Yes, it’s getting towards that special time . For some of the world. When Magic Santa gives us stuff as an annual, seasonal ritual initiation into Consumer Society. Having said that, I can’t help being a fan. Real carols, pudding and holly…even the fake spray on snow some shops don’t clean off their windows until Smarch. Lousy Smarch weather. It all has special charm.
It’s easy to be cynical but I like the effort to get us to feel there’s a chance of almost magic. It’s slightly more difficult when it’s 40 degrees Celsius and there’s a Prawn Stampede at the local supermarket. But everything is all tinselly and reflective in that a year is almost gone and what have we done way?
All the shiny seems to mask the dirt in the grim steamy streets and highlights the contrast in over-cooled cavernous shopping centres. Yet, it’s good to revel in the spectacle once in a while, no matter the crass commercialism and people elbowing you out-of-the-way.
I think we could do with more wonder. Not that kind of wondering that just demonstrates a gap in knowledge, but real awe. The sort that makes you feel small but comforted, or part of something beautiful and profound. You know, a feeling sometimes felt when we were kids and full of expectation and joy. Maybe? Maybe some of us? Was there even a one of us? Once? So in theory there is awe.
Contemplating space makes me feel that way, sometimes. History. Astrobiology! Animals (and for wonderous stories about the forgiveness of animals go here, it’s the only real charity I support every year.) How plants behave. Yes people, plants demonstrate behaviour. Awesome. There’s so much we big blunderous viral humans ignore or refuse to understand about this ‘verse and so much destruction in our wake. Thank the Santa some possess a sense of wonder, inculcated at an early age.
Also, I want to add, knowing stuff doesn’t destroy the wonder. It transforms into a passion. Talk to a astrophysicist or neurobiologist, if they have the wonder, you can see it and get caught up in it. It’s communicable.
Anywho, entertainy-land has a long tradition of trying to bottle the festive spirit and conveying the wonder of it to others. As is my wont, I lean towards the perverse on my shortlist of stuff.
- Black Adder Christmas Special – Ebenezer learns the true value of Christmas giving.
- X Files Christmas – Ed Asner and Lily Tomlin scare the Xmas crap out of Mulder and Scully. Good stuff.
- Nightmare Before Christmas.
- I would say Dr Who, but Australia doesn’t air Dr Who Christmas Specials at Christmas. Sigh. One lives in hope.
- That chapter about the yule season in Wind in the Willows.
- All those sad fairy tales about fir trees dying and toy soldiers melting.
- The Little Match Girl. Read this. There’s Victorian England and snow. And wonder.
- Gremlins. Toy-like creatures that turn mischievousy!
- Die Hard. British actors doing German accents. Sounds about right.
- Love Actually. So saccharine-y stupid it works.
- Extras Christmas Special. It confirms acting = bad for the soul unless you have friends to save you.
Note: This year’s Dr Who Christmas Special will air in Australia on Boxing Day evening ABC1, which is a vast improvement on every other year. Phew. ‘I hope A Christmas Carol’ is good.