Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Holidays -- and a writerly gift.

First off, HERE is a gift to my fellow writers out there -- really a gift from THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY -- but one that'll hopefully brighten and rev 2012.

Oh, and gift to give yourself? Go see the new SHERLOCK HOLMES GAME OF SHADOWS while it's still in theaters. There's this scene where someone loads a bomb called Little Hansel and then there's this incredible scene of the people running from the wreckage in a forest. I didn't know whether I was watching a film, really, or lush children's book illustrations or CGI or oil paintings in motion -- just gorgeous sumptuous heart-thudding beauty in motion. AND ... years from now when these films are classics and people watch them, they'll ask, "Did audiences back then know that there was such lurid attraction between Holmes and Watson?" I can only answer for myself. "Um, yeah. I think we got it."

Brilliant stuff.

Some Holiday Quotatiousness:

The 4-year-old is playing Santa and Mrs. Clause. The 15 year old says, "Santa, you ARE real!" And then quickly amends, "Not that there's been any speculation about your existence!"

The 4-year-old keeps worrying about getting chalk for Christmas. "Would it be THAT bad to get sidewalk chalk as a stocking stuffer?" Finally, I realize that by chalk she means coal and reassure that there will be no coal (or sidewalk chalk, which might be just as bad). (In retrospect, there's a lot of naughty list talk in Elf.)

The 4-year-old refers to our manger scenes as "the Jesus sets." And as we set them up this year, we realized that we're low on baby Jesuses. Historically, the kids play with the sets and the babies tend to disappear and end up being taken care of by a Barbie in the wooden dollhouse.
Later, one of the Baby Jesuses is found -- manger and all -- in an empty Triscuit box on my 11 year old's dresser, accompanied by Mardi-Gras beads and monopoly money.

(Here's a link provided by my college roommate -- the 27 worst Manger Scenes of all time. I'm most disturbed by those that are edible.)

(4 year olds DOMINATE the season, if you haven't noticed.)

I get one of the kids a handshake buzzer, the kind you wear like a ring that sits in your palm and buzzes people when shaking hands. Why? I don't know. "It's like an old-fashioned wind-up taser," one of the kids says. Not exactly what I had in mind. (Did I HAVE something -- anything -- in mind when I bought it? Blind panic stocking stuffer shopping...)

4 year old threw up the morning after Christmas -- the start of a little stomach bug. One of the older kids asks how she's doing. She says, "I didn't get many Christmas presents."
"Is that why you threw up? Just not enough gifts?"
"I got all this little pieces of stuff."
"And a Barbie Jumbo Jet?"
"Oh. I got that too."

Ho ho ho.