Mugs, spoons, and marshmallows ready to serve hot chocolate on Christmas Eve.
Suite from the Polar Express
I like traditional movie soundtracks. I like movies about Christmas. The soundtrack to The Polar Express isn’t particularly memorable, but I really like the look of the movie (all of the exterior shots of the train are incredible), and the music fits it well.
Three bits on presents:
1. We’ve given my dad a lot of flashlights.
2. One year, I thought it would be fun to add a bit of surprise beyond just covering a present in wrapping paper. I took my sister Julie’s present, which I think was an *NSYNC CD, and taped it to the inside of a modem box, and then wrapped that. When she opened her present, her face lit up with a beautifully forced smile.
“What is it?” she asked.
“It’s a modem!” I explained. “28.8. It’s faster.”
I then had to ask her to open up the box, and she found her true gift. She admitted that she thought I bought the gift because I wanted it for myself.
You may not know this about me, but I like to reuse jokes. It’s easier than coming up with new ones. So, the next year, I planted her present in a box from one of my model rockets.
She unwrapped the box, and was carefully suspicious. Drawing on her experience from the previous Christmas, she opened the box to check out the “rocket.” Inside, of course, she found rocket parts.
I encouraged her to dig deeper, and amongst the parts was her real gift. I don’t remember what it was.
3. When I was in kindergarten or first grade, there was an event at my school where kids could buy their parents (and apparently grandparents) gifts. A useful idea since most children that age can’t drive to a store, and once there, probably don’t have any money. I got my grandfather an ice scraper for his car. At the time, he lived in on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. My mom politely explained that perhaps I should swap the gift with what I got for my other (Pennsylvania-based) grandfather, a handkerchief. She told me that coming up to Pennsylvania from South Carolina usually gave my grandfather a cold, so the present would work out.
Laugh if you want; if there was an ice storm he would have been one of the few people who were actually prepared. I could have made him a hero.
8th in a series of Christmasy things.