling him) is working his magic and we’re ready for the fat man to come on down the chimney.
In an odd twist, Charley said she wants to leave a burrito and Coca-Cola for Santa, to go along with the standard cookies. Santa is going to appreciate that.
Everybody has their favorite traditions, quirks and aspects of the holiday season. I thought I would share with you a couple of mine.
* Egg nog — No, not the alcoholic kind. My judgment is questionable enough when I’m sober.
I’m talking about regular old Pet egg nog, the kind you get in the dairy section at the grocery store. You know, the stuff that is basically pancake batter in a jug.
Is there anything in the food universe that tastes more delicious, yet immediately makes you feel worse, than egg nog?
Seriously, every time I pour myself a glass, I get about half way through and think “Man, this stuff is awesome. I could drink the whole jug.”
But, by the time I’m done drinking that glass, I feel like someone punched me in the stomach and I need to sleep for 4 days.
Still, I love egg nog.
* “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” — I used to think this 1989 film, starring Chevy Chase as the long-beleaguered family patriarch Clark Griswold, was simply a very funny holiday romp.
However, my opinion has changed a bit. It’s more than just a holiday romp. As far as cinematic comedies go — especially holiday-themed comedies — “Christmas Vacation” is just about perfect.
Is it “Citizen Kane?” Of course not.
But, it captures a moment in time. The movie screams “1989.” Chase, the Saturday Night Live alum who is long past his prime these days, was at the absolute top of his game in “Christmas Vacation.” I don’t think he’s made a film as purely comedic and joyous since.
While it was released in December 1989, the first time I ever saw “Christmas Vacation” was just after that Christmas, in early 1990. My Grandma McElrath took me to see it at the Crosscreek Cinema. I was 11 years old.
Not sure what grandma was thinking when Clark Griswold gave the truckers the old “one-finger salute” in the opening scene. Or when Clark told his snooty neighbors where they could stick the Christmas tree. Or when Randy Quaid’s Cousin Eddie did...well, pretty much anything in that movie.
I’ve always had a cool grandma.
WHILE CHRISTMAS, FOR ME, MEANS egg nog and Christmas movies and getting my daughter excited about Santa Claus and forwarding Whiting’s mail to Lucy’s Love Shop, there is, of course, a greater reason for the season.
In the midst of all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it’s not uncommon for some to lose sight of the real reason we celebrate.
As a reminder, and per tradition for this column, I’ll close with a passage that serves as a reminder of what this season is all about. Merry Christmas, Lakelands. From my family to yours.
From Luke Chapter 2, Verses 8-14 (King James version):
“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
“And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
“And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
Trainor is the senior staff writer at the Index-Journal. Contact him at 943-5650; email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow him on Twitter @IJCHRISTRAINOR. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper's opinion.