Thinking about my current bout of insomnia (for anyone keeping track I actually clocked a massive 5 hours last night with the help of a sleeping pill... not bad... oy.) naturally made me think of Christmas. Ho-Ho-Ho you say, Wha....? You see the insomnia has been with me since I was about 7 years old. I trace the roots directly to being awakened in the middle of the night by my parents fighting. It was the first fight I recall, the first of many. And it was a hushed sort of fight, you know the kind, when you still care about not waking the kid... To this day if I hear voices in that 'tone' through a wall I tense up. Any way, it was that first nocturnal sparring match on the other side of the wall that was, I believe, the primary cause of my lifelong sleep problems. Ah well, c'est la vie. Or c'est la guerre to be more precise. You'd think I'd be past it, yet I suppose I still have that deeply ingrained vigilance, as well as the fear of the vulnerability of sleep.
How in the hell does that remind you of Christmas, you ask. Good question!
Because I was up all night any way, I started my own little Christmas tradition when I was very young. One of the local tv stations would broadcast A Christmas Carol (the 1951 Alister Sim version) every Christmas eve at midnight. I would make hot cocoa for myself and grab a candy cane and whichever dogs and cats were around and watch the movie while my parents slept. It was a solitary, calming way to start off the one and only holiday that was peaceful at my house.
To this day, if it is being aired on television I will do the same. Of course, if it's not being aired I do have my own copy.
But while A Christmas Carol has its special time-slot and tradition, there are many other movies that say Christmas to me. These must be watched at this time of year, though several are year-rounders. (Have I mentioned how very much I need to get out more????) So here, in no particular order, are my holiday movies:
Miracle on 34th Street
It's a Wonderful Life
The Twilight Zone: The Night of the Meek
The Man in the Santa Claus Suit
The Little Drummer Boy (for when you REALLY want to get weepy!)
Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Home for the Holidays
and of course
A Christmas Carol