We’re 2/3s of the way towards establishing a tradition of seeing a movie on Christmas Day. Last year, we waited until the 25th to see The Two Towers, so this year we decided to go see Return of the King. Since khaosworks was in town and hadn’t seen it yet either, we offered to swing by and pick up him up from Bedlam House.
When we arrived, the entire Sutton family was in the middle of doing their Christmas morning gift exchange, so we sat awhile to wait before dragging Terence away. I spent some time playing with the baby and keeping him in good humour while wrapping paper and bows flew every which way and people reacted to their gifts.
At some point, both kitanzi and I were struck with a real sense of…displacement. We were observers in the middle of this wonderful, warm family dynamic, an interweaving of traditions and customs born of years of love and care and we became painfully aware that we didn’t have anything like that in our life. I haven’t been home for Christmas in 15 years, for a variety of reasons that no longer seem important. I doubt it matters, since I’m sure that my family is no longer doing the big get-togethers like they used to do when my grandfather was alive, anyway.
Still, for all the feeling of nostalgia for something i never actually have been a part of, it was really wonderful to watch the sheer joy of the season enacted in a living room between a family only starting to expand into its next generation. This is the family Christmas of post cards and story telling, and it’s really happening in at least one house in Atlanta. If someone ever manages to bottle that, send me a six-pack.