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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas! And I Really Mean That. Kind of.

Merry Christmas to Christmas-celebrating Wavers everywhere and happy Really Quiet Day at the Movie Theaters to everybody else.

Christmas is pay dirt for writers, it really is. The day when family and friends come together to spend all day eating, drinking and throwing weird potshots. The day when we're all stuck in the house together playing innocuous games and seeing the - uh, rather competitive side of Aunt Pat. The day when we spend an inordinate amount of time managing our expectations - ohhhhhh a clearly regifted bar of cucumber soap. Thanks. And there's always some ridiculous person who wears the Santa hat. The silences in-between conversation that somebody rushes to fill. Oh sure, there's the laughter, the good food, the memories but to me, Christmas has always had a measure of forced gaiety. I have more fun with friends and family on a random Saturday night when we all come together for absolutely no reason. Christmas is so weighted. And really, as I just pointed out to a friend, as a percentage of the year, Christmas really hogs the limelight of our attention. The advertising, mall decor and Christmas tunes start the second Thanksgiving is over and sometimes before. So there's essentially a five week period every year when one should/must/will see family, spend money on stuff nobody really wants, cook and eat food one normally avoids and botches up one's routine for all of the above.

Don't get me wrong - I like the Christmas Season.

No, I just said that. It seemed what I should say at this point. I don't dislike it actively.I just get tired of it even while it's still happening. I was enough already about a week and a half ago.

And I have to work. Not on reading scripts but on the new website The Script Department will be debuting, with any luck from the volcano gods, on January first. It's not just me, there is the web designer, an art director and a copywriter all working straight through Christmas to get this done properly. Because some jackass decided randomly that January 1st would be a good, symbolic date to debut the new site. Oh wait, I think that was me. It seemed simple enough at the time. The site is going to look amazing and I'm very impressed by the work done by the aforementioned talented professionals.

Things I have decided over this holiday season:

Cranium? Geared for fourth grade comprehension level. I kick butt but cannot take pride in that. I mean - really.

Taboo? Funny for first ten minutes then kind of dull. Is the word - DIPSTICK?! Yay, one point for team Mat/Julie/Quincy!

Prime rib roast? Wouldn't be SO expensive if you didn't have to buy so many POUNDS of it. That stupid bone-in really adds to the cost.

Ecards? Not a fan.

Hilarious Santa Pictures send via email: love it.

Writing time? Forget it.

Good shopping destination for teenagers? Wacko in Hollywood, Aaahs or worst case, CVS, the ubiquitous drug store full of glittery gift ensembles that every teenager finds hilarious. Teens like hilarious gifts so they're fun to shop for.

Please let Christmas just be over already. I'm ready for 2009 and a Christmas Season that is 11 whole months away from taking over my life again. Next year? Maui, a Mai Tai and a good book.

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J.J. said...

So, do you really feel about the Christmas Holiday season?

Nicholas said...

I love Christmas. It is my favorite Holiday. Or rather, I love what it should stand for, but hate what it has become. It is a time where everyone puts on a mask and starts faking smiles. Is anyone really happy over Christmas? If everyone were honest, probably not.

I hate fake. I really do. I would rather let all the dirty laundry air right out in the open. I hate having to pretend to smile when I have gotten the 8th book I do not want, and haven't gotten the two DVD sets I specifically asked for. I know it's polite, but it's a pain in the ass. I hate watching everyone else smile when they open your present, but being observant enough to see that sinking feeling in their hearts when they do not like it. I guess fake is a good thing though, otherwise everyone would have their feelings hurt. But it is still annoying nonetheless.

Oh, and I hated that I got 5 screenwriting books for Christmas. The first to were great. I actually wanted them. But by the 5th one it seemed like an insincere joke on me, and just got annoying.

This holiday has allowed me a wealth of character study I can look back on. There were a few interesting events that only I happened to notice, that were incredibly indicative about how two people really felt about one another. Gave me an idea for a film, too.

Oh, and I hate how commercialized this Holiday has become. The meaning behind it no longer exists. *shrugs* Oh well.

E.C. Henry said...

Julie, I'm offended -- I'm that ridiculous guy who wears the Santa hat, can't you tell?

Christmass IS Jesus. All that Santa Claus nonsense is merely a circus distraction. Celebrate the reason for the season, and all else comes into focus.

HOPE your Christmass and New Year's celebratory times improve. I actually wrote this moring before our family opened presents, and I had a delightful time.

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

wenonah said...

Oh amen amen amen!!! If it weren't for my kids, I'd run to Mexico every freaking year and hideout until January one. Even worse, two of my children have birthdays this week, so the fun is just starting at my house. ugh. I am glowing this holiday however, I got a vintage 1970 manual typewriter (bright orange with racing stripes) and I rolled that paper in there like tires shaking off the side of a rutted road and pounded my fingers on those deep keys with more intention than I've ever had to use while writing. I've missed the hard metal slap and faded uneven letters of a typewriter, it's glorious! Merry Christmas to me! ... and whatever celebration you're into this year, Julie I hope it was drama-free and left no sticky residue.


PJ McIlvaine said...

I bake too much and eat too much. What's not to like?

Julie Gray said...

@Nicholas - yeah that could feel a little patronizing, lol. But hey, take it in the spirit it was intended and get the most out of those books. They just don't get it. But you'll have the last laugh, right?

@EC - I prefer to view Christmas through a more traditional pagan lens; winter solstice, keeping the hearth warm while the season downshifts into darkness and inner reflection. But you know what, Jesus was indeed a super guy and more power to ya. :)

@PJ - you're not going to fit into those flannel jammies I got you, are ya??

Luzid said...

@ Nicholas:

I hear ya, man. This holiday was once all about the solstice -- now no one bothers to remember that Santa died for our sins!

It's a crying shame, I tell you.

Joe Public said...

There is all that fake stuff and the expense, but I think it's still all about celebrating the only guy, to this point, who has managed split history in half.