Thursday, December 1, 2011

Tried and True: Gathering for Rudolph

So I approached the other night with a healthy dose of holiday cheer, and it wasn't until a friend of mine sent me a message that I realized:  Rudolph was on!  It was nearly 8:30 p.m. and I had already missed the first half of it, but I quickly flipped the channel over and settled in to enjoy the Island of Misfit Toys.

"Are you serious?" my twelve-year old said, with just a touch of a snide tone.  "Rudolph, Mom?  I don't wanna watch this!"  She sunk down on the loveseat anyway, making herself comfortable.

Despite the fact I probably didn't need to respond, I said quickly, "Well, I'd like to watch it...look!  All those poor misfit toys!"  And we sat in silence for several minutes, watching the toys sing their sad song of being unloved.  Personally, I was reliving memories from being ten years old and watching Rudolph with my classmates as we waited to go on stage and sing a Christmas medley for our parents.

"Oh hey," my fourteen year old approached.  "Look!  It's Abominie...isn't that his name?  That big snow guy?"  He wandered through the room and over to do some laundry.

"The Abominable Snowman," I said, and my twelve-year old piped up, "Yeah!  Cornelius is gonna get him!"

And thus I was reminded of the magic of traditions.  Rudolph is such an American tradition that most children see him as a beloved sign of Christmas.  I was immediately taken back thirty years to reflect upon a time when I was a child, and my children—even though they're tween and teen—took great joy in reminiscing, even for a short while, in the pleasure of Rudolph.

For years I have wondered about families who really watched the twenty-five days of Christmas, but after our experience with Rudolph the other night, it reminded me that there are wonderful programs that we all feel warmly satisfied with in our souls.  Whether it's The Grinch, Rudolph, Frosty, or one of the many Santa Claus favorites, we all have a favorite we identify with and want to pass on to our children.

And that sharing is part of the spirit of Christmas, no doubt.

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