Once upon a time, before I discovered coffee, my husband, my sister-in-law, and my father-in-law would watch endless made for TV Christmas movies during the holidays while I intermittently napped and made fun of them. Upon my discovery of coffee several years later I was forced to watch the movies with them as caffeine made napping impossible.
Here’s the thing, you know how when you enter Disney World and you first get trampled by the hoards of people at opening and then you get run down by a stroller only to get crowd pushed against your will to Fantasyland to realize that even though it is 9:05 in the morning the line for the Pooh Pots is already 50 minutes long and everywhere you look is crazy ass commercialism for a mouse? And for a moment everything feels kind of phony? Well that is what those stupidly simple made-for-TV Christmas movies felt like to me.
But then something changed.
Do you remember Disney’s Wishes at the end of the day?
Jiminy Cricket says:
I’ll bet a lot of you folks don’t believe that, about a wish coming true, do ya? Well I didn’t either. Course, I’m just a cricket, but lemme tell you what made me change my mind. You see, the most fantastic, magical things can happen, and it all starts with a wish!
And tinker bell starts flying overhead and the fireworks are going off and kids are sitting on their dad’s shoulders with awe on their faces and parents are staring up at their kids with tears and smiles–so grateful that they had this magical day with their kids and everything in the world is ok, even for a moment. You feel like a kid again, not a cynic. You rode roller coasters and whirled in circles with Dumbo and ate pure sugar and hugged the “real” Mickey and Minnie Mouse and were transformed into other worlds and times and stories again and again.
That’s what happens to me now every year when the Hallmark channel starts their Christmas movie marathon. Yeah, some are really bad. It is easy to comment on ridiculous plots, bad hair, terrible acting (I still avoid Meet the Santa’s with Steve Guttenburg) and dare I say it? –the over-commericialization of Christmas.
But what happens if you remove the cynicism?
We still have a few ground rules. My sister-in-law’s choices cannot have death, children (usually bad actors), or Santa Claus in them. My rules are no death/sickness = must be lighthearted, and recently made. My husband’s rules consist of no Steve Guttenberg. And sometimes we even break the rules and are happily surprised. I like watching a movie where the whole drama revolves around who will win the cookie bake-off and will the girl get her guy and be a snow bride.
They are simple and sweet and make me feel like I do at the end of a day at Disney World (minus the sore feet) where laughter and a little magic collide.
I’ve been converted over. Josh, you are next… 😉
[JIMINY] from Wishes
Thanks folks, for making this little gathering of ours so extra magical.
From our family and friends to yours, goodnight, and may all your wishes come true.
Star light, star bright
First star I see tonight
I wish I may, I wish I might
Have the wish, I wish tonight
Oh, a world of wishes.
A world where dreams come true.
So make a wish, see it through.
Dare to do what dreamers do.