Does art imitate life? Does life imitate art? I used to wonder. But now I know.
It’s a Christmas miracle.
Turns out my Christmas holiday was a succession of brushes with the literary, the visual arts, and the cinema. Deck the halls with the Best Buy ad! Fa la la la la, la la la la!
When we took the kids to see Santa, Henry, our two-year-old, wasn’t freaked out unlike his older sister at his age), but he did spend the whole session with arms wrapped around Mommy’s leg, peering at Santa from around her knees. The look could have been copied from a Norman Rockwell calendar photo.
His older sister, Sophie, age 6, on the other hand, declared all the way there how she was going to talk to Santa. She marched right up to Santa and parked herself on his lap, and immediately froze. She couldn’t think of a single thing she wanted. It was a lot like Ralphie clenching up in “A Christmas Story” – “Football? What’s a football?” All that was missing was for Santa to tell Sophie she’d shoot her eye out and send her down the slide in humiliation. (For the record, she didn’t want a Red Ryder BB gun – with or without this thing that tells time. She wanted a big TV. Or maybe that was me.)
This one actually is from my Christmas archives. If you’ve seen the movie “Christmas Vacation”, specifically the scene where Clark Griswold is outside putting up the Christmas lights, you’ve see the spitting imaging of my father putting up Christmas lights every year of my childhood. The snarled strands of lights, the vest, the flannel shirt, ball cap, work gloves, staple gun, extension ladder. It’s ALL there. I always think of him when I watch that movie. I think the producers might owe Dad something for the trademark infringement.
One of the ornaments on our tree is one that Sophie picked a couple years ago. It’s a Disney scene with the various princesses and princes dancing around the castle courtyard. The little figures move when you turn a little crank. Well, this year, Henry, being two and a boy, managed to take Prince Charming off at the knees. He’ll never dance again. It’s not much of a stretch to imagine Charlie Brown hanging the ornament on that pathetic little tree. “I’ve killed it!”
Christmas dinner with two children hopped up on holiday cheer and Santa-anticipation was a little like dinner with the Ewing family on the old TV soap “Dallas”. Sophie was “J.R.”, Henry was “Bobby Ewing”, my wife was, I don’t know, Miss Ellie, and I was, um, Hasselhoff from Knight Rider, which was a show I was a lot more into in the ‘80s.
My little boy’s favorite gift from Santa was not the train, the fire engine or the Spiderman action crime headquarters. It was the little pink, toy vacuum cleaner with accessory cart. My little Gollum even napped with his own personal precioussssss on Christmas day.
My wife has been home with the kids on school break for a week now. Munch’s “The Scream” pretty much describes what I see when I come home from my day job every night.
So there it is. I’ve proved life imitates art. Send me some of your own examples. Think of it as a yuletide support group.
Next time on the blog: I prove Bigfoot paints the sky blue.