Holiday TV specials are the best, aren't they?
We all love the classics - Frosty the Snowman, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Rudolph - all great. This is probably due to the fact that they recall fond childhood memories of watching them with family while enjoying popcorn and hot chocolate after hours of gleefully freezing at the bottom of a snow fort. They're memories of an uncomplicated time in which few of life's worries had yet made an appearance, so we treasure them, more so for the quality time than for the shows themselves.
This time of year is a great one to be a kid, with The Muppets on TV and hot chocolate warming your hands. Your biggest holiday season worry is whether or not the Ninja Turtle or Little Molly Wets-a-Lot doll you desperately want is in one of those brightly-wrapped packages under the tree. You have no clue of what a mortgage payment is or that mom and dad decided to skip buying presents for each other so that they could afford those gifts for you and your siblings, that they prefer seeing the look on your face when you shred the wrapping paper to anything they want for themselves. Ignorance can truly be blissful. I know this from experience, because I now have an intimate relationship with my mortgage.
The new batch of Christmas specials is a mockery of the word. Special, they are not. They all star washed-up stars from the eighties. They try to be cool and current, but at Christmas, we don't want current, we don't want Rob Lowe, we want tradition. My (least) favorite new clunker is called "The Santa Incident", in which National Security agents mistake Santa for a UFO and shoot him out of the sky, and it's up to a couple of plucky kids to help him get back to the North Pole and save Christmas. People actually get paid to write this stuff. I'm thinking I should steer my kids into this career path, because they wouldn't have to wait until after school to start a career. They could write better stuff at their current ages. And as a bonus, they don't even know who Rob Lowe is, so they won't cast him in the lead, carving the roast beast. No, we stick to the classics at our house.
All except Ellie, apparently. She's got a grudge against the Grinch, and she ain't afraid to say it.
"No my like the Binch," she says. "He scaaary." But when she says it, "Binch" usually comes out rhyming with "witch", so we have to be careful of who's around when we talk about him. Not surprising coming from a kid who already likes to swear, I guess. She even looks like little Cindy Lou Who, complete with big blue eyes and pretty blond curls, and like Cindy Lou, is no more than two. Old enough to know a thing or two about Binches, but young enough to still need a midnight drink of water. She sits on my lap when we watch that one, just to be safe, which is just fine by me.
So don't be a Binch this Christmas, or I'll have Ellie come and have a talk with you. Enjoy some quality time with people you like and be nice to the ones you don't. Remember what you're celebrating.