Tag Archives: Holidays

Work, Work, Work

I just did a podcast with a friend where he argued that the whole Christmas thing was a bunch of hooey. In the end, I think I managed to convince him that December was a season where people of all faiths get a chance to practice being better people and focus on the things that help us do that: charity, generosity, happiness, … That if you can see past the commercialism, really, it’s just a time to enjoy each others company and brighten up a world that can be all too grim.

Many people I know are taking the next two weeks off work to spend time with their families or concentrate on recharging the batteries. I am not one of them. While I enjoy the time off, I only have a finite number of vacation days for the year and I’d prefer to use them when the weather is warm and the golf courses are open.

He marks his scorecard and checks it twice.

A lot of creative folks I know (writers, photographers, painters, and poets) use this time to feed of the joy around them and get shit done. Many of the writers I know use the momentum from November and carry right through to the New Year, letting the ideas flow to the page as swiftly as the breeze that blows off Frosty’s hat. I am not one of those either. I’ll be working the day job Monday and Tuesday of this week and next. Chained to the desk, as it were, like some modern day project manager version of the ghost of Christmas past.

Jacob Marley has deadlines too.

I can’t complain though. I like my job and my boss and I can take time off when I need it, I just choose to take it off at times when we get more than a handful of hours of sunlight in a day, that’s all. The real heroes of the season are all the countless individuals who keep the lights on while everyone else takes time off to celebrate.

Every year there are thousands upon thousands of people working their butts off over the holidays to make sure that everyone else can stay safe, stay warm, stay healthy, stay fed. They’re the ones who probably need the time off more than anyone else, yet they’re the ones that are out there picking up our slack while we sit on the couch, put our feet up, and complain about how hectic the season has become.

So here’s a toast to everyone from the minimum wager pouring your latte to the fire chief worrying about whether or not everyone’s Christmas lights are up to code. If you’ve got time off take a minute to thank these folks, and if you are one of these folks let me take a minute to thank you.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

~ Andrew.

Danny F*$&@! Kaye

Well, it’s almost the end of the year, and there will be many people taking some time off work over the next couple weeks. I’m no exception. I am on vacation this week and it couldn’t have come at a better time. I just wrapped up a major project at work and I still have a few things to do before Christmas; not the least of which is watch some excellent holiday movies.

My all-time favourite by a landslide is National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation starting Chevy Chase. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen it, but it’s more than a few, and I can’t get enough of it. With my kids getting a bit older now (11 and 7) I felt it was time they were introduced to this holiday classic. I had them close their eyes for the diving board scene and I “out of the blue” coughed loudly when Clark Griswold dropped the F-bomb. Other than that, it was perfectly only slightly inappropriate. It got laughs out of them and they weren’t playing Minecraft so I’m happy.

A couple weeks ago we took the kids to see what you’d think would be a more suitable movie, Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn. This is a 1942 classic starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. It’s a good movie with some great old-time music. It was perfectly enjoyable but did get a bit awkward afterwards trying to explain to the kids why there was that one scene where a man and woman sang a number in blackface with an orchestra of actual black folks. I guess those wholesome good ole fashioned values didn’t always hit the mark.

Another Irving Berlin classic, White Christmas, will be watched as a family this year with Fred Astaire being replaced by Danny Kaye. My wife and I have seen the stage production and it’s quite enjoyable. I know my daughter will like the music and my son the dancing so it should be a good time. No f-bombs and no blackface that I know of.

Other flicks that might make an appearance at some point over the next few days include: Miracle on 34th Street (1947), Home Alone, A Christmas Carol (1951), Scrooged, Elf, Sound of Music, It’s A Wonderful Life, Frosty the Snowman, How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966), and of course Charlie Brown Christmas.

No matter how you choose to spend these last days of 2013 I hope you get to spend it with people you love and care about, and for those who celebrate on the 25th I hope you have the hap hap happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap danced with Danny fucking Kaye.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mk74WprmZxY?rel=0]

~ Andrew