indulge in some quiet time
There’s just a certain kind of magic in accidentally stumbling across an old childhood favorite on TV this time of year. It’s a feeling of re-discovery that never gets old, no matter that the passage of another year has brought me ever further from the days when the end of December meant a good long break from the work of school. Though living in the age of DVD means we could all access whatever movies we might like with just a quick stroll to the video store or a click of the mouse, to me, that would be cheating: like gifts, holiday movies are best when you’re not expecting them, when the perfect one drops into your life from out of the blue, giving you exactly what you needed, never mind that you hadn’t even been looking for it.
The other night, I was bemoaning the fact that all my usual TV addictions have gone on vacation until January. It had been a dreary damp day; I’d spent too much of my morning working out some stupid problem with my computer, and too much of my afternoon running around all over town gathering supplies to make gingerbread cookies, an errand that I’d originally only intended as a quick single-supermarket break from the grind of work. Back home and ostensibly ready to get back to business, I’d found myself staring at a blank screen willing a sentence to pop into my head and inspire some heretofore unrealized concept for a new article; I had a to-do list a mile long with things to edit, stuff to design, images to look through, ideas to brainstorm. Too distracted by the sheer volume of all the things I really should have been doing, I took the natural course: I procrastinated some more. Browsing online for gift ideas, I soon found myself stressing over Christmas presents still to be bought instead.
In short, it had been the worst sort of day: full of fussing about and completely unproductive all at the same time. So when evening came, I have to say: what I was really looking forward to most of all was being able to kick up in front of the boob tube, occupied with absolutely nothing more than another episode of Heroes. Because I had only realized recently that the show actually did air here in Canada and that I no longer had to procure episodes in a manner less – how shall we say? – legal, I couldn’t remember what time the show was actually on. Imagine my dismay upon discovering that the December hiatus had already begun, and some cheesy live-action family holiday movie was airing instead.
Too lazy to mosey on over to my local video store, I did something I hardly ever do these days: I channel-surfed. Now, bear in mind that when you’re too cheap to get cable and your broadcast offerings consist of maybe eight channels tops – only half of which come in strongly enough to watch without incurring a raging headache – such an activity is generally quite brief, and almost never satisfying. But on this particular evening, something special must have been in the air: in the very best spirit of the holiday season, I found myself presented with one of those perfect, unexpected gifts: back-to-back airings of three childhood Christmas-time staples I hadn’t sat down and watched in years … and on a channel that came through crystal-clear to boot.