Posted tagged ‘George C. Scott’

“Even as an adult I find it difficult to sleep on Christmas Eve. Yuletide excitement is a potent caffeine, no matter your age.”

December 24, 2012

When I was a kid, I knew today was the longest day of the year. It had everything to do with anticipation. Clock watching never helped. The clock’s hands took forever to move from one tick to the next, and every tick seemed to echo. Usually it was too cold to go outside and play so there was little to do to while away the hours. We’d watch television, and we’d watch Santa Claus, who had been on TV every afternoon for a few weeks from a station in New Hampshire. He’d be winding up his TV career, loading his sleigh and saying good-bye to all of us. As soon as it got dark, we pretended to be tired, but my mother knew. We just wanted to go to bed early hoping we’d fall asleep so the night would pass quickly. Supper was light. My mother always had the big dinner to prepare the next day so mostly we had sandwiches and sugar cookies for dessert. The tree looked especially beautiful on Christmas Eve. It was lit the whole day.

I remember one year on Christmas Eve my mother sent me to buy some ingredient she’d forgotten. I rode my bike to the red store. I couldn’t believe my mother had me doing an errand on such an important day. It just wasn’t right. Christmas Eve was too special for a simple errand.

If we were lucky, A Christmas Carol, the perfect movie for Christmas Eve, was on TV in the late afternoon or before dinner. I have never tired of watching Scrooge and his redemption. This year I have seen two different versions, both excellent: George C. Scott and Alastair Sim.

Just before bed, it was time to hang the stockings. They were red with white cuffs. Our names were on the cuffs and had gold glitter on them. The bannister was a small one but we managed to fit all four stockings. Though we didn’t have a fireplace, we never worried. Santa would find a way.

We’d lie in bed and talk from room to room until finally we’d drift off to sleep.

“Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.”

December 20, 2011

This morning I heard a bird sing. The song was lovely. I don’t know which kind of bird it was who serenaded me, but I am thankful for the song. Goldfinches are at the feeders now. An unfamiliar bird was there yesterday; it looked like a wren.

A red spawn and a gray spawn of Satan had a bit of tiff this morning on the deck. The gray spawn, far bigger than the red one, ended up losing and fell down to the ground. I swear I saw the red spawn raise its arms in triumph.

The day is cloudy and windy, the same as the last few days, but I don’t have to go out so I’m happy. I have the last of the presents to wrap, and I have the fixings to begin baking my cookies so I’ll be busy. I figure I’ll put on some schmaltzy Hallmark Christmas movie to watch as I wrap. Last night I watched A Christmas Carol with George C. Scott. I am a sucker for Christmas shows and movies, even the most sugary. I still miss Andy Williams singing Christmas songs with his brothers and the Osmonds.

When I was little, my mother used to read Twas the Night Before Christmas to us. I loved it and even as a four-year old had it pretty much memorized. One part, though, always seemed a bit strange to me. It was when the poor guy had to throw up the sash. I always wondered why he ate it and what in the heck a sash was anyway. I never asked. I just went with the story. One year the poem showed up on TV as a cartoon, and when the guy threw up the sash, I finally understood.

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