In which I do a good job of not spreading Christmas cheer

We hit the Imperial Rome Exhibit at Fernbank a second time. The exhibit is leaving early January so not too long left to see it if you haven’t and are in the area.

Imperial Rome Exhibit, Education Alley, Fernbank, Atlanta, 2006
Imperial Rome Exhibit, Education Alley, Fernbank, Atlanta, 2006
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Going through the Farmer’s Market afterwards I finally mustered up a bit of seasonal spirit. I announced we should buy, after all, a semblance of a tree…

…and after finding the Farmer’s Market was out of the little itty bitty live ones, we hit a couple of places for me to look for a fake tiny tree that would sit on the corner table. An aluminum tree, I decided, would be good. But I came up dry. At Walgreens they had only two trees left but both were in boxes that gave no idea of what they might look like. I asked an employee if that was all there was and she said she thought so and I asked if any of these were on display and she said she didn’t know and then left. So I had no way of reaching the boxes that were on top of the shelves. When a woman passed by with a grocery cart I asked her if I could borrow her cart and stand on it to reach the trees and she at first looked surprised then said yes. I dragged the boxes down but wasn’t going to purchase without seeing one of them as one was shown in a bad xerox-type pic as being pink and the other as purple. I trusted neither picture (which looked like stately, well-formed, aluminum trees) and there was no info on materials. Fortunately one of the boxes was open. The inside 3 foot tree was pink plastic, the “branches” of which you’re supposed to bend into shape, but it looked like a sad mashed toilet scrub brush and gave grand appeal to the idea of finding a stray sawed off branch of evergreen left on a street in front of a Xmas tree vendor’s. Thus we ended up with no tree tonight. Maybe tomorrow. Usually, if we’re going to have a tree, we don’t get something up until Christmas Eve anyway, and it’s always a small small small small tree, but we have always put up the big snowman in the living room and this year he turns out to be broken and won’t light.

The seasonal spirit came and went and came and went. Largely went. We didn’t have Christmas last year. Well, not much. Co-adult’s father died last Christmas Eve and it must be on H.o.p.’s mind. Well, I know it is. He’s only once mentioned the death of his grandfather all year. Then Wednesday night (my mother-in-law was arriving Thursday to stay through Christmas) H.o.p. was lying down to sleep and suddenly started going on about how he didn’t want me to ever die, how he would miss me. This went on for a while and then he burst into tears and asked why Marty’s father had to die.

Thursday night I had the bright idea to put on “Little Miss Sunshine” for us all to watch. I only knew a little bit about the plot, that it was a funny movie about a road trip; I had ordered it from Netflix and I was thinking here’s co-adult’s mother (who is here as she didn’t want to be home this Christmas, for obvious reasons) and here’s H.o.p. who was sobbing his heart out the night before about “Why did Opa have to die?” and this really funny movie (so I’d heard) would provide a nice distraction and give us something to laugh about. Then Alan Arkin, who plays the grandfather, turns out to be quite foul-mouthed, and my mother-in-law was rather shocked by that and mentioned being shocked several times…then what does the granddad up and do in the middle of the movie but die and they are left with the problem of what to do with his body as the family is on the way to California, and (spoiler) they put the body in the van finally and carry it with them as they must get to California that day. So there’s the dead granddad wrapped up in a sheet in back of the van like so much baggage (however beloved) and there I am sitting there thinking man oh man did I do a bad job of choosing a funny movie to make things light and cheery.

I really didn’t do much better with things today. Trust me on that. I’m scoring no points.

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Juli Kearns

Juli Kearns is the author of Thunderbird and the Ball of Twine and Unending Wonders of a Subatomic World (or) In Search of the Great Penguin. She is also an artist/photographer, and the person behind the web alter of "Idyllopus Press".

2 thoughts on “In which I do a good job of not spreading Christmas cheer”

  1. Doing some last minute shopping at Target for stuff to put in Xmas stockings, I noticed that Little Miss Sunshine is being sold with the prominent notification “Four Alternate Endings.” I saw only the movie theater ending, which is no doubt what you just viewed. The regular ending must have caused too much mother-in-law trouble. I don’t know if the Target dvd has scrubbed the language.

  2. I imagine this DVD has all the extras. I need to check that out. Haven’t had an opportunity yet.

    Some think it’s a too contrived movie but I was quite willing to go with the flow on it, maybe because I enjoyed the acting.

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