Friday, December 17, 2010

A Merry Little Christmas... Now

It's grainy, it's gritty, but it's proof positive that when Santa isn't traveling reindeer-style, he takes the train. Here it is a little over a week away from Christmas and the big guy is as relaxed as an elf after seconds on Mrs. Claus' secret recipe eggnog. (How do you think Blitzen got his name, anyway?)

If old Kris Kringle is this chill with so much left to do during the holiday season, why am I feeling like a Christmas light strand that buzzes when you plug it in? In this age of Amazon prime shipping and iTunes gift cards, I'm still down to the wire and starting to Bah a few too many Humbugs.

It happens every year.

What is it about the holidays that makes so many of us feel this way? We complain about all the carols playing in the stores, and yet we cry when we hear Judy Garland sing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." December isn't really red and green for us. It's got far too many blues. We miss the ones who are no longer here to celebrate with us, but it's more than that. We chase the Christmas dragon, trying hard to recapture those twinkly, star-topped memories of our childhood. We notice that our children are growing up too fast, and it makes us want to make sure we create some twinkly, star-topped memories for them, too.

I have to admit, though ... spotting St. Nick at the Farmers Market last night was a hang-a-shining-star-upon-the-highest-bough moment. A Clarence-finally-got-his-wings moment. For a few seconds, the world glimmered with magic and hope and generosity. It gleamed with all the silly, wonderful customs we drag out every year along with Aunt Ruby's porcelain ornaments. For a few seconds, it wasn't just Little Bit jumping up and down yelling "Santa! Santa!"

I was right there, with her.

30 comments:

Mister Earl said...

That's a better catch than all the old cars you've found! Love your take on Christmas. Wonderful writing.

WV: cocyban. Don't want to know what this is, but sounds like something the "city fathers" would do.

Judy Williams said...

You know me - usually Mrs. Claus. I had the exact feeling of BAH this year, until about 3 days ago. Something kicked in and now I'm listening to Johnny Mathis' Sleigh Ride with my usual fervor. I've sat on the floor surrounded with bits of ribbon, tape and paper, loving every minute of it. I even broke tradition and bought a leopard furred Santa hat!!

Your writing just gets better and better. I wake up every morning, needing your words and my doctored up cup of coffee, to kick start my day. THANKS!! Oh, and HO Ho Ho!!

wv: impreb- when little imps go against the grain, rebelling. Maybe that's what Santa's elves did this year. :)

Dixie Jane said...

You wrote exactly what is in my heart. All the childhood memories rush past and I remember with a smile, even some tears, my own children's Christmases, the tree that fell over, the gifted brick fruit cakes, your beloved doll, Sugar Plum, the fun of Christmas morning. I'm with Little Bit, "Santa, Santa!"

Mike said...

I never can decide which I like better, your pictures or your writing. This is like a Christmas card from an old friend. It came right when I needed it. Thanks.

dbdubya said...

Nice photo and story about you in the on-line edition of the Pasadena Star News this morning.

Good candid of Santa. He looks a bit weary as he comes down to the final stretch.

Mister Earl said...

Star News - Just trying to sell papers with a pretty face!

Anonymous said...

I saw the article in the star news. How have I missed your blog? It's fantastic!

Laurie said...

When I called myself a film snob to the Star reporter I was making a joke about when I was young and studying film. The quote Out of context makes me sound like a jackass! Eric Reed the Star photographer was so great. I will post a pic I took of him soon, maybe tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

The Star got your URL wrong, too. I hope they fix that online.

Laurie said...

I didn't even look at the link. That's funny. The Review got it wrong, too. (yay Patch!). Now people can think I'm an ungrateful jackass and be unable to find my blog!

It's time for mulled wine. My Santa buzz is wearing off.

Film Snob said...

Are you calling me a jackass?

dbdubya said...

As one who has been quoted out of context, misquoted, and had quotes I never made attributed to me, you "film snob" is lightweight. Don't worry about it, you sound fine, and it's a very flattering story.

Film Snob and Helpful Shutterbug said...

By the way, what, exactly, is a "helpless shutterbug?" ;-)

Laurie said...

DB, I can only imagine what you've gone through!

Film Snob, I actually said hopeless shutterbug but I guess I didn't speak clearly. I've gotten some funny email today asking if I need help remembering f-stops or carrying my tripod.

Now, can we get back to talking about Santa?!

dbdubya said...

Sure, we can talk about Santa. He never got an Image Award like Laurie.

Mister Earl said...

Santa was never misquoted, but Jesus was!

dbdubya said...

Roses are reddish
Violets are bluish
If it weren't for Jesus
We'd all be Jewish

Mark V. said...

Just came from the Star and the link has been corrected. You have a great eye and a brilliant way with words. I live in Highland Park but love South Pasadena.

Shanna said...

Dixie Jane sent me the link to the Star News article!!!! Gee, you look a lot like some of my paintings and drawings.

Back to Santa...yes... I do remember the great times we all had on Christmas Day in Austin...and it is with both with a sigh and a smile.

alex said...

"Santa was never misquoted, but Jesus was!"

Mr. Earl, that's hilarious... Although I feel that, on occasion, Santa would be misquoted.

Belated congrats to Laurie on the award!

Mister Earl said...

How so, Alex? Santa was always 100% against the freeway. Not an ounce of BS in that man!

dbdubya said...

That's right, Mr. Earl. Santa is the original freeway fighter. He don't need no stinkin' freeway - Santa's got his sleigh!

alex said...

I stand corrected. The whole reindeer-powered sleigh setup is not amenable to freeway commuting... probably an occupational hazard for the reindeer. Apparently, Santa's a fan of light rail! What a jolly 'ol forward thinking St Nick.

To be honest, though, my first encounter with Santa was watching him in "A Christmas Story", where he tells Ralphie to talk to the shoe. But I guess he was just having an off day. That tends to happen during his public appearances at malls.

Anonymous said...

Nice picture in the Star News

http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/rss/ci_16882487?source=rss

Again keep up the great work..
you have inspired my daughter to take a photography class


Mike T

Pasadena Adjacent said...

I once worked for Santa at the Eaglerock mall. Low wages, screaming kids and a polaroid camera

Ho Ho Ho

TheChieftess said...

Mis quote or not, Laurie, I think it's very favorable!!! YAY!!!

I think Santa's on his way for an eggnog!!!

Mister Earl said...

Just read the article. I'm wondering why Mike T thinks that the fight against the freeway doesn't present a "positive image of the city." The fight against the freeway is designed to preserve the city that Laurie fell in love with. To imply that fighting the freeway is not anything but positive is not something that I think a mayor of South Pasadena would be wise to do.

Anonymous said...

Mr Earl that is just the point
Glimpses of South Pasadena and Laurie's portraits of of our City give those who don't know our ciy , it's residents, and why we fight so hard, other than the only thing they read in the local and regional press and TV is the 710 freeway.The daily posting of her observation and comment addind personal comment from her fans provide a cumlative narrative of a special community that is deeper and more passionate than painted by the lazy old stream media
that's what a Mayor should support
winning the hearts and minds of those who don't know us or took time to find out

Mike T

Mister Earl said...

"Winning the hearts and minds..." You're not doing too well on that front lately, are you? You lost me, and way too many others, almost exactly one year ago.

Mister Earl said...

Apparently you lost outgoing mayor Schneider too:

"I think [Mr. Ten] doesn't know what we voted for. I think he misunderstands the resolution, either that or he's willfully misunderstanding it. It's like Alice in Wonderland, the words mean what he wants them to mean. I think everyone else on the council understands that the resolution was a statement against the tunnel.

I think [Mr. Ten] is in favor of the tunnel and he's trying to push it through."