Christmas 2011 & A Rosier Christmas Of 2006Saturday, December 24, 2011
In spite of all the hoopla about Christmas and that it is a time of happy human interaction of the face to face kind, most will admit, and I am one of them, that the day (after a busy Christmas Eve dinner with the family) and the days after are a time for reflection. That reflection is particularly intense in those non-activity days that at one time seemed to be of indeterminate length, those days between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
|Lauren, Rebecca & Alex|
This particular Christmas my wife Rosemary took a dark view of it all. She was busy but stressed out in our mutual preparations for our Christmas dinner. This year she and I did not exchange gifts but made it a point to buy ourselves nice new sheets and an efficient toaster to make our daily breakfast in bed that much more free of stress in its preparation.
|Lauren Elizabeth Stewart|
This particular Christmas was a first in that I found many DVD films for my daughters and granddaughters. It is but my attempt to steer them away from mass media interest films that feature violent cartoon characters. I also found books for these women in my life. They may not read them now or soon but I live in the hope that they will some day read and experience the true loneliness, not the facebook type of loneliness, of reading as a habit.
|Rebecca Anne Stewart|
Two weeks ago the plan to see Buster Keaton’s The General after a Saturday dinner was thwarted by my visit to emergency. I insisted on seeing the film on Christmas Eve. Rebecca protested the loudest saying that we should open the presents right after dinner instead of watching a film that had nothing to do with Christmas. I ironed out a compromise in that we would indeed open the presents after dinner with the proviso we would see the film after. Rosemary pointed out that The General was almost two hours long. But I would not listen. We did watch The General and I noticed that my eldest daughter was rather tired and not all too happy.
After the film, they all went home but I felt only a tad amount of guilt. It think that someday, in those days, when looking back seems to coat memories with that comfy shade of pink, some of my family will remember that Christmas Eve of 2011, of The General, and smile. And they just might be the only ones in that plain contemporary existence the few now dare call mediocrity, to know the useless fact that the name of the other locomotive in The General was Texas.
Rosemary has informed me that Christmas as we know it is something of the past and she does not look forward to another. Perhaps she is right and our 2012 Christmas might feature an Aztec ruin or a sandy beach in the sun. With Santa Claus no longer part of our life, nor my loss of a need to attend a Midnight Mass, in this later segment of our life (and perhaps I can only speak for myself here) I must find something else to while away those days, until now, lazy and wonderful days between Christmas and the New Year.
Rebecca complained that this was not a very good Christmas. Her father, Bruce was not present (he was woking a late shift) and that she was forced to see The General. I received many sweets but somehow, at least until now, as I write, the prospect of eating any of them is diminished. I find that I am looking back to other Christmases and here is one of them Christmas of 2006 when my little girls were still little girls. When glorious curly hair was still that and the idea of Santa Claus was a fact that was as yet uncontested. But I must report one common factor between the pictures of 2006 and those of 2011. In both instances I used Polaroid film for my Mamiya RB-67. But this common factor is not quite. In 2006 they were true Polaroids. This batch is what those of us who hold out and use them commonly call Fujiroids and they are not quite up to par to the real thing.