I have watched no less than 10 or 12 Christmas movies over the last month, and I do believe there are several more recorded on my DVR ready to be viewed at my beck and call. By the time Christmas day arrives, I will have had enough Christmas-themed cinema to hold me for the next year without fail. Christmas love stories abound this time of year and I am all too obliged to be the receiving audience. I find a common thread however in most of these movies. They usually involve some variation of this same dilemma: Someone is looking for love and is hoping to find it at Christmas. They may even be looking for old Saint Nick to bring someone their way and the movies usually contain a good portion of Christmas magic that brings it all together. Now, the hubs and I (don't tell him I told you he watches with me!) pretty much can tell you the storyline and ending in the first couple of minutes, but that's not because we are so smart, it's because these movies are so very, very...very predictable. They have names like A Husband for Christmas, Christmas Magic, A Christmas Miracle, A Crown for Christmas...you get the gist.
Lame, right? But, alas, I continue to watch them, what can I say? I simply cannot help myself.
From the beginning of time we have associated the holidays with romance. What will my significant other give me? An engagement ring maybe? An anniversary band to commemorate all our Christmases together? The keys to a new car (probably not)? A rare present that took lots of thought in choosing, with a special meaning and significance? Maybe. We work to make the holidays magical for our love interests each and every year. That is, until about the third decade of marriage, and then you realize it's magical just to get through the holidays and still be standing upright. But even after three decades it's still quite fun to sit down in the evenings and watch a Christmas movie together that almost always has a good ending. I think that's what Christmas does to people. It brings them to a place where they think anything is possible and, even if not for themselves, for others. My hubby and I as a couple rarely exchange gifts at Christmas and the reason for this is twofold: 1. There is nothing either of us really needs; 2. There is nothing either of us really wants (that'll fit under the tree anyway!). I could use a new sofa, but even my tree is not that big! Plus our anniversary falls right after Christmas and that is our time to celebrate us. We also try to do things for each other all through the year. Valentine's Day? Not a biggy for these old-timers. Any day of the year can be Valentine's Day for us.
I've realized over the years we've been together that "things" just aren't as important as they used to be. Don't get me wrong, we like new things just as much as the next person. But as we've grown in our marriage and I'd like to think acquired much more wisdom than that first Christmas 35 years ago, we realize that the things we really want cannot be bought. We lean more towards the gifts that are free, but are also priceless. Like all the kids coming home for the holidays. Like a delicious meal prepared together and eaten together around the table. Like quality conversation with our grown children and precious, unforgettable moments with our grandchildren. If you could be a fly on my wall during the holidays, you most likely would see me sitting back while chaos ensues, sporting a very satisfied grin on my face and just taking it all in. There is no gift any more precious than being with the ones you love.
Behind the glory and glitter, this more realistic theme emerges at the holidays and I believe, if given a choice, most people would choose reality over make-believe. Even though we watch the movies filled with glamorous gift-giving and the decorating of stunning country estates or New York City lofts, and the totally unbelievable stories of magical love that really only exists in fairytales (hey, I'm a realist), what we really all want for Christmas is being with the ones who mean the most to us, warts and all, and sharing simple times together. And what it really boils down to is we can do this with very little money and living in a two-room cottage. Christmas songs belt out lyrics of how the best Christmas ever had was the first one when they were poor and had no money but had each other. Other lyrics speak of families who cut down a tree in their yard and decorated it with popcorn and paper garlands and how that Christmas remains in their hearts forever. You can get a prince for Christmas but if he isn't a keeper the rest of the year, it's one gift you might have to return. The everyday down-and-dirty of life is what really counts, not the shallow magic found in many of the Christmas movies we see.
So the only thing me and the hubs will be exchanging this Christmas is contented glances across the room while our family brings us the kind of noise and commotion only grandparents can love and appreciate. And after a long day of festive merry-making, we might just pop a big bowl of corn together, get on our jammies, and gather around for a sappy Christmas love story on the telly.
And I can pretty much guarantee you that one.
Posted by CC
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