It's been hard to get in the spirit this year …
As I've mentioned before, 2009 has been something of an annus horribilis for us, so it's been hard to get into a holiday mood. I've been working all of the usual devices, most especially the music. Circumstances this year have made it difficult to socialize with friends – mostly the physical distances between us. The weather hasn't been exactly cooperative.
Christmas Eve, I saw for the first time the movie It's a Wonderful Life. Yes, I know, it's supposed to be impossible to be older than maybe 10 years old and never have seen it, but it's true – I'd never seen that movie before. Yes, I knew the basic plot line, but that was all.
I think I needed to see that movie. It was the right one for me to see right now. Some of the events of the past couple of months have left me figuratively out on that bridge with George Bailey, looking down and preparing to leap off. I think my own personal Clarence might have been working at the television network, placing that movie in a time slot where I could finally see it, at a time when I pretty much couldn't avoid seeing it – Dulce was in my lap, so I couldn't get up, and there wasn't anything else on that was worth watching (we don't have cable or satellite, although based on what I hear from people who do have either, I'm not really missing much).
Holidays are stressful even when things are going well. When life is one disaster after another, the super-cheerful spirit of the season just seems like salt in the wounds. Everybody else is happy and celebrating, but I'm fighting a cloud that feels like impending doom.
So to James Stewart and Frank Capra, thank you. You've earned your wings – although probably you already got them a long time ago.