I have raised a child who is mortified by holiday movies, and I think I know how it happened.
Me: OH MY GOD THIS MOVIE IS SO GOOD LET’S WATCH IT!
Jackson, age 6: What is it?
Me: I LOVED PEANUTS WHEN I WAS YOUR AGE! LISTEN TO THAT MUSIC! LINUS IS SO WISE I’M GOING TO CRY.
Jackson: I don’t want to cry!
And so on, every year, for ever. My overenthusiasm for movies I loved as a kid always makes Jackson suspicious that (a) I am going to make him watch something old and in black-and-white, or (b) he is going to have to see me cry. He isn’t having any of that.
Me: Let’s watch Elf! It’s funny!
Jackson, age 9: UGH THAT MOVIE IS SO EMBARRASSING.
Me: Let’s watch Love, Actually! It’s funny and also romantic and depicts scenes of pornography that I won’t remember until we’re in the middle of it!
Jackson, age 10: MY EYES!!
True, I have succeeded so far in raising a polite young man who drinks his milk and occasionally laughs at my jokes, but I somehow failed to imbue his childhood with the network television spirit of Rudolph, the Grinch (Boris Karloff version), Frosty, Charlie Brown, or It’s a Wonderful Life.
But he knows all the words to “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” (all credit goes to his choir director for that), and the other day I caught him hugging our Christmas tree. So hopefully, maybe, pray to God, I didn’t ruin the holiday spirit in him after all.
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