Thursday, December 15, 2016

White Christmas

One of the great things I've been able to do over the last couple months is contribute to the A.V. Club "Field Guide To Parenting." They basically allow me to write a blog post and then share it with their millions of fans. Four or five of whom actually read what I wrote. This is technically cheating, but I wanted to put the latest here:

Last weekend, I reminded my sons of that most wonderful of holiday traditions: getting dragged to things you don’t want to do. 

Visiting stinky relatives, attending church for the one and only time of the year, trips to Anthropology to get something for their mom to return, these are the glory of the season. With the avalanche of toys headed their way, I think a little dash of nuts on their fudge keeps them honest.

I thought “White Christmas” would make a lovely addition.

Don’t get me wrong. I love “White Christmas.” From the moment Bing Crosby croons  Irving Berlin’s titular song to a crowd of homesick WWII troops, you can dip me in sap for the next two hours. Released in 1954 and starring Crosby, Danny (fucking) Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera Ellen, it portrays a world where you could aspire to be a song and dance act as a viable career. It’s also the quintessential example of “Let’s put on a show” as a solution to bankruptcy. The movie features some amazing romantic hijinks, the perfect Mary Wickes and wonderful (and uncredited) Bob Fosse choreography.

One look at the VistaVision Paramount logo and my sons squawked as if they were being forced to Midnight Mass in Latin. I told them Gwen Ihnat would be super mad if we didn’t watch it (untrue) and I’d probably get fired (also untrue).  Son #2 watched while standing on his head as a form of protest.

Son #1 complained Bing Crosby’s VistaVision blue eyes made him look like an alien and we had a robust debate on the merits of the dancing versus “Dancing With The Stars.” He was not a fan of “Old Timey tapping.”

Son #2 simply muttered, “Too much songs.”

Around the time they started counting down the minutes left in the movie (“Yay! Only 24 until we’re free!”) I let them off the hook. On his way racing out of the room, Boy #1 shouted over his shoulder, “If you’ve already seen this, how could you ever think we’d like it?”

I looked online for churches holding Midnight Mass.

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