Take 2 sisters, add 1 brother, stir in Christmas specials

blogDSCN8253When December, the month of merry-making, rolls around on the calendar, Christmas movies and specials also roll around on the TV guide.

Every Christmas season, our family delights in watching some of these specials that we’ve seen over and over again.

I can’t quite determine why those shows have a hold on us; there just seems to be some kind of spell-binding magic in watching them.

Somehow over the years, I’ve managed to cultivate tradition monsters in my three offspring.  Certain holiday rituals just cannot be trifled with, according to my adult children, and one is “the viewing of specific Christmas shows.”  Just the other day we discussed this topic and they were adamant that particular holiday specials must be watched at some point when all the birds fly back to the empty nest to celebrate.

A couple of those holiday morsels we must bear savor are television specials we taped on VHS when our children were young, including The Muppet Family Christmas and A Claymation Christmas Celebration, featuring the California Raisins (we’re talking back in the 80’s here).  It’s a wonder these tapes haven’t disintegrated from well-worn use and it’s also remarkable that we still have a working VCR in our home.

I tend to poke a bit of fun at my grown-up progeny for insisting we all watch these old and outdated shows (I forgot to mention Alf’s Special Christmas is another one!), but the truth of the matter is that hubby and I have our own favorite holiday movies from yesteryear that we love watching during this season too.

If Miracle on 34th Street is scheduled, we’ll watch.   Same goes for It’s a Wonderful Life and Holiday Inn.   But one of my all-time favorites is White Christmas.  My very grown-up sisters and I have been known to break into song when someone mentions “Sisters,” an Irving Berlin tune from that movie.

“All kinds of weather,

We stick together, the same in the rain or sun.

Two diff’rent faces,

But in tight places, we think and we act as one.”

Those who’ve seen us,

Know that not a thing could come between us.

Many men have tried to split us up but no one can.

Lord help the mister who comes between me and my sister.

And Lord help the sister who comes between me and my man.”

My sisters and I are bound together very tightly, but as the youngest of the family, I know that on more than one occasion, I was a pain in the ….well, let’s say neck, especially when my sisters were teenagers and I was the pesky, little squirt who bothered them all the time.

My own kids had their fair share of squabbles growing up too.  They argued, yelled, bickered, screamed, and even tried to inflict bodily harm on one another (just ask oldest daughter and son and you will hear hair-raising stories, slightly embellished over the years).

I fretted that they would never, ever be able to get along with one another.  I worried that their disputes would continue into adulthood and they would not be able to stand the sight of one another.  I even recall actually telling them they needed to love, forgive and cling to their siblings because “Someday when you are all grown up, Dad and I will  be gone and you will need to rely on each other!”  (Scaring your children into getting along is probably not the best parenting tip!)

Something worked though because I’m glad and relieved to report all the worrying, fretting, stewing and agonizing was for nothing.  Even though there were times then when they wanted nothing more than to rid their lives of their siblings, now they are closer than ever.  Oh, they still don’t always see eye to eye; they have disagreements just like everyone else, but for the most part, they like spending time together and they do love, respect, appreciate and support one another.

While shopping recently, I noticed the Christmas tree ornament I’ve photographed here.  It made me laugh out loud because I could picture any one of my children in their younger days writing this sentiment to Santa Claus with either the word sister or brother inserted and hanging it on our decorated tree.

So something occurred to me today in my book entitled Opportunity, Chapter 12, Page 6.  Little did I know all those years ago that these three twenty-somethings would willingly nestle up together on the family room couch, gather around the TV, and  watch the Muppets, Alf, and the California Raisins celebrate Christmas, just like they did when they were little.

Who would have thought it?

“Siblings are the people we practice on, the people who teach us about fairness and cooperation and kindness and caring – quite often the hard way.”  ~Pamela Dugdale

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