The other day, having finished watching every Hallmark Christmas film known to man (if you haven't discovered these already, they're an absolute gem - terrifically horrible acting, a plot line as flat as something flat that I can't think of at the moment, and if you're lucky enough, Candace Cameron Bure, attempting to convince us that she "just loves Christmas" unlike anyone else on the planet. More on this later.)...so anyway, the other day, having finished watching it, I started looking through the Christmas stuff on Netflix, and when I came across Christmas with the Kranks, I felt a really bizarre feeling, sort of like frustration and exasperation. It didn't take me long to realize why, and that was when I decided this was something I needed to tell you.
Last Christmas was the worst Christmas of my life. About a week before the big day, I came down with the flu, and a few days later, so did my sister. It was the kind of flu where you hallucinate and can't move your head an inch without the entire universe spinning so fast you can literally see the future. The pain in my body would get so intense at night that I would just sit and cry, and I remember at one point asking my mom with complete honesty, if I was going to die. I had a fever, I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep - come to think of it, I probably should've gone to the hospital - and it lasted days, and days, and days. Because my sister got it as well, we couldn't be around each other for fear of re-contaminating each other. Then, a short while later, my mom got it too. So, Christmas Eve rolled around and we were in separate bedrooms, just dying. We couldn't see or speak to each other, getting up in our own beds just enough to take a sip of water before collapsing again. I could see out the window from where I lay, and I watched guests park their cars in the snowy driveways of our neighbourhood. I watched Chrismas gifts being brought into houses, and people cheerfully greeting each other. I felt so unbelievably sad and alone. Christmas day was no better. I spent the day watching more Netflix movies, and that's when I came across Christmas with the Kranks, which is a story about how a family almost goes through with a plan to skip Christmas. I didn't realize it then, but at the time, I was so excited at the thought that the story might be about what we're going through, and so, so frustrated and exasperated when in the end, Christmas prevailed and the family gathered round and a turkey was cooked and a Christmas tree, alight. It's funny how these feelings only became evident to me a year later, remembering that there was me, watching the movie alone, hoping Tim Allen skips Christmas too, waiting for my next door neighbours to finish Christmas dinner and get over the day already.
|A little something to break the tension.|
Never before did I realize how much pressure the Christmas season puts on us. It seems almost like an order: to be happy, be in love, be surrounded by friends and family, have beautiful presents under a beautiful tree, not have your cat pass away the next day when you're too sick to even walk downstairs and watch her die (just me?), everything must fall into place otherwise you're not part of the Christmas phenomenon, you're not like absolutely everyone else (for the sake of this thought, I'm not counting other religions, because even they have secular belonging.) We've had our share of ghetto-ass Christmasses, so it's not even about having a big lush tree or a seventeen pound turkey, but the feeling that if everything hasn't fallen into place in your life and if you're not bursting with happiness, then you are not doing it right. In tangent with the joy we feel when we ace Christmas (got the best gifts for the family! Got the best cranberry sauce! Got so much time off work! It snowed just in time! Best Christmas ever!) there is the under-side, the darkest, most painful feeling of loneliness that exists when things don't work out in line with Christmas expectations. It made me think of how difficult it must be to get through the holidays when any number of the millions of other terrible things could be happening around this time of year. Last year, I felt just a glimpse of it, but I hope to keep the lesson I learned from it forever.
|This year's tree in Dublin.|
This year, things are definitely better on the flu front (so far so good!), but my dad broke his hip, and everyone is generally stressed out. It certainly isn't ideal, but to be honest, after last year, I feel a lot of pressure has been taken off of expecting it to be perfect. So, hope for the best, and if it doesn't work out, here are some amazing films to watch and yell at the tv about, as we did. Merry Christmas, happy holidays, good luck on boxing day!
|By far the best. Candace is an absolute sweetheart who is on her way to see her fiance who is rich and has asshole parents as all rich people are (?) when she meets a loveable smart-ass and I can't|
Not a Christmas movie but equally gag-worthy. Probably the most gag-worthy of all. A dating coach tries to fix her own marriage and fails a lot before things randomly take a turn for the better
Candace is perfect again and this time, she's a doctor sent to a town of yokels. She hates it there cause she's all big city fab, and they're all like "decaf latte? round here we drink our coffee with glue guhaw guhaw" but, having applied four bandaids, she realizes her doctor skills are absolutely essential to this town and...does...romance blossom? gag-meter: 100 OH MY GOD I just remembered how it ends which is so ridiculous you have you watch this
Candace is a sweetheart again. And this time, she visits a stupid ol' rikkedy town for the sole purpose of tearing it down so her dad can build a strip club or something. This one is fucked up because of all the traditions the town celebrates. This might help you feel better if you think Christmas in general is stupid.
This one takes the shit cake. Candace Cameron Bure is a woman from the 50s who climbs into a cabin and, due to a comet or something, is transported into the future. Instead of panicking, shaving her head bald and eating her own boogers, she spends her time perfecting that shit-eating grin (see all photos above) and sighing. Then, women are put down for their irrelevance in the police force, huge age gaps are ignored, and miracles happen. A+, must watch.