I don’t know when exactly this custom of mine started, but for the past five or so odd years I have found myself pounding the pavement – sometime betwixt the hours of nine and five – come the twenty-fifth of December.
And I love it.
Many of you who read this blog know that I am a bit of a nut when it comes to running.
For those of who don’t, running is my meditation, my calm. It allows me to bring focus and clarity to the busiest (and most bonkers) of days; it allows me to both greet the morning sun, and to bask in the late afternoon dusk.
When I run, I am life.
I am love.
And on Christmas – a day that marks so much love and life, that is chock-a-block full of bustle, and laughter, of wrapping, and lace – I like to sneak away for a half hour or so.
I lace up my runners, and slip on a toque, and run, run, run, until my lungs fill with fire, and my eyes cry wind-swept tears, and my cheeks burn from the sun, and the fine sea salt spray – and I can feel my blood rushing from the top of my head, to the tips of my toes.
And with each stride, with each step, I feel this love and life.
So yesterday I ran.
From my mother’s house I flew – across park, road, and path, buoyed (or blasted) by strong gusts of wind, I raced up to the top of the Halifax Citadel.
My breath strong, yet steady, and my legs felt weightless (although that could have been the cold.)
And there, at the top, overlooking all of the city –
The days are growing shorter, the nights colder, and sometime over the past week, the holiday season seems to have landed here in our fair city.
Arriving at work just the other day I was greeted by boughs and garlands hanging from every (street) corner; New Westminster skytrain station is bedazzled and bedecked with lights of all shapes and sizes; and no matter what coffee shop I patronize, I’m sure to find red cups, and holiday flavoured drinks and snacks.A word to the wise dear readers – avoid anything “marshmallow”. I ordered one of these drinks last week (a toasted marshmallow latte to be specific), and while it was a valiant effort on the part on my barista, espresso and synthetic Jetpuff syrup is not a combination meant for this world.
And as we creep ever closer to December, and all the festivities that automatically come with our twelfth month, you might be asking yourself what kind of gifts you will be purchasing for all your friends and family.
This can be a delicate dance for some. I know for me, this is one of my most favourite parts of the holidays. I get a thrum in my tummy just thinking about the chance I’ll have to find something beautiful and fitting for all the wonderful people in my life.
I want to make sure that whatever it is I end up purchasing is beautiful and interesting and original – something the person may not have previously thought about, or knew even existed.
I love December, and all the razzle-dazzle of the month, because of the time I get to spend with family (this year M and I are flying down east to spend Christmas with my mother and sisters), the outings and parties with good friends, and the quiet time (if only an hour or two!) I get to spend with my husband.
As we creep ever closer to candy canes, tree trimmings, snowmen, and Christmas carols, I am gearing myself up to watch my three favourite holiday movies OF. ALL. TIME.
Now, whilst I understand that there are a number of fab films out there that do well to sum up the holiday spirit, in my humble opinion these three movies will never be beat:
1. Muppets Christmas Carol.
I LOVE this flick.
Michael Caine as Scrooge! Gonzo as Charles Dickens! Rizzo as his ever-hungry side-kick! Ice skating penguins! Singing cabbages! Cheese-less peasant mice!
Normally I’m not even that big a fan of singing in movies, but heck, that rule is thrown out the window with gusto when it comes to Jim Henson and his gang.
How can you not dig that tune?
(Seriously, if you don’t, you will be visited by three ghosts tonight. Get ready for one heck of a ride when the bell strikes one.)
2. Home Alone
Now, this may have quite a lot to do with the fact that I have the sense of humour of a eleven year old boy, but this movie never, ever, fails to crack me up.
Watching Marv and Harry get the absolute crap kicked out of them makes me laugh so hard I cry.
(So I might be a bit of a sadist as well.)
For the past fifteen years I haven’t been able to eat cheese pizza without saying: “A whole cheese pizza just for me!” or thinking that eating two tictacs will ruin my dinner.
Plus: Catherine O’Hara. My comedy goddess and make-believe mum.
3. Love Actually
LOVE IS ACTUALLY ALL AROUND WHEN YOU WATCH THIS MOVIE.
This is M’s an my “official” Christmas movie, and we watch it every year sometime in the lead up to the 25th. We love it. We quote it year-round.
A golden oldie for a golden oldie! Just in cases! WISCONSIN BABES! Dip it in yogurt and cover it in chocolate buttons! Sexy Carl! Hurry up big boy! Arbore…montagno…bello…bella…Frankie Valley…oh shut up…!
I always say that if I were to go back and do more graduate work, I would do it in film studies and I would write my thesis on how this movie is evidence of a perfectly scored film.
Every song works so well in every scene, it’s a bit mind boggling. Nora Jones to dance to! Dido when she find out you’re in love with her! All you need is love at your wedding! Joni Mitchell in the face of infidelity!
So excited! Now I cannot wait even more.
What about you folks? What movies do you like to watch this time of year?