Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Holiday Tradition

Every family creates their own holiday traditions and one of my favorites growing up was shared with my Mom and older sister. After the first of December, we would scour the television listings, occasionally even allowed to splurge and buy the holiday issue of TV Guide that listed all of the Christmas specials. What we were looking for was a classic Christmas movie like It's a Wonderful Life or Holiday Inn, but the most watched by far was White Christmas starring Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye. We would make popcorn, get out the sleeping bags and have a slumber party. My sister and I would sleep on the floor of the family room, Mom got the couch and we would leave the Christmas tree lights on all night--except that really Mom would wake up in the middle of the night and turn them off so we didn't burn the house down, which if you know my Mom will make sense to you even though the artificial tree that we had inherited from my Grandparents was made of those green branches resembling toilet brushes that could in all likelihood have survived a nuclear disaster.

I have continued this tradition with my older son, although please don't tell his friends. The movie selection, of course, has shifted. It still must have a holiday setting, but with added testosterone more along the lines of one of the Home Alone movies or The Santa Clause. I still watch White Christmas every year, but usually late at night while everyone else is asleep and I am wrapping presents. I grew tired of the heckling that I received from my family while watching and they grew tired of hearing me sing every word to every song. Yes, I know them all.

I wonder sometimes what kind of traditions David will have with his family. Will he stay up late to watch his Christmas favorites with his kids? I am somewhat skeptical because David's all-time favorite Christmas movie is a little bit unusual. Care to take a guess? It is The Radio City Rockettes Christmas Spectacular and no, I am not kidding. Could I make that up? Would I make that up? There has been many an unsuspecting visitor to our house who has been subjected to David's rendition of the spectacular because, much like I know every word to the songs of my favorite Christmas movie, David knows each kick and every tap of his. And he performs the steps with such earnestness that it is difficult to keep from laughing out loud. There is nothing more exciting to him than when he times it just right so that he manages to slide down the side of the sofa and plop onto the ground at exactly the same time as the collapsing soldiers in the famous parade of the wooden soldiers. The problem is that, even with his many hours of practice, David is not a Rockette. David's high kicks more closely resemble Clever Hans the counting horse tapping out numbers with his hoof than a graceful long legged Rockette. And then there have been the couple of occasions where David has gotten side tracked dancing to the Rockettes on the way to his bath and performed his own sort of male burlesque show, to put it politely. Everyone in my extended family, with a whopping three copies between us, has seen the DVD so many times we have considered petitioning the Rockettes to release an Easter Extravaganza or even a Groundhog Day Gala. Please?

Radio City Christmas Spectacular Starring The Rockettes
No offense to the Rockettes, but I think this is one Christmas tradition I probably will not try to foster with David. And someday I expect his kids to thank me.


  1. For the last few years, me and my elder son have watched "Love Actually" in the days before Christmas. Even after he left home, he'd come back to do this! This year he can't come home before Christmas and I can't bear to watch it alone. Maybe I could start watching the Rockettes instead? :)

  2. I'd like to start off by saying that as a student researching autism, I found your blog both informative and quite refreshing! Oh, and for the record, my family and I have always made "A Christmas Story" our movie of choice :)

  3. @ Anonymous - Thanks for stopping by and thanks especially for being interested in autism research.

    Breaking news--we added "The Polar Express" to our Christmas line-up today.