It used to be so simple, counting the days, the minutes , the seconds, the swet anticipation topped only the the joyous reality of Christmas morning. Presents everywhere, yes, and family gathered and good food and not a care in the world. Such good times would surely last forever, right?
When I split from my ex, I decided to treat Christmas as just another day. Too many memories, too many spirits of the past. To celebrate Christmas would mean acknowledging my solitude, dwelling in constant, unbearable sorrow.
Last year was the first Christmas without Mom, but there was Tabbatha and a new life, new possibilities unfolding before me. Happiness beckoned.
This year...I'm not sure. Melancholia is in the air, and I won't deny it, but I'll try not to let it get the best of me.
One very much missed Christmas tradition is the inevitable Phone call from Mom, sobbing uncontrollably after her annual viewing of Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol. Here's the song that would always set her off, an ineffably sad number written by Jule Styne and Bob Merrill:
Well, I'm sobbing uncontrollably myself now. Might as well go ahead and wallow in it. Here's a clip from one of my favorite movies, Vincente Minnelli's incomparable Meet Me In St. Louis. This movie was made during World War II, so the ambiguity in the dialogue, the uncertainty about making plans for the future, was something very much on the minds of audiences at the time. Everything here is perfect. The writing is superb ("I'm taking all my dolls, even the dead ones!"), the acting is peerless, Minnelli's color, composition and staging are magnificent--how heartbreaking when the shade is pulled down, the lovely golden glow slowly disappearing!--and of course, there's that song:
Merry Christmas, or festive vaguely religious season, or whatever.