December 22, 2009
I spent some time today — actually, a lot more time than I had anticipated, since a scheduling snafu had my procedure postponed from 11:00 to 1:30 — in the outpatient surgical suite of the hospital where I was born and where my tonsils were removed, also after a scheduling snafu, in 1953. So I’m not up for a lot of original essay composition tonight.
The Holidailies prompt for today suggests talking about your favorite (or unfavorite) scene in a holiday movie. I’ll be posting the annual repeat of my Dragnet Christmas episode piece on December 24. For tonight, a look at another holiday favorite.
The Claymation Christmas Celebration dates from 1987, when Lynn was two. It features stop motion clay animation of some amusing figures, among them the California Raisins. Plastic figurines had been offered as toys in the kids’ meal at Hardees around that time, and Lynn had become engaged by them. Oh, all right, yes, I became engaged by them as well. So much so that I still have all of the ones we collected, stuffed into a souvenir lunch box from the Land of Little Horses in Gettysburg and kept on a high shelf in her room.
We have a tape of the Claymation special, taken from broadcast, I think. (Hey, Santa, it’s available on DVD!!) I don’t think we’ve watched it together as a family since Lynn went to college. (It was our Second Sunday in Advent family spiritual experience — seriously.)
Below is a clip from my favorite part — a rendering of Isaac Watts’s “Joy to the World.” The adaptation of the tune (by 19th century composer Lowell Mason, considered by some the father of music education in American public schools) has a modern, what’s-happenin’-now energy that I think goes well with the eighteenth-century character of Watt’s interpretation of Psalm 98. The graphics call to mind the Sesame Street Jazzy Spies animated shorts about numbers that I watched with Lynn.
The message is what Christmas is all about for me. I’m talkin’ ’bout joy, all the joy there is in my world, in the people who love me, the people I love, the work I have to do, the energy I have to do it with. Thank you for reading, so much, so often.
From the Archives
December 21, 2004 — Auld Acquaintance: Just before 6:00 a.m. I made a decision not to go to the annual Christmas breakfast at the school where I taught. . . . The last time I was there . . . I sat down at a table with two active teachers to whom I had been fairly close, or at least had spent a lot of time with. They said hello and then went on with their conversation about scheduling problems caused by a snow delay as if I were not even there.
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